5 bad reasons to leave your church


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  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    "Bad" reasons to leave a religion?

    There are none.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:14 p.m.

    I disagree with the author of the Relevant article. In a world where pastors are selling a service and congregants are buying it, feeling that you're not being fed, that you don't have a sense of belonging, that you disagree with what's being preached, that your needs aren't being met, or that there is conflict that makes you uncomfortable at church are excellent reasons to take your money elsewhere. If you don't have a particular belief that your pastor is any more divinely ordained than any of dozens of other nearby pastors, you really ought to find the one who is most willing to feed you spiritually (isn't that what pastors do?), help you feel you belong, preach doctrine you agree with, help ensure your needs are being met, and help resolve serious conflict in the church.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    JSB, I agree!

    I fully reject the suggestion that our family is discard-able.

    It isn't a mere idea. It's people, spouse & children. It's who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. It's the very foundation our entire species is built on and the principle by which we exist. I read in these comments that maturity sometimes means discarding such an old and faulty institution.

    You can't value yourself if you don't value the family you created. Family and faith are interconnected, as you pointed out. The entire idea that one can simply change it on demand for a different channel, different flavor, or self-satisfying need... it's barbaric.

    The article's 4th point sums it up: When we place "my needs" above "my family's needs", we have no love... only self-love.

    There is no growth, development, or intellectual maturity in selfishness.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    Sharrona 1.96 Standard Deviations says it best, but.........

    Have you ever considered how that warning about false prophets is worded? It merely warns us of "false prophets". It does not say "no prophets", for their shall be none in the latter days. Why warn of false prophets unless there will also be "true" prophets?

    Heb.....in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. Yup, that is exactly what Joseph Smith testified of.

    No man has seen God at any time? Re" 1.96 Standard Deviations above.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:11 a.m.


    ---"Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute." (Luke 11:49)

    --- "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (Genesis 32:30)

    --- "[...] And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Exodus 33:11)

    --- "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55)

    --- "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." (John 21:25).

    Conclusion: Jesus Christ and God the father are physically separate beings (and even have faces and hands), prophets have spoken with God face to face, Christ himself promised future prophets after him, the Bible itself indicates it does not contain all truth or scripture since not all of Christ's ministry was even written

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    People looking for fault will always find what they are looking for. The key is to be meek, humble, submissive, become like a child, and listen to and for the spirit.

    It's taken me a long time to learn that, and while I still have a long way to go, this is my personal journey. I am responsible for my own salvation. No one else. I believe that I will, "be punished for my own sins and not for Adam's transgression." I also believe that I have the ability to overcome sin by grasping on to Christ's Atonement.

    Now to return to my normally contrarian attitude. As I said, people looking for fault will always find what they are looking for. Frankly, they need to get over themselves. Those that want to accuse me of being judgemental for that statement ought to spend time reading Moroni 7.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    RE: happy2bhere, Christian *service”, True
    Eph 2:8-10, Verse 10 … created in Christ Jesus for *good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.(God’s elect).

    (Jesus) … ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am(ego eimi) ... (John 8:24) Jesus is God incarnate, see Ex 3:14.

    RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations. before the Bible ,...8 were saved in Noah’s Ark(a type of Christ), they did not get wet, “the pledge of a good conscience toward God …” (1 Peter 3:21).

    But moot, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in Various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…”(Heb 1:1-2).

    "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John… Luke 16:16. The “Office” of prophet is fulfilled but not personal revelation, Or discernment e.g..

    (1 John 4:1).. test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world…..verse 12 No man[JS] hath seen God at any time..

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:55 a.m.

    Dennis above is quoting from David Cain.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:55 a.m.

    Some of us leave religion for the simple reason that we realize it is not "true".

  • cassandove Tampa, FL
    Jan. 29, 2014 11:35 p.m.

    @Sharrona -

    1) Romans 8:16-17. It is plainly taught that we may be joint-heirs with Christ; we do not "replace" or "become" God.

    2) Latter-day Saints have never denied the eternal nature of our Heavenly Father.

    3) Minimize sin? "Minimizing" sin would be allowing it to go on, never being held accountable for it. That is something I love about my faith.

    4) The "rule" in the Book of Revelation about not adding to scripture only applies to that book. After all, the Epistles of Paul, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude, were all written AFTER that book. Thus, "adding upon scripture".

    5) Jesus appeared as an exalted Man to Saul on the road to Damascus, before he converted and changed his name to Paul... Care to explain what Christ you believe in, if not this heavenly Savior who appeared to this man?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    The article didn't post them, and I hate visit unfamiliar sites. So here's a summary.

    1. “I’m not being fed” (spiritually)
    Counter-point: There is more wealth of online material or 'meet' in this day and age than ever before.

    2. “It’s getting too big”
    Counter-point: Remaining small is a sad and unbiblical goal (not matching the original church) and you "definitely won't like heaven.

