"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why I Don't Leave

This is a long post, but I want to try to explain to those who ask the valid question "if you're so unhappy with your leadership, why don't you just leave?". I hope the pastor's yes men will read it, consider it, and try to help out with the ongoing problem.

Suppose you bought a small house in a nice neighborhood when you were young. You met many of your neighbors, shared ups and downs with them, and came to love them and depend on them. Yours was a fantastic neighborhood! It had a homeowner's association that kept the place neat and clean and safe. Sure, there were rules, but most agreed those rules provided a better quality of life and were based on wisdom. The president of the HOA was dedicated, committed and had earned the trust of all the residents. Suddenly, after living there 30 or 40years, raising your kids there, and investing thousands in your home and in the lives of those neighbors around you, a new president of the homeowner's association came in. He seemed great at first and you and all your neighbors gave him a standing ovation and were so happy to have a new leader to take the neighborhood to the next level.

Unfortunately, he immediately began to use the very high HOA fees for himself and his family and then began taking up offerings from you to pay for needed things around the neighborhood. You got the feeling that he did not come to your neighborhood to help the neighborhood, but to help HIMSELF and his FAMILY, who he continually made it clear were his priorities over anything and everything else. Anyway, when you asked about where the HOA fees had gone and why we didn't have the budget to continue the things we had been doing before, he gave conflicting answers, criticized you, and told you "you never asked the previous HOA presidents these questions." Then, like Barrack Obama, he started talking about "change" being good without any specific examples of what was going to change for the better. When you talked about what was great about your neighborhood, he accused you of worshiping the previous HOA presidents, worshipping the past and still, you never really saw any change. He seemed angry at you all the time, as he had been at the residents of the neighborhood from Texas he had just come from. HE EVEN HAD YOUR PRIOR HOA PRESIDENT COME IN AND BLAST YOU during a neighborhood appreciation reunion you had planned for your former HOA president. Some were never able to get over that hurt.

Anyway, he also immediately replaced the loving experienced HOA members who had helped make the neighborhood beautiful with people who did not seem to know much about the neighborhood or its needs. Instead, he hired people that knew HIM and his NEEDS. You could call them yes men. He then criticized your neighborhood to others, and your property values begin to fall. So, eventually, you begin to doubt the new man's leadership. When you finally humbly dared asked any questions you were told "if you don't like it, why do you stay - sell your home and leave!!" This shocked you and made you sad, even angry, while revealing the problem was much worse than you had even anticipated. But you made up your mind you would not leave your home. Instead, you would TRY and see what else this guy was up to, hoping others would see it too and simply hold him accountable. Others that supported him instantly accused you of hating him, accused you of attacking him and his family, some called you Satan, some threatened you with heart attacks, some questioned your faith, and some outright threatened physical violence to you and your family. You again were shocked since you had never said you wanted him fired or harmed, but only that you thought he should be open and accountable with ALL the residents. Then he decides to change the HOA charter and bylaws but seems to want to do it with as few of the members knowing the particulars, again raising suspicions.

You see, some wealthier neighbors gave him great gifts and he seemed to give them special favors, which instantly killed the morale of the rest of the neighborhood. Some of those neighbors also complained that the HOA rules were "legalistic" without telling which ones. Some rules the new HOA president liked and would play audiotape of the prior president to persuade you to do what he wanted. Other times, if you mentioned the prior HOA pres, you were labeled as recalcitrant. Anyway, after several months of praying and waiting on God, you finally asked some other neighbors about this situation. As soon as the new pres realized that you were doing this, he sent OTHER neighbors of yours that you knew and trusted, to your home to confront you personally. You were called a coward, yet the new pres never took the time to even attempt to speak with you personally. He just said how busy he was, how many residents he had to deal with it, and he went on vacations and focused on other issues. You were so proud when your HOA pres was elected to a prominent leadership position within the city, yet he disappointed you when he failed to honor his commitment and it was published in the newspaper.

I digress...when the concerns did not go away, the new HOA pres suddenly began to whine like a little girl about how difficult his job was, and how difficult and unloving, and legalistic and lost his residents were...to OTHER HOA presidents. Also, he would be angry and blast ALL the neighbors at HOA meetings, most of whom were not really even aware of the issues he was whining about.

