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I am an imposter in Church

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posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 08:17 PM
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if you don't believe then you shouldn't feel that you need to attend services.


I guess I keep hoping for a miracle or to "see the light"




posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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I did the same thing for a time just because that was the only way to get ahead in business in that town.

If you were not church going in the town you and your business were shunned.

There are a number of small towns in the southeastern US that are this way.with a number being in Texas.

"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business." Gov Jesse Ventura

I my self am a christen deist and refuse to join any church.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,



I guess I keep hoping for a miracle or to "see the light"


Read up on the Near Death Experience, it seems many see "the light" at the end that didn't ever expect to. Just because I preach on Sundays doesn't mean I think that everyone has the same journey and I don't. A relationship is just that and we get to choose who we have a relationship, when and how, it is something that is developed overtime. How can you have a relationship with someone you don't believe in and you don't have to believe in him.

Let me toss an idea at you. What if you were not ready to go down the path of being a believer yet, what if it wasn't about proof; but, was instead about what it would mean to your life if you did believe. There are lots of people who are afraid that believing would mean that they had to change their life (and it does, believers who don't have a changed life aren't really believers). You may truly not believe because you don't find evidence for it; but, please follow my hypothetical. Would you want to really see the light. I mean wake up one day and have a vision like Moses did or worse yet, have an experience like Job? Look at how many on ATS automatically attack anyone who believes.

A relative of mine had been an atheist his whole life and recently became a believer. For years he would hound me down and ask me every question in the book, he is also a philosophy major. I would tell him what I thought and we would debate it and I always told him that he should believe what he believed. I always assumed that he asked me questions just to prove Christianity wrong, maybe he did and maybe he didn't, I will have to ask him next time he calls. In either case, when he decided to tell people he was now a believer he was shocked by the negative response he got. While in your case it appears this is the opposite of what you are going through, there are some in your life who would view you differently and maybe you are not ready for that and that is okay.

When I got tricked into preaching I had to figure out how I would break it to my kids, I never felt the calling. I live as honestly as possible and have always lived a life of service, but, to actually preach on Sundays? I took in the homeless, I fed the poor... but, to actually preach, it was never in my mind. When people found out that I was preaching, there were varying responses. Many laughed and thought it made sense, those were generally people who already knew I was a Christian and were also believers. Most people don't know what my beliefs are because I know them through work and it doesn't come up unless I am asked. When others found out they were shocked because I cuss, drink and smoke; but, none of those are prohibited in the bible (to curse or swear has specific meaning and I do neither).

Some will accuse me of not leading you to God; but, the truth is that if he wants to talk to you he can do it without my intervention. I am only hear to have discussions with people who have questions and you didn't ask for proof, you asked if it was okay to be in church if you didn't believe and I answered that. Work on being a decent person, work on helping others, work on telling the truth. I tell people to work on their hearts, to do the right thing for the right reason and have faith that if they do then he will not forsake them and will interact with them at some point even if it is at the end. Don't become a "believer" because you want to believe, become a believer if you ever do believe. By the way, if you talk to any atheists would you tell them to give me the same courtesy? Don't bother, they won't. LOL. Actually, most will; but, just like with believers, there are non-believers whose whole personality is built around fear rather than what they know and feel in their hearts.

Enjoy your journey and peace.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


Interesting points. My beliefs continue to evolve, I don't see things the same way I did twenty years ago, and twenty years from now if I'm still around, I'm sure it will have changed even more.

As far as belief, I do believe in "God", what I question is religion and it's tools. Sadly, as much as I WANT to believe everything about Jesus, I don't accept that you must only believe in him to be "saved". However, I love his message. I will say this, if HE HIMSELF came to me in some way and said yes all of this is true, I wouldn't hesitate, I just doubt he actually said or requires these things. Actually I don't believe in sin, Hell or for that matter punishment anymore than I believe in being rewarded for my actions. Didn't Jesus himself say that ACTS will not get you into Heaven, but what's in your heart? By that logic, murder with the right frame of mind should be perfectly acceptable. What surprises many people about me is that I'm very active in supporting local charities, food banks, shelters etc and I don't do it with the hopes of being rewarded by God or anyone else, I do it because I'm selfish, it makes me feel good. I've been doing it for years but just don't talk about it much.

