Would an atheist or an agnostic attend a Christian worship service if invited?

Hi guys. If you check out my profile you will see that I am a Jesus follower doing some research for my doctorate work on religious thinking in the US. This is my first time on an atheist site. If you can imagine being on a Christian site (I have a networking site called the Missional OUtreach Network), then perhaps you understand that I'm a bit nervous! :) I really am a nice guy!

So, if you are kind enough to answer and help me with my research, I have a few questions.

1. Are you an atheist or agnostic?


2. Would you ever attend a Christian worship service again (or for the first time, if you have not attended)?
- no, never
- maybe
- probably
- yes


3. If so, why would you attend?
- because a family or friend invited
- because of a church advertising (flyer, billboard, magazine, radio or TV spot)
- out of curiosity
- to make fun/check out the idiots or religious nuts
- some other reason (please specify)

4. What worship time would you be most likely to attend on Sunday?
- 9 AM
- 10 AM
- 10:30 AM
- 11 AM
- 11:30 AM
- 1 PM
- 2 PM
- Some other time (specify)

5. Would you be more likely to attend on Sunday or on Saturday night?

Thanks for the help!

James

Views: 7

Tags: Christian, worship

Comment by Johnny on March 20, 2009 at 11:43am
1. Atheist
2. Maybe.
3. For an event with family. No other reason I can think of.
Four and five don't really apply since I would only go for a specific event.

+++ +++ +++

Welcome to the site. Don't worry, most of us don't bite. Ask away; you'll find as long as the line of questioning is kept civil (and there is no prosthelyzing), you will get some great responses.
Comment by James Nored on March 20, 2009 at 11:45am
Thanks, Johnny. I really appreciate you sharing this. And thank you for the warm welcome and the participation tips!
Comment by Karen M on March 20, 2009 at 12:25pm
1. Atheist.
2. Depends on who's asking...
3. Only if family or a very close friend asked.
4 and 5 wouldn't apply to me either.

Good luck with your research!
Comment by James Nored on March 20, 2009 at 1:56pm
Karen and Nelson, thank you for your response! And Nelson, we do indeed have much in common in our shared humanity. I too look forward to discussions with you. Thanks!
Comment by James Nored on March 20, 2009 at 2:13pm
Thanks, Sarah!
Comment by River Otter on March 20, 2009 at 2:29pm
Hmm...funny you ask this question.
1) Life long Atheist
2) Yes
3) A deal made. See below.
4) 10am +-
I will be attending church services with a friend of mine for six weeks (they are trying to convert me, but they will have to heal an amputee before I'm convinced.)

Now for every hour I spend in the church my friend will have to spend learning about Atheism, science, biblical contradiction ect. At least one hour once a week.

Other then this, I will only go to church for funerals or weddings.

I will let you all know how this goes if my friend doesn't renig.
Comment by James Nored on March 20, 2009 at 2:52pm
River Otter, that is very interesting. I would be willing to make this exchange too. I respect intellectual honesty, which means being open to listen, even if it is only a remote possibility that we might ever be persuaded. It is only fair, however, for this to be reciprical in nature.
Comment by Kenneth on March 20, 2009 at 2:56pm
1. Atheist
2. Maybe
3. Because family or friend invited.
4. Would have to be after 9
5. Equally likely.
Comment by Dave G on March 20, 2009 at 3:43pm
Hi James, welcome to the site.

1. Are you an atheist or agnostic?
Both, they are not mutually exclusive. Atheist refers to belief. I do not believe in a deity. Agnostic refers to knowledge. I do not claim to know for certain if a deity exists or not. I've seen no evidence for one, certainly.

2. Would you ever attend a Christian worship service again (or for the first time, if you have not attended)?
Yes

3. If so, why would you attend?
My grandmother likes the entire family to go to the Christmas Eve service when we're visiting for Christmas. I'm perfectly willing to attend to make Grandma happy. I can see attending for other, similar reasons, such as the wedding of a friend or family member, etc. Other than that? Not likely on my own, perhaps if asked for observational reasons, but it would have to be a pretty good reason.

4. What worship time would you be most likely to attend on Sunday?
Christmas Eve service usually starts about 7:30 PM. Weddings vary. Otherwise, after noon. I'm not a morning person.

5. Would you be more likely to attend on Sunday or on Saturday night?
Christmas Eve. Weddings are usually on Sundays, I've found. Otherwise, Sunday after noon.
Comment by James Nored on March 20, 2009 at 3:54pm
Thanks, Dave, for sharing. I'm sure that your grandmother appreciates you accomodating her!

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