We need church because we're designed as relational beings. Spiritual growth occurs in the context of relationships that we'll find in a fellowship of Christians. A Christian lifestyle is best practiced when it is lived out in community. Only in relationships can we learn what it means to be patient, loving, giving, or sacrificial. Even God's gifts to you are meant to function in relation to others: "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the maifold grace of God"
I'm quite happy to agree with you that Christians should attend church, same as golfers should attend the golf course and readers should visit the library. But we don't play golf in the library or swim in the cafe. So I wouldn't expect too many non-Christians to come flocking to the church.
But they might get a hectic prophesy if they do. that happened to this one girl because God wanted to reach. She got the most hectic prophesy ever. I was quite jealous actually. But happy for her.
Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a hectic prophecy?
A prediction made while guzzling espresso. Similar to the condition known as irrational bowel syndrome.
Yeah, I get that when I have eaten too many giant beans
Thanks, guys: you two just made me snort my Dairy Queen Chocolate Extreme Blizzard all over my keyboard. . .
It's an evangelical southern thing. You know - talking in tongues, shaking, having visions etc. The baptists thrive on it. At least I am guessing this one is a baptist. Dated a baptist minister's daughter for a while. Hoo boy...
Kostas the Goat Herder does that when he has had too much home-stilled Raki. Does that mean that he has been touched by the hand of the divine?
Say no more
Sounds devilish. I'm concerned it could be a possession type experience.
I don't agree that there are any good reasons to go to church and I hope that more people will stop going and start thinking for themselves. I'm all for God but can't say the same about religion. Something that really opened my eyes is a documentary with Bill Maher "Religulous". Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gxc0XEoQpQ
A good point was made: "religion must die in order for humanity to survive".
Do you believe the two are mutually exclusive?
I was raised Catholic and always had questions in the back of my mind about church and religion but for some reason it never seemed important to me to have them answered (I guess I followed tradition). Once I really asked myself and wanted answers my intellect just couldn't support those ideas any longer. In my opinion, church discourages any individual thinking and is in place to control people.
I'm all for morality and spiritually but I don't believe that you need a church (a building) and someone telling you how to pray. You don't need 10 commandments in order to be good because there should be much more than just 10 and if human beings really used there intelligence they would understand this.
It appears current church teachings are not about intelligence and active thinking. There is something very powerful FOR the person standing in front of hundreds of people and preaching and making them feel good. If the vulnerable need something to make them feel good, they'll believe anything and keep wanting it. There is a difference between sating the animal cravings of feeling cared for, and actually being cared for. The lures of Ahriman entice the human into a false sense of being cared for - similar to the smell of McDonald's fries. Not everything that smells good and tastes good, is good for you. Not to be able to discern the difference is part of what's creating the dumbing down of America. That is extremely dangerous.
There is a difference between the entity that is the church and belief. There is a difference between beliefs you use your intellect to understand and those that you are told to believe a priori.
I believe there is nothing wrong with tradition, but it is not a substitute for anything.
Did you ever talk to anyone at your church about these misgivings?
That's an interesting point of view, but are you suggesting that a person can only have a relationship with whatever God they believe in IF they attend religious services? Or do you mean that followers need to be in the company of like minded believers at least once a week?
Either way I rather do my "relating" on the Golf Course. ;-)
People don't go to church for many reasons:
1. They don't believe they need to
2. They don't have the time or they can't be bothered
3. They are not totally immersed in the christian religion
4. They believe they have more important things to do
5. It's boring
6. The church gathering is either too early or too late
7. They believe being kind and just is enough
Excuses, excuses, excuses, We need more Evangelist, more God fearing encouragers; 2. We are on God's time, time don't belong to us; They can't be bothered? Trust and believe they are not doing God any favors, Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The audacity "can't be bothered." Prayer in need. 3. Either you are a follower of Christ or you are not. 4. This is real idiotic, Nothing is more important than being obedient unto the Lord, the one who gives eternal life. 5. If you are doing what you are suppose to be Church is never boring (pray, praise, & worship) no room for boredom. 6. Time is not of the essence labouring for a paycheck that most is depending on from pc to pc, If they depend on God and please Him their needs would be supplied stress free. 7. Just a part of service unto the Lord. I am not saying that the excuses are yours, I've been introduced to some of them.
One god fearing evangelical religionist's excuse is another rational person's perfectly good reason.
Oh Mark, that is a beautiful quote. Do you mind if I use it? I'll give you full credit of course.
