Google+ Followers

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Christianity has planted the seeds for its own destruction that is why teens, youth and adults are exiting from it: It has become carnal, pro-rich , pro-powerful , luciferic, hypocritical, extortionist, politically correct, mammonic, asininic, full of zombies , anti-Christ and anti-bible

 Teens against wall

 A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation (lusi/rgbstock.com))

Youth Groups Driving Christian Teens to Abandon Faith


A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation. Some time ago, Christian pollster George Barna documented that 61 percent of today's 20-somethings who had been churched at one point during their teen years are now spiritually disengaged. They do not attend church, read their Bible or pray.

 
Wolf pastor, Tod Bentley and his so called christian tattoo. Many people do not see the difference between Christianity and the world.


According to a new five-week, three-question national survey sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), the youth group itself is the problem. Fifty-five percent of American Christians are concerned with modern youth ministry because it's too shallow and too entertainment-focused, resulting in an inability to train mature believers. But even if church youth groups had the gravitas of Dallas Theological Seminary, 36 percent of today's believers are convinced youth groups themselves are not even biblical.

Pastor Joseph Prince a prominent prosperity and Once saved always saved proponent has preached that Jesus has paid for your past, present and future sins. This logically means that  even if you backslide to Islam,  atheism , thuggery etc you can not loose your salvation. No wonder people see Christianity as a mere farce


BEWARE: Joseph Prince Is A DANGEROUS False Teacher

http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/joseph-prince-destined-to-reign.htm


 

Late Pastor  Teddy Parker Jr. a Georgian pastor who recently committed suicide. Eternal security proponents are saying that he is in heaven. What will happen to teens and youth in his church?? What kind of questions are they asking? What is the relevancy of Christianity if even a pastor can commit suicide.

The Luciferic doctrine that promotes suicide: Does salvation mean that your past, present and future sins have been forgiven? Belief That Pastor Who Killed Himself Is Going to Hell Is 'Ludicrous' and 'Unbiblical,' Say Dr. Richard Land, Pastor E. Dewey Smith: Oh: really



After answering three questions at YouthGroupSurvey.com, each survey participant received NCFIC Director Scott Brown's e-book entitled Weed in the Church: How A Culture of Age Segregation Is Destroying the Younger Generation, Fragmenting the Family and Harming Church as well as access to a 50-minute-long documentary entitled Divided: Is Modern Youth Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church? (Divided has been viewed by 200,000 people.)

The survey is still active online through Friday, Nov. 8.

Adam McManus, a spokesman for NCFIC, is not surprised by the church's deep concerns about youth groups.

Wolf Pastor Dr.Myles Munroe preaches that the gospel is not about being-born again but rather about the kingdom. The kingdom means having material dominion on earth in terns of money, cars, business etc  Many people fade up with this puke from the devil.




 

"Today's church has created peer dependency," McManus says. "The inherent result of youth groups is that teenagers in the church are focused on their peers, not their parents or their pastors. It's a foreign sociology that leads to immaturity, a greater likelihood of sexual activity, drug experimentation and a rejection of the authority of the Word of God.

"Proverbs 13:20 says, 'He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.' The result is that the youth stumble, they can't see beyond their noses, and spiritual adolescence is prolonged well into adulthood. It's crippling the body of Christ. That's why it's time to return to the biblical paradigm and throw out the youth group structure entirely."

 

Robertson: If You Tithe You Won't Have Health Or Financial Problems 

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/10/robertson-if-you-tithe-you-wont-have.html



Pastors in churches are teaching that not tithing is a recipe for poverty , financial problems and health problems. Tithing proponent pastors call them selves Levites. In churches in Uganda for example you find that it is only the senior pastor who takes all the tithes, he does not give the youth pastor any share of this tithe. Even the other pastors in church  pay tithes which are given to the senior pastor. Can you imagine this kind of confusion?? If pastors are Levites why doesn’t the senior pastor share the tithe with other pastors??? Many young people are discovering that tithing is missing in  the Acts of the apostles. They are fed up with this kind of extortionist  Christianity that makes merchandise of Christians.

 

Chuck Smith, 86, Dies After Cancer Battle


He continues, "I am greatly encouraged by the results of our survey. American Christians are finally waking up to the disconnect between the clear teaching in Scripture in favor of family-integration and the modern-day church's obsession with dividing the family at every turn. Age segregation, especially during the tender and impactful teenage years, not only hasn't worked, it's been detrimental. Even worse, it is contrary to the Bible. But the good news is that practices in the churches related to youth groups are changing dramatically. Twenty years ago no one was even asking this question."

