One thing I've been wondering: how many of you go back to visit SDA churches (or any church) from time to time? My SDA church attendance during the past couple of years has been confined to a funeral (one of my childhood friends, very sad). I stopped going to visit church when I visit home. I think of the many weddings I have attended in the past couple of years, only 2 were in a church--neither of them SDA. However, it looks like a friend of the family is getting married in an SDA church and I will be attending one this spring.
I love joyous occasions like weddings, so I don't mind those. However, my boyfriend's parents love to try to get us to attend church (they don't bother me AS much, mostly him). My stepmother also told me that my dad feels really badly that I don't attend church--so I went with him the last time I visited. I don't mind spending time with my dad in the least. It's just that I'm at the point right now where I DO mind going to church nowadays. I love religious and gospel music and was raised in that tradition. I became an atheist, not as a particular reaction to SDA doctrine, but because the cognitive dissonance was not something that I could live with long term! However, the more I read about the SDA church, the more it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Am I being a witch for just wanting to tell the boyfriend's parents that I wish they'd STFU and leave us alone about it? (I can see the stuff hitting the fan if/when we get married. Because I'm NOT getting married in the church.)
Sorry for the rambling, I'm just wondering how many people still visit or attend church occasionally.
I haven't been in a church in the last 7 years except of course when I did some IT work at a Baptist church, but there was no service at the time so I hardly think that counts. Personally though, I never felt comfortable in any church anyway, even when I was trying really hard to believe.
I would suggest against telling off your possible in-laws. At least until you are married, its kinda your boyfriend's responsibility to keep them out of your business. He needs to let them know how you two feel. You are still an outsider in their eyes (assuming here) and would be blamed and resented for the shit hitting the fan and the bad feelings would likely follow you into your marriage. You then become the harlot that stole their son to drag him off to Hell. They may never accept you or respect your marriage if that becomes the case.
Your boyfriend may need to grow a pair in order to do this, but I think its absolutely necessarily.
Jason-My boyfriend explained his reasons for not going to church to them a long time ago, but they still send tracts and tell him to go to church and pray with every sabbath phone message. I don't want to make it seem like he hasn't talked to them, because he has. (In fact, he says they're quite restrained with me. LOL) I think I'm just very prickly nowadays about the fact that people feel comfortable making assumptions about my religious beliefs. I admit that I'm venting here because it's a safe place--I wouldn't want to cause any sort of family rift.
I don't go to any church and I avoid them at all costs.
Going to church and going to a wedding or funeral that's at a church are two totally different things. One is attending for the sake of a deity, the other is attending for your friends or family.
Tiffany, since your boyfriend has already told his parents that he doesn't believe in their bull shit, he should now ask them to show him some respect and stop pestering him. If that doesn't work then he could always start sending them atheist literature, links to atheist blogs, and ask them to stop going to church.
I still have contradictory feelings on going to the church where I grew up. On one hand, the people there have loved and cared about me since before I was born. They've cheered me on through every life event and I feel gratitude for that. A small part of me wants to at least be able to go back and see how they are doing and to connect with them. Having been raised on gospel music, I do love that part of service as well. (I'll be honest, that is one thing that the secular tradition cannot offer me. *sigh*)
On the other hand, I am so different now and I can't help but think that some people would turn on me in a heartbeat or say "all that education has turned her away from the Lord". And I dread sitting through an entire church service and having to hear poor biblical exegesis (Dustin, I'm sure you can relate to that!) and talk about a Savior and a Prophet and a god that I simply can't get behind. I guess my feelings are more complex than I thought.
On my boyfriend (who is a wonderful person btw!): He does believe that 'something' must have created us all, but that's about it. Of course I asked him about who/what created that 'something'. He acknowledges the rationality of my question, but I think he's fine with being where he is. We get along wonderfully well because we're refugees from the church and have so many other things in common. I'm just more militant than he is.
As I said before, he's talked to his parents and I know that he's talked to his parents rather forcefully about me. (He hasn't really told me the details of the discussions.) I think that because his parents are older, he realizes that they're set in their ways and doesn't want to keep beating a dead horse. There was a recent incident that really pissed me off, but not sure that I feel comfortable writing it here. (If anyone is really curious, I can PM you.) That said, I think the idea about tracts and such is 'inspired'! ;) I will suggest that the next time he gets another Adventist quarterly. LOL
My parents are much more easygoing about my apostasy. (Well, relatively.) They both think my boyfriend's parents are kind of over the top. My mom and I don't really talk about it much, though she insists on telling me to pray when I have an issue every once in awhile. My dad cherishes a futile hope that I'll come back to the church when I'm older. (I tell him that I've been having these issues for twenty years. I hardly think that's a phase.) The interesting thing is that my parents have never, ever told me what I HAD to believe. So, although I know they don't feel thrilled about me being an atheist, that makes a huge difference in my comfort level about being open with them.
My wife is still clinging to her SDA roots and she occasionally wants to attend church. I bring her since she does not drive. I do not enjoy these visits and have actually just dropped her off the last couple of times since I really don't want to attend at all. The times I have attended with her made me scratch my head as I can't believe I actually fell for this crap earlier in my life.
Hi Tiffany. Not a SDA, (ex-Mormon). I will go to church for weddings, 3 yrs. ago, funerals, 8 mos. ago, things like that. But I think that is different than going for church services. These things I mentioned are for the individual person/people, so I will support them, simply because I love and care about them, NOT some god. I don't think that is a contradiction. If it for support of someone I care about, I will always be there if at all possible.
Unlike the others here, I go as often as possible! At least to Sabbath school. Well, I'm not "out" to these folks, and someone needs to correct them when they start talking out of the wrong end! Whether it's trivial stuff about the "Greek" city of Thessalonica (Hint: It's not Greek. Perhaps Adventists would have a better sense of history if we studied a little more than just a stilted version of Daniel 2.) or "off the deep end"stuff like promoting science and rights for minorities, I'm there every Saturday to bring some light to the darkness. If I don't bring them the good news of the atheist apocalypse, who will?
The Atheist Apocalypse is a great one-shot comic, btw. You should totally Google it!