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Featured Tell me your Story

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Psalm23, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Psalm23

    Psalm23 Member

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    Hello I am starting this thread for people to tell their stories of faith and doubt and/or unbelief. Everyone is welcome to share.

    I will start.
    I am a Christian. I believed on Jesus at a young age. I have gone through ups and downs and my faith. Questions, doubts and fears plus panic attacks. I have come a long way in dealing with anxiety. The are times and days where it is hard for me to trust God. I am learning to trust and step out of my comfort zone to face my fears.
     
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  2. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    I was born into a Christian culture, but not raised religious.

    I, however, was really fascinated with religion as a child and I was begging my mum for a Bible when I was 6. She bought me a children's Bible, which I devoured, then I was happy to be given a 'real' Bible for my 9th Christmas. At this time I also had an interest in ancient Egyptian religion and had statues and things.

    When I was 10 I decided I believed in the G-d of the Bible, but not the Jesus stuff. I can't remember why. So I asked my Religious Education teacher what that made me and she said that is a Jewish belief. However, there are two things in my life that I love, adore and fawn over and that is religion and boys, so when I turned 12 I was focusing more on the latter and kind of didn't really think about religion much. When I was 15 I made an indepth study of Islam as I had become a sort of born-again Christian and these were the folks I found myself arguing with most. I think this is as my friends at school were Christians and that reignited my religious fire, so I went back to that.

    When I was a day off 17 I joined here as a Luciferian. I chose that as I wanted a faith that fit with the 'Enlightenment' values I cherished. I went from theistic to atheistic and had my obligatory atheist phase at 17-18. I then began reading the Scriptures and regained faith in Christianity. I had no internet at this time for 9 months, so I had a lot of time to sit and read without distraction. I made it through the whole text and was conflicted. I wanted to keep my Christianity since it was the religion around me and I'd spent a great deal of time on it, but reading the Scriptures made me really question if the Christian Testament had anything to do with the Tanakh. I recall walking home one day and deciding that as long as I was good and retained faith in G-d, what could He hold against me?

    I still wasn't satisfied with Christianity though I kept trying to make it work. I'd had a few Pagan phases but nothing really worth mentioning. I then discovered Zoroastrianism and that seemed to fit because it lacked any of the beliefs Abrahamic religionists had to spend so long defending; it had no conflicts with science and what not, and it had a God and theology that made sense to me. It still didn't fit though. It felt like I were praying to nothing. It offered me nothing and in secret I still swooned for G-d. The G-d of the Bible. I tried Christianity one last time until I started talking with various Jewish folks on here more, namely Tumah, and realised that my religion couldn't stand up to scrutiny (imo). But I was done searching. I knew the G-d that I had a connexion with, Whose Scripture made sense to me, Who seemed to have been with me throughout my life, and Whose adherents had fought argument after argument, their answers working for me. It was a faith that allowed me to question. It didn't try whitewashing things in the Scriptures, but had understandings of them that Christianity had never given me.

    So I became a Noahide.

    Here I am still a Noahide almost 4 years later, B"H.
     
    #2 Rival, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I haven't been raised in religion. I never heard of any religion other than Christianity and witchcraft (case in point) due to mother. I kept a bit but realize I'm not religious so it's just a day to say thing like eating and sleeping. No worship etc.

    I met a Catholic friend and she took me to her church. I was christian for four years til I re-realized I never believed in god. Human sacrifice actually creeps me out. Christianity-all denominations-tend to have biases and harm people even when unintentionally. That's something I can neither be a part of or waste my time to support.

    I never knew anything about atheism, hinduism, paganism, etc till I came in RF about ten years ago. I still don't know.

    All in all I can smell conversion-like tone a mile away. Hopefully, the question doesn't lead to that.
     
    #3 Unveiled Artist, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  4. rocala

    rocala Active Member

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    Hi Psalm23

    I have had many experiences ranging from the 'spooky' to the spiritual, more than enough to convince me that there is "something else".

    I was never happy with the Abrahamic faiths, so looked further. Buddhism does feel very right to me although arguments about the concept of self are sometimes a little unsettling.

    I have always been deeply moved by nature. Moved at times to what I can only describe as "otherworldly". Later the arts have at times brought similar experiences. This led me to Modern Druidry. I consider the two beliefs to be complimentary.
     