Some folks are rational, but there is no perfectly good reason to not want to attend church.
Why are you here? Why haven't you published a hub yet?
Yes it is. Since this is a forum for hubbers, shouldn't there be a requirement that you publish at least one hub before ranting? I'm all for being inclusive, but if someone can't even find the time and cahones to publish at least once, what profound thoughts are they likely to have?
They must be thinking there is no god or may dont have time to visit so....simple...
Not as simple as you may believe. God instructs us to compel all to come into His house. There is living proof of God's existence.
Yeah, well that's all very well, but until you resolve the pants issue, we'll never get to the crux of the matter. God does not wear pants to church, neither shall I.
This is a dangerous view to hold. You believe in God. You believe your God orders you to make me do things against my will. Isn't this called tyranny?
I've considered going to Mosque (Masjid), Synagogue and Church, once a week for all three; I think it may give me a different (maybe insightful, I'm not sure) view of the world.
Yet, for now, I hold my prayer beads tightly.
Dont know about other people but me-Im lazy, just too easy to sit in front of a screen I guess.
There is going to come a time when you will need God to answer a prayer, What if God said "I'm lazy, just too easy to turn you off."
So - your god will only answer prayers of people who go to church?
Sorry Mark! Looks like you miss out.
You neither pray, nor attend church. Oh well, we'll have to answer your questions instead.
God loves those who reverence Him. I was just saying "What If?" as like with the joke you posted. My God that I exemplify is no respecter of persons, He is a loving, compassionate, forgiving, all knowing God.
You can be a religious person and not attend church.
We may know and love God on our own, but we become complete in him when we're connected to the life of the church. God wants a personal relationship with his children, and he wants his children to experience that relationship with other Christians. You need church for spiritual maturity.
Some people may think that church and god are not on speaking terms, especially if they are historians.
I think that being in a church is an important part of our relationship with God. its also great to be in a community who believe the same thing that you do.
Many people miss church for lots of reasons. I know someone who doesn't like to go because they work hard the entire week and Sunday is their only day to rest, but they still believe in God. Other people don't go because their spouse won't go or they have no one to go with. Some people just want to sleep late, and other are offended with the church or see it as unnecessary. My favourite pastor always used to say that the un-churched Christian is a gross anomaly, and in my own experience this has proved true because I have become much closer to Go since I started going to church again. I have found that going is quite simple once you are in the habit of it, and it usually goes quickly and I usually learn a lot more than I would if I didn't go. Going to church has helped me to see the amazing transformations that God has started in other people's lives. I do recommend going at least now and then. I missed a week or two because I was very busy and exhausted but I'm glad I went again this week and want to go next week again.
If I come to your church, must I wear pants? This has been a problem at other churches.
Reminds me of joke my 17 yr old son sent me.
A man went to church one sunday and the preacher didnt like his attire it was ragged jeans and shirt so he asked the man to come the next sunday to ask God what he would approve of for him to wear.. The next sunday he wore the same thing and the preacher asked why he didnt wear something else.
Man replied "I Asked God what I should wear here and he said he didnt know because he had never been in this church either "
lol, God is more interested in what we wear inside ,than outside
Very nice joke. The truth about your attire / apparal is that it begins on the inside with your heart (soul), this is God's concern your soul (heart). Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and you have surrender your will unto Him, repent and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord who was crucified, died, and resurrected so that your sins and your transgressions may be forgiven, you become a new creature in Christ. Being this new creature you learn how to live differently (spiritually), you learn how to be subjective and humble in so doing you subject yourself to the one God has chosen to lead the church. By subjecting ones self and being humble unto the one whom has rule over you, you obey their rules and regulation pertainning to the way they want you to present and or represent the house of God. After all you do want them (those that have rule over you) to give a joyous account of your soul unto God. Don't try to make a issue out of nothing. You wear what you have and God will make the way for you to gain proper attire. Obey Him and trust Him.
No worries. Just pick out a nice skirt. We won't judge.
I don't go to church, except for weddings and funerals, because on Sundays for many years I've preferred to go sailing. Moreover, I'm appalled by the mischief, ignorance, divisiveness and discord, not to mention wars and terrorism, perpetuated by many if not all religions. I recognize that many religions perform useful charitable works and have performed a role in shaping and transmitting moral values to which I subscribe. However, moral values are also shaped in other ways, by philosophers and political leaders like Gandhi, ML King, Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and others.
