Religion Without God. She writes of her current ‘faith’, Unitarianism, and says, “As it happens, this kind of God-neutral faith is growing rapidly, in many cases with even less role for God than among Unitarians. Atheist services have sprung up around the country, even in the Bible Belt.” She then asks, “How do we understand this impulse to hold a “church” service despite a hesitant or even nonexistent faith?”
No. The problem here is not one of ‘hesitant or even non-existent faith’; neither is it a matter of being ‘God-neutral’. The problem here is admitting that, rather than the God of the Bible, you believe in a different god altogether.
And I know the name of that god; it’s only four letters long.
Note what the author writes about her mother:When you’re unsure whether you want the God of the Bible, the next step is trying to fill that God-shaped hole in your soul. And folks like this fill it with a god of their own making. Their home-made god is nothing like the God of the Bible, who makes demands on His followers – do not do this, do not do that, do this, do that; it’s especially frustrating when it comes to His rules about sexual conduct. No, rather a god that simply nods at us when we say we’re going to do this or that, and – most importantly – a god which will never punish us.
My mother is the daughter of a Baptist pastor and the black sheep, theologically speaking, of her family. She wants to go to church, but she is not quite sure whether she wants God. (emphasis mine)
Seriously, I think, if these folks could get away with it without being laughed at, they’d set up little shrines in their homes with little statues of themselves – or maybe just with a mirror, that’d be easier.
The article goes to say that these services are all about ‘improving yourself’, making ‘wonderful relationships’, hanging ‘peoples sense of their lives’; rituals aren’t religious, they’re ‘about doing something in a way that marks the moment as different from the everyday and forces you to see it as important.’
It’s all about you, not God. It’s all about the almighty Self. It’s about celebrating the creature, not the Creator.