Does going to church really make a difference?

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I am truly loving all of the responses! This question came about with a discussion a friend of mine and I were having. Being a Christian (or whatever your religion is) is about your personal relationship and walk with God. If that path leads you to attend service regularly than so be it. If it leads you to give of your time and read The Word and worship at home that's okay to. I really don't feel there's a right or wrong answer. I go when I feel I need to, but I always try to live by his word as much as possible. 😊
My relationship to God has nothing to do with any religion.

I am in his house every day, every minute. I worship him by revelling in the trees and ocean in my back yard. I feel as though I fly with him when I watch the eagles and herons above me. I am grateful. I see the truth of life. It is short, it is beautiful, it is a gift not to be squandered. It can be brutal and unfair. It is exactly what it is. It is all we have and it is so beautiful. I feel so incredibly loved that I was given the chance to witness and take part in this amazing world. And I thank him every day. I do not need to do so in a man made church, with rules written by man, who's deeds include heinous crimes against humanity and all that is good.

I just cannot believe that a book or religion, created by man, can be more important or more truthful than the truth and beauty and brutality of nature, which was created by God.
Attachment 22358
Originally Posted by SusieSuze
The most beautiful response I've seen! ☺
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Let's not blame church for the fact that the people who go there are bad. That's just how they want to be.

Of course, people can volunteer without church. It's just that they don't. It is important for us to remember, though, that we're not here to live in isolation. We have to not only live a life of gratitude, but we also have to find a way to contribute in some way, big or small.
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Lots of interesting contribution!!

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I went to church for over 30 years. I enjoyed the community at times and the services at times. Now I'm agnostic, and my community is online and in meetup groups of my choosing. I find the divine in nature, in myself and in other people.

I'm kind of allergic now to people telling me what God wants me to do, when they're just guessing/interpreting themselves. I've had a lifetime of guilt and expectations thrown at me in a church setting, and eventually the payoff wasn't worth the cost.

I do think there are some people who very much benefit from the structure and community of church, and there are some people who are better people when they are going to church. One size doesn't fit all.
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Now that I dont attend church and dont deal with religion at all, I have more time to volunteer and give back to the community. Instead of speading all day at church on Sundays, i go to the humane society. Instead of putting money in a collection plate, I buy someone who cant afford to eat lunch.
Yes and no. I think it definitely depends on finding the right church. I don't find it necessary, but I find it helpful. I joined my church about seven and a half years ago. I missed singing and wanted to join a choir. I picked this church because it felt welcoming (and I'll be the first to admit that this isn't always easy to find in a Catholic church). I've moved since I joined but continue to sing in the choir. But if I'm not singing, I won't make the trip to attend (that includes my two month summer break).

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Let's not blame church for the fact that the people who go there are bad. That's just how they want to be.

Of course, people can volunteer without church. It's just that they don't. It is important for us to remember, though, that we're not here to live in isolation. We have to not only live a life of gratitude, but we also have to find a way to contribute in some way, big or small.
Originally Posted by slinky1
Egregiously inaccurate generalization.

Let's also not give church (or organized religion for that matter) the credit for people being "good."
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Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

It's important that you provide yourself with some way of hearing the Word or being fed w/ the Word on a regular basis to keep your faith strong.

For some that could mean watching a service or Mass on tv or attending a Bible study or whatever.

But you're not supposed to hide your light under a bushel basket, right.

It's good to get out and fellowship together. And also learn together...not just stagnate in your own limited understanding.
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First define, 'what is Church.'

Church is the body of believers in Christ. If you are one, then you are in 'it.'

Church is not a building, it is not a corporation, it is not about music, nor message, nor meetings.

You can be part of the body of Christ and never attend a meeting, but meeting with other believers helps you be a better believer by exposing you to the love of others.

Some people aren't very 'loveble,' even some people who attend meetings with you. That is your opportunity to learn to love.

God did not say, love only the lovely - tolerate only those who are agreeable - if you are uncomfortable with other people, it is time to look at yourself.