Pretty much with you on that, Ralph - much prefer to go up the mountain than church. Mind you, they speak a really archaic form of Greek in church, which I cannot understand anyway
What my Grandad called going to church for "hatches, matches and dispatches"
Church was meant to be a 'house of prayer', but we see how they have become more like a 'marketplace', where the Gospel is dispensed like merchandise sold to the masses. Going to church is 'church-anity', while 'living the teaching', like Jesus did is Christianity. Jesus went about doing good, loving on people, caring, healing, teaching and feeding. Churches become boring when they are irrelevant.
Actually, the last "issue" involved my choice of loafers, socks, trench coat and nothing else as suitable church attire.
Lol, I don't know why they had a problem with that...
Ha! They probably objected when you opened the trench coat!
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_M1b8vlfAYdw/S … lasher.jpg
How did you find that picture of me so quickly?
I believe in praising Creation in my daily life, not once a week in a building. Church is a great place for like-minded individuals to gather and express their faith but I do not by any stretch think that going to church is a requisite for supping with God.
Churches and religion are created by men, for the purpose of organizing (as well as controlling) mass amounts of people. In the past, the ignorant and uneducated congregations would hang on every word handed down by the privileged clergy- who also made most of the laws of whatever land they inhabited.
Churches have historically been the perpetrators of some of the greatest human rights violations of all time (inquisition, anyone?).
I'm not saying that churches today don't perpetuate some wonderful ideas and behaviors and provide a great framework for kiddies to start out with (be nice, don't kill, etc..) but it seems painfully obvious that they are very much of man's devising and not God's.
Thank you! The Natives of North America couldn't understand why the European settlers found them sinful and barbaric for not attending church, since they lived and breathed reverence for God/Creator. All about perspective, I suppose.
Good to see that more people are returning to basics. The churches here are very ornate and beautiful, but they are just buildings to me. I would much rather sit at the top of the mountain for a while
Very interesting opinion. The church is the body of Christ; All believers of Jesus Christ unite daily to serve the Lord by way of prayer, praise and worship. Manmade buildings are where the believers congregate. When Jesus returns "His second coming" He is returning for His bride, His bride being the "church."
I, too, find your opinion interesting. Thank you for your keeping the conversation civil as I always enjoy a genuine exchange about such topics. I by no means think that I am "right" in the all-encompassing sense of the word - I only know what's right for me!
I'm afraid I'll get behind on the payments and they'll re-posess my soul!
I think someone can believe in God and not attend church. The one thing that sort of has never persuaded me to join church was seeing people preaching all the things they thought you should not do, and then seeing those same people do many of those same things. I am sure there are some great churches and some wonderful people there, but one can have a faith and be faithful without a church.
No offense, but why do you care if that bothers me?! Many people I know do not attend church for the same reason, and I am entitled to feel however I like about attending church.
You sure can feel however you want. Sorry for asking, I thought maybe there was a discussion afoot...but I guess you're above that sort of thing...
I am not above anything, but it was the way you worded your question. Maybe you should think more about how things are coming across on your end. Just a suggestion.
Maybe you should just take questions as they are asked rather than guessing at motives.
Well I do not apologize for what I thought because honestly I would never say to someone "why does that bother you so much?" There are other ways to phrase a question without sounding as if I were bothered, which I am not . This is getting very silly very quick, and after all it was just a suggestion.
Think about writing a few PARAGRAPHS, TK... Come on! You can't teach an old teacher new tricks???
Yeah man, write some hubs.
P.S. GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, ok, I'm workin' on it.
And you know ol' horseface commercial addict is having nightmares about the return of Mr. Bundchen!
You first must develop a personal relationship with God, when you see someone not practicing what they preach pray for them and do not become discouraged, continue to attend church services and maybe some one will learn from you and or see how God is blessing you because of your obedience.
Even though I attend one does not have to attend regularly to get the word of God they simply have to believe and read. Fellowshipping is great but not always necessary.
If you dont believe in organized religion, in essence you are saying that God is not organized. Who will baptize you if there is no church? How could one partake in a single ordinance that has been established by Jesus if there were no priests, ministers, evangelists, or teachers?
"18": Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
"19": Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
"20": For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Oh, God is organised, don't you worry. He just didn't organise religion. We did that ourselves.
well put, all good reasons for attenance to the house of God.
Yeah in these verses Jesus is talking to the apostles, His first bishops and priests. He is saying what they bind or loose on earth shall also be bound or loosed in heaven. The Bible makes it very clear that we need organized religion for Baptism and the other Sacraments, especially the Eucharist (John 6:47-59).
