Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
95 Responses to:
# 1. 5/2/12 7:12 AM by Ann - Avon, NY
I no longer attend the Catholic Church. I was tired of being lectured on social justice and the personal views of the man in the pulpit who had lived only an insulated life. I want to hear the word of God, and be motivated to live a more Christ like life. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience in the last 20 years. And from the drop in the number of parishioners, I would guess that I am not the only one that feels that way.
# 2. 5/2/12 7:13 AM by DD
There isn't enough time to preach Jesus and salvation. Churches are too busy prepping the gay priests and ministers. Appease the people, fill the pews, and thy collection plate overfloweth.
# 3. 5/2/12 7:27 AM
Hmmm....I wonder if the Bishop for the Diocese of Rochester would take offense to this writing? Personally, you are just another "ism", a/k/a Lonsberrism. Call it fundamentalism or whatever you may choose. However, your claim is insulting and perhaps a confessional would do you good from time to time.
Editor's Note: the bishop of the diocese of rochester -- both of them, catholic and episcopal -- are perfect examples of this sad state of affairs.
# 4. 5/2/12 7:43 AM by Monty
The poorest and least educated nations are the most religious.
# 5. 5/2/12 7:45 AM by Frank
"Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is "Thou shalt not question."
? Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion
# 6. 5/2/12 7:46 AM by lucky wife - Mount Morris, NY
Good morning Bob,
Take a look at Pastor James MacDonald at Harvest Bible Chapel. He preaches the word of God. His services are available on line. I wish he was closer, I'd be there every week and then some.
# 7. 5/2/12 7:48 AM by Bill
I stopped going to church because of all the kid touchers.
# 8. 5/2/12 7:49 AM by Peter - Pittsford
Ann, #1, it's too bad you felt that way about the Catholic Church. I hope you have found your path elsewhere.
I used to feel similarly -- I wanted more about MY personal relationship with God, the rest was secondary.
Today, social justice is what keeps me in the pew.
You see, in seeking to deepen my own relationship with Him, I've come to realize that you cannot aspire to be with Christ in Heaven if you ignore His commands on Earth: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the to the sick and the poor in spirit.
In short, truly love thy neighbor -- whether he's next door, on a slum street corner, or in some Third World country. This is not a passive or academic exercise.
It's not about you and Him. It's about all of us and Him.
And that's why we call it a Church.
# 9. 5/2/12 7:53 AM by Donna
So exactly how does FUBO fit into your religion?
Editor's Note: personally, i am going to hell. no religion claims me, and i can't blame 'em.
# 10. 5/2/12 8:01 AM by Zeke
Most of Europe is Socialist.
# 11. 5/2/12 8:07 AM
You mean "teach them how to fish"?
# 12. 5/2/12 8:07 AM by tw - rochester, ny
I left organized christianity because it has become clear that it is a total farce.
Some of the reasons in your article are why I find it farcical, but there are many more, like the political activism from both the liberal churches and just as bad, the fundie churches.
Keep your damn politics out of my religion, and your damn religion out of my politics.
# 13. 5/2/12 8:07 AM by Hank
It's all about money and power. If there wasn't as much money involved in Religion, you wouldn't have so many Pastors and Preachers in the US!
# 14. 5/2/12 8:10 AM by Marvin
I believe, what I don't believe in is 1. Telling other that they will go to hell cuz they don't believe what I believe 2. Judging someone by what they believe in or don't 3. Dragging my butt into a place or worship every week end to be told how to believe 4. Having to pay money for what I believe 5. God would approve of all of us little minions battling over what his word means 6. A book that is so vague that it can be interpreted in almost any way (And is) causing confusion and disharmony among religions to the point of war.
# 15. 5/2/12 8:12 AM by Carol
The proof of a real faith in God should be measured by how a country takes care of its poor, sick, disabled and elderly. The rest is just all commentary.
# 16. 5/2/12 8:23 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Apparently they are really good at being racist as well without anyone calling them out on it here in the city. And they should control the schools too. And push their agenda that only black teachers can teach black kids. Ok, I'll back off...
# 17. 5/2/12 8:23 AM by Ella
Thank you for a very valuable perspective. I will no longer contribute to the weekly collection.
# 18. 5/2/12 8:24 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
Another truely great and truthful column...
