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Was I being rude?

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posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:21 AM
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A brief history and a short story ...
I was brought up on religious beliefs when I was younger. Going to church, praying, and hanging out with friends after mass became a ritual on Sundays. For me, going to church was more about getting to see friends that you would normally not see due to them attending different schools or living in a different area. The idea of a god, Jesus, or devil didn't mean much at that age for me; however, the fear of their wrath was most definitely there.

I was taught that God and Jesus loved me - but not if I didn't do the dishes or if I didn't clean my room. If I didn't believe in doing those things, then I was doomed for an eternity in hell. I was taught that prayer was a tool for reaching God, and it protected you from going to hell, thus praying every night before sleep became the norm. The idea of hell at that age can be quite confusing and scary, so I decided to do an experiment. Risking "everything," I decided to not pray one night and see what the outcome would be. To my astonishment I woke up the next morning in one piece and still on Earth. The curiosity we have at a young age is most interesting; it has set the basis of my thinking ever since.

On to the point ...
Every other Friday a cell group will come over to the house for bible study, since the rents still attend church. The group consists of their church friends and a few cell group leaders. The concept of the cell group is noble, IMO: spend a Friday night at a friend's house with a group of friends and eat dinner as a group. After dinner comes the bible study. This is where I see myself in a bind.

In one hand here I am, an agnostic (by Carl Sagan's definition: "My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn't believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I'm agnostic." - Carl Sagan). I'm asked by the rents each time the cell group comes to have dinner with the group and to participate in the bible study as to not be rude. I do so in part to not be rude, but also out of curiosity. The cell group leaders encourage discussion as they read a passage and ask other group members what that passage means to them. I like hearing the different interpretations. It's interesting to see first-hand what people think of the bible and if they believe in it or not. To be honest, it seems to me that the cell group is more like a get together with casual readings of the bible.

This Friday was different, though. One of the cell group leaders read a passage and went on to describe it. I do not remember his exact interpretation, but I do remember the statement he made afterward remarking that people who do not believe in God or Jesus are doomed to go to hell, looking at me. Then, a few moments later, a sign-in sheet was to be passed around so the "higher-ups" (meaning the clergy) can see who is attending these meetings. Something that has never happened before: a sign-in sheet. But, according to the group leaders, wasn't this supposed to be casual? Nonetheless, I looked at the sign-in sheet and was surprised to see my name on it. It asked questions such as: "What year were you saved?"; "What time of the day do you pray to Jesus?"; etc. I didn't sign the sheet and passed it to the person next to me. Few moments pass and the group leader looks up and asks, "Anyone not sign the sheet?" and calls my name. I asked him, "Do I need to?" in which he replies, "No." Keeping this to myself: I felt that there was no reason to sign the sheet since I do not believe I was saved and I neither pray to God or Jesus.

What am I doing there if I don't believe in the things they do? Curiosity - but I suppose I shouldn't attend anymore. I have been careful to not impose what I believe in towards the group. None even know my beliefs, but I guess it's becoming apparent.

My question to you is this:
Was I being rude by not signing the sign-in sheet?




posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:28 AM
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Absolutely rude. I mean you totally didn't do what a few people wanted you to do, after all these years in their church, all these years in their flock....



But they need to deal with a bit of 'rudeness' now and then (or more than that). The last thing we need is people acting a part they don't actually believe in, understand, care about (I'm not necessarily saying all of these apply to you, but in general).

Keep being 'rude'. Sometimes that's the only way questions get answered in the end.

A person that doesn't believe but goes along doing everything pastor wants is doing no good service to himself or anyone. You need your own real experience that makes a religion/belief meaningful to you and it's absurd that anyone would expect you to behave as though it already were.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:32 AM
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No no no no, you were not being rude.

You didn't sign that thing because you didn't want to, end of story.


Ex

posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:50 AM
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I understand the importance of maintaining a social network,
and maybe that is more why you attend than any other reason.
I do however not think it was rude. I think it was more a statement
of your convictions. and applaud your strength to stand against the crowd
knowing this might be to your exclusion.
I have a dear friend that was raised protestant and married a wonderful catholic gentleman. They raised both of their children in the catholic
faith. She went to all the prerequiste classes to become a catholic and the day she was supposed to go to the front of the church and be baptised
( or whatever that ceremony is? ) into the faith.
She said she couldn't do it, because one of the statements she would have had to make was that she ONLY believed in the rules of the church.

