What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
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23-01-2017, 12:10 AM
What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
I'm new here, so I hope this is the right forum to post in. I've been carrying unbelief with me for a long time while continuing to go through the motions of membership in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church. (confession, communion, singing in church choir, attending lots of services, fasting at certain times of the year, and maintaining celibacy.)

I quit communion two months ago after telling my priest I felt like a hypocrite, but I still attend services. This weekend, I started researching atheism on the Internet, which led me here. Reading everyone's stories have made me wonder even more why I've been so complacent about going through the motions of my Christian church for so many years. How did I get in this mess in the first place?

The obvious answer, for me, is family. I love them dearly and they're quite religious. As an oldest child, my whole goal in early life was to please them. I feel lucky to know that they will love me unconditionally when I am ready to tell them I no longer believe.

But the other reason I've been going along with it all is that I find a lot of real joy in the community, music, artwork, imaginative stories of saints, and the Bible verses (such as Psalms) describing nature and hopeful depictions of a possible afterlife. Why is it that so much of the most gorgeous works of art in all of history have to be wrapped up in religion?

I'm trying to find the words to describe it. As much as I feel thrilled to experience the "sunlight" of rational thought, I still feel that in some ways I'm giving up a Thanksgiving feast for plain bread and water.

I hope this makes some sense. If you have any advice or personal experiences to share, I very much look forward to reading and learning from you.
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23-01-2017, 12:11 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
The brothel.

Someone had to say it.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
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Banjo.
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23-01-2017, 12:14 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
Hello! Big Grin

(23-01-2017 12:10 AM)port_of_call Wrote:  I'm new here, so I hope this is the right forum to post in. I've been carrying unbelief with me for a long time while continuing to go through the motions of membership in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church. (confession, communion, singing in church choir, attending lots of services, fasting at certain times of the year, and maintaining celibacy.)

I quit communion two months ago after telling my priest I felt like a hypocrite, but I still attend services. This weekend, I started researching atheism on the Internet, which led me here. Reading everyone's stories have made me wonder even more why I've been so complacent about going through the motions of my Christian church for so many years. How did I get in this mess in the first place?

The obvious answer, for me, is family. I love them dearly and they're quite religious. As an oldest child, my whole goal in early life was to please them. I feel lucky to know that they will love me unconditionally when I am ready to tell them I no longer believe.

But the other reason I've been going along with it all is that I find a lot of real joy in the community, music, artwork, imaginative stories of saints, and the Bible verses (such as Psalms) describing nature and hopeful depictions of a possible afterlife. Why is it that so much of the most gorgeous works of art in all of history have to be wrapped up in religion?

I'm trying to find the words to describe it. As much as I feel thrilled to experience the "sunlight" of rational thought, I still feel that in some ways I'm giving up a Thanksgiving feast for plain bread and water.

I hope this makes some sense. If you have any advice or personal experiences to share, I very much look forward to reading and learning from you.

Hug

Just think.

Before all the gorges works were wrapped up in the current religions... They were wrapped up in some one else religions. Thumbsup

The ancient Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, et.al saw the same beauty we see and ascribed it to different deity's. Yes

Much cheers to you
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23-01-2017, 12:21 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
Even the cult of Hephaestus???

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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23-01-2017, 12:25 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
Life itself is more beautiful, more grand than church could ever be.




But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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23-01-2017, 12:30 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
(23-01-2017 12:25 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  Life itself is more beautiful, more grand than church could ever be.




Fuck that shit.

[Image: yh2.jpg]

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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23-01-2017, 12:40 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
You see, I was predisposed not to yearn for anything by the time I got outta church. All that ritual never meant very much to me. For me the party was *out* of the church, not inside. Inside there were all these stringent rules like celibacy and praising God with saccharine songs about how much they love God more than their own flesh and blood family and the like. Outside, there's fresh air and nudity and honest hard work and no fucking guilt. The guilt tripping is what grates me the most. "Realise that you're fucking worthless and nothing without God" - you know who else says that kind of shit? Control-freak evil bastards in toxic relationships.

Hah. Sorry OP. You asked for advice as to how to deal with the loss of churchiness. Instead I had a lil' rant all to myself. Anyway, as far as advice goes, mine is that your life is what you make of it. So now you can choose to party it up or to put yourself on bread and water rations. Just the *easy* route of kissing the ring isn't available any more. I mean, you could even do that if you wanted to, but you'd know you were just putting on a mask.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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23-01-2017, 12:42 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2017 01:01 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
What did you replace Santa with once you learned he wasn't real?

What about the Tooth Fairy? Or the Easter Bunny?

Some things simply do not need replacing when they're gone.

If you need community, we have that. If you need something more face-to-face, try googling for a local meet-up group that's into something you like (meetup.com). Want to help people? there are plenty of secular charities that would love to have your time and effort. You can be good without god, and we're proof of that.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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23-01-2017, 12:47 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
(23-01-2017 12:40 AM)morondog Wrote:  Hah. Sorry OP. You asked for advice as to how to deal with the loss of churchiness. Instead I had a lil' rant all to myself. Anyway, as far as advice goes, mine is that your life is what you make of it. So now you can choose to party it up or to put yourself on bread and water rations.
Ha! No need to apologize. I'm on board with what you say.

I'm grateful for the responses so far. I know it probably seems easy to all of you, but I'm new to this and I appreciate the support to overturn 20+ years of conditioning.
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23-01-2017, 01:36 AM
RE: What replaces church, now that I don't believe?
(23-01-2017 12:47 AM)port_of_call Wrote:  
(23-01-2017 12:40 AM)morondog Wrote:  Hah. Sorry OP. You asked for advice as to how to deal with the loss of churchiness. Instead I had a lil' rant all to myself. Anyway, as far as advice goes, mine is that your life is what you make of it. So now you can choose to party it up or to put yourself on bread and water rations.
Ha! No need to apologize. I'm on board with what you say.

I'm grateful for the responses so far. I know it probably seems easy to all of you, but I'm new to this and I appreciate the support to overturn 20+ years of conditioning.

I too experienced a loss when I left, it isn't easy by any means. At one stage nearly all my friends were religious. At one stage I was the sole atheist. Everyone else went and sang happy songs and came home with their faces shining on a Sunday, I stayed home and watched porn. I definitely noticed the lack of community Tongue

I will say, finding friends - even religious ones - that were not connected to church made a difference for me. It took some time but now I don't think I have time for church in my life, I'm too busy with other awesome stuff Smile

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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