I’m Trying To Hold Onto My Faith

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I’m trying to hold onto my faith. 

I really am.

But I can’t deny what I’m seeing, I can’t deny what I’m feeling.


I used to look forward to church, like a cozy spiritual blanket. I found community, purpose, solitude, and the presence of the sacred. But now, it feels so dirty, empty, contrived, and plastered with privilege. I can’t even breathe at the thought of ever returning.


I’m trying to hold onto my faith, I really am.


I used to sing the worship songs with such purity and freedom, but now I cringe every time I hear them, like anthems of a cult. It’s hard to separate the melodies from the self-righteousness that now rings within them.

I used to read the Bible, without fear or an agenda. I would hear what I needed to hear without even a thought of weaponizing it. But now, it’s so black and white, right or wrong, in or out. The stuff of narcissists, control freaks, swindlers, and brainwashers. If God was ever in it, He certainly isn’t now.


I’m trying to hold onto my faith, but it isn’t easy.


I used to serve alongside you, like friends on a mission to love the world. But now, it seems you just want to change me, control me, and make me just like you. It’s like I’m not even a person, just a project, a notch on your belt.

Now, the only thing I have left is Jesus, and you make Him so creepy. I’m constantly having to pull Him free in my mind from all the unloving things you’ve made of Him. 


I’m trying to hold onto my faith.

I promise. I really am.


But it seems the more I let go, the further I walk away, the more I think for myself and feel from my soul, the more loving, caring, compassionate, humane, at peace, and Christ-like I actually become.

I thought I was following, I thought I was loving, but I actually wasn’t following or loving at all.  Just empty.

I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore. No more faking, no more conforming, no more judging, no more hating. 


I’m not sure what you’re holding onto, but I’m letting go.


Grace is brave. Be brave.


Check out Chris’ latest book, Stupid Shit Heard In Church available on Amazon (link below)…

What people are saying:

“After reading just a few chapters, I had to schedule an appointment with my therapist, it’s that good.”

“This book is changing  the world.”

“Profound, life-changing; that says it all!”


  1. Nancy Mayberry

    Chris, hang onto that faith. What you lost faith in was fundamentalism, not Christianity. Please try a mainstream church with outreach mission projects to heal the sick and feed the hungry and that truly follows the teachings of a loving God.

    • Rosemary R Jepson

      I was going to say the same thing.

  2. Dick Modderkolk

    I’ve been waiting for this. Ever since I read the first few posts a couple of years ago and realised you were a sort of unicorn. Both moral and christian. Something has to give.
    Stay strong. I wish you all the best on your journey.

    • ckratzer

      thanks so much, as you know, I’ve been traveling this journey for awhile. So grateful for your encouragement and friendship.

    • ckratzer

      I appreciate that. Been on this journey a while now. This article hopes to give voice to all people along this journey no matter where they are.

  3. David Fredrickson

    I’ve lost all faith in the religion of Christianity which includes counterfeit “church”, but my faith in Christ is stronger than ever. Now that the false is no longer my concern, the true is more wonderful than ever. Any belief system that cannot be defined as unconditional love is a fraud and therefore is anti-Christ. True faith is relational trust. Anyone who grows to know Him will trust Him. I suspect you (Chris) believe this also.

    • Dan

      I agree. I never lost my faith – I just lost my religion!

      • Kathleen Leonard

        Same for me.

    • ckratzer

      Well said.

  4. Jim

    Been reading your messages – and have marked up so many sentences from you “Stupid Sh**….” book! Since COVID basically kept me away from attending “church services”, watching them on line was neither vibrant nor stimulating. I definitely feel the same way you do as expressed in your first few paragraphs. I feel that most people “go to the churches” that preach what they “want” to hear rather than what they “need” to hear – and then DO. I suppose I’ll just call myself a “tweener” at the moment – ditching the church on the one hand but not yet really “doing” Jesus things….. but your subject today is exactly where I am at. Thanks for being so brutally honest and sincere.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Aubrey Duncan

    The church may fail you, but Jesus never will. Don’t leave Him.
    Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be open for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon your Burden Bearer ( Ministry of Healing, 70).

