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Help this wandering seeker find peace!

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by MatthiasGould, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. MatthiasGould

    MatthiasGould Alhamdulillah!

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    I like this kind of forum!

    I'm hoping that some people on here can help me, as I've wandered about from religion to religion without really getting anywhere.

    First, some background: I have always believed in God, all of my life. I was raised in a vaguely Christian home, by my grandparents, but it was never really discussed and the only time I went to church was for school stuff.

    Fast forward to college (that's UK college, at age 16-18) and I got involved with a Christian group and become quite fanatical about it. I even held to Creationist beliefs, something which is unusual in the UK.

    Off I went to university, where I joined the Christian Union there, and again became involved in the usual campus and church activities. But in the last year, I fell away as I'd begun to doubt my faith quite badly, in particular due to doubts I had over the historicity of the Bible and also of certain Christian practices. At this time I begun to read the Qur'an and also Jewish material, and it became all quite confusing.

    So this has led to me just wandering around, not really feeling attracted to any one particular set of religious beliefs or religion. There were times when I have been ready to commit to a faith and other times where I've quite strongly gone against that faith.

    I really don't know what to do. Would anyone care to advise me?
     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I think you should probably start by examining what it means to you to "commit to a faith." That means different things to different people. Do you believe that commitment requires you to follow the teachings 100% of the time with no compromising? Do you believe that commitment means you cannot "go against" anything of that faith? If this is the case, how decides what "goes against" the faith and what the teachings are in the first place? Who has that authority and why? Would you feel comfortable owning the path and making parts of it yours? Do you feel you can trust your own wisdom and be part of a faith community in spite of disagreeing with some of what it has to say?

    These aren't questions we can answer for you. IMHO, even those who think they are rigidly adhering to some doctrine 100% of the time will still personalize their experience of that religion to some degree. Why? Nobody is 100% the same. How much "deviation" you allow yourself from the group you identify with depends on what you and that community would accept.
     
  3. Dingbat

    Dingbat Avatar of Brittania

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    ^This is a really good answer to be quite honest. I have a similar background as well Matthias except I was raised in a very religious home that was rather no nonsense in regards to faith though my parents encouraged asking questions and active study of scripture. Fast forward to today after reading the Gospels again, currently studying the Tanakh, and Qur'an it has left me with a lot of unanswered questions and still confused as to which I agree with. All three have aspects I can agree with but the biggest thing it comes down to is questions of authority, doctrine, and love of your fellow humanbeings. I haven't found any great answers so far but I keep studying and hoping for a real breakthrough to occur.
     
  4. kylixguru

    kylixguru Well-Known Member

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    My advice is to simply focus on getting an objective understanding of the truth for yourself.
    Be willing to stand in the face of all the traditions/precepts that men have invented.
    "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth liberally and upbraideth not."
    If you are truly sincere and your eye is the single to the glory of God, He answers.
    Also, there is not a single institution organized at this point that isn't corrupt.
    "There shall be vomit on all tables" (Isaiah 28:1-8) is where we are at right now where priest and prophet have gone out of the way over strong drink. They all stumble in judgment and err in vision. But, as an individual we can still commune with God to learn the truth about things.
     
  5. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Look into deism, pantheism, and humanism.
     
  6. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Try looking into some eastern philosophy to balance out the western. Or at least add some process philosophy--the western version of eastern philosophy.
     
  7. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    What part of the historicity of the Bible were you doubting? For example, if you were doubting the story of Adam and Eve, or of Noah, then that's understandable to doubt those from a historical standpoint; I think one can do this and still be a Christian.

    Or were you doubting something else in it?


    Hoo, a few things you could do. :)

    Study some other religions would be one: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Judaism being some of them. It may also be worth studying some Pagan groups (Celtic and Norse (Ásatrú -- but be wary of the Odinic Rite here; they're a bit.. meh, really) being the two most common in the UK), or Deism.

    In addition, I highly recommend books by Karen Armstrong: try looking for "The Case for God", for example. Other people like Bishop Spong, but I don't really care for his writings too much (which is weird, because I agree with him on most things). If you're looking for his books, try to look for something like, "Why Christianity Must Change or Die", or "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism". You could pick these up at your library, most likely.
     
  8. loverOfTruth

    loverOfTruth Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,
    The bottom line is finding the True God and His message so you can follow Him and find Peace. Hence, as a fellow human being and a well wisher, I would like to suggest the following to you. Set aside all religion, all holy book and have a heartfelt conversation with our Creator directly - ask Him to guide you towards Him if He truly exists and be sincere regarding your intention to follow Him if you find the Truth. And I have no doubt in my mind that you will be guided to the Truth.

    In fact one of the supplications we do after daily prayers is translated as : "O Allah(God), You are As-Salam(Peace) and from You is all peace, blessed are You, O Possessor of majesty and honour."

    Also, if you watch some of the videos from the Deen Show site which consists of videos of many many converts to Islam, you will notice one common and defining theme. That is all of them felt real inner peace after they accepted Islam. See it for yourslef :
    The Deen Show

    I wish you Peace and Success in this journey of yours. Also, please feel free to ask any questions you might have on or related to Islam.
     
