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'Not believing in God makes life more precious': meet the atheist 'churchgoers'
The Guardian ^ | 02/04/2013 | Esther Addley

Posted on 02/04/2013 9:53:31 AM PST by SeekAndFind

"I feel sorry for the church next door, waiting for their three people to trickle in," says Nick Julius, glancing at the small adjacent hall that will shortly be hosting its own gathering.

There are still 40 minutes before the Sunday Assembly, an atheist service run by two standup comedians, is due to begin, but a queue of eager congregants is already forming outside a grand but crumbling former church in Islington, north London, hands shoved deep into pockets against the cold.

Julius arrived an hour early, just to be sure of a place at the service, which is described by its organisers as "a godless congregation that meets … to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate life". But why? "I came last time and really enjoyed it. It's got all the good things about church without the terrible dogma. I like the sense of community – and who doesn't enjoy a singsong?"

This is only the second time Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans have hosted the monthly event (motto: live better, help often, wonder more), and they admit to being a little overwhelmed by the enthusiasm with which the event has already been greeted.

More than 200 people came to the first event; today there are perhaps 300, with several dozen more carrying on a parallel discussion in a local pub. Inside the nave of the deconsecrated church, volunteers have been bunching chairs closer together, adding extra benches and children's seats in every scrap of space. It is not a problem most vicars struggle with on a Sunday morning.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Religion & Culture; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: antitheism; atheism; atheist; culturewar; god; thenogodgod
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READ THE ARTICLE ON WORSHIP SERVICE FOR ATHEISTS:

Queen and Stevie Wonder instead of hymns; a science lecture instead of a sermon. Can church work without belief in God? Esther Addley joins 300 people who say it can

1 posted on 02/04/2013 9:53:42 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

A PEEK INTO THE WORSHIP SERVICE FOR ATHEISTS:

The service opens with a song, led by Evans and an enthusiastic band at the front; instead of a hymn, however, it is “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen (”We’ve chosen something that allows hamming it up to the max”).

The service features a reading, a moment of reflective silence, even a collection to pay for the rental of the church, during which people are invited to turn in the pews and greet those sitting beside and behind them.

The plan in future is to engage members in community-based good works.

There is also a sermon, of sorts, on the day’s theme of “wonder”, which sees Dr Harry Cliff, a particle physicist from Cambridge, talking about Dirac’s equation predicting antimatter (”the most amazing theory in history”) and the enormous statistical odds against the universe existing in the first place.

The congregation then stands to sing Superstition by Stevie Wonder.


2 posted on 02/04/2013 9:55:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe in Jesus, but I was run out of my church (Catholic) by a bunch of socialist bishops who fell for Obama’s lies in 2008 and endorsed the biggest fraud in the history of America. Fortunately for the Catholic Church, whites like me are being replaced by illegal alien Catholics. Isn’t diversity great?


3 posted on 02/04/2013 9:58:10 AM PST by travlnmn41
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To: SeekAndFind

God made up atheism as a prank. It went out of control. Let those idiots read history what happened to hundreds of millions of people in godless countries like the Sovit Union, China, CUba, Campuchea, North Vietnam, North Korea, etc.


4 posted on 02/04/2013 10:01:06 AM PST by Mi-kha-el ((There is no Pravda in Izvestiya and no Izvestiya in Pravda.))
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To: SeekAndFind
The Sunday Assembly may be godless, but a churchgoer who stumbled through the wrong door would find much they recognised.

Given the state of the Anglican church these days, that statement may be true in more ways than the author intended.

5 posted on 02/04/2013 10:01:44 AM PST by newheart (The greatest trick the left ever pulled was convincing the world it was not a religion.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sorry bunch not inviting God to their party. They will moan and whine to find out they were invited to His but they refused. Eegads...


6 posted on 02/04/2013 10:02:29 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: travlnmn41

RE; , but I was run out of my church (Catholic) by a bunch of socialist bishops who fell for Obama’s lies in 2008

You ought to go to a parish whose priests are not socialist. There are LOTS of them in this country. Nearly HALF of the Catholics did not vote Obama.


7 posted on 02/04/2013 10:04:23 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Not much different from the last Methodist service I attended.