    God wants to move you up; the enemy wants to take you down. Don’t let him

    • ckratzer

      I appreciate your thoughts!

  6. Robert

    Chris, I have walked this road for a number of years now. At first I thought I was starting to become a heretic, or even worse, committing the “unforgivable” sin. As my wife and I moved further away from our entrenched fundamentalism, the freedom we began to experience was liberating, broadening, enriching and life changing. I have not lost my faith, rather it has become what I suspect faith is meant to be; a life force that reaches into our spirit, driving us ever closer to Christ.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Kathleen Leonard

    I gave up my religion long ago in 1983 when I could not find a church to christen my daughter because her father and I were not yet married. Every denomination refused because we were “living in sin.” I thought punishing a child for the parent’s “sin” was wrong. However, I never lost my faith in God and Jesus. I christened each of my four children myself, even the ones born after we were married.
    Fast forward twenty years, and my husband (now deceased) developed behavior variant Frontotemporal Dementia and my third child schizophrenia. Much loss, agony, heartache, and grief resulted, and I wanted to not believe in God, but, try as I might, I could not quit believing. Life was nothing if there was no God. Everywhere the joy of His creation was evident. So, I just gave up trying to understand the WHYs.
    Now, with the craziness in our country, I understand clearly why “Jesus wept” and, sadly, is still weeping. When I think of MTG and others like her, I think Satan has created his best con–people claiming to be Christian, who are anything but, saying and doing evil in Jesus’ name.
    However, hold fast, Chris, and don’t give up. True believers with hearts full of God’s love, with words and actions to match, are all around you, and God is always beside us. Even when we can’t see Him, we can still see His love and joy. Think of butterflies dancing in the wind together, inviting us to dance too.

    • ckratzer

      I am surely staying with Jesus, but as for everything else, not so much.

  8. Nyssa the Hobbit

    You’re not alone–I’ve been finding it hard lately to get up in the morning and go to church. Half the church seems pretty progressive, but the other half–including the priest–says things I find very disturbing. There is the MAGA mindset and somebody who wants to shame us for following COVID protocols during the worst of it. She calls it bringing “fear” and “clown masks” into the church. Church is no longer a safe place to recharge.

    • ckratzer

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  9. Paul Wessel

    With respect to the Christian church, what did you all expect would happen? You believe in an invisible man in the sky who loves you but created a Hell to punish you for all eternity? If you can believe that fairy tale, you guys will believe anything…..like Donal Trump won the election, or republicans are for the common man. Sheesh.

  10. Steve the Searcher

    I left the church and the religion many years ago. I don’t think of Jesus as a god, but retain my admiration for him as a humanist and great example of how to respect and treat others. Those qualities of love, forgiveness, pacifism, etc have been time-tested and proven to work. What we’re seeing in fundamentalism is an Old Testament strain of the religion-the wrath and judgmental and intolerance that led self-righteous Christians to destroy paganism in the fourth century. It’s a greedy and cruel form of the religion and it encourages me to hear you speaking out against it.

  11. Loretta

    It is hard to lose faith. It can hurt. It even hurts to lose faith in personally known loved ones, and in a different way it also hurts to lose faith in a celebrity. “I thought I knew you,” you think. “I thought I had found a person who was special and who inspired me.” Since church promises eternal life, and community, and a feeling of belonging in the world, of having a specific task to complete in life, a reason to live — in short, it promises a quenching of all psychological needs, all in one place — losing faith in church hurts a lot more. But just as in the end, breaking up with an unsuitable romantic partner sets you free, so does leaving a church that doesn’t suit you. Maybe someday you’ll want to join a different kind of church, or maybe you’ll face the world without religion to mediate between you and what *is*. For myself, I’m an atheist, and I am still filled with wonder and joy that the world is such a beautiful place and that we managed to become what we are. There is joy and community in a world without religion — arguably a more authentic community, based on who you are and not on your obedience to a cult-mind — and you will be stronger as you continue to set aside those things that have muted you and held you back. You can do this. You belong in the world. <3

  12. Sean

    Jesus of Nazareth never wanted a church, and he would be horrified by the super-corporate, all-about money, hate-filled thing the Catholic Church has become. They ARE the moneychangers he railed against and the bigots he detested. You and anyone else who wants to have Jesus in their lives never needed a church. Look at the Gospel of St. Thomas. “Spilt a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me.”

