Columbia Atheists Message Board › Atheists in church...and a surprising "revelation" about the new p

Atheists in church...and a surprising "revelation" about the new pastor.

A former member
Post #: 2
So as many of you know, I'm back in St. Louis now and can't attend your meetups, but as a consequence of that I had a fun experience...in church.

Yes, my family drags me along and I don't particularly mind, as I'm usually not out late on Saturday's now (confused). But recently our old pastor left (resigned effective immediately; something interesting happened, but we don't know what!) and the new guy is whining about how "we're in a secular age" and such things, which means I get a built in hour of live, in person opposition research each week!

But I wanted to share a juicy little nugget with you from last week's sermon, a long apologetic about the nature of the trinity. The guy loves his similes, and so he wanted to compare our "failure to grasp the concept of the trinity" to something. He believes that the problem is complexity, so he compared our failure to understand the trinity to...our failure to understand Einstein's special relativity theory. Here's the rapid succession of thoughts that came across my mind.

1) Hey I understand relativity; don't say I'm ignorant; I read books on these types of things for fun!
2) Wow, he just assumed that the entire congregation has no interest in or understanding of modern science.
3) Judging by the books we sold at the church rummage sales back in Middle/High school, (lots of Ann Coulter and Oliver North type books) HE'S PROBABLY RIGHT.

But the really surprising revelation was the way this guy's mind works on the whole idea of the "Culture Wars" or whatever we're calling it now. It seems to me that because science is so important to secular humanism, this guy just assumes that people who are on his side in it are therefore totally uninterested in science.

It's also quite funny to me that the guy thinks that the trinity is complex in the first place. After all, it can be boiled down to a simple, three character mathematical expression, 3=1, which we all know is false.

Anyway I hope you are all having a good summer.
Annie
user 9088049
Columbia, MO
Post #: 50
Scott: Your post made me smile. :)

It also supports one of my theories about Christianity: that, along with everything else, religion in America has dumbed itself down considerably in the last few decades. (Or maybe I just had a really intelligent pastor when I was growing up; I was in awe of his intellect, actually.)

I always thought the Christian focus on the "complexity" or the "mystery" of the Trinity (I'll cede the upper case "T," since we're using their language anyway) is to distract from the fact that three deities equals not monotheism but polytheism.

And actually, that's the part of Catholicism I liked when I was growing up: it truly does function as polytheism, since you are free to decide which of multiple entities you wish to petition at any moment, and at least one of them is a female. (You can pray to any of the saints, too, and the material that has been written about coorelations between various saints and various Hellenic gods and goddesses is pretty compelling.) Now, of course there is Church "doctrine" that says a petition to anyone other than the three persons of the Trinity is intercessory in nature rather than direct, but there are an awful lot of Catholics whose religion isn't informed by the Church's parsing of doctrine.

What denomination of Christianity are the services you're attending?

At any rate, I miss your spirit of fun and your smiling face, and hope all is well with you.
A former member
Post #: 3
This is the United Church of Christ, or UCC, that "liberal denomination with individual conservative churches" I mentioned at one of the meetups. To give you an idea how progressive the denomination leadership is, they ordain gay ministers and their motto is never place a period where God has placed a comma. I must say, your comments about your really intelligent pastor reminded me of our youth minister when I was in high school.

As for how I'm doing, I'm a little bored because I'm only doing a training phase one night per week for a financial advisor position so far (and working at the farmers' market on Saturdays), but I just had a great second interview on Thursday for a better, more analytical, job which is absolutely perfect for me. So I'll know in a week how well off I am.
Vanette
user 11546408
Columbia, MO
Post #: 2
I have always cringed at the phrase - and the concept- of the "mystery of the Trinity." Even as a believer it sounded too much like a magician's hocus-pocus and made me really uncomfortable, as well as making me wonder if I was missing something crucial since it made no sense to me.

The minister (Presbyterian, about as liberal as it comes) was a good friend but we didn't discuss religious matters on his free time; probably wouldn't have been good friends if that had happened. So I never explored the three-in-one with a professional. Frankly, I didn't want to. I pretty much just blew it off and went on.

The Trinity idea is most likely a good part of the reason I've come to the point where I am now.

Annie, I hadn't thought of it as polytheism and I'm sure most, if not all, preachers/ministers/priests would hotly deny it but it does quack like a duck and I think you're right on.
A former member
Post #: 4
Well priests will hotly deny it, buy a lot of protestant ministers will rally behind you. If you ever want to have some fun with Christians on this kind of thing just ask them why they think that catholics/protestants/baptists/presbyter­ians/whatever they are not are wrong. You'll get a lot of stuff that's completely useless though. (i.e. "They don't baptize they're children at the right time!").
Dave
user 10231222
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 1,294
It's also quite funny to me that the guy thinks that the trinity is complex in the first place. After all, it can be boiled down to a simple, three character mathematical expression, 3=1, which we all know is false.

Actually, I believe I understand the trinity...better than the religious would like me to.

Sure, it's easy to jump to the "Sybil" explanation of multiple personalities. That would be supported by the various diverse personalities that the xian god seems to display at different times.

But no, I think it's simpler than that. God is a perv. God uses different identities to engage in various kinds of sexual activity which he has declared to be "bad".

Adultery? Bad. So God, obviously can't commit adultery. So he invented the "holy spirit" persona and impregnates a married woman.

Hanging around with hookers? Tsk tsk. Bad form, old man. So he does it in the form of his "son".

This would explain a lot about many different xian denominations. Think about it.
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