. Simply click "Moriel Ministries" below to go back to the main site

Arrow up
Arrow down


Tuesday, 25 June 2013 22:55

‘Can I Get an Amen?": Atheist Churches Bring Hymns and Sermons Together in Curious Celebration of Non-Belief

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Jun. 24, 2013 2:01pm
Billy Hallowell
The Blaze 

The growth of atheist churches continues across the globe. With the London-based Sunday Assembly, a non-theistic congregation, coming to New York City later this month, it"s only one of the non-believing congregations operating — or planning to, anyway — on U.S. soil.

Take, for instance, Jerry DeWitt — a former Pentecostal minister — and his newest endeavor. This weekend, he took his atheism to new levels with the launch of the Community Mission Chapel of Lake Charles Louisiana (an atheist congregation). While the house of worship sounds like a traditional Christian church, it"s quite the opposite.

On Sunday, the "secular" church service unfolded at a hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Religion News Service reports. DeWitt, who faced challenges after leaving his faith behind, is looking to create a sense of community with the announcement of his chapel and its accompanying services.

"After 25 years of attending and officiating church services, I know what a force for good they can be," he told RNS. "But when an atheist leaves "religion" this becomes a void in their lives. I am founding this church and hosting this service to change that."

The first service, entitled, "Joie de Vivre: To Delight in Being Alive," didn"t mention, but it had all of the staples of a typical Christian service.

"Oh, it"s going to be so hard to not say, "Can I get an amen?," The New York Times quotes DeWitt as saying during the service. "I want you to feel comfortable singing. And I want you to feel comfortable clapping your hands. I"m going to ask you to silence your cellphones, but I"m not going to ask you to turn them off. Because I want you to post."

In describing the project, DeWitt said that it is intended to be a full-scale church — one where people who are not religious can find community with others like them. Rather than contradicting the work of faith-based houses of worship, he told RNS that he wants to do "the same job as traditional religious institutions, only without dogma or supernaturalism."

And, as stated, this isn"t the only atheist "church" in the news. Over the weekend, CNN also reported about another service — this time in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Greg Epstein, a Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, participates in and organizes hour-long services that also include music, sermons about community, and other related themes. Here"s how the outlet describes these Humanist "church" services":

Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.

If so, it"s a church without one big player: God.

Sunday"s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school"s Humanist chaplain.

A longtime advocate for community building, Epstein and his group of atheists have begun to build their Cambridge community and solemnize its Sunday meetings to resemble a traditional religious service.

With plans to build-out and host events at a large-scale community center, Epstein and other non-believers are borrowing a blueprint from the religious. As CNN notes, this pattern may extend beyond simply holding services. The outlet reports that the chaplain would enjoy a future in which this community center serves as the hub for other events, like baby-naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This article contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Read 7009 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 22:55

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Newsletter signup
  1. Full Name(*)
    Please type your full name.
  2. E-mail(*)
    Invalid email address.
  3. Address(*)
    Invalid Input
  4. City(*)
    You have to enter a value for the City
  5. Province/County/State(*)
    Invalid Input
  6. Country(*)
    Invalid Input
  7. Post/Zip code(*)
    Invalid Input
  8. +4 US(*)
    Invalid Input
  9. Telephone
    Invalid Input
  10. Your closest Moriel Location(*)
    Invalid Input
  11. are you human?(*)
    are you human? RefreshInvalid Input

Blog by Subject

9/11 Aberrational Theology Abuse Reports Alpha Course Announcements Antichrist antisemitism apologetics Archeology Australia Author backsliding Berit Kjos Bezaleel Bill Alnor Bill Randles Bill Walthall Brian Broderson Buddhism calvary chapel Calvin Smith Canada Catholicism Central and South America Charley Carle Christopher Fisher Church Issues Comforting Those Who Mourn D. E. Isom Dave Royle David Lister D E Isom dental mission Discernment doctrine Ecumenism Elon Morah Elon Moreh Emergent Church End Times End Times Archive eschatology europe Evangelism Evolution False Prophets feminism former gay germany Hare Krishna heresy Hinduism history hizbollah hollywood information In the Land Islam Israel Israel Missions Items of Various Interest Jackie Alnor Jacob Prasch James Jacob Prasch Jan Markell Japan Jehovah's Witnesses jewhatred jezebel joyce meyer Kenya Missions last days Latest News luther Mexico Mike Gendron Mike Oppenheimer Missions Missions in Rome Moriel japan Mormonism Nessim Muse New Age New Apostolic Reformation News & Info New Zealand Persecution petition Philippine Garbage Dump Children Philip Powell pope Popular Teachers posttrib Prayer Request prayer requests pretrib prewrath pride Prophecy News Purpose Driven Question and Answer Quote of the Day rapture Render to Caesar Ruckmanism russia Sandy Simpsom Scott Noble seal sin South Africa South Africa Missions Steven Boot Tanzania Missions Teaching Testimonies testimony Thailand Toronto, Pensacola & Lakeland Toronto, Pensacola & Lakeland tribulation Uncategorized United Kingdom United States USA Missions Word Faith wrath yeshua

Filter and Search Articles

Articles of note

Holyland Design

If you, your church or your ministry need graphic design, we recommend Holyland Design (who built this site).

Holyland Design