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Have you ever had a Crisis of Faith?

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posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:04 PM
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I notice on the religious forums here that some people admit they've endured the 'dark night of the soul'. I wrangle with it myself on a regular basis.

For some background, I am a firm agnostic. I believe in reincarnation, and am an UNapologetic "new-ager". I am a syncretist.

I have noticed that many members who adhere strictly and defiantly to one particular faith often show signs of defensiveness (because people will cling even tighter to their faith when shown evidence against it) when their thoughts/beliefs are challenged....

And some have even admitted to having a crisis of faith -

My story:
I recall that at about age 10, I was kneeling next to my mom on a velvet cushion ('kneeler') in a pew in the Episcopal church. She had her head bent so low I thought she might cry. I was looking at her, wondering why I didn't feel as passionately and fiercely about the 'pre-communion' recitation; or why I thought the Nicene Creed was bogus.

These things happen, to lots of people, and I'm interested in hearing about your personal stories of these crises of faith - what you were up to or believed prior to, and after, this 'crisis', and how you came out of it.

I hope we can share some stories, and provide a 'catalog' of how we individually came to where we are.

I'm curious. I'm a student of human behavior (a nosy one).....
please, tell me about your spiritual history!!

Perhaps if we all pitch in together we can find a common denominator.
Any takers?




posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:09 PM
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Sure. Spring/Summer 2010. Everything changed.


Maybe we should look at the 'crisis of faith' and determine what it is ...

We all have a construct in our heads when it comes to God and the meaning of life. Then things come along that shake that construct. More information. Life experiences. People say 'crisis of faith' like it's a bad thing. But in reality, many times it's a good thing. What a person had faith in prior to the 'crisis of faith' could have been a false construct. So shaking that faith apart and rebuilding something new can be healthy.

Not every faith is worth saving or keeping. Many times new and deeper understandings bring a stronger faith ... in a new direction. And it takes a 'crisis of faith' to initiate that change. IMHO.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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If you're an agnostic, why are you constantly trying to point out inconsistencies and other such flaws in the belief systems of religious people, like any good captial-A Atheist would?

Agnostics admit they don't know, and don't profess to care.

That is not consistent with the deliberately instigated religion-bashing that is going to fill this thread in 3... 2... 1...



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan


What a person had faith in prior to the 'crisis of faith' could have been a false construct. So shaking that faith apart and rebuilding something new can be healthy.

Not every faith is worth saving or keeping. Many times new and deeper understandings bring a stronger faith ... in a new direction. And it takes a 'crisis of faith' to initiate that change. IMHO.

Totally agree.

It's, IMHO, a part of growing...of growing up, of growing older in this lifetime, of growing spiritually.
Thanks for your response, FF!! If you care to share it: what happened in 2010???



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:14 PM
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originally posted by: NthOther
why are you constantly trying to point out inconsistencies and other such flaws in the belief systems of religious people,

... maybe because those inconsistencies and flaws are 'in your face' and can't be missed? There is some seriously wonky stuff that comes out of the Abrahamic religions. A person would have to be indoctrinated-blind in order not to see them. But pointing out the obvious doesn't make someone an atheist. It just makes them observant.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: NthOther


Agnostics admit they don't know, and don't profess to care.

"Don't profess to care"?
I care. I want to know.
I admit I don't know. I find flaws in EVERY religious doctrine....and have discovered the only one that makes any kind of sense or gives hope to me is the syncretic/agnostic version.

Honestly, I don't believe ANYONE knows....although many profess that they do.

You got the first part right, though - I admit I don't know. But I do care.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
If you care to share it: what happened in 2010???

On second thought .... too much info. Self edited out.
edit on 5/27/2014 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: FlyersFan

... maybe because those inconsistencies and flaws are 'in your face' and can't be missed? There is some seriously wonky stuff that comes out of the Abrahamic religions. A person would have to be indoctrinated-blind in order not to see them. But pointing out the obvious doesn't make someone an atheist. It just makes them observant.

I'm talking about the motivation being inconsistent with so-called agnosticism. There's nothing wrong with noticing inconsistencies and forming your own opinions based on your observations.

But the point of this thread is for everyone to relate why they, personally, think religion sucks and don't believe any of it.

What's the motivation here? I knew what it was before I even opened the thread.
edit on 5/27/14 by NthOther because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: NthOther

Oh ... I was thinking in a different direction.
Sorry I interjected. My bad.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:21 PM
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a reply to: NthOther


But the point of this thread is for everyone to relate why they, personally, think religion sucks and don't believe any of it.

NO. IT IS NOT.


What's the motivation here? I knew what it was before I even opened the thread.

