Long-term readers may remember from way back that I refuse to go to mass at Christmas, which caused something of a stir in my family. A similar issue has come up again and this post is largely to see if my perspective has changed.
So, the situation… you may also know that for the past few weeks I’ve been going to the Alpha Course run by some members of the Christian Union and Agape at the University. They’re nice people but so far I’m not converted. Ruth, who was the person who invited me to the course, invited me to go to a special Christmas service at her church, and I was left in a bind.
Now the issue I have with going to church is that I don’t want to make it look like there are more parishoners (and therefore believers) than there actually are. It’s nothing much to do with not liking it (although to a fair degree I’ve grown out of the habit of enjoying hymns and carols), it’s mainly a political thing. It’s an issue particularly at Christmas and Easter because those are the 2 holy days of obligation when every believer will come to church, so that’s when people get an idea of how many parishoners they have.
On the other hand, they’re all good people and I’d like to get to know them better. It would be a bit stupid and stubborn of me to pass an opportunity like that just because I don’t want to go into a particular building. I won’t have to partake of any mumbo-jumbo as far as I know. There’s also the issue that if I do go, I don’t want them thinking I’m going under false pretences, like I’m actually interested in becoming a Christian again – I’m not at all. But then I had no such problem going to the Diwali celebration that the Vedic society put on. I think that was because it’s a celebration I knew nothing about and that I’d never been to before so it was a good opportunity to learn, but I know what happens at Christmas services so it’d be more a cultural experience.
I’m still not sure. I think I’ll go, seeing as it’s not actually on Christmas but a few weeks before, but I’ve already made it clear that it’s not going to convert me and I’m just going out of vague interest. I’d appreciate other insights into this.