8 posted on 02/04/2013 10:05:07 AM PST by Mercat (Never laugh at live dragons)
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To: SeekAndFind

I really do not give a smelly Obama about athiests...since ‘twould seem that a great many of them currently have their heads up that very smelly Obama.


9 posted on 02/04/2013 10:05:46 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Mercat

RE: Not much different from the last Methodist service I attended.

OK, you got me curious... what songs from which recording artist did you guys sing in that service? Was John Lennon’s “Imagine” part of the hymnal?


10 posted on 02/04/2013 10:06:55 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: travlnmn41

Don’t feel bad. I got run out of my church for standing up against a socialist ministry (pals of Obama).

Obama is an anti-Christ. Imagine what is going to happen to the people who followed Obama and not God.

:(


11 posted on 02/04/2013 10:08:45 AM PST by Truth2012
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To: SeekAndFind

Superstition is an interesting choice.

Ironic that they can’t manage to have a service that concentrates on their beliefs without a little self-congratulatory mockery of those with whom they disagree. Don’t remember any similar songs in any Christian services I’ve attended.

I find myself to be more of an agnostic as I get older. That said, if I had to chose between belief on God vs belief that this time, despite every previous attempt in history, socialism will work, as I suspect a good part of this congregation believes, I’ll pick the God superstition over the socialism superstition every time.


12 posted on 02/04/2013 10:08:47 AM PST by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: travlnmn41
I believe in Jesus, but I was run out of my church

Keep telling yourself that and maybe even you will believe it.

13 posted on 02/04/2013 10:10:39 AM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Atheist’s Creed

Everything came out of Nothing from Nowhere for No Apparent Reason.

Life is a curious side-effect of an unknowing and uncaring Cosmos.

There is no External, Objective, Transcendent Truth. One must decide for himself what is right and what is wrong.

There is no life after death. When you die, you are just so much compost.

The best one can hope for is a life of self gratification, self aggrandizement, and a painless extinction.


14 posted on 02/04/2013 10:15:04 AM PST by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: Mercat

Not that there’s much diff between Methodists and atheists now, which is why the UMC has lost like 60% of their memberhsip.


15 posted on 02/04/2013 10:15:52 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: SeekAndFind

God works in miraculous ways. Mine is a clever God to be sure.

Get this. A growing group of “worshippers” are gathering for peacefull reflections, comradery and to organize good works for their community. They are supporting each other with the express intent of “not recognizing God”.

There is no foundation for which this building/organization will sustain a following. But I’d bet a dollar some of the “faithful” will find the roots of which they seek moral foundation to follow were planted thousands of years ago and is strong right next door.

At some point, leaders of the “faith” are going to have to set some rules, guidelines.... a list by which to judge themselves against. They have to know who amongst them is most righteous, right? What might that look like?....Don’t lie to members? Don’t steal from members? etc.

(A nod and a wink to you, Lord Jesus. Bravo.)


16 posted on 02/04/2013 10:16:23 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: SeekAndFind

Wonder if they’re gonna sit there and mock the congregants of the Mosque that’ll probably open up next door soon.


17 posted on 02/04/2013 10:19:10 AM PST by MuttTheHoople (Pray for Joe Biden- Proverbs 29:9)
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To: frogjerk

>>Keep telling yourself that and maybe even you will believe it.<<

I do believe it...why should I remain in a church whose leaders are a bunch of gullible fools, falling for Obama’s lies about abortion and birth control in Obamacare? Obama LIED to Cardinal Dolan’s face, and still the Hispanic and leftist archbishops love the guy. I don’t know if Obama is the antiChrist, but I do know he’s a deceiver and a destroyer of traditional, religious values and institutions.


18 posted on 02/04/2013 10:20:22 AM PST by travlnmn41
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To: SeekAndFind
"I feel sorry for the church next door, waiting for their three people to trickle in

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."


19 posted on 02/04/2013 10:21:59 AM PST by MuttTheHoople (Pray for Joe Biden- Proverbs 29:9)
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To: Westbrook

Q and A for the intellectually minded atheist.

