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A Church Without God


Margee

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My friend on Facebook, Jerry DeWitt (ex-Pentecostal preacher) is finally preaching 'love' at his new church!! I can tell you that if I lived in his area, I would be sitting in that congregation!! Music, laughter, nice little sermons on 'love', coffee, friendship and no bible!!! yellow.gif  They say these  atheist 'churches' are beginning to start up in many, many communities all over the world now!! Have a look at this little interview!

 

Sorry, I can't seem to embed the video tonight??

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL51wCFxTjx1YF_pioTVzHxLUdEV5RpPo4&v=egFaJXFTBbw#t=42

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As soon as I posted this my computer completely crashed as I hit the 'post' button!!!!! eek.gif  I just got it running again.

 

I am so damned...........firedevil.gif

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Awko-tacooo! I don't know but, I feel a little indifferent towards this. I think it's a nice idea, however, there are many people who would rather walk their own path in life. Wouldn't it make more sense to just meet up with other atheists rather than building this around church culture instead? Wendyshrug.gif

 

It's not a bad idea because it's obviously working, but I don't see this as any different than a normal church. 

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 but I don't see this as any different than a normal church. 

I'm surprized to hear this. Very surprized.......

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i would assume it is just a social community gathering for edification perhaps.

 

not a bad idea, but would change sermon to talks or just chit chat,,,,,

 

some beatles eagles songs along with abba and boney m,,,,, i m in

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If I had the time and there was one near me, I would try an atheist church.  Why not?  If I enjoyed it, I'd keep going, if not, I'd quit.  I certainly wouldn't feel obliged to belong and attend forever if I didn't feel like it.  I think I would feel more comfortable there than I ever felt in the church where I never felt free to ask questions or give answers other than expected "Because god" answers.  It would also just be nice to see other people who were there and realize who all didn't believe in any gods.  I bet they would have a good library!   

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I went to a "Sunday Assembly' (church without god) about a month ago. It reminded me too much of regular church and I almost had a panic attack - thanks PTSD from church experiences. Many people I spoke to loved it but I certainly won't be going again, the similarities to church are too many. Pity, because I am really lonely and would love to meet like minded people. 

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Guest MadameX

Heard a very interesting podcast interview with Jerry Dewitt on Reasonable Doubts. Anyone mildly interested in ex-C issues give it a listen! 

 

I know many who would never set foot inside a church ever again, ever. Doesn't bother me as much and in fact I ALWAYS attend when someone invites me to visit their church or mosque or temple because I am fascinated by culture and what makes humans tick. Places of worship often me insight into these things. 

 

As would an atheist church. Though you *could* say I already attend an atheist church - Unitarian Universalist*. Lol!

 

Hey, I work in front of a computer. Interact with software. Can go all day without talking to anyone in real life other than my family who live with me. I kind of need social engagement. I am a people person! I like singing together. Church is great for all that. Sermons are shared by our minister and members of the congregation who have something interesting to say. And we all get a chance to get up with the mic and say (briefly) what is on our mind. Interesting classes are offered, I have taught classes there, too. There are group meditation opportunities (for some reason quiet contemplation while in the company of others is a powerful experience). We also feed and house homeless people, financially support various causes (mostly anti-poverty and other social justice) write to lonely soldiers in Afghanistan, sponsor AA, have support groups for those who need them, even have Small Group Ministry, and of course Sunday School for the young ones. In my classroom (I teach 5th graders) we have a Bible and a Koran and Baghavadghita (sp) and shaman's items such as drums, Darwin's book on the theory of Natural Selection, etc. etc.

 

I need community. I like church. 

 

It seems to me many of us are lonely, even those of us in the primes of our lives who are working as we are increasingly cut off from each other by technology. Without other people I would wither and die.

 

And I can assure you that the ministers and pastors in our church have no particular answers to the difficult questions and challenges in life. However, being together, we can walk through life together and celebrate together the life passages - the child dedication ceremonies and the funerals, in covenant with each other ('in covenant' meaning we have agreed to be committed to acting kindly and with sympathy toward each other). 

 

There are plenty of ex-C's in a UU church, in fact right up in the pulpit.

