Can You Be A Christian and Not Believe In God?

Wednesday 25th February

We have a Christian group meeting in the Café on Tuesday evenings, they are actually part of the Church of England living and working in France.  They are having a series of what they call Faith Encounters – and it is Faith that I have a problem with, I cannot suspend common-sense in order to accommodate a blind belief in something handed down by former generations with no scientific basis at all.

But in many ways I consider myself a Christian; I was brought up in an essentially Christian country and attended church and Sunday School as a child.  I even attended special Bible classes and was Confirmed.  It was explained to me that I would ‘see the light’, once I was confirmed and took Holy Communion.  Well, as you can guess –no Holy Dove descended and I was not enlightened.

As I grew older and moved to London I became more and more of an Agnostic and probably an Atheist (though I still reserve the possibility of some creative force behind the Universe and Life itself).  But I still consider myself a Christian, after all – the teachings reputed to have come from Jesus are almost Socialist.  It is just that I don’t believe in all that God stuff, and Jesus being the son of God, or the Holy Ghost or any of the other tenets of the Christian religion.  I don’t even mind attending Church and listening to the message, it is just when they say ‘Let Us Pray’ that I have a problem; why should I pray to a God who seems oblivious to human suffering, surely we should be improving the world ourselves not beseeching some deity to do it for us.

So, is it possible to be a Christian and not believe in God or that Jesus was anything other than a rather enlightened philosopher whom other people wrote about and made into a rather dubious religion responsible for wars and conquest which still continue to this day?  I believe it is? And in fact there are many kind and decent people who never go to church, who may in fact be Atheists, but who live a Christian life; you might even call them Socialists, but they probably wouldn’t like that either.  Interesting, isn’t it?