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Featured What was your journey to faith like?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Senseless, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Senseless

    Senseless Bonnie & Clyde

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    Have you stayed in the faith you were born in? What made you look for something else? What's it like to know that 'this is it'? Etc.

    Just curious as to how bumpy the road was.
     
  2. Robert.Evans

    Robert.Evans You will be assimilated; it is His Will.

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    The belief itself was sudden. The understanding has developed over time but basically the same. The moment was amazing!
     
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  3. Senseless

    Senseless Bonnie & Clyde

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    Can I ask what were the circumstances? Was it like something that was building up over time and then suddenly appeared in full force?
     
  4. Carlita

    Carlita The Unveiled Artist

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    Well, I didn't start off with a religion just isolated practices from going to Church every so often for two years with family to working with witchcraft. It is an interesting mix. I started practicing or rather study Christianity on my own around 16 and kept with it until 18. I was raised atheist (or, more accurately, was never raised to believe in Gods)

    Since I wasn't born into a faith, that doesnt really apply to me. non accliable. I stoped practicing because of health issues. I made a jump to become Catholic (I love devotional life) then stoped after studying scripture from a spiritual and historical view. I didnt care to be associated with "death to bring life" in any fashion from salvation to the history of people slaughtering each other based on faith. It didn't strengthen me spirtually.
    Instead, what made me look for something else was self-exploration and acceptence that I know nothing. I learned about our Buddhanature or true nature we have and practiced meditation for a couple of years. I went into Nichiren Buddhism and learned more about the Dharma through Nichiren Shonin's point of practice and Shakyamuni's teachings and both of their point of view.

    I don't consider myself a pagan but that's my faith, if I were to call it that. Many people have a core faith and then have cultural practices some people would call witchcraft. I just shape the practices As my faith and follow worship to nature through the practices. Long story, though. I can write a book about myself.
    It gives me a calming and feeling at home state of mind and being. When I'm with family and talking to the spirits, its like they are helping me even when they are not there. Granted, many of my living family have less than disireable personalities. I started to put back together my family. It's hard to really know them since we live in such different areas.

    I like to call my religion "Communion with my ancestors" because when I go outsde or in front of my altar, the land (the actual land) and what and who is with me at my altar makes me feel like I found my place. It's tough.

    It's really about self-exploration. Who are you when you practice this compared to that? Is it starting to change your life? How is your interest in your given belief, is it more study (like mine to Christianity) or is it more of a lifestlye--imbedded in you? Do you want to grow in your faith even though some things may be competely foriegn like believing in god/s or do you want to push on and learn about the gods if they are the core of your faith?

    Different questions like that I'll ask myself. It's not really a test, just some things to think about as well.
     
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  5. Senseless

    Senseless Bonnie & Clyde

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    Thank you for answering, Carlita! Very interesting :)
     
  6. Robert.Evans

    Robert.Evans You will be assimilated; it is His Will.

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    No, there was nothing building up. I met someone who was a Christian (which meant nothing to me at the time) and after a short conversation, I believed. Shot out of the blue. Life changing. Greatest moment of my life.
     
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  7. Geoff-Allen

    Geoff-Allen Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread!

    My "journey" would be fairly far-fetched if you wrote it as a book - thruth REALLY is stranger than fiction!

    I was raised a Catholic but never really beliieved it - especially the bit about going to hell for merely thinking of a sinful act!

    I was then diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1983 - I will spare you all the gory details ...

    I was a very angry, cynical atheist for a while there.

    Then in about 1999 I was in a psych ward and I had a very unexpected and intense religious experience. It was a huge shock because I figured I would be the VERY last person on this planet 2 have such an experience!

    It was amazing - I felt totally euphoric and as if I could read other people's minds.

    The experience did not last as long as I hoped but it DID get me interesttd in reading the sort of books I would once have dismissed as pure garbage - books like "Conversations with God" and "Emissary of light" and the power of now.

    I also toook up meditation and that has enriched my life a lot. I usually meditate to cultivate kindnes compassion towards all beings. I do better some days than ohers so I still have a way to go to catch up with monk whohave meditated 30 or 40 thousand hours!

    That's a brief story of my journey.

    All the best!
     
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  8. Demonslayer

    Demonslayer Well-Known Member

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    My entire journey is summarized in this sentence. I was indoctrinated into a very Catholic family with a very literal "Jesus or else hell/damnation" message. When I was very young I was terrified of hell, but then almost as soon as I was old enough to think for myself I recognized it as fake and ever since then I embrace common sense over superstition.
     
  9. Geoff-Allen

    Geoff-Allen Well-Known Member

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  10. Thana

    Thana Lady

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    Surprisingly my experience has been very mundane. Honestly my best explanation would be that it just kind of happened.
    There were no magic words or holy shining light or moment of epiphany, My faith just gradually grew. It took a long time though because I'm stubborn and apathetic and a bit of nihilist.
     
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  11. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon
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    Nope. I've come a very, very far way from my Southern Baptist upbringing.
    I moved away from religion for a long time. When I felt pulled back, I went back to the same churches I had left, and what they were teaching didn't feel right.
    I spent several years studying different religions before I felt the one that "clicked".
    For me, it was gradual. I came across several "aha" moments while I was searching; things about certain teachings that just felt right or true.

    I knew I was supposed to be a Jew when the day came where I felt like I couldn't be anything else, and it took a while. I had been going to services and studying with my rabbi for some time, and there was always that question in the back of mind : Is there really what I'm supposed to do?