You made an interesting point about questioning things, that's something that I've also noticed. When I ask questions of people, sometimes it's because I genuinely would like to hear something new and that it might convince me to see something differently. Other times, it's to test the conviction or knowledge of the other person. I have little patience for people that look down their noses at others and can't explain any of the reasons why. Thumpers and Atheists are both just as smug when it comes to this. I find phrasing the questions carefully and showing a little respect is far more productive, but then again, I'm more a student of life than a protester.

Ask yourself this, if "God" came to you and said you are absolutely free to do whatever you like, there are no conditions or prerequisites or rules of any kind. You can go to church or not. You can be honest or not. The bible is unnecessary now, but you can still read it if you want to. You can do ANYTHING you want, the waiting is over. What would you do? For me, not much would change. I suspect for many churchgoers, things would be much much different. I can't help but wonder if thousands of years ago this very thing was one of the reasons organized religion was invented in the first place. It's the perfect mechanism for controlling the masses for whomever is interested in doing so, whether to help people or use them, it just works. Over time, like anything else, it's become more complicated and skewed until you end up with something far different than what you started with. Fear works both ways, my biggest fear oddly isn't the wrath of God, but wasting time on rituals and things that could very well be completely meaningless and are taking me away from what I should be doing, which is BEING human.

I'll be in church this Sunday. I'll talk with my friend and pray with him. I'll listen to the message hoping it won't be some canned regurgitation but if it is I'll smile and sit patiently through it. I'll hope that at the end of the day I'll come away with just one thing I can use, and that along with maintaining my earthly relationships, will make showing up worth it.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


I'm in south Texas and small towns here remind you of the every small town in the movies where something screwed up happens.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 



Originally posted by Paschar0
reply to post by AQuestion
 


Interesting points. My beliefs continue to evolve, I don't see things the same way I did twenty years ago, and twenty years from now if I'm still around, I'm sure it will have changed even more.

As far as belief, I do believe in "God", what I question is religion and it's tools. Sadly, as much as I WANT to believe everything about Jesus, I don't accept that you must only believe in him to be "saved". However, I love his message. I will say this, if HE HIMSELF came to me in some way and said yes all of this is true, I wouldn't hesitate, I just doubt he actually said or requires these things. Actually I don't believe in sin, Hell or for that matter punishment anymore than I believe in being rewarded for my actions. Didn't Jesus himself say that ACTS will not get you into Heaven, but what's in your heart? By that logic, murder with the right frame of mind should be perfectly acceptable. What surprises many people about me is that I'm very active in supporting local charities, food banks, shelters etc and I don't do it with the hopes of being rewarded by God or anyone else, I do it because I'm selfish, it makes me feel good. I've been doing it for years but just don't talk about it much.

You made an interesting point about questioning things, that's something that I've also noticed. When I ask questions of people, sometimes it's because I genuinely would like to hear something new and that it might convince me to see something differently. Other times, it's to test the conviction or knowledge of the other person. I have little patience for people that look down their noses at others and can't explain any of the reasons why. Thumpers and Atheists are both just as smug when it comes to this. I find phrasing the questions carefully and showing a little respect is far more productive, but then again, I'm more a student of life than a protester.

Ask yourself this, if "God" came to you and said you are absolutely free to do whatever you like, there are no conditions or prerequisites or rules of any kind. You can go to church or not. You can be honest or not. The bible is unnecessary now, but you can still read it if you want to. You can do ANYTHING you want, the waiting is over. What would you do? For me, not much would change. I suspect for many churchgoers, things would be much much different. I can't help but wonder if thousands of years ago this very thing was one of the reasons organized religion was invented in the first place. It's the perfect mechanism for controlling the masses for whomever is interested in doing so, whether to help people or use them, it just works. Over time, like anything else, it's become more complicated and skewed until you end up with something far different than what you started with. Fear works both ways, my biggest fear oddly isn't the wrath of God, but wasting time on rituals and things that could very well be completely meaningless and are taking me away from what I should be doing, which is BEING human.
I'll be in church this Sunday. I'll talk with my friend and pray with him. I'll listen to the message hoping it won't be some canned regurgitation but if it is I'll smile and sit patiently through it. I'll hope that at the end of the day I'll come away with just one thing I can use, and that along with maintaining my earthly relationships, will make showing up worth it.


