If you don't go to church you will go to hell

Necessary formalities? - If you don't do it this way, you'll go straight to hell!
United States
November 24, 2008 9:51pm CST
That is basically what my mother said to me yesterday. She is "very" Catholic - I was brought up Catholic (Catholic grade school, high school, AND college!) Went to church every Sunday and all religious holidays - Dad was the head usher! Got all the sacraments I was "eligible" for - Mom says "her prayers" every day and seemingly only watches EWTN! Needless to say, I'm now the least Catholic person you'll ever meet! I just formed my own opinions and I have my doubts and issues about all kinds of religious-related matters, especially relating to Catholicism (that I refuse to go into!) BUT because I don't go to "formal" church services - because I don't "practice" religion the way she does or the way she thinks it should be done, I don't believe that I will be "damned" to the "eternal fires" - She even said "OOOoo, the devil is really in you - you atheist!" What the heck is wrong with people that they feel they can pass judgment? Why do some people think their way is the only way? She said "You need to read your Bible" - I said, "Mother, I studied the Bible in the college you & Dad sent me to - and have read it from beginning to end more than one or two times (I made an "A" in the course, by the way) - don't you realize that it is not totally factual? Don't you realize that it has been handed down and interpreted in many different ways over the years?" You have your interpretation - I have mine! Good grief, how do you deal with people like her?
6 people like this
21 responses
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
25 Nov 08
Ah, the Catholic guilt. I know it well. I too was brought up in the Catholic church and went to church every Sunday, and all the holidays and special masses, and went to CD and all of that. I started to get turned off when they started bending and changing their rules. When we moved to this house we are living in now I went and registered at our local chuch. A few days later I got a letter asking how much our household income was, and telling us what percentage of our income we should be giving to the church. That ruined things for me. I began thinking the church is just a business just out to make money for providing a service. I understand the church needs money to run, and when ever I am in church I always put money in the basket, but being told how much to give rubbed me the wrong way, and also since it was the very first correspondence we got from them was very upsetting. I hardly go any more, and only give them money when I am there, and a couple other times a year. Church should be about worship, not money. I can worship for free at home.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Nov 08
Well, you deserve a great big "AMEN" for that response! (No pun intended!) It makes me feel a lot better knowing I'm not possessed by the devil, like my mom seems to think - I think she feels bad because I guess she figures she raised me a certain way and I'm not adhering to that way. Oh well...! Thanks so much for responding - you, fellow heathen, you! Hahahahaha! (Just joking, you know!)
2 people like this
@mansha (6301)
• India
25 Nov 08
Its not churches only every religious institution has unaccounted money and in so much that they only can bring us out of the economic crisis alone. I am totally against institutions of any kind and I do not see God anywhere but in anture and in people and inside me. I feel wherever there is something good happening God is there.Today we were standing next to flowers in the garden and chatting suddenly we say a bee moving from flower to flower and we said see here we are just chattering away meanwhile a beautiful dance of life is taking plcae right before us. It was so beautiful and one of my friend stroked that bee lightly and she didn't even move and allowed her to stroke her. It was amazing, I found a miracle in it. Now thats God for you and its miracle too.
@rmuxagirl (7562)
• United States
16 Feb 09
There are a lot of churches that are in the money business, but tehre are some that aren't. My church is more about reaching out to the people and meeting their needs. We are actually struggling to meet our finances, but my pastor won't push the issue of giving to the church. WE don't tell the congregation how much they should give, but appreciate what is given.
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
25 Nov 08
Sorry to your mother but I think she has a wrong concept of salvation. If she is reading the Bible she should know that Jesus himself said...I am the way the truth and the life, no one cometh unto the Father but by me. Therefore it is not through religion or going to church that we could get saved but only through Jesus. Not all those who go to church regularly are assured of heaven. Certainly not, unless one has accepted he is a sinner and needs a Savior to avoid the doom of hell and believed Christ is the only Savior and therefore received Him as his Lord and Savior will one receive the free salvation being offered by God. I believe though that those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior are committed to worship God every Sunday in the right church and in the right way. This is my belief on the basis of what I read from the word of God.
