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Thread: Religion help?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Religion help?

    *Sighs*

    I've just been very confused, for a long while now. Kind of confusing shit, you know? That kind of stuff where it'll wrack your brain for days upon weeks upon months until you just can't take it anymore. Okay, let me explain here.

    I was born and raised a Roman Catholic for the first half of my life. I wasn't super devout, but I always seemed to enjoy going to church. At the same time, my father was Jewish. (Shalom to all my Hebrew peeps out there! {Yes, I do have a smidge of Hebrew decent in me, even though I usually don't say it}) So, I also (For a time) was learning about the Jewish culture, religion, ETC. (Fuck to I love lotkas, however you spell it. For those of you who don't know, lotkas {lot-cuz} are potato pancakes ) I worshiped both on the catholic side of things, and the Jewish. So, in a sense; I was worshiping as a Judea-Christian. (I know, totally old school)

    Then here's where things gets tricky. I moved to Arizona, and some friends of ours invited us to their neighborhood church. They were protestants of some sort, had a pastor and all that stuff. The pastor... was very, very hateful. He attacked everything and anything, and made god out to be wrathful and vengeful. This made myself (about 13 years old at the time) my mother, and my step-dad (Whom I love very very much) question our faith.

    We kinda just fucked about with Christian morals and beliefs, until we started getting into Paganism; and eventually Wicca. We dabbled in that for a while, until my parents kind of decided to be Atheist. This is even more tricky; because I just went along with them. My mom had once asked me if I really was an Atheist, or if it was because she and my step-dad are. And I kinda just told her "Nah, I've been a secret Atheist for a long time." Which wasn't true at all...

    Idk. I've just been so confused, because I kinda do believe in god, but I just can't come to grips with it since I've said so many times that I'm an Atheist. I've had debates in school (Privately, of course) about the morality and probability of god; and I've always been on the "God is evil!" and "God probably doesn't exist because..." side of things. And... I feel, and even at the time felt, bad about it.

    Now I know, I don't need organized religion to worship god, I get that whole thing. But... I dunno. I'm just so confused about it is all.

    If it's not too much of a bother, I don't want people coming in here saying "Christianity is right! Believe in Jesus now!" or "Mormanism is right!" or "Scientoligy is right!" or anything like that. You know? So, I guess my question is... do I start believing in god again? I kind of already do... but I suppose I fear punishment or something. Every single time I think about 'god,' I start to get anxious, I start to feel tears welling up... I don't know if it's regret, or what.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2

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    I'm extremely anti-religious. My belief is that religion gives a reason to hate things because a book written thousands of years ago (it's teachings are therefore outdated and cannot be considered reliable). I say drop it entirely, but I don't think you will. If believing in God makes you feel better, then do it. Pray how you want to, pray for yourself, pray for your plushie. Just because you don't waste 3 hours every sunday doesn't mean you can't pray or believe in God.

    Think about it this way: Every religion is basically the same in the way that there's a God and a heaven. You pray to your god to get into your heaven. So why is one religion better than the other? Organized religion sucks. Too much pressure, too much time. This is an intensely personal decision, remember.

  3. #3

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    Like Grizzy said, organized religion sucks. Also like he said, just pray how you want to. Believe what you feel is true, don't even bother putting a name to it, it just confuses things.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzy View Post
    I'm extremely anti-religious. My belief is that religion gives a reason to hate things because a book written thousands of years ago (it's teachings are therefore outdated and cannot be considered reliable). I say drop it entirely, but I don't think you will. If believing in God makes you feel better, then do it. Pray how you want to, pray for yourself, pray for your plushie. Just because you don't waste 3 hours every sunday doesn't mean you can't pray or believe in God.

    Think about it this way: Every religion is basically the same in the way that there's a God and a heaven. You pray to your god to get into your heaven. So why is one religion better than the other? Organized religion sucks. Too much pressure, too much time. This is an intensely personal decision, remember.
    Oh well yeah, I'm not really into (Most) organized religions. I'm not gonna go read the bible and be like "Omg I hate myself for being gay and a diaper fag der let's go kill all the fags of the world and whores too!" That'd be quite silly of me, now wouldn't it.