 

*atheism is definitely NOT a stated belief, a required creed, an implied doctrine with UUs - there are many believers of some sort in the UU community

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Hey MadameX, I basically agree with everything you said here. Yet, I am still feeling lazy right now and not sure if I am going to get up and go to the UU service here, even though I mostly want to go.

 

Now this is making me realize what it may be :^)

 

I'll have to start a different thread though as I don't want to hijack this. I'll call it "Compatibility of UCC and UU?"

 

Heard a very interesting podcast interview with Jerry Dewitt on Reasonable Doubts. Anyone mildly interested in ex-C issues give it a listen!

 

I know many who would never set foot inside a church ever again, ever. Doesn't bother me as much and in fact I ALWAYS attend when someone invites me to visit their church or mosque or temple because I am fascinated by culture and what makes humans tick. Places of worship often me insight into these things.

 

As would an atheist church. Though you *could* say I already attend an atheist church - Unitarian Universalist*. Lol!

 

Hey, I work in front of a computer. Interact with software. Can go all day without talking to anyone in real life other than my family who live with me. I kind of need social engagement. I am a people person! I like singing together. Church is great for all that. Sermons are shared by our minister and members of the congregation who have something interesting to say. And we all get a chance to get up with the mic and say (briefly) what is on our mind. Interesting classes are offered, I have taught classes there, too. There are group meditation opportunities (for some reason quiet contemplation while in the company of others is a powerful experience). We also feed and house homeless people, financially support various causes (mostly anti-poverty and other social justice) write to lonely soldiers in Afghanistan, sponsor AA, have support groups for those who need them, even have Small Group Ministry, and of course Sunday School for the young ones. In my classroom (I teach 5th graders) we have a Bible and a Koran and Baghavadghita (sp) and shaman's items such as drums, Darwin's book on the theory of Natural Selection, etc. etc.

 

I need community. I like church.

 

It seems to me many of us are lonely, even those of us in the primes of our lives who are working as we are increasingly cut off from each other by technology. Without other people I would wither and die.

 

And I can assure you that the ministers and pastors in our church have no particular answers to the difficult questions and challenges in life. However, being together, we can walk through life together and celebrate together the life passages - the child dedication ceremonies and the funerals, in covenant with each other ('in covenant' meaning we have agreed to be committed to acting kindly and with sympathy toward each other).

 

There are plenty of ex-C's in a UU church, in fact right up in the pulpit.

 

*atheism is definitely NOT a stated belief, a required creed, an implied doctrine with UUs - there are many believers of some sort in the UU community

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I went to a "Sunday Assembly' (church without god) about a month ago. It reminded me too much of regular church and I almost had a panic attack - thanks PTSD from church experiences. Many people I spoke to loved it but I certainly won't be going again, the similarities to church are too many. Pity, because I am really lonely and would love to meet like minded people. 

 

It's possible to have low-key socials with like-minded people without the churchy atmosphere. See the Sofree link in my signature. We've been meeting for monthly/bi-monthly brunches and book club meetings for years. We meet in hotels and homes--not church buildings or pretend churches. Sometimes we meet in real lecture halls for educational stuff like videos or lectures. The lectures could not be mistaken for sermons but they address topics of interest.

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i would assume it is just a social community gathering for edification perhaps.

 

not a bad idea, but would change sermon to talks or just chit chat,,,,,

 

some beatles eagles songs along with abba and boney m,,,,, i m in

 

And Hooters girls taking the collection.

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I think this is a great idea for people like my wife who really miss the community aspect of church. I have to admit that any organized gathering of anything on Sunday gives me hives now and I would avoid it like the plague. I don't want to be obligated to a weekly gathering anymore. I finally have a full 2-day weekend to climb mountains, go running, camp and do nothing at all! Why would I want to carve it in half again with obligatory appointments?

 

No thanks for me. :)

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Heard a very interesting podcast interview with Jerry Dewitt on Reasonable Doubts. Anyone mildly interested in ex-C issues give it a listen! 

 

I know many who would never set foot inside a church ever again, ever. Doesn't bother me as much and in fact I ALWAYS attend when someone invites me to visit their church or mosque or temple because I am fascinated by culture and what makes humans tick. Places of worship often me insight into these things. 

