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Don't really know what to do...

Discussion of Christianity and other religious systems. How can we explain our faith to Christians? How can you merge your faith in Jesus with your belief in the metaphysical?

Don't really know what to do...

Postby Sombra » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:53 am

So basically I've been raised to be Christian. But slowly since I was about 14 or so I've been attempting to distance myself from the religion. To no avail really. I still live with my parents. My dad could care less if I went to church. He doesn't go himself. But my mom (despite the fact that I'm 20) still feels like she needs to "save my soul" even though I tell her that I learn absolutely nothing sitting through church. I'm either asleep or drawing or writing stories. I sit there with a look of utter disdain as I listen to the pastor make fun of...pretty much everyone who isn't Christian...and I get even angrier listening to the congregation laughing along like it's okay. Like it isn't hypocritical at all to be judgmental of people when you're following a religion that leaves judgement for God and God alone.

I've had plenty of moment where I've just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs while listening to them. And I believe my mom may genuinely be worried in some way for my soul but I don't think she realizes that her absentmindedly forcing her beliefs on me make me think ill of her as well. I try to tell her that she's sort of passively forcing her beliefs on me and she refuses to believe me. She's just blindly hoping that her efforts of forcing me to go to church will make me believe.

I know it sounds weird that at 20 I'm being forced to go to church but if you knew my mom you'd understand. She's the sort to throw something similar to a temper tantrum (sans the actual tantrum). She won't leave the house without me and my brother. She'll do everything short of dragging us out of the bed herself. And if she doesn't get to church because me or my brother refuse to move, she'll blame us for missing church when in actuality she has a car and could freely leave the house on her own. She doesn't have to have us go with her.

I'm just waiting for when I turn 21 (only a couple months ago). Then eventually my mom will "give up" on me. I'll be glad.

However as much as I try to distance myself from the religion, I feel like there's one last strand tying me to the religion. I don't know if it's because I feel like there's something I can gain from Christianity or if it's just the fear that's been instilled from going to church over the years. The way it is in my mind...it's this weird little argument going on...

Argument 1:

Why not just be Christian? It can't be that hard to believe. You're mind'll be at rest, you'll fit in with the majority, and you'll have a better perspective on life. And you'll be able to really know God. At least try.

Argument 2:

Well you don't have to be a fundie. You can sort of compromise. You don't have to look at all of the bible as absolute truth. There are some good components to the religion but you also can't deny scientific things. You can compromise.

Argument 3:

Why are you even considering this?! You know nothing about the religion makes sense to you. You know you find a lot of the things contradicting and the people hypocritical. What do you see in this that is appealing to you?! You would be happier believing something else.

Yeah...my mind works like this a lot. The little three way argument going one. The one for going all out with Christianity the other for either not believing anything or searching for a new religion. And the third just wanting to compromise.

I'm just stuck and I don't know what to do. I don't know whether I should just let it go or if I should try despite how I feel about a lot of the beliefs. I know a part of me wants to hold on because of fear. But I'm not sure if that's all it is.
Sombra
 

Re: Don't really know what to do...

Postby Moonlight Maverick » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:49 pm

Sombra wrote:So basically I've been raised to be Christian. But slowly since I was about 14 or so I've been attempting to distance myself from the religion. To no avail really. I still live with my parents. My dad could care less if I went to church. He doesn't go himself. But my mom (despite the fact that I'm 20) still feels like she needs to "save my soul" even though I tell her that I learn absolutely nothing sitting through church. I'm either asleep or drawing or writing stories. I sit there with a look of utter disdain as I listen to the pastor make fun of...pretty much everyone who isn't Christian...and I get even angrier listening to the congregation laughing along like it's okay. Like it isn't hypocritical at all to be judgmental of people when you're following a religion that leaves judgement for God and God alone.

I've had plenty of moment where I've just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs while listening to them. And I believe my mom may genuinely be worried in some way for my soul but I don't think she realizes that her absentmindedly forcing her beliefs on me make me think ill of her as well. I try to tell her that she's sort of passively forcing her beliefs on me and she refuses to believe me. She's just blindly hoping that her efforts of forcing me to go to church will make me believe.