  5. #5

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    Not the gays and whores :'(
    I was kidding, killing anyone is bad, unless they are a terrorist or something.

  6. #6

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    I'll give a bit of my backstory here, I think it might help.
    I was raised as part of the United Methodist church for the majority of my life. And for a while I strongly believed in God.
    As time passed, however, I saw that there was much debate over religion; some leading to fights and even deaths over conflicting beliefs.
    I couldn't help but wonder how what I believed in was for-sure the right way. And so I opened my mind to other perspectives.
    I still teach Sunday School at the church, but I've turned moreso to philosophy (being one of my college majors) and came to the conclusion that while I may not believe in a concrete definition of God, I do believe in the possibility/existence of something higher than us out there.

    Since starting college I don't attend church anymore; my personality adds to that since I prefer to analyze options in stead of picking one.

    All I can say is that you should see what's out there before you pick something definitive if at all.
    As time progressed, it seems that what you wanted to say conflicted with how you were raised; it's understandable. I have minor self conflicts with my beliefs all the time.
    Just remember: it's in our nature to wonder and ponder. And if God is out there, I can reassure you he won't condemn us for questioning our beliefs.
    Hopefully this helps in one way or another.

  7. #7

    Default

    You simply had a bad church experience. Unfortunately, the conservative church is turning a lot of people away from organized religion. A lot of younger people are turning to the Universalist Church. They are open minded, accept homosexuality, question the inconsistencies in the Bible and discuss God found in places other than the Bible.

    This is a good time to be in the church. This morning our Praise Band did a great job as we sang contemporary songs of thanks, because of Thanksgiving. Even though we are Methodist, we have some of the pro's from Thomas Road. We simply hired one of them and he brought his drummer with him and a really great girl singer. Our theology is middle of the road. In fact, one of our church members went to D.C. to be part of John Stewart's Rally for Sanity.

    My choir sang a traditional Thanksgiving anthem, and we did the old "Come Ye Thankful People Come", etc. There was no condemnation in our sermon, just one about being thankful for the things God has given to His people. Next week we will move into Advent (Christmas). It's a good time of the year for ushering in hope, hope that there is something better than just materialism and the rat race that consumes most of us, myself included. It's not a bad thing to be able to take a little time to contemplate things that are outside of ourselves, and that are eternal. I think we are at our best and our happiest when we give to others. That's what a church should be about.

  8. #8

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    I've been there. When I was about your age I questioned god and his existence and why he allowed bad shit to happend. I'll honestly say I was pissed of at God and religion as a whole. I was also roman catholic but was upset with the whole knights Templar bullshit. Overall I was pissed until I found out about Non denominational christianity. I would stronly urge you to go and find one near you and check it out. Christianity isn't about hate and telling people they will go to hell. I'm Christian and I believe hate isn't something that should be spread you know those assholes with God hates fags signs? This people are first in line to get to hell ya know?

    Basically Christianity is given a bad rep by many stupid people. Let me put this in terms that you can understand, How many ab's give us a bad rep? How many good ab's are thier? Right the bad ones are louder then the good ones? it's kind of the same people eat up all that bad shit. But do you eve hear about how x Christian organization helped give orphans essential items and what not? Just give God another chance try and find a church you like. Then try to get closer to God if you find that it's just not your thing you can at least say you tried and be an informed atheist.

    Good luck man I hope you are able to become a Christian man it's a very good feeling once you are in it for the right reasons. I hope you don't think I'm sounding to holier then arth or anything I honestly want to lead you to where I believe is the correct path is all. Take it or leave it man I normally dont offer this advice since religious stuff is usually insulted here and people insult you all the time for being a Christian. It get tiring and I'm honestly afraid to show my faith here.

  9. #9

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    As an atheist im so glad youve asked yourself these questions. As a human being i am delighted that you are thinking critically no matter what you decide.

    Critical thinking and making your own decisions about things are the cornerstone of civilization and development (in my opinion).

