I Hate Church

Dec 30, 2008 by

Father, help me please! I find myself hating church. Not church as it should be, but I hate the human element. I hate the politics. I hate the busy bodies. I hate the culture. I hate the promises that are preached with great zeal, yet never seem to come to pass.

I find so much more peace and closeness to you when I sit in my lawn chair under the shade tree and talk with you and hear your word in scripture. Perhaps I have expected too much from church and people? Perhaps the many decades have taken their toll and all I want is you, and no more bull. No more gossip. No more churchianity. No more politics. No more service projects my mind and body can’t live up to. Father, help me. Above all things, help to seek you, and have your love, mercy, and compassion for all people. Thank you Jesus! AMEN!

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  1. Ann

    My heart is right in this dark spot. Thanks for saying it so well and for the prayer to have love, mercy and compassion for all people.

  2. Yolanda

    Feel exactly like this! Well… really don’t hate church, but hate people who think they’re “the church”. I need church, and care for all other people who is in even more need of Jesus, love and mercy. Isn’t church the place where we should find other believers who are willing to share, love and care about their brother’s needs?

  3. Red

    As a pastor’s wife, I too “hate” church . . . not what it is intended to be, but what it feels like.  I hate the looks I get when I don’t live up to someone’s expectation.  I hate the gossip because someone doesn’t understand the deeper reason for a decision.  I hate that people can say what they want to, but I must be silent, appearing like I always “have it together.”  I hate that people think I don’t have any feelings.  I hate that people are just mean.  I hate that people in church don’t act like Jesus.  Thank you for letting me vent here.

  4. Elizabeth

    I hate it too, for the same reasons Red states. I’ve been a pastor’s wife for over 30 years. People are all for wanting us to be a ministry “team” when it is convenient for them, but criticize that the pastor’s wife is “too involved” when they are unhappy with the pastor. I’m supposed to know everything that is going on but I’m supposed to be ignorant of the jabs at my husband. If I show I genuinely hurt, then it is used as evidence against my husband that maybe he is burned out and should leave the ministry. When he was a young pastor, he heard “You don’t know as much as we do. We’d make you into a good minister if you’d let us.” Now that he is 60, some make it clear that they think it is perfectly fine to practice age discrimination toward pastors. “You’re a has-been. When are you going to retire? We want young blood in the pulpit” People only want Matthew 18 observed in regard to themselves. For some reason, they think treating the pastor according to Matthew 18 is not required. I’m tired of “concerned letters”, secret meetings, and betrayal. I hate it. I wish my husband had taken a safer job, such as defusing mines in Afghanistan. I hate it.

  5. Mike

    I am a pastor with many years experience.  I am to the point that I hate church.  I want to get on my motorcycle and ride into the sunset.  I hate the liars, the gossips, the mean and hateful people, and most of all…the politics.  I will never retire as a pastor.  I love Jesus, but I can’t take this crap much longer.  This can’t be Christianity.

  6. Princess

    Thanks for the article Smoldering Wick. Thank you Pastor Mike and Pastors Wives for sharing your posts. I hate church too for all of the above reasons that you mentioned but most importantly I hate church due to the ignorance of believers who are happily unlearned in the the things of GOD especially when they have been blessed with a Pastor and Pastors wife that loves them unconditionally and still they refuse to receive from the free flowing hand of GOD. This has burned me completely out! I have been a telephone minister for the last 7 years but scarcely have went inside of a fellowship with other believers. Im ready to return but the deck of my FEARS are stacked up! GOD IS LOVE, this is the reason I’m still alive. Bless you all in your faithful and precious work for the kingdom of OUR LORD!

  7. D

    OOOHH how my heart hurts for each of you my sisters and brothers!!  I am sorry, truly sorry for each of you… for every betrayal, every lie, every impossible demand, every back stab, every time you were compared to others, every unfair/judgemental/comment, every insult, every time you were expected to meet 100, 200, 300, or 400 different peoples expectations!!My husband has been in ministry for 20 years and experienced so much hurt over the past 2 years that he recently walked away from our church with no warning (a church he was led to move out of state to start 10 yrs ago).  Bitterness, anger, and resentment comes out now anytime the conversation of church comes up.  I fear that the walls of these hidden sins will continue to grow and snuff out the light in him…. but doing my best to trust God that the seeds of HIS word in us, sustain us, protect us, restore/heal us and that the seeds sown through this ministry grow strong in spite of burnout.Those of you above that are hurt and angry… I am praying for you!!! (in all honesty, right now that does nothing to encourage my husband… he has heard countless people say they love him and are praying for him, only to have them disrespect him, insult him, or leave the church because we didn’t sing the song they wanted, or because the music was too loud, they didn’t like a comment he made, because our chairs were too hard, because the service was too long, becuase the service was too short, or simply because someone offended them by cutting in line to get coffee… ) in ministry you learn that words are cheap (or words CAN BE cheap)… but I want you to know that I understand, I am hurting with you, and I am sincerely going to pray for you!!!  Regardless of what we have SEEN, or what we HEAR, or what we are FEELING… it doesn’t change the fact that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do…. so I will continue to pray that OUR hearts are healed!! 


