An atheist at church

Are there things that annoy you about church?

Friendly Atheist has just published a post titled, 20 Things That Christians Do in Church That Annoy Me. Hemant Mehta is an atheist who has visited many churches and he reflects on what he has experienced.

Go have a look at the post then tell me if you can understand where he’s coming from. Sadly, I’d have to say that while I can’t agree with all his points, I can relate to everything he’s saying.

I love the opportunity to get someone else’s point of view on what we do in church. I know that some Christians will be offended or simply dismiss his points completely but I think it’d be foolish to do so. If you think he’s misunderstood the intent behind some of the things he’s encountered at churches, maybe those of us who have been part of the church for a while are just not explaining ourselves well enough.

We need to ask ourselves if there are things on the list that give us a hint on why many churches find it hard to reach those without a church background. Church isn’t just about making people feel happy and welcome but if what we’re doing is stopping people from meeting Jesus, we’ve got to take a good look at what we’re doing.

Thanks to Phil Cooke for pointing out the post.

By the way, if you think he’s only sharing negative stuff about his experiences with churches you might like to read his post titled, 10 Things That Christians Are Better At Than Atheists. you’re not going to agree with all his points but they’re worth a look.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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6 Thoughts on “An atheist at church

  1. I read that post and on the one hand chuckled at some of the habits of charismatic Christians whilst on the other wondering why he only visited one type of church.

    Over the years my faith has been charismatic and wildly enthusiastic at times; and now, older with many more questions, I find my faith quieter and more contemplative.

    I’d like to think we had a very broad church: there for all, no pun intended.

    It does worry me though, when fellow Christians doubt the sincerity of other’s faith simply because they ask challenging questions or because their worship doesn’t appear to be as wildly extrovert as theirs.

  2. I think some people’s faith can be a little fragile and so they’re afraid of questions.

    While I can’t answer every question I hope that my faith is robust enough to take a little honest prodding. :)

  3. The first article is somewhat blurry to me.
    He can never go to a concert – people will for sure have their hands in the air and srceam and yell, come in later and look at him due to the color of his skin.
    What about politics – if he attended a meeting there and being obviously a member of another party, people would want to convince their party is the better one.
    There are lectures people go to and fall asleep or get bored.

    To me what he says has nothing to do specifically with church but with general human behaviour.

    He is studying math and biology. He should know about statistics and about humans, I think…

  4. Some great points there, Iris. A lot of what he’s talking about is certainly not specific to churches.

  5. I can see where he is coming from on most of his points on both lists. He does leave you wondering if he has only visited charismatic churches.

    Two of his points really hit home with me:

    ‘Say that those of other Christian denominations aren?t practicing ?true? Christianity.’ I’m tired of being told I’m destined for hell because I was raised in the wrong denomination.

    ‘Pray for things they can just as easily take care of themselves. ‘I guess I’d rephrase this to ‘pray for selfish or irrelevant things’

  6. I think this particular post is to be taken tongue in cheek. But it’s not too far off. Thanks for directing me to his blog. I found it very refreshing. :)

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