I admired her so, for standing up , and being true to herself
as I admire you also!

Take heart, your choice of the word ,rudeness, speaks volumes
in a wonderful way!




[edit on 4/20/2009 by Ex]



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 05:26 AM
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I think there is something wrong with these people, and not with you. How rude is it to imply that you are going to hell? I go to church and if they gave me a paper to fill in like they gave you, I would complain and not even touch it.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by Zacaretas
 
No you were certainly no way being rude on this----they were.
You need to develop your own faith and beliefs.Faith is a powerful tool that will get you through life's tough times but it has to be something you truly believe in no matter what it is.
My faith keeps changin'--I'm quite spiritual at the mo. I believe we are all a creation but by who or what I can only speculate.
My comfort is I just know someone or something is guiding us and I need all the guidance I can get!
Good luck to you brother in finding yours. Take care.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 08:51 AM
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No you were not being rude. If you dont want to sign something you dont have to! I use t go to church but I felt very uncomfortable there. They would ask the same things and I had no answer. I did stop going and just studied on my own where I felt no pressure to be something I am not. You should do what makes you feel comfortable not what someone else wants you to do.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Zacaretas
 


you went to the study, against your beliefs, you have no need to sign that sheet, they are lucky that you go at all



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by Zacaretas
 


It could be a sign that someone wants to "cleanse" the flock. I am a Pagan, and would be giving my perspective on many of their core beliefs. They would have kicked me out a long time ago, as one of their goals is to try and convert people.

You were not rude, and should never have to use a sign-up sheet. The only time a sign-up sheet should be used is if there will be food served at a function and a need to know how many people will show up.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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You were not rude in any way shape or form. You did not want to sign the sheet. So you didn't. You said yourself that this was not a normal occurance.

You asked if you had to and they said no, so by all means, Don't sign it.

I would not have signed it either, but then again I would not have been at a group like that. Religion has always seemed a bit too.... cult like and has always creeped me out, although I do believe in god. I just do not follow or believe in any one religion.

It was completley within your rights to not sign, and from the way your story reads, no one took issue with and one even answered that you did not have to sign it.

You were NOT rude.



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 01:58 AM
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After listening to Alex Jones today, I think the "high ups" is the government. What they were saying on the radio was that the government's plan to put all the churches under the control of FEMA has progressed to the point of getting down to the level of "home Churches".
I think the OP is writing from the UK and I have to be sure they have the same thing going on in that country.
So, even what seems an informal Bible study group, is of interest to the snooping about by the so-called nanny government.



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 03:44 AM
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So maybe this is not anything close to what you had to fill out/sign, but I found out something interesting from my Aunt today....
Just before I got home from school out west, my church gave out these forms to every member to fill out, this so called survey....
Apparently it started out asking basic 'churchy' stuff, but then proceeded to ask for incredible detail about your life. It got downright violating...
She looked into the purpose for this, what exactly it was for in more detail, and where these surveys were all going for this supposed research...
It was some seemingly unrelated program directly run by the US government that had initiated these....got all the pastors in North America basically, for this denomination, to get all their church members to fill them out...

It may be nothing. But something just seems very wrong with that.
Don't anybody fill out anything, lol....your churches could very well be a tool for the gov to collect insane amounts of info about you....
Yeah, I sound paranoid. I know.
But I've decided to stay on the safe side....eep...



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by phoebeflakes
 


You are not being paranoid, just seeing it for what it is.
Paranoia is irrational and being worried about your church handing out forms for the government is pretty rational.
Remember the Janet Napolitano report on threats to "America". They mean a threat to a fascist takeover of America. A Constitutional government is not threatened by Christians. Tyrants need to be afraid of Christians. Romans 13 is used by FEMA to trick Christians to think that we need to give in to the New World Order.
In the United States, the government is by the People, not the global bankers so we do not have a dictator who we have to swear fidelity to. That form of government is fascism and we are not under any obligation from God to accept it. In fact, you are obligated to follow the constitution and to resist and fight against the enemies of the Constitution.
Recently, Obama was giving a speech at a Christian college and covered up any references to Christ and put up a banner of a black pyramid. That is nothing but a fascist symbol that represents a hierarchy, which we, as Americans do not believe in.


[edit on 21-4-2009 by jmdewey60]



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 04:55 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Unpleasant things to consider....
I'm not familiar with some of the things you've mentioned and would need to do a bit of research, but I get the jist.

