There are many reasons why people turn their backs on Christ’s church. Among them are:
Discouragement. This may be in their personal or family life. They may be discouraged by difficulties in the church.
Weakness of character and purpose. Some folks find it hard to live a disciplined life, to set a goal and pursue it, and to be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10). They start with good intentions, but falter and fall along the way.
False expectations of the church and their fellow-Christians. They expect perfect churches and Christians, and are disheartened when they find that all are imperfect just as they are.
Poor experiences in worship and instruction in the church cause some to go astray. Lackluster worship, poor quality preaching that lacks a solid Biblical basis, and sermons that are filled with personal opinions and thoughtless assertions leave folks hungering and thirsting for righteousness. They go elsewhere to find it.
Disillusionment with Christianity in general and the church in particular. This affects many of our contemporaries.
Worldly influences that draw them away from Christ and His church, such as worldly friends, lodges, clubs, and recreation. They don’t have enough time left in their lives for Christ and the church.
Bad experiences with one or more Christians that hurt them and caused them to wrongly conclude that all Christians were like that.
Lack of encouragement in their early days in Christ, or when they went through some trying times. Like babies, most of us need help in learning to walk with Christ (Gal. 6:1-2).
Some are captured by teachers from their former religious connections. Not knowing how to explain their new-found faith or to respond to the false teaching, they are ensnared.
Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils causes many to go astray (I Tim. 4:1). Some are confused by television preachers or denominational books and literature they read.
A failure to break their ties with influential worldly people who eventually draw them back into sin. This might include some family members, and especially social ties (I Cor. 15:33).
A lack of genuine repentance towards their old life and true, heart-changing conversion. They never died to sin (Rom. 6:2). In time sin reasserts itself and sweeps them away (Rom. 7:9).
A rebellious heart that was never brought into full subjection to Christ, His Word and His Way.
Stubbornness causes some to fall away. They hate to give up cherished beliefs or activities that are detrimental to faithfulness. They resent correction.
False pride which makes some feel they should be able to tell the church what to believe, teach and practice. When their ideas are rejected, their pride is wounded. Then they go elsewhere hoping to be able to assert themselves.
Advanced worldly education and attainments that make some feel too knowledgeable or too important to stay with people who are simple and old-fashioned enough to strictly follow the Bible pattern.
Legalism, judgment and self-righteousness on the part of church members will drive away those who long for a peaceful, devout spiritual environment.
Skeptical, liberal preachers, who lurk among us like wolves around sheep, undermine some who have had their faith in the Bible, the church, and her Bible-based doctrine and worship.
Some have been overtaken in transgression, and no strong Christian stopped to rescue them and get them back on the straight and narrow way (Gal. 6:1).
Our task is to restore such brothers and sisters in a spirit of gentleness, looking to ourselves lest we also be tempted. John Waddey