This is the question of all questions. It would get many different responses. For those who find that they do need a church, I wonder where that answer would come from: Your upbringing? An experience you had? A calling to do so that comes deep within? A need to find God? A need for socializing with like-minded people? A combination of things?
For those who would say they don’t need a church, may belong to some other “spiritual” community or just simply say that there is no god of any kind. That church is about THE God that they do not believe in – especially the one that most seem to believe in.
I keep asking myself why I need a church. I don’t dislike any church or religion for that matter IF a person is getting his/her spiritual needs met. Even then I don’t dislike it, I just wonder why people cling to one like that. Organizations of any kind can get off track, go awry, become a scary cult, abuse the members, and let power go to the top of the reasons for the church to exist. In any case, if EGO is at the helm of any organization, spiritual or not, you will have abuse of some kind or another of the players in that organization.
Some people can join a spiritual organization or church and find that immutable Something that has been calling them. But in my own personal experience, I would say that sooner or later, that Something is above and beyond any organization or method or path. At that point, you may ask yourself why you need the church/organization. You might be asking why you need a church or organization from a completely different perspective than you may have ever asked it before.
I am not going to give anyone the answer to that question because how do I know whether or not they need it and I will never truly know why they think they do or don’t? I have to take that question one day at a time for myself as it is. Some Sundays, I hop in the car and find myself at one of my favorite churches and I enjoy it very much. Other Sundays, I shrug my shoulders not quite certain why I am not getting in the car and hanging out for a bit with people with similar beliefs (or even different ones for that matter).
A lot of people would have an opinion about whether I should be going to services or not and many would even specify which one I SHOULD be attending. Still I am left with the question hanging over my head in the shape of a question mark and there doesn’t seem to be a should or should not that definitely sticks out by way of an answer. I can tell you this, it is much easier to pick a church or organization and just sit back and follow the rules and have all the answers than it is to flounder around without anything but that inner voice to guide you. There is nothing to hold onto. There is nothing to tell me what to do and how to do it. And that one is on a slipper slope because how do I know what I am listening to? If what I am listening to is guiding my behavior and interactions with my world, with others, is loving, non-judgmental, patient, kind, and desirous of everyone’s highest good, then there is a good chance it is the right voice and all is well regardless of what things may look like.
It can get scary out there on that limb. You can lose some friends or relatives along the way but the same can be said for those who steadfastly hold onto a belief or religion and who cannot be tolerant of others who do not believe as they do. At least in the non-conformist, you still are tolerant of others regardless of their belief and you do more for holding the world together than others do with their more concrete approach to a spiritual path. If you have the guts for it, I can tell you after trying all other things, I am exactly where I should be.