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Your Personal Walk With Religion

Arch Enemy

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It is always nice to hear the stories of people who have walked with their religion, just to be deterred by something, then by something unexpected, placed back on track.

I would like to hear from those of you who have had this happen. It is one thing to separate from a religion, but it is totally different to separate just to come back even stronger.

I would also like to see why you have picked to stay with your religion.

Testimony of sorts.
 

128shot

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I haven't found a religion yet (I know, you were looking for happy endings, but I think this fits the bill)



I'm trying, actually. I'm doing my research and all, religion for me is scary. I have a hard time with it, but something inside me yerns to believe in a god, with or without all the extra baggage, I can't help it.



So I am yet walking my road with or without a god to find the truth for myself.
 

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128shot said:
I haven't found a religion yet (I know, you were looking for happy endings, but I think this fits the bill)



I'm trying, actually. I'm doing my research and all, religion for me is scary. I have a hard time with it, but something inside me yerns to believe in a god, with or without all the extra baggage, I can't help it.



So I am yet walking my road with or without a god to find the truth for myself.
Have you looked into Deism? I was raised without religion and studied just about every one. None of them made any sense and they all contradicted each other and then I noticed that there was in fact a word for what I was : Deist. Funny thing, that I was a Deist for years and didn't even know the word for it til I was about 18 years old. A good site for looking into various religions is religioustolerance.org.
 

Duke

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I stick with agnosticism, for religion as a whole has done nothing but destroy my family.
Over time, religion has been a huge detriment to mankind on the whole, and I do not associate myself with that kind of thing likewise.


Duke
 

NewAgeTexDem

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Well for me I was raised christian since as long as I can remember. I never had anything that really shook my faith until my junior year in high school which was 2 yrs ago now.

One of my greatest rolemodels, my football coach got stage 4 melanoma cancer. We found this out early in my Sophmore year, he wasn't expected to live out the year. He was one of the greatest men I have ever known in my life. He was out at practice for another two years, in a 110 degree texas heat. He never once complained about what happened to him. Well we went all the way through my junior year to the state game without losing a single game, we even won state the year before. But we lost the state game by a single point. All of us felt like we had let coach down, he poured his soul into coaching, and all he said after the game was he was just glad he made it here.

Coach Stalcup died the week before my senior year started. We dedicated our season to him and ended up winning a state and national championship that year, all thanks to his inspiration. It got us through those tough games.

Thats when my problem with god started. I couldn't understand how a loving god could take a man in the prime of his life. His wife was left with his two young children, who are in middle school. It didn't seem fair to me that god would do this. This man was one of the best men I have ever known and it didn't seem fair that this would happen. And I wondered how my little brothers would learn the values and lessons I learned without someone like him in their life.

Well I quit going to church the rest of that year and really quit believing. Then some of my senior friends convinced me to go on the final mission trip with them before college. I agreed to go since we had been friends since before kindergarten. Well anyway on the trip we were put in groups with other students from all over the state. There was one girl named Alex in my group and we immediately clicked. She was so much like my own coach that it felt like I was standing next to him again. She showed me that God has many great people on the earth and that my coach wasn't the only one. After that I realized it wasn't that I didn't believe in God and Christ, its just I was mad at him. I forgot that death is not the end, just another step in our story, and she helped me remember that.

Thats my story, don't know if its sappy but its really changed who I am.
 

Duke

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Well for me I was raised christian since as long as I can remember. I never had anything that really shook my faith until my junior year in high school which was 2 yrs ago now.

One of my greatest rolemodels, my football coach got stage 4 melanoma cancer. We found this out early in my Sophmore year, he wasn't expected to live out the year. He was one of the greatest men I have ever known in my life. He was out at practice for another two years, in a 110 degree texas heat. He never once complained about what happened to him. Well we went all the way through my junior year to the state game without losing a single game, we even won state the year before. But we lost the state game by a single point. All of us felt like we had let coach down, he poured his soul into coaching, and all he said after the game was he was just glad he made it here.