    3. “I don’t agree with everything that is being preached”
    Counter-point: Pastors learn and grow like everyone else. Get over it.

    4. “My Needs Aren’t Being Met”
    Counter-point: The Church belongs to Christ. It isn't about you, but you following Him to build that church by helping others. The whole point is helping each other, not just helping yourselves.

    5. Unresolved Conflict
    Counter-point: Paul dealt with internal conflict, so can we. When we jump ship the second conflicts arise, we shortchange God's process of repentance & forgiveness and His power to reconcile the seemingly impossible. If we truly believe and have faith, we work through it. We don't abandon ship.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 1:35 p.m.


    Sorry to hear you left the church. However, I am glad you still love the Bible considering your posts always seem to make reference to it.

    Out of curiosity, how would you personally have known God's word if you had lived in a time before the Bible was compiled? Even as far back as the age when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden? How did people come to know the truth in past ages before the Bible or even before Christ came?

    Can you tell me your thoughts on the matter?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    I like the story about the ole farmer at a buss stop, listening to preachers of the different churches. Each one was trying to say why theirs was thee one. They turned to the ole farmer and asked him his opinion. The ole farmer said, Church religion, he figures is like taking my grain to the mill. I can take the freeway there, but it's a 2 hour drive, or the highway that's about an hour and a half or take the dirt road, it's about 45 minuets. The thing is, it don't matter which way I go, the miller is going to ask, How good is your grain.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 11:14 a.m.


    Funny, many of the things that caused you to leave the LDS Church are the things that brought me to it.

    I do think that in general, many leave the LDS Church because it is not a passive church, but one that does ask a lot of the members. Sometimes I myself, when overwhelmed with a lot to do, wish that I could just sit for an hour on Sunday then not worry about anything else until next Sunday. But, in the end I "know" service is one of the guiding principles of being Christian. Not just belief.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 11:08 a.m.


    Having read your post you confuse me. You spend the whole time criticising "belief" in anything as being a closed door. Then the last line you write says: "Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them." How is that any different than a person believing in Christ, or a particular religion, or evolution or whatever? And if your point is that no one should "believe" in anything, then you are asking people to not question anything or have faith in anything. Our ability to do those things is what gives us free will and the ability to analyze and investigate things to find what we see as truth.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 29, 2014 10:37 a.m.


    Your comment confuses me. You claim that somehow leaving a church causes a person to leave behind trustworthiness, love, honor and kindness. Do you really think that those who go to church exude those traits, while those who don't are void of those traits? That is a weird thing to say. You also say it is dishonest to leave the church. I couldn't disagree with you more. It is much easier to just go with the flow and stay in the church, even if you don't believe. It is very honest, but hard, to admit that you don't believe in it anymore and suffer the consequences of family and friends who think you are apostate. Leaving the church should never be the deciding factor in a divorce - many happy couples have different religions - you just have to accept a person for who they are and all will be fine

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 29, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Can’t remember ever seeing three (in a row) such insightful and well-articulated comments on this forum – pmccombs, Dennis, G L W8.

    Dennis especially… please tell us where you read the statement on belief (since it was in quotes I assume it was not original to you).

    Thank you all again and please consider commenting here more often… this forum could always use more light than heat.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    RE: Sashabill,I left a church when I read the Bible.
    Original Sin, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned," (Rom. 5:12).Verse 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man(Adam) many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man(Jesus) many will be made righteous.

    The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and the thoughts of his heart are “continually evil” (Genesis 6:5). Man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5.

    C.S Lewis,” If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions[JS]. How could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The three personal God “Mere Christianity. Lewis gives some other analogies of the Tri(3) Unity.

    Jan. 29, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    It's very difficult to explain why many leave their orthodox Christian church to become Latter-day Saints in a short 200 words; so I'll just leave a generic comment that hopefully will apply to any Christian, Latter-day Saint included:
    Much of what the pastor has to say in this article also applies to neighborhood and individual relationships. His central point seems to revolve around selflessness vs. selfishness. We are all on that continuum, and may vacillate away from one end of it to the other from time to time throughout our lives. Seems to me we would be much happier striving to stay as close to the selflessness end as often as possible in all our relationships. Applying the pastor's five points in that light, we may find ourselves happier whether we stay in the same church or not.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Jan. 29, 2014 5:36 a.m.

    I read this and it explains exactly why I left the Church. And will never return.
    "Believing something is not an accomplishment. I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego. Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same. It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing. Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed door. Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them."

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    I spent time in the mission field in an attempt to help convince others to leave their churches for mine. Some of them had made solemn commitments to their faith and to the traditions of their families. When they chose to join my religion, was this a betrayal of family? Yes. I had been sent out to "set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother." I had become a family-wrecker, for I sowed doubt in the minds of faithful people and caused them to lose their faith... if only to find a new one elsewhere.

