Question for theists regarding ceremonies [Kill Em With Kindness]

inspectormustard
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Question for theists regarding ceremonies [Kill Em With Kindness]

One thing that always bothered me when I believed was how cheesy some of the stuff we did in church was. I've been in catholic and protestant events, and the protestant ones were really bad. My last girlfriend went to those things too. I didn't go, but she described them to me and even though she was yet another denomination they sounded pretty cheesy. It seems to me that every denomination has some amount of cheesy, feelgood function every so often.

For those of you that know what I'm talking about, don't those bother you?

I mean, I can't imagine a mindset where I would think "it sure is fun to listen to the pastor talk about chasms, with us on one side and Jesus on the other (true story! he even drew diagrams on the board!)," or "man I love singing these church tunes off key," or "hey, making these braclets is awesome!" Those things always annoyed me.


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Frankly, nobody cares if you

Frankly, nobody cares if you enjoyed your little church activities or not. It's not about you - the Church isn't there to cater to your interests. They were cheesy to you because the realities behind them never meant anything to you. You were never a Christian - you were just a person filling a pew. You wouldn't find the chasm diagram so cheesy if you understood the weight of your sinfulness and the greatness of God and the vast expanse that develops. You wouldn't be upset that people sang off-key if you felt that God was worthy to be praised. You wouldn't find those bracelets so cheesy if you had any desire to be reminded of God throughout the day. You see, all this is foolishness to you because you were always on the outside looking in.


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fischer1121 wrote:Frankly,

fischer1121 wrote:

Frankly, nobody cares if you enjoyed your little church activities or not.

So, you speak for everyone now ?

 

fischer1121 wrote:

 They were cheesy to you because the realities behind them never meant anything to you.

Oh, they probably meant something to him... perhaps a really ripe Camembert du Normandie.

 

fischer1121 wrote:
You were never a Christian - you were just a person filling a pew.
  

Awfully Christian of you to say.....

 

 

 


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Wow. 

Wow. 


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fischer1121 wrote:Frankly,

fischer1121 wrote:

Frankly, nobody cares if you enjoyed your little church activities or not. It's not about you - the Church isn't there to cater to your interests. They were cheesy to you because the realities behind them never meant anything to you. You were never a Christian - you were just a person filling a pew. You wouldn't find the chasm diagram so cheesy if you understood the weight of your sinfulness and the greatness of God and the vast expanse that develops. You wouldn't be upset that people sang off-key if you felt that God was worthy to be praised. You wouldn't find those bracelets so cheesy if you had any desire to be reminded of God throughout the day. You see, all this is foolishness to you because you were always on the outside looking in.

Maybe it is a matter of extreme devotion. Still, put yourself in god's shoes for a minute. Here are all these people who build shrines to you, wear bracelets to remind them of you, and get really excited at the presence of so much as a possible remnant of your being there. Case in point, the Shroud of Turin. As an outsider looking in, I have to say that's a little creepy. There's only one other group I can think of that acts like that - stalkers. Anyone who would fall over themselves to get a lock of Jesus hair would, I think, fall into that category.

"Sarah, I wrote you a song."

". . .uh, okay."

"I'm going to sing it now, I know you're listening."

"Well, you don't have to. . ."

"The question asked in order
To save his life or take it
The answer no to avoid death
The answer yes would make it
Make it

Do you believe in Sarah
Written on the bullet
Say yes to pull the trigger
Do you believe in Sarah Written on the bullet
And Carl pulled the trigger"

<"That's very nice, but I really have to. . ."

"No, wait, there's more!"


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Wonko wrote:So, you speak

Wonko wrote:

So, you speak for everyone now ?

Yes.

Would an atheist/agnostic/non-christian audience care about his gripes about internal Church activities? Are they fascinated with the Church and its tone-deaf bracelet-makers? Are they interested in changing the Church to fit this fellow's needs? Would the Church care to change it's religious activities because some atheist finds them cheesy? Since it's safe to assume that he no longer goes to Church, is there really any point to this?

...no.

Wonko wrote:
Awfully Christian of you to say.....

Yea, it is really Christian of me to say that.


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Victim

  This is what happens when we enter into their churchy building.  We subject ourselves to their private practices, religious rites & absent mindedness if there is such a word.  These people sometimes behave like zombies.  They are in a trance, if that is a condition I suppose.  They perform rituals that are scary and may even be life threatening.  But when we walk inside the building we once again subject ourselves to these nonsensical behaviors.


