Letters to my Church

Real people. Real Churches. Real stories.

Dear CMC,

You weren’t so much a church as a organized group within a Bible college, but nevertheless I went to churches that were started and or supported by you for the better part of two years.

You used us as cheap labor, inter-changable parts that were clearly disposable unless we had musical ability, and promised us ministry certificates that would qualify us for ministry.

I got laughed at for being a part of the group, they said it was like a cult, but I was convinced that we were in this together. Did you really care for us so little that you let us waste years of our college experience to fill pews in your experiment satellite churches?

I am hurt by this experience, and what is worst is that when I told you you didn’t care.

Cait

Pensacola, FL

Dear Church in New Mexico Whose Name I Forget,

I was camping at Ghost Ranch when I attended a service.

What a weird, cult-like experience. I’m all set. Singing songs to the starts and moon isn’t really my idea of a Bible-based service.

Thank you, though, for helping me appreciate my own church so profoundly.

Sincerely,

Jan

Albuquerque, NM

To First Assembly,

Thanks so much for withdrawing support for World Vision based upon their homosexuality stance. It’s good to know that someone cares enough about their principles to stand up for what is right! WE STAND WITH YOU!

Scott

(undisclosed location)

Dear Large Baptist church,

First I want to thank you for giving me so many great friendships. Some of them mean everything to me and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I also want to thank you for some of the morals that you have instilled in me. The way I think today is mostly because of my upbringing within your classes.

With that said, I am truly f***** up because of it as well. Now that I am grown and have the capability to think for myself, I realize that I am constantly at war with myself. I now know that some of your teachings are good but most are completely false and have been distorted over time by men with the desire for power and money (Also with a strong since of anti-Semitism, but we don’t talk about that do we) but I still have a hard time dealing with things that I once thought to be ungodly and now know that is just means opinion and interpretation. You teach people things because you believe them to be true which I respect because everyone is entitled to their opinion. Also because you were taught them in school, I should know, I also went to “bible college”(Which is a whole can of worms unto itself).

People don’t question you anymore and when they do it’s a lack of faith. I am very close to my Father but in your eyes I wouldn’t be because I don’t do things the way you do them. The fact that you teach that YOU have the truth is laughable because you don’t know that for sure. There is a truth but until that final day it is all by faith. But lets divide his kingdom for our opinion. Lets go to war and kill and slander each other for our opinion. Its ridiculous! When really we could all be wrong.

Also you ruined my marriage. I know that’s harsh and probably not 100% true, but you gave us an expectation of marriage and sex that was unattainable. You teach us very little about sex to begin with, say wait until you are married (cause God said so?), and then when you are married forever and ever sex is awesome…go! So for 21 years I waited. We did everything right (according to you) and then when we were 5 years in and nothing had changed your truth is “suck it up and deal with it, marriage is hard”? F*** you! I want a real marriage, and not a marriage like my parents (like most of your congregations) where they hate each other but they stayed together because “the bible said so”. It’s fake, just like most of your teachings about marriage and sex, which have no backing if you really study the history of it in the bible.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because it won’t do any good. There is so much wrong with religion in general that removing myself all together and being content in living the way I believe my Father desires me to live is enough for me. I’m sorry if this sounds like a hate letter. I used to hate you but I don’t anymore. I’m more understanding that there is a place for you but not in my life. Thanks for the memories but I’ll be letting God take it from here. And if I’m wrong I’ll take my punishment from Him not you.

Sincerely,

One who knows you

Ocala, FL

Dear Unnamed Catholic Parrish,

I get it. We will just transfer the priest and bring in someone as a giant apologizer for the previous priest, as well as the catholic church as a whole.

Save it. You may try to forget everything and move on, but what is my cousin supposed to do? He will carry that abuse for the rest of his life. I just pray he doesn’t blame God for what you all have passively or directively done. 

From,

Gregory P. 

Allston, MA

Dear New Life Church,

​You gave me a place to belong when I had nowhere else. Thank you for accepting me for who I am in Christ, and helping to reveal that to me. It was within your walls that I discovered who I am as a child of God, and discovered the lavish love of God. It was my refuge in my loneliest times. You showed me what it means to have a garment of praise. You have set a high standard for what I understand church to be, and in the mean time even if the people were flawed and caused division… I will always think of this as my church family.