Up until this post, I would have said that your presence in church wouldn't be upsetting to me. After the comments here I think that my opinion has somewhat changed and the reason is: you are being hypocritical.
There is not much difference between you and the Pharisees and we know that Jesus called them hypocrites on more than one occasion. Why? They espoused one thing in front of people and did the exact opposite. You are being dishonest with your friend and yourself.
Instead of going each week to church being a hypocrite, why don't you ask your pastor friend to tell you privately the gospel message of salvation? Why don't you start a personal relationship with God and ask Him for the faith to believe? Something is resonating with you, but I'm hard pressed to see what it is. Jesus came to save, to find the lost sheep of Israel to commence the new covenant by writing His Father's laws in their hearts and in the hearts of their descendants. But it's also clear, the ability to believe is granted by God's mercy. It's a gift. But what does He see? You publically denying the very need for salvation provided by the DEATH of His Son. Scripture is clear, His sheep BELIEVETH. Do you want to? If yes, seek God with a honest and humble heart and stop mocking His faithful. His Faithful BELIEVETH.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 




I attend because the man running it is a truly a good man and he gently pressures me to keep showing up.


If he is truly a good man, then he is running a church for those who believe, not for fakers - you are faking your way through for the sake of your own image, but secretly you think they are all fools.

Personally, I have more respect for a religious fool than a fake one.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by DeReK DaRkLy
reply to post by Paschar0
 




I attend because the man running it is a truly a good man and he gently pressures me to keep showing up.


If he is truly a good man, then he is running a church for those who believe, not for fakers - you are faking your way through for the sake of your own image, but secretly you think they are all fools.

Personally, I have more respect for a religious fool than a fake one.


No, let him go even as a skeptic. Seeds of truth are still subconsciously being planted and God can call forth those seeds to faith at any time.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 




No, let him go even as a skeptic. Seeds of truth are still subconsciously being planted and God can call forth those seeds to faith at any time.


Well since the OP thinks church is a bunch of dogmatic hogwash, looks like those seeds of truth are already sprouting.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by WhoKnows100
 


Pointing to scripture as the reason for doing anything is a major problem I've stated from the beginning. I don't consider it the word of God. I'm not denying God in any way because I'm not convinced he said any of those things "through" anyone. You can believe it is his word as much as you want, but it's nothing more than a belief, one that right now I don't share. I may like to, it would make things much easier, but it's just not the way it is. I approach it as possible, but very unlikely. It's not to mean I dismiss the entire message of the bible as a whole, I just don't consider it "THE WORD OF GOD".

With that, it's hard to discuss further with most, because they keep trying to go back to it for almost every point they try to make. Surely there is more to one's belief than what's in a book. I would hope so anyway.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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This thread strikes a very strong chord with me.

I, too, am struggling with what I believe. I believe in something higher, something that connects everything, I just don't know if that something is God.

I am really stuck, because if I do believe in God, then I have to believe that he is selfish and uncaring. If it is not God that I believe in, it is easier for me to accept the world and it's atrocities over the many millenia.

I am having a very hard time reconciling the God that I was taught about growing up, the loving, just and merciful God with what I see every day on the news. How does that God allow the things that go on in this world, often in his name? I know it is often cited to be because of free will, and I guess I don't understand completely how free will trumps Gods will when he is the one that created everything. Good and Evil. To create something such as Evil, means that he is either resonsible for the effects of evil, not humans, or if he didn't create Evil then he is not the supreme being.

I am not expressing my thoughts very well and I am sorry for that.

I guess it boils down what God's intentions were when he created man. A slave to serve him, honor his name, do his bidding, which includes killing those that don't believe in him only to find out after we have died if we did good enough to gain entry to Heaven? Or were we an experiment that he lost control of?

So many questions.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by aimlessly
 




I guess it boils down what God's intentions were when he created man.


Bingo...
Perhaps "God" or "Creation" is simply a process which must be undergone in order for existence to validate itself.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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Up until this post, I would have said that your presence in church wouldn't be upsetting to me. After the comments here I think that my opinion has somewhat changed and the reason is: you are being hypocritical.
There is not much difference between you and the Pharisees and we know that Jesus called them hypocrites on more than one occasion. Why? They espoused one thing in front of people and did the exact opposite.


Thing is, I don't really say much at all in church. Like I said I listen and participate but I'm not the preacher. As far as what I DO, I'll take the Pepsi challenge on that any day of the week, I think my actions would be considered Christian, it's just that mainly I don't BELIEVE in my heart that all of the bible is necessarily the word of God.
edit on 8-2-2012 by Paschar0 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by DeReK DaRkLy
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 




No, let him go even as a skeptic. Seeds of truth are still subconsciously being planted and God can call forth those seeds to faith at any time.


