Faithful Churchgoing Agnostic

Somebody I know recently found out that I am agnostic.  They asked me, “Why do you go to church every Sunday?”  That’s a good question.  I didn’t have a very good answer.  I just spouted off something about the social contact, of being around people, about friends and such.  It sounded good, but . . .

To be truthful, being an agnostic is probably worse than being either a believer or an atheist.  At least with either of those options, there is some solidity.  You know what you believe, and by God you can stand for it.  But agnostic?  What does an agnostic stand for?  It doesn’t have the same effect to stand on my soap box and proclaim, “I don’t know!”  Is there a God?  I don’t know.  If there is a God, can his/her nature truly be known?  I don’t know.  Can his/her name be known with any certainty?  I don’t know.  It just sounds lame.

Yet, every Sunday morning, I sit in church.  I listen to the message.  I am sometimes encouraged by it.  I mean, I’m not evil.  I appreciate good, moral values when I hear them, and I like to see people helping one another.  Christianity is full of good, moral lessons.  I don’t take issue with any of that.  I visit with the other parishioners.  I am friendly and cordial.  I go home.

In many ways, I envy the Christians their faith.  It makes a lot of things so much simpler.  And it provides answers to the oldest of questions posed by humanity.  “Why are we here?”  Even atheists have an answer, even if it’s that there is no purpose.  We are here just because we are here.  No more reason is needed.  But for an agnostic, it’s all unknown.  We could be here to build a relationship with a deity, the ultimate goal being to return to him in an afterlife.  Or we could be just a bunch of evolved biological organisms running around mucking everything up for no better reason than hormones.  Who’s to say which is true?

So, if I envy Christians their faith, why don’t I believe.  In some ways I want to.  In other ways I just can’t  In fact, people have tried to help me.  I understand their motives.  They’re worried about my soul.  I can appreciate that.  Not too long ago one of my friends tried a pretty good tactic.  He said to me, “You are not a mistake.  You are not an accident.”  Be careful who you use that line of reasoning with.  Because my response was, “I’m not so sure that is an argument in favor of God.”

So I come full circle.  Why do I, an agnostic, go to church every Sunday?  I go because I’ve always gone.  I go because I really do need to get out and socialize with people.  I go because I have friends there, friends that are at least partially decent individuals, who care about me.  I go because I fear being wrong.  What if God is real?  Where better to find God than in his house?

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