2 people like this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
25 Nov 08
One proof that a person has truly accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior is a changed life. As 2nd Corinthians 5:17- "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." So sorry for people who pretend to be religious, doing all religious actions as if holy but still can't surrender their vices and living an old sinful life despite their religious actions every Sunday. As Jesus himself said: Not all those who call me Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Being religious is not giving anyone the pass to heaven. I'm sorry that most people are misled by this wrong traditional belief. You were asking if I am a Protestant or what? Well this is my reply: I am a Christian or in it's truest sense a believer who find salvation in Christ and hence have started living for Jesus. Once in my life I learned I am a sinner and hence repented all my sins and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I did not have any vice and was actually leading a peaceful life but just the same I believe I am a sinner because the Bible says in Romans 3:3 -"There is none righteous no not one.." In Romans 3;23 it says: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So having accepted my sinful nature, I repented and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. This automatically made me a Christian who has the assurance of eternal life. Having learned the truth about salvation I sought for a Christ believing church that teaches the Bible without reservation and without alternation. I am therefore a Christian by conviction and a Fundamental Baptist by religion. But I tell you it is not my religion that saved me. My religion is just a product of my search for a church where I could find true worship and real Bible based teachings and a church where I could worship Christ in spirit and in truth.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
26 Nov 08
Thanks, I appreciate it!
• Philippines
26 Nov 08
i agree with you, its not the religion that will save us from the fires of hell it is our own faith and beliefs. i believed in god and if you have faith in him you will never go wrong. and if you practice the ten commandments of god then you will be saved. its not the images, the prayers that we utter regularly during mass but its the way you understand the deep meaning of it. for me its still best if you pray from the heart rather than reciting all those prayers taught to us my our parents, grandparents etc.
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
25 Nov 08
I agree with you there, i am a roman catholic myself, my parents put me into a catholic school during preschool gradeschool, highschool till college! I know about the Holy family and all the saints i could name and was even able to read the bible lol... but i am also the least catholic, but it does not mean i do not believe in Jesus, it is just that there are ways in it that i could not get myself to follow. IT gets to scripted...if you know what i mean and i could not understand people reading the bible literary, it should not be read that way because that was history, handed down orally for ages. But i do believe in Jesus Christ and i do have Faith in him and i pray. But there are people who just follow it dutifully all its ways and means...how i deal with them? all i say is that you have your own way and i do have mine so to each his own...
2 people like this
• United States
25 Nov 08
Stand up, sit down, knee, say this response, say that response - it's just too methodical - reciting memorized prayers just isn't my idea of worship! I'm so glad someone understands where I'm coming from! Thank you so very much for fortifying my feelings that I'm not the heathen my mother seems to think I am! :)
1 person likes this
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
25 Nov 08
hahah i know what you mean some people have twisted beliefs and unfortunately they do not want to open their minds and see what is right. My grandmother is like that, she gets angry whenever she sees someone in a bikini saying that person will really go to hell! and i once said really? even if that person is really good in reality and not some bad person she thinks who belongs to hell..or what if a person dresses to conservatively does that mean taht person will be saved? or something like that...
2 people like this
@marcialoyd (1174)
• United States
25 Nov 08
I don't go to church and I do not think that God loves me any less. I study my bible, I pray, I worship him on my own time. So just because I do not attend church regularly does not make me any less of a Christian.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Nov 08
I whole heartedly agree with you!
• Philippines
25 Nov 08
Basically it is not true that if you dont go to church you will go to hell,no coz even your only in your home or somewhere if you pray to god always and praise to him faithfully,I'm sure you will not go to hell and by reading a bible you will know what are the words written there and what's Gods says. But if you are confuse all you have to do is going to church every sunday and pray to God and be thankful to him for all his blessing to you..
@paries (29)
• Philippines
28 Apr 11
your faith is your salvation..but you have to search for yourself the true teachings of GOD, read he Bible..there lies the answer..but ask for His guidance first before you start to read..