As for blogging about the neighborhood? Sure, this could drive away anyone considering buying in your neighborhood who happen to read your blog instead of going the neighborhood site for information, but so be it. At least new potential buyers of homes would know what they were getting into. But why blog in the first place? Why was a blog necessary? You see, its because you DID send him an email with your name on it and he arrogantly and stubbornly ignored it or gave you a contrite answer and then black listed you. You never felt the same around the neighborhood after that. Many of your long time neighbors did get fed up and leave, and your neighborhood continues to decline after a couple of years.

That's it. I hope it helps you understand how we got here. And every now and then, someone will just happen to drive down your street, ask you if you want any cheese with your wine and tell you to sell your home and move. Others will say you should pray for the new man, others will say let God handle it, and others will say you should simply "be a man" and try talking with the new pres. They just don't get it.

So, this is why I stay at FBC, it is like my neighborhood with a new HOA president the last couple of years. I know this is not a perfect analogy, but I believe it fits.

And I still like my home, my neighborhood, because of the neighbors that are still here, as the HOA president is not the neighborhood.

So I stay.

And I fight. In my own way.

Does this make sense?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you getting fed spiritually at FBCJAX or is the situation with Dr. Brunson too much of a distraction? If you are not getting fed spiritually then you need to leave. This is not to say that it's your problem, but rather I have found that God uses a variety of things, including bringing in new pastors and/or staff, as his impetus for moving me and my family to a new place of service and spiritual feeding.

I'm not saying this is the case but maybe this is God's timing.

The main priority for the church is to feed you spiritually, equipping you for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4).

Now, if you are being fed at FBCJAX then stay on.

Blessings to you, FBCJAX and Dr. Brunson

Ghost said...

Watchdog....thank you very much for this post. What a perfect analogy that so accurately explains what we and so many others feel about this church.

Thank you for again pointing out two very important factors:

1). You, like almost all of us on here, DID at one point send Brunson an email with OUR NAMES ON IT! This email was either ignored, or responded to in an arrogant way. To all the people who continue to post on here saying that Brunson is accessible(unlike those terrible former Pastors who us recalcitrant bloggers are worshipping) this is simply not true. Brunson refuses to answer questions about anything going on in the church because he feels he is accountable to noone!

2). Also, thank you for pointing out that after you attempted to get answers from the Pastor, and he refused to give them you began this blog. Then, after you started this blog you received a mafiosa style visit from people in the church who attempted to silence you. What a disgusting thought that something like this could actually go on in our church. I wish that if you feel you can, you would share more details of this visit so that the whole world can see how corrupt our church has gotten under Brunson's regime. Watchdog, I'd ask if you can please expose these people to the world.

God bless you Watchdog. Keep fighting for what is right even if at6 times it seems you are fighting alone. Do not be intimidated into silence, or forced out the door of a church you have loved for so long. You are prayed for by many, and this blog is slowly reaching people in our church. I share this blog with everyone I know in our church, and one by one I see people I am associated with turning away from defending Brunson's arrogant abusive tactics and are falling on their knees praying for change in this church.

praying said...

I agree with anonymous that church should be where you are spiritually fed. I had to leave First when Mac Brunson and his leadership style and his hand chosen staff became such a distraction that it was doing me more harm than good. It is hard to leave a "neighborhood" that you grew up in and love, but sometimes moving is the only thing you can do to save yourself and your relationship with Jesus. You can still tune in Sundays on channel 12 (he is on in the background as I type!). I love First Baptist, but right now I have to simply pray for Mac. I've tried contacting him - that doesn't work. I have to trust God that He will do what needs to be done.

Until then, I will attend at another church and do my best to keep my relationship alive and well with my Lord.

Hang in there, watchdog.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason says:

WD - excellent analogy. It captures not only the abuses by the pastor, but also the impact of the hurtful accusations by those that defend him. It also portrays the sadness and hurt of the "residents" of the neighborhood who are being abused.

Now, about today's sermon - it was the most offensive of all for those of us who do read our Bibles.