The Bible tells us that in the last days there would be a great fallng away from the church with much oppostasy...pushing the Marxist communist social gospel... My Christian college is now pushing the social gospel, bringing in guys like Obama`s "spiritual" advisor, Jim Wallis, to push this social gospel! It`s new President is doing the same, and just visited Obama with relish! To top things off I have a niece teaching "Christianity" there with her doctors degree. She married another doctors degree teacher who is a great supporter of Bill Ayers! (he is involved in accreditation of NY colleges) He signed a university petition to support Bill Ayers during Obama`s election! He also teaches from Ayers book, MY FUGITIVE DAYS... My niece is introducing Jim Wallis in other Christian colleges! She just wrote a book about Christian women asserting themselves over their husbands...
The liberals already have the mainline denominations. Now they are working on making the Evangelicals liberal leftest! I just do not have anything to do with these churches anymore... This is where I have been coming from lately!
# 19. 5/2/12 8:27 AM by Rachel
One can't discuss this topic in any reasonable way when believers insist on quoting scripture as "proof" of God's existance. That's why religion is called "faith" and not science.
# 20. 5/2/12 8:31 AM by Dan
If a child has an imaginary friend, it's " normal."
If an adult has an imaginary friend, it's " insane".
If an entire group of people have the same imaginary friend, it's relgion.
# 21. 5/2/12 8:36 AM by Tom Dey - Sopringwater, NY
A friend voluntarily delivers food to the needy for our church. He said he can't help but notice the other boxes (from other charities) lined up there in the queue. These families simply see it as one more entitlement, with zero motivation to drag ass out of the house and work a minimum wage job. The apostolic initiative has declined to a "God bless you" and a shrug as he leaves for his next delivery. There's no mission or future in this approach.
# 22. 5/2/12 8:43 AM by Farley
Pay, pray, and obey. Churches in a nutshell.
# 23. 5/2/12 8:43 AM by Scott - Henrietta, New York
Well said, Bob.
The Holy Spirit sure was guiding you and giving you wisdom when you composed this column.
You put in words what so many true Christians believe. Yes,feed the body, but also save the soul.
# 24. 5/2/12 8:46 AM by Ethan
Jesus did not tell his disciples to erect any buildings - I wonder why? He did not say to go into any building on a Sunday morning, either. There are no Sunday services in the Gospels, with a detailed order of service. If we are truly followers of Jesus, then it is time to look at what we are doing. We have allowed the buildings, pastors, priests, etc to take the place of God in our lives.
# 25. 5/2/12 8:47 AM
Even the Native Americans had "The Great Spirit" in their lives. Prayers and faith have helped me thru a lot of tough times. Some people will always feel the need for a higher power and not always in the form of a physical presence regardless of what one's denomination.
# 26. 5/2/12 8:51 AM by Tom
If God is omnipresent, why should anyone need to attend a church to find him other than to pay money to some preacher.
# 27. 5/2/12 8:58 AM by Brian
Tax all churches and all of their properties.
# 28. 5/2/12 8:58 AM by Eli - Clarendon, NY
Quite possibly your most meaningful article. Thank you.
# 29. 5/2/12 9:09 AM by Abner D
Let me begin by saying I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I thank God for Shakira's hips.
Sometimes I think you write for word count and this is one of those times. Your presentation was convincing and I expected a great summation, but 20 paragraphs in, when you said, "Here's how I mean," my eyes glazed over and rolled back in my head.
# 30. 5/2/12 9:20 AM by Richard - Penfield
First it was "The government isn't supposed to help people; that's what churches are for." Now it's "Churches aren't supposed to help people; that's not what churches are for." Because leading a community in the performance of charitable acts, I suppose, is somehow a bad way to inspire people toward the embrace of a higher power.
You epitomize the worst aspects of stereotypical American and Republican culture: I gots mine, so go eff yourself. And F-U-B-O, while you're at it.
It's little wonder you claim you're going to hell.
# 31. 5/2/12 9:21 AM by kittynana - Lewiston NY
I don't remember where I saw it- Facebook, possibly- where the Republican senator stated reducing federal welfare programs actually helps the churches do their charity thing. In other words, having federally funded welfare reduces the churches' CHANCE to help the poor.
# 32. 5/2/12 9:25 AM by Earl
With all due respect, Bob, you're dead wrong here.
Haven't you heard of Spiritus Christi Church? They do everything that you say a church should do.
They teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. They take the saving grace of Jesus Christ to anyone and everyone - they're completely inclusive. They save souls.
They also support the Grace of God Recovery House, which is a safe home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.
They support the Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach. They support the Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center, which provides free mental health care for adults and children who are uninsured or underinsured.
For years, they've reached out to help the poor in this community and in Haiti and Mexico.
And this church is not failing, Bob. they're thriving.
# 33. 5/2/12 9:36 AM by Leslie
Churches campaigning for Christ on the backs of taxpayers.
