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I am having a religious identity crisis!

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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Maybe I should go talk to my pastor instead of ranting on here. But I enjoy reading comments from every belief out there.
I am a Christian/Catholic. I call myself that because although I am a Catholic, I believe the ultimate goal of Christianity is to live "Christ like". Strive to be like Christ. At least that is my belief. Always loving, non judgmental regardless of who you are or what you do, providing for others in need, etc. That's how I comprehended the message as a child and it has always stuck with me. As far as the many MANY details of the Catholic church, there are some I agree with and some I don't. Some things make me feel like it's more like a corporation, while other teachings and beliefs have really taught me humility and reverence.

ANYWAY. After going through a somewhat rough 8 years or so, I'm not sure what I believe. I'm not the type to blame God for things. Up until recently I have always believed that the crappy situations you are in are the result of your actions. But with everything that's going on in the world and how insanely corrupt everything seems to be.... how can this continue on? And how can this be a part of any sort of plan that results in positive? Yes, I know my treasures are in heaven....
But here are a few things that get me. I have 2 children. We are God's children. God supposedly "tests our faith" to see if we remain faithful.
I require NOTHING of my children. I love them unconditionally and will forever. My oldest is slightly autistic and I love him just the same I do his brother. I don't "test" either one to see if they love me. We simply love eachother. If things were in my control, I would NEVER allow certain things to happen to them to test their love for me. It's a mothers (or a parents) instinct to protect your children.

2nd. The spirit world gets to me. With my belief system, we don't believe in spirits floating around in a spirit world. They are simply demons and that's it. You die and your soul goes to heaven or hell or purgatory. Although I had one pastor who said your soul rests until judgement day. These places don't exist right now.
But I do believe in a very active spirit world. I believe in good and bad existing in the spirit world. That not all of them are demons. And I believe with all the turbulence going on in the world, I'm sure the spirit world is becoming more and more active as well.

And last... I know someone who has committed heinous crimes and will probably continue to do so. But he's a born again Christian. I also know an Atheist who is probably as close to being Christ like as a person can get. So heinous crime guy gets to spend an eternity with God while Atheist guy has to go to hell for an eternity?

I have about a zillion other small things that I struggle with, but these are the big ones. I do fully believe in Creation and Jesus and heaven and hell. But... everything in between just doesn't make sense to me anymore.




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:14 PM
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You can be spiritual and not religious.. Often times the two are associated.. When they have little to nothing to do with each other..

In all honesty don't put blind faith in a deity that's existence can not and will not ever be proven.. Why should you put faith into a deity that has a personal stake out for earths inhabitants?

First he loves us.. Yet if we don't "obey" his word we are welcome to burn in hell for eternity..

Having faith in something is great and all.. But maybe we would not have half the problems on this terrible planet,if we directed our faith at the human race.. and not direct it to the sky's where our "prayers" will go un-answerd..

You are a human being.. You are alive today.. So enjoy it, Because Life is the greatest miracle of all.. Don't let it slip away..



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:17 PM
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Well, the first thing to ask yourself is why.

Why don't things add up anymore?
Why are you having doubts?
Why are you having an identity crisis?

Next you have to ask yourself what.

What doesn't add up?
What makes you doubt?

Then ask yourself when.

When did this start?
When has this happened before? (it might not have, but it might not be your first time)

Ask yourself where.

Where are you in your life?
Where do you want to be?

You must also ask yourself one of the most important questions, who.

Who are you?
Who do you want to be?

Then, finally ask yourself how.

How are you going to get yourself where you want to be, to who you want to be?
How are you going to make sense of it all?
How will things change? (if they do)


And then...the rest is up to you. I don't have the answers for you, and anyone who claims to have the exact answer for you is off the mark. People might help to guide you, but beware those that try to push you this way or that when you're in a time of crisis of any sort. You need to be your own person.

I'm personally not a believer in Jesus, and I do not accept creation...but I think you're a human being who deserves self-determination.

