A Forced Religion

Do you ever feel that you are forced to do things without even realizing it? Well this is how I feel about my religion.  I grew up in a small town, the type of town where everyone knows everyone else.  The majority of people in my hometown practice Christianity.  You are constantly watched by many, as well as judged.  Because so many are Christian, a family is judged based upon their attendance in church: if your family attends church, they are considered a “good family.” How ridiculous is that!?!

This whole thing started with my grandma.  My grandmother forced my father and his siblings to attend church every weekend.  Even if my dad had to work the late shift at the local gas station, he was required to go and if not, then my grandma would have some sort of personal punishment towards him.  It is sad, but she still controls her children this way.  She asks each weekend who was in church and if they did not go, she makes a mental note of it.

Unfortunately, this “trait” got passed down to my father.  And now my brother and I are the ones being pushed to go to church.  And my grandma is checking to make sure as well.  If we do not attend, my dad gets angry and states, “well don’t ask to do any special activity for the week then…”  So I am being punished and feeling guilty for letting God down as well as my family.  Now in college, I realize how screwed up that actually is! Why should I be forced to attend church if I pray and thank God everyday for what I have?  What is so important about church? If you have faith then why do I need to show up to prove to others my own beliefs?  I once heard that if you do not want to do something, then God does not want you to do it.

What do you think?  Should we be forced attend church? What is the importance of church?

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5 thoughts on “A Forced Religion

  1. I completely agree! I was forced to attend Church (during school hours) by my school for years. It really made me dislike organized religion. They aren’t helping us, they are making us see the Church as a boring punishment!

  2. I agree, too! My parents pushed me to go to church almost every week in high school, and I felt like I never got much out of it because I was feeling so spiteful toward them the whole time. Now that I’m in college, I can choose to go when I come home, and I get SO much more out of the service, and I can concentrate on God while I’m there. We should never be forced into something as personal as our own faith.

  3. I was never forced to go to church while I was growing up but my parents said that I should at least give it a shot and try it. I went to church for a few months then realized it just wasn’t for me. I still believe in God and have faith in him, but not going to church never made me feel like I was letting him down.

  4. Although i am not from a small town, I do know exactly how you feel about being pressured to attend church. When i am home from college, my parents still make me attend church. If i do not attend then i get judged by my grandparents, parents, Luther alumni, and other members.
    I do believe that church is a great place to go and think about things and even communicate with God, but there are some Sundays that i just do not want to go.

  5. When you ask, “What is the importance of church?”, I think it depends on the individual. For some Christians, they may not need the church experience. For me personally, I like going to church because of the people there and the community feel. I get more out of the Christian experience going to church and being around friends and family that share my beliefs.

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