I struggle with this myself. Sometimes (always) it isn't about ME.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Now that I dont attend church and dont deal with religion at all, I have more time to volunteer and give back to the community. Instead of speading all day at church on Sundays, i go to the humane society. Instead of putting money in a collection plate, I buy someone who cant afford to eat lunch.
Originally Posted by thelio
Don't lie, thelio. Everyone knows us non-church-goers likes to spend Sundays running around kicking puppies, littering, abusing the elders, and causing general destruction, while all the church goers are occupied and can't see us!!!

(sorry for being so facetious, but I just couldn't help myself).

The idea that attending church, or participating and/or identifying with an organized religion or higher power of any kind has ANYTHING at all to do with being a "good" person and/or helping others is just plain ridiculous.
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
Don't lie, thelio. Everyone knows us non-church-goers likes to spend Sundays running around kicking puppies, littering, abusing the elders, and causing general destruction, while all the church goers are occupied and can't see us!!!

(sorry for being so facetious, but I just couldn't help myself).

The idea that attending church, or participating and/or identifying with an organized religion or higher power of any kind has ANYTHING at all to do with being a "good" person and/or helping others is just plain ridiculous.
Originally Posted by Who Me?
Its true! I cant deny it! Yesterday, I had a glass of wine! And i didnt get to the shelter like I had planned! Oh for shame!!!
Let's not blame church for the fact that the people who go there are bad. That's just how they want to be.

Of course, people can volunteer without church. It's just that they don't. It is important for us to remember, though, that we're not here to live in isolation. We have to not only live a life of gratitude, but we also have to find a way to contribute in some way, big or small.
Originally Posted by slinky1


*buzzer sound* wrong.


Back to the OP. I guess it depends on the person. If you feel it makes a difference for you. Cool. If others find sitting in silence under an apple tree, taking in the beauty of nature. Cool.
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Haha, yeah. I'm an atheist and I'm pretty active when it comes to volunteering at women's shelters and feeding the homeless. I plan on volunteering at the humane society this summer.

I think doing those things made me feel more productive and happy than going to church.

People should focus more on doing good and appreciating life
Originally Posted by sleepymeko
Agreed. And a good church should encourage that.

(and I'm not saying that you can't get this from other places. I'm just saying that a "good" church should stress these things)
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My church youth group does mission trips during our summer camp. We went to a community center in a rural area and cleaned, painted, did lawn work and picked up trash by the highway. It's very gratifying when you do community service


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There's a reason why church exists and it's not (as though many, disgracefully, think so) to create a "hole" in your wallet..
church is for communion with other Christ followers. Where you're supposed to study the word of God and create bonds with the people we should call our brothers and sisters in the faith.
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There's a reason why church exists and it's not (as though many, disgracefully, think so) to create a "hole" in your wallet..
church is for communion with other Christ followers. Where you're supposed to study the word of God and create bonds with the people we should call our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Originally Posted by gniesam
Thank you! And to strengthen your relationship with the Lord.

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I go to church for a few reasons.

1. I love God and with all He's done for me it's reasonable to give Him my time.
2. It's good to be around other believers regularly.
3. While I read the Word on my own, I need the Word that comes from God through my pastors. It offers different revelations that what I receive on my own.

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Originally Posted by MissKris
I agree ----- I don't 'HAVE' to go to church. I WANT to be among other believers. Through the church, I get a support system and an avenue to be of service to those in need.
I'm of the same way of thinking as thelio and wavyblonde, but I will add that I might go to actual services for the fellowship and singing if they were held in the evening. That's just my preference, though, and I wouldn't expect a whole community to accomodate me.

I also find that sometimes the reverence for all life as described above is strangely missing from church-goers. It bothers me when a semi-local church takes measures to keep the homeless from sleeping on the steam grates near their entrance so as not to disturb the parishioners, and to note that our own priest now refuses to celebrate St. Francis Day because he was distressed by some of the creatures people brought along to be blessed.

I deeply believe this, from Matthew: "And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did for one of the least of these, my brothers, you did for me.’"

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