I find it interesting LG that you use Matthew 18:18-20 cause the very verse before them mentions the word church twice in it. Matthew 18:17 - "17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican."
It says the same in the King James Bible.
"Church" in that sense not being a go-to-building-on-Sundays meaning, though.
Yeah I realize the word church does not mean a building. But those that are members of Jesus Christ's Church go to those buildings that we are talking about. Those buildings were built by the congregation of Jesus Christ's Church to give reverence to their Lord and Savior.
In Matthew 18.20 Jesus proclaimed, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." God is always with us as individuals, but Jesus seems to be saying that there is also a unique quality of communion that he shares with us when we meet together as His church.
My idea of God and Christ is not the one of any particular church. I enjoy reading the Bible from time to time, but I do not feel a need to go to church. There is beauty to just be found in reading the Bible, as I find in any book. Saying you do not believe in organized religion is not saying God is disorganized. Some people just have a different idea of God than a mainstream church might, and I find that to be a very beautiful thing.
I agree, if you dont find a religion that is congruent with the true teachings of Christ, then by all means you should not attend. But why should you let yourself off the hook? keep looking for the right one. It doesn't nessicarily mean that the right religion is convenient or easy, but that it is the most correct, has the most virtue, and teaches the truely edifying points of the gosple by the holy spirit, and try to remember that noone is perfect.
You are correct, there is none perfect but one and that one is Jesus Christ
I like Catholic masses actually, even though I have not been to one in awhile. Non-denominational ones are also nice. Maybe some day I will go again, if I feel the compulsion to do so.
Agreed. Because they are actually almost artistically and traditionally lovely at times, and it is what I grew up with. Though I don't find the compulsion generally either. I'm with Emily Dickinson most days.
But certainly I don't want to discuss my beliefs on this forum in sound bytes, for fear of being chastised--if not by any means in any sound critical or philosophical way.
That's the greatest legacy of the Catholic tradition - they commissioned the best artists, architects, stonemasons, sculptors and musicians. Because they couldn't do it themselves - plainsong, porridge and calligraphy... hmm
I just prefer to write smaller posts when I feel like it. If someone chastises me for not being more faithful I guess I should be up for it, but honestly posting is just fun for me, so I do not feel the need to write more. If I want to write a hub on religion I guess I would, but I just have not had the desire to these days. However, Emily Dickson actually sounds more interesting than religion to be honest.
I don't go to Church because I don't feel the need to.
I don't go to Church because I can communicate with God anywhere.
I don't got to Church because I am not a particular religion.
That's why I don't go
I think a large part of the reason why people don't go to church is because churches get such horrific reputations for being a places frequented by too many bombastic, supercillious, proselytizing, close-minded windbags. The representation of "the church" is all messed up right now. The people who are the most motivated to "bring in more" and go out and do it are often the absolutely worst possible representatives ever. It's like Satan is picking them himself. Even the ones who feign innocence and pose seemingly innocuous questions frequently turn out to be manipulators attempting cleverness, unaware that the tricks are exhausted and exhausting as much as they are visible to those who can see.
Not everyone is like that who attempts to convert, change, convince, or sell religions is like that, obviously. But so many are, that, well, all the apples are ruined for most people. NObody cares enough to dig through all the rancid apples to find the good one. Odds are, the good one is just doing good apple-works anyway. Silently. Converting by the magnetism of goodness and the charisma of the genuine, rather than strategy.
And thanks to Shades for always providing some much needed meta thoughts!
It's so true that you tend to be attracted to people by their presence and how they feel. People who have depth usually need to be addressed from a real truth and caring. It's easy to see who is preaching because they are winning brownie points, and those passing knowledge from an honest empathic place inside themselves. It's very transparent. For decades the gospels and rituals spoken in churches have had no heart behind them. Priests lost the art of ritual and passing meaning to people. It's as if they disconnected from people generally. Perhaps it was a sense of being too authoritarian, not sure. Compassion was one thing lost. Anyone who was schooled by the catholic system knows what it was like to have nuns at the blackboard. Their lack of human warmth was shocking. And to be representatives of God, how on earth is anyone meant to respect a person who comes from anger constantly and lacks compassion to children. Rare that you would find a patient kind nun in the system. And they answered to the parish priest who was not much better.
Then there has been the issue of child molestation throughout the church. The whole of Ireland was rocked at it's foundations by the disgusting behavior of those who were trusted with a link to god and the spiritual nurturing of their children. Betrayal is one word for how they feel, absolute disgust is another.
