[split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
17-05-2013, 12:23 PM (This post was last modified: 17-05-2013 12:28 PM by thinkingmom.)
[split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Ok then here goes:



CRISIS OF FAITH
For over a year now I have been going through a "crisis of faith." Searching for truth I took a really deep dive. Asking BIG questions. These questions led to more questions and difficulties eventually leading to a full-blown, year-long study of the basics of my christian belief.
I wasn't looking for a reason "not to believe." I was looking for the truth. I wanted to fulfill my obligation in 1 Peter 3:15 and "always be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." I wanted to find out if my beliefs were true and justified and if I was able to give good reasons for believing what I believed. To better defend my faith.
Applying the same set of critical thinking skills I used against all the religions I rejected, I analyzed my own beliefs as an "outsider." Doing unto my faith what I did to other faiths. I pushed myself into uncomfortable places, seeking alternative viewpoints. Not just viewpoints that agreed with what I already believed. Not afraid to be wrong. No matter where the evidence leads.
Here are some examples of christian claims I wrestled with: (simplifying a years worth of study notes is hard but here goes)

The reliability of the Bible -- God promised to preserve His word but He didn't preserve it or protect it from revision, or protect it from being interpreted in hundreds and hundreds of ways. Depending on what scriptures you pay attention to, you can legitimately construct thousands of theologies.

Evidence for the miracle claims of the Bible -- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Hard evidence. God performed astounding miracles to rescue Jews from the Pharoah in Egypt, but would not do any of these miracles to rescue the Jews from the most murderous tyrant to ever come along - Hitler. 6 million Jews died. The miracles took place then and they don't take place now.

The problem of evil and suffering -- Why an "all-good" God unleashed satan on this world and why an "all-powerful" God simply won't decide to stop him. End his existance. Seems an easy task for God!
-- Why God doesn't lift a finger to stop all the disasters, massacres, and wars.

Gods chosen people - The Jews - rejected Jesus as Messiah -- Christianity claims to be a continuum of the Jewish faith. Judaism never believed that there would be a supernatural virgin-born messiah who would be killed as an atonement for sin. Jesus did not fulfill the job description of "The Messiah." Looking at christianity through the lens of Judaism it's quite clear why for Jews it is a SERIOUS sin to accept christianity.

The christian plan of salvation -- I'm going to sacrifice myself to myself to satisfy rules that I wrote. The church tells you that you're sick, then sells you the cure.

Biblical church or man-made traditions? -- Tired of going through the motions on Sunday morning, becoming painfully bored, I dared to ask myself the question "Why do we do what we do?" If you search the bible for most of the common practices in church today, you will rarely find them. It was a rude awakening to realize how massively ignorant I was as to how the church is rooted in artificial, man-made traditions and christian dogma.

The failure of prayer -- Every christian learns the scriptural promises of prayer and then we are fed the excuses of why prayer doesn't work. When prayer is answered that's the power and love of God. When it isn't answered, that was God's plan. It seems as if prayer is just a shot in the dark. A game of chance.

The "Hiddenness" of God -- He allows for his existance to remain easily debatable. Why does a loving God who wants a relationship with us play "Hide-and-Seek" with his children? I exist, and the way I am going to show you I exist is not by showing that I exist.

Most of the christian answers to these christian claims really don't hold water for me. It seems I am asked to "believe" regardless of verifiable evidence. It boils down to"you just have to have faith." Faith is generously and desperately applied as the "cure-all" solution when there is no solid evidence.
It's important to explain that my doubts resulted from a desire to learn more. Not from a moral or spiritual issue. I wasn't looking for a way to "live as I please" or not be "accountable" to some "ultimate moral authority." Nobody hurt my feelings and I'm not mad at God for anything.
I have arrived at this place of non-belief not because I wanted to, but simply because I can no longer accept my former christian beliefs in the God of the bible nor do I believe there is enough evidence for any Gods.
At times, I have felt a deep sense of loss and pain over losing my faith of 20 years. It was hard, really hard not to just retreat back into what's comforting and familiar. I desperately wanted my faith to be true, but the mental and emotional gymnastics I would have to perform in order to hold onto it - I just could not do.
Who am I now without these old beliefs? Without religion am I now going to descend into immoral CHAOS? Become a rotten person? No, I am still the same person whether there is a God or not. I still have the ability to distinguish right from wrong. I believe humans have an innate sense of common moral decency and we don't need a Supernatural "Being" to give us moral guidleines or to govern us.
Re-building a worldview and re-learning things ingrained in me has not been an easy process, but I am very happy and feeling comfortable and at peace seeing things in a new light, a new perspective. I don't pretend to have all the answers to lifes unexplained mysteries. I'm okay now with just saying "I don't know." Like "I don't know" what will happen to me when I die and that's okay. I want to make the most of the life that I DO have.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like thinkingmom's post
17-05-2013, 12:36 PM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Hi ThinkingMom Smile