Q: What do we call time, one second before time began?
Atheist: uhhhh....
Christian: God

Q: What is there one inch beyond the end of the universe.
Atheist” ummmmmm......
Christian: God

Q: What will we call time, one second after time ends?
Atheist: errrrrr..
Christian: God

Next.....


20 posted on 02/04/2013 10:22:25 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Mercat
Not much different from the last Methodist service I attended.

Just thinking the same thing! I have escaped into small home churches centered on prayer and Bible study.

21 posted on 02/04/2013 10:25:58 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Gun control is hitting what you aim at. -- Chuck Norris)
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To: SeekAndFind

In response to the title, an atheist who fears this life is all he has may cling to it more dearly but historical experience shows that atheists in power consider other peoples lives to be anything but “precious.”


22 posted on 02/04/2013 10:26:05 AM PST by RightOnTheBorder
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To: SeekAndFind
Like the NY Times reported "Where were all of the humanists after Newtown?"

It is easy to forget about the Lord when times are good but we become crying babies when we hit hard times... These people are going to have a very empty feeling when they really need some help and refuse to let the Lord carry them.

I'd like to see their dying and hospice ministry, that would be a very tragic comedy of errors. "We're here to help you carry onto absolute darkness..."

Humanism, Atheism what ever you want to call it offers ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but an emptiness especially when people are at their lowest. It cannot explain anything when people are at their absolute highest either - birth of a child, marriage, a great curing of the body. It makes no sense to be an Atheist.

23 posted on 02/04/2013 10:27:40 AM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

I’ve gone a similiar direction with several athiests I have encountered. I am proud that I have at least enlightened a few (I can’t honestly take credit for converts as I don’t know).

...So you don’t believe in that which can’t be proven, seen, touched, heard, experemented with etc.? Right? Let’s talk science then.....

Mathmatically speaking what are the “known” chances of our existence in our current state? It can’t be calculated it’s so small.

Tell me about how precise all the laws of physics work, according to the best and brightest, say Stephen Hawking. He has droned on about the perfection of the universe. It’s so perfect that even the chaos can be calculated, measured and predicted. It’s mathmatically pure all the way up to the start of it all.

Let’s talk about Big Bang. Theory, fact or hypothesis (sometimes you need to help them with definitions here)? It’s somewhere between hypothesis and theory because the Catalyst cannot be reconciled with known physics. They are still working on that.

Now I believe God started it all and gets credit for all the rules that so amazes the likes of Hawking. You believe that all the mass in the universe always existed but was compacted into some microscopic particle that blew up. It takes as much faith for you to believe that crap as it does for me to take your belief just one step further.

So.... how is your faith different than mine? You believe in something that can’t be proven. At least if I am wrong, no harm, no foul. I just return to matter to be recycled as energy. BUT, if I am right and you are wrong....yikes. Given the pretty even odds, I’ll just go with the safest bet. Put me in the Beleiver category.

(Keep in mind, your audience is athiest to Agnostic. Preaching won’t get you far until you first open the mind to ideas.)


24 posted on 02/04/2013 10:39:14 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: Mercat

I can’t stand the modern music they play at my church. It has no meaning, it plays on too long with chanting one liners... The old hymns had much more meaning to them.

The traditional service is at 8 am so if I over slept one morning I feel the 9:30 service is punishment for my laziness.


25 posted on 02/04/2013 10:42:20 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: travlnmn41

I think you have lost the plot.


26 posted on 02/04/2013 10:45:01 AM PST by wideawake
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To: SeekAndFind
church in Islington, north London,

Lived near there but I have to wonder how long these morons will enjoy this. Muslims are taking over London and branching out. I wonder if these enlighten atheists will take their message to the Muslim communities, since they are soooo sure about their message.

27 posted on 02/04/2013 10:48:16 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: SeekAndFind
motto: live better, help often, wonder more

But why does it matter how we live? Why help often? Says who? As athiests, what right do they have to tell others how to live? From what authority do they get their rules?

28 posted on 02/04/2013 10:52:31 AM PST by Nea Wood (When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Not believing in God makes life more precious”?

Of course it does!

You see, when there’s an expectation of NOTHING after your death, you want life to be precious....because once it ends, that’s it. This also makes the abortion thing make sense in their twisted logic....A) there are less people to take resources from THEM so THEY can stay alive, and B) they can get rid of anything that interferes with their “enjoyment” of life (like no-consequence sex). Pure, unadulterated, 100% selfishness.