    I am in favor of vocational religion and in following that which calls to me, and I grant my wife the same courtesy because I have no right to deny it to her. Let us each worship according to our own conscience. With regard to my wife, I walk by sight because she is with me; therefore she is greater to me than any faith.

    In my marriage I am certain; about my church, I must have faith. It is unwise to base a marriage on a dogma and better to choose love unfeigned.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 28, 2014 2:59 p.m.


    You raise some interesting points, but I think it’s important to distinguish between those who leave their faith because of a lack of morality and those who leave their faith because they no longer believe in it (the theological & metaphysical teachings, not the moral teachings).

    It sounds like you are only acquainted with the former…

    Regarding those who fall into the latter category (those I am most familiar with), I don’t see how any of what you said must come to pass. Seems to me that the only way someone losing their faith should break anyone else’s heart, betray someone, cripple the emotional development of their kids (huh?), or cause any pain whatsoever is if the believers in the family chose to see it that way.

    Why should they if the spouse is still a good person wanting to do the right thing (be a good spouse, parent, etc…)?

    Sadly many of the believers cannot do this. Instead they often see them as threats and ostracize them in ways that make the damage you stated almost inevitable.

    And that is a real tragedy…

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 28, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    Before becoming LDS, I turned away from right wing Protestant churches for the following reasons: (1) Their doctrine of the Trinity (which struck me as unbiblical and nonsensical);(2) their doctrine of Original Sin (which asks us to blindly accept guilt, without proof, for the transgression of Adam). This contradicts the American concept of justice, wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. (3) Their contradictory mixed messages as to whether we possess free will (moral agency), and whether it counts for anything in the eternal plan of things. Finally (4) their continual degrading and belittling of the individual (as being "unworthy", "totally depraved", "by nature evil", etc.) This promotes an attitude of little more than chronic self-loathing - an unhealthy attitude (especially for young children), I don't care how "Christian" it is.

    This has not prevented me, however, from reading and enjoying the writings of leaders like Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life), or Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now, and other books.
    I look for truth and inspiration in different traditions, non-Christian as well as Christian, and I usually manage to find it.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 28, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    @ Skeptic

    I've been happily married for over 45 years. There have been times of doubt in my life but when they happen, I've found that I have been lax in my diligence in living the gospel. When I have grasped the iron rod more firmly, my confidence returns and my testimony is stronger and my appreciation for the sacred vows I have made is greater. I have, however, seen so many of these betrayals and the associated misery among my siblings and friends and others and heard the flimsy self justification by the betrayer, that I feel very strongly about it as you can tell.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 28, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    JSB, I sense your hurt and I hope you find healing and comfort. For myself I am not certain of anything. I think I do understand how unpredictable and imperfect life can be, and we have to make a lot of allowance for one another, good luck.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 28, 2014 10:41 a.m.


    I have witnessed so many people who have left what you term as "old faulty ways" and left in their wake broken hearts and tragedy. The "old faulty ways" they leave behind are trustworthiness, honor, love, kindness. And the new ways they have found in the great and spacious building justify betrayal, cruelty, and mocking. Is someone who has left the church so sure of his/her their new course that it is OK to break their sacred word of honor, break their spouse's heart, introduce stress into the marriage (which often leads to divorce), cripple their children's emotional development, betray others who are vested in the marriage and go on to mock, berate and ridicule those that choose to behave honorably? There are people who have left what you call "old faulty ways" and then have recognized that their old ways were actually not faulty and have returned to the higher way. Are you so confident in your current conclusions that it is impossible that you might discover you are wrong? Are you so confident that you are right that you are willing to inflict so much pain into the lives of others?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    I left the churches I attended and became a Latter-Day Saint. Was this because I didn't like the teachings in the other churches. In a way yes, although I appreciate the true things they taught me also.

    If someone preaches a false doctrine I would make diligent inquiry and see if the person might be lovingly corrected and does not mistakenly mislead others. It should be put right at the first possible opportunity lest ward members and others come to believe the doctrine. I have been in one or two wards where the person was asked to correct his mistake from the pulpit the following week. He was only slightly embarrassed, continued with the Church afterwards, testimony still intact, and the members left in no confusion about the teachings.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 28, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    One of the beauty's of life is that we can (and often times do) grow, develop, learn and progress with time and aging. That at times. Requires leaving old faulty ways behind.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Five good reasons I left a church:
    1. They Deify man; Man can become God. 2. Humanize God, Deny God is one eternally. 3. Minimize sin, Instead of man’s very nature. 4. Ostracize and add to scripture 5. A different Jesus (exalted man)

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 28, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    If you have been sealed in a temple, then another really bad reason to leave the church is that you are betraying your spouse. You agreed to stay faithful when you got married and to leave the church is a double cross. It's is also mean because it produces stress in the marriage relationship, often leading to divorce. And children are also negatively affected. It's a selfish, dishonest and cruel thing to do.