    i JUST FEEL THE SAME.I was born and raised by catholic parents who still are of the same faith.I was pushed into this trap by my husband who was a bit prayerful initially but now he is running our house and all expenses by his salary that he gets for being a pastor and i hate it. Because i know he is only pretending and never ever prays…..what scares me the most is the kind of ladies we have here who are lustful adulterous and flirts with my husband all the time, he ENJOYS every bit of it, i wish i could murder him or cut him into pieces but i have two little children…….


    the elders in the churh behave as if its not a church but a social club to meet every need of their retired life…with endless parties n picnics. i want to divorce him but am not earning as much as him so can’t moreover now i have two kids who love n depend on him….but my life is a big mess…..help help helpmy husband instead of going visiting or serving the poor or sick is sitting n enjoying the filthy gossips the el;ders bring to him n this man who fails to see where this marriage is heading and the endless quarrels debates v have over this issue seems to be blind n deaf to my needs or familys’
    i want to divorce him but am not earning as much as him so can’t moreover now i have two kids who love n depend on him….but my life is a big mess…..help help help

  10. Hurt and Rejected

    I too have been hurt by most all of the baptist churches in my area. People I have encountered here are  the most judgmental, caustic, liars in the “church”. I have lived here for over 20 years and now avoid the church.  I once was optimistic and open.  Not anymore.  I know that none of us are perfect but one doesn’t have to be an all out jerk.  Jesus must hurt.

  11. dd

    Yes.I am tired of all of the BS in church as well.I came to Christ after entering recovery for alcoholism and embraced AA and the Church with an addicts zeal and enthusiasm and a the misconception that the Church was going to be a safe place away from the sin and character defects that has infected the world.I was so naive.That was seven years ago and I’ve really distanced myself from Churches only recently attending a non-denominational church locally.  I was recently asked to participate on the Worship team and while part of me was excited, the other part of me was very hesitant since I’ve had some very bad experiences in this area of the church particularly in the realm of power struggles, politics and control freaks..Well, that was three or four months ago, and I seem to be experiencing the same stuff…it’s kind of a drag that it has to be like this and I hate bailing which has been a fairly consistent behavior of mine, but I don’t see why I need to be in such dysfunctional envrions since it makes me nuts..

  12. Marc S.

    Obviously, there is something wrong in the world of “Christianity”.  I read all of these accounts and feel deeply sorrowful for all of you and the many others who have suffered at the hands of churchmembers and leaders.  I was in a “pulpit” minister for about 10 years. Fortunately, it was a “part-time” thing as I worked for the state in a fulltime job.  While I certainily saw the ugly side, I did not have the same pressures as those who rely solely on a paycheck from the church.  All I can say to those who are still in the ministry is to hang on.  The American church is in a demise. It will soon come crumbling apart and people who are true seekers will be looking for spiritual leaders.  This is where you will be needed. Your suffering is not in vain. It is being used by God to prepare you for greater things.  The days of church as we know it will soon be gone. However, those of you who are spiritual will be used to help take God’s people to a new height.

  13. Karen

    Wow, how I can relate, and how I needed to hear that I’m not the only one with these feelings. I constantly search for “something else” to do in life. My husband and I came into the ministry excited, full of enthusiasm, fire and desire to do the Lord’s work. Now? After 18 years at the same church and years before that of ministry/pastoring/church work, we are worn, hurt and disillusioned……if there was something else we were qualified to do, we would jump at the chance. Personally, I teach kids, head up that program (which I’ve tried for years to get someone else to handle), work in the office, pay the bills, head up the worship department, head up church activities, and on and on. We work so hard to bring new believers into the Kingdom of God, only so that they can quickly get lazy and refuse to grow, help out with activities, come to Prayer meetings/Bible studies….sorry, I’m rambling. Our “leaders” don’t even attend church functions….crazy. My husband & I seem to do it all. I was always a positive, joyful person, but have found myself “over anxious”, discouraged, unhappy, etc. I had a couple health issues and (without health insurance) went to the Dr. only to be told it’s stress &  “classis overload”. Gee, who would have guessed! (Me) Has someone out there found the answer?? Is church even what it was meant to be when it started?? I feel so bad for my husband who had such eager desire to Pastor a church and now I see him just plain worn out. How do we “overcome” burn out??  Oh, and I forgot to say that our kids “help” us in the ministry. Everyone says how wonderful that is, but it is such a source of contention, arguing, “dad should do this, he shouldn’t have said that, why doesn’t he….”, you get the idea:>!

