‘Quitting Church’ Book by Julia Duin – electronic version now available

‘Quitting Church’ Book by Julia Duin – electronic version now available

Thank you to regular blog reader John M. for alerting me to the fact that a new version of “Quitting Church” by Julia Duin is now available, on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

I’m also amazed I have any regular readers at all. There’s one lady who faves a lot of my posts on this blog, another lady who comments once in a while, and a guy who faves my stuff every so often. Thank you all.

As a reminder, my blog may turn you all off. I’m stuck somewhere between being a Christian at a very minimal basis and being an agnostic. I also find myself cussing more lately when I get angry, which shows up in my posts on occasion. That kind of stuff may be a turn off for people who are still die hard, conservative, devout Christians. Anyway.

About Duin’s new Quitting Church book: at this point, it looks like there is no hard copy version available, only electronic.

At least, I’m assuming this is a second edition/ updated version, and not just an electronic version of the first edition? I’m not clear on that, and the sites selling copies don’t really spell it out.

I think the church situation has gone even more downhill since Duin released the original version of the book.

Seriously. Just spend time on blogs by ex Christians, Christians who quit church due to spiritual abuse or their kids were molested by pastors and Sunday School teachers. Then, you have Christians mature in the faith who are sick of the “seeker friendly” model, whose preachers remain stuck on “Christianity 101.”

Keeping Tabs on Church Quitters

Keeping Tabs on Church Quitters

Some people on some sites find the desire by some pastors, or Christians in church staff positions, to do follow-ups with those who have quit their churches un-nerving.

The specific types of churches these folks are concerned about are spiritually abusive and authoritarian.

Here are some examples of people from churches that are considered to be authoritarian, who apparently want to stalk former members:

(Link): 1. Pastors, Don’t Let your People Resign into Thin Air, by Bobby Jamieson

(Link): 2. Gospel-Minded Churches Cooperating in Pastoring

I do think quotes in #1 are troubling – the guy who wrote it, Bobby Jamieson, has distorted certain Bible verses to uphold his view that churches can “force” a member to stay, which he denies is the view he is pushing, but which his other comments negate.

Whether or not a Christian attends a local body of believers in a brick building or not, he or she is still a “member of the body of Christ.”

One becomes a member of the body by professing and accepting Jesus as Savior, not by attending a weekly church service. But the guy who wrote #1 is saying the opposite.

One of the kookiest, creepiest comments this guy makes is this:

    What I am saying is that the church has the responsibility to oversee the lives of its members as long as they are under its watch—which includes their trip out the back door.

Churches and preachers do not have a right or a duty to “oversee the lives” of their members. He is grossly overstepping his bounds as a pastor (or staffer, whatever his church role is), or is attributing qualities to a church that the Bible never gives them, if he thinks in these terms.

It is the Holy Spirit’s duty to lead and guide each believer, not a man’s, not a church’s.

Christ said believers are not to “lord authority” over one another or live in a hierarchy where they exercise control over each other, but that is precisely what this guy, Bobby Jamieson, is advocating churches or preachers do.

And where this guy quotes Hebrews 10:24–25 (“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”), I’m sorry, but no.

Notice the verse is not written as a command, as in “Thus saith the Lord, you shall meet weekly with other believers,” but rather it is merely saying it is beneficial for believers to meet. They would be wise to lean on other believers, not that they absolutely have to do so.

I’ve never understood that verse (Heb. 10:24,25) to be an imperative that Christians must attend a weekly meeting of body of believers, and if they do not, they are in sin. The author (Jamieson) is trying to make a command out of something that is not a command.

Continue reading “Keeping Tabs on Church Quitters”

On the Janet Mefferd Radio Show: Still Too Much Concern About ‘Family’

On the Janet Mefferd Radio Show: Still Too Much Concern About ‘Family’

I listened to a new online Mefferd radio show. I only listened to it once. Here’s a link to that show:

(Link): Mary Eberstadt talks about her book ‘How the West Really Lost God’

After Mefferd did a radio show a few weeks ago about the marriage rate going down and out- of- wedlock births going up, where she (or a guest), if I remember right, blamed feminism or something for this situation, I sent her an e-mail via her site’s contact form to notify her that not all singles, not all female singles, are deliberately choosing to remain single (see this page).

So I find it interesting that in this more recent broadcast, Mefferd did at least mention singlehood and singles in passing. Maybe she got my message.

However, I was disappointed that the thrust of her show and the focus by the guest remained on family, child bearing, and church attendance.

The author seemed to be saying that married people who have kids are more likely to attend church than single people, or people who do not have children.

Well, this information is actually nothing new – it was either discussed in the Duin book “Quitting Church” or “Singled Out” by Field and Colon.