So just take one thing away from what I said:
Think for yourself.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by Denco
 


Your true beliefs are clear in your post. They come to you from within you. My advice is to get away from the church and organized religion. Nobody can tell you what you believe, as your post clearly shows.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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I am not Catholic, so my beliefs will differ somewhat from yours, but this is what I believe. Hopefully it might give you some comfort I hope.

First of all having doubts is something that every Christian deals with, I certainly have, I think that is fairly normal. But there is usually something that pulls you back, some would say that is the Holy Spirit, and I believe this. I also find that my faith is strengthened by looking at nature, its mechanisms and all its intricacies. If I find myself doubting sometimes, I remember these things and it pulls me back.

As for "heinous crime guy", I don't believe that he will see Heaven. It is a great contradiction for someone to live that kind of life and be a Christian, that doesn't make sense. If a person does those things I don't think they are truly saved. As far as the atheist is concerned, while he might lead a good life, being kind to other people, and being "Christ-like', belief is what saves you.

I honestly belive you can summarize the entire bible in two verses. 1. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16, and 2. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


These are the thing I'm going to take from your post and apply to myself. I don't mean in the religous way either. I mean if we all take these few on board and answer them honestly, being honest with ourselves is one of the harder things to do in life, I know it will make my life better and those around me better too.
Great post tyvm

Ask yourself where.

Where are you in your life?
Where do you want to be?

You must also ask yourself one of the most important questions, who.

Who are you?
Who do you want to be?

Then, finally ask yourself how.

How are you going to get yourself where you want to be, to who you want to be?
How are you going to make sense of it all?
How will things change? (if they do)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by Denco
Maybe I should go talk to my pastor instead of ranting on here.

I'd take my chances here if you're talking about a catholic priest, hah...


ANYWAY. After going through a somewhat rough 8 years or so, I'm not sure what I believe. I'm not the type to blame God for things. Up until recently I have always believed that the crappy situations you are in are the result of your actions.
True, but not always.



But with everything that's going on in the world and how insanely corrupt everything seems to be.... how can this continue on? And how can this be a part of any sort of plan that results in positive? Yes, I know my treasures are in heaven....

It won't continue on for much longer and will result in His glory.

Isa 26:9 NKJV
"With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth. The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."

Matthew 25:31-34 describes this: “’When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’”



But here are a few things that get me. I have 2 children. We are God's children. God supposedly "tests our faith" to see if we remain faithful.
I require NOTHING of my children. I love them unconditionally and will forever. My oldest is slightly autistic and I love him just the same I do his brother. I don't "test" either one to see if they love me. We simply love eachother. If things were in my control, I would NEVER allow certain things to happen to them to test their love for me. It's a mothers (or a parents) instinct to protect your children.


Even if God tests you, if you were to fail you don't lose His unconditional love. He's also in a much different position than you. We were not appointed to judge one another, we were appointed to forgive as Jesus has forgiven us. You are not God to your children.




2nd. The spirit world gets to me. With my belief system, we don't believe in spirits floating around in a spirit world. They are simply demons and that's it. You die and your soul goes to heaven or hell or purgatory. Although I had one pastor who said your soul rests until judgement day. These places don't exist right now.
But I do believe in a very active spirit world. I believe in good and bad existing in the spirit world. That not all of them are demons. And I believe with all the turbulence going on in the world, I'm sure the spirit world is becoming more and more active as well.


Do you know from experience? Have you invited spiritual entities into your life? Do you believe it is beneficial to accept what the "good" spirits have to offer? We know that even lucifer walks as an angle of light, you need to be very careful. There are no good spirits, there are better spirits but there are no good. None will lead you to eternal life.



And last... I know someone who has committed heinous crimes and will probably continue to do so. But he's a born again Christian.