 Pastor Jamie Coots holds a snake while Big Cody plays guitar in the background at his Middlesboro, Ky., church in an episode of Snake Salvation on National Geographic Television.

When Pentecostals put the lord their God on test: Serpent-handling pastor profiled earlier in Washington Post dies from rattlesnake bite



McManus cited the following Scriptures to document his contention that it's God's will for the church to embrace the biblical model of families staying together in the service as the Word of God is preached: Deuteronomy 16:9-14, Joshua 8:34-35, Ezra 10:1, 2 Chronicles 20:13, Nehemiah 12:43 and Joel 2:15-16.
"Our fervent prayer is that God will raise up Spirit-filled, Bible-preaching, Christ-centered, family-integrated assemblies from the ashes of our man-centered, family-fragmenting churches," McManus adds. "Plus, the church needs to begin to equip Christian fathers to communicate the gospel to their families. Today, Christian parents are beginning to realize that they have not fulfilled their spiritual duties by simply dropping off their kiddos to Sunday school and youth group, allowing other parents to disciple their children by proxy.

 061713_atss_640-e1372211127213-257x170


When the ignorance of Christians amazes atheists: Sarah Palin Claims Jesus Celebrated Easter


 


"Let's not forget the powerful words spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-7: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.'

"It is the parents' primary obligation to disciple their own children, impressing God's commandments upon them in the home on a daily basis."


Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (Romans 3:13)


Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.(Mark 7:6-7)



Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:4)

 

 The cut out heart of a Roman Catholic priest.

6.000 Roman Catholics bow before a piece of flesh


 
 Archbishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury pray in front of a piece of flesh, when youth teens see  conduct and compare with the Acts of the apostles they can tell that this is paganism 


Poppe John Paul II accepted "allah" by kissing the Koran.
Pope John Paul II accepted “allah” by kissing the Koran.
By accepting “allah”, you reject the divinity of Jesus the Messiah.

 




 The skull is kept safely inside the Church in France.

 

Roman Catholic chapel in Poland with 24.000 skulls and skeletons

October 4, 2013
Hundreds of skulls have been put up around this alter with a crucifix. This place is a Vatican approved chapel.


Cameron Cole, youth director at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Ala., says, "There is a propensity in our culture to outsource the development of our children. For intellectual development, we send them to school. For athletic development, we send them to Little League. And for spiritual formation, we send them to youth group. The church has done a poor job of communicating to the parents that they are the primary disciplers of their children. Parents don't believe this, but the reality is that kids listen to their parents far more than they're going to listen to a youth minister."

"It's time for the Christian father to take the central role which God has ordained," McManus concludes. "Gathered around the dining room table, the father needs to lead family worship once again, which had been standard behavior for a vibrant American Christian family for hundreds of years, dating back to the Plymouth, Mass., colony of 1620. Dad needs to read from and discuss the Bible, sing Christian songs and pray with his family, his little flock over which God has appointed him shepherd. Frankly, I'm not as concerned about what happens in Sunday school in church as I am with what happens in 'Monday school' and 'Tuesday school' at home with the family."

PASTOR TURNED ATHEIST MIKE AUS AND HIS HOUSTON OASIS “CHURCH”




PASTOR TURNED ATHEIST MIKE AUS AND HIS HOUSTON OASIS “CHURCH”

Apprising Ministries has been warning you Famine In The Land And Spiritual Blindness; an Amos 8:11-12 famine for the Word of God as Jesus sends 1 Peter 4:17 judgments upon professing Christendom, such as the growing spiritual blindness we’re currently witnessing, which is bringing increasing syncretism.

Combine this with those who’ve left reality to go mentally off-roading into the Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language and we have the recipe for confusion and apostasy.  Now let me point you to the Richard Dawkins Foundation who tells us in Church pastors become atheists:

More than 200 church leaders across the country now say they no longer believe in God, including a Houston-area pastor who was one of the first to publicly announce his decision. Mike Aus, who was pastor at Theophilus church in Katy, made that announcement during an appearance on a Sunday morning show on MSNBC.Up with Chris Hayes” program. (source)


 Kong Hee Stolen Millions in Singapore | Sun Ho City Harvest China Wine video Scandal


 City Harvest Kong Hee Crossover Project Scandal | Prosperity Gospel Heresy False Prophets Wolf in Sheep Clothing
When a wife of a pastor looks like a whore???





