I drove past a church last week with one of those electronic signs in front. When I read the first sentence, “You’re never too bad to come in here,” I was moderately encouraged even though the idea of someone being “bad” is not something I endorse. Then I read the second sentence, “You’re never good enough to not need to be here,” and whatever small hope the first sentence had kindled was dashed.
Institutional Christianity tries its very best to foster dependence and it simply isn’t healthy. The notion that disaster waits around the corner for the person who fails to show up in church one Sunday isn’t just offensive, it’s not even biblical. Any good educational program hopes that its students eventually graduate, having taken what they have learned and integrated it into their lives well enough to take the next step and move to the next level. Not so the church, which seems to want to keep people stuck, most likely because what they really care about is their collection plate. This is but one of the many reasons that people are leaving religion for spirituality, and the Church has nobody to blame but itself.