I can tell you right now he's either utterly lying in his heart or he's got a very difficult life ahead of him. You will know a man by his actions. Love works, its not just an emotion, it actually works. If he's not showing signs of loving works then he is not living his life for God (Love). You can't sit at the table of the Lord and later sit with demons, it doesn't work like that. He has some very emotional times coming up if he takes his relationship with God seriously at all.



I also know an Atheist who is probably as close to being Christ like as a person can get. So heinous crime guy gets to spend an eternity with God while Atheist guy has to go to hell for an eternity?

If your friend isn't indeed saved then they will both get exactly what they deserve according to their own lives. Nothing more, nothing less, they will be judged perfectly.



I have about a zillion other small things that I struggle with, but these are the big ones. I do fully believe in Creation and Jesus and heaven and hell. But... everything in between just doesn't make sense to me anymore.
I can see why if you're catholic, they've got a lot of lore and outright fallicies that are leading to more and more catholics to abandon the whole thing entirely. Leave the catholic church. Find something non-denominational or find a good community online. I can help you with that part

edit on 12-5-2011 by Artanis667 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-5-2011 by Artanis667 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-5-2011 by Artanis667 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Denco
 


Just because your friend doesn't believe in God doesn't mean he's going to hell. This is just a silly fear tactic.

We all go to the same place when we pass on, so why concern yourself with death or the afterlife?

Live life, love all...

Without fear...





posted on May, 12 2011 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by Denco
 


Just because your friend doesn't believe in God doesn't mean he's going to hell. This is just a silly fear tactic.

We all go to the same place when we pass on, so why concern yourself with death or the afterlife?

Live life, love all...

Without fear...




Surly we don't all go to the same place. What about the person who takes pleasure in very slow, deep negetive frequencies? Spends their life dwelling in darkness and perverting any loving feeling they may have. Like alister crowley, what about these people? If love has anything to do with the place we all go, wouldn't it be contrary to their false desires?



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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OP, there are some very good posts here ( mainly the first ones posted ). I would heed the words written and just continue asking your questions. The only thing I can add is this: Don't allow your identity to be boxed in by a religion or belief system, they are merely just an extention of yourself. Often we look outside of ourselves for answers, this can lead to confusion. Always seek inwards for your answers. Once this is figured out, the rest will fall in place.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by Denco
 


You know in your heart and mind what the truth is
Your fear keeps you back though.

Explore different solutions. If you take a bite of something that is very unsettling in a buffet, why do you feel you need to keep eating that one item...does popular choice force you to keep eating that one thing and not try others?

Is this your life?

The worst thing you could be is a false representaiton and giving lip service to something you don't even believe in just because you fear changing. But change is what we do..its what we must do..

There is nothing more godly than to be at peace with yourself and accept your decisions. Christianity is a false religion...however coming from the lips of an athiest, it challenges your basic programming to view such words to not see it as evil...however, this is the same religion that you have many valid disagreements that will -never- be answered.

You have a choice now...open your mind and find yourself, or keep giving lip service to something you already left...forced to keep eating the bitter food only and ignore the rest of the buffet because others demand you to.

I say free yourself, and in the process, find yourself.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

I'm personally not a believer in Jesus, and I do not accept creation...


Hmm
You don't believe in jesus? how odd...there is tons of non-religious evidence he did exist.
he was a carpenter whom has issues with the church...

I believe in him the same way I believe in ghandi...well, I know more verified philosophies from ghandi exists than jesus...but ya, he existed no doubt.

Of course all the stuff about him doing magic and resurrecting is a bunch of nonsense mind you...meh, people become super awesome once they die...hell, keep adding to stories and a man whom kicked a rock into a puddle once eventually is the man whom booted a mountain across the sea.
You should hear my fishing stories as time goes on.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by Artanis667

Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by Denco
 


Just because your friend doesn't believe in God doesn't mean he's going to hell. This is just a silly fear tactic.

We all go to the same place when we pass on, so why concern yourself with death or the afterlife?

Live life, love all...

Without fear...




