Your atheist, but you go to church, so are you a christian?

Asked by: BrightEyes21
  • What it means to be a Christian atheist?

    Christian atheism is a theological position in which the belief in the transcendent or interventionist God is rejected or absent in favor of finding God totally in the world (Thomas J. J. Altizer) or following Jesus in a Godless world (William Hamilton). Hamilton's Christian atheism is similar to Jesuism.

    According to Paul van Buren, a Death of God theologian, the word God itself is "either meaningless or misleading". He contends that it is impossible to think about God. Van Buren says that "we cannot identify anything which will count for or against the truth of our statements concerning 'God'".

    The inference from these claims to the "either meaningless or misleading" conclusion is implicitly premised on the verificationist theory of meaning. Most Christian atheists believe that God never existed, but there are a few who believe in the death of God literally. Thomas J. J. Altizer is a well-known Christian atheist who is known for his literal approach to the death of God. He often speaks of God's death as a redemptive event. In his book The Gospel of Christian Atheism he speaks of how "every man today who is open to experience knows that God is absent, but only the Christian knows that God is dead, that the death of God is a final and irrevocable event, and that God's death has actualized in our history a new and liberated humanity".

    Theologians including Altizer and Lyas looked at the scientific, empirical culture of today and tried to find religion's place in it. In Altizer's words, "No longer can faith and the world exist in mutual isolation…the radical Christian condemns all forms of faith that are disengaged with the world."

    He goes on to say that our response to atheism should be one of "acceptance and affirmation". Colin Lyas, a Philosophy lecturer at Lancaster University, stated that "Christian atheists are united also in the belief that any satisfactory answer to these problems must be an answer that will make life tolerable in this world, here and now and which will direct attention to the social and other problems of this life."

    Jesus is still a central feature of Christian atheism. Although, Hamilton said that to the Christian atheist, Jesus is not really the foundation of faith; instead, he is a "place to be, a standpoint". Christian atheists look to Jesus as an example of what a Christian should be, but they do not see him as God. Hamilton wrote that following Jesus means being "alongside the neighbor, being for him", and that to follow Jesus means to be human, to help other humans, and to further humankind. Other Christian atheists such as Thomas Altizer preserve the divinity of Jesus, arguing that through him God negates God's transcendence of being.

    Altizer has said that "the radical Christian believes that the ecclesiastical tradition has ceased to be Christian". He believed that orthodox Christianity no longer had any meaning to people because it did not discuss Christianity within the context of contemporary theology.

  • We are known by our deeds, not our thoughts.

    The church, as an organization, claims to represent their entire congregation and declares them all members. Personal intentions have no substance until they are acted upon. If your actions do not match your intent, you are not being honest. Unless explained otherwise, we must assume a person's actions reflect their beliefs.

  • What is christianity?

    By definition, you can only be a christian if you are saved by faith through christ jesus, by grace alone and by nothing you have done.
    An atheist by definition does not believe in God (capitals added for emphasis on the christian god)
    It can be deduced that it is impossible for atheists to be christians.

    The question asks wether going to church makes them a christian. Just going to church does not make you a christian, so even a christian who goes to church is not just a christian because of that act.

    Do you see what I am saying? Wether atheist or theist, you are not a christian just because you go to church. It requires a personal relationship with God.

  • I'm an atheist.

    I grew up in a very Christian house hold, my mother is all about the God stuff but I'm not. I have a hard time believing that God did a lot of stuff. I'm not saying that he didn't, I just have a different view of it. To me God is my savior, not my religion.

  • Going to church does not change your religion.

    I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, but I am an atheist. Going to church does not make you christian. There are other churches for other religions. I am atheist because I know god is a myth. Everyone says "no," so do you agree?

  • No not really.

    If I go to a bar does that mean I'm a drunk? If I go to a casino does that mean I'm a gambler?

    I don't know why you would go to a church if you didn't believe in it. I suppose if you were a kid and you parents forced you fair enough.

  • Being a Christian.

    Being a Christian is not about, who you are, it is not about where you've been, it is not about what you have done, Being a Christian is about believing in who He is, and in what He has done. Accepting Jesus is the only solution to being saved, and being a Christian. All Jesus asks for is your heart. Everything else just falls in place.

  • Just as long as you don't believe what they say, you aren't Christian.

    Many Atheists grow up in Christian households and have been forced to go to church, but that doesn't make them Christian. Some do it because it is socially unacceptable not to, or to be polite to a friend. The only think that will actually make an Atheist into a Christian is if they believe in what other Christians believe. Aside from that, no.

  • No, it would be illogical.

    Allow me to share a popular analogy among Christians. If I were to put a bike in my garage, does that make the bike a car? Cars go in garages, so why not call it a car? It's the same logic with an Atheist in a church. Atheists are more than welcome to go to church, but it doesn't make them a Christian. Actually, the same thing applies to Christians. They cannot call themselves true followers of Christ if they only go to church, and nothing further. I could go into a whole rant about church and false claims, but I'll save it for another time in which it would be more appropriate.

  • [Not in note of BrightEyes's example]

    An atheist can end up in church for multiple reasons. Some can do it out of fear (don't want to be disowned by family, be bombarded with disparaging remarks from Christians; more so with children), for their religious spouse or children, in hopes of being swayed religious, just because they can and are bored. There are many reasons they could go to church, but just because they do go there, it doesn't make them religious.

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boognish says2015-12-07T20:06:50.063
@BrightEyes21 - You are an atheist but god is your savior? How does that work?
Vox_Veritas says2015-12-07T22:12:40.447
One's Christianity is not determined by whether or not one goes to church.