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inspectormustard wrote:Maybe

inspectormustard wrote:

Maybe it is a matter of extreme devotion. Still, put yourself in god's shoes for a minute. Here are all these people who build shrines to you, wear bracelets to remind them of you, and get really excited at the presence of so much as a possible remnant of your being there. Case in point, the Shroud of Turin. As an outsider looking in, I have to say that's a little creepy. There's only one other group I can think of that acts like that - stalkers. Anyone who would fall over themselves to get a lock of Jesus hair would, I think, fall into that category.

God's greatest love is for Himself and He made us to love and enjoy Himself. Why? Because he is the most satisfying thing in the universe. He is worthy of unbridled love. All other sources may fail us but He is the one true source of life; He is the one and only thing that can satisfy. To be consumed with a passion for God is to live out our purpose. And praise God that the thing we were made for is the very same thing we can find the greatest joy in.


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Holy crap

fischer1121 wrote:

Frankly, nobody cares if you enjoyed your little church activities or not. It's not about you - the Church isn't there to cater to your interests. They were cheesy to you because the realities behind them never meant anything to you. You were never a Christian - you were just a person filling a pew. You wouldn't find the chasm diagram so cheesy if you understood the weight of your sinfulness and the greatness of God and the vast expanse that develops. You wouldn't be upset that people sang off-key if you felt that God was worthy to be praised. You wouldn't find those bracelets so cheesy if you had any desire to be reminded of God throughout the day. You see, all this is foolishness to you because you were always on the outside looking in.

 

      Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning ??


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fischer1121 wrote:Wonko

fischer1121 wrote:

Wonko wrote:

So, you speak for everyone now ?

Yes.

Would an atheist/agnostic/non-christian audience care about his gripes about internal Church activities?

 

First off, I'd venture to say your assessment of the audience at RRS seems to be askew. Do you believe you are the only Christian who visits the forums here?

 

 

fischer1121 wrote:
Are they fascinated with the Church and its tone-deaf bracelet-makers?

Again, you would seem to have an uncanny knack for delving into the minds of the audience here....or perhaps by using the word 'they', you meant some other group.

 

 

fischer1121 wrote:
Would the Church care to change it's religious activities because some atheist finds them cheesy?

I doubt that any particular church would want to change, but I suppose once they had to answer to 'the Church", as you put it, they probably wouldn't be allowed to anyway. Funny, but I don't recall him requesting or hoping any particular church or denomination might change the way they do things. He seemed to be relating his observations and his feeling of annoyance. I, for one, found it of great interest for several reasons.

fischer1121 wrote:

 

Wonko wrote:
Awfully Christian of you to say.....

Yea, it is really Christian of me to say that.

I feel pity for you in that you are trapped on the inside. Literally.


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Wonko wrote:First off,

Wonko wrote:

First off, I'd venture to say your assessment of the audience at RRS seems to be askew. Do you believe you are the only Christian who visits the forums here?

 

Nope, that's why I added how the Church (aka. Christians) would respond.

 

Wonko wrote:

Funny, but I don't recall him requesting or hoping any particular church or denomination might change the way they do things. He seemed to be relating his observations and his feeling of annoyance.

Sorry, I usually assume that the rational purpose of griping is to cause change, but I can understand him trying to get it off his chest.

 

 

Wonko wrote:

I feel pity for you in that you are trapped on the inside. Literally.

Oh, no, I'm not trapped. In fact, I'm free. I'm free to not live this life for pointless things that will perish in the end. I'm freed from a mechanical, deterministic universe to believe in a unseen God has come down to earth and paid the price for my freedom from this wretched world. You, on the other hand, are trapped in a naturalistic, ultimately pointless reality.


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i think we're bypassing a

i think we're bypassing a basic element of these functions - which is that they make people feel like they belong.  the ceremonies and crap are yet another reason why it's hard to tear away even when you know it's a load of crap.   this is particularly emphasized when you're the center of the function.


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fischer1121 wrote:Oh, no,

fischer1121 wrote:

Oh, no, I'm not trapped. In fact, I'm free. I'm free to not live this life for pointless things that will perish in the end. I'm freed from a mechanical, deterministic universe to believe in a unseen God has come down to earth and paid the price for my freedom from this wretched world. You, on the other hand, are trapped in a naturalistic, ultimately pointless reality.

From my point of view you are delusional.