Both Mefferd and her author guest seem to feel this is wonderful information, and also seemed to be linking the deterioration of society and lowering of church memberships with people not having children anymore.

In other words, (and maybe I am mistaken but), they seemed to be saying something that sounded rather circular, as in,
“if only more Christians would marry, have children, and go to church, not only would society improve, but church attendance would increase.”

The solution for making church attendance go up is not by emphasizing marriage and child bearing within marriage; I’ve discussed this before, please see this post and this post.

By only showing care and concern for married people and the institution itself, and none for people who are single, and by constantly pandering to the married or marriage itself, singles feel further alienated and have no desire or interest to attend churches.

This emphasis on marriage and encouraging parenthood by Christians, or in churches by preachers in Sunday sermons, is counterproductive, because it keeps singles away from church; it makes them want to avoid it: the common wisdom was that if a single Christian woman wanted to marry, what better place for her to meet Mr. Right than at a church – but this is no longer true.

This strategy to keep focusing on marriage and making babies is pushing singles away from churches, which keeps Christian singles apart (unless they are sticking to dating sites, and dating sites do not work for all who try them).

Not only are un-married Christian men not attending churches any more (for several reasons, one of which is the unrelenting obsession with marriage by preachers turns them off), but single Christian women have stopped attending in higher numbers as well (this was documented in the Duin book).

Most Baptist, evangelical and fundamentalist churches either ignore older single adults, or, because they tend to hold marriage and parenting up as the “Holy Grail” or Only Standard Of Success for the Christian, those who do not marry and do not have kids are made to feel like failures, and they feel left out- so they stop attending churches that foster this sort of thinking and church culture.

The solution for getting marriage back on track is to start ministering to OLDER SINGLE ADULTS. Start meeting the singles where they are.

One step invovled in that is for married Christians to stop acting as impediments to singles.

Stop telling singles that wanting marriage is “idolary” or that it is “selfish.”

Stop discouraging church as a place to meet and date (“we can’t have church turn into a meat market.”) Stop segregating Sunday School classes by gender, with males in one room, females in another.

In order for marriage to happen, one single has to marry another single, which means, churches need to find ways to attract and keep singles and allow them to mix and mingle with one another.

It’s not rocket science, but idiot churches keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting success but then scratching their heads in confusion as singles never marry, or don’t get married until they’re 40.

If you want singles to get married, then help singles. And help the singles who are still single over the age of 30, do not obsess over the teens and 20-somethings. Stop helping Christian people who are already married, which is what 99% of churches do 100% of the time.

Also, stop with the lamenting over decreased baby-making. Remember, some Christians choose not to have children. Respect that choice. Some Christians want to have children but have health issues and are unable to reproduce. Be more sensitive to that possibility.

2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

(Link): Interview About Christian Singles with Julia Duin, author of “Quitting Church”

The interview also covers the subjects of unanswered prayer, how single mothers are ignored and single women marginalized, Christian views on sex, and other topics are covered.

I recommend this interview a lot. If you are over 35 and never married, and were a Christian at any time (or still are one), you will totally relate to this discussion. I tried to embed the audio into this post two ways, but neither one worked.

Ageism in the Church – The Insufferable, Obnoxious Fixation on the Under-25s Demographic

One of the themes of this blog is exploring how and why so many American churches and denominations and the Christian community in general either ignore never-married Christians over the age of 30, or treat them like garbage.

On a similar note, I’ve noticed that a lot of American Christians are guilty of ignoring or not caring about the needs or spiritual growth of anyone over 25 years of age.

My mother used to take me to church weekly when I was a child. We moved often, so the older I got, we did not attend churches as often.

I definitely remember feeling welcomed at church at ages 3 to 10. I did not feel like an outsider at a young age. There were Bible stories for us read out of kiddie Bibles, and punch and cookies.

I went to different churches here and there, off and on, in my 20s, but not often enough to pick up a feel of how Christians treated 20 somethings.

I began going to church regularly again when I was in my mid 30s. It was then, walking in to a church alone at 35 or 36, that I felt out of place and peculiar. It was then I began to notice how I was one of the few people sitting alone in the pews. Everyone else was part of a couple.

I further began noticing how most of the sermons or activities were for married couples or pertained to parenting.

I had wondered if I was alone in noticing or feeling these things until a few years ago, I began reading the occasional book about singlehood in Christianity.

The authors of these books confirmed it was not in my imagination, and that a lot of other unmarried Christians past the age of 30 noticed the same things I was.

One of the books I read, Quitting Church, by author Julia Duin, mentioned how churches are alienating not just unmarried people in general, but anyone over the age of 25, and I agree. (Please click the “more” link to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “Ageism in the Church – The Insufferable, Obnoxious Fixation on the Under-25s Demographic”