 

As would an atheist church. Though you *could* say I already attend an atheist church - Unitarian Universalist*. Lol!

 

Hey, I work in front of a computer. Interact with software. Can go all day without talking to anyone in real life other than my family who live with me. I kind of need social engagement. I am a people person! I like singing together. Church is great for all that. Sermons are shared by our minister and members of the congregation who have something interesting to say. And we all get a chance to get up with the mic and say (briefly) what is on our mind. Interesting classes are offered, I have taught classes there, too. There are group meditation opportunities (for some reason quiet contemplation while in the company of others is a powerful experience). We also feed and house homeless people, financially support various causes (mostly anti-poverty and other social justice) write to lonely soldiers in Afghanistan, sponsor AA, have support groups for those who need them, even have Small Group Ministry, and of course Sunday School for the young ones. In my classroom (I teach 5th graders) we have a Bible and a Koran and Baghavadghita (sp) and shaman's items such as drums, Darwin's book on the theory of Natural Selection, etc. etc.

 

I need community. I like church. 

 

It seems to me many of us are lonely, even those of us in the primes of our lives who are working as we are increasingly cut off from each other by technology. Without other people I would wither and die.

 

And I can assure you that the ministers and pastors in our church have no particular answers to the difficult questions and challenges in life. However, being together, we can walk through life together and celebrate together the life passages - the child dedication ceremonies and the funerals, in covenant with each other ('in covenant' meaning we have agreed to be committed to acting kindly and with sympathy toward each other). 

 

There are plenty of ex-C's in a UU church, in fact right up in the pulpit.

 

*atheism is definitely NOT a stated belief, a required creed, an implied doctrine with UUs - there are many believers of some sort in the UU community

 

 

Thank you! I'm one of those UU atheists as well. Love it!

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I've considered going to the Houston Oasis gathering. They have different speakers who talk about secular morality, or maybe evolution, or psychology, topics that seem pretty interesting to me. But if I ever come out of the closet and quit going to a christian church, I'm not sure I would ever be motivated enough to get on a Sunday morning for some kind of assembly again!

 

I almost went the day Dan Barker was the guest speaker.

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Nah I wouldn't go to one. It doesn't appeal to me one bit. In fact it causes me some anxiety just thinking about going to an atheist church.

 

It really does seem too churchy for me.

Singing "Gratitude" songs, a pulpit with someone "preaching" a message to the "Congregation" Probably asking for money too.

And I am guessing the services are on a Sunday.

 

 

DeWitt seems an ok guy and I think it's cool that he's sharing his story of how he de-converted. And I may check out more info on him.

 

He says the atheist church is for non believers who are still

"nostalgic for a Church family"

 

Yeah ya see I'm not nostalgic for the whole church family thing.

 

I don't even like the label "church"

It just carries all that religious weight with it for me.

I have kept away from church as much as possible other than going to a funeral and a wedding. And even then I was reluctant.

 

I kinda like R.S.Martin's group idea. I would do that I think if I knew some people.

 

Edit:

Well

I just went on YouTube to check out a couple of Jerry DeWitt videos.

There's an Easter Sunday sermon one and another one.

I'm Not digging it. He does sound just like a preacher which I know it's because he was one and That's A turn off for me.

And I also don't like how he's referring to Darwin In the way that he is.

Instead of saying Amen he gets the congregation to say "Darwin". It is a bit corny.

I think he's making atheists look rather silly with doing that.

I'm not sure what he's trying to do but I'm sure he will make money.

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I wouldn't want to go to "church" per se. I think the word "church" is loaded with too much of my past. But I do know that not going to church has caused me to be even more of a homebody. So I think it would be good to meet up regularly with a small group of fellow atheists/agnostics/whatevers and just talk about the week and relax. Our culture is full of Christian things and it gets very tiring to battle it alone. But meeting regularly could be a stress release and improve the physical/mental health of those present. 

