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Old 02-04-2008, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Christianity - Going to church

Is there anyone who is a Christian yet doesn't go to church because of their SA?

If so, do you feel guilty because of it?
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I mostly feel empty and hollow...and a longing to go to church.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Sometimes I don't go because of SA and yes, I do feel guilty.

Most Sundays, I have to go because of the ministry that I'm involved in. I'm far less likely to go without a sense of purpose and responsibility.

This past summer, while this ministry was on a break, I ended up going to a bigger church where nobody knows me. The SA is easier to deal with that way.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I went to church for the first time in more than 10 years last Sunday. It was after reading the "biblical approach to social anxiety" posted by TrueSeeker. SA and the feeling that I'm not worthy, maybe can't even claim to be a Christian, but mostly SA have kept me from going.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

1) Yes.
2) It varies depending on whether or not people have been guilt-tripping me about it. If they haven't, it doesn't bother me.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I go to church pretty regularly now but for a lot of years didn't attend because of my SA. I didn't really feel guilty back then because I wasn't getting any pressure from family or friends and I knew God knew my heart and why I wasn't attending. Also, I don't feel 'church' is just a building. During that time I wasn't attending, I would listen to sermon podcasts of churches online and participate in Christian chat rooms for fellowship. That was my church.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I dont know if I call it guilty or not but Im not as involved in church as I would like. Ive tried small groups but it leads to a lot of anxiety for me. I feel weird when I past the pastor because its a small church and he knows Im not involved in anything and the church is hurting for volunteers in so many areas, but SA keeps me from venturing out.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Going to Church always makes/made my SA ten times worse. So do/did the people there. They don't understand SA at all - and they try to make you feel guilty about not going too.
They obviously do not have social anxiety because they like crowds, I do not. In twenty something years since "giving my heart to Jesus" I have had no release or even lessening of SA no matter how much prayer has been offered.
I spent 5 of the loneliest most miserable years of my life struggling to get through church on Sundays, and live a "Christian" life.
Church, Christians and the Bible have contributed to my social anxiety,
not helped it. Or helped me with anything else. And I
was studying for the ministry in an Assemblies of God/Pentecostal church. For one thing, I detest singing (for myself). I have liked virtually nothing about any of the people I have met at all, and I have been to probably over 20 different churches. Different denominations too.
Same thing everywhere.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Acts 17:24 "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands"

Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I have a challenge going to my place of worship. Sometimes I get a little anxious and I wonder if people will stare or think badly of me. What has helped me overcome much of that is knowing by going I am pleasing God since he does expect those who want to worship him to do his will. It mentions in the scriptures not to give into fear of man when trying to do his will. Another scripture says that love 'throws fear outside'. Somehow, to a certain extent this helps me and it seems that if I turn it over to God he does help me to put aside my feelings a bit for His sake. I still have SA when I meet with my congregation, but I realize the bigger picture. I know that doesn't work for everyone but that's the way it has helped me. I actually attended on Sunday. I hadn't been in awhile and now I want to work to going regularly again. I have some humps to come over but I know in the long run it is worth the struggle. He didn't say being a Christian/or worshipper was easy. Many of us have a 'thorn in the flesh'. Other fellow Christians do not see our struggles and what we go through even if we reveal our problems to them. We may never really be understood by other members. What is important is our willingness to please God and do what he wants us to do in faith.

I don't mean to preach this thought on others. It's just how I have reasoned and what I have learned.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Delving deeply into my spiritual beliefs via Jesus and the concept of living in a constant state of forgiveness and love has really been interesting and rewarding. I go to church and finally feel comfortable with my own beliefs about God, which don't always dovetail nicely into the mainstream belief, to get more involved in DOING CHRISTIANITY. ie meeting people regularly from church, doing charitable events and being myself and not caring what people think.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Hi I'm kinda new here but thought I'd add my ideas.

I have always avoided church because of my SA - although I never knew it was my SA until very recently - and had a lot of guilt about that. I realize now that it's not a bad thing my not trying to associate with a lot of people that don't understand what my SA is.

Having said that I get GREAT satisfaction attending a VERY large church here every Sunday. I know NOONE there and noone bothers me when I go - it's virtually just me (my wife) and God there...

I'm trying to join a small group (with my wife) and like probably everyone here am having huge SA issues with that. I'm finding that talking openly about my SA journey is helping but then again I'm also unsure that what I say is fully understood on the other end, BUT it seems to me they are trying so maybe that's enough???

I don't know if this helps but after 53 years of living with SA, only the last 10 or so actually realizing that I actually was not a failure/loser just a little biochemically or whatever different than everyone else, I have kinda decided to think of myself as a good person regardless of how I can "perform" to ANYONE's elses standards. I do my best wherever I go and avoid all things I think might be too stressful..