Well since the OP thinks church is a bunch of dogmatic hogwash, looks like those seeds of truth are already sprouting.


No, that would be an example Jesus gave of the birds who flew down and devoured the seeds by the wayside.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I'll say this for the bible, it's sure seems easy pulling quotes to support absolutely anything and everything you want to justify or denounce.
edit on 8-2-2012 by KTATS because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 


Hi,

I am roman catholic by upbringing. I was a pretty faithful practitioner for a while. went to catholic school, was a member of the rosary league, participated in choir for 14 years. I have read the bible allot. I have gone to all the seminars and studies mandated of me. I have had a plethora of teachers and priests, nuns, and lay people teach me the various interpretations of scripture and always found talking about it fascinating.

I hit a wall some time ago. I began practicing the occult. I Even went through an atheist and agnostic phase respectively. In all that time, from consciousness to the present, I always found one thing to be the spirit of religion. "the betterment of mankind". The reason why I guess we have so many religions is because we have so many different peoples to speak to. I eventually left all that behind when I became a Buddhist. Then I left that when I became a Taoist. I left all that when I became a....you get the point. I tried allot of the "systems"

I got tired of looking for truth to be explained to me. I started to get sick when I would hear people interpret the bible or any part of scripture. I eventually became so sick I thought about feeling better by dedicating my life to the devil, out of spite. Not the devil like the fallen angel or god, but the concept of the human effort to eat that damned apple. I wanted knowledge so as to wield my will over life itself.

That led me to realize that throughout it all I was just reacting to what I was offered, but the reaction came from deep within. I didn't find peace even in the dark arts. I didn't find satisfaction in any of the noble faiths either.

I eventually started to form my own spirituality, because like you , I acknowledge that there is a something more to life. I realized that it was all an effort to teach me a way to that center I originate from. My core, my heart, I was to reconnect and make strong the connection of my very being with all my actions and thoughts.

I now find myself being happy and content. I do not need a symbol to invoke in me a desired effect. I do not need someone to explain the true meaning of a passage beyond the historical relevance of it so as to actually get the original meaning. After that I trust my heart to fill in the blanks or answer the questions it proposes.

I don't think religion is there to be more than a companion to life. An enriching experience that makes you a better person for it. We choose a path and follow it, be it Judaism, Islam, whatever. It is all there to lead you to the source. They are all from the same source and so very valid. The human soul reflecting upon itself so as to teach us those things we already know but don't realize we do.

They are all valid and worthy. They have been usurped in one way or the other, but they are not less meaningful because of that. In fact they provide a challenge and a reward for seeing the good they have and teaching the evil that can be made, even from such a noble thing as faith.

Faith in the wrong thing can be dangerous, but what is right or wrong is up to you. God is the end result, you choose how you get there. We must all acknowledge that it is with him that we want to be. In a state of oneness.

the one that is two , the three that are one.

As one. we are all as one.
as a person, the one that is two. Our spirit from flesh and our soul from eternity. as one.
These two, our spirit and our soul, within the confines of our body, our self. The expression of both.

these three, the spirit, soul and body, as one. The perfect being we all wish to be, that is god to me.

You are no imposter. You are on a path you chose. I´ll see you there. No need to feel like you have to catch up or wait for me, We will see each other there.

as one.


edit on 8-2-2012 by casenately because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by KTATS
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I'll this for the bible, it's sure is easy pulling quotes to support absolutely anything and everything you want to justify or denounce.


That's why it's called the "Living Word", it's applicability never ceases.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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I understand your point well, OP. I grew up in a very strict, non-denominational christian household. My dad believes the bible to be entirely literal, the world was made in 6 days, there was a great flood, etc. I was expected to go to church every sunday and even on sunday nights and wednesday nights.

I love my dad to death and think he is a great man. He is honest, has integrity and always does what is right.

I feel like I am betraying him by not wanting to go to church. I feel like I don't have a reason to praise God right now and by going I would only be going to please my family, and I don't feel that is right either.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical

Originally posted by KTATS
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I'll this for the bible, it's sure is easy pulling quotes to support absolutely anything and everything you want to justify or denounce.


That's why it's called the "Living Word", it's applicability never ceases.


What an incredibly honest answer.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by Paschar0

if you don't believe then you shouldn't feel that you need to attend services.


I guess I keep hoping for a miracle or to "see the light"


IF you want to "see the light"... Read what Jesus said...

Then compare what he said to what your church teaches....

And you will see "the light"




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