I know it sounds weird that at 20 I'm being forced to go to church but if you knew my mom you'd understand. She's the sort to throw something similar to a temper tantrum (sans the actual tantrum). She won't leave the house without me and my brother. She'll do everything short of dragging us out of the bed herself. And if she doesn't get to church because me or my brother refuse to move, she'll blame us for missing church when in actuality she has a car and could freely leave the house on her own. She doesn't have to have us go with her.

I'm just waiting for when I turn 21 (only a couple months ago). Then eventually my mom will "give up" on me. I'll be glad.

However as much as I try to distance myself from the religion, I feel like there's one last strand tying me to the religion. I don't know if it's because I feel like there's something I can gain from Christianity or if it's just the fear that's been instilled from going to church over the years. The way it is in my mind...it's this weird little argument going on...

Argument 1:

Why not just be Christian? It can't be that hard to believe. You're mind'll be at rest, you'll fit in with the majority, and you'll have a better perspective on life. And you'll be able to really know God. At least try.

Argument 2:

Well you don't have to be a fundie. You can sort of compromise. You don't have to look at all of the bible as absolute truth. There are some good components to the religion but you also can't deny scientific things. You can compromise.

Argument 3:

Why are you even considering this?! You know nothing about the religion makes sense to you. You know you find a lot of the things contradicting and the people hypocritical. What do you see in this that is appealing to you?! You would be happier believing something else.

Yeah...my mind works like this a lot. The little three way argument going one. The one for going all out with Christianity the other for either not believing anything or searching for a new religion. And the third just wanting to compromise.

I'm just stuck and I don't know what to do. I don't know whether I should just let it go or if I should try despite how I feel about a lot of the beliefs. I know a part of me wants to hold on because of fear. But I'm not sure if that's all it is.


Hi Sombra,
I'm sorry you are so stressed! I was raised Catholic, so I feel I can relate to your inner turmoil, especially in relation to your family. I can tell you from experience that eventually things will get easier. Do your best to ask your heart what it is seeking and know that uncertainty is part of life - and try to make peace with it. It's my guess that your family loves you and even if they don't agree with your choices, they will *eventually* look past your chosen life path and support you as best they can. As for *what* exactly to believe, I had some of the same thoughts you mentioned. I remember a turning point was respectfully declining communion while at my mom's wedding in 2007. I hadn't been to a church in years and I didn't feel any shame in it. I felt respect for them and their beliefs, yet recognized they were not my own and I was ok with that.
Best of luck to you, keep searching and you will find what you are looking for.
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Postby Sombra » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:02 pm

I guess what it is is that I don't really know how to make peace with uncertainty. I don't like it, despite the fact that I know there's always going to be something in my life that will be uncertain and unknown. But I still don't like uncertainty. It bothers me.
Sombra
 

Postby shadowx » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:11 pm

Christianity itself isnt bad, it is a religion and all religions are good. In my eyes anything like devil worship (which i doubt actually exists in the real world but then there are plenty of insane people out there) they teach you to be a better, stronger person. Christianity is no different. i think the whole religion is a lie and hypocritical, but its teachings are good, just as other religions.

Take from it what you can, take from it the things that make you strong, the things you think are right.

Leave the rest where it belongs, in the church, for those who choose that path.

dont be afraid of the unknown, without the unknown what greatness does knowledge have? There can be no positive without a negative.

What should you do? You tell us. Only you can answer that question, and the answer is right there, inside you. Go to church, listen to what is being said. If you want to scream out, laugh and proclaim it a lie then christianity has no more to offer you. Remember its teachings and remember that even though it may not be for you, it gave you comfort at one time, and it gives others comfort now. While i dislike christianity as it is today i respect those that follow it for having faith and not preaching to me. I think they are foolish for not questioning it but they are happy and content. That is all that matters.
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Postby Sombra » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:08 pm

I know it's not bad. I guess my experiences with it just haven't been too good. (As for the 'devil worship' thing, I personally have a saying..."There's always one...".)

I find those who believe themselves to be representative of the religion extremely hypocritical and thus since they're taking it upon themselves to represent the belief (whether they realize it or not), I don't look to highly upon it. It's bad...I know. I do think some of the teachings are good though.

I'm not sure if I'm completely afraid of the unknown. More so I just don't like it.

I wouldn't even say that it's ever given me comfort. When I was really little I just believed that I was Christian because I went to church and stuff. I never really believed any of it. I just felt like I had to.
Sombra
 

Postby shadowx » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:16 am

i agree in that most christians that i have met are horrible people, but thats due to human stupidness more than anything.