    #8 loverOfTruth, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  9. MatthiasGould

    MatthiasGould Alhamdulillah!

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    It was the story of Jesus which bothered me particularly. I'd come to some sort of compromise regarding much of the Bible's 'historical' content, but something really got to me about the Jesus story. It just seems to my mind as a historian/classicist that much of the history was garbled, incoherent and outwardly wrong, whilst the actual story seems to my mind copy-pasted from various other mythologies and made little sense to me philosophically.

    Good plan. I've read a few Karen Armstrong books and have found them to be very readable.

    For me there has to be a balance between rigid rules and personal devotions and practices. I value a central authority of some sort, but I would equally be able to commit to a faith practice where there is none.

    As to the 100% commitment issue, unfortunately a massive part of my personality is that I have a tendency to subscribe to a series of beliefs totally.
     
  10. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
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    never stop seeking? not all who wander are lost.
     
  11. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Makes sense. :)

    I suggest you read one of Spong's books; he may be just what you're after. Otherwise, have you considered looking at some other groups like Deism? What religions have you studied so far?


    Oh yeah; she's an amazing author. I wish there were more like her out there.
     
  12. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    To MatthiasGould:- You wrote:- I've wandered about from religion to religion without really getting anywhere.
    ------------------------------------------
    Perfect! It is better to travel than to arrive! So you are a seeker...... I hope that you never arrive, because if you do, you might become transfixed in some 'holy' glue or other that will hold you from freedom for the rest of your days.

    Enjoy it all, but belong and cling to no single part of it. All the very best, oldbadger
     
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  13. Dingbat

    Dingbat Avatar of Brittania

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    Oh we have so much in common it was definitely the historicity and phrasing in the Gospels that left me scratching my head. First Christ would deny being God then latter claim to be God in a roundabout way. Hell the Gospels even within the same book could contradict each other which shows either manipulation latter on or not one author but rather a compilation effort.

    I do have to pick up some Karen Armstrong books sometime as well as Spong. Both from what I hear offer some amazing insight.
     
  14. 9Westy9

    9Westy9 Sceptic, Libertarian, Egalitarian
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    If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things - Rene Descartes
     
  15. loverOfTruth

    loverOfTruth Well-Known Member

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    MatthiasGould and Dingbat, you guys should watch this video by Dr. Jerald F. Dirks that shows even early christians had quite a different take on the Crucifixion of Jesus(pbuh). Dr. Dirks has a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.
    [youtube]2m4KW-dysKk[/youtube]
    From Jesus to Muhammad: A History of Early Christianity - YouTube

    Peace.
     
  16. horizon_mj1

    horizon_mj1 Well-Known Member

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    I commend you on doing further reading into historical religion. The Qur'an and some books in Judaism do interrelate, but I can understand why one may find them confusing (especially when cross studying). One of the best reading IMO to complete the Bible is The Lost Books of the Bible. Included in these works are the Secrets of Enoch and The Lost Books of Eden, both of which I can almost guarantee will answer many questions one may have relating to the Old Testament of The King James Bible. I read some other of your posts and there is always a better reason for questioning something than not. I believe that Christianity has not listened to what Christ has said in the Bible, therefore are for the most part not in full cooperation with their said beliefs. For example Christ preaches of the Absolute Devotion that is needed to be shown to His Father, not to Himself. People usually try to find the simplest answer to some very complex questions in which there is no simple answer. If you refer to an Ultimate Being, are we so shallow and arrogant as a species to believe we are the best to share our existence with this Being in exact form? Or does it make more logical sense that maybe there is a bit more to the story than what some may have the ability to comprehend?
     
  17. AmerikanZen

    AmerikanZen Active Member

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    If you're wandering around - try reading & interpreting the highway signs.
     
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  18. horizon_mj1

    horizon_mj1 Well-Known Member

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    It sure would be a much safer world if people would start with this basic principal eah?:yes:
     
  19. MatthiasGould

    MatthiasGould Alhamdulillah!

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    Something I forgot to add in my OP and in my last post: I should have mentioned something which has further made my religious journey quite difficult, if not impossible. The name I use on here, Matthias Gould, is actually my transgender identity, as I'm legally female still but wishing to be male.

    This has made a 'traditional' choice of religion quite difficult, as most religions seem to actively reject gender identity disorder, and would not recognize my legal identity as a man.
     
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  20. kylixguru

    kylixguru Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't find it difficult in any religion as long as you are not trying to press a personal agenda onto them to accept what you are wanting to do.

    If you wish to deny participating in the role your physiological makeup cast you in at birth, then don't be surprised if they have disciplinary or corrective measures in store.

    Also, if this is something you really truly want for yourself, then continue with that as your own choice and don't pretend like you are somehow helplessly unable to make any other choice.

    Such a framework that has you deceived into thinking you have lost your ability to choose, even if you have resistance, is an indication that you are the subject of demonic activity beyond your power to cope with. In which case, a good religion is what you need in order for you to get a grip on your own life, your own soul and your own destiny.

    You are the captain of your ship!
     
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