to go to church if I don't believe in God?

(53 Posts)
ChristYoni Fri 12-Apr-13 18:31:35

I think I might start going to church. A couple of conversatiions lately have set me off.

My Uncle is v religious, used to be a minister and a missionary, he's one of my favourite people. Has devoted his whole life to helping others.

So we were debating religion, as you do, and I was saying about loving the whole community aspect of church but, what with being an atheist and all, I dont' go. And he replied that he thinks many many anglican priests/ministers are in fact atheists, but that the church is the best medium to really make a difference. And that in his experience many of the best and nicest Christians aren't necessarily terribly devout, that faith in your actions and living well is the real point. And that you can serve God without believing in him.

Then today we went to this Kids club thing today that we've been going to all week, which is put on by the local church which is v happy clappy. And while the kids wre playing I had a free manicure. And I was chatting to the lady about how fab the facilities are but for a £ per child they can't make any money. And she smiled and said, the money's not the point, it's about serving the community. And then she invited me to the family service on Sunday, where the kids go off and do fun stuff and the adults have a sing song and a bit of prayer and do all the god bothering.

And I though, yeah, I coudl get on board with that. Dip my toe in and see if it suits. I certainly like the ethos and I've been going to the toddler group they run for years and they are all REALLY lovely people.

So, whaddya reckon? Is it morally objectional to join a church for the community do gooding and free manicures? Do you think I'll end up believing and being all devout and stuff, despite my fairly solid atheist leanings?

Is this my worst idea ever or my best?

AIBU?

drudgewithagrudge Sat 13-Apr-13 11:46:14

I can see what you mean OP. I was brought up in a religious household and attended church on and off until my late 40's. Over the years I have become an agnostic but lack the certainty to be an atheist.

I love the liturgy of the Church of England especially the Book of Common Prayer, can't stand the new one. I would like to go to a church where it is used but I could not in all conscience stand up and say the Apostles' Creed or take Holy Communion.

What I want is a nice old church I can go to on Sunday evenings, I love Evensong, preferably without a sermon, because I always want to argue with the Vicar and they tend not to like it.

I also don't want to get involved with cliques in church because every one I have attended has had one and it spoils it for me. I just want to go in, be left on my own and go out without getting involved if you see what I mean. Purely selfish I suppose.

thermalsinapril Sat 13-Apr-13 12:54:15

twofingerstoGideon yes there are unfortunately churches like the ones you describe. I wouldn't touch a fundamentalist, extremely right-wing church like that with a bargepole and that's not Christianity as I understand it. There are also very right-wing churches at the very "high church" end of the spectrum who are anti women priests etc. Fortunately there are also a lot of liberal, welcoming, tolerant churches for feminist lefties like myself grin They are not perfect but I think they are closer to what Jesus would have wanted, and I've met many people who are committed to making the church a better place and serving the community.

grovel Sat 13-Apr-13 16:13:32

I used to go regularly to Eton College chapel. I'm not a believer.

Lovely 15th century building.
Fabulous music.
Sermons aimed at 15-18 year old boys. Not very "Goddy", but thought-provoking.

I found it uplifting just to have some reflective time in a giddy world.

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