Where do you want to go with your life? Do you want to follow the pagan path? OR do you just want advice on breaking away from christianity?
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Postby Earth Ritual » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:09 pm

uncertainty and unknown = freedom

ask yourself why someone wouldn't what you to be free?

When you are at peace with the part of yourself that is also the Great Mystery you will be unf*ckwitable. You will possess the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Your aura will begin to communicate with your Mom and anyone else this peace and they'll forget all about saving you because they'll be feeling so good around you and not knowing why.

Blessing on your Journey
You are either for Life or against It. There is no in between.

I used to believe in god above. Now I'm filled with so much love.-Erykah Badu after the invocation of the Goddess

May the love that holds eternity at its fingertips kiss each and everyone one you on the lips. May your words bring worlds that bring hope to a world dying to be reborn.
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Postby Sombra » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:57 pm

shadowx wrote:i agree in that most christians that i have met are horrible people, but thats due to human stupidness more than anything.

Where do you want to go with your life? Do you want to follow the pagan path? OR do you just want advice on breaking away from christianity?


I think for now I just want advice on breaking away from Christianity. I'm not really sure why I wanna go with my life just yet.

uncertainty and unknown = freedom

ask yourself why someone wouldn't what you to be free?


I don't think of it from this standpoint. Pretty much...I don't really get how they equal freedom. I just don't like being confused. It's too stressful.
Sombra
 

Postby Earth Ritual » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:19 pm

when i broke away from the Jehovah's Witnesses I invoked the goddesses Kali and Oya. It was like invoking the force of a tornado that tore through every part of my life and soul. eventually it left me much more powerful and authentic but it hurt like hell.

the smoother way to have done that was to just make up my mind and choose. I could have just done the research to figure out the lies and accepted that the real secret they didn't want me to know was that I am god and god doesn't need a religion, to be saved, or to worship any other god.
You are either for Life or against It. There is no in between.

I used to believe in god above. Now I'm filled with so much love.-Erykah Badu after the invocation of the Goddess

May the love that holds eternity at its fingertips kiss each and everyone one you on the lips. May your words bring worlds that bring hope to a world dying to be reborn.
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Postby Sombra » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:32 pm

Well my mom finally realizes that she can't exactly force me to go to church and I know that hurts her but she doesn't realize that the way she worded what she said to me today was extremely painful. I don't care much for the idea of "giving up on someone" like I'm purposefully going to follow an evil path or whatever. She never gave me the chance to explain how I felt. So I've been upset the entire day because of that.

I mean...I'm happy I don't have to go anymore...but I still feel...I guess broken is the only word I can think of.
Sombra
 

Postby reikihealer83 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:59 pm

Sombra,

I was reading this thread and now I can give you the perspective from someone who came from the same background. I was brought up in the same type of home and for a long time I believed almost everything. I never really believed that all magick was bad as there is light and dark in all else why not that? I also found my parents wanting to make sure I go to heaven but I felt that in some way I was forced as well. I lived the walk for a long time until I realized that many (not all) Christians can be, as you said hypocritical at best. I find their love the sinner hate the sin to be a total BS line of crap because it is still judgement even though it is guised as something else. I also found that as I grew older and got to college age I just did not find comfort in it anymore. I went through some sexual identity issues as well as coming into what I now believe was my innate talents as a Druid. I battled it for years until I got to college (where I still battled it and tried to bury it unsuccessfully) for a while longer.

I know what it is like to have your heart and soul ripping you apart because you do not want to hurt your parent(s) or make them feel like they failed because they did not, as you said "save" you. If you are a good person and they taught you respect and love of others as I am sure they did on some level they are not failures. Just because you do not agree with everything you were taught just as I do not, does not mean you are a failure as their child as you know. Remember one lesson you were most likely taught and that is to trust your spirit because it will never lead you down the path you are not supposed to take. I still carry many Christian beliefs but honestly, I consider myself more spiritual than anything else with a heavy dose of Druid leanings. If you want to chat more, PM me. I am more than happy to keep helping you :)
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Postby Sombra » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:17 am

I've felt the same way about that "love the sinner, hate the sin" ideology. I just never felt that it's possible to not be judgmental of a person when that's the mindset that they're coming into the conversation with.

I may not be a failure but that sure doesn't stop my mom from making me feel like one...
Sombra
 


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