Unlike my contemporaries, who have drifted away from religion and either started attending another church or stopped going to church altogether, I haven’t drifted from my religion. But, I no longer attend church regularly.
Back in the day, I was at church every Sunday and Wednesday. I held every position possible in the church and liked the work rather well. I even volunteered for 15 years to serve in the Christian Science Reading Room.
I became increasingly uncomfortable, not with the theology of Christian Science, but with the rituals and expectations of the church organization.
The shift was gradual. It certainly was not a matter of, “I don’t want this anymore, I’m outta here.” It was more, “I want this religion and not the rituals and expectations.”
More than half of American adults have changed religion in their lives, a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found. “You’re seeing the free market at work,” said Gregory Smith, a research fellow at the Pew Forum. “If people are dissatisfied, they will leave. And if they see something they like better, they will join it.”
I haven’t found anything better than the religion I follow. Fortunately, the Pastor of Churches of Christ, Scientist, is the Bible and the book Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, by Mary Baker Eddy, and can be with me all the time. I read from modern versions.
I periodically attend churches of all faiths now. The religious landscape is diverse out here, and I’m learning that these Americans changing religions are breaking the barriers of unsatisfying rituals and expectations.