    And then one day it was gone. I felt ready to live my life as a Jew.

    I had a lot of up and downs. I knew that moving away from my birth religion was going be hard; not only was I walking away from beliefs that I had held for a long time, but I was also turning my back on one of the strongest connections I had to my community and family.

    And I didn't go straight to Judaism. I had actually ignored it at first; I figured that, as a Christian, I had learned all about the Jews and what they believed it. After I had exhausted all of the Christian denominations in my town, I looked at Islam, then Buddhism, then Hinduism. I studied Druidism, Asatru, and Germanic Paganism.

    Every now and then, I would read a sentence that started with "Like the Jews, we believe.....", and then it would describe something I had never thought Jews believed. Eventually, I realized that there was so much about Judaism I didn't know and I devoted my time learning all about it. A year later I was knocking on my rabbi's door asking questions. A couple of years later I was standing before a beit din and immersing in the mikvah.
     
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  12. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Yes I am still in the faith I was born and raised in. Has anything changed over the years? Yes. I am much more open minded about certain religious issues than I once was, hence my joining this forum. I love discussing different beliefs with those that practice them. Was the road bumpy? YES! And it still is! :confused:
     
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  13. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Well-Known Member

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    Bumpy or more like rocky. Lots of people: family, friends and co-workers all mad at me for trying to show them something from the Bible.
    In grade school when the priest read from Matthew 10:28 I though why is the church teaching that the soul can't be destroyed ( immortal ), when Jesus plainly says the soul can be destroyed in Gehenna ( translated the word Gehenna into English as hell )
    Then, at age 10 when the priest said to pray the dead be acquitted from sin, how can that be when the dead are already acquitted ? - Romans 6:7
    The church was a spooky place for me, but I can't remember a time that I didn't love hearing what Jesus had to say.
    My best friend went to college in NYC, while visiting there I played chess with a Russian atheist who was reading the Bible through for the second time.
    Beside many questions I could then not answer, he wanted me to explain the Isaiah Wall across from the Untied Nations Plaza.
    The words from Isaiah 2:4 is there. I had No clue, and just thought Isaiah is a BIG ( thick ) book.
    So, I went to a book store and bought a study reference Douay Bible and began reading it and was shocked that what I was reading was Not found in church teachings.
    One day a gentlemen said to me that he had good news for me, and he read Ecclesiastes 1:4 B to me that the earth will abide forever.
    That was quite the opposite from science class in school teaching me the earth is going to be destroyed, and church teaching earth will be destroyed.
    The more I researched about what the Bible really teaches about the established earth existing forever - Psalms 93:1 - the more it made sense about what Jesus promised about the earth at Matthew 5:5 in connection to Psalms 37:11; Psalms 37:29; Proverbs 2:21-22.
    So, the ' this is it ' moment was when I No longer felt like I was on the outside looking in, but Now on the inside looking out because what the Bible really teaches makes sense.
     
  14. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Well-Known Member

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    I too remember the scary fake teaching of hellfire.
    Was I relieved to learn that the English word hellfire comes from the word Gehenna, and that Gehenna was just a garbage pit outside of Jerusalem where things were destroyed and Not kept burning forever. Kind of like a first-century incinerator which destroys things forever. For me what Jesus teaches is common sense and Not superstition.
    Rather, it is just false clergy who teach church teachings as Scripture when Not really found in Scripture. That does Not make the Bible as wrong, but just makes the false clergy as wrong.
    - Acts of the Apostles 20:29-30
     
  15. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Well-Known Member

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    Numbers 6:24-26 for you Geoff-Allen.
    I had a paranoid schizophrenia aunt - I will spare you all the details.... - but meditation on Galatians 5:22-23 helped her.
    Thinking deeply on God's fruitage of the spirit had calming effects on her.
    Remember God cares for you - 1 Peter 5:7
    We can draw close to God - James 4:8 - by prayer, scriptures and association with such like ones of John 13:34-35
     
  16. Carlita

    Carlita The Unveiled Artist

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    To say the least :) Thank you!
     
  17. Carlita

    Carlita The Unveiled Artist

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    Gosh. Wow. I just had to say. Short, sweet, and beautiful.
     
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  18. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist
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    No, was raised Catholic.

    I had become an atheist and when I came into studying the paranormal, atheistic-materialism didn't make sense either. So my search went on and I found a wisdom tradition (Indian/Hindu) that made sense of it all and with great modern holy-men that can speak in modern language.

    Fantastic, I thank my teachers of this tradition every day.

    Bumpy, until my study of the paranormal swept away atheistic-materialism.
     
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  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I think I've occasionally shared this with people but basically I was raised in a Baptist church.. that was fairly liberal in that it was close to a university and so I was early interested in exploring beliefs and developing ideas. In my early teens I began exploring various religions and practices such as Yoga and meditation... over time I felt that there was truth in all religions and that they all have a Divine Source of inspiration and revelation... During the sixties I became more drawn to social activism and became involved in the civil rights movement and later the peace movement. I can recall now the happiness and peace I felt when I began reading the Baha'i Writings because they confirmed everything I had worked for and believed.
     
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  20. Sartre

    Sartre Leaving

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    I was raised by some non-spiritually-affiliated folks, always thought most developed faiths where a bit bull****.
    Then I came to rf and was thought the truth about the pasta god.