Surly we don't all go to the same place. What about the person who takes pleasure in very slow, deep negetive frequencies? Spends their life dwelling in darkness and perverting any loving feeling they may have. Like alister crowley, what about these people? If love has anything to do with the place we all go, wouldn't it be contrary to their false desires?


yup, them too.... Our little planet is a place of learning.

Love has nothing to do with where you go, but ultimately it is the best way to attain your "goal". Regardless of your "sins" you still return home when you die... But weither or not you come back, thats a different story.


edit on 12-5-2011 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 01:27 AM
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Couple of comments OP.


You mentioned your kids not loving you. Ive raised an aspie.. severe processing issues and very high IQ. Kids with autism spectrum junk can make you think they dont love you
Its just their manner, and the younger one learns from the older one. My oldest is the high IQ aspie, my 2nd is a liver trasnplant kid, and the youngest.. she is 5 and a surprise baby.. so who knows.. but I too have noticed that the middle one has picked up some of the affect and mannerisms of my oldest
Love em anyway.. do what you do and provide them discipline and education in the home regardless of your interpretation of if they love you or not.. THAT is your duty.

Religion.. a hard one. I have an issue with Xtians given my cultural history, but the bible isnt a terrible thing. If one needs or desires a spiritual life... they should seek it. Maybe your chosen flavor of Xtianity isnt for you.. look into others. As others have said, you can be spiritual without being in an organization. You can belive the bible if you wish or any other text that speaks to you.. or none. Its your own mind and spirit.. and your decision alone if you choose a spiritual life or one of atheism. Its up to you to decide if this man Jesus did the things he is reported to have done and if you have a true belief and faith within it. If not, youre fake regardless if you remain a catholic or seek other xtian spirituality. Of course only you can determine that.

Just a side note as you mentioned Catholicism.. I was terrified of catholics. I knew kids who were catholic and wore the crosses and had rosaries... but when I learned of transubstantiation and the real belief that they feel they are eating actual flesh and drinking actual blood was scary to me as a kid. The dead guy behind the priest was pretty gross looking... youre supposed to love Jesus but he scared the hell out of me! From a cultural outsider, Catholicism seems like a cult of death and cannibalism, even if its not meant that way or you do not perceive it that way. Saints and relics and bones.. its all very odd. It teaches that there is no spirit world, but glorifies the spirit and death of the body. Their bible says pray to Jesus for forgiveness, but they pray to Mary and saints. Its as if the rules change all the time and new stuff is made up and no one questions it. I dont know, no offense meant at all, but it seems to be a very contradictory religion to me. The protestants at least dont believe they are eating real skin and drinking real blood.. or carry around bones and such that perform miracles. KWIM?? Grades of scary I guess. LOL!!

I dont know.. when I have a dilemma, I try to remove myself from it all and look at whatever situation with "clean eyes".. see it very critically. Maybe you can do this.. or have started to and see some of the discrepancies and hypocrisy of the Church.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 08:34 AM
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reply to post by Denco
 


In the mathematics of my youth there existed a method called 'interpolation', through which you could jump back and forth a few times in a table and eventually find a reasonably functional value (that was before the age of pocket calculators).

The human potential of options is a bit like that, only more complex. We have so many variables to start from and to use, that our individual paths through life really can't be generalized. E.g. I know one of the world's leading mathematicians (in his own field), who thinks, that taking a driver's license is far too complicated for him.

He's unique, as we all are, and his special 'life-interpolation' is the outcome of a long process of jumping from emotions to the physical to the intellect (or whatever) and back and then each time refining the 'answers' somewhat.

That is the methodology, but there's also the question of motivation.

What's driving us, and is this drive realistic, with an aim at least somewhat attainable, or does it bring us into a state of panic, where an answer...any answer....overrides anything else.