    It’s not an easy path to follow, because the Philistines who still insist on following the dictates of the Church will hate you for proving their hypocrisy and bigotry and actually showing them that they will be the ones whose behavior will send them to Hell. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. Please continue to show the way, and if the Evandalists whine, ignore them.

  13. Teresa Lewis

    It was the music I grew tired of first rather the dogma. I was never really into it except for a short while after getting used to it. I had grown up with different types of secular music so the evangelical choruses were like nursery rhymes to me. Christian rock music lyrics are very anti sex or replace a person in misogynist love songs with Jesus. There are secular bands who are neutral on sex & romance in their lyrics as they write on other topics. Genesis for example in their early albums. Then in the 90’s REM & the Manic Street Preachers.

  14. Karen

    I think the way we do “church” is not what it was ever meant to be, but it’s all we know, so we think it’s written on tablets of stone. I’m a preacher’s kid, and grew up in church: Sunday morning, evening, and Wed. evening. I think some of us grow out of the format, start to find it less and less meaningful, because we are looking for something deeper, and “church,” as we do it here in the USA, is rarely about community, and mostly about taking a pew, facing front, and watching/listening to other people talk and singing along as people lead; standing, sitting, quoting creeds or the Lord’s Prayer; kneeling at times if you are Catholic; taking communion, etc. There’s a place for liturgy, for ritual, but if it becomes empty, merely a format to “do” this thing that we think we must do in order to be “good” Christians, then it risks losing all meaning. And there is the danger that a given church may become a cult of celebrity, as we elevate the church leaders to places they were never meant to be elevated to.

    I grew up, as I said, in church – a non-fundy, but evangelical denomination. I returned to my mother’s roots in the Anabaptist traditions when I was out on my own. One church I attended for several years was very much like a large family to me. It was a small church (varied, maybe 30-50 people), and no one was really considered more important than anyone else. Yes, we followed a format of sorts on Sundays, but, every seventh Sunday was “Ekklesia Sunday” where we would forego the usual format to simply draw the chairs around so we could all face each other, and share whatever was on our hearts and minds – thoughts, poems, songs, pains, joys.

    My husband and I am part of an Anabaptist congregation now that is very small – maybe about 20 regular attendees. I feel there is less community amongst us than in that other church I attended, but no doubt we do care for each other, and it is said we “punch far above our weight class” in terms of service to community. But I wish we could forego the traditional church format on Sundays to some degree, except, that is what is expected by our mostly older congregants. And it’s not all about me, so I continue to attend, contribute, and do my best to be part of this little portion of the Body of Christ.

    To fellowship together, to encourage each other, to be there when one has need, to reach out to take care of the “widows and orphans” (all those who society discards) – that is what “church” should be. Not necessarily just listening to prayers, sermons, hymns, and all in a certain Order That Must Never Be Changed Under Any Circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with hymns, prayers, or sermons, in themselves. But when they are a substitute for community in Jesus’s name, to be the hands and feet of the One who loved us enough to die for us, then we have lost sight of what it means to be salt and light.

    Perhaps those who are weary of standard Sundays could return to the original NT format of “house churches” for a time. To gather together to share thoughts with each other, to read scripture together, pray together, to talk about our concerns and joys together, to eat a meal together, with very little formality. Something closer to the Ekklesia Sunday than the standard Sunday morning service format. Even if only two or three are gathered together in His name, He will be there.

    • Steve the Searcher

      Karen, and others, I enthusiastically recommend a gathering of like-minded people. Look for Meet-up, etc. and find fellowship with those who have left the church, or found church something they could no longer relate to. Our group of church leavers established a policy of non-judgmentalism in which we can voice any doubt about Christianity in a safe way. It’s led to wonderful discussions.! I hope you head in that direction.

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