OK enough ranting - thanks for listening!! :-)

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Old 04-14-2008, 05:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Nice post Farlicles I needed to hear that.

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Old 04-15-2008, 08:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I grew up going to church since I was a baby so it comes somewhat natural to me to go.

I go with my parents still and im 22 years old which is kinda sad but I probably wouldnt go at all if I didnt have anyone to go with.

In fact, before my DUI arrest, I played bass on the Sunday worship band in front of roughly 400 people a week. These were very fun days because I had no anxiety because I was focused only on worshiping the Lord Jesus through my music and not on the 400 people in front of me.

Another interesting note is that since ive been kicked off the worship team, I have started to sing along with the worship songs. I have not done this ever before but recently I have simply told myself to sing because I wanted to worship in my own way. In doing so, I note that I feel no anxiety.

So for everyone out there who has difficulty going to church, place your strength in Jesus and he will take on your fears.

You must remember that Jesus said that with faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains. For most of us, our "mountain" is Social Phobia so the take home message is to have blind faith that Jesus will fill you with his spirit to the point that you will not be afraid.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

As a teenager I was very involved in my youth group. I went on mission and camp trips and such. I had a couple of friends I felt comfortable with, but in general, it was difficult for me to feel connected to people. I have only recently realized my SA. I always just called myself shy or quiet. I couldn't tell you how many people (especially patronizing adults) loved the sarcastic comments, "you talk too much" or, Shannon, can you please be quieter." To which I would just smile shyly and wish I could fade away.

As I got older it became harder to assimilate. I tried a few 20's church groups, but the social activities made me very uncomfortable. I especially hated the bible study groups in which people were expected to pray out loud and discuss their viewpoints to the group.

I remained faithful in my relationship to the Lord, but going to church fell by the wayside because it caused me so much anxiety. I wasn't afraid of meeting people, so much as I was afraid of the expectations that would put on me. Next, I'd be pressured into joining a ministry, another study group, etc. that would require me to enter more social situations.

I went through college without many problems because there wasn't a need to be a part of a group. You can exist as a wallflower without anyone caring. Plus, my boyfriend and I took all the same classes. I went in, learned what I needed, talked to a few people, had a couple uncomfortable "front of the class" experiences, but then it was over. With church, there is an expectation to get involved and be a part of "the body", and not just for a few years.

Over the past 10 years I have attempted to start going to church regularly many times. It's has been sporadic, even though my relationship with God has remained strong. Every week I tell myself (and my husband), "next week we'll start back at church", hoping by then I will feel better about myself and work up the courage. Next week never seems to come. I know my submission to fear and pray often to overcome this ridiculousness.
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

I am still working on this.
I missed this past Sunday due to illness. The week before, I actually went to a pizza/salad lunch.

I am afraid of being accused of doing something I am not doing, and then they'll try to kick me out.
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInReverie
Is there anyone who is a Christian yet doesn't go to church because of their SA?
i am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInReverie
If so, do you feel guilty because of it?
no, worship isn't all about going to an actual church /or place. someone can worship at home with prayer and reading the bible and reflecting the death and resurrection of Christ.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Whee
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Christianity - Going to church

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInReverie
Is there anyone who is a Christian yet doesn't go to church because of their SA?

If so, do you feel guilty because of it?
I go to a very large church where I can remain safely anonymous. I just kind of slip in and out without anyone noticing. I'm too anxious to actually talk to anyone or participate in any bible study classes, but I'd like to work myself up to that point.

I don't feel guilty about it, but I do feel like I'm missing out on the whole church experience by not socializing with anyone.
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Yes, because of my Social Anxiety I have missed
4 months of going to church. Eventually I go back.
I get convicted and go back. The longer I'm away
from church, the harder it is to go back.
Facing people at church after being away for so
long is what I dread.

And being away for 3 months, 4 months, even 6
months at a time is not the first time I've done
that. It's not the Pastor, or the teaching, or
the worship - it's the fellowshipping.
I'm terribly shy. I was Roman Catholic for 43
years before becoming a born again Christian.
As a Roman Catholic, because it's religion, I
didn't have to fellowship. I just went to Mass,
blessed myself with holy water, said Hi to the
Priest on my way out. And I left after that.

Yes... I feel guilty. I should want to fellowship
with other believers. Sometimes I pray for God
to take it away. Maybe this is my weakness.
And like Paul the Apostle prayed for God to
take away his thorn in his flesh, SA is my thorn.
God's power is made perfect in our weakness.
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