Under the great delusion and The Worship of man : City Harvest youths record song in support of Pastor Kong Hee: In the entire song the Lord Jesus Christ does not feature any where….God does not feature any where…




 China wine video CHC Sun Ho Geisha False Prophets | Prosperity Gospel Name it and claim it heresy


It seems that back in March of this year MSNBC’s Up w/Chris Hayes aired an episode entitled Atheism. We’re told the guests included Richard Dawkins. Hemant Mehta aka the Friendly Atheist adds in Former Pastor Starts Church and Teaches Atheist Bible Study that former pastor Mike Aus “has started a ‘church’ for atheists.1

Today in Church offers sanctuary for freethinkers Ken Chitwood asks, “What is a former pastor and church planter to do after publicly declaring that he’s an atheist?” Then he tells us:

Mike Aus started another church. Aus, along with several other atheists, freethinkers and secular humanists in Houston, launched Houston Oasis, a community grounded in reason rather than revelation, celebrating the human experience as opposed to any deity. The first of these Sunday morning gatherings was held in early September and featured live music by local artists, personal testimonies, a message and time for fellowship.

Last May, Aus came out as an atheist on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes show, saying that he’d long had doubts about his faith and beliefs, but never abandoned the idea that Christianity provided for basic human needs for support and community…

After he officially left Christianity and the pastorate, Aus saw a need to start something new for people who wanted a community of care and common cause in which belief “is irrelevant,” he said.

 
Pseudo Christians and zombism  



While Houston Oasis may look, sound and act like a traditional church, it is fundamentally different, reaching out to the growing population of religiously non-affiliated “nones” who are leaving established religion in droves… (source)

The website for Houston Oasis (HO) tells us:

We are a community that meets weekly to provide support and fellowship in a diverse environment. There is no doctrine to follow. We accept people where ever they are in their journey. We do not believe in conversion, labels or indoctrination. We reject metaphysical claims that are without proof. (source)

Mike Aus has definitely gone on an atheistic arc as referenced by his attack against the Bible at the Houston Atheists Religion Seminar and his appearance at the American Atheists National Convention where Richard Dawkins interviewed him,2

They discussed something known as The Clergy Project, whose website informs us:
is to provide a safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The purpose of this “Public Page” is to announce our existence and to reach out to current and former clergy who want to be a part of the group.

The Clergy Project launched a private, invitation only, website on March 21, 2011 with 52 members. Currently it has more than 370 members. It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these clergy and a concern about their dilemma as they moved beyond faith. (source)

 

  Uganda Catholics Praying-at-Monsignor-Aloysius-Ngobya’s-grave

The Biblical Truth About Saints And Sainthood

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-biblical-truth-about-saints-and.html

 

 Catholics struggle to touch Monsignor-Aloysius-Ngobya’s coffin in order to get blessings

 Catholics struggle to touch the statues of catholic Martyrs who were declared saints by Rome 

 

 Catholics Pilgrims pray at Charles Lwanga’s statue during the vigil of Uganda Martyrs’ Day in Namugongo. PHOTO BY Abubaker Lubowa 

Christian leader wants to tax atheists for not going to church

http://www.examiner.com/article/christian-leader-wants-to-tax-atheists-for-not-going-to-church


It's not the title of an Onion article. It's not humor at all. Right here, in the United States of America, a prominent Christian leader is calling for taxes on people who do not go to church. Bryan Fisher, of the American Family Association, had this to say during his radio show:


Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (Romans 3:13)


Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.(Mark 7:6-7)



Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:4)

Catholic priests worship corpse of Saint Ubaldo

http://ivarfjeld.com/2013/07/27/catholic-priests-worship-corpse-of-saint-ubaldo/  

The corpse of St. Ubaldo is kept in St Ubaldo Basilica, a Franciscan Cloister in Gubbio in Italy.
 

“Because after all, Obamacare is all about improving the health of the American people,” the radio host explained. “We know that going to church is good for you, it’s good for your health. So we are going to mandate that you go to church for your own health and we are going to tax the atheists who don’t go to church.”

Bryan Fisher has slid down his own slippery slope into pathetic fatuity. How does one begin to consider this rationally? It really does sound like comedy. Of course, America was founded on the Enlightenment concept that religion is a private matter, and the government must never make a law respecting an establishment of religion. The idea of taxing atheists for not being religious is absurd, unconstitutional, and histrionic.