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Is faith really the sole medium of salvation? Would there be 66 books of the Bible if faith will only be the true essence for man to be saved? Huh! Your pastor has misled you and all others who think so too.
@rmuxagirl (7562)
• United States
16 Feb 09
I have heard people be told that and I could never tell someone that. I think everyone is entitled to form their own opinions and it seems that you have formed your opinion. I agree that the Bible could have been misinterrpreted because of the different languages. I would have done what you did, and tell her that she needs to respect my decision just as I respect hers.
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Sadly, the Bible was actually misinterpreted BUT it should have not been so. God only told us to read. Consider this: "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate, for My mouth it hath commanded, and His spirit it hath gathered them." --- Isaiah 34:16 Further, no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation: "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." --- 2 Peter 1:19-21
@maean_19 (4662)
• Philippines
13 Feb 09
Whew! That is the thinking of a closed minded person....No offense meant, my dear. I was born with Roman Catholic parents. I studied in an All- girls School with Roman Catholic practice. I read the Bible and also went to church. I USED TO........With my search of WHO IS GOD? I am now in Victory (Born Again Christian)...I had nothing against the Catholic Church. What I cannot understand sometimes are those "WHO" belongs to the Catholic Church. However, there are worse religions which I do not want to mention and expand. Perhaps, the gap is getting bigger of the literal interpretations of the WORD and the BIBLE. In fairness to the Catholic Church I am before, I never encountered or heard someone told me that I WILL GO TO HELL WHEN I WILL NOT GO TO CHURCH. Or THAT CATHOLICS ARE ONLY THE ONES SAVED....But, mind you, there are devotees of a certain religion who said those words. Now, I do not go to church, but I BELIEVE IN HIM AND HAVE FAITH IN HIM. That is more important, I think.
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Your religion is also among the worse religions of our time. You believe in the doctrine Once Saved, Always Saved. That principle permits you to do things your way even if beyond what is commanded by God because you think you are saved anyway.
@joniebee (182)
14 Jan 09
I really feel for the children who are brought up by religious people,It's so unfair that they are brainwashed from day one with this garbage,And that's all it is,Garbage.Tell your mother,There is no god,And that's that.One of the great hypocrisy's of religion is the emphasis that is put on being peace loving but from where i'm standing the only thing i see from religion is war,Bigotry,Oppression and tons of Lies and guilt,What a load of rubbish.
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Really? There is no God? That religion is garbage? Your prejudicial view of religion is just a result of seeing false religions that are predominant in our time. I pray that you find the true Church that will change the way you see things.
@becnh83 (806)
• Philippines
2 Dec 08
Maybe for young children, you can make stories like this inorder for them to go church and be good. But definitely not going to church does not mean you go to hell. As far as I know, God do see us human and look into our hearts, we maybe sinners but God always do forgive.
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
God ALWAYS do forgive? Beware, you may have been deceived: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame." --- Hebrews 6:6 This verse negates the claim of born-again groups that once saved, always saved. This also negates your view of God being able to pardon all sins. All sins made outside the knowledge of truth and His true Church shall be forgiven. Yet those who fall away after knowing the true gospel being taught inside the true Church of God shall never come to repentance and correspondingly will never receive forgiveness. Other people who will never receive forgiveness are those who turn away from God's invitation for salvation: "Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out My Hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all My counsel, and would have none of My rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your terror comes."--- Proverbs 1:24-26
• United States
25 Nov 08
This is a very controversial issue and you will probably get many different answers. In short, regardless of what religion you practice there is one truth. Good is good and bad is bad. If you don't harm anyone by no going to church, if you don't kill, steal, injure, abuse anyone during your life time then you should be OK. Hope this helps.
• United States
25 Nov 08
Religion and religious beliefs sure are controversial! Boy! If my mom really knew what I thought about it all she would have a heart attack!