# 34. 5/2/12 9:36 AM by Kerry - Rochester,NY
Amen,Bob! I totally agree. And this is what is taught at the church we attend. That is what the Christian Church is supposed to do. God bless you..
# 35. 5/2/12 9:44 AM by Bob Reader
oh no some homeless child is sitting on my well-manicured lawn... what... she's hungry.... not my problem! of course I'm christian,this is a christian nation!
# 36. 5/2/12 9:46 AM
I believe Cal indulges in a rich fantasy life. I believe we'll be hearing from Jodi, our own very special rapture lady as your article has probably put her in a state of ecstasy. And Bob? You've got a religiously snake handlers soul
# 37. 5/2/12 9:47 AM by Andy
The stingy, greedy, contemptuous rich could one day go bankrupt - they might have to partake in the same breakfast of the homeless they now bitterly despise.
# 38. 5/2/12 9:52 AM by Zzyzx - Sandy UT
Amen, amen, and amen.
Too many churches and too many Christians have placed the 2nd great commandment ahead of the 1st. The 1st is the 1st for a reason.
Yes we're called to love our neighbor, but we're called to love God first. Reversing those commandments is what has taken Christ and Him crucified out of the Church and replaced it with a misunderstood and misleading assertion that being "Christian" means giving people money, condoning all behavior, and denying any validity to making any judgments at all.
# 39. 5/2/12 9:54 AM by DM Smith
Churches should stick to preaching. Homeless people are scary and dangerous in general and I would not want a large gathering of them near my home or my kids.
# 40. 5/2/12 9:59 AM by One More Thing
Editor's Note: personally, i am going to hell. no religion claims me, and i can't blame 'em.
You are going to hell and we should listen to you?
# 41. 5/2/12 10:00 AM by Steve - Penfield
This is an example of the crap we can expect if Romney gets elected.
# 42. 5/2/12 10:02 AM by Margo - Pittsford
I'm soooo disgusted that Churches are trying to give hungry people a meal.
# 43. 5/2/12 10:06 AM by JWC - Fairport
Hmmmm, let's see. Republican types are the ones always saying we should abolish food stamps and other govt funded programs for the poor and replace that with charity, neighboliness and faith based programs!
# 44. 5/2/12 10:12 AM by Modern Day Patriot - Ellicottville
God bless you Bob. I don't like homeless people. They should be helping themselves and not asking for handouts. My Church should concentrate on preaching about Jesus not being a welfare agency.
# 45. 5/2/12 10:16 AM by Clyde
Indigent people are psychotic and/or alcoholic, drug addicted, and they smell; they're filthy dirty. I'm glad there are social organizations that help, but my Church should not be one of them.
If the mission is to serve the poorest of the poor, then move a church to their community and stay out of mine.
# 46. 5/2/12 10:21 AM by Terry - Hamlin
If they want to feed the poor let them use their money and not the taxpayers. I believe in Jesus but I see too many times, everybody wants to give as along as its somebody elses money. Stick to preaching.
# 47. 5/2/12 10:21 AM by Laurel
too long of a rant I couldn't read all ..maybe you need to repent. as soon as you got to Marxism I shut off - tired of hearing about your anal preoccupation about Marxism as if the other side is so influenced and you have your nerve to talk about Jesus. The Mormon church doesn't even have pictures of Jesus in the wards that I've been too! But a picture of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young though and if you are referring to the Catholic church talking about understanding Islam ..it's something the Catholic church has always done which is encourage members to learn about other churches not to try to change them but to honestly learn and understand. Our priest used to say you can learn from thee different christian bible groups as they read their bibles. Although I found the bible thumpers often don't get what they are reading or distort it tremendously. I think the Catholic church may have even created Islamic religions. and the Mormon church is created much like the Catholic hierarchy.
# 48. 5/2/12 10:22 AM by Burton
Churches have historically preyed on the poor. They might sometimes help the poor, but, overall, they treat them as just another source of income and followers.
# 49. 5/2/12 10:26 AM by furthermore
I know you or most of your followers do not understand what going through Jesus even means because you've never done it for one. You're ego and nothing but ego and if there is such a poverty situation in the world then don't you think that is a worthy cause not to keep creating it or to track down ones who are causing wars and shoot them in the town square. Drag them from their lofty perches.
# 50. 5/2/12 10:29 AM by Justine
Life not going the way you wanted? Don;t be angry at God. You just need to write a bigger check to the 700 Club or Joel Osteen Ministries. Give them everything and God will surely reward you. If you still have money, you haven't given enough and God knows it!
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