• hannahhogan221

I Dumped My Church

Last week, we talked about not reading instructions and labels and how even when

its obvious a person isn’t good for us, we still can allow ourselves to become

entangled with them, even if it’s only for a few weeks.


But what about when it isn’t obvious? We often think of people who are deceptive

as being pretty obvious...I know I have worked with people who right away alarms

went off for me that they weren’t being honest or something wasn’t adding up.

But what about the people who we get involved with and believe? Who only

months later do we find out their true intentions? Sometimes even years later.

Sometimes they have left a mess of our lives and we are left alone to clean it up

while mending our broken hearts and broken egos that we fell for someone’s

deception?


But what about on a grander scale? What happens when you’ve been deceived by

someone in your faith? I think of the first guy I wrote about that spawned this

podcast-a fellow Christian man who pretended to have the same values as I did

who only dumped me later and used the values he claimed we shared as an

excuse to end things with me. I think of men who use their Christian faith to get

into the pants of vulnerable Christian women. I hear horror stories of men who find

a church and begin preying on the women who attend there. These women are

encouraged to keep the relationship a secret only to find out months later the

secret wasn’t to keep church people out of their business, but to enable the man

to keep his options open. The less women knew he was in a relationship, the more

available he seemed to be. These sad stories are always accompanied with some

form of manipulation and emotional abuse. It’s saddening and it’s disgusting, but it

happens and it happens more than I realized.


This is a problem I had never witnessed until recently...after I decided to dump the

Catholic Church.


I was raised in the Catholic Church. I spent most of my life in and out of

Catholicism. Rarely, did I venture to protestant churches. They didn’t have

communion and that made their churches feel less holy to me. In the past several

years since coming to Christ, I sat in Mass alone every Sunday and every Holy Day.

I made acquaintances within the Catholic Church, but unfortunately, I found myself

having less and less in common with my fellow Catholic women. I began reading

my Bible everyday and made it a goal to read it from cover to cover. Belief systems

the Catholic Church taught were not lining up with the word of God. I would ask


questions but it seemed as though the leaders were ill informed. It wasn’t that they

were malicious; it was just they were taught to believe the Catechism of the

Church and not to really question it, but I had so many questions.

I couldn’t find purgatory in the Bible and the verses the Church used to

substantiate this claim seemed very vague to me. It seemed like a stretch.

Nowhere in the Bible was Mary as revered as she is in the Catholic Church.

Nowhere does it state she remained a virgin. There was nowhere in the Scripture

that stated I had to pray to her and she would ask Jesus to forgive my sins on my

behalf.


Furthermore, nowhere in the New Testament does it say we are supposed to go to

a priest to confess our sins. Once Jesus rose from the grave, the veil was torn. The

need for priests was gone.


Unfortunately, due to humiliation of telling another man my sins, I spent most of

my life not repenting which was not good for my soul. This could potentially be a

big problem with Catholics. So many put off repentance because the Church

teaches it must be done with a priest instead of something between an individual

and God alone.


In 2020, I struggled financially after being furloughed from my job. I took a

$20,000 pay cut cut due to covid. That’s a big hit for a single income household. I

had been a faithful Catholic...tithing every Sunday, showing up to Mass, putting

money in the offerings, I even volunteered to help with Room at the Inn. I took

classes. I listened to lectures. I checked all the boxes and now here I was once

again, at the mercy of my church as I hit hard times. When I went to apply for

financial aid online with the Catholic Church, I was directed to a page that told me

the church’s list of people to help was too long. They weren’t taking any more

charity cases at the time. When I called the woman who ran my church’s local

charity program, I was insulted. She asked what car I drove. She insulted me for

buying such a pricey car. This is only one of many insults heaved my way. She

required proof from me of my bills. She also directed me toward a Baptist Church

for financial help. The Catholic Church-the richest and most powerful entity of the

world turns away its own parishioners for charity and sends them to local Baptist

Churches. The woman I contacted at this Baptist church was confused as to why

the Catholic Church had sent me to them and frankly, I was too.

I visited many Catholic Churches in 2020, hoping one would be able to restore my

faith in it, but as I sat in Mass one Sunday in Nashville, I listened as the priest

explained to us Esau was the illegitimate son of Abraham. He was way off. Esau

was Jacob’s brother who bribed him out of his birthright.


Ishmael was the illegitimate son of Abraham. In fact, Ishmael is responsible for

beginning the Muslim religion. How could a priest not know this? How did I know

more than a Catholic priest when it came to the Bible? This was basic religion 101

in my opinion.


The next day, I picked up my Bible during my morning devotional time and the first

verse I read was Malachi 1:2-3. “I love you, says the Lord; but you say, “How do

you love us?” Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?—oracle of the Lord. I loved Jacob,

but rejected Esau; I made his mountains a waste, his heritage a desert for jackals.

I took that as confirmation it was time for me to move on.


I have been deceived by many men in my lifetime, but no one has deceived me

more than the Roman Catholic Church. There are many good Catholics. Some of

them love Jesus. Some of them don’t know him. Some of them have fallen to the

deception of the church. They pray to saints and ask Mary to intercede for them

because it is what they are taught but it is a false doctrine. This was a very hard

pill for me to swallow, but at the end of the day, we have to go by what the Bible

says and not what man says and the Roman Catholic Church is a man made

religion that is filled with greed, deception, perversion and false doctrine. I am

sorry to say it, but it is true.


So now here I am, a newly Protestant woman and I feel a little culture shocked.

People dating within the church is odd to me. Most Catholics I know are married or

are much older than myself. Pastors are married men instead of men who have

devoted their lives to celibacy. They seem more fleshy to me than priests.


Men slither in and out of the congregation looking for women to prey on whereas

in Catholicism, men are usually accompanied to Mass by their wives and four to

eight children. There’s a popular belief that women only go to church to find men

and that may be true but I see men going to church to find vulnerable women. I

also believe the church I have been attending has a very serious spiritual problem

that attracts the wrong kind of people to it who have ill-willed and even lustful

intentions.


Of course deception is in the church. It’s in every church. Churches don’t solve

our problems. They would like for us to think that they do and we need them, but

sometimes churches cause a lot of pain and do a lot of damage, hence the term

“church hurt”.


I was telling my coworker of my recent revelations about churches and how

saddened I have become knowing the level of deception that hides itself in the

nooks and crannies of the walls and hearts of its people. She told me this was why


she didn’t go to church herself. I have other friends who have told me they love

the Lord but they don’t go to church for similar reasons. Now that I have

experienced it myself, I can say I understand the plight of finding the right church.

Every church has its problems. Churches aren’t necessarily as holy as we would

like them to be. If you’re in a church where you don’t know if you should stay or

go, pray on it. Ask for wisdom and discernment because relationships and

churches are very similar, if you have a problem with easily being deceived or if

you make idols of people easily, you’ll do it wherever you go or with whomever you

are with until you heal.


We want to get to a place emotionally to where we can discern our surroundings,

know who we are in Christ and not let the actions of other people take away from

what we have worked so hard for spiritually. I don’t personally want to be a person

who jumps from church to church because of other people and I don’t want to lose

my faith because of other people. Other people don’t write my story. God does.




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