What are you talking about? Why in the hell would an agnostic "not care"? By definition, we are unsure/undecided/don't know.
Receiving input from others who have traveled that road already and come out the other side of the forest is how human beings 'relate' to one another.

Some people have a crisis of "NO faith", and then become very faithful and devout.

Please NOW HEAR THIS:
The motivation is to hear other people's experiences - about why or how they came to, or left, a specific religion.

Sheesh you guys are quick to assume! Do NOT imply that you know my motivations. Good gawd, I'm so SICK of that!!


edit on 5/27/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:24 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Here is how the day goes for me. I wake up, I stumble into the bathroom and make my preparations for wakefulness and work, and then I go back to my room, dress myself, and turn on the iPad, and catch up with the news, both here on ATS, and more broadly. Then, I digest this news over the next couple of hours at work, and come to some understanding of the news items that are prominent, and take some time to remember news which has already passed, to see if historical links can be established between what we see today, and what has been before.

Therefore, I am CONSTANTLY beseiged by Crisis of Faith in some manner or another. My fellow human beings all over the world, get hit with illness, poverty, war, famine, drought, tsunamis, earthquakes, theft, murder, molestation of mind body and spirit, and every day it seems like my own nation, the one I have called home my whole life, is descending further into madness and chaos, than the day before.

All suffering causes crisis of faith, and rightly it should. Oddly though, it is when the troubles of the world hit others that I most often feel downtrodden in spirit. When the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as the bard once put it, fling themselves in my own direction, I generally tend to take things in my stride.

But the thing that keeps me strong in the faith, is that a faith untested is no faith at all, and mine has been tested, and tempered, and beaten, and quenched over and over, time after time, and at this time I can rely on it, my God, my Saviour, and on myself, when it is necessary that I do so. Anyone with a conscious ability to empathise with their fellow human beings is going to find living tough, is going to find their faith in WHATEVER they believe, tested in times such as these. I would argue that only by feeling these things, and responding to them honestly, can a person really find strength and guidance from their faith.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

Sheesh you guys are quick to assume!

Sorry, I'm in a crappy mood. I'll make a hasty exit...



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
The motivation is to hear other people's experiences - about why or how they came to, or left, a specific religion.


My motivation .... TRUTH. That's it. I just want to get it right. And I've discovered that no one has it right. Not the protestants. Not the Catholics. Not the Jews. Not the Muslims. Not the Hindus. Not the Buddhists. There isn't one group that has it right. They all get something obviously wrong. It can be maddening chasing the truth, so I recently kind of gave up. I've decided to just do the best I can and to point out flaws or truths when I see them.

Truth Like -
The most important thing is love.

Flaw Like -
If you eat bacon you will go to hell.

Some things are 'in your face' ... like those two.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit


Anyone with a conscious ability to empathise with their fellow human beings is going to find living tough, is going to find their faith in WHATEVER they believe, tested in times such as these. I would argue that only by feeling these things, and responding to them honestly, can a person really find strength and guidance from their faith.


Indeed. Thanks very much for your contribution. This is just what I've hoped to hear.
Yes, I am very empathetic; I get upset at the constant wars/disease/poverty/indifference/greed that seems to rule the world....
in fact I have trouble setting boundaries - if someone else and I develop a relationship, I want to know about them.
I want to hear their stories.

Every person has something to offer, something to say. And, I believe, it will take all of us focusing on a mutual goal to make things better. Are things "good" now? No, decidedly, they are not.

-----------------------------------------

General Response (not just to you, TrueBrit): It aggravates me to no end when others project 'intentions and motives' onto me. I'm perfectly capable of articulating and writing my own pov.
Why so many haters?
edit on 5/27/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs




Have you ever had a Crisis of Faith?


Well, if you are raised in Southern Baptist Texas, where it's believed that Catholics and Jews were sent by Satan to lure true believers into dens of inequity. Even Methodist are suspected as harboring demons in their soul. A bit of an exaggeration to be sure but my experience in the church as a kid was one of fear and guilt.

In my teens, my thoughts were filled with lust and consequently guilt of having said thoughts; and masturbation....totally convinced me of my worthlessness in the eyes of God.

I couldn't live with that burden and rejected the church, preachers, the congregation, my family, and everything associated with protestants and religion in general.

Even then the hard core indoctrination by the church of a punishing and vengeful God lingered in my psyche until University and experimentation with psychedelics opened my eyes to a different reality.

I don't trust Christians!!! And view any religion that is used as a control mechanism claiming salvation for the adherents as total evil BS.







edit on 27-5-2014 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: NthOther


Sorry, I'm in a crappy mood. I'll make a hasty exit...

Well, when you're in a better mood, I hope you'll come back.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

People making assumptions is what drove me away from congregational worship.