    #4 rocala, Sep 16, 2020
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  5. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    I would be interested to hear more of this, if you like. Starting with "Modern Druidry means to me..."

    :)
     
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  6. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I was raised in a christian family, not rigidly devout but a must be done because thats how it was back then.

    At first i loved the church but i am dyslexic, a disadvantage in learning the written word. The congregation, who i thought of as kind people slowly began taunting me which became outright mockery. By age 14 i summoned the courage to say, enought, and i left my church.

    Soon after i was diagnosed with dyslexia and prescribed eye glasses and filters that allowed me to distinguish letters. Within 3 months i was reading my first book.

    The second book i read was the bible (kjv), cover to cover, every page, as written. I was looking for any reason why the adults of my beloved church could act like total jerks.

    Its all there, so many reasons, so many verses that instill the us and them, the rejection of difference.

    That education began my journey to atheism.

    My parents remain christian to this day and regularly attend (a different) church.

    I met my best friend while going to sunday school. She is devout, does a great deal for the church, has shifted from every day church of England to full blown born again. We have some terrific ding dong arguments but we will always remain besties
     
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  7. rocala

    rocala Active Member

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    Reverence, belonging and a profound peace of mind.
     
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  8. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Can you say how this manifests in your life?
     
  9. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    My parents were Christians. Probably typical British Christians - no Bible in the house and went to church for hatches, matches and despatches. I had no interest in religion (ie Christianity), two years compulsory at high school was more than enough. Then a few years later I saw a poster advertising a short introduction to Buddhism which piqued my interest (no idea why) so I attended. It wasn't revelatory; it seemed to chime with my worldview at the time. That was about 30 years ago and I'm still just sitting. Dull, huh.
     
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  10. rocala

    rocala Active Member

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    First and foremost is the 'idea' that it is special. I spend as much time as possible in nature and am never happier. It follows from this that politically I should follow a 'Green' path. Ecological issues are very important to me.
     
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  11. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    I was raised Catholic. The strict Catholic upbringing was contrasting the secular education I received at school. So I wanted to study Christianity and philosophy to understand more about my faith.
    I consider myself Christian . Only culturally, and secondly Catholic.
     
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  12. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    I was brought up Catholic by a Grandmother who went to a nunnery and a father that went to a seminary; however, they were not that strict perhaps because they decided to leave before taking their vows. Early on in my life I had hallucinations that I associate with my seizures and the medicine I took to prevent them. The hallucinations included the Blessed Mother and Premonitions of the future, among other things. At one point I believed I was supposed to be a prophet and then later a priest. While working towards being a priest, I met the underbelly of religion. People strict because of the love of God. People doing wrong because of the will of God. People not allowing questions because they were the devils tools, Good people leaving the church because of the rules....etc. There were good people in the church to but the bad that I found far outweighed the good and the good people I met didn't understand the bad the others were doing. I became a seeker, tried different religions, studied different religions but I found all the same. The people not God make up religions and the people are flawed. For a short period I became atheist. I guess to rebel against all this stupidity but I found the same stupidity in Atheism. In fact I found all human organizations flawed, Religious, Political, Sports, Business...etc. For a while I refused to label myself and continued to search for an answer. After several years and more exploring I found the answer and became theistic/Agnostic. I have been happy with my spiritual outcome since and enjoy hearing from and engaging with all groups, realizing that all have some truths and all have some lies.
     
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  13. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Asinine, socialist-leaning, puerile filth
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    Much of why I formed the views I have concerning religions is detailed in the following thread:

    Some reasoning for my non-belief

    In essence, my family wasn't particularly religious - being nominally Christian - and not much religion entered our lives other than as mentioned by @Secret Chief, that being births, marriages, and deaths, plus some services when I was in the Scouts. My mother tried to get me to go to the local Methodist chapel of a Sunday but I soon got bored with that. About the age of 11 or so, I discovered there were so many different religious beliefs, and became suspicious as to any or all of them necessarily being true. So I wasn't that interested in religions as I grew up, given that many other things attracted me.

