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reijinni's avatar

At what age did you quit going to your church?

Asked by reijinni (6953points) July 18th, 2010

Provide as much detail as you can remember or are willing to state about your departure from your church.

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35 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

I was too little to quit going to church myself. My mom would take me to Sunday school while she went to the service. One day, apparently, the pastor/reverend/minister/whatever had a sermon that included some very nasty comments about homosexuality. We stopped going to church immediately. I believe I was 7.

Blondesjon's avatar

I was ten years old. Sunday school and Church services were mandatory, via my mother. Dad normally stayed at home and slept Saturday night off.

Our Sunday school lesson was about Adam and Eve and the book of Genesis in general. I asked our Sunday school teacher when God created the dinosaurs. She told me that there were no dinosaurs. I asked her why there were fossils and dinosaur bones. She told me that these were placed in the ground by the devil for men to find and sow the seed of disbelief.

I went home that Sunday and asked my Dad about the whole thing. I included the answer my Sunday school teacher had given.

I was never required to go back to church again.

SnowCloud's avatar

The first and last time I ever went inside any kind of church was when I was baptized at the age of 1.

tinyfaery's avatar

Around 13 years old. The same time I realized my parents couldn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to.

anartist's avatar

I avoided actual church most of the time when I was a young teenager by helping out with the small children. At 14 I was to be confirmed and when I met with the minister I told him that I did not believe. Much to my surprise that proved no obstacle to him. Between the minister and my parents I was confirmed because it was the “socially appropriate” thing to do and belief was not a prerequisite. But when I left home and the obligation to attend church with my family I never went back except for weddings and funerals, and a few grand ceremonial experiences of taking communion at the National Cathedral in Christmas or Easter with a few equally high friends. First time there was really wine in the cup.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Not applicable! If there was a synagogue near here, I would attend periodically.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I was 14. I had been raped and questioned why God would let that happen to me, so I quit going.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I was never introduced to church going nor took it up on my own.

mandybookworm's avatar

@Seaofclouds that’s horrible… I’m sorry about what happened to you.

Sarcasm's avatar

Last time I went to church with my family was when I was 5 years old. My parents got tired of picking new churches after we moved around so much.
Since then, I have stepped into a church 3 times.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@mandybookworm Thank you. No one here needs to apologize for the actions of that guy though. I’ve gotten passed it and have forgiven it. He used his free will to do what he wanted. It took me quite a while to really understand that and to be able to forgive it. Before that happened, I had been going to church multiple times a week. I went to service every Sunday and participated in the youth group and choir. It really rattled my faith, but it is in the past now.

Randy's avatar

I was about 19 and just moved out of my parents place. My grandpa is the pastor where I went to church and I didn’t quit going because I moved out. I quit going because I realized that the only reason I believed in God was because I was scared of going to hell. Since fear is a ridiculous reason to blindly follow something, I figured I would be better off to go on hiatus with religion until I figured out a better reason to follow whatever belief system I find that works for me.

FutureMemory's avatar

I was about 11 or so when I realized being told to ‘pray’ (“kneel and talk to god in your mind” as they put it) sounded utterly ridiculous. Only the mentally disturbed talk to people that don’t exist. I continued to go periodically til age 13 when I flat out refused to waste my time pretending to believe in something I didn’t.

cookieman's avatar

I was fourteen. As a Catholic, I had been baptized, received communion, went to confession and was an alter boy for three years.

What I saw as an alter boy began my questioning of the Catholic church – so a year later (at 14), I received Confirmation and joked that I was confirming that I’d never return.

With the exception of weddings, funerals and such, I never went back.

From about fourteen to age thirty-five I saw myself as your basic non-practicing Catholic. After a lot of reading, listening and thinking I realized I was really living as an agnostic – which is what I identify as now.

TexasDude's avatar


Church was always a horrible experience for me. The other kids in the Sunday School class literally tortured me while the adults looked on. I went to a huge mega-church with my dad on the weekends and I always hated it. I stopped going when I stopped seeing my dad on the weekends after I got my first girlfriend.

Cruiser's avatar

18 haven’t been back since except for the occasional funeral or wedding. My church is now the great outdoors…no agendas nor guilt trips out there.

SuperMouse's avatar

My parents required me to go to church until I received every sacrament possible. That meant until I was confirmed in 8th grade. I kept going until I was getting ready to start my senior year in high school. I went back periodically through the years and always continued to search. Nothing felt right until about three years ago when I discovered the Baha’i Faith.

Aster's avatar

At 5 , my little friend invited me to go to the Episcopal Church. I Loved being with all my friends!
I loved singing in the choir! I loved the gorgeous antique stained glass windows, the magnificent singing and organ we had, the place was just out of this world. I liked church camp for a week and went a couple summers—again, some of my friends went too. All Episcopalians. I’d get all dressed up for Easter Sunday; we all did. I met my first boyfriend there and we joined the youth group. I was confirmed in a lovely service all dressed in white with my friends. I was so happy there and loved the priest. Then at 16 we moved far away. I went to an Episcopal Church a few times, it sucked, I knew one person and never went back. (to that denomination). I haven’t been to church in about 8 months and I miss it a little bit. But I feel actually closer to God now than I did then. I was infatuated with the entire situation , I think, rather than being there for the right reasons.
I would not change a thing about my growing up in a beautiful church in a small town with my friends! I read that now , tragically, that church is overrun with out of control kids. I read that now they “run up and down the aisles.” It breaks my heart. They put out bulletins regarding the conduct of the kids. I never would have dreamt this could ever happen in that solemn place of family and faith.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I was around 15.I had about enough :)

perspicacious's avatar

I changed denominations when I married.

kess's avatar

I have foiund christianity as a whole to be a false religion like the Scribes and pharisees.
I therfore left them after nine years of service.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve attended services without belief all my life. I’m from a military family; attendance at divine services is one of those “marks of respectability” that are unwritten law for career officers. Now that I’m retired, my last attendance was for my wife’s funeral.

ipso's avatar

When I was growing up it seemed to me Church was more about intermingling with families and kids than taking the pastor/belief too seriously. (My great grandmother is turning in her Nazarene grave.)