Pastor, did you intentionally take those Scriptures out of context or are you just trying to make every text you can apply to YOU again? OR was it just a subconscious error? Either way, you embarassed yourself and any pastor who hears it will be embarassed for you.

You and I both know that the text you preached from had NOTHING to do with people pre-judging a baptist preacher after he had been in place for several months and had repeatedly abused the power and trust he had been given.

And you contradicted your own message when you pointed out that Paul said NOTHING to those that wondered if he might be a murderer, yet you twisted the text this morning to lash out at people that you claim misjudged you! You just can't resist can you, pastor. Talk about being immature. That was weak.

Let me tell YOU something: You were not "pre-judged" sir. You were loved and welcomed and treated very generously as was your family. How dare you imply that you have ever been pre-judged.

And sir, Spurgeon sold eggs and you said no one complained that they paid him enough. How do you know that? Perhaps some people did. Or perhaps he was NOT paid enough, so he HAD to sell eggs. What about you, are you implying you are not paid enough? Tell that to J.D. Collins and Mr. Davis among others. Either way, we can all Spurgeon was not given a free beachfront condo or given a piece of land worth at least 2 - 3 years of salary. And perhaps if he had put his wife on staff, she would not have had to sell eggs. That was really sick for you to even imply in any way that you are in a situation such as Spurgeon. Your fellow pastors who read this, and those who have made you a millionaire who read this blog, must be disgusted with you.

And back to the Malta natives. You said they were immature and wrong to pre-judge Paul. I would disagree. And you already know this but I WANT YOUR SHEEP TO KNOW IT TOO, Paul was a PRISONER on a ship full of murderers and convicts. When they saw the snake bite him, it is perfectly reasonable for them to believe he must be a murderer. What would YOU expect them to think...that "this prisoner must be God's man and we are witnessing a miracle?" Of course not. And remember, this happened very quickly, the snake bit, and then in that short time, they wondered aloud about who Paul was. Then, in probably less than 5 seconds, the snake was shaken off. They OBSERVED Paul, like we observed you, and when they saw he was not getting ill from the bite, THAN they made a second erroneous judgment...that he was a GOD. That part of your sermon received very little attention. How gullible people are. They are equally quick to judge someone a god, (or God's man) as they are to judge him a murderer. This is what it makes it so easy for you to fleece them and twist scripture and apply it erroneously. Why, oh why, sir - did you try and make this description of Paul's journey and shipwreck about YOU? Please tell us! Are you again reacting to this blog? And you call us immature.

I will make this offer: If you start preaching the word, I will stop commenting here. Fair enough. Please, sir, PREACH THE WORD! Don't use every illustration to defend your ridiculous fleecing and poor leadership of this flock.

And pastor, please review your 1st year of seminary notes about prescriptive versus descriptive texts. This account was not made to tell us that Jesus/God is there in our storms and will deliver us. You know better than that. It also is not there to tell us that we can just shake off poisonous snake bites. (Go ahead and try that one for me.) God did not "rescue" Paul from the shipwreck. His ship was wrecked and he had to swim on shore. Than he was bitten. Go ahead and tell us the real meaning of that passage Doctor Brunson.

I guess you also preach that Jesus calmed the storm and the point of that was to let us know he is with us in our storms and he will calm them after we wake him up. Or maybe...that passage is really about him being GOD and having the ability to command the winds and the waves?

Please, preach the Word and trust the Holy Spirit to apply it to the listener.

By the way, you don't really see yourself as "shipwrecked" like Paul do you? Do you really feel you are being attacked and persecuted out there at Deerwood or while on the campus of our church, or out at the Town Center? Come on, sir. Get real and tell us the truth.

That sermon effort today was PATHETIC! You should be ashamed of yourself. Have you no shame on what you do with God's word that at one time in your life you preached with conviction and integrity.

And so Spurgeon supported some widows with his money. Great, God will pleased with those of us who are actually spending our money on widows and orphans, and NOT giving the money to you so you can live like a king and then feel good about yourself that after you have taken millions for yourself and your family, you might then give back some of what has been lavished on you? Donate that $307K you received from Mr. Collins to the school and I will admit I prejudged you...only then will you be VINDICATED. Until that happens, sir, it is the WD and those that comment here, that are being VINDICATED.