Maybe someone else here can admire the hoops and straw men but I must go to work....Hi ho, bye ho

BTW, I disagree with you that this is a wretched world. Life can be good. Try reality friend.

 


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Post 230

   fischer 1121 you realy know how to turn a phrase,  you are so lucky there are no laws against asault and battery on the English language.   Further you claim to be freed from this mechanical, deterministic universe.....  

   Every theisim I've heard of is Mechanical, determind, (i.e.) ritualistic and dogmatic, read Orwells 1984  for the same circular reasoning "Freedom is slavery, choice is dictatorship,  obidience is godly..."

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inspectormustard wrote:One

inspectormustard wrote:

One thing that always bothered me when I believed was how cheesy some of the stuff we did in church was. I've been in catholic and protestant events, and the protestant ones were really bad. My last girlfriend went to those things too. I didn't go, but she described them to me and even though she was yet another denomination they sounded pretty cheesy. It seems to me that every denomination has some amount of cheesy, feelgood function every so often.

For those of you that know what I'm talking about, don't those bother you?

I mean, I can't imagine a mindset where I would think "it sure is fun to listen to the pastor talk about chasms, with us on one side and Jesus on the other (true story! he even drew diagrams on the board!)," or "man I love singing these church tunes off key," or "hey, making these braclets is awesome!" Those things always annoyed me.

 

Haha, I've got the best one ever! My dad's church occasionally raises money by going around telling people they're going to be having a Rock-A-Thon and asking them to pledge money.

Now when he told me this for the first time, I was like, "Sweet! A rock-a-thon! Rocking out for cash! Probably not my style of rocking out. It's probably old people bluegrass rocking out or whatever, but hey, to each his own. I can dig that."

But no. They meant that they were all going to sit around in rocking chairs and they wanted you to pledge money for how many hours they could rock non-stop.

...

...

I almost want to explain it again to make sure it sinks in, but my fingers refuse to type something so asinine twice.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Archeopteryx

Archeopteryx wrote:

inspectormustard wrote:

One thing that always bothered me when I believed was how cheesy some of the stuff we did in church was. I've been in catholic and protestant events, and the protestant ones were really bad. My last girlfriend went to those things too. I didn't go, but she described them to me and even though she was yet another denomination they sounded pretty cheesy. It seems to me that every denomination has some amount of cheesy, feelgood function every so often.

For those of you that know what I'm talking about, don't those bother you?

I mean, I can't imagine a mindset where I would think "it sure is fun to listen to the pastor talk about chasms, with us on one side and Jesus on the other (true story! he even drew diagrams on the board!)," or "man I love singing these church tunes off key," or "hey, making these braclets is awesome!" Those things always annoyed me.

 

Haha, I've got the best one ever! My dad's church occasionally raises money by going around telling people they're going to be having a Rock-A-Thon and asking them to pledge money.

Now when he told me this for the first time, I was like, "Sweet! A rock-a-thon! Rocking out for cash! Probably not my style of rocking out. It's probably old people bluegrass rocking out or whatever, but hey, to each his own. I can dig that."

But no. They meant that they were all going to sit around in rocking chairs and they wanted you to pledge money for how many hours they could rock non-stop.

...

...

I almost want to explain it again to make sure it sinks in, but my fingers refuse to type something so asinine twice.

Hahaha! That is a good one. I would suggest a "recline-a-thon" next time. I bet that would get TONS of donations.


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delusionathon. "i will give

delusionathon.

 

"i will give you one dollar for every day you carry on believing!"

they would all be loaded. oh no wait. the church is loaded, there is no point!


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Thanks Shelly

shelleymtjoy wrote:

i think we're bypassing a basic element of these functions - which is that they make people feel like they belong.  the ceremonies and crap are yet another reason why it's hard to tear away even when you know it's a load of crap.   this is particularly emphasized when you're the center of the function.

 

You are right on the money with this point and actually it had crossed my mind to post something similar but I was busy trying to determine Fischer. When you read back through this thread, it is not abundantly clear that he is, in fact, a Christian. Intent and phrasing is a funny thing sometimes but I figured I'd play along in any case.

You have peaked my often overly observant curiousity. I apologize if you feel offended but.... Have you ever been  the "main attraction" at any religious function(s)?

If so, I'd love to hear the story if you feel it worth telling.


