Sundays Are Hard When They’re Good

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Church was awesome today, which sucks.

I played guitar, we had awesome music, lots of people showed up, sermon was on point, excellent community building today, Sun was shining, tons of kids…

And I found myself desperately wanting to believe. Wanting the songs to be real, wishing my sermon was true.

It was the kind of day where I think:

Yeah, I can do this. This job is awesome!

I’ve got a meeting planned for the end If the week with a possible employer. Every bone in my body wants to cancel the meeting and just do this job, the one I already have.

(sigh)

I hate good Sundays.

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12 thoughts on “Sundays Are Hard When They’re Good

  1. Could it be that people sharing happy “real world” experiences in religious contexts is the glue that keeps religions being propagated across generations, rather than the truth of their claims?
    Do Humanists need to create more places where people can gather to help make transitioning away from organised religion easier? Community building network hubs?
    Beware. Preaching ahead!
    The pain of losing beliefs in the supernatural is unique to the the religious. Millions of people who have lived their lives without religious beliefs (like me) don’t suffer this pain, and live perfectly happy lives sharing “real world” experiences with others outside of religious contexts.
    To lose belief in a god in a context where doing so likely means loss of community, and for some family too, is a real social burden. This burden seems only to exist in societies where populations have not only been socialised into accepting religious identification as the best example of how to live, but that alternative ways of living are bad. That’s not a secular society, it’s a society on it’s way to accepting living in a theocratic would be a good thing.

    I wish I was physically present to help you through this. Try and enjoy the good days because of the reasons they’re good; sharing the day with other humans being nice to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I know something of how you feel. If only it was true, then this agony of soul would pass. At times I have thought to myself I wish I could believe again, it would ease this pain I feel and make life simpler. But then I realise I can’t make myself believe.

    Interestingly Robert Price a Biblical Scholar who lost his faith continues to attend church because he finds it meaningful and fulfilling of a need inside us, even though he does not believe that ‘god’ is there. Bart Ehrman suggested near the end of his book ‘Misquoting Jesus’ that even though he is convinced the Bible is a human, not a divine book, tolerant forms of religion can still be helpful and meaningful to people.

    There was the case in the Church of England some years ago when the pastor said he lost faith and resigned his post. The Congregation petitioned the Bishop to keep him on because he was such a ‘good pastor’. I don’t know what was end result in that case.

    It must be hard for you, and as you suggest the good times actually make the break so much harder.

    Whatever happens I wish you well.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am with you. I did not quit believing in church, just God. I feel the pain. I don’t miss God any. I miss church a lot, and I especially miss playing in the band. Can I ask you a question? How do you handle playing the songs that you no longer believe are true? I was the lead guitarist in my worship band, and I had to quit playing as I felt dishonest with myself for leading the songs. I don’t know what type of music you guys play, but I just go to the point where I could no longer utter the words. I’m not trying to tell you how to feel….more like trying to figure out how I could make enough sense to go back to playing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For me, playing the songs are kind of nostalgic. I still love the songs. They still stir inside me. What’s hard about it is that I wish they were true. It’s like I’m singing these songs hoping God becomes created ex nihilo. As if the power of my words can create. “Let there be a savior, and there was a savior, and he was good.”

      I enjoy playing and singing the songs when I’m doing it. Afterwards I feel hungover.

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      • Oh man. That is so heart wrenching. I actually spent a good long period exactly as you described. People were shocked to hear my story because for six months before leaving I freaking cried and begged for God to show up while leading worship. Tears running down my face singing as loud as I could. But then it dried up and I just gave up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fair warning, hymns and other religious songs are going to pop into your head for the rest of your life. I deconverted about thirty years ago and I still get earworms from that dreary Lutheran hymnal from time to time. It does help to realize that music without lyrics is just music, and that a lot of Christian music was something else first. I’ve gotten to the point where I can play “Greensleeves” without remembering I first learned it as “What Child Is This?”

        It also helps to go learn new music, any genre that interests you.

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  4. Hey John. I’m new to your blog, I haven’t read all your posts yet, let alone the comments, so I’m not sure whether someone has made this suggestion already. But what about becoming a pastor or a priest in a congregation where theism isn’t a requirement? Have you read much work by Bishop John Shelby Spong? I am an atheist, raised in an Anglican (Episcopalian in the US) church, and I discovered recently that the priest is not a theist. I don’t think he advertises the fact, but some of his parishioners know. Episcopalians are about as liberal as it gets, and his church is in a pretty progressive neighborhood. Perhaps that’s very hard to find. But maybe you get lucky, and you can keep your job without the make-believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I’ve thought about it. I think I’d like to distance myself from the whole religion thing all together if possible. Besides, I’m trying not to relocate my family and there aren’t many liberal churches in our area. There is a big Episcopal church near by, but they just went through a split, with their orthodox members leaving to form a conservative Anglican church.

      Liked by 1 person

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