No wonder all these libs and atheists want to be uber-healthy and do whatever they can to extend their lives...it’s all they have.

(And I daresay....there is a sneaking suspicion in the back of their minds....niggling, eating at them....that this is NOT all there is....and THEY are missing the boat!)


29 posted on 02/04/2013 10:53:33 AM PST by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: dragonblustar
This Christian church thinks it's ok to open the worship service with AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
30 posted on 02/04/2013 10:56:13 AM PST by HonkyTonkMan
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To: Tenacious 1

LOVE IT, you’ve had some fascinating chats.

BTW, what encourages me are all the discoveries by Quantam Physics and other sciences that prove, among other things, that time bends and is not constant throughout our universe, or even throughout time as it turns out, which means, dang it, that time and space ulitmately are the same thing! (Only God, and not Hawking, can justify this).


31 posted on 02/04/2013 10:58:29 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: hoagy62

You are confusing too concepts.....selfishness versus a belief that all life is precious. Atheists only think THEIR life is precious, but not the life of others.
Big diff....


32 posted on 02/04/2013 11:00:22 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Point taken, CEW. I think that’s what I was trying to say, put with the improper syntax. My bad, and thank you.


33 posted on 02/04/2013 11:03:35 AM PST by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: travlnmn41

Nobody ran you out of the Church. Man up, YOU chose to leave instead of fighting the forces of evil, some of whom hold authority in the Church.


34 posted on 02/04/2013 11:14:17 AM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
BTW, what encourages me are all the discoveries by Quantam Physics and other sciences that prove, among other things, that time bends and is not constant throughout our universe, or even throughout time as it turns out, which means, dang it, that time and space ulitmately are the same thing!

That's a fun one too. Time. What is it? Who "invented" it? We did. It was likely one of the first things that compelled the invention of language. Organization starts with coordination and is our most basic unit of measure.

How long does it take? How fast does it go? When to plant? When to sleep? When to meet? When to migrate....you get the point

What need does the universe beyond human existance have for that which we call time? A God certainly does not keep time. Now that you consider the reason we measure and keep time, how long would one of God's day's be?

I surmise it is day #7 at about noon on God's calendar. But who am I to speculate?

35 posted on 02/04/2013 11:18:59 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: Tenacious 1

Well, and then there’s the entire concept of entropy, proving that the earth is finite - because if it were infinite, everything would necessariy be the exact same temperature (think about it) and no energy production would be possible.

And for the 7 day thing? Quantum Physics (above my pay grade) proves time has sped up greatly, meaning our “concept of time” and 7 Days may not be a contradiction at all. Humans are prisoners of time and space, and even prisoners of the defintiions of time and space, and yet some insist there is no God. How obtuse when you think about it (which they haven’t).


36 posted on 02/04/2013 11:24:22 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Jim from C-Town
Man up, YOU chose to leave instead of fighting the forces of evil, some of whom hold authority in the Church.

I'll second that. I've been disgusted with the Catholic Church leadership myself. I've been only midly vocal about it but have sent some letters that got some attention.

I'll fight for that which I cherish as a value. I do not believe that specifically Catholism is the only Christian route to salvation. But it is what I know and believe.

37 posted on 02/04/2013 11:26:15 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: travlnmn41
I believe in Jesus, but I was run out of my church (Catholic) by a bunch of socialist bishops who fell for Obama’s lies in 2008 and endorsed the biggest fraud in the history of America.

Yes, mildly putting it, many of the US bishops leave something to be greatly desired. Thankfully, things seem to be gradually improving as the old bishops get replaced (Though there is still a long way to go). The Progressives that have been so influential in the Church over the past few decades can be pretty vicious to conservatives in the Church. In fact, the progressives run a lot of good Catholics out of the Church to push their modernist, "progressive" political/social agenda.

