Church? LSR? or Both?
I've the same view as you wilkie.
It does seem unsual these days for somebody to say "I don't know" rather than being dogmatic.
I am just back from a bible study session.
We started with an excerpt from a Monty Python film about the search for the holy grail.
I think "I don't know" is a really healthy attitude to adopt. An opening enquiring mind. Exactly what I was discouraged from having when I was involved in the Christian faith.
I was also briefly involved in Subhud which is not a religion but a spiritual practice. Again, what led me to finish my involvement was too much dogma and the belief in a higher power.
I do not believe in a higher power. But I am stil open to sprituality and things beyond my ability to explain them.
Hi to the Select Crowd.
I went to church this morning.
We had a guest speaker, he mentioned about a man he met in Scotland, who had been to church (Kirk) for most of his life, but only became a Christian on joining an Alpha course, and learning why Jesus came among us.
I then went on a fairly short (11m) LSR (I did nearly 15m Yesterday)Started food prep for this evening.Watched the men's 5000, and the women's 1500 on the BBC.went to bed for an hour.Back to church for another guest speaker.Home to finish the cooking and eat the food. Roast beef, assorted veg - pots,mushrooms, peppers, carrot, & parsnip, with a plum based sauce. Plum and oat bake with evap' to finish. washed down with shiraz.
I've found reading this entire thread really interesting and quite thoguht provoking. I live with Mr S and little in S in a small village. We don't have a service every week at the village Church, just once or twice a month. Little S thinks our vicar Charlie is fantastic and is not averse to asking typical four year old questions mid sermon. I'm glad to say his enquiring mind is encouraged by our small congregation. So, for me if there is a service at Church that's where we go, then lunch then an afternoon/evening LSR. If no service, extra snooze in bed and a LSR at some point during the day.
I completely agree with all the comments about being put off church as a kid. I recall trotting along to Church with my mum because that's just what you did and having to sit very quietly through very long tedious services. Everyone makes up their own mind in the end.
a really interesting thread!
I'd class myself as someone who does believe, but hasn't done a lot about it in recent years in terms of going to church regularly. Once in a while is more like it.
Personally, I go rowing on Sunday mornings, so LSR is either after work on Friday (always a joy) or Saturday. (Did try it after rowing once or twice - disaster - legs didn't work at all)
But I find it interesting that so many events - whether running, rowing, whatever - are held on Sunday mornings with the clear expectation that no-one will find this clashes with church. How expectations have changed over the last decades.
I quite agree with others that to my mind regular, clockwork, church attendance is not the be-all and end-all of a person's religious life. But I was on a course recently where I met a woman who said that she didn't like the fact that so many races were Sunday am. because church, for her, was really important and she was forever having to chose between two things which meant a lot to her - her running and her faith. She said she didn't do half as many events as she otherwise would have done.
Are there not also evening services, though?
Several other posters on here have referred to them. Perhaps it depends on your church.
I have been surprised by the number of church-goers on the forum. Other than my mother, I don't know anyone else who goes to church.
I guess a thread with a title like this would attract them even though they might not be that numerous, WIlkie.
If I don't believe in something, then I just leave it at that as long as it's a reasonable conclusion to draw based on the evidence, I don't really see it as something I need to work on.
On 2 February 2007 it was widely reported that Edwards had lost his faith in God despite him once saying "My relationship with Jesus and God is fundamental to everything I do. I have made a commitment and dedication in that relationship to serve God in every area of my life."
The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Mail" title="Daily Mail">Daily Mail</a> described Edwards as a "man deeply troubled by the collapse of his Christian faith" but revealed that a friend said "[Edwards] has a deep, theological comprehension of the Bible, making his spiritual meltdown even more unlikely ... They still go to church as a family" The Daily Mail article also quoted Edwards as saying that he is going through a difficult period in his life, one that is deeply personal to him and his family such that he does not wish to comment on.