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Wonko wrote:You have peaked

Wonko wrote:

You have peaked my often overly observant curiousity. I apologize if you feel offended but.... Have you ever been  the "main attraction" at any religious function(s)?

Roman Catholic background - so I've was baptized (at Cool and did the whole holy communion, first confession, confirmation thing obviously.  I have nothing against fraternities/sororities but I think it's a similar comparison.  Everyone wants to be part of the 'in' crowd - even if it's just being picked to bring the sacraments up during mass.  Heck, my parent's let me "choose" my religion at 8 and I "chose" Catholicism to fit in with friends.

To answer your question more specifically though - we used to go on youth group field trips... everything from work camp to world youth day (the annual pope thing) and these conferences.  Here, they used to preform this ritualistic group circle where one would become "drunk in the holy spirit."  one by one we would pass out and proceed to spend an hour looking up at the stars.  Obviously we were intoxicated - what they used?  idk... at the time we all were lead to believe it was just spiritual.

I also attended an Opus Dei school in 7th and 8th grade - basically a Catholic cult.  I will say I always did feel better than everyone else - even members of my non-practicing family.  You do that stuff in 7th and 8th grade (when a teenager is struggling to fit in) and clearly it's a very powerful force.   Some of my classmates (the few that continue their sheltered life at Catholic colleges) felt like they didn't fit in and typically flocked back.

It's more than just the actually ceremony though - think of all that's associated with it... for example, anyone else know people that spend more time getting ready to go to church than they do in services?  (makeup, dress, etc... the same people seem to spend more time socializing afterwards as well.)


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shelleymtjoy wrote:Roman

shelleymtjoy wrote:

Roman Catholic background - so I've was baptized (at Cool and did the whole holy communion, first confession, confirmation thing obviously.  I have nothing against fraternities/sororities but I think it's a similar comparison.  Everyone wants to be part of the 'in' crowd - even if it's just being picked to bring the sacraments up during mass.  Heck, my parent's let me "choose" my religion at 8 and I "chose" Catholicism to fit in with friends.

To answer your question more specifically though - we used to go on youth group field trips... everything from work camp to world youth day (the annual pope thing) and these conferences.  Here, they used to preform this ritualistic group circle where one would become "drunk in the holy spirit."  one by one we would pass out and proceed to spend an hour looking up at the stars.  Obviously we were intoxicated - what they used?  idk... at the time we all were lead to believe it was just spiritual.

I also attended an Opus Dei school in 7th and 8th grade - basically a Catholic cult.  I will say I always did feel better than everyone else - even members of my non-practicing family.  You do that stuff in 7th and 8th grade (when a teenager is struggling to fit in) and clearly it's a very powerful force.   Some of my classmates (the few that continue their sheltered life at Catholic colleges) felt like they didn't fit in and typically flocked back.

It's more than just the actually ceremony though - think of all that's associated with it... for example, anyone else know people that spend more time getting ready to go to church than they do in services?  (makeup, dress, etc... the same people seem to spend more time socializing afterwards as well.)

 

Sounds like your parents were both open-minded and caring to allow you the denominational choice. My parents were moderately liberal in some areas and overbearing in others. I didn't get to choose my religion. Then again, not every child had a great-grandfather that preached fire,brimstone,hell and damnation behind the pulpit and proselytized everywhere else he walked.. He died before my birth but was a heavy influence on my mother.

Thanks for sharing the story. My very best friend in high school was Catholic and so on several occasions I had a taste.

And yes, one of my co-workers entire family of nine spends two hours getting ready and he sometimes brags about being the first to arrive and last to leave. I make a solid effort not to roll my eyes when he begins his boasting.


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Baptism was one of the

Baptism was one of the stupidest things I did while a christian. The question I have is what exactly does splashing or immersing someone in water accomplish? Is it a symbolic gesture or is there some meta-physical change in the recipient that can't be detected? If it's a symbolic ceremony then why require it? If it causes a change in the recepient at some unseen level, how is this done?

