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3 Bumps

Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom.

~Author Unknown

 I know there are those who profess belief in God and yet do not go to church. Is it necessary? Can you learn everything you need to know about your God if you don't learn from others who also believe?


Asked by IhartU at 7:31 AM on Feb. 23, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (34)
  • I can only speak about Christianity, not sure what other religions believe about church. IMO, Christianity is a way of living. Living according to the beliefs in the Bible and living as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is not just about going to a Christian church. If your Christianity only exists "in church" then you are not much of a Christian. While I feel church is an important part of the Christian life for fellowship, worship and personal growth I feel it is just a small part of being Christian.......after all, there are 6 other days in the week to use what we have learned!

    Answer by deedee3849 at 1:46 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I don't go to Church to learn about God. I go to Church to worship Him in community...Do I think it's necessary? No. Do I think it's good? It can be, yes.

    Answer by Anna92464 at 7:33 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • No, I DON'T think church is necessary. Some people like that sense of community, and that's fine, but I don't think you have to go to church to be spiritual or religious. I do miss that sense of community that came with attending church as a child (but not enough to attend any conservative churches in my town), and that's one reason I'm considering visiting one of the UUA churches about an hour from us. If it was closer, I'd have gone already, but we'll probably go when my son gets a little bigger. If we had a UUA church or a Buddhist temple in our town, I would probably go just to interact with people with similar views for a change.

    I also think it can help to have others to 'guide' us (in a church or Sangha communtiy, study groups, friends, family, etc), but in reality no one and no sacred text really 'teach' us anything. They just help us recognize love, peace, and wisdom within ourselves. JMHO

    Answer by pam19 at 8:49 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • No, church is not necessary- you can find all you need to know about God and your relationship with Him through study and reflection. At the same time- just like school allows you to learn from others so does church- it also provides time with like-minded individuals and fellowship.

    Answer by soyousay at 9:07 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Then why do so many insist that their kids attend church and sunday school to be indoctrinated?

    indoctrinated?- how about looking at it as family time, a time to worship, a time to learn and have fellowship-to be with others that share a common belief- a time to celebrate-


    Answer by soyousay at 9:44 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Teaching and indoctrination are two different things- at least I hope so since I am a teacher- I sure hope my students are being taught not indoctrinated-indoctrinate does not leave room for discussion, debate, reflection and thought- Church allows time for all of those things-sermons are a starting point to get people thinking and debating, Sunday school is a time to share ideas, even coffee hour is a time of discussion, youth group is for fellowship and discussion and debate, prayer is a time of reflection-
    But yes, I disagree with those that say religion is not taught at church-I think teaching is a wonderful, positive thing and a far cry from indoctrination-
    For the record-my church in the Winter is the top of a ski hill- we ride the lift up and celebrate the day before us, we reflect and gather our strength and clarity- no indoctrination there- just a connection with God-

    Answer by soyousay at 10:43 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • JJB- thanks for the clarification- I was addressing the practices, principles and traditions-you were addressing the deeper meaning-my misunderstanding of your previous post-

    I liked the Helen Keller story and it does sum it up pretty well- I knew He existed before anyone told me about Him as well-

    Answer by soyousay at 2:27 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • "that's where the and your problem lies, continually thinking religion or christian belief in Jesus is taught."

    Then why do so many insist that their kids attend church and sunday school to be indoctrinated? That is most certainly being "taught".

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:24 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • I don't believe church is necessary, and I believe individuals can find their own way. I agree with others that faith is something you feel and find, not something you are taught. I don't ever go to church to "learn", I go to fellowship with other believers, for that sense of community. I agree that it can be helpful to have others help guide or encourage us in our spirituality, but I don't believe one must be taught in order to have a valid opinion or understanding or relationship of/with God. I do believe there is value in learning and studying, etc, but I don't believe its necessary for one to believe...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:36 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Oh, I agree - my mother "taught" us, but she didn't indoctrinate us. She opened up discussion, encouraged us to follow our own thought processes through to our own conclusions. We were active in church from a young age, but never told that we *must* believe what was said, were never treated as though it were some kind of instruction. It was more an exposure to ideas that allowed us to think and consider for ourselves. Christianity takes many different forms, and while people must be exposed to it in one way or another to really know about it, its not something that necessarily has to be regurgitated from one person to the next. Exposure can allow someone to form their own ideas and lead them to fall anywhere on the spectrum of Christian belief, or even off of it. Religion, the tenets, etc, is something one must be exposed to, but that inner pull and curiosity, the natural connection with God and each other, that isn't taught..

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:08 AM on Feb. 23, 2011