I know we are to be our brothers' keeper. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that voice to just give up and throw in the towel, that this just isn't for me, I don't fit into the church, you might as well save your time and your money because you're never going to make it, etc.
I'm not sure who so many people have left. Those of you that go to church, has this been your experience as well? Are there fewer people attending or more?
It feels to me that the 'climate' has changed here in the US. I'm quite tired of social media, politics, all of it. Maybe I've just gotten older, but even in 10 years it seems harder to focus on God, much harder, and there seems to be a grown opposition or outright disinterest in the things of faith or even just doing the right thing.
I remember my best friend, I sort of just let them go. After they stopped coming to church, they went to another for a while. I still would meet up with them. We would go watch a movie once in a while. Usually they were ok, but the last movie we went to see I was just appalled at the content, I guess they expected me to know ti would be like that, but I felt dirty after. It's so sad how people give up their boundaries.
My other friend gave in to peer pressure I think. At one time they were insistent on never missing a church service, bringing friends to church, etc. Then they wanted to be around their family, started going to parties, etc. Then it was making excuses not to come, and then they stopped. They said they would find a new church, but I was skeptical. I don't see them anymore. Last I saw them, they said to call and we'd hang out, but I never have contacted them.
Sure one can and should pray for those that go astray, but I am sure there's more I haven't done. Sometimes we get caught up and our minds get clouded and we don't realize what we are doing. But we can backslide and still go to church just as much as we can backslide and not go to a church.
I think there is strength in numbers. When my best friend's family started attending a different church, is when the cracking started. Within two years the rest of my close friends at church were out. Now it's just me, and I'm always asking myself if this is where I should be, but the only answer I can seem to get is where else is there to go?