  14. I have shared all of your pain and God has re-directed my ministry into some very innovative new approaches to spiritual development. I would love to talk to any interested about this new revelation. There are opportunities for collaborations with ministers around the country. My email address is Addie.wright@mindspring.com

  15. Meli gal

    I agree and can relate to most of the previous comments. The reason I hate church it mostly cause of the politics and the phoniness. Sometimes other church goers come across as too overbearing and too judgmental. Many churches don’t  allowed you to be a human being and make any mistakes they expect perfection. For the clergy and congregation on whatever side of the line you are on it feels like you are always bearing a cross. I do see God more in nature than inside a building with four walls on Sunday morning. Most of Jesus ministry and public speaking was done outdoors or in the marketplace where people had to gather. And it does seem like most churches do reject the people that Jesus would of loved regardless of their downfalls? the sinners, the liars, the thieves, the promiscuous.  And it does seem like some people who have gone to church all their lives speak Christanese. They don’t even understand how to relate to the unsaved. There are people who go church and say the love God and follow his Word and commandments yet turn around and gossip or act like hypocrites inside and outside the church toward their fellow brethren? If Jesus was alive today He would be unhappy the way churches are they way He was with the religious leaders of his time. 

  16. J.Sevelov

    I sure am glad there is a site like this !! “Church people” can ruin your life if you let them, one way being to check your mind at the door. For 3 and a half decades I allowed ministers , bible teachers, elders, etc. tell me that I had to put up with any and all abuse coming my way. My late mother had manic depresssion, but never took meds for that, because she was told it was demonic to use psych meds. More, she was told she had to submit to a stalker ex-husband, who hunted us up and down the state for 30 years. This, coupled with an abusive maternal family heritage(father unknown)that we were commanded to “honor” caused my mother to die prematurely, of cancer. Depression and stress shrink the brain and trigger cell ageing. Please save your health and sanity by walking away from those sorts like the onsed described in these blogs. THanks to those “Chritianese” speakers, I will be dodging murderers and cartels because we stayed in our toxic situation too long. Our lives were destroyed ! I wonder if the reasons most churches are so lousy is because of the religious heritage of Europe, with its hideous laws from the Dark Ages,and the settlers and Pilgrims/Puritans/Conquistadors, who brought that dreck to this hemisphere ?? Certainly there are many in churches who try to justify those actions as “bringing the Gospel to the New World” along with slavery. I bring this up because of the ones I met who do this all th time. And they are also the ones who will tell you that the crap behavior you find in church is just ” oh, we are a hospital for sinners” as a way to justify the craziness. I don’t know what to think, but now I stay away from organized Christianity.

  17. Matt

    the problem is the devil uses something good and turns it into something bad trust me the devil is at work in the Church more so then in secular society the church was supposed to be  community but ended up being a clique. Men who desire power and praises of men uses Gods laws  as a tool to have a level of control to justify there “leadership” positions(essentially trying to be the Holy Spirit) by heaping guilt upon people. Not to mention that money plays in a factor too a lot of pastors and church people get paid handsomely so you can be sure that will attract people in it for the wrong reasons. The thing that bothers me most though is how this church culture has messed up peoples ability to spread the gospel to people today people in the church are so used to gossiping, backstabbing, circle jerking and everything else mentioned above that it makes it extremely hard for the gospel to be appealing.  The one thing I pray for is for people not to get discouraged from the great commission this to me is what the enemy wants he wants us to be consumed in our own failures rather than victories of Jesus yes the bible says to hold eachother accountable but it also to do everything out of love for example if jane has a problem with adultry a fellow sister/brother should go up to them let them know what the bible says about it pray for them then move on if the person is saved Gods Holy Spirit will take over from there as oppossed  to publically humiliating them and gossping etc. or trying to get them excommunicated for there own personal vendettas against that person 

