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Going to church...

(15 Posts)
QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 20:22:56

... for the "community" not the worship...

What are people's thoughts on this? I'm agnostic, a single Mum with a one year old DS. My new house is over the road from a lovely Anglican Church, with a particularly family focussed congregation.

I've dabbled in wicca, Buddhism, Sufism, had a flirt with Hare Krishna when I lived in London... but I was raised and educated RC. Always been intellectually/philosophically very interested in Judaism (am partly of Jewish heritage, but a couple of generations back)

So I am in no way anti-faith... maybe a bit suspicious of the institutional aspects of organised religion (I do differentiate between the faith and religion) ... but as an agnostic, is it "right" for me to attend church with my son, so that we become part of the community? And is it okay to be upfront about my personal ambivalence about Christianity- as long as I'm (of course) respectful, and join in (which I would, whole heartedly) whilst in church?

I'd love to know your thoughts, wise ones of mumsnet!

PurpleDaisies Fri 03-Nov-17 20:26:21

It’s totally fine. Lots of people do this and I’m sure the church would love to have you there. Just keep an open mind and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Battleax Fri 03-Nov-17 20:27:18

I think that's cultural Christianity and perfectly acceptable and can't see a vicar objecting even if you were upfront about it.

Of course, it's slightly more complicated than that and I don't think you should do it cynically, but essentially it's okay.

FluffyMcCloud Fri 03-Nov-17 20:31:26

All completely fine. Everyone has their own reasons for going to church, and their own faith journey. Community is one of the things a good church does well, and totally fine for you to want that without being a committed Christian already.
Are you ok with your son being taught Christian values, bible stories, and being encouraged to believe?

QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 22:45:12

Thanks for the replies!

@fluffy .... good question!

So - Christian values - we live in a very multicultural city, with our near neighbours including Rastafari, Muslims, Sikhs and other Christian denominations - I hope as he grows, I/ his neighbours will teach him the positive messages that all of these religions can offer. Where I part ways with 'Christian values' is where I part ways with ANY religious values - when they teach intolerance, prejudice or any sort of spiritual superiority.

Bible stories - I work in arts and heritage ... literature specifically, and do a lot of work with religious texts. He'll be exposed to the Bible, Folk Tales from around the world, Sufi mysticism, the Qu'ran ... I'm more than happy for him to hear the stories that are the basis for so many of the Western world's narratives today.

Encouragement to belief... I think I want my son to believe, as I do, that we as individual humans, are part of something much bigger. That we have autonomy, and free will, but that we should also appreciate that we're not omniscient - the Universe is infinite and there's every possibility that God(s), quantum physics, astral planes, Jesus Christ, eternal life, and Valhalla all can be found within it - so yes. I WANT him to believe in More Than This. He can call More, God if he feels comfortable with that, but I want him to know that God has many names, and we're all talking about that same 'Moreness' underneath.

That's quite the lecture isn't it... but I was sort of thinking as I was writing! Apologies!

QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 22:46:15

and thank you @purpledaisies and @battleax for the encouragement!

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 22:49:14

I work for the C of E. I wish more people in the congregation said they were there for the community rather than worship. It would save a lot of awkwardness.

QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 22:52:09

@caulk

Would you think it was okay for me/them to be there though? or would you think I / we were intruding on other people's worship unreasonably?

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 22:57:12

Yeah of course!

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 22:57:46

I mean yeah it’s fine for anyone to be there. I don’t care why anyone is coming, I just wish people were honest about it!!

QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 23:02:18

haha @caulk - are you a vicar? if so - hats off to you - I've known a few in my time, and I've always thought it's a really really hard gig. Lots of frontline social care type contact, everybody always wanting you to make them feel special, and THEN you're expected to be a shining example of perfect humanity at all times.

But then again, you get to go to loads of nativity plays - so swings and roundabouts I suppose ;)

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 23:05:47

There’s definitely no shining examples of perfect humanity here. Just a lot of people muddling through and being vulnerable and honest together. Just some of us get paid to talk about Jesus and some of us don’t!

Caulk Fri 03-Nov-17 23:06:48

I’ve banned Away in the Manger. That has halved the number of nativities as people aren’t sure what else to sing so it’s eadier to do a Christmassy play instead...

QueenNefertitty Fri 03-Nov-17 23:11:04

@caulk

I applaud your Away in a Manger ban. It's THE WORST of the Christmas songs.

BackforGood Fri 03-Nov-17 23:12:32

You'd be very welcome at our Church. People are at all sorts of places in their journeys. If "all" you get from the Church is a sense of Community, then that is fine.

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