Edwards presented episodes of the Christian praise show <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_of_Praise" title="Songs of Praise">Songs of Praise</a> until 2007.
In an interview in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times" title="The Times">The Times</a> on 27 June 2007,Edwards said: "If there is no God, does that mean that life has no purpose? Does it mean that personal existence ends at death? They are thoughts that do my head in. One thing that I can say, however, is that even if I am unable to discover some fundamental purpose to life, this will not give me a reason to return to Christianity. Just because something is unpalatable does not mean that it is not true." Furthermore, in the interview with the Times he also stated "When you think about it rationally, it does seem incredibly improbable that there is a God." In the same interview he also said "I feel internally happier than at any time of my life." Edwards confirmed his rejection of Christianity in an interview on BBC Five Live Sportsweek on 29 July 2007
I'm not a believer in god, I only go to church for weddings, funerals and christenings.I would like to offer this, an excerpt from Jonathan's thoughts on why he gave up his faith as I feel it parallels some of my thoughts and the pressures placed upon myself as a child being forced to attend church as we all did back then.
Edwards was confronting an apocalyptic realisation: that it was all a grand mistake; that his epiphany was nothing more than self-delusion; that his inner sense of God’s presence was fictitious; that the decisions he had taken in life were based on a false premise; that the Bible is not literal truth but literal falsehood; that life is not something imbued with meaning from on high but, possibly, a purposeless accident in an unfeeling universe.
I guess that's the thing about free will. You can accept or deny the existence of God as you see fit. Jonathan Edwards has changed his mind and has chosen to deny. We should celebrate our freedom to choose.
I like a healthy debate. It is well known that I do NOT deny the existence of God - and He's a good running partner too.
So answer me this, if religion is free choice how come nearly all religious Europeans and Americans are Christain, nearly all Arabic countries Muslim, India is Hindu and so on. Given that large portions of the world beleive something differnt, what makes any one group think they have the correct answer. Can't they all be wrong?
Its down to indoctrination, not choice.
MF - Of course they can all be wrong, just as any variety of atheism and secularism can be wrong too.
Everybody lives within a culture and all of us are influenced by the assumptions and values of that culture. That doesn't mean that we don't have choice in those beliefs, but it does mean that our thinking will have been shaped in particular ways. Someone raised in a tradition of western materialism is likely to find it much harder to believe in God than someone raised in, say, a spiritualist worldview in Africa.
The word "indoctrination" gets misused in discussions about religion. Indoctrination means something very specific, i.e. imposing a set of beliefs through techniques of manipulation (in effect, brainwashing). There are religious groups that do that (they're usually called cults), just as there have been people who have attempted to indoctrinate atheism into populations, as in some Communist regimes. Responsible religious groups don't do that. Jonathan Edwards is a good example of someone changing his mind and being allowed to do so.
If you see everything as indoctrination, you then have to ask questions about your own views. Doesn't the fact that you've been raised in a predominantly secular culture mean that you're "indoctrinated" too? How can you be sure that your own views are anything more than cultural conditioning?
To me, it seems much more reasonable and realistic to think that all of us have free choice within certain limitations. All of us have been trained to think in certain ways by the culture(s) that we live in. Faced with a different belief system, we can ask questions of it: does it make sense? Is it satisfying? Is it consistent with other things that we believe to be true? From there, we can move towards making a decision about it.
I don't believe in god and I personally feel very hypocritical going to a religious ceremony (marriage, funeral etc) in a place of worship
I don't believe in the sentiments or prayers and my beliefs also mean that I don't sing hymns (luckily for everyone else!!) and can't get married in a church
I will also say that this isn't limited to christian ceremonies, but all religion
So then Aardvark, what would you call the baptising of a small child who is not able to freely make his mind up as to whether he/she want to become a christian as a choice of their own free will, Would you call it an "Induction" or "Introduction"
Seems to me as if the choice has already been made.
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