That's all for now. I can't wait for tonight!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mac - If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving - Mother Teresa

Anonymous said...

Excellent analogy - or not. Sorry I don't get it, and I don't think you can compare an HOA to the Church (where the leader is God called). Unfortunately I have been in a church for 3 years where my husband is on staff, and it's been three years since I've heard a good sermon. I would love to be able to sit under the Godly preaching of Dr. Brunson every Sunday and Wednesday - and all you can do is complain. This blog really tells the readers more about who you are than who Dr. Brunson is. My heart goes out to you because I know you're hurting, and you're lashing out at the wrong person.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Can you feel the hatred here? This site can only be of God. WD, do you see what kind of followers you are ralleying? How in the world can you be happy with this? Are you holding anyone accountable yet? Is anyone in leadership paying you any attention? Have you asked youself "Why" yet or do you simply blame it on someone else? And no the HOA doesn't make sense....if your questions were answered but not to your liking then no you don't make sense. Theres nothing wrong with questions but this site is just opinion and hatred. And it just produces more of the same...just keep reading people. You'll see what I mean.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - "just opinion and hatred" you say. I don't see hatred here. So those who blog about the abuses of the pastor are "haters"?

Anonymous said...

Dear Watchdog:

Thanks for giving your perspective in your latest posting! I was curious, does Team Bruson read your blog that you are aware of?

Thanks,
SBC Guy in Illinois

Anonymous said...

I was a 25 plus year veteran of FBC until recently. My attitude towards the changes at FBC were getting in my way of worship and being fed spiritually. I resisted leaving for the longest time because of the history I had at FBC. It is there I met my spouse, my kids were born, raised (to this point) and baptized. I hated leaving so many long time friends.

I have found a new church home and am in a "honeymoon" phase with my new church. The whole family loves it. I can't wait for Sunday's now. Every week as we get to know people it gets better and better. Just how it used to be for me at FBC. I now wonder what took me so long to leave. Yes, there is life after FBC.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason says:

I don't sense any hatred here at all. Like the Malta natives, you are pre-judging us. We point out abuses and voice our concerns here and you immediately jump to he conclusion that we "hate" someone. That is why it is so hard to reason with people who claim to be "Christians." Any questioning of their beliefs or positions gets you a tongue lashing and you are accused of so many things. This pastor did the things blogged about here. Period. Facts are facts. And right or wrong, those actions have effected his credibility and ability to lead and has most certainly called into question his motives for coming here. Until he addresses those things, hiding behind Spurgeon's egg money is not going to cut it.(So far he has cast himself as Paul, John the Baptist and Jesus in his application of the scripture.)

The nepotism, free condo, and $307K free land gift HAVE to make any reasonable, rationale person concerned and left wondering what is going on. Sure, maybe those were just coincidences that were given AFTER he decided to come, but maybe they played a huge factor in his and his wife's decision to leave Dallas? Right or wrong about his motives and heart, it is "the appearance of" some shady doings and IF he has nothing to hide, then be open and transparent about it.

Until then, no hate, and no more questions. Just observations.

Anonymous said...

hatred-the feeling of one who hates; intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.
dictionary.com

Do you have an intense dislike toward "Team Brunson"? Or how about an extreme aversion? Then yes, your a "hater". It's that simple.

You still don't see it. You and this site do more to hurt our "neighborhood" than any one person. How in the world can you refute that? And by the way, they're not abuses just because you say they are (or that you don't understand)

There is a whole generation of people that grew up at FBC that want nothing to do with our church or church at all. They're hurt for some reason. I just don't see how trying to force the leader of our church to conform and submit to your "accountability" is of God.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 8:23

You are a hypocrite. Using your definition, then you yourself must be a hater of the people on this blog. Yet I'm sure you would say "No, I don't hate you, I'm just posting here to tell you what you're doing is wrong, and that its not God's will for you to be doing this, and I don't like that you're doing this, so I'm coming here to tell you that I don't like it."

So you're a hater using your own definition and judgement that you cast on us.

Anonymous said...

Team Brunson?? LOL That sounds like a cult following name

frustrated said...