Lack of honor, lack of trust, lack of presence, lack of connection with the world, archaic actions - not keeping up with the modern world.
Interesting it's difficult to walk into a christian church and find presence. Notre Damme is one, though you really need to tune in to feel it. In Italy, particularly in the smaller towns there are churches that still have a descent feel to them. But allot of churches are heavy and not a comfort to be in. Yet you can go into a Buddhist temple and feel spiritual presences quite tangibly. Is interesting exercise to do some Temple and Church hoping to become discerning with this.
Lack of honor and lack of trust will ruin anything in time, be it church, business or one-on-one relationship. But a church with no presence is emptiness - and presence is not just about how high your arches are and how fancy your windows.
Well good news for the Republic of Ireland now. "Ireland still has the highest percentage of regular church goers in Western Europe. The huge influx of mostly Catholic Eastern Europeans has, if anything, strengthened the Catholic Church. The latest surveys (late 2007) suggest that church attendance is climbing after more than a decade of decline."
That is interesting. Will wait and see what happens over the next 10 years Mike. I'd also like to see the demographic as youth groups have fallen. Agnostics are increasing and the influence can't be ruled out. Feels more like the celtic ways, paganism will always be at the heart of the Irish land.
Old habits die hard and many older catholics are going to church because if they don't they will be damned to hell. It's strongly impregnated in their psyche. I've allot of friends in Ireland and the flavor they give is one of much anger and a lack of trust for the church.
OK, guys, lol... I do get a kick out of this dialogue because it is so black and white and missing mostly anything approaching a level of serious discussion (and I'm talking in general, not to anyone specifically here).
Tell me that this man needs to be told that his beliefs were dangerous, destructive, maladaptive, irrational or that he should have been instructed:
I don't think so. (Though I'm sure somebody'll try--then I'll have to laugh.)
I rest my case about this religion forum. Augh...get me back to the politics forum...
I like to think I can make an argument for anything, do the Devil's Advocate etc. I'm not saying it would be easy, but given some time I could twist that into something threatening.
Then it is an empty edifice and should be abandoned. I have no argument against that.
(For the record I am an a la carte menu spiritualist--finding truth in many ideas/traditions.) I did grow up Catholic.
But one of the things I like about Donahue is that he suggests that the current manifestation of religion is not what MUST be believed. Too many make that mistake. It is, like anything else, an 'ism' or could (and probably is--at least what we object to) even be a bastardization.
I hate isms. I don't categorize myself because it gives people fuel to think they know who I am intellectually. In fact they have no idea because they've not met me, had food with me, slept with me, cried with me, danced with me. Isms are crap and provide division for opinionated righteous people.
I prefer the experiential path personally. I'm not interested in dogma at all unless it helps me discern my own experiences. I think that's what the intention of written spiritual works was supposed to be about. I used to align myself to being a spiritualist (I was naive like that), until I discovered that was also a group and I didn't fit that mold either.
Thanks, Jewel. 'Spiritualist' used as I used it was probably intended in an 'experiential' way, but here we get back to semantics again.
And you are absolutely right. I fit no mold but my own and feel that would be wrong--and against any truth or God, frankly.
Explaining my naivity, I am totally for finding our essence, by going inside, using the third eye etc. (Find our God inside). I thought that was what it meant to be a spiritualist. And transformation of self, seeing yourself. Yes semantics.
Is so interesting about those who are frowned upon for being atheist. Because from an experiential standpoint, they are often more spiritual than those who preach words of God. By their actions, by their interaction with other people they are in their truth. And they have an intellectual understanding of what it means to be virtuous. At the end of the day, this is the major requirement! If I can be so bold as to say that is God's requirement. To thine own self be true.
I've noticed a theme on this forum that I agree with and that is spiritual hypocriosy.The biggest turn off to me on church is this hypocrisy,preaching one thing and living the opposite.I've met religious people who are at the strip clubs getting drunk on Saturday night and hungover in churches Sunday morning.On the other hand I have met missionaries,with the program Doctors Without Borders who risk life and limb in some of the most dangerous places on earth to bring medical help to the children of this world.They don't attend church while they are evading guerrillas and counter revolutionaries and it is their faith that they carry within them that leads them to risk everything to save the life of even a single child.I know this because my sister is one of these doctors.
