About This

It all started with a post on my Facebook that said,

“So I may not be catholic (or a theist at all)
but I see Lent as the opposite of Christmas.
So what should I give up this year?”

Little did I know when I posted what I thought was kinda funny and would get responses like “cussing”, “drinking soda”, and the obvious request to give up my sports obsession of “soccer”, that I would be asked to give up my non-belief.

WHAT? How do you give up a “non-belief”???? Well you don’t but as suggested I can change what you do and immerse yourself in a culture and lifestyle that is different from your own because of the belief/non-belief system.

So I am an Atheist and I am giving up Atheism for Lent. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday I will immerse myself in the Christian culture and lifestyle. I won’t be frequenting my Atheist groups online, I won’t be posting on Facebook about the hypocrisy of the Bible and the people who follow it. What I will be doing is reading the bible, participating in bible study, actively praying (including before meals), and the biggest one of all, I won’t be sleeping in on Sundays because I will be going to church.

I will be using this blog to keep track of my adventure be it good or bad or in between.

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11 thoughts on “About This

  1. I get that this is a social experiment on your part, and I for one love those too. But, I doubt that just going through the motions will ever illicit in you, or anyone, any of the joy and peace that people who have needed God and found Him, will feel. The Bible is pretty clear that without His Spirit, this is all foolishness to mankind. God gave us a free will, and I find what you are doing with yours very, very interesting. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from it, but I have to hope that maybe something will change for you. I wish you the best…you are really a very good writer, and I do enjoy reading what you have to say. Best wishes, Bird

  2. Interesting project. The problem is that in order to understand Christianity you will actually have to establish a relationship with Jesus, so you need to really believe. If you don’t, you can observe Christian culture on the surface (~ one Christian subculture.There are many) but won’t grasp the heart of it. In that case there is no point with the experiment, because you won’t really be giving up your non-belief and won’t learn what the observed culture is all about.

    Or, you’ll learn to believe in God to understand the Christians. I’m afraid that would be a point of no return if it is for real, in which case your social experiment is not an experiment because it isn’t temporary;-)

    Anyway, a bit of cross-cultural experience never hurts – props for trying!

  3. Although, of course Christian culture isn’t just about the relationship with God but just as much about community, kinship and conformity… norms, conventions, traditions, institutions, family values, in-groups and out-groups …

    The Bible can be read in many different ways, some more literal and choosy than others. The accepted interpretation of it tends to reflect the norms and presumptions of the Christian community that does the interpretation.

    Interestingly, the New Testament has a lot to say about conformity; as a sort of cultural corruption of true faith. Jesus wasn’t on the majority’s side, he supported those who were different / outcasts in some way against the majority culture and in particular the established religious institutions; people who shunned them and felt normal than them. He constantly challenged the established religious thinking of his time and emphasised true compassion above all and on the expense of empty stiffened rules and rituals.

    That’s worth remembering when certain self-righteous Christian groups use the bible to judge and persecute people who deviate and look ‘wrong’ to them. They don’t have the backing of Jesus – never did. Quite the opposite. ‘Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone’ – Anyone? OK. G’bye…

    I don’t know which Christian environment/community you will go into, but I think the worst possible misconception that could come out of it would be if you generalised from there to thinking that you know how all Christians are. It isn’t random selection!

    • Yes, that was pointed out that I could not actually be a christian without actually believing. But I can still have the experiences of the Christians minus the relationship with jesus/god part. Much of the religion is the fellowship with each other and that does not actually have to have a belief in god to prosper.

    • Actually the community I was in helped bridge some of the barriers between the ideas of some are not all especially since I have come to notice the Christians seem to argue amongst themselves as much as, if not more than they do with outsiders about what really makes someone a christian and following christian beliefs.
      I have often seen christians say “those aren’t real christians.” Which I tend to think is hilarious because if it is all about a personal relationship with Christ and God is the only one who can judge then how can they decide who is a “real” christian and who is not?

      • The personal relationship doesn’t mean that Christianity can be just anything that suits people’s personal agenda. Jesus speaks metaphorically, but in a sense quite specifically, about what is requires to ‘follow him’, which is what Christianity means. To ‘follow Jesus’ is specified as to try hard to be like him, not just in actions but through everything you are = truly implement his values and make them your own. So if you* don’t try to do that, you are not a ‘real Christian’ regardless how much you go to Church and identify with the Christian fellowship. Then it is all about people and conformity, and not really about Christianity,… and that’s what Jesus pointed out as fake (over and over) which then means = not real Christianity.

        But of course you are right that people can’t judge what really goes on inside other people… so they shouldn’t try. It tends to be unconstructive and useless to throw accusations around.

        However, I do reserve the right to say that people aren’t real Christians who express attitudes and act towards others in ways that aren’t compatible with the teachings of Jesus. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if some Christians would say that I am not a real Christian, because for example: I don’t understand why anyone would think the Story of Creation literally describes the creation of the Universe. I know people I care about who do, and don’t discuss that kind of things because I don’t want to hurt people and cause unnecessary tension… but it is fairly obvious based on my passions, thinking, links I share on Facebook e.t.c that I don’t work on the presumption that the world came into existence that way and at that time, I’m too much of an observer and nature/science freak. As for strangers who would think they can judge me and dictate to me what I need to do to believe in God in the ‘right’ way they have grown up with, I couldn’t care less. They don’t know me and don’t know what they are talking about.

         
        *With ‘you’ I don’t refer to you as such – just use it as a sort of pronoun for the attitudes I refer to.

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