 

Beyond the obvious absurdity, we must also look at the claim that going to church is good for you. It's a highly suspect assertion, on a number of levels. To begin with, the United States is uniquely religious in the First World, and also uniquely dysfunctional when it comes to things like STI transmission, teen motherhood, sex crimes, and other "moral crimes." We are a nation in which 4 out of 10 people believe the earth is 6000 to 10,000 years old, and evangelicals occupy positions of governmental power in most states, and churches receive not only tax exemption but government subsidies. Why hasn't all our church-going behavior produced a top-notch first world nation?

There are studies here and there which point to health and social benefits from going to church. What they fail to account for is the social stigma of not going to church. In countries where atheism is the norm, atheists are the most healthy and socially accepted. Why wouldn't we expect Christians in America to be healthier and happier, when atheists are generally perceived as the worst kind of people, and are often ostracized by friends, family, and work mates?

Christians who cite these studies conveniently leave out the fact that the benefits are not from going to church, specifically. Instead, they are most likely to come from the simple act of forming social clubs. Humans are social animals, and we are healthier and happier when we belong to social groups. Across the world, it is the same. People who are accepted socially are healthy and happy. It doesn't matter what kind of social club it is. It could be church, and it could be the weekly beer club "down at pub."


Punk Christianity and the conformity of Christians to the world and Image of the beast : Nadia Bolz-Weber, a tattooed Lutheran minister, represents a so called new, muscular form of progressive Christianity. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bolz-webers-liberal-foulmouthed-articulation-of-christianity-speaks-to-fed-up-believers/2013/11/03/7139dc24-3cd3-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html


 

 View Photo Gallery — A budding star of progressive Christianity: Nadia Bolz-Weber, a tattooed Lutheran minister, represents a new, muscular form of progressive Christianity.

Most importantly, even if it were demonstrated that there was an objective benefit to going to church (and this is a very big "if"), the government is still prohibited by the constitution from mandating attendance. Daily exercise is beneficial beyond any shadow of a doubt, and we would likely consider armed rebellion if we were roused each morning for state mandated calisthenics. This is not about church, or calisthenics. It's about sour grapes from the Christian Theocrats whose idea of a godly utopia is ignoring at all costs Jesus' mandate to sell all they own and give to the poor.

Political grandstanding is one thing. It's always been done, and to some degree, we just have to live with it. Even so, religion has no place in this discussion. The government has the right to tax. The government has the right to address matters of public health and welfare. The government does not, in any sense of the word, have any right to dictate that anyone attend a church service for any reason at all. The fact that it's been suggested, even in half-jest, should be a shocking wake-up call for anyone who still believes religion isn't intruding into government.

 

Before we call them proud fools, we need to re-examine why many people think Christianity is a fraud : Atheist 'Megachurches' Crop Up Around The World 

 

Atheist 'Megachurches' Crop Up Around The World 

By GILLIAN FLACCUS 11/10/13 04:46 PM ET EST

AP

LOS ANGELES -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

Dozens of gatherings dubbed "atheist mega-churches" by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.

On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted more than 400 attendees, all bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.

The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek "40 Dates, 40 Nights" tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch dozens of Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world.

They don't bash believers but want to find a new way to meet likeminded people, engage in the community and make their presence more visible in a landscape dominated by faith.

Jones got the first inkling for the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago.

"There was so much about it that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in," Jones said. "If you think about church, there's very little that's bad. It's singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?"

The movement dovetails with new studies showing an increasing number of Americans are drifting from any religious affiliation.


Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (Romans 3:13)


Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.(Mark 7:6-7)



Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:4)

 
Pure blasphemy :The defeated catholic Jesus who never over came the cross along side a mighty catholic Mary with a crown on his head.


The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a study last year that found 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Pew researchers stressed, however, that the category also encompassed majorities of people who said they believed in God but had no ties with organized religion and people who consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious."


Sunday Assembly — whose motto is Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More — taps into that universe of people who left their faith but now miss the community church provided, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont.

It also plays into a feeling among some atheists that they should make themselves more visible. For example, last December, an atheist in Santa Monica created an uproar — and triggered a lawsuit — when he set up a godless display amid Christian nativity scenes that were part of a beloved, decades-old tradition.

 



Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (Romans 3:13)


Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.(Mark 7:6-7)



Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:4)

 
Pure Blasphemy : The might catholic Mary and the defeated catholic baby Jesus. Mary has a crown of stars but Jesus has none.