I’m just tired of all the secrecy and being ignored. I have grown up in the church and every church I have ever attended gave detailed descriptions of how money is spent. FBC feels that the members don’t have any need to know exactly how money is spent and feel they aren’t accountable to anyone. Well, I happen to feel that I am accountable for where my tithe is being spent. As a member I should have access. At this point, I don’t even know how much Mac makes per year! And I’m confused about expenses. We are already hearing about summer camp and how desperately they need money. I know that last year they paid the “helper” director of the high school choir quite a large chunk of change for the week. No one else is paid for "helping" at camp. Not even the camp director! Is that a wise use of the money sent in to help “sponsor a child” for the week. I’m becoming frustrated with a ministry that seems to be wasting money in many ways and using it for things I don’t even know about! It’s time that God’s people start holding the leaders at FBC accountable for their use (or waste!) of the church’s money.

Anonymous said...

Please, please... take this blog off the web! A friend (a non-Christian whose spouse had been prompted to get their family into church as they have a new baby) and I were Googling FBC so I could show them what ministries we had. My new husband and I just joined a couple of years ago, and have been SO BLESSED by the church. I've not been part of the church for my whole life, so I don't know how much of this is true, but nevertheless. When I wanted to share the blessings with my friend, this is one of the first few sites that came up. How embarrasing to Our Lord, and for me, that I found, with a searching soul, that someone in the church is berating our own congregation and God's chosen shephard, the man who is our pastor. Oh, my heart is broken. Please remove these harmful words from the WORLD Wide Web. What damage you could be doing for the kingdom! Better to spend your time listening to His voice, reading His words, talking with His children, sharing with those that are not yet His children. Offer solutions to the church with your time. Spend it in prayer. Hold up the staff members.

If you have a problem with anyone in the body, God's Word lays out a method to deal with it in Galations: Have you gone to the brother or brothers that offended you one-on-one personally? Then have you taken this to the congregation (I do not know, but I have not been in a service where this has happened)? Please try the method that our Lord gave us. But even if all that does not work, their wrong and your wrong does not make it right-eous.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous April 28 3:25 sums it up. Watchdog, you have given us a glimpse into your heart through your writings and responses to others on this blog. It is not a glimpse that brings glory to God in any way. I have seen no signs of the fruits of the Spirit in any of your writings or responses. I have seen anger, hatred, disdain and utter disgust for other Christians. I know the heartache that the person writing this entry feels, for I too had a friend totally reject Christ, not just a church, because of the actions of Christians that were so unlike our Lord. She told me that Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah because if He were, and His teachings were true, His followers would show love for each other and not be critical and unkind. She pointed out, and rightly so, that people who do not even claim to be Christians treat others more kindly and with more love than many of those who do claim to be followers of Christ. I wept at her Bat Mitzvah. We were part of a Sunday School class where members were guilty of criticism and gossip of fellow Christians and our pastor on a regular basis, always pointing out the flaws in our church. Christian who engage in conduct that does not bring glory to God will answer for their conduct, regardless of who they are or their position in life or how much they have given to the church. I am sorry you are so miserable in your church and in your life. Do you have any of the joy in your life that a Christian who is in tune with God experiences on a daily basis? I weep for you. I am sure you will make fun of me, telling me to enjoy the kool aid, or I am young and stupid, or incapable of understanding your level of thinking, as you do everyone else who disagrees with your opinion. Have at it. Your methods and manners are achieving nothing, especially nothing that honors our Lord and Savior. God knows each of us, and sees our hearts. All things done in secret will be made public one day, and we will be held accountable for every person who came in contact with us whom we did not tell about Jesus and the plan of salvation. Have you ever known the joy that comes from leading someone to Christ? Do you spend time on your knees praying for your pastor and your staff? That will bring about change. God is the only one with the power to change the lives and hearts of men. You will never find a perfect church, or a perfect pastor. You have mentioned previously that you weren't happy with either Dr. Vines or Dr. Lindsay and thought changes were needed then. Focus on Jesus - He is the only perfect one. Don't take your eyes off of Him. You have many issues but you are approaching them in an incorrect manner. You are bringing public disgrace to a wonderful church and the cause of Christ. Jesus loves you and I am praying for you. Try approaching your problems on your knees crying out to God. You will see changes in your life and the lives of the persons for whom you are praying. It's a promise from God's Word.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that to GOOGLE First Baptist Church Jacksonville, you must use FBC JAX to get anything about Watchdog to show. Why would you not GOOGLE by Jacksonville if you are so new to the area?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 4:27 - you are sadly mistaken on so many levels in what you write. Go ahead and blame me and blame this website for all the things you cite, I'm used to it. Sorry, but I don't accept the blame that you are trying to pass off on me. You yourself are passing judgement on me yet you don't know me or my heart or anything about me, so I caution you against that. The things posted here at this website are not keeping anyone from Christ. If you think they are, please don't tell anyone about this site and don't ever come here, its that simple. All I can tell you is that you have misread the situation in your assessment of me and assumptions about me.