Another cheesy ritual is all the people telling god how great he/she/it is through hymns. If god doesn't get sick of hearing how great he/she/it is from us lowly humans then I can only imagine how egotistical it must be. I guess all the silly rituals are just done to fill time so no one really reads or understands the bible. If they had to answer questions from the audience I am sure most pastors would lose their jobs.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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Wonko wrote: Sounds like

Wonko wrote:
 

Sounds like your parents were both open-minded and caring to allow you the denominational choice.

not really but i can see how it might look that way - my apologies... i may have gotten off-track a little with my previous point - i was trying to illustrate the power of the desire to fit in.

i can't imagine how an 8 year old could make that kind of choice.  when i first realized all this god shit was a load of crap i used to blame myself for having imposed the choice to believe on myself. 

the only experience i had with other religions (at the time i got to "choose"   ) consisted of knowing a kid belonging to some other christian denomination attending my catholic school who was picked on everyday.  (they made fun of him for being fat but there were much larger kids in the class that weren't subjected to the same fate... even at that age we all 'knew' not being catholic was bad.)

 


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Cali_Athiest2 wrote:The

Cali_Athiest2 wrote:

The question I have is what exactly does splashing or immersing someone in water accomplish?

The water is symbolic - you know the whole purifying, dirt removing properties of water.  Remember, baptism was practiced long before Christ met John the Baptist.  Things other than water can be used though - blood for instance.

Cali_Atheist2 wrote:

Is it a symbolic gesture or is there some meta-physical change in the recipient that can't be detected? If it's a symbolic ceremony then why require it? If it causes a change in the recepient at some unseen level, how is this done?

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." 

Matthew 3:11


 


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There is something to be

There is something to be said for large groups of people coming together to enjoy shared time and experiences with each other.   It fills a vital, I think, confirming role that we are part of something and as human beings we are, genereally, uplifted by company.   My friends and I do this farily regularly.   We normally find a nice little spot in the forest or hire a club, get in a big sound system, a bunch of lights, some beer and a few 'rugs and have a kick ass party.

"The World is my country, science my religion" - Christiaan Huygens


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I can agree with you in some

I can agree with you in some points, and disagree with others.

Yes, some events can be INCERDIBLY cheesy, and I suppose they are meant to be, they are meant to bring people together, if not by the event, by the sheer cheesyness of it.

I don't always love listening to my pastor, but I do love singing, as offkey as I am, and making friendship bracelets, on bus rides is fun, and a way to meet new people, it isn't always about religion, alot of it can be culteral as well.

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We should be careful...

..to distinguish between true religious ceremony/rutual and social function. A' rock-a-thon ' (see above) clearly falls in to the latter category. Almost all social communities, religious or otherwise, have functions that are designed to strengthen the community and tighten the bonds of fraternity within that group. Humans are, after all, social beings (no man is an island, and all that).

I would agree that many religionists often confuse the two. I would suggest this happens for a couple of reasons:

  • over-zealousness (having a too fundamental, rigid view of what their religion is)
  • not understanding the meaning conveyed within the rites, hence leaving them open to abuse and distortion

Zealousness or fundamentalism is a trait of mental frailty, IMHO. A weak mind crippled by xenophobia builds walls of fundamentalism to defend its fragile "reality". However, surely none can deny that many atheists are equally fundamentalist in their views (Richard Dawkins perhaps being the most prominent example). So, this is more a commentary on the feebleness of human nature. We instinctively fear the unknown and unfamiliar. But let's not pin this one on religion. It's hard to make the distinction because religions are systems to define worldviews. We ALL have them. One may even categorise atheism as a religion. Again, even Dawkins admits he has to have faith in certain things (like the origin of life without divine assistance).

But let us not be too hasty to dismiss all religious ritual and rite as concocted jibberish designed to impress or control the masses. As a Christian, I can say that I have gained tremendous understanding of myself through the administration of rituals, and I believe that is their intended purpose. I won't deny that many rituals are man-made, and probably ARE intended to manipulate the crowds of believers, but that doesn't mean that ALL rituals are such.

Baptism was referred to above, with particular reference to the cleansing properties of water. This much is clear. The word 'baptism' derives from the original Greek baptiso, meaning to immerse. Baptism by immersion is suggested by the account of Jesus' own baptism. One suspects that baptism by sprinkling is a distortion of the original. But is that important? Yes, and I'll explain why.

