Recently, the New York Times ran an article citing scientific evidence that demonstrated that attending church is good for your health. The study revealed that people who regularly attend church, on average, live two to three years longer than non-attenders. This was one of a number of studies recently with similar results.
Perhaps it is this realization that has led to a recent phenomenon of Godless churches. Originally created by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, a new international movement of atheists and agnostics, called Sunday Assembly, is gaining popularity. Some have dubbed it, the “Atheist Megachurch.”
The Sunday Assembly began as an attempt to recreate the church experience, minus a belief in God. The Assembly, which began in London, has now spread to New York City and Melbourne, Australia, with 18 other openings planned by year’s end.
The organization is planning their first event in Dallas on December 8, 2013.
On their website, they define themselves as “a godless congregation that celebrate [sic] life.” They further explain,
“Our motto: live better, help often, wonder more.
Our mission: to help everyone find and fulfill their full potential.
Our vision: a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one.”
Attenders seek such benefits as “a sense of community,” “a thought-provoking (secular) sermon,” “group singing” and an “ethos of self-improvement,” exemplified by the motto “live better, help often, wonder more,” and they hope that eventually Sunday Assembly will organize Sunday school, weddings, funerals and “non-religious baptisms.”
My first thought about Godless churches is that I don’t think this idea is all that novel. I think Godless churches have existed for a long time. Some just don’t practice honesty in advertising.
My second thought is … Why? Everything of God that the world tries to replicate is ultimately empty and powerless! Remember Dagon? The severed head and disembodied hands of a false deity prostrate before the Ark of God were poignant reminders of how God views godlessness.
When we take God out of the family, it leads to broken homes, rising crime rates, sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality, along with cataclysmic increases in abortion and suicide. When we dislodge God from marriage, homosexual unions masquerading as the institution God created erupt. When we remove God from our entertainment, profanity and immorality clutters our airwaves. When we extricate God from our schools, violence increases to epidemic levels. When we ban God from our government and laws, moral decay escalates to such a level that cries out for divine judgment.
We know this. It’s happened on our watch.
I wonder what will happen when we take God out of church? It’s another institution God created from which He is being ripped away. It’s another term (like marriage) that God coined that is being conscripted for pagan use. To be sure, God is patient. But, He will not be mocked.
The Sunday Assembly may be Godless, but they’re not a church.