 

Topics could be arranged around different issues of the atheist life or just going around and talking about something you found frustrating or discouraging. Things like that. It could even rotate homes with a different person in the group hosting the whole group every week. Just something informal like that would help me feel supported. This site does a good job of emulating that, but there is no substitute for being face to face with people who believe the same as you and are there to help you fight through the hordes of Christians. 

 

My fundie family was making fun of the atheist churches back at Thanksgiving. It made me upset since I am a sort of atheist. They were laughing at  the "stupid" atheists who "just figured out" that church is important. Laughing about atheists singing self-praise hymns to their glory. They are convinced that atheists are selfish egoists. I wanted to punch someone. A small atheist meeting where I could have vented that would have been helpful haha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While I am sure that this is far from the "best" interpretation, but how could anything be more "selfish" than believing you are going to live forever and ever in an eternal glory?

 

That is I know now how all Christians view their religion, but it's certainly how many of its most vocal evangelists preach it. You better get saved!

 

I am far more appreciative for those people within Christianity who preach messages that pertain to improving life for everyone in the here and now.

 

I look at it this way:

 

It may be true that just accepting Jesus, accepting god has sacrificed for me so that by my free choice I can live forever. That is one hypothesis. If it is true then it stands in contrast with the observation that all forms of life behave as if death is something to *avoid*. Even most people who believe they will live forever tend to want to live as long as possible in "this mortal life".

 

Yet, if it is not true, if it is true that when we die our consciousness subsides and we never have personal identity again, then we must strive to improve conditions of the world as it is to ensure that our species and other species survive for as long as possible, and that often means reducing some of our individual, personal desires for "more".

 

I understand how some people can say that believing you will not live forever would lead to not caring about the generations to come. Surely, some people live that way. I would be very curious however as to how different the average non theist is from the average theist in terms of day to day life, morals, behavior toward the larger community, etc.

 

Recent reports I heard about said conservative Christians tended to give more money to charity, both religious and secular charities. If that's true, then while it doesn't entail their belief system is literally true, it does certainly raise interesting questions to understand why.

 

I wouldn't want to go to "church" per se. I think the word "church" is loaded with too much of my past. But I do know that not going to church has caused me to be even more of a homebody. So I think it would be good to meet up regularly with a small group of fellow atheists/agnostics/whatevers and just talk about the week and relax. Our culture is full of Christian things and it gets very tiring to battle it alone. But meeting regularly could be a stress release and improve the physical/mental health of those present.

 

Topics could be arranged around different issues of the atheist life or just going around and talking about something you found frustrating or discouraging. Things like that. It could even rotate homes with a different person in the group hosting the whole group every week. Just something informal like that would help me feel supported. This site does a good job of emulating that, but there is no substitute for being face to face with people who believe the same as you and are there to help you fight through the hordes of Christians.

 

My fundie family was making fun of the atheist churches back at Thanksgiving. It made me upset since I am a sort of atheist. They were laughing at the "stupid" atheists who "just figured out" that church is important. Laughing about atheists singing self-praise hymns to their glory. They are convinced that atheists are selfish egoists. I wanted to punch someone. A small atheist meeting where I could have vented that would have been helpful haha.

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I like community, feeling like I'm a part of something larger than myself.

 

Over the years I have hardly gone to church, I get triggered seeing someone in a pulpit & talking, however I am really

trying to overcome that. I have taken classes and the set up is just like church, one person in the front at a podium, speaking to everyone.

I realized I needed to try to get over my triggers because I want to further my education and the set up is very similar to the sermon!

Oh well.

 

I think it's good to have alternatives to church. I don't miss much about "church" but the community is something that I do miss a little. (even though it was fake-i still felt I was a part, don't ask me why....???)

I've gone to Humanist meetings and they are a lot like church...singing- a speaker (sermon) and -passing the plate and at the end announcements. I am very leery to join.

I do wish I had others, comrades to get together and chat, debate, drink, enjoy each others company and just relate to. Someday.

 

Fortunately I do have some people in my life that understand, who like myself left abusive religion, but we don't see each other face to face. It's either on the phone, emails, online or text.

I'm glad I have my husband who left the church w/ me, but he's done talking about it mostly...gets irritated with me when I try to pick it apart and rehash it.

I don't blame him though! LOL :D

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