Re: Going to Church Makes me Nervous -
February 18th 2009, 03:41 AM
Before I even start, I'm going to come out and say I'm an 100% atheist.
So ya, you may choose to ignore the rest of this message if you wish, but I think what I have to say could help you clear some things up, if not make you feel a little less out in the open.
First of all, your mother's comments. I know you must love her dearly, and I can only assume she is a nice person. She is, however, a tad of an extremist if she believes you feeling nervous/ anxious is God/the devil attempting to invoke a response from you. Anxiety from a very serious place such a church is to be expected, especially if you are surrounded by individuals with a very strong belief system - there just isn't much room to stretch one's metaphorical legs.
You say you're a baptist though, and if I'm not mistaken I believe that's part of the Protestant branch of Christianity. In being part of the Protestant branch, you have one core belief that Martin Luther (Not Martin Luther King) fought for - the idea that the scripture (bible) was supreme over any institutional church (whether that be the papacy or local church). This defines a strong connection between God and YOU. Luther's belief is that salvation comes from true faith.
In case you didn't get why I mentioned Luther's ideas, I'm trying to get across the idea that your religious beliefs should be based upon knowing that you are faithful to you God. This means you should not feel obliged to go to church, and thus have every right to feel awkward while inside it.
Religion is all about values. If you can become a better person from its teachings you (and your mother) should be happy.
So in conclusion - Yes, it is completely normal to feel nervous when being placed in such a position. If you have enough courage, face your mom and tell her that you don't want to go to church, and that your faith is confirmed from your belief in accordance to the scripture. Reference Martin Luther - she may even be impressed (;
Ps. As an atheist, you may wonder why I'm giving you advice like this. Well... in all honesty I would like to see religion go away, but that is far from coming true anytime soon especially with the American extremists...(it is coming though) HOWEVER, Religion can be a good tool for teaching ethics, and I think that our society has lost these morals so if you can get them through your religion then that's great.