"In the U.S., there's a little bit of a feeling that if you're not religious, you're not patriotic. I think a lot of secular people say, 'Hey, wait a minute. We are charitable, we are good people, we're good parents and we are just as good citizens as you and we're going to start a church to prove it," said Zuckerman. "It's still a minority, but there's enough of them now."

That impulse, however, has raised the ire of those who have spent years pushing back against the idea that atheism itself is a religion.

"The idea that you're building an entire organization based on what you don't believe, to me, sounds like an offense against sensibility," said Michael Luciano, a self-described atheist who was raised Roman Catholic but left when he became disillusioned.

"There's something not OK with appropriating all of this religious language, imagery and ritual for atheism."
That sentiment didn't seem to detract from the excitement Sunday at the inaugural meeting in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection and an "inspirational talk, " and some stand-up comedy by Jones, the movement's co-founder.

During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of "Lean on Me," ''Here Comes the Sun" and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.

At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor.

For atheist Elijah Senn, the morning was perfect.

"I think the image that we have put forward in a lot of ways has been a scary, mean, we want to tear down the walls, we want to do destructive things kind of image is what a lot of people have of us," he said. "I'm really excited to be able to come together and show that it's not about destruction. It's about making things and making things better."

 





 The Harlot Church And Spiritual Fornication

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-harlot-church-and-spiritual.html







Atheist 'mega-churches' look for nonbelievers


SHARE 6885 196 218 COMMENTMORE
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

Dozens of gatherings dubbed "atheist mega-churches" by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.

On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted more than 400 attendees, all bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.

The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek "40 Dates, 40 Nights" tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch dozens of Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world.

They don't bash believers but want to find a new way to meet likeminded people, engage in the community and make their presence more visible in a landscape dominated by faith.

Jones got the first inkling for the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago.

"There was so much about it that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in," Jones said. "If you think about church, there's very little that's bad. It's singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?"
The movement dovetails with new studies showing an increasing number of Americans are drifting from any religious affiliation.

 

 

Shameless religious fraud linked to blood of the Pope



Pope Benedict XVI kisses the glass reliquary containing the blood of late Pope John Paul II, during the beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, May 1, 2011, 

 
Father Thaddeus M. Bocianowski holds up a first class relic containing a drop of the blood of the late Pope.

 
 A Catholic in Krakow in Poland bow under the altar to kiss the container with the blood of the late Pope.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a study last year that found 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Pew researchers stressed, however, that the category also encompassed majorities of people who said they believed in God but had no ties with organized religion and people who consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious."
Sunday Assembly — whose motto is Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More — taps into that universe of people who left their faith but now miss the community church provided, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont.

 


The harlots returns home to their “mother church”

 


It also plays into a feeling among some atheists that they should make themselves more visible. For example, last December, an atheist in Santa Monica created an uproar — and triggered a lawsuit — when he set up a godless display amid Christian nativity scenes that were part of a beloved, decades-old tradition.

"In the U.S., there's a little bit of a feeling that if you're not religious, you're not patriotic. I think a lot of secular people say, 'Hey, wait a minute. We are charitable, we are good people, we're good parents and we are just as good citizens as you and we're going to start a church to prove it," said Zuckerman. "It's still a minority, but there's enough of them now."

That impulse, however, has raised the ire of those who have spent years pushing back against the idea that atheism itself is a religion.

"The idea that you're building an entire organization based on what you don't believe, to me, sounds like an offense against sensibility," said Michael Luciano, a self-described atheist who was raised Roman Catholic but left when he became disillusioned.

"There's something not OK with appropriating all of this religious language, imagery and ritual for atheism."
That sentiment didn't seem to detract from the excitement Sunday at the inaugural meeting in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection and an "inspirational talk, " and some stand-up comedy by Jones, the movement's co-founder.


Reverend Carol Stone at St Philips Church

 Sex-change vicar back in pulpit



 Rev Peter Stone
 Rev Peter Stone before his sex change operation


During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of "Lean on Me," ''Here Comes the Sun" and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.

At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor.

For atheist Elijah Senn, the morning was perfect.

"I think the image that we have put forward in a lot of ways has been a scary, mean, we want to tear down the walls, we want to do destructive things kind of image is what a lot of people have of us," he said. "I'm really excited to be able to come together and show that it's not about destruction. It's about making things and making things better."