Coach Stalcup died the week before my senior year started. We dedicated our season to him and ended up winning a state and national championship that year, all thanks to his inspiration. It got us through those tough games.

Thats when my problem with god started. I couldn't understand how a loving god could take a man in the prime of his life. His wife was left with his two young children, who are in middle school. It didn't seem fair to me that god would do this. This man was one of the best men I have ever known and it didn't seem fair that this would happen. And I wondered how my little brothers would learn the values and lessons I learned without someone like him in their life.

Well I quit going to church the rest of that year and really quit believing. Then some of my senior friends convinced me to go on the final mission trip with them before college. I agreed to go since we had been friends since before kindergarten. Well anyway on the trip we were put in groups with other students from all over the state. There was one girl named Alex in my group and we immediately clicked. She was so much like my own coach that it felt like I was standing next to him again. She showed me that God has many great people on the earth and that my coach wasn't the only one. After that I realized it wasn't that I didn't believe in God and Christ, its just I was mad at him. I forgot that death is not the end, just another step in our story, and she helped me remember that.

Thats my story, don't know if its sappy but its really changed who I am.
I cannot imagine that an omnipotent being that watches mankind can simply observe as millions die from starvation, disease, and war. Whatever has happened to those biblical miracles?


Duke
 

Duke

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If anyone wants to hear the full-fledged version of my experiences with religion, then here goes:
I was born an raised an agnostic. My mother is an agnostic, but my father was raised a strict Roman Catholic. My father's side of the family was conservative to the point of lunacy. Back in the day, my father's family had slaves, which makes me sick to my stomach. To show you the extent of my father's side of the family, my grandparents had 12 children, for they thought that evey child was a "gift to God". The family became very poor. My father remained religious and conservative until his college days, when the draft was fired up. He started to take a closer look at the going-ons of politics, and when the Pentagon Papers came out, he saw what he had supported throughout his life. He became very interested in politics, became agnostic, and ceased to be a conservative. I am sure that you can predict the affect that this had on the rest of his large family. They ostracized him. Some of his siblings did not come to his marrige with my mother for it was not in a Roman Catholic church. Some of his siblings did not come to my uncle's funeral, because my uncle was not religious.
My family does not live in the area that the rest of the family lives in any longer.
Religion has had none but negitive affects on my life so far, so I avoid it.


Duke
 

NewAgeTexDem

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Duke said:
I cannot imagine that an omnipotent being that watches mankind can simply observe as millions die from starvation, disease, and war. Whatever has happened to those biblical miracles?


Duke
Because he gave us that choice. We have the choice to commit good acts or evil acts, and unfortunatley mankind chooses evil all to often. Religion is simply a matter of faith nowadays, yes there are still miracles, although they are much smaller than the parting of a sea.

God's greatest gift is the one you are using right now, the gift of choice. God lets these things happen because thats what we chose to do. Even with evil God works good.
 

Duke

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Because he gave us that choice. We have the choice to commit good acts or evil acts, and unfortunatley mankind chooses evil all to often. Religion is simply a matter of faith nowadays, yes there are still miracles, although they are much smaller than the parting of a sea.

God's greatest gift is the one you are using right now, the gift of choice. God lets these things happen because thats what we chose to do. Even with evil God works good.
That would make him pretty merciless...
I don't buy into that, but you have the common decency to respect my choice of beliefs, and I honor you for that. Some people show much less politeness.

Duke
 

NewAgeTexDem

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I wouldn't call it merciless. People that suffer in this life are rewarded even more in heaven. From your point of view, not believing in God or an afterlife it would seem like suffering but to christians its suffering followed by reward. Every person has thier own opinion and I respect yours, ultimately its a matter of choice to the individual whether they believe or not. Being forced into believing isn't faith at all which defeats the purpose.
 

Duke

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Every person has thier own opinion and I respect yours, ultimately its a matter of choice to the individual whether they believe or not. Being forced into believing isn't faith at all which defeats the purpose.