  18. mommydora

    I hate church really caught my attention because I have felt this for several years but was afraid to admit it to anyone or too afraid to say it out loud. Being in the ministry for over 25 years sure has taught me a lot about how people really are, most people only care about themselves. The church my husband pastors currently has been the worse so far. The so-called Christians here think they know more than God. We are invisible. I don’t know how my husband can take much more of a very selfish, self-centered, social club of a church. I never thought I would ever hear him say he wished he had a secular job again. He can find more Christians in the secular world than in his current church. I pray many hours a day for help to know the right thing to do. He hasn’t been able to find another church and thinks God is calling him to a different profession. REALLY? He is such a good, loving pastor. His current church members don’t know what they have and they should be ashamed of how they have treated him and his family. All they want is praise for being fakes. I haven’t been to church in almost three months because I can’t be a fake like them and act like everything is perfect after they made decisions without even looking into how they have basically destroyed my husbands career financially at his age. yes! I hate the people in this church. I hate the way they think they are superior. I hate the way they are such an exclusive club. I hate that they only love themselves. I hate the way they treat the pastor and his family. I hate that they are fakes. I hate that we ever decided to go to this church and have them ruin my husband’s career and act like it is nothing. They suck and I wish I could stand in the pulpit and tell them they suck as people who think they are Chtistians.

  19. conlynturn

    We are missionaries in our 60’s who have given our whole lives to see Christ’s
    Church established in this land. Today I had to face the fact that I also hate church, even the one I planted with so much hope and zeal. Somehow I can never measure up and I am constantly negatively compared to other missionaries. I love my Bible and generally spend hours with it in a day, but last week I attended a ladie’s conference in which we were lectured about how we need to grow up and read our Bibles, etc.
    Then we were divided into small groups and asked what the greatest barrier was that kept us from reading our Bibles. I wanted to say that I didn’t have any because I really enjoy it, but I have learned that if you don’t admit you are bad and unspiritual, you are marked as a proud person. So I succumbed to peer pressure and lied and said it was keeping pressing appointments. Ever since then I have not wanted to open myu Bible. It has been several days, and this totally is not me. I find this peer pressure to conform and law-based society that judges us on the grounds of our performance (their personal staqndard of how wew should perform that is) very unattractive. I still love Jesus, and still love the people, BUT I HATE the church (organization), Christ loves His Body, but this structure we call church has to go.

  20. Dear sister-in- Christ,Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..We are a registered Community Based Organization.We are a Christian Pastors Network for Pastors, leaders and communities.We care for Pastors and leaders by serving and encouraging them through immediate support ,education and research to keep them in ministry. Our focus is to create coalitions of pastors study and prayer cell groups and connect them to people who have volunteerd their time,talents and skills to help them,their families and communities in time of need. Currently we have 6 groups in existence with 20 pastors doing a one year certification studies in sustained revival.I take this opportunity to request for your assistance with study material and gift in kind to equip and empower pastors and leaders.. My prayers are with thank you.In-Christ Pastor Josephate Ngichabe


    I am trying not to hate but I often feel the urge to vomit up my Christian rearing. My heart goes out to each of us. Yet, I feel less lonely after hearing your sentiments. You give me the courage to not allow the psychological abuse to continue. I no longer want to be called a Christian. Call me a follower of the Way or a follower of Yeshua but please not a cHRISTIAN.It has such a negative connotation.I, too, have lost respect for “the organization” and most of the people housed within who are often more callous than the world.For some reason it appears the most cruel and vicious people are drawn to christianity and especially offshoot denominations such as SDA. Pseudo christianity, a nightmarish monolith, has twisted scriptures, broken up families, decimated cultures, and essentially brainwashed followers to gain control over their lives and finances.It truly is sickening how many lives have been devastated and left shipwrecked because of its overbearing ungodly hold.I know the true church is not housed inside plaster walls. “The Kingdom of God is within” so I have to stop looking for it without. I will only find disappointment and enduring misery.

  22. Maggie

    I am still hurting from a former church; hence I am using a pseudonym. I am a single, never-married lady with 3 degrees, including a B.S. in physics. My former church nailed me for everything. People gossiped. People were jealous. Pastors said mean things in violation of Matthew 18. I was usually reprimanded in public unexpectedly. The pastors preached that all should be married, but 1 Cor. 7 says otherwise. (I know we must follow God’s laws on physical relations to protect our bodies and minds.) I finally left. I had helped others anonymously, tithed and served. It was never enough with them. I did a Matthew 18 meeting with 1 pastor after having been gone for over a year with positive results, but I could never go back. My present church is a healing church.

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