I’m laying on the couch watching Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man. There was this episode about Sunday Assembly, which is essentially an atheist church. I have heard about this type of church and I find it puzzling. Not only is an atheist church an oxymoron, I find that it is not much different than some churches today.
Spurlock was in Nashville visiting churches so that he could glean some inspiration for his atheist message. For the record, I’m not particularly fond of churches using the term “message” in place of “sermon.” It sounds so sanitized and secularized. Nonetheless, I was interested to see that real worship services were used as inspiration for this brave new church.
As I watched Spurlock’s reaction to hearing a sermon regarding marriage and homosexuality, I could see him mentally disengaging. I know that this topic made the cut to reinforce the notion that Christians are judgmental and intolerant. Not only that, the mere mention of God garners a subtle response that believers are bonkers. I can live with that but I still find it peculiar for someone to look to the church to model an atheist church.
Many churches today perform contemporary Christo-pop songs quite badly and on this episode of Inside Man the secret of Sunday Assembly is revealed–badly played Bon Jovi and 80’s hair music and ego puffery. If you look at Joel Osteen, you get an unbiblical feel good message sanitized of the real Christ. Atheist church has its own brand of positive sentimentalism. It is actually alarming to see that many churches today are virtually indistinguishable from this new godless church movement.
I don’t see the point. To meet simply for community seems ridiculous to me. I know different people have different motivations for attending church. As for me, I’m going to worship Jesus. Everything else pales in comparison. I have numerous friends at church, but I don’t get up Sunday mornings to hang out with my buddies. I go to worship Jesus.
Maybe I’m just antisocial. Growing up I often found myself often excluded on the playground. Today I carry my phone everywhere and I get irritated if it rings. I sometimes get put out if I get a text. It keeps interrupting my candy crushing efforts.
What I’m trying to say is that meeting up with a bunch of people I may or may not know doesn’t feel much like community to me. I’d rather pile into the van with family and friends to feed the homeless instead of having some life coach facilitator telling me and the rest of the strangers that I can feel loved and included. It’s vacuous and empty without Christ. It is an exercise in self-importance.
I don’t have a problem with atheists meeting up for their godless church therapy sessions. I just find it pointless. If we really are just living to die, why waste it on some contrived sense of community? Are we really this disjointed as a society that we have to create a cheering section for our egos? If there is nothing after I die, my time is best spent as an epicurean. If this is it, why waste time when I can fulfill my desires and numb my senses?
Then again, how much different are some of today’s churches from Sunday Assembly? Not much.