    I suppose over the years, having more of an interest in philosophy and psychology, plus in science of course, I saw the the tenets of the major religions bumping up against science, and given the probabilities, I went down the path described in the link. I did look at many different religious texts but there wasn't a lot to separate them as to one being more true than another. And any truths concerning humans and our human existence might have value but doesn't add to the veracity of the origins of the particular religion.

    I still have some doubts as to the existence of some creative force but see no need to search for some particular path, and overall I am not that impressed with religions, particularly with some of the issues they tend to cause, which might not be there but for religions.
     
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  14. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    @Psalm23 maybe you could elaborate a bit more on your own story? :)
     
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  15. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I was raised in a very tepid "Christian" household. Basically only "Christian" as a sort of stand-in to make appearances as having "some faith, rather than none" to the rest of the community. My parents were not religious in any sense - no tithing, barely went to church except around some holidays, didn't share anything with us children from The Bible, etc. They still hold some vague notion that there is a "God," but I think that has more to do with some hold-out from their upbringing than it does with their actually having thought too deeply about it and allowing themselves to come to their own conclusions.

    Anyway, in that environment, I was free to accept or reject whatever ideas I wanted to, without any consistent backlash or criticisms. I remember the first times people tried to talk to me about "Jesus" and "God" and how foreign and nonsensical it seemed. You see, I had decided (without even really realizing it) to accept what made sense and correlated with reality, and reject what didn't. And Christianity made absolutely zero sense to me. Using a test of holding the claims made by Christianity up to the reality I experience day-to-day, it was no contest. Christianity was bunk. Intellectual garbage which should all too easily be drop-kicked into the furnace where bad ideas and bad fiction go. Unfortunately, I began to realize quite quickly how many of those surrounding me in my community held all those crazy, unfounded ideas in pretty high esteem. So high that they became downright enraged when you contradicted them, or asked questions that confounded them. This did nothing to deter me, however, and instead just reinforced the inkling I had that their ideas were all bad and malformed.

    You see - I have come to find (and found pretty early on, lucky for me) that the more insecure a person is about their ideas, the less sure they really are about them - which very likely means their foundations for those ideas and "knowledge" are built of manure. And Christians are AMAZINGLY GOOD at displaying their insecurity over their ideas. I mean... they're just awesome at it. Really top notch. And so, no matter the proselytization attempt, no matter the excuses made or long-winded (and I mean LOOOOONNNNGGG-winded) attempts at explaining their ideas - NONE of it could sway me. No matter how good the explanation, you never get to a place where there simply aren't MORE logical problems and therefore simple, but necessary questions introduced by any answer within Christian teaching. Never. There is no such place.
     
    #15 A Vestigial Mote, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  16. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I was raised by my grandparents in the Lutheran version of Christianity.

    I went to Sunday and Wednesday school through 6th grade. I memorized catechism (got stars for doing so), sang in the choir, and other typical stuff for young Christians.

    But I never really believed. I saw the Biblical stories as similar in many ways to Aesop's fables and was frankly shocked that people actually believed them to be literally true. Even in the mind of a 8 year old, the stories made no sense to me as history.

    A crisis of sorts happened when I realized that to be confirmed I had to not just recite the catechism, but actually say that I *believed* in it. This caused a crisis in conscience because my grandparents really wanted me to be confirmed and I really didn't believe what I was told I had to say. Fortunately, my mother re-entered the picture and I never had to go through the confirmation process.

    I remember, even as a very young child, not getting any 'response' to prayers. Everyone else was 'talking to God' and all I heard was me talking to myself. Not exactly convincing to me that the adults knew what they were talking about.

    For a while, I was bothered by my lack of belief. Too many people disagreed that I trusted and depended upon. But, once I was on my own, I realized how liberating it was to be honest about my lack of belief.

    I've always trusted science far more than any religious beliefs. Being able, nay required, to test ideas has always seemed more honest than any faith.

    Now, I actually see religious faith as being an evil: it is usually a dereliction of the responsibility to think for oneself.
     
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  17. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    A very fast intro:

    I was raised by Jewish parents who were atheists. We went to Temple for weddings and funerals and that was it. During my early years, religion was something other people were interested in but for me not worth thinking about.

