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Old 11-29-2009, 12:51 AM   #61
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:56 AM   #62
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If you'd continue to go to church despite not believing in what it teaches, wouldn't you be living a lie?

How about setting a community of non-believers where you could do the same activities and meet people?
I suppose I'm living a lie. It's not a big deal to me. No one's getting hurt aside from me losing a couple hours of sleep on Sunday morning. I mean, people live lies every day. Most of them, like this one is to me, are very minor lies that are totally inconsequential in the end.

And I think it's much worse for someone to regularly attend church only out of a fear that they're going to hell if they don't than it is for someone to go so that they don't cause their mother to disown them.

As for the last part of your post, it's not like I don't have friends and activities outside of any type of religious activity.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:56 AM   #63
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If you'd continue to go to church despite not believing in what it teaches, wouldn't you be living a lie?
A "lie" relative to what?

He may be effectively lying to his mother but he's not living a lie. There has to be a 'mother' exception, he's not trying to fool the world, he's just sparing his mother the pain. I did the same thing a handful of times, for the same reason.

Did you ever go and get drunk on the weekends in your youth and not tell your parents? (or something similar, skip school, smoke cigarettes or J's with your friends, etc.) Is this living a lie? Or is it what we do to try and ease the grief on ourselves and our parents for the fact that eventually our mindsets (sometimes) totally divert from the way they raised us.

I fully appreciate what piff is doing, he's trying not to offend his mother.
He's a lot younger than most of us, if he's doing it when he's 25, then maybeyeah.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:44 AM   #64
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No, seriously, if he's thinking about attending church while not believing, is that not living a lie?
wouldn't matter if you don't care. i've been going to masses and things at church etc for years without really believing, it doesn't even cross my mind whether i'm "living a lie"..
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:53 AM   #65
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My problems generally don't lie with religious individuals; the vast majority of religious individuals are good people. It's religious leaders that I tend to have a problem with. There's a consistent trend of leaders taking advantage of their statuses as "representative" of God, dating back to the creation of religion.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:57 AM   #66
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The main reason I still attend mass regularly is because my parents are very religious and it would crush them if they knew I hold no religious beliefs. I suck it up and go to church. When I'm away for school, I don't attend.

But I do think when I'm older I might go back for the communal aspect of it. I generally seem to like a lot of the people in my parish and activities like CYO sports. I just don't believe in anything the church stands for.
I knew it! I was going to post "to keep the parents happy" but decided I should probably let you post your reasons yourself.

I think a lot of people go to church for the community aspect of it, especially small towns and rural areas where there really isn't much else going on socially. I know where I grew up this was the case.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I do think that people who believe in a god or gods or who are part of an organised religion find it fills a need or a desire in them. The needs filled by belief in god/gods/higher power or religion in some are filled just as successfully by other things for other people. We don't need to all believe the same things to be good and fulfilled people. It's not a one size fits all world.
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:54 AM   #67
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why am i not christian?

common sense?
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:43 AM   #68
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I fully appreciate what piff is doing, he's trying not to offend his mother.
He's a lot younger than most of us, if he's doing it when he's 25, then maybeyeah.
I'm 30 years old and I never go to church except when I am home for the holidays (Christmas). My brother is 26, same thing. We do it because it is much easier and more pleasant than causing a scene at our parents' house. Though my Mom always raised us to choose our own way, and seemingly we have, my Dad is much more traditional/conservative and doesn't understand it as much. Part of being an adult is making concessions and compromising.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #69
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I'm a very analytical type person, so I could never just have "faith" that the things in the Bible were true. I always asked questions and wanted proof. I was also a Classics major in college so having studied the beginning of Christianity would have ruined it for me anyway.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:51 PM   #70
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No, seriously, if he's thinking about attending church while not believing, is that not living a lie?
I guess to me what Pfan does is no more a lie than the actions of those who only go to church because of guilt; or any number of reasons. Some only go to church when they are in need of something. Some go because they think that giving during offering time allows them to live how they please. My mom believes in going to church and prayer because it is a comfort to her.

I choose to go to church. I have not been brain washed into this belief. As stated earlier, my wife (Liesje) doesn't go or agree with church. My reason for going to church is that I do have faith. I believe in Jesus and I try to live like he did.

Here's the part where you all can blast me for the "brainwashing" idea. I teach Sunday School. I teach 3rd graders and I focus mainly on events during Jesus' life when teaching.

Though I could never say this to them, I believe the Old Testament is full of stories that are meant for good, but have been passed along and edited or used for many different religions or situations.