The Hebrew culture is replete with symbolism. This is significant because humans think in symbols or abstract concepts. Symbolism has a power to impress itself upon the human mind more than mere talk or text (which are actually lesser forms of symbolism). In Hebrew rituals, in which covenants were made with God, the symbols used were designed (ordained, if you will) to impress upon the recipient the nature of the covenant and also the reward/blessing incumbent upon the honouring of the covenant. In the case of baptism (which was originally by immersion), the lowering and raising of the recipient into and out of the water was symbolic of resurrection, as one was laid in the grave, but would at a later date be raised from it. In the New Testament, we read of baptism by water and also of Spirit. With these were taught the concept of washing, which is already familiar to us. Another washing referred to in the scriptures is our being washed in the of Christ. To ears attuned to this doctrine, it hardly registers, but to the unbeliever, it may well sound like a very morbid thought! Yet, again there is symbolism involved. We have here three washings: water, spirit and . If we accept the existence of spirit, then these also have reference to our physical birth, in which all three "elements" are present. So baptism possesses clear connotations of birth, which again is attested in the teachings of Jesus, i.e. being "born again". Surely, none can deny the power of these symbols to impress upon the mind the significance of renewal and regeneration that are intended to accompany the administration of baptism. If administered appropriately, then the impact to the recipient is only positive. He/She is impressed to live after the example of Jesus - to show kindness to all, enemies especially, to go about doing good, to forgive all, to be humble. Will any atheist decry these teachings?

I hope this has been sufficient to put to rest any undue unease about religious rites. Yes, many are concocted and mumbo-jumbo, but not all. Yes, often rites are administered "inappropriately", but not always. Yes, many fail to grasp the true meaning behind the rites, but not everyone. But this is not news: for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth to eternal life, and few there be that find it.

Atheist and theist alike, we all need meaning in our lives. It's what drives us. And we all have rituals (even if it's the morning cup of coffee to kick-start our day). Let's not be too hasty to knock those that seem bizarre to us.


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inspectormustard wrote:It

inspectormustard wrote:

It seems to me that every denomination has some amount of cheesy, feelgood function every so often.

For those of you that know what I'm talking about, don't those bother you?

 

Nope.


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I'd like to address exactly

I'd like to address exactly why I think you might find those ceremonies cheesy:

Formerly I was an "Apathetic", I didn't really care too much about whether or not there was a God. And when I did go to church, I absolutely felt embarassed both for myself and for those incredibly idiotic people singing and (ugh) CRYING!?!?! WTF!?! Were they for real???

Fast-forward to today and back track to your original point. Not only am I a Christian (through a very different church than the one I grew up in), but certain songs and certain ceremonies continually bring me to tears both publicaly and privately, and this change usually happens when you begin to have a personal encounter with a ceremony that you've simply been an observer of your whole life, example:

Communion:

Communion back then - I used to look at communion and not understand it. I ate a piece of bread, often times when I was getting hungry, which only made me more hungry, and then chased it with a shot of grape juice. Uhh.... if nothing else I was confused. I often saw people crying, people thanking God, bowing there heads, repenting, confessing their sins, etc. I couldn't understand it, and I only did it because I was young and my parents wanted me to do it (Richard Dawkins would have been so proud Smiling ).

Communion today: There is an interesting passage in The Lord of the Rings in which Pippin is in this city, and he's besieged, and he's sure he's going to die, because there are all these monsters and armies coming to take the city and kill anyone left in it, and at the last minute, he hears a distant horn. The horns of Rohan (I think). And when he hears the horn, he realizes that in the distance, just over the hills, there are even bigger armies of these Knights that are riding to the rescue, and though many of them die, they break the siege, and save everyone inside the city including Pippin. And in the book, The Lord of the Rings book, not the movie, we're told that for the rest of his life, Pippin could never hear a horn off in the distance without breaking into tears. Why?

Because the horn was a physical and audible reminder of both his present salvation and coming rescue. So when he heard a horn, he Re-Lived his salvation. It connected him to the past. He remembered the sacrifices of the people who died to save him, and, no matter how grumpy he was, he couldn't stay grumpy, because it reminded him that every single moment of the rest of his life was a gift of grace.

Communion is a horn in the distance. It will connect you to your salvation, and remind you of the One that died to save your life. It will infuse you with the knowledge that every single second you live now is an act of grace. And as a result, it may reduce you to tears.

See, the ceremony itself is not particularly moving, and if you think about it - no ceremony in-and-of itself is this way or that, a ceremony is only as significant as and individual's relationship to it.

If you're an atheist, of course you're going to find Communion ridiculous at worst and slightly warm/fuzzy/community building at best, because you don't believe there is a debt to be paid, you don't believe in God, so you don't believe in sin, so it's stupid to think you'd believe in Rescue.

But try not to look down on those you see really connecting with these ceremonies, for many of us, the tears are evoked, not forced.

I hope that helps a little, if nothing else.