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ErikS

Congregation Without Religion

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What's there to discuss? It's a church. The need for community is an important driver of what motivates people to congregate. Good for them - I hope a great deal of good service comes out of it and people 's lives are better as a result.

They recognize the importance of the bonds certain rituals create - it just lacks the deeper meaning that a faith centered ritual provides.

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My personal belief is that when people get together in groups, they combine their energy, which sometimes can produce amazing affects. Not saying I at all understand how that happens, nor do I think this can be scientifically measured.

Unfortunately... religion explains to the people that by coming together, they are more connected to a singular omnipotent being, rather then being connected to one another. If people grouping in masses enables amazing miracles to happen, it's a more direct result of those people getting together rather then a hand coming down from a fictional character. Yet they are told that is what happening, and that's what their parents were told, so I can see that being quite believable.

The idea of a church without a god is nothing new, but it is something that I would attend out of curiosity. Though, once they start not paying taxes, and trying to get everyone to work towards some weird illogical common goal, I'll probably think of it as low as any other church.

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i have no problem with this either.

If a person finds a higher cause and is able to perform good deeds, who cares.

i'd rather see people part of a group, have a feeling of belonging, than wonder around aimlessly.

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Unfortunately... religion explains to the people that by coming together, they are more connected to a singular omnipotent being, rather then being connected to one another. If people grouping in masses enables amazing miracles to happen, it's a more direct result of those people getting together rather then a hand coming down from a fictional character. Yet they are told that is what happening, and that's what their parents were told, so I can see that being quite believable.

Actually Lucas, even in a faith based church, the primary connection is through the people to one another. At least in the majority of the churches, synagogues, mosques, temples I have attended / visited. We see God reflected in the acts of kindness and support we provide to each other as members of the community. Our common beliefs strengthen us as a faith based community but the bonds are built by working together and supporting each other. The call to lift up the hand that hangs down, to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those that are in need of comfort, to perform mundane duties like rebuilding a fence, packing up a home and loading the moving truck, helping a man or woman gain training so he/she can better support his/her family, provide food assistance to those in need, to visit the lonely widow, and support the struggling teen or parent, this is the call of the truly faithful. We have a saying:

The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.

That part about people taking themselves out of the slums? That's all about lifting up those who are struggling and in need of help. The life of the truly faithful should be about selfless service.

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it just lacks the deeper meaning that a faith centered ritual provides.

This has a deeper meaning than faith can provide.

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Really. Feel free to expound.

I've studied Humanism and I'm no stranger to the sciences. Help me understand why this isn't simple community building in the context of humans as social beings. It's a modern day salon with a charitable works focus.

I'll take a little liberty here in painting with a broad brush but by no means am I denigrating the movement. Atheists and Humanists focus on living the good life (not to be confused with a life of pleasure). Their entire focus is on the human experience in this life. Religious humanism, of which the Cambridge society is simply a modern day example (consider the Culte de la Raison - Cult of Reason that was implemented by Hebert et al during the French Revolution where they converted cathedrals and basilicas to temples of reason where rituals were used to inculcate the masses), seeks to leverage the rituals and ethics of religion to help address the great issues and questions that confront each of us. Since to those who accept the full story of a godless creation and existence we are little more than the current evolution of enlightened flesh bags with a brain whose life extends from birth to death, rituals of this nature exist only to tighten the connections between living humans.

Faith on the other hand, expands the continuum and connectivity beyond human experience to an alignment with our purpose for arriving here in our current consciousness on Earth, who and what we were prior to our arrival, what becomes of us after death, and how it fits in a broader overall plan of which this life is only a small component for growth and development purposes. Faith rituals then connect us with each other and our creator in covenants that inherently have a deeper connotation for our expanded existence. Of course this implies that one recognizes the Deity variable within the equation as a rational expectation rather than an irrational delusion. YMMV.

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The idea that everything is based on a single omnipotent being is very illogical to me. Could it be? Ok, maybe... but I also consider possibility that it might not be. Actually, there's as much of a possibility of it being based on a single being as any number of beings... so really the possibilities are infinite. That being said, it's against most religions to consider these alternate possibilities... and push a strict belief in that religion's version of events. To which end, I gain more from being apart of a car forum then I do a religious church, despite the fact we are not praying to Volvo (or are we? lol)

Alain, I will never challenge your knowledge on most any topic, as I consider you one of the most learned people I've met. I certainly will not challenge your beliefs, as those are for you to believe all that you might want. Fact of the matter is... that when it comes to religious deities, people (myself included) are just starting to not care. Which is cool... people should be allowed to believe or not believe in whatever they want. So I'm equally ok with there being a church regardless of why they are hanging out, unless it's to hurt someone or they attempt to hurt excommunicated members.

To me, belief in religion is a coping mechanism for being alive. It lends explanations of situations to people's brains so that they do not have to ponder the possibilities for themselves. Example "Why did that car fall on Billy?"... to which most just walk away with the thought : "that super powerful [insert religious icon here**] works in mysterious ways." I do not claim to know what super powerful being(s) there are that created all this or didn't... but I will honestly admit that I'm not afraid to say I do not know, and remain forever wondering.

**batteries not included

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as long as they are NOT gathering to discuss guns, how to get more, fight any controls what so ever, its all good.

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as long as they are NOT gathering to discuss guns, how to get more, fight any controls what so ever, its all good.

I cordially invite you to meet me at the docks. :-P

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As a fundamental Christian I cannot fault them. While I wish everyone would come to Christ I see no reason to view what they are doing in the negative.

I'm sure that many have seen positive results from such activity. The results just don't happen to include salvation (in my opinion of course).

I am a bit curious as to coverage under tax laws though. I'm not familiar enough with the code to know if they would/could qualify or not.

At the end of the day the Bible denotes two "churches". The 1st being the body of (all) believers. The second is under the greek work Ecclesia which simply means "a called out assembly". Certainly ANY called out assembly could therefor qualify as Ecclesia. This having nothing to do with the potential legal ramifications of course.

Edited by Gideon35T

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