I've met an Oxford educated theologian who does not go to church and rather spends his time building a road from a villiage in Haiti,to the nearest town and providing bio-diesel converters to power their vehicles with fuel made from garbage,I have offered to go with him as I've deemed this a worthy cause.I don't go to church,I see no point in sitting in a box and singing songs while the world suffers.However I do know that the churches provide what's needed in donations to make the improbable missions of the missionaries possible.
It is the hypocrites who use their power of influence over others to enrich themselves that bothers me and I suspect why most people do not go to church.It's a sweet gig to be able to say give me 10% of everything you make or you're going to hell and the spiritual leader runs out after service to buy himself a new car,you know stimulating the economy and all but there are still churches that support orphanages etc... around the world solely on the tithes of their members.In this debate it is easy to forget the works that these churches provide,even the hypocritical ones.Somewhere tonight there is a child sleeping in a shelter with a tummy filled with more than just stomach acids and maybe a vaccination recieved today that will save his life.
Ok, and when they are not in the field none of these doctors ever go to strip clubs or get hungover? How about missionaries who are working in those exact same countries?
Not the ones that I have met,they usually live as the natives do without electricity and bring their own rations.
The ones I refer to,I can answer no.One is my sister and she is devout in her faith and in her practice of medicine.The other you can find here:
I consider this man to do more than talk the talk and he is constantly walking the walk.
Wow! You really said a mouth full. If I may not all believers are as mature in the Lord as you are. God gives us grace to grow. Those in which you may see partying on Saturday eve and hungover in church on Sunday morn are still yet sucklings, they do not have spiritual discernment. Reguardless of what the Pastor does with the 10% (your Tithe) is between him/her and God (the maker) so long as you have done what the Lord commanded you to do, trust in the Lord that he sees all and knows all and donot ever let anyone discourage you from attending church, church is the source of soul edification. The missionaries had to learn of missionary duties by attending church, I richly give honor to all missionaries.
I think the vast majority of people who say "I'm 'spiritual' but I don't like organized religion" are a total cop-out. The vast majority of faiths are a matter of community, and if you remove that aspect of them you miss an essential element in what constitutes the underlying spirituality. The modern secular culture has drilled the message of "Everything is about me, I am wonderful no matter what I do, and morality is just a scam to trick me out of the 'right' to wallow in self-obsession as I am entitled to" to such an extent that communities of faith are terrifying to those too shallow to look beyond their own noses. It's like someone who wants to think of himself as well educated but is too lazy to go to school. Some rare few can educate themselves alone at home but even they miss an important aspect of education. Most will convince themselves that they have done it though they barely glanced at a few chapters in a few books, and they will deny their ignorance to the end rather than address what they are really afraid of.
Ironically, this type often claims to be quite supportive of other 'community' concerns.
One can get actually sick of 'education,' lol, I would point out, TK. Take it from someone with 3 BA's. To speak in something of a metaphor, once you have the intermediates down, it is hard to sit in any kind of class at that level...I've tried. Only thing I'd feel would fit for me at this point is a PhD. with an independent thesis.
But I can see what you are saying. I'd say the types of which you speak are basically analogous (and probably in number, too) to those who are in an organized religion and really haven't examined themselves either.
Not sure where you are coming from on that one - the journey is a personal one, so I fail to see why anybody *must* go to church. I do not regard myself as amoral, shallow or self-centred. Introspection is a perfectly valid method to find answers - I never found anything in churches, and prefer to climb the mountain and think for a while. Not a 'cop-out,' but my own personal beliefs, arrived at after many years of thought, an ongoing process.
This is certainly not fear of 'looking beyond my own nose,' ignorance, or fear of what I am really afraid of. It is little bit of a blanket generalisation. Possibly true in some cases, but to use 'vast majority' is a very judgmental assumption. I find that there is some hypocrisy in most religions, but no more than in any other walk of life - there are always self-serving people.
No, it's not, at least not entirely. That's the point. Man is a social animal. We all know that a single person could not survive all alone in the physical world, well the same holds for the spiritual world. Today's MEMEME culture would have us forget that because self-centeredness at all costs has been elevated to a 'right' and people have been trained to view anything that checks our behavior as threatening. We're led to believe that the child who stomps his feet and cries, "Mine,mine,mine! I wanna,I wanna,I wanna!" represents the end point of personal development. Some have even convinced themselves that being selfish, lazy, and fearful of the full extent of the human experience is somehow 'deep' and 'sophisticated.' There is (at least to some extent) more to life than that.