Formerly I used to have some fear of death. Not so much because of what it would turn out to be (or not), but rather because I felt, that my existence as a human being would be wasted, if it didn't lead to something 'useful' (as e.g. knowledge or understanding). In recent years I have finally come to terms with that and have come to the insight, that this fear in itself tainted the already difficult 'life-interpolation' process. So I decided to take small, slow self-disciplinary 'steps', eventually leading me to getting used to the idea, that I possibly never may find any 'knowledge' or 'understanding' and that my life is 'wasted'.

Thus I have arrived at a mental position, where I finally can start formulating the proper questions, instead of being on a desperate hunt for 'suitable answers' fitting/calming my own drives/fears. My specific example is only valid for me, but you may have something parallel in your mindset, which you have to overcome, before the REAL search starts.

What I'm suggesting, is a kind of zero-calibrating PART of yourself, and to a western, dynamic mind this can sound so weird or exotic as to be impossible. We are so used to 'achieving' both socially, individually and spiritually, that the eastern-based idea of detachment looks like a suggestion of turning yourself into a bum, an ascetic cave-dweller or even a spiritual heretic.

But then you have missed the point, it's not a question of being 'anti'-something, it's creating a possibility of gathering information from a neutral position, BEFORE deciding on method, approach, tactics, attitudes etc. Otherwise we'll run in eternal circles, creating symptomatic answers to our existential uncertainties, where 'answers' come first, and 'facts' are created to fit these answers.

It's not an easy process, but then there have never been any spiritual 'free lunches'.

Besides it may sound, as if it's contrary to basic abrahamic values, but this is only true, if there already exists a preconcieved concept of the nature of the abrahamic 'god'.

I'm not familiar with any western sayings on this suggestions of mine, so I'll have to do with a japanese version: "Before Satori (Nirvana) I split firewood and fetched water. After Satori I split firewood and fetch water".

Maybe translated to westernese: "Heaven is not a place. It's a state of mind". We re-arrange out deepest perspectives, but with business as usual.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by Advantage
Couple of comments OP.


You mentioned your kids not loving you. Ive raised an aspie.. severe processing issues and very high IQ. Kids with autism spectrum junk can make you think they dont love you
Its just their manner, and the younger one learns from the older one. My oldest is the high IQ aspie, my 2nd is a liver trasnplant kid, and the youngest.. she is 5 and a surprise baby.. so who knows.. but I too have noticed that the middle one has picked up some of the affect and mannerisms of my oldest
Love em anyway.. do what you do and provide them discipline and education in the home regardless of your interpretation of if they love you or not.. THAT is your duty.



I never mentioned that my kids don't love me. I have a very strong bond going in both directions with my children.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil
reply to post by Denco
 


In the mathematics of my youth there existed a method called 'interpolation', through which you could jump back and forth a few times in a table and eventually find a reasonably functional value (that was before the age of pocket calculators).

The human potential of options is a bit like that, only more complex. We have so many variables to start from and to use, that our individual paths through life really can't be generalized. E.g. I know one of the world's leading mathematicians (in his own field), who thinks, that taking a driver's license is far too complicated for him.

He's unique, as we all are, and his special 'life-interpolation' is the outcome of a long process of jumping from emotions to the physical to the intellect (or whatever) and back and then each time refining the 'answers' somewhat.

That is the methodology, but there's also the question of motivation.

What's driving us, and is this drive realistic, with an aim at least somewhat attainable, or does it bring us into a state of panic, where an answer...any answer....overrides anything else.

Formerly I used to have some fear of death. Not so much because of what it would turn out to be (or not), but rather because I felt, that my existence as a human being would be wasted, if it didn't lead to something 'useful' (as e.g. knowledge or understanding). In recent years I have finally come to terms with that and have come to the insight, that this fear in itself tainted the already difficult 'life-interpolation' process. So I decided to take small, slow self-disciplinary 'steps', eventually leading me to getting used to the idea, that I possibly never may find any 'knowledge' or 'understanding' and that my life is 'wasted'.

Thus I have arrived at a mental position, where I finally can start formulating the proper questions, instead of being on a desperate hunt for 'suitable answers' fitting/calming my own drives/fears. My specific example is only valid for me, but you may have something parallel in your mindset, which you have to overcome, before the REAL search starts.

