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February 07, 2010



The perpetual worship service was a big turnoff of mine too. Growing up CofC, I can tell you that going to church three times a week is possibly the closest thing to hell that an easily bored, securely middle class kid with non-abusive parents can imagine. With the possible exception of middle school P.E., but at least that had the grace to be over with in 45 minutes.


As a kid, the concept of eternity in heaven scared me a lot. I didn't want to live forever, particularly if it was white robes and singing hymns. Then I'd feel guilty cuz I didn't want to go to heaven.

And Leighton, I went to the church school: Church 3 times a week, school chapel twice a week, and Bible class 5x per week. From 3rd grade on. Not close to hell. It was hell.

Plano Michael

loving this, btw


As an inticement to convince the more intellectual sorts in our church the pastor gave an unusual sermon about heaven one Sunday. He said heaven would not be an spent walking on gold streets and singing day after day. Instead, we would live forever exploring God's creation. But in order to really appreciate the wonders of creation we had to prepare our minds by studying science and math.

He only said that once publicly. All other sermons on eternal life and heaven were about gold streets and eternal songfests. That one sermon was probably the most heretical thing anyone in that church ever heard. I guess they were hoping for an eternal life as zombies. Its certainly easier than thinking.

I've never come across anything in the bible that would support his idea about exploring and studying the creation as an intellectual or for scholarly purposes. He also presented the apparently novel idea (in that same sermon) that many of the saved would spend a large chunk of eternity studying past human history, writing about it and describing where and how humanity went wrong. He gave no bible references for either claim and I don't know where he came up with the idea. I suppose he found the whole idea of singing forever a bit much as he was college educated (I think he had a PhD) and not uncurious in spite of his dogmatic religious beliefs.

I suppose if I were still a believer in this dead god on a cross I might find his ideas about heaven and eternal life preferable to being a zombie chanting 'holy, holy, holy' to an emotionally insecure divinity for eternity. However, as an unbeliever, I find the idea ridiculous because first we'd only being examining God's works and we already know how they came into being. Second, writing a history of the rise and fall of the human race shouldn't really take much time (only 6,000 years of history!) and no debate since the answer is obvious.

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