    But there were little things I was attracted to. One was the Shema ("Hear, oh Israel, the Lord, our G-d, the Lord is One") and a story in a Jewish folklore book. This was a version of "Joseph Dell Rayna Storms Heaven" which was about an attempt to bring down the Messiah. He fails. But in the version I read, there was this: the Prophet Elijah put away the great shofar of the Redemption, and the Messiah sadly led his white horse back into the stable. Then God declared, 'Pay heed, O Joseph della Reyna! No human has the power to end the Exile! I alone, God, will hasten the Redemption of the Jewish People when the right times comes!'

    Later on I started becoming interested in God. And I asked myself questions like "If God exists, then there must be a real explanation for suffering" and "is there a reason why the symbol of the white horse is present in Greek gods, Judaism in that story, Revelation and as Kalki to Hindus". Cutting short a process of studying, reading and deep reflection, I became convince that Meher Baba is the Avatar and eventually became associated with the branch of sufism reoriented by Meher Baba.

    For those that might be interested, this song summarizes Meher Baba's teachings about the nature of Divinity, the soul's development through evolution and reincarnation and the essential unity of all the religious traditions.

     
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  18. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Born an raised in a Christian country, however it have never played a role in my life, besides having to go to church when people got married, Christmas (sometimes, because my mom like the songs) or funerals. Anyway some years ago, I really got interested in knowledge and trying to examine things which interested me. So started watching lectures and debates online about pretty much anything, such as societies, neuroscience, evolution, space, genetics you name it. And the more I watched the more question I had/have so new topics constantly comes up.

    At this point in time, all the terrorism were at its peak, which got me really interested in beliefs and why people believe in whatever they do. At first it had little to do with religion, but just beliefs in general.

    Before this, I had absolutely no interest in religion, I knew all the basic stuff from the bible, like who Jesus were, Moses, Adam and Eve etc. But besides that I were pretty blank.
    But knowing that religions had a lot to do with beliefs and many people believe them to be true, I thought it would be interesting to examine it for myself, as I could pretty much do it on my own and actually wanted to do it on my own, so I wouldn't get influenced by other people. So I decided to grab the bible and start reading it and decided to do it with an open mind, if it would make me a Christian, I was fine with that. Anyway a few pages later, I were pretty convinced that I were an atheist, but decided to keep reading it, because, again I was interested in why people believe in it.

    Lucky for me, it just happened, that almost right after I started to read it, a JW rang my door, which I thought were an excellent opportunity to ask questions to one that truly believe. So we had a nice chat going back and forth for a couple of years. And at that point, my interest in religion had grown on me, so I actually spend a lot more time on it, than I would have ever thought.

    In the end or during this time, having spend so much time on beliefs, I sort of went through a process, of my own beliefs and started questioning them. And as part of this, I decided to set some "rules" for myself, which is basically to follow wherever the evidence lead me. I want to be honest with myself, sceptical of everything and be as good at critical thinking as possible. As I see these as the absolutely best tools in regards to not believing false things. Which also meant that I was spending a lot more time, looking at stuff that disagreed with me, as I wanted to find flaws in own beliefs.

    So basically not a lot have changed since that, I still spend by far the most time trying to find arguments, lectures or evidence against what I currently believe. And also Im still very interested in beliefs in general and how people arrive at them etc.
     
    #18 Nimos, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  19. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I was raised Catholic, and then later Independent Baptist. I did not side with the faithful in my family but nonetheless the influence from those religions sticks with me to this day.

    Right now I am 49 y/o and am atheist/agnostic and have constructed my own personal religious point of view. I consider existence a great mystery where intelligence must be fundamental part of existence. There must be an unconditioned source reality is my conviction.

    Why Must There Be at Least One Unconditioned Reality?

    Though I believe existence is essentially amoral and godless, I believe that there is an eternal natural intelligence. Existence must be at least as intelligent as humanity and probably moreso.

    I believe in virtues also and the capacity of people to live virtuously. I believe in the human soul.
     
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  20. Harel13

    Harel13 Nin-Jew Master
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    I was born and raised an Orthodox Jew, more specifically, of the Israeli National-Religious or Zionist-Religious variety. I was always very strong in my beliefs, but I have my ups and downs with regards to how close I feel to God, or, as we call Him, Hashem.
     
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