Absolutely none of which relates to myself or to any of the 'spiritual' people that I know. You seem to be assuming that there is some correlation between spirituality and self-centred culture, when there is none. Sweeping generalizations like 'some' do not make it so. I am not materialistic, neither are my friends, so your assumption falls down.
I know many people who attend church regularly and are selfish and self-centred - it is little to do with whether you visit a building once per week - there is no correlation. I choose my path, you choose yours, but I take offence at being called lazy, selfish and shallow by somebody who knows nothing about my way of life.
I have no problem with people going to church - entirely their choice - however, your assumption, that people who choose not to are lazy and selfish, borders upon arrogance. Why should everybody fit into your 'little box?' I have had many philosophical conversations with the priests here - no need to go to church for that, just the local taverna.
Perhaps the truly spiritual do not like to be walled in with the masses who are as often as not, nothing more than followers. It can be hard to find “Community” amongst spiritual people who are not sheep. And I have found many a Organized Christian who has thumped the bible with out reading it in its entirety.
Which one goes to heaven:
Person 1: Person one is a raging alcoholic. He pounds at least a fifth of whiskey every night and wakes up irritable and begrizzled. He teeters off to work, cutting through the brutal landscape of Haiti, carving a path to the nearby town so that the villagers have access to supplies and services. He cusses and spits his way through his days, but does give all his time and salary beyond filling his needs for food, clothing and an Internet connection away. He loves porn, thinks strippers are beautiful and enjoys watching the beauty of the human form, embracing his biology fully as part of who he is. He smoked pot in college.
Person 2: Shows up to church every Sunday, always tithes (except when things are tight and he can't, like two weeks ago when the little league fund raiser was falling behind so he bought all the rest of his sons candy bar fund-raiser stock.) He makes sure to lecture EVERYONE he meets about the importance of God, and he even organizes the church carwashes every summer, all year long. He never cheated on his wife, doesn't hit his kids, and works endlessly to make sure no goddamn homos start marrying each other and ruining the country.
and the winner is - Number 1. Betcha 1,000 bucks. Shades, want a bet? I'll meet you on Mars 2050 to collect. ok?
So many paths and winding valleys, some through Haiti, some through lawns!
Damn those clever ones! Obvious questions are the only way to heaven--or knowledge.
Yeah, I need to back to the politics forum soon....like tomorrow.
The shuffling of ideas that has taken place since the caravel, the printing press, phone, radio, tv and now Internet has made us so aware of one another and the great ideas (and shitty ones) of all of us. It's going to take some time to sift through it. We, as in us, the people right now in this epicenter of the communication boom, are lost in the racket. But the cream always rises, and the great ideas will acrete (or we'll all die in the fight lol). But I reckon the former will be the case. It's just never fast enough.
Both the OP, and all the respondents (that I read at least) missed the whole point. Church is not a building, though many refer to the buildingas the church.
Home can be "church", so can the shade of a tree,or the office, or the local school hall.
Church is an "assembly of people". Of course the world won't come flocking to it, untill there's "something in it for them". Most all the revivals were so powerful, that huge numbers of "worldly" people came. If it is seen as irrelevant, condemningor boring, I wouldn't "go" either!
I like that one - I have always had a soft spot for itinerant holy men and hermits - no church building needed!
I don't know about the "hermits"one? I'm not in favour of guru's monks and other recluses ways either. I believe we should live life to the full, and influence others as much as fossible. (I said "influence", not bash...just in case there might be some misunderstanding) !
Oh I think we all understand what "influence," means dj.
...but then I am a natural introvert, so understand the mentality. I think that some people choose a different path - if it makes them happy, I am cool with that.
Like some of the Ancient Greek philosophers who chose to live apart, and came up with some great stuff.
NP.I was not thinking of you personally when I referred to the above "lifestyles".
lol - I have thought about it on many occasions! A mad bearded man living in a cave somewhere in the Greek mountains!
I do understand where they are coming from - I am a very introspective person, and try to find answers within. I think that we are all trying to reach the same place, but there are many roads.
If you know me at all by now, you will also know that I do not believe in many ways, but ONE. Having said that,there ARE many roads, that lead to many places. If one takes you where YOU want to go, that's fine. Just don't expect all of us to meet at the same destination in the future.
We certainly disagree on many things, but always respectfully, so that is a good thing. I am pretty agnostic about things such as the afterlife etc. - Maybe I will find an answer, maybe I will not know until the time comes. Questions like that make life interesting
Thats what early Christianity was about,reclusive monasteries difficult to reach where one practiced meditation .