What I'm suggesting, is a kind of zero-calibrating PART of yourself, and to a western, dynamic mind this can sound so weird or exotic as to be impossible. We are so used to 'achieving' both socially, individually and spiritually, that the eastern-based idea of detachment looks like a suggestion of turning yourself into a bum, an ascetic cave-dweller or even a spiritual heretic.

But then you have missed the point, it's not a question of being 'anti'-something, it's creating a possibility of gathering information from a neutral position, BEFORE deciding on method, approach, tactics, attitudes etc. Otherwise we'll run in eternal circles, creating symptomatic answers to our existential uncertainties, where 'answers' come first, and 'facts' are created to fit these answers.

It's not an easy process, but then there have never been any spiritual 'free lunches'.

Besides it may sound, as if it's contrary to basic abrahamic values, but this is only true, if there already exists a preconcieved concept of the nature of the abrahamic 'god'.

I'm not familiar with any western sayings on this suggestions of mine, so I'll have to do with a japanese version: "Before Satori (Nirvana) I split firewood and fetched water. After Satori I split firewood and fetch water".

Maybe translated to westernese: "Heaven is not a place. It's a state of mind". We re-arrange out deepest perspectives, but with business as usual.





Thank you for your response! Aside from a few very caring and compassionate private messages I received, you are the only person who hasn't attacked my own personal beliefs. You gave me a lot to think about without telling me to simply walk away from what I believe in. Nor did you judge me based on my beliefs. I really appreciate your insight.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Denco
 


Hi Denco,

actually I'm not usually known to be tolerant or soft-spoken on the religious sub-forums here. Quite the contrary.

But you presented genuine and legitimate thoughts in your OP, concerning your own individual direction in life and without even the slightest inclination to 'push' your background on other people. I can respect that and I think you deserve some decent response.

After all mankind isn't in possession of any absolute or ultimate truths (if any such exist), and we do all live somewhat in tunnel-realities with un'provable' fundaments and often weird components. Peaceful and non-invasive dialogues should be encouraged.

Btw. I don't think you should feel targeted by other contributors to your thread. Compared to what openly missionary types can be exposed to in the form of opposition or sarcasm, you are, by ATS standard, met rather politely and friendly.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil
reply to post by Denco
 


Hi Denco,

actually I'm not usually known to be tolerant or soft-spoken on the religious sub-forums here. Quite the contrary.

But you presented genuine and legitimate thoughts in your OP, concerning your own individual direction in life and without even the slightest inclination to 'push' your background on other people. I can respect that and I think you deserve some decent response.

After all mankind isn't in possession of any absolute or ultimate truths (if any such exist), and we do all live somewhat in tunnel-realities with un'provable' fundaments and often weird components. Peaceful and non-invasive dialogues should be encouraged.

Btw. I don't think you should feel targeted by other contributors to your thread. Compared to what openly missionary types can be exposed to in the form of opposition or sarcasm, you are, by ATS standard, met rather politely and friendly.





I've never been one to push my beliefs on another. It's probably THE most irritating thing religious people do. At least in my opinion. If asked, I talk about it. But even then, I just talk about what I believe in. Who's to say I'm right?
But thank you for your response! I'm glad you could see past the religious aspect and looked at me as more of a human. Not a religious human.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:31 PM
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I was raised in a fairly religious(or appearing to be)family.

We went to church 3 times a week,I attended vacation bible school and participated in the youth activities the church had to offer which are some of the best memories of my youth.

I then left home at the age of 17 and literally traveled around the world eight times in 20 or so years.

I found that those who were not of any religion were still very spiritual in their beliefs.

You don't have to be of any organized religion to believe in God.

Spend a night outside on a clear cloud free night looking up at the night sky and all the other places in the galaxy and the universe.

That did not happen by chance.

You are looking at God in all his glory.



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