Is it right for someone to be kicked out of a church just because you are asking questions?Should someone be kicked out because they ask a question such as..."If God is all high and mighty, then...

Is it right for someone to be kicked out of a church just because you are asking questions?

Should someone be kicked out because they ask a question such as..."If God is all high and mighty, then why do we have to give him our money and put it in the gold container? Why can't you sell the gold container and get a plastic bucket or something?" Is that really a good reason to kick someone out of a church?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with most of the comments made by the previous post. There is a place and time for everything, and a church service is not usually a location where question and answer dialogue takes place. If you actually made these comments while interrupting the minister's sermon, for example, you would certainly be guilty of overstepping your bounds. It would be akin to interrupting a funeral service or a Presidential speech: Certain social boundaries and behavioral decorum are expected and usually enforced. As the previous post stated, these types of questions should be asked in private consultation with the minister or at least during a time when questions from the congregation are invited. Church goers generally attend services for meditation and reflection--not for confrontations from people asking about the value of the collection plate (which was probably brass or a composite material and not gold, by the way). I should also point out that most churches are NOT publicly owned, so improper or unwarranted behavior in a privately-owned location certainly warrants the removal of people who are behaving in an unwelcome manner. It would not be very different than entering a privately-owned business and announcing that the prices are too high or by creating some other type of disturbance. The owner would probably request the person to leave and, if the unwelcome party refused, a forcible removal (by law enforcement if necessary) would be an expected response. 

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wow.  I'd like to think this wouldn't happen--neither the argumentative, disruptive behavior nor the excommunication from the church.  Both are extreme and seem fairly unrealistic to me.

Shame on any church who uses gold offering containers. (Nice Proctor reference above, by the way.)  The message that sends is horrific; it's wasteful and obnoxious and almost deserving of such an outburst. Almost. 

Shame on anyone who chooses such a public forum to make such an rude, obnoxious comment--however true it may be. Most people are willing to engage in a dialogue if they don't feel they'll be ambushed by sarcasm and anger.  It's possible to be forceful and righteous without being combative.

One of the beautiful things about America and God are that you can find a church anywhere and God is present everywhere (omnipresent).  There is absolutely no need to attend and support a church which practices things you don't want to support.  Plenty of churches and planty of believers would gladly welcome you and engage in reasonable dialogue about things you may not agree with or understand.  Keep looking! 

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I understand why the person was asked not to return as long as his attitude was combative.  However, Christians are supposed to forgive and love one another.  As long as the individual was willing to discuss issues of concern with the church members and leaders, I see no reason why they wouldn't keep him around long enough for him to become knowledgeable about how the church is really run.  For instance, Christians don't believe that it's their money...everything is God's given to them to use wisely and prosper.  God's people are to give back 10% of what they've earned or produced to help support the church because lights, water, sewer, and salaries aren't paid for with smiles and sunshine.  Perhaps after the person is more educated in the doctrine and the church workings, he will choose to stay; perhaps he will choose not to...maybe the way he presented his arguments are the only way he knew how to do so?  If this is the case, then both parties should prove to be more tolerant and patient.

mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yeah, I think so.  I'd kick that person out other places too, if I could.

Verbal irony is wasted in church.  Verbal irony is best used on TV or the internet, among friends, casual settings, not in a formal place of worship.  It's funny on Family Guy, but not in places not on TV.

First of all, church is not run by God.  It's run by people.  People come together to form a church, and they bring God with them.

It's a bad idea to insult God in front of these people.  To begin with "If God is all high and mighty" is not a good way convince anyone that you want to stay.  Regardless of what comes next, it sounds like you want to get kicked out, that you're daring someone to kick you out.  It sounds like whoever said this is high and mighty.  I would reconsider that last phrase.

So, if you're going to bring up the God v. church v. money hypocrisy argument, don't think you're the first of the last to do so.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your comments actually remind me of John Proctor's objection to Rev. Hale's tactics in The Crucible. Hale wanted ornate candlesticks, and Proctor didn't see the need for such things in a church.

It is certainly your right to question practices that you see occurring in a church.  In fact, if you simply sat in church and absorbed everything you were told, you would not benefit from the teachings in the long run.  Just remember, though, that if you truly want to find the truth to an answer or if you want to shed light on what you view as a problem, you have to approach the person you are questioning in a tactful manner.  It's one thing to bluntly put your opinion out there--yes, you got to have your say--but if your real objective is to bring about change or at least to understand someone else's view, you have to ask for that opinion in a respectful manner.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It sort of depends on the circumstances, doesn't it?

If someone goes in to the church in the middle of a service and asks this question, they probably ought to be kicked out.  That is not the time and the place to ask.

But if someone goes up to a minister on their own time and asks this question, it should be okay.  That is especially true if they ask it in a respectful "I want to discuss this" way rather than a confrontational "your ideas are so stupid" sort of a way.

So I think that what should happen here totally depends on the circumstances and manner in which the question is asked.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would kick that person out whether it is right or not. Period. Nobody has the right to interfere with people who are trying to find some form of peace of mind. Therefore, that person is literally "altering the peace" which we all know is reason enough not only to get kicked out but to be put under arrest.

Whether I agree with the person or not is independent. I, too, have thousands of questions I'd love to ask a couple of priests myself but I wouldn't be so backwards as to choose to do it in the most inappropriate of moments. Defeats the point, doesn't it?

booksnmore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Is this something you've personally experienced? It would surprise me if an individual was kicked out of church for the situation you've described. I would think that in most religious venues a lot of discussion would occur before an individual was removed...particularly for something as minor as what you describe. As the previous posters have stated, however, I suppose the situation could have been extremely confrontive and one that the church felt warranted serious consequences. But it seems extreme to me.

linalarocca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the two posts above. There is a time and place for everything, and I believe that a comment about a gold money collection container in a church would be both insulting and inappropriate. It may be cause for being excluded from church because the comment is impolite and offensive. I don't think the person should be completely forbidden to return at a later date, however.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It depends on the circumstance in which the statement was made.  Were you in the middle of service?  Were you rude when you made the statement.  It sounds like a rude comment no matter how it is said.  If you were truly looking for a legitimate response you probably should have worded it differently.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would agree that we probably need "the rest of the story" to give a real good answer. As other posters have stated, there is a time and place to ask those types of questions. If it were done appropriately I would think that most churches would allow the person to stay in the church.

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adamjones342 | Student

I agree with most of the comments. There is a time and place for everything, and I believe that a comment about a gold money collection container in a church would be both insulting and inappropriate.

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doowopsvoice | Student

God would never ostrasize anyone for being inquisitive. Even if a question makes no sense it should approached as an oppurtunity to teach and enlighten.

frizzyperm | Student

This is an absolutely relevant question that forces Christians confront themselves, which they don't like. So it probably will get you chucked out.

Despite Jesus saying that the uneven accumulation of wealth was bad and the fact that HE HIMSELF kicked the money-lenders out of 'his father's house'... well, surprise surprise, the Vatican has A BANK! And all churches of all demoninations are stuffed full of gold and rich people.

While you read this post, approximately two children died of treatable diseases or starvation. While poor people suffer, we should all be standing up in church, loudly demanding to know why God's hypocritical executors seem very keen to amass the wealth of his flock for their own aggrandisment, against the wishes of Jesus.