I wish more Christians thought on those terms, like my family.........:cry:


Duke
 

NewAgeTexDem

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Actually most that I know are like me, at least Methodists are in my experiance. Youve probably just met some bad ones and have heard way to much of that idiot Pat Robertson.
 

Duke

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Actually most that I know are like me, at least Methodists are in my experiance. Youve probably just met some bad ones and have heard way to much of that idiot Pat Robertson.
Yeah, most religious people I know are tolerant of my lack of beliefs, but some of them are annoying about it, (as in, "I can't believe that you don't believe in God, how come?") and some people are downright nasty. (as in, "what the f*** is up with you, can't you face the reality of the Lord Almighty?")
And then there is my family........... :cry:


Duke
 

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My family threatend to burn my house down when I went ahead and declared being an atheist for a short period of time....
 

Columbusite

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Because he gave us that choice. We have the choice to commit good acts or evil acts, and unfortunatley mankind chooses evil all to often. Religion is simply a matter of faith nowadays, yes there are still miracles, although they are much smaller than the parting of a sea.

God's greatest gift is the one you are using right now, the gift of choice. God lets these things happen because thats what we chose to do. Even with evil God works good.
That kinda explains war, but no one chooses to starve to death or get cancer. If you believe God is all powerful I don't see why miracles wouldn't be used to help out mankind instead of appearing in a grilled cheese sandwich.
 

NewAgeTexDem

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Because Jesus was the last and greatest miracle of them all. People starving are usually a direct result of an evil act commited by someone else, usually at a high government level. Basicly how the biblical story goes is that when we first chose to sin, we knowingly seperated ourselves from God. This is the whole adam and eve apple story, which I view as a parable not direct fact. When we seperated ourselves from God we viewed ourselves as better than him, and thus even today we stay seperate from him.
 

Duke

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128shot said:
My family threatend to burn my house down when I went ahead and declared being an atheist for a short period of time....
That makes your family just like my dad's side of the family, just more violent and probably smaller. It sucks.


Duke
 

Columbusite

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NewAgeTexDem said:
Because Jesus was the last and greatest miracle of them all. People starving are usually a direct result of an evil act commited by someone else, usually at a high government level.
Not really, a good number of times it's because of draught or some other natural occurence. I don't see why a bunch of people should be allowed to suffer because someone else is an a##hole. In neither case do people choose starvation or disease.
 

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Columbusite said:
Not really, a good number of times it's because of draught or some other natural occurence. I don't see why a bunch of people should be allowed to suffer because someone else is an a##hole. In neither case do people choose starvation or disease.

Well I will agree with you that sometimes, perhaps many times it does occur naturally. But if you believe in God, you also have to believe in the Devil, and we cant blame every evil act on God, when many infact are the direct result of the "Devil". We chose to have evil in our lives so we often see the consequence of evil.
 
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Columbusite said:
Not really, a good number of times it's because of draught or some other natural occurence. I don't see why a bunch of people should be allowed to suffer because someone else is an a##hole. In neither case do people choose starvation or disease.
Of course they don't. Bad things happen to good and bad people alike. However, were God to intervene on such a massive scale, the ideas of faith and free will would become meaningless, in my opinion. Do people suffer? Yes, absolutely. Does God let people suffer? Again, yes. Does that make God heartless and cruel? I'm not sure, but in some sense in answering this question from a Christian viewpoint, I would turn to the story of Adam and Eve. I think many Christians only see this as the development of original sin, but in my reading there is a deeper message: with free will comes suffering.

Moreover, without suffering, life has no meaning.

A recap of my story: I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran. In junior high I dealt with internal depression, and at some point I decided to reject God. As I grew older I found it more convenient to be a Deist, however, I recently dealt with some negative experiences and I realized that I needed Jesus back in my life. So, I have become a born-again Christian (albeit, not a fundamentalist one.) I am currently going to an Episcopalian Church, and I am trying to rediscover my faith in God.
 
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