    Now having been exposed to the extreme of the religious side of the argument a good place to start would be to expose yourself to the opposite extreme. Try reading a book called "The God Delusion" by a guy called Richard Dawkins. He is incredibly opinionated on the subject from the opposite side and it will allow you to get a broader view of the arguments for and against. The next step is the critical one. Having experienced both sides of the coin, you can now make your own informed conclusions about the subject in general, and these decisions should hopefully be satisfactory to you.

    However you should always remember one major thing that a friend of mine said to me once, which really changed my opinion of him and my opinion of religious people as a whole.

    "it doesnt matter that you're an atheist, god loves you anyway"

    Even though i dont believe there is a god, and am anti-organized religion in general. Its nice to know there are some good people out there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by shyguy View Post
    As an atheist im so glad youve asked yourself these questions. As a human being i am delighted that you are thinking critically no matter what you decide.

    Critical thinking and making your own decisions about things are the cornerstone of civilization and development (in my opinion).

    Now having been exposed to the extreme of the religious side of the argument a good place to start would be to expose yourself to the opposite extreme. Try reading a book called "The God Delusion" by a guy called Richard Dawkins. He is incredibly opinionated on the subject from the opposite side and it will allow you to get a broader view of the arguments for and against. The next step is the critical one. Having experienced both sides of the coin, you can now make your own informed conclusions about the subject in general, and these decisions should hopefully be satisfactory to you.

    However you should always remember one major thing that a friend of mine said to me once, which really changed my opinion of him and my opinion of religious people as a whole.

    "it doesnt matter that you're an atheist, god loves you anyway"

    Even though i dont believe there is a god, and am anti-organized religion in general. Its nice to know there are some good people out there.

    Thank you very much for the compliments. And yes, I'm aware of the (Always opinionated) Richard Dawkins, and his books; though I have yet to read them myself.



    Quote Originally Posted by dragsnick View Post
    I've been there. When I was about your age I questioned god and his existence and why he allowed bad shit to happend. I'll honestly say I was pissed of at God and religion as a whole. I was also roman catholic but was upset with the whole knights Templar bullshit. Overall I was pissed until I found out about Non denominational christianity. I would stronly urge you to go and find one near you and check it out. Christianity isn't about hate and telling people they will go to hell. I'm Christian and I believe hate isn't something that should be spread you know those assholes with God hates fags signs? This people are first in line to get to hell ya know?

    Basically Christianity is given a bad rep by many stupid people. Let me put this in terms that you can understand, How many ab's give us a bad rep? How many good ab's are thier? Right the bad ones are louder then the good ones? it's kind of the same people eat up all that bad shit. But do you eve hear about how x Christian organization helped give orphans essential items and what not? Just give God another chance try and find a church you like. Then try to get closer to God if you find that it's just not your thing you can at least say you tried and be an informed atheist.

    Good luck man I hope you are able to become a Christian man it's a very good feeling once you are in it for the right reasons. I hope you don't think I'm sounding to holier then arth or anything I honestly want to lead you to where I believe is the correct path is all. Take it or leave it man I normally dont offer this advice since religious stuff is usually insulted here and people insult you all the time for being a Christian. It get tiring and I'm honestly afraid to show my faith here.
    I can absolutely understand every word you just said, and in a few minutes I'll probably give you rep for it. I'd suggest everyone else do the same, because this man is speaking very sensibly.

    And while I do respect your views, I do not believe that Jesus Christ is 'my savior' ETC ETC. I've been there on both a protestant, and Roman Catholic side of things. My Roman Catholic experience was actually very positive, and I never really had a problem with it... I was just never one for it entirely, if you get what I mean. I know that whatever I do decide; it probably won't be of the Christian faith.


    I'd also like to say that when I was mostly shooed away from my Judaic beliefs as a child due to a... well let's just say bad father, who was of that faith. I never really went to temple, but when I did it was just as interesting a time as going to church. (Roman Catholic)

    I'm still trying to figure this all out, so it's a bit crazy. I have an idea forming in my head, but I can't quite grasp it yet. It's odd... I dunno.

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