I think church and prayer are not necessary. In fact, I think if I were to say that you are a sinner for not attending church or praying, I would be sinning in that I would be judging you. Prayer is personal. When I pray, I don't pray asking for anything. At this point, I am not sure that I believe prayer will change any situations. I do pray thanking God for things. Again, I don't know if this does anything outside of myself.

I do not look down on you if you are not a Christian. I have seen some pretty fake "Christians" as I have grown up as a pastor's kid. I didn't go to church for 7 years until recently. And it had nothing to do with what anyone else thought I should do.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:33 PM   #71
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I guess to me what Pfan does is no more a lie than the actions of those who only go to church because of guilt; or any number of reasons. Some only go to church when they are in need of something. Some go because they think that giving during offering time allows them to live how they please. My mom believes in going to church and prayer because it is a comfort to her.

I choose to go to church. I have not been brain washed into this belief. As stated earlier, my wife (Liesje) doesn't go or agree with church. My reason for going to church is that I do have faith. I believe in Jesus and I try to live like he did.

Here's the part where you all can blast me for the "brainwashing" idea. I teach Sunday School. I teach 3rd graders and I focus mainly on events during Jesus' life when teaching.

Though I could never say this to them, I believe the Old Testament is full of stories that are meant for good, but have been passed along and edited or used for many different religions or situations.

I think church and prayer are not necessary. In fact, I think if I were to say that you are a sinner for not attending church or praying, I would be sinning in that I would be judging you. Prayer is personal. When I pray, I don't pray asking for anything. At this point, I am not sure that I believe prayer will change any situations. I do pray thanking God for things. Again, I don't know if this does anything outside of myself.

I do not look down on you if you are not a Christian. I have seen some pretty fake "Christians" as I have grown up as a pastor's kid. I didn't go to church for 7 years until recently. And it had nothing to do with what anyone else thought I should do.
Great post, Phil. It's always refreshing to see someone hold onto their beliefs and keep a level head about things, and that goes for any religion or belief system.

I began going to church pretty regularly this year for the first time in my life (before it was a here and there sort of thing as a kid, as my parents did not attend very much when I was growing up, and I was perfectly ok with it). At first it was great, and at times it still is, but as time has gone on I've seen the judgementalness seeping through, not so much towards me (though I have had the occasional "why haven't you been to church lately?" hurled at me) but towards others and it's disappointing, to say the least. I don't tell people I see for twenty minutes once a week how to live their lives; I expect the same courtesy.

Anyway, I have found a balance with how church fits into my life. I pray everyday and I feel that my personal beliefs, while they can be enhanced by going to church, are not exclusive to church, and are mine and mine alone. Frankly, there are some aspects of the Christian church I find horrid (the day that I had a pastor announce that one of the members used to be gay and is now straight and is free of his sin just about sent me over the edge, and I don't go to that pastor's services anymore). And to be honest, I find more spirituality in a piece of rock and roll music than some stuff I've read in the bible, but that's just me...

Not sure if that all made sense, but there it is. Just had to add my two cents on the subject.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:43 PM   #72
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I guess to me what Pfan does is no more a lie than the actions of those who only go to church because of guilt; or any number of reasons. Some only go to church when they are in need of something. Some go because they think that giving during offering time allows them to live how they please. My mom believes in going to church and prayer because it is a comfort to her.
OK, OK, I asked a silly question. It wasn't meant to be an attack or a judgment on Phillyfan26, I was simply curious.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:38 PM   #73
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I thought it was a legit question and you didnt appear to offend Pfan, so I'm sure its all sunshine lollipops and rainbows
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:04 PM   #74
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You summed up two of the big ones better than I could here:

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Moral
- I don't think that we are responsible for the crimes of our ancestors, original sin is an evil concept, and I pity you if you have to live with it.
- I don't like scapegoating, I can't do away with my moral responsibility by accepting Jesus.
More than anything I'm not a Christian or believer in any supreme being because I've yet to find an answer to one big question. If a god or gods created all the universe, why would they concern themselves with humans? Throwing out all the texts, that's the one basic flaw in the existence of a supreme being. Are our mundane prayers and hopes that important when compared to the entire universe?
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:25 PM   #75
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OK, OK, I asked a silly question. It wasn't meant to be an attack or a judgment on Phillyfan26, I was simply curious.
I'm sorry! My response wasn't meant to point you out as judging. Sorry...

I think it was actually me venting more than anything. It is frustrating when some Christians...even pastors and Churches as a whole, give overall Christianity a bad name.

April, the whole Homosexuality thing...don't get me started.
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