The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Why Men Hate Going to Church

I fully agree with that.

“had to be hid from the membership”—pathetic!

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This statement from Channing strikes me as something men could get behind - but not an organization.
“I do not affirm the truth of Christian
ity, because I was so taught before I could inquire, or
because I was brought up in a community pledged to
this belief. The circumstance of
having been born and educated under Christianity, so
far from disposing me to implicit faith, has often been
to me the occasion of serious distrust of our religion.
On observing how common it is for men of all countries
and names, whether Christians, Jews, or Mahometans,
to receive the religion of their fathers, I have again
and again asked myself, whether I too was not a slave,
whether I too was not blindly walking in the path of
tradition, and yielding myself as passively as others to
an hereditary faith. I distrust and fear the power of
numbers and of general opinion over my judgment;
and few things incite me more to repel a doctrine than
intolerant attempts to force it on my understanding.
Perhaps my Christian education and connexions have
inclined me to skepticism, rather than bowed my mind
to authority. -” 'Evidences of Christianity"
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because
it is true. This is my first reason. The religion is
true, and no consideration but this could induce me to
defend it. I adopt it, not because it is popular, for false
and ruinous systems have enjoyed equal reputation; nor
because it is thought to uphold the order of society, for
I believe that nothing but truth can be permanently
useful. It is true ; and I say this not lightly, but after
deliberate examination.”


I think, then, that I come to the examination of Chris
tianity with as few blinding partialities as any man. I
indeed claim no exemption from error; I ask no im
plicit faith in my conclusions; I care not how jealously
and thoroughly my arguments are siſted. I only ask,
that I may not be prejudged as a servile or interested
partisan of Christianity. I ask that I may be heard as
a friend of truth, desirous to aid my fellow-creatures in
determining a question of great and universal concern.
I appear as the advocate of Christianity, solely because
it approves itself to my calmest reason as a revelation
from God, and as the purest, brightest light which He
has shed on the human mind. I disclaim all other mo
tives. No policy, no vassalage to opinion, no dread
of reproach even from the good, no private interest, no
desire to uphold a useful superstition, nothing in short
but a deliberate conviction of the truth of Christianity,
induces me to appear in its ranks. I should be ashamed
of it, did I not believe it true.