Thank you,

Rachael

(No City Given), Florida

Dear Church,

I write to you with a heavy, yet reminiscent heart. I like to think of the olden days when my friends and I would hang out at church after the Sunday service and get ready for Fine Arts practice. Or when Josh, Jerrell, and I would walk down to Subway after we set up for youth group on Friday and talk about life and the girls we liked. Those days seemed so nice. There was no judgment or condemnation. People had a genuine love for the things of the Lord. Where did that go?

I have thought about this for a very long time now. Why is it that when one teenager messes up and learns a lesson the hard way, they are cast out of the loving family of the church? It was the hardest thing to watch friends leave because they were sick of being pushed out. After seeing the struggle in their eyes of knowing that people were talking about them behind their backs was truly heartbreaking.

Despite all of the heartbreak that you have caused me over the years, I still have hope for you. As time goes on, you slowly realize that rebuking people is not the way to bring them back. I can only hope that the situation will continue to be looked at and grow further in the right direction.

Yours truly,

John

Poughkeepsie, NY

Dear Iglesia El Calvario,

Ever since I was born, you have been my home. Growing up together has been such a beautiful and hard process. I remember seeing you grow from having 500 people to now having about 5,000 people. You have been such a blessing to my life that words cannot even describe the true value you have in my eyes.

From being taught the fundamental truths to being a leader, you also have seen me grow. Thank you for allowing me to serve the least of these. Serving them has truly humbled me and inspired me to look more like Christ. Because of service as leader, I have desired to seek the deeper things of Christ and now my thirst is unquenchable.

As for my future with you, I do not know where the Lord is going to lead me. I have a great desire to stay and work full-time with you as a pastor in any capacity, but I also have a desire to go to the world to preach the good news of the Gospel. God has called me to be a prophet to nations and I plan on obeying and responding to that call of God over my life. Whether I stay close or go far away, rest assured that this will always be a “see you later.” Remember this: you will always be home to me. Home is where the heart is and you, my beautiful church, have my heart forever and always.

From,

Christian S.

Orlando, FL

Dear Home Church,

As far as I remember, there was never a time that I didn’t know you. However, there was a time that I didn’t like you. In high school, when we went through 3 youth pastors in the matter of a year, yeah I didn’t like you then. Or when my best friend of 5 years called me from across the country saying that she was forced to move without telling me because her dad, one of the pastors, stole thousands of dollars from the church. Yeah, I didn’t like you then either. Or when my parents got a divorce and all I needed was some comfort from my church family, all we got was condemnation. Yeah, you weren’t my favorite then either.

But here is what I know now: I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for those situations in my life. I learned that my youth pastor is not my Jesus, Jesus is my Jesus. I learned that even pastors make mistakes that effect more people than just themselves. And I learned that the people of the church can be a little judgmental sometimes, but Jesus loves us despite our junk.

So here is the thing, I could be really mad at you for everything that happened, but I am actually incredibly thankful for you because like I said at the beginning, I have always known and been a part of this church, implying that I am still there. I am thankful for parents that didn’t allow me to run from the church or to run from my problems.

So thank you for always being there. Thank you for bringing me through some tough junk and for making me who I am today!

Sincerely,

Alyssa

Fort Myers, FL.

Dear Church,

You have saved my family. There are moments when my family seemed so far away from each other. You always seemed to bring us back together on Sunday mornings, where we could all sit together in our seats while worshipping Jesus. No matter what we did throughout our weeks, how busy we each got, or where we were in life – I could always count on those Sunday mornings. Our hands lifted high when life became difficult is the one thing that kept me holding on to hope that God had a plan through it all.

Now, years later from those church days, my family unfortunately doesn’t go to church together anymore. Life happened. My parents have become so busy working that Sunday mornings are filled with dealing with customers and managing different tasks. Now I sit in a row in church by myself watching my younger brother stand in the front. I remember the days when I sat with my whole family, and I become almost angry that life has changed. I become bitter that change happens. But I refuse to be bitter at God. So I stand there singing as loud as I can that God would restore my family. I pray that God will bring my family closer together, and never forget the hope and joy He has given to us. I dream of a day when we will all stand together in church once again side by side.

Not giving up hope,

Katie

(No City Given), Pennsylvania