It was just what “good people” did. It was as much about “visiting” with other families and singing hymns as anything. I remember we would bring home from church these 2 gallon mason jars full of milk with about 6 inches of cream on top from a neighbor. Oh MAN is fresh milk good stuff. My great grandfather helped built a church in Pasadena that is still there. I spent a summer with them when I was like 7yo “helping” convert the newly acquired Point Loma campus in San Diego.

I don’t remember being made to go. Pretty early on I could just as easily have spent the day alone in the house.

I think I might have stopped going somewhere around Jr. High when we moved. I started encountering people like Kitty Farmer in Donnie Darko who took it all too seriously, yet, were incapable of explaining anything.

Actually – no – no – I remember the exact moment that the tide turned. I remember my great grandmother talking to someone over the phone and discussing my faith. She turned and looked at me and smugly said: “He’ll be OK – the seed has been planted.” – and it was like some internal glass cracking in a million pieces.

Seed? WTF?

Not to long after that someone gave me a scolding, something about being “lukewarm” – and the already cracked glass exploded. I remember thinking specifically then and there, “I spue thee out of my life”. I believe I was 13.

To me it’s about “good”, not “god”. I never have “accepted”, as such I consider myself a proud lifelong practicing heathen.

Jeruba's avatar

At 13 I really started to question things, and I had increasing difficulty swallowing what was fed to me. I’d OD’d by the time I was 16. I didn’t try to oppose the family custom overtly. Shortly after turning 17 I went away to college, and that created a natural transition. After that, it was only when I was home on breaks. At 19 I moved out, and that was that.

casheroo's avatar

I was either 8 or 9. My mother had put us in CCD, and I asked a question about taking my dog to heaven with me. The lady told me that animals do not go to heaven. I absolutely refused to go to CCD or church after that. And then shortly after my mother became anti-organized religion.

YARNLADY's avatar

Even though I was raised in a very religious family/community I always felt like an outsider. I was involved in many church activities on a weekly, almost daily basis. All my friends and family were members. When I married my second (non-religious) husband, we moved to California, and found the local church was only old people, and they weren’t interested in any new members. I started looking around for an alternative.

I tried several different churches, and joined Bible classes twice, but I was asked to leave both times, because I asked too many questions. One leader took me aside and told me I wans’t welcome because it was obvious I didn’t have any faith. That is when I finally figured out what was wrong from the time I was a young child. I don’t have any faith.

BoBo1946's avatar

I’ve never stopped….just don’t attend regularly now!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I left the church I was raised in, a Fundamentalist Pentecostal congregation my guardian joined when I was 6, at 16. I was allowed to get away with it because my wages for the Sunday shifts I took at McDonald’s helped my guardian pay the rent.

No church for 8 years. Lots of crazy arguments with various people about how I was going to the hockey sticks place.

Joined the Roman Catholic church and was baptized at 24. Was part of a parish near my home in NYC for 5 years. One Sunday morning at age 30, I was sitting at Mass and thought, “Why am I here? I don’t believe any of this.” Didn’t take Communion, left afterward and never went back.

Berserker's avatar

I never really ’‘quit’’, I just stopped going at about five or six when my parents broke up. My mom always dragged us there. The only time after that I went to church was for one funeral, unless you count charity. I went there often for the free food they gave to poor and homeless people. They didn’t care that I didn’t believe in God, either. :D

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Symbeline A lot of non-believers use churches as a “front” for distributing their charitable giving anonymously. We always do it that way, no embarassment or implied obligations to either giver or receiver. The only test I use is that the church distributes without requiring the receiver to pray, attend services, etc

Berserker's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land They usually don’t, in my experience, and I’ve attended a lot of food banks and things.
But there was that one time that we had to listen to a speech by the dude who ran the church, before we could go and eat the food.
He said that humans are like butterflies, but that we start out as caterpillars. At first we begin as nasty larva, but once we find God and learn how to live and look out for ourselves, we metamorphosize into beautiful butterflies.

He even gave a specific type of butterfly as an example for his analogy; the Monarch.

Now, knowing it or not, before I discovered video games, I loved insects, they were my passion; especially butterflies.

I wish he only knew how true his words rang, when you consider that the Monarch is a venomous insect. I’d rather stay as a nasty caterpillar.

End of rant lmao XD

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Symbeline Smart lady. :^D Found a diamond in a shit pile.

downtide's avatar

As my parents are atheists I never went to church as a child, except for the usual family weddings. At the age of 16 I decided to be a born-again Christian and I started going regularly. At 17 I realised that it was all a bunch of baloney and my parents were right after all.

anartist's avatar

@Symbeline @stranger_in_a_strange_land RE proselytizing : An ex-Navy man I met had come to DC to start his new career with a beltway-bandit tech firm. Ignorant of DC he stayed in a very unsafe area for the night [god knows what else he did] and woke up sans his car, all his money, and his stock portfolio. He found himself staying in a mission. They locked up everyone’s shoes and would not release them until the ‘guests’ had heard their God sermon.

Until one night when he stumbled upon a group of wacky underground artists opening a gallery in am economically dying part of town . . .

woodcutter's avatar

I went a few times and it was too weird, even for me.

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