A news story I saw this morning: a new church for atheists has started in London. How lovely. Clearly I disagree with their theology (or lack of it…discuss) but I honestly think it’s great that some atheists are starting to formalise their belief system.
A couple of quotes from, and thoughts off the back of, the news story, if I may:
“It’s a nice excuse to get together and have a bit of a community spirit but without the religion aspect,” says Jess Bonham, a photographer.
“It’s not a church, it’s a congregation of unreligious people.”
Hm. Depends on your definition of church. The word ‘church’ comes from the Ancient Greek word ekklesia, meaning a gathering of people. So it’s definitely a church. Sorry.
Another attendee, Gintare Karalyte, says: “I think people need that sense of connectedness because everyone is so singular right now, and to be part of something, and to feel like you are part of something. That’s what people are craving in the world.”
Indeed, that is what people are craving in the world…if Christians are so stupid and atheists are so clever, how come it took atheists so many thousands of years to figure it out when community has been at the core of Christianity since creation?
The Sunday Assembly certainly did better business than at the evangelical St Jude and St Paul’s Church next door, where about 30 believers gathered to sing gospel songs and listen to Bible readings.
What a ridiculous comparison! The atheist church got 300 or so members, let’s compare that with a Christian church in North London, not too far from this atheist church, linked to the church I attend. The only statistic I could find about attendance there is that they saw over 1,000 people at one Easter service in 2011. And that’s not to mention the hundreds of other Christian churches in and around London. Comparing it to one small church doesn’t mean anything.
But Bishop Harrison, a Christian preacher for 30 years, says he does not see his new neighbours as a threat, confidently predicting that their spiritual journey will eventually lead them to God.
“They have got to start from somewhere,” he says.
Absolutely. The apostle Paul went from killing Christians to being perhaps the most influential missionary of all time. I hope and pray that the leaders of this atheist church see a similar turnaround.
Read the original article if you like. Glory to God!
- Atheist Church (naturalpantheist.wordpress.com)
- Are Pastors Willing to Talk to Atheists During Church? (patheos.com)
- More Stupid Atheist Tricks: The ‘Atheist’ Church in London (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- ‘Atheist Church’ in the North (lunaticoutpost.com)