Should an agnostic go to church if they feel uncomfortable and hypocritical?

United States
November 14, 2007 11:40pm CST
Before anyone starts trying to save my heathen soul, I was a fundementalist and probably studied the bible more than your priest, preacher, or pastor on my own. In fact, I studied so much that I came to realize, I don't believe in fundementalist dogma or believe the bible is "the unerring word of God". I don't believe in worshipping a book or a religion. I think it's far more important for people to worship the creator of the universe, the universe itself is THE WORD OF GOD to me. I don't fault anyone for their beliefs. I don't try to pursuade others to believe as I do. I recently went to church with my girlfriend who wants to start attending regularly and didn't feel comfortable there at all. I want to support her in this but it's not my path. Should I go anyway to support her on her path?
4 people like this
11 responses
@Springlady (4011)
• United States
15 Nov 07
Hi Firehorse, You can study and read the Bible as many times as you want, but if your heart is not open, then you won't believe. Even Satan knows the Bible. I believe it is a good idea for everyone to go to church and experience worship. God speaks to many in churches. Yes, the Bible is God's Holy Word to us and every word in it is true. God bless.
4 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 07
Well thank you for your wonderful spirit and may your god bless you too :) I will try to keep an "open" heart in spite of any venom spewed at me in "God's" name ;)
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Nov 07
Springlady, The churches of Germany and hitler preached the word of god and also destruction of the jews does that make it right? What about the catholic church right before protestant sects started to form? ONly the priest could talk to god and he charged money to his parish for pardons? The word of god is not always the "word" of god.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 07
Did their actions support what they preached? If they were true Christians, then they would not have done the hideous things they did. That is a good example of even Satan knows what the Bible says.
16 Nov 07
if you are not really comfortable in a church then don't go to church. i really don't understand what you are trying to say. you said that you don't believe on the dogma but you still believe that we should worship the creator itself. i don't think the chrisitan organization worship their religion or their organization. i am fundamentalist too. i don't really depend my beliefs on what my religion or my christian organization. i think i have to make a research if what they are teaching are from the bible. though sometimes we thing there are some errs in the bible, we just have to trust God more hat his bible his perfect and that He will never allow to have any mistakes in the bible. and whatever we see some mistakes from the bible are not mistakes. maybe whatever written in the bible should not all be taken literally. we just have to know from other people who have more knowledge in the bible in understanding it. i really don't beileve in those people who have a lot of knowledge intellectually. i think the be bile should not be studied or read intellectually. it should be read by faith. if a people don't have a real and genuine faith i think he will misinterpret the bible. i actually listen to people who have real experience from God though they are not really intellegint people. those who only have first hand experience of miracle i believe on. i really like listening to miracle stories of some other people who have been through tough times and some unrecoverable diseases but still miraculously healed. they give me faith on God. i did some may soul searching too. i have read the bible many times. but it didn't really help me at all. what really helped me besides the bible is the true faith on God. I am not really going to church now since i really feel uncomfortable to some people at times. sometimes there are lots of gossipers in the church that's why i get discouraged attending anymore. but i know that they are just people too. i really don't expect much from the people from our church. i know they are not really perfect people so that i really don't depend my faith on them. i just put my faith on God. and i just pray.
2 people like this
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
15 Nov 07
The bottom line is that, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then no, you shouldn't. You shouldn't ever put yourself in a situation that makes you feel badly about yourself, hypocritical or uncomfortable. I'm much like you. I was raised catholic, heavily immersed in religion, until I started reading and researching. I don't think it's possible to really learn about the religion and still maintain belief in it, at least from my experiences. The most outspoken atheists I know are those that were raised in one religion or another, started learning more about it objectively, and couldn't believe from that point on. However, I think even 'most' of the fundamentalist believers would agree that if you don't feel comfortable in that environment, then there's no point in you being there. You can support your friend in other ways. Tell her how you feel, that you don't belong there and aren't comfortable, but that you fully support her decisions. Hopefully she'll understand and that'll be the end of it. :)
2 people like this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
15 Nov 07
I know how you feel! I've been there and done that! Everyone is entitled to believe his/her own beliefs and to doubt her/his own doubts. My problems with the Christian Dogma began as a teenager when I tried to compare science and religion. The fact that one would not compliment the other shattered my religious beliefs and I left the church and took up a study of spiritualism, which continues to this day. I agree with everything you say! In Answer to your questions, I think you should support your Girlfriend on her Path, but you don't need to attend church with her to do that.
