Do you believe in heaven?<quoted text>
The social side is just as important, if not more important than the gospel side. This has more to do with the differences in our cultures ... I look at the Bible as a social code and look at the church as being more of a place to meditate and collect your thoughts. This has to do with the Eastern liturgy ... in fact, that's what so many people didn't get about the Latin mass. Reducing something spiritual to words coldens it and cheapens it.
As to the social aspect, it is a very important part of religion. It fosters camraderie. It groups like minded people together AND the thing I like most is being in contact with people in a contest where their natural warmth shines through.
For children, if you believe in the tenets of your faith why wouldn't you want them to have friends and maybe even get married to other kids from similar backgrounds and have a similar value system? Likewise when it comes to sending your kids to Catholic school.
FINALLY, and this is especially true for kids, the social aspect reinforces the fact that there are other people who live your lifestyle. It reinforces and emphasizes it.
I'm a big picture guy. Although there is a lot of wisdom in the bible, at the end of the day it's just words being regurgitated. I could care less what some preacher or priest says. Actions speak louder.
I do, I want to see both my grandmothers again. If that part of the Bible isn't true, to me, it's ultimately worthless.
"If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." 1 Corinthians 15:19