The thing that seems weirder to me is that I am in Canada but these surveys were being conducted through the USA....

Anyway, maybe it's just because that's where the 'mother' church, or headquarters for the denomination is or whatever.

Um next thing....they must be sending stuff like this out to all Christian denominations or at least larger ones, then, if what you are saying is correct?
I'm going to ask a few friends of mine maybe....
Interesting.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by phoebeflakes
 


I edited part of the show I was talking about in my earlier post.
This is what woke me up to what was going on in the OP.
I put this up in the Video & Media section.
media.abovetopsecret.com...
I hope this will help you out in your research on this subject.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 05:07 PM
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Dear OP, the first point of this thread is why are you attending any church if you are an agnostic? Do not, do (not), please, do this to the Lord Jesus, attending something you know in your heart you don't believe in, and it hurts God more then you but you cannot see that.

secondly, you have free will, which means you can say no to God as well as I can. Nobody can take that from you, so no you were not being rude.


The reason these souls inculding I, believe you will go to hell if you do not believe because he is God. What he does from communion is enter the soul, rids it of sefl and brings it to perfection, without this grace, he cannot live within us.

and so he has to seperate us from him in hell, there is no other choice, and it's all free will.


Most of them say that out of love, not out of judgement.



To my astonishment I woke up the next morning in one piece and still on Earth. The curiosity we have at a young age is most interesting; it has set the basis of my thinking ever since.
(OP)


as for that qoute. Your understanding is still young. God will not strike you down because you don't pray, but what it does to is make the soul tepid and it becomes more prideful in it's own strength, something you will learn as you become much older.



God bless you. peace.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by JesusisTruth


Dear OP, the first point of this thread is why are you attending any church if you are an agnostic? Do not, do (not), please, do this to the Lord Jesus, attending something you know in your heart you don't believe in, and it hurts God more then you but you cannot see that.


Woah what? Don't 'do this to the Lord Jesus'?
I'm sure there are worse things, like believing in God but then going out and purposely, willfully doing things against him, feeding people false doctrine, harming others, etc etc.
Who's to say that if it weren't for church, that a person would currently not have any other exposure to these beliefs, due to their circumstances?
Who's to say that God doesn't want a disbeliever in church right now, so that they might gradually learn, have their questions answered, and maybe come to believe over time and exposure?
I can't imagine Jesus being offended because somebody who doesn't believe is sitting in the pews on Sunday. Maybe PEOPLE of a high degree of 'religiousity' and a lack of understanding, but Jesus?
Is it offending God to watch a pastor on TV at home even though you don't believe what he's saying about God? I mean, that's pretty much the same thing. You better turn off that TV, you don't believe what your hearing, after all!!

If we all truly, fully, properly, perfectly believed and understood etc etc I don't see what the purpose of church would be, (other than a place for self-indulgent sorts to go show off "Look at me! I'm a Christian")
Which, in my experience, is most often what it is anyway, unfortunately.

Anyway, the point in the end, is if disbelieving God hurts God (Jesus, both, whoever) then I am sure it hurts regardless of whether that person sits on a pew or the bleachers at a ball game every Sunday morning.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by jmdewey60
reply to post by phoebeflakes
 


I edited part of the show I was talking about in my earlier post.
This is what woke me up to what was going on in the OP.
I put this up in the Video & Media section.
media.abovetopsecret.com...
I hope this will help you out in your research on this subject.


OK....so i listened to it....
Wow....
They speak of surveys being sent to even small home churches of 50 or so, and that is the size of my/my aunt's church....and of course, this possibly was the exact same reason we received these immense, nosy surveys. Not terribly happy about that...yet glad I never filled one out.

THanks for posting this.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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No, I'm saying it sounds like he is leading people on that he is christian.

and I meant mass. Mass should not be attended if you do not believe in the sacraments because of the prayers. The prayers at the beggining are signs of faith that you profess.

So it's like someone sitting through it without belief in it. It almost sounds like the OP is going through force, not out of curioisity.



peace

[edit on 22-4-2009 by JesusisTruth]



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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and btw let's hope he's not recieving communion, because God told many saints, and the church itself teaches that those who recieve communion without belief in it, is a great sin \

so I would like to know if the OP goes to communion?

[edit on 22-4-2009 by JesusisTruth]




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