No they were not! The early believers stayed in Jerusalem for a long time. Then, when persecution arose, they were scattered. They preached the Gospel to the whole known world of their day.
Just look at the (history of) the original 11 appostles. Thomas ened up in India. Not reclusive by any standards.
Bottom line meditate. the purpose of isolation is to prevent distraction.
You are talking about the apostles who were masters in their own right.
Christians don't isolate themselves.Meditation for us is not the same as the common idea of meditation (IE emptying ones mind).
There are still reclusive monasteries and convents Mo, where monks and nuns pray for us, all of us.
you'll know them by their acts....i don't go to church because i see their acts
When the presentation of tempation (discouragement) is present know from whence it came and rebuke it. We all must not forget that church is a community of fellow sinners saved by the grace of God. We are called to walk alongside and help each other. God wants us to be in relationship with one another. There is joy going to the house of the Lord. The Psalmnist David said "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psalm 122.1); We learn and grow in community with one another as being interdependent members of one body. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
I think that what the nature of all human being is,when war is over when no threat appear they need to seek there own happinsess and calmness not in god way
PS. Maybe I could charge a fee? Make some money in the process.
I agree with Paraglider that Christians can go to church like golfers can go to golf clubs. I am not a Christian or a golf player so I have no need for either!
People are going to the Church specially when are suffering. When are happy and healty, they dont need and dont have time to go.
I second "you don't need to go to church in order to be religious"
Churches are businesses today. I see one on every corner. They have elaborate buildings and decor. The average salary of a pastor is $75,000. They also get lots of fringe benefits like 2 week retreats.
I knew a small church that collected $75,000 every weekend. That's $300,000 per month. Or $3.6 million per year. Amazing huh??
Look at the Vatican. Lots of bling there. There is gold all over the place. Is this what religion is about????
Religion is about giving not taking.
I remember reading somewhere....just because I stand in a garage, it does not mean I am a car. So does standing in a church, make me a Christian??
A few avid church goers forget many people do not want to go to church. Honestly, I think we should all respect our individual choices more, and it seems some want to push church attendance on others. Do we all want to go to baseball games? No. Do we all want to go to stock market seminars? No. So why would every one want to go to church?!
Reports like this one in today's NYT about horrible abuses of children in Catholic orphanages in Ireland don't win many converts
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/world … ?ref=world
Neither do reports like this one about native born American Muslim converts plotting to bomb a Synagog in New York City.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/nyreg … or.html?hp
People do not attend church for the same reason we have more divorces, unplanned pregnancies and the list could go on. Society as a whole has lost there values. People want to do what people want to do, and they do not want to answer to no one. Society has the attitude that they owe no one for anything.
Personnally I do not believe this, I wish our society would get it's values back! I like heariing yes sir and showing respect. I feel that church is our duty not our choice, we are to show our respect to God on Sunday. My values are strong and my beliefs. I am called old fashioned but that is just fine with me!
I don't need church or God to have morals and values.
I agree. The sooner we bring back the old fashioned values like slavery, burning at the stake, no votes for women etc the better as far as I am concerned. Ahhhh - The good old days. There never used to be any unplanned pregnancies or divorces before this drop in values we see now.
Modern education place more emphasis on teaching people to learn for themselves. Being able to get outside the ring of religious belief, often seeing information without prejudice for the first time can change how one feels about going to church.
Many churches consider wrong or even blasphemous that which does not fit within their religious beliefs and will not discuss it.
Though I Pray often, I prefer a simple Chapel or alone in the woods in solitude where I can be one with god verses a "Traditional Chuch Setting" ...a personal preference for me
people should never attend church because when ever you attend a place that claims to have all the answers and has a person that runs the entire experience then you create a group of blind followers that allow there spiruital leaders to used them in any way possible religion leans more toward violence then people allow themselves to believe. people have been and continue to be killed based soley on a difference in belief and its easy to believe that that can only in the third world but it can happen here as well anti-gay and anti abortion groups already tend toward violence
People refuse to live in reality that is why we as a people still hold on to these ideas of religion im sorry but if you think that American values have suffered based on a lack of religion you need help the reality is there were unwanted pregencies, back door abortions, poverty, pornography, drug abuse, divorce, child abuse, and all the things that make today so horrible happened throughout American and world history the reason you don't know about it is because the stats didn't exist The reality is that today isn't much different then back in the day the only difference is now we have mass media that knows people watch stories that have sex or violence in them
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