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
15 Nov 07
Honestly I would suggest that maybe if you can muster it, go one or two more times with her just so she can "get her legs" but beforehand explain that it'll only be one or two more times since you arent comfortable....However if it bothers you THAT much then I wouldn't go anymore and just be supportive from the sidelines ya know....
2 people like this
• United States
15 Nov 07
Well, first of all, I would like to say that I agree with you. I have studied many religions, believe all of them, and believe in none of them. I myself enjoy going to any type of church or fellowship gatherings. It is always good to expand your knowledge. I do believe however, that you shouldn't go if you feel uncomfortable in that situation. Your girlfriend should understand and respect you for your beliefs, and you should do the same for her. Encourage her in whatever she believes, but let her know how you feel on the subject. Religion is a very touchy subject, like politics. Even within the same church people have different views and that causes different factions, so instead of haveing one large group gathering together (like there should be), there are several smaller groups gathering apart. Basically, support her at home and don't discourage her from going to church.
• United States
15 Nov 07
I, personally, don't think I could stomach sitting through services. I have thought about what I will do when my kids ask to go to church. I told my oldest she can go with her friend (they go every Sunday) but so far she thinks church is boring and they go once a month at school so it isn't an issue. Because if they ask me to take them I don't think I could do it. I just can't sit and listen to the drivel. I had enough of it growing up.
2 people like this
@Latrivia (2890)
• United States
15 Nov 07
There's no point in going if you don't feel like you belong there. Obviously you've been there, done that, and don't feel like doing it again. I'm sure you want to support your girlfriend, but you don't have to do it by going with her. She's a big girl and can do it herself. I don't know enough about your situation to say any more than that. If you haven't really expressed your feelings to your girlfriend, perhaps you should. I doubt she'd want you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, so there's a good chance she'll understand your position.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Nov 07
How about a negotiation or compromise? You go for special events on occasion (not all of them but some) she goes when she chooses and you both respect each others beliefs. I was raised that I had to go every Sunday and mid week service. I did not attend church for years after I left home. I attend now off and on and do get something out of it. I enjoy the worship services and my kids do too. I do not go every Sunday though and I am not going to go to hell if I miss some or all Sundays. That is between me and God not me and the neighbor!! Being respectful of one anothers beliefs is part of life and if you can't be respectful about it then don't talk about it to someone. In my family alone there are probably 10 different religions. Is any one the only one? NO We are free to choose our beliefs and expand on that. If you go with her on special occasions now and again and she is fine with that then so be it. Does she respect your beliefs?
1 person likes this
@Monkeyrose (2850)
• Canada
16 Nov 07
First of all people tend to get sticky about religion and rules. In order to be a Christian all you have to believe is that Jesus was the son of god and he saved us for our sins. ANything after that is between you and god. I too have been christian in the past and did not like the religion and book worshipping aspect. The bible really isn't the word of god anyways. It is the word of god told to a man, handed don't through fables over the centuries and then translated. Then re-written by a bunch of english men. Anyone ever played telephone? See how the message gets distorted after just a few people. Anyways, talk to your girlfriend. I think if you're uncomfortable there you shouldn't go. Maybe you could come up with a truce that you go on special occasions with her or something. Second of all, There is no reason to feel uncomfortable. You can go and learn about it and support her. Christianity is about openess and welcoming everyone in. They'll be happy that you're going to church because in their eyes its the start to your salvation.
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
16 Nov 07
I think I can understand what you mean and I agree with some of the others - maybe go a time or 2 to show support, but other than that don't. Everyone has their own path and I think it is most important to be true to yourself.
1 person likes this