Having never been “religous” but dragged to “happy clappy” churches through girlfriends and well meaning friends who had recently “given their life to jesus” I have always been a skeptic but always believed, some how, that their must be a higher power. Why this belief? I am not really sure. Is it because I come from an environment that has always had religous undertones from prayers in the morning at school etc, to going to Sunday school (mostly bunked and argued in)?
Not sure if it is a subtle indoctrination that is very hard to shake.
recently I have been going to church because of a friend and my fiancee. My friend had gone through tough times financially and says since he went to church and when he was saved he came right. He has, recently he has been very successful. Is this because he went to church or because he started doing the right things, or did he start doing the right things because he went to Church? I have to confess it has made him a much nicer person, and a better family man and a much more generous man. Would he have become this without church or would he had carried on with his heavy drinking ways and all the things that go with drinkig with the buddies?
All the people I have met in Church are all extremely nice and all very good family members. The men seem to be a lot better fathers than my non church going mates. Is this just because I have the wrong church going mates (people who tend to rink more) or does the church have something that makes people better?
My problem is that intellectually it all seems rubbish, even from my Sunday schoold days. When I say “it all” I mean the Old Testement and the whole Jesus story. I find my self getting angry when the service starts and they have the seductive (for me softening up) singing with the band and the worlds longest songs, then the first order of business is the collection of money. I understand the church needs money, it is the imploring that goes before hand and the continous sermons in tithing. The people have been going to church long enough and no the drill so, and all all adults so being christians they will give what they can.
Then is is the undying love that must be expressed for Jesus and the hands in the air for every song and how great he is and why we must kneel in servitude and be greatful, because without God there would be no life and without Jesus we would all be in hell, so lets raise our hands and give love and praise and praise and praise, you get the meaning. What struck me as absurd was on one paticular occasion (I have noticed this a lot but this time it was right next to me) a couple walked in with 2 kids. The music and singing was just starting, so they stood alongside. What I first noticed was that they did not hold hands or show to much affection as they came in. Having 2 youngish kids I thought maybe they were harrassed so passed it off until the wife got into the music. She manage to show the air and this “idea”, Jesus, who she has no real conceptual idea of (how could she he apparently happened 2010 or so years ago) so much love and affection I was completely taken back.
I kept thinking if only she showed her husband (it could be visa versa) a fifth of that affection and love they would be so happy.
I just cannot get over how human beings can show an idea or teaching so much love, praise, worship and respect when they cannot show the people closest to them who are actually present a 10th of the same.
The last thing is the forgiveness issue. We forgive God all the horrible things that happen to us because we have either sinned, or he has a greater plan which we don't know about and because he forgives us our sins. Yet we can't forgive a friend for telling a white lie.
Maybe there is a God who is really clever and treats the middle class better than the Haitians, or there is a god who started the universe and left it to its own devices, or he precisely planned everything over millions of years just for us to bomb and kill each other because of an apple, or there is no God so why all of this.
Maybe the modern church is there to help adults behave because there is no one to spank them anymore so we do not know right from wrong.