Modernism is a condemned heresy that essentially argues that you can change the meaning of dogmas of the Church to mean something that was never believed by the Church. (In other words, modernists teach that truth can change based upon your own opinion). This heresy allows "progressives" to nullify doctrines that they don't like by redefining them to mean something that contradicts or undermines the original meaning of the dogma. It's kind of like in Constitutional law, when progressives ignore the principle of original intent to interpret the constitution, and instead turn to the idea of a "living constitution" whose original meaning can be changed at their whim. This method of ignoring original intent allows the progressive to ignore the restrictions and limitations placed upon them so that they can do what they want anyway, and is usually used because they know that they could never amend the constitution honestly or quickly.)

In any case, if you can find a traditional Latin mass or perhaps an Eastern Rite/Byzantine Catholic Church in your area, you should seek one out. (Eastern Rite masses are typically in English). Those Byzantine and Latin Mass Catholics tend to hold very strong values and actually teach the Faith instead of the modernist/ Marxist claptrap that affects many Catholic parishes. The focus of those more traditional masses seems to be more on God than man. You may find them to be much more nourishing to your spiritual life than the "socialist" communities promoted by bishops who just don't seem to get it yet. You can find the location of a Byzantine Rite or Latin mass at the links below:

Eastern Rite Catholic Parishes

Latin Masses

38 posted on 02/04/2013 11:40:18 AM PST by old republic
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To: C. Edmund Wright

This is fun. One step deeper into space and time?

The universe is moving. There is no set stationary monument from which to measure distance, and by consequence time. So we use calculous, geometry and physics to understand the movement of mass through the universe. We have even mapped it. But here is what we do know.....

Our galaxy is moving in space. Our solar system is moving in this little arm of our galaxy. Our galaxy is also spinning (and probably rolling). And our planet is moving in our solar system. Even if you could control time, you’d still be lost in space.

Let’s say you could travel into the future (travel at light speed through the cosmos). After a year traveling at light speed, you could return to earth about 360 or so years in the future. But where would you go to look for earth in 360 years? It wouldn’t be where you left it.

Ironically, phycists can’t tell us for sure where we will be in the universe relative to all other matter at any given time. The idea of time and space is an illusion that intelligence has created to bring order to our understanding of our existence. It also explains why it so confounds physicists. We invented it and are trying to write rules to make it fit our theories.

(The science is obviously necessary and fruitful as we are designed to be inquisitive and curious. It’s the absract metaphysical conundrum that fascinates me.)


39 posted on 02/04/2013 11:46:48 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: SeekAndFind
Nearly HALF of the Catholics did not vote Obama.

You say that like it's a good thing?

40 posted on 02/04/2013 11:52:42 AM PST by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: Tenacious 1

You must be familiar with the works of Missler.....


41 posted on 02/04/2013 11:58:26 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Tenacious 1

You need to get out more, especially on Sunday mornings.....there is no need to suffer in a church full of non-believers.


42 posted on 02/04/2013 12:00:31 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: SeekAndFind

Atheists have zero value for life. Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao proved that. If you do not believe in the soul, a gift from God, you believe human life is equal to all life, animals, plants, insects. Killing a person becomes as insignificant as stepping on a beetle.


43 posted on 02/04/2013 12:12:34 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: SeekAndFind; All
 photo bizarro_atheists.jpg
44 posted on 02/04/2013 12:16:08 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: Westbrook

LOL!!!!!


45 posted on 02/04/2013 12:17:55 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
 photo 1273521534235.jpg
46 posted on 02/04/2013 12:22:48 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
 photo AtheistBelieve.jpg
47 posted on 02/04/2013 12:23:49 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
 photo AtheistsPrayer.gif
48 posted on 02/04/2013 12:25:09 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
 photo Atheists-Christians.jpg
49 posted on 02/04/2013 12:26:00 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
You must be familiar with the works of Missler.....

I have never heard of him. Just wikipedia'd the name a moment ago.

You might misunderstand me. I go to Catholic Church on Sundays (most Sundays) and my faith is strong. In my faith, I have reconciled most of my faith with science. I like science. I value my faith. I have found where God fills in the answers that science cannot. And I get a kick out of science shows about the Universe that are always littered with the "unkowns" but "being studied" aspects. I think Hawking has comes as close to anyone has to proving the existence of God, despite his aggressive efforts otherwise.

Dark Matter anyone?

50 posted on 02/04/2013 1:06:47 PM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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