If you ask many people why they've stopped believing in God, they’ll tell you to look at church folk.
They’ll tell you a story of a woman they knew who went to church every week and then cussed people out every day. They’ll tell you the story of a man who sat in the front pew of church service with his wife every Sunday yet was having an affair with a third of the female congregation on the side. They’ll tell you the story of a pastor who preached about God’s love and righteousness every Sunday yet did sexually heinous things with little neighborhood boys.
It’s true; all these things are unrighteous and unholy. It’s true; some of the people who do the most horrendous things claim to be Christians and prance around on a religious high horse that they have not even come close to earning. It’s all true.
The problem: Why have you allowed them to cause YOU to stop believing in God?
Why have you allowed the foolish ways of people to deceive you into thinking God is not real? Why have you allowed the wicked ways of people to deceive you into thinking you don’t need God? Why have you allowed the inconsistencies of some people to stop you from going to the house of the Lord to worship and praise him? Why have you allowed the inconsistent words of people to deter you from establishing a loving and wonderfully faithful relationship with your Father? Why are you looking at people? Jesus Christ himself had a betrayer in his midst. Judas Iscariot, the man who led Christ to his death, was one of his 12 disciples. Did you not get the lesson Jesus was trying to use his story to teach? If there was a bad apple among twelve people, specifically chosen by God, then there is bound to be a couple of bad apples among a large congregation of people who claim to be believers of God!
That is why we’re told throughout the Bible to put full trust in God, and not people. To lean on the wisdom of God and not that of people. People are not perfect; God is perfect. People fall prey to lies and wickedness, God never does. People disappoint and hurt each other, God uplifts and blesses us. People try to live for God and sometimes they fail. It’s expected. The great news is God will never fail you. God allows everything in your life to be (pain and happiness) to teach and strengthen you in moral fortitude so you can live out your purpose. Yes, God uses your pain too. God wants you to use your pain. Let the pain you’ve gone through be the fuel you use to serve others in alleviating similar pain in their lives.
Stop focusing on how religious or nonreligious people are. Focus on how righteously YOU are living. Stop abandoning God and insulting him because people disappoint and upset you. Turn to him even more when they do so because he is the only true perfect one that loves you. When church folk disappoint you and fail to live up to the expectations placed on them, that is the time you are supposed to turn to God. Think about it like an employer/employee relationship at a restaurant. The restaurant has several waiters/waitresses. Some amazing, some awful, and some in-between. Imagine going into a restaurant for dinner with a friend and having an awful experience. I mean the waitress you get is extremely rude, your food is brought out cold, and you even find a hair in your soup! You will probably be livid. What’s the normal thing to do in this case?
Ask to speak to the manager so you can make a complaint. What does a good manager do? A good manager accepts that the waitress’s behavior was unacceptable, reprimands the waitress, and finds a way to rectify the situation so that your anger dissipates – like give you the meal on the house or give you a gift card for a future dinner. Then what happens? You feel acknowledged, cared for, and leave the restaurant happier. So, why on earth don’t you do the same with church folk? Why don’t you go to their manager? God! Why don’t you realize that although they have been ordained and employed to do God’s work, they have the free will to mess up – which they will at times - and if you bring your pain to God, he will reprimand them (believe me, karma is very REAL) and rectify it! Why do we allow one unrighteous employee (or ten) to destroy our relationship with God?
We can’t do that anymore. We can’t afford to. A great life has God, who is love, at the center of it. A great life is not possible if we hold on to anger, bitterness, and distance ourselves from our Father. We have to stop letting the actions of certain church folk stop us from living in love and fulfilling our God-given purposes. We have to stop allowing the actions of some church folk stop us from going to God's house to worship God. If you feel the entire congregation is unholy or you can't possibly listen to a particular preacher then find a new place to worship God; just don't stop worshiping God. We have to see people as people, and take all disappoints, abuse, and pains to God to deal with. We have to choose God’s perfection above the imperfections of people and know that when people fail us, we can remain strong in faith because our Father never fails us.
Stop looking at church folk. Turn your eyes to God.