Because I like really heavy, dirty, metal riffs, and listen to all the bands one is supposed to avoid, I am marked out as a pariah in church circles, which is fine, because as I have come to realise, an awful lot of the social elements of religion are artificial, at least for Christians. The idea of their being a heirarchy other than God, Jesus, and The Holy Ghost, is utterly without scriptural support, and yet the RCC and the Protestant church, still like dressing some halfwit up in mad finery, to act as some sort of elected tyrant on Gods behalf, which really is not the way things ought to be done.

On the other hand, when I tell people I am a Christian, they often make assumptions based on that, namely that I must be one of those people I mentioned above, obsessed with an organisational structure that has little or nothing to do with God what so ever, and serves its own ends, more than it does those of the creator.

Also, I have found persons of other faiths to be amongst the most Christian people I have ever met, in terms of their generosity of spirit, ability to offer love and compassion without any shyness what so ever.

Assumption can cause crisis levels of faith issues all on its own, and if we could remove that habit from the human psyche, I think the human race might find life just a little easier!



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

None of us will ever have absolute Truth, so what compromises are you willing to make and what do you base your judgment on?

Now more to the OP,

I think "crisis of faith" could allude to many, many different things. Some end up building stronger faith, others end up weakening it.

It also becomes a crisis of faith once one moves from faith into "knowing." Which is a bit different of a crisis from the generally known "dark night of the soul," but just as profound in its revelations (if not more).

I think the purpose behind such a tool is to shake the building of your "beliefs" every once in a while to make sure the foundation is solid. As long as we have the will to continue building even after it is destroyed, we will end up with a stronger structure regardless of how we label it.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam


I think the purpose behind such a tool is to shake the building of your "beliefs" every once in a while to make sure the foundation is solid. As long as we have the will to continue building even after it is destroyed, we will end up with a stronger structure regardless of how we label it.

Quite.

Yes, we all endure having our beliefs shaken up once in awhile. I'm still building.
I've suffered quite a lot, found strength in myself that in retrospect (hindsight) I would not have expected....
and come out the other side STILL unsure of what is truth.

I just want the truth. But you are right, I think. Living as humans we are just out of reach from it, but perpetually seek it. That is - in itself - enough to keep me agnostic, and not "capital-A Atheist."
I just don't know.

I think when my dad died in August 2010 it hit me really hard....I've been struggling since then to find some kind of solace.
Thanks for your response.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

I recall that at about age 10, I was kneeling next to my mom on a velvet cushion ('kneeler') in a pew in the Episcopal church. She had her head bent so low I thought she might cry. I was looking at her, wondering why I didn't feel as passionately and fiercely about the 'pre-communion' recitation; or why I thought the Nicene Creed was bogus.


At the age of 10? You think that was a "crisis of faith"? It's not like you had a choice whether to go to church; your Mom dragged you there where you liked the cookies and punch and the grown-ups told you you looked very nice in your best Sunday clothes. It's just that you had the presence of mind at that age, the same as I did, to understand and know in your heart that the whole thing was B.S., at least at the superficial level they were teaching you. From that point on, I would guess, you refused to let that crap inculcate your mind to the point of unwavering, wide-eyed belief. Even if the adults forced you to undergo ritual and mindless hymns for several more years, that was the point you knew it was largely nonsense.

A "crisis of faith" to me means an adult who HAS been fully indoctrinated finally figuring out that at least some of his cherished beliefs might not be true and questioning them. The real test at this point is whether he finally gets to the point you did at age 10 knowing it is all B.S., or whether his programming and brainwashing only allow him to continue with a slightly altered version of his beliefs, which he thinks are profound and meaningful, but amount to the same thing.

For example, I've known two Catholics, one of whom was ordained, the other almost. The first one had a church, but resigned to go to that special place for Catholic priests where they could meditate on whether they wanted to continue being priests. This fellow believed Jesus was his Savior before he went to the retreat center, and he believed Jesus was his Savior after he returned. It's just that he wanted to get married. To he and his former congregation this was a big deal, but his actual beliefs didn't change much, if at all. It wasn't about belief; it was about vocation.

The other fellow's "crisis" happened as he was about to be ordained. From Ireland originally, his family had these expectations. But he did not go through with it and became a librarian instead--a very good and successful one. He was also irreverent, often profane, loved a good dirty joke, and never attended services. Meeting him you would never have guessed his background. But he carried rosary beads in his pocket until the day he died.

So yeah, people have "crises," but if they are sufficiently brainwashed, it's rare that it means a complete reversal of faith; it's just another lane down the same old freeway. And if you still feel compelled to call yourself a "------ist" of some sort, no matter how arcane enough to be special, you're not there yet.



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