Anonymous said...

I appreciated your analogy. Very appropriate.

I'm usually just a reader, but today's posts exasperated me. Where is the discernment in today's churches? The Bible tells us to pray for it--that love is worthless without discernment.

We would all like to believe that every pastor is "God called" into the ministry and to each of his pastorates. But, spiritual discernment and maturity tell us otherwise.

When I read some of the comments, I am reminded that in the last days we will have Laodicean churches filled with those who have no spiritual discernment, but seem to feel that they are the only ones who "love" their fellow man.

I'm not refering only to Bro. Brunson--he may be a fine preacher. But, the problem arises when the pastors want to be treated as if they are the "new Moses" and only they hear from the Holy Spirit and are "God's man". A true man of God would seek the counsel of many Godly laymen in the church and not demand only his way and all the money he can talk the church into giving him.

Yes, I'm cynical. But, with good reason. Believe me, Mac Brunson is not the only Baptist pastor playing these games with their congregations. If only he were! Wake up people. Remember, we can do the right things for the wrong reasons.

Yes, God will hold these pastors accountable for not tending the sheep appropriately. But, we are to be good stewards until that time.

We need watchmen to call attention to these conditions. Maybe some people will pray for discernment due to these efforts by WD. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:54, Do you mind telling what is the church you are attending. I might want to visit. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your Blog. I am staying put at FBC JAX too. I am still waiting on our new pastor. Right now we just have a substitute teacher. Give Mac a year and he will receive a call to somewhere else where he can make more money.

Anonymous said...

WD,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on not leaving. You have stated exactly the way many of us feel. It's discouraging to say the least but it helps to see the heart of someone who is hurting as we are and has such an ability with words. (and is willing to deal with some of the naive, ridiculous comments directed his/her way.)

Anonymous said...

WD,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on not leaving. You have stated exactly the way many of us feel. It's discouraging to say the least but it helps to see the heart of someone who is hurting as we are and has such an ability with words. (and is willing to deal with some of the naive, ridiculous comments directed his/her way.)

Anonymous said...

WD - you are sadly mistaken on so many levels in what you write. Go ahead and blame Mac and blame church leadership for all the things you cite, they are used to it. Sorry, but Mac doesn't accept the blame that you are trying to pass off on him. You yourself are passing judgment on Mac yet you don't know Mac's heart or anything about Mac intimately, so I caution you against that. The things posted here at this website are not leading anyone to Christ. If you think they are, please tell everyone about this site and don't ever come to the church again where people, it seems to you, are not being saved, its that simple. All I can tell you is that you have misread the situation in your assessment of Mac and assumptions about Mac.

Anonymous said...

10:27..

The last time I checked, its the Holy Spirit that guides individuals to a church not you. You have no right to tell anyone to go or come to any church, thats their decision!!!

Anonymous said...

is there really any difference between written gossip and slander on a blog or web post and doing it verbally in a barber shop, beauty shop or another place. Isn't defaming or slandering another name or character a sin?

Anonymous said...

This blog is an abomination in God's sight. He hates those who sow seeds of discord among the brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19). How can you call yourself a follower of Christ and then air all this garbage for the whole lost world to see? And yes, there are many who point to this blog (gossip rag) as their reason for not going to church.