@syankee525 (6294)
• United States
25 Nov 08
yeah my parents was the sameway.. but here is what you tell them.. it say in roman 99 that one don't have to go to church to belive or worship God. yeah told me dad this blew his mind..
• United States
25 Nov 08
Hey! Thanks - I'm going to make a note of that for her! Can't wait to hear her reaction!
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
25 Nov 08
i met many catholics who are messed up and refuse to practice catholicism. many have converted to another religion and are much happier.
• India
28 Nov 08
I just want to say you thanks fifileigh , since I have heard many time and also know this fact that Chrisitans has running a whole campainge in all over the world to convert others in their religion but you are telling that even their own followers are converting to another religion LOL, it would happen ...
@JER616 (551)
• Philippines
22 Feb 12
Frankly, genihanna, you won't go to hell when you go to a catholic church. On the contrary, you may even endanger yourself being there when you frequent going to catholic churches! Why? Because those churches contain abominable images of men and women whom the church commands them to worship and venerate BUT the Bible identifies as abominations before the true and Almighty God of Israel who created all things seen and unseen. Nonetheless, I am disheartened that, despite getting an A for studying the Bible you are not convinced of its authenticity, power and nature as God's Words for salvation. I won't argue with you on your belief though, but I am inviting you to study deeper as I feel that you are not far from receiving salvation just by denouncing the faith of your parents. Please watch "Ang Dating Daan" (The Old Path) in television and go over this website: http://www.angdatingdaan.org/en/. I guarantee you that you will discover truths in the Bible that have not been revealed to you.
• United States
26 Nov 08
No i dont think so i usually goes to the church just when i can because i cant go it all the weeks because got to much work :( or something to do it and it impossible, but hope so i will go soon ;) i really enjoy it when i go to the church. Have a nice day and see you...
26 Nov 08
I am an atheist,too.In my view,no god exists, just like no devil exists.JUst imagine what will it be if a world filled with only poor human and devil!! So for aheist devil is not in me, or the world will be an unbalanced one. Religion is a kind of exclusive thing, every god of the religion think himself as the unigue one, in the bible ,Jesus said there is no real god in the world except me. But Islam does not have a Jesus Christ,buddism has another budda with different skin...Will these real "God"s fight against each other?That's fun!!Why do the pictures of gods resemble only their believers but not all people of the world?
• India
25 Nov 08
Hello my dear genihanna Ji, Well, I would ask you apology in advance, but I too have my reservations on this matter, I think religion shound not be thrown on any person. It should remain upto individual to follow one's way of living. I casually visit temples, but I do pay thinks to Almighty everyday/every moment for taking my care inside my house. It may be called taht i have burning desire to follow ethics, but no body should dictate me to viist temples everyday or even at regular intervals. have a great time.
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
25 Nov 08
Oh please. Give me a break already. People like your mother I really hate. Pushing their beleifs and what not on other people. I honestly would of moved out of that house a long time ago cause I am not going to listen to someone that is so unreasonable. I really do feel for you. I don't know how you lived with her for so long. Let me tell ya just because you don't practice the way she does and do the things the way she does does not mean you are going to hell. So try to ignore it and my suggestion would be staying away from her even if she were my mother.
• United States
25 Nov 08
Well seeing that the person shoving it at you is your mom its a little more difficult than just telling someone you know casually to take a jump. I don't think anyone is damned to the enternal flames of hell if they don't go to church and you know on that note- it seems most religions say that about other religions if that's the case- there's going to be a lot of people in hell and I mean a lot of people. Not going to church doesn't make you an atheist by any stretch. The bible says you can pray anywhere, anytime, and I believe that is the truth. I wish you all the best and hope that you and your mother can work through this. Good luck to you.
@lazeebee (5468)
• Malaysia
25 Nov 08
This is precisely why many non-believers are so p.o. with Christians, Catholics whatever. They keep telling people that 'if you don't..... you'll go to hell!' Like you say, who are they to condemn others to hell? Sometimes I wonder if these 'Christians' are doing a better job than the devil himself, in chasing people away from Christ and the church.