Organized religion

What makes you stay in organized religion and not go off and keep God a personal matter at home?
Do you feel a need to go to church and pray with others? Is it necessary ?
(question for all religions here.)

I have the feeling that anything I say, will not answer, or satisfy you. Okay. I’m only going to speak to the Catholic Church. We have a body of law (Canon and Liturgical) and we have several “Precepts” One of these is attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. There is a scriptural basis for these requirements. They are not difficult to adhere to, and for me personally, form the foundation of my life and marriage. At the end of any given day, you and I both have a choice. That is essentially to attend, or not to attend Mass or some form of worship. If you chose not to participate in “organized religion” that is your call. As to my personal relationship with God. It is precisely that: Personal. My personal relationship with God is cemented and founded in the Mass and Sacraments, as well as the spiritual teaching and sustenance the Church provides me. All of the above, and more, works for me. In daily prayer, I am united in worshipping God with fellow Catholics, and indeed all believers, including Protestant Brethren .

From Buddhism:

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One * was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There [Venerable] Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, “This is half of the holy life, Lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”

[The Buddha replied] “Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole* of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, and comrades, he can be expected to develop and pursue the noble eightfold path.”

“Organized” religion, among its many functions, provides the space where friendship, fellowship, and community can take place. We humans are social animals, and any true religion involves a social aspect.

God reveals himself to us and through his revelation has established how he wishes us to know him, to love him, to serve him and to worship him. The Catholic Church preserves and hands on the fullness of that revelation in the person of Jesus Christ, made present through the sacramental economy he established. Not to participate in that life is to reject life with God. God ordained that we worship him in community, that we worship him through the sacraments of the Catholic Church, beginning with the Eucharist and that we live in love and unity with one another in that community which is the Mystical Body of Christ. So that is how I live, worship, love, and pray.

I’ve heard this idea stated many times by others, mostly when I was a Protestant. I even went that direction myself a couple of times. It is a lot easier to “go off and keep God a personal matter at home” for a Protestant than it is for a practicing Catholic, I’ll tell ya! Protestants of many varieties have a lot less foundation for teaching the need to go to church on Sundays.

There are very solid reasons for going to church regularly, and seeking the sacraments that are offered there. People who say they don’t need church to be Christian, are speaking code for, “I don’t want to go to church anymore.” There could be any of dozens of reasons, but none of them are valid, and all of them add up to a person who is falling away from faith. You can bet your bottom dollar that a person who says, “I don’t need Church to worship God” is either completely non-practicing, or in process of falling away.

I agree with your answer.
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics

By staying away from “organized” religion, I have no way of checking or correcting my personal conclusions about God, and therefore, I eventually become my own “god.”

I know that I am not God or a “god,” and that I need to listen to others and learn about faith issues or else I will come to false conclusions.

There is nothing inherently evil about organization. In fact, an organization can help us to become bigger than we are and accomplish much more.

For example, I donated around $50 to help Katrina victims. That wasn’t much. And I didn’t go down South myself to help out.

But when my piddling donation was added to the donations of thousands of others, it became a very large sum. Part of this sum paid for others to actually travel to the affected areas and provide hands-on assistance to suffering people.

Someone had to organize all this Katrina aid. In our city, it was a church (a non-denom church), and many other churches (including my Catholic Church!) joined in and helped out by donating money and providing manpower to sort the donations and load them onto trucks.

May God help you as you look for a religion. Don’t be afraid of an organization. Get to know the “organizers”–the pastors, deacons, administrators, etc. In most cases, you will discover that they are real people who love God and others. The organization helps them to serve God and man.

Organized religion is not only concerned with the individual, it’s also concerned with building up the faith community. Your presence at a Mass, service or prayer meeting encourages others. Never underestimate the good effect you can have on other people!

I grew up without any organized religion. It was just me and my God. I always felt left out when the other kids would talk about Sunday School, CCD and the like. I always wanted a relgious family.
But at the same time I had also felt that it was a personal thing. That it was just between Him and I.
I have learned many things over the years…mainly that worshipping God by myself I grew stagnate in my faith and worship. I needed others to help me move along my path. I couldnt do it alone.
I like to look at it this way too. Jesus didnt go door to door preaching to individuals. He went to the masses(no pun intened :smiley: )
Luckily I have found my religious home in Rome :slight_smile:


I definitely feel the need to gather with others. Humans are social animals, and that shows up in all areas of my life. I belong to an “unorganized” faith. We don’t have meeting halls, etc.

But I attend a church because I need to get together with other people of faith, even if they are not the same faith, to honor, worship, learn, give and be challenged. It is good for me.

It is not required by my faith, or by the Divine, but it is an asset to my own life, and hopefully, I contribute to the faith community and serve as an asset to them as well.


I agree with cheddar. I belong to a Unitarian Universalist church (and seek out other smaller groups of similarly-minded individuals) for community even if the theologies of all the members are not exactly the same as mine. We band together for communal support–assistance in times of need, emotional support, caring, friendship, discussions, etc–as well as communal action–working to feed the hungry, protect the environment, fight racism and prejudice, work for peace, etc.

In terms of finding those who are like me theologically, we tend to be very widespread geographically and so maintain what community we can through the web and email. An online community, however supportive, though cannot bring you a casserole if you are sick, provide friends and adult role models for your young child, etc. For that one needs a physical community.

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