I split this off from the intros thread and made a whole thread all of it's own for it. Sorry I wasn't clear in my post, we have the intro *thread* and the intro *section* - the thread we try to keep just for people to introduce themselves and deep discussions go in their own threads (although this rule isn't followed rigidly).

Um, ja... that was my mistake Blush
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
17-05-2013, 12:47 PM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Ok great thanks, I'm new to forums in general. I don't know what I'm doing AT ALL lol I posted this also in another section. So if you want to delete that one it's okay Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes thinkingmom's post
17-05-2013, 01:27 PM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
(17-05-2013 12:47 PM)thinkingmom Wrote:  Ok great thanks, I'm new to forums in general. I don't know what I'm doing AT ALL lol I posted this also in another section. So if you want to delete that one it's okay Smile

I think I'mma leave it Smile Congrats on your thought process BTW.

Um... on topic: I would not post this much detail if this was my coming out letter. I guess it depends who you are and how your friends are. But I find people see a letter like this, so reasonable in tone, as an invite to explain to you exactly why you are in fact incorrect... with supporting bible verses and promises to pray for you and other such associated weirdness. Personally I avoid such stuff but obviously, your choice, just prepared for it... Tongue
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
20-05-2013, 04:05 PM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Hi and welcome.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kingschosen's post
10-06-2013, 08:16 AM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
hi all. I am a 62 yr old gramma attempting to introduce myself here. I have been a non believer ever since I quit believing in Santa Claus. I guess I have been luckier than most as I didn't have a belief to reject or family members to insult....well maybe one.
We went to church infrequently altho some of the best memories of childhood include the christmas programs at the baptist church...mainly because we got a bag of candy at the end! And at easter because my mom would sew us up the most beautiful easter outfits..... And I remember the totally botched up part I played in a christmas play ( one line and I froze in fear!) Other than that, church was where I went to meet boys!

My parents weren't overly religious and I cant even remember my grandparents mentioning god at all! ( ok well my dads side of the family were all preachers so they don't count since they were states away)...but I remember at a young age my dad saying 'when you die.....you die!'
I just needed to label myself and I always chose agnostic as I thought atheist was too political and for the most part angry ( ie Hitchens)...but my impression of the label has changed this last year and I proudly call myself Atheist mostly because of the gentleness of this podcast and some others including Thomas and the Bible. Looking forward to meeting and reading posts from everyone.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes donna's post
10-06-2013, 09:00 AM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
(10-06-2013 08:16 AM)donna Wrote:  hi all. I am a 62 yr old gramma attempting to introduce myself here. I have been a non believer ever since I quit believing in Santa Claus. I guess I have been luckier than most as I didn't have a belief to reject or family members to insult....well maybe one.
We went to church infrequently altho some of the best memories of childhood include the christmas programs at the baptist church...mainly because we got a bag of candy at the end! And at easter because my mom would sew us up the most beautiful easter outfits..... And I remember the totally botched up part I played in a christmas play ( one line and I froze in fear!) Other than that, church was where I went to meet boys!

My parents weren't overly religious and I cant even remember my grandparents mentioning god at all! ( ok well my dads side of the family were all preachers so they don't count since they were states away)...but I remember at a young age my dad saying 'when you die.....you die!'
I just needed to label myself and I always chose agnostic as I thought atheist was too political and for the most part angry ( ie Hitchens)...but my impression of the label has changed this last year and I proudly call myself Atheist mostly because of the gentleness of this podcast and some others including Thomas and the Bible. Looking forward to meeting and reading posts from everyone.

Welcome. Thumbsup

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-06-2013, 11:17 AM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
Welcome aboard Smile

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-06-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: [split] Introduce Yourself HERE! Thinking Mom's Letter
I liked your text because I like how you detail the feelings.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: