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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 04:37 PM

Hi everyone,

So as I said earlier, I was going to church today for a remembrance service. I've not had a particularly religious upbringing so I know very little about this sort of thing. Recently, my grandmother passed away and it's got me questioning things about God. I'm starting to think that He does exist and today's just made me question my beliefs even more. Where do I even begin? I've spoken to the university chaplain but we always seem to end up having random conversations rather than specifically about God and my beliefs. What do I do? I can't say I believe something I know nothing about :S

Any advice on this would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks,
Tamz x
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:01 PM

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Originally Posted by tamz View Post
Hi everyone,

So as I said earlier, I was going to church today for a remembrance service. I've not had a particularly religious upbringing so I know very little about this sort of thing. Recently, my grandmother passed away and it's got me questioning things about God. I'm starting to think that He does exist and today's just made me question my beliefs even more. Where do I even begin? I've spoken to the university chaplain but we always seem to end up having random conversations rather than specifically about God and my beliefs. What do I do? I can't say I believe something I know nothing about :S

Any advice on this would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks,
Tamz x
Well, first of all, you have to determine which god you are referencing. I would suggest reading a Bible, but the Christian god isn't the only god. So, I would start of in becoming a deist. Read up on various philosophies about the existence of deities and see if you find god at least probable.

Keep in mind, however, when the mind is grieving it wants to find something to cling onto, often times a god. Churches also appeal to peoples emotions which is why they attract so many converts, but once that feeling fades, people generally fall away because that initial interest doesn't last.

However, if you are saying that you think you believe in the Christian god, then read a Bible. Just go online and start reading Genesis, or start with the New Testament.

Can I ask, though, what makes you think there is a god?
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:15 PM

Which God? Why would your grandmother's death lead you to begin to believe in the Biblical God, of all Gods?

I can understand if your grandmother was religious, and you like the idea of her being in Heaven, but there are repercussions to believing in those sort of Biblical ideas (if you believe in the biblical Heaven, you have to believe in what Heaven is described as and the rules to get in, as well as the what Hell is described as and the rules to be sent there).
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:17 PM

Further than just warning you about religion, I think it's worth saying that, if you want to talk about religion and your beliefs with your chaplain, then just direct the conversation that way and hopefully that should be enough to get what you want.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:35 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Well, first of all, you have to determine which god you are referencing. I would suggest reading a Bible, but the Christian god isn't the only god. So, I would start of in becoming a deist. Read up on various philosophies about the existence of deities and see if you find god at least probable.

Keep in mind, however, when the mind is grieving it wants to find something to cling onto, often times a god. Churches also appeal to peoples emotions which is why they attract so many converts, but once that feeling fades, people generally fall away because that initial interest doesn't last.

However, if you are saying that you think you believe in the Christian god, then read a Bible. Just go online and start reading Genesis, or start with the New Testament.
It was a few months ago that she passed on, so I don't think it's just the grief. I'm more inclined to believe a Christian God although that probably has something to do with the fact my parents believe in a Christian God and that's what we were brought up with in school.

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Can I ask, though, what makes you think there is a god?
Of course you can It's a very good question and one that I really need to think about. I think a part of me has always believed in God. But things just seem far too random, far too much of a coincidence to just be from nothing. The whole creation of this Earth and the universe, life itself, the things that happen, I just think there must be something behind it. Reading that back, it seems like that's not really reason enough to believe in God, especially in the capacity of the Bible. I guess it's something I need to think about more. Why do most people believe in God? Is it not just that they know (in their minds) that He exists, that they have faith? Is faith alone not enough of a reason? These are more rhetorical questions than anything else but just things that I'm thinking about.

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Which God? Why would your grandmother's death lead you to begin to believe in the Biblical God, of all Gods?

I can understand if your grandmother was religious, and you like the idea of her being in Heaven, but there are repercussions to believing in those sort of Biblical ideas (if you believe in the biblical Heaven, you have to believe in what Heaven is described as and the rules to get in, as well as the what Hell is described as and the rules to be sent there).
My Grandmother wasn't particularly religious that I'm aware of due to things that have happened in her life. My brother attends a Catholic school and is only 7 years old. When my Grandmother passed on, my Mother wasn't sure how to tell him. She told him that Nanny was poorly so God took her up to Heaven. He accepted it and starting to question certain things but ultimately accepted it. I guess it made me think well what if there is a God, is it really so unbelievable that there is. I don't believe in Catholicism, more of an Anglican God I think. It's difficult to explain where these feelings come from as I don't fully understand them myself. But as I said above, it's not just the grief or the wanting her to be in Heaven. I've always believed there was something after death and so whether that be Heaven or some other form, it doesn't really make much difference so I don't think I'm just turning to God because the idea of Heaven eases the pain a little, because for me it really doesn't.

Quote:
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Further than just warning you about religion, I think it's worth saying that, if you want to talk about religion and your beliefs with your chaplain, then just direct the conversation that way and hopefully that should be enough to get what you want.

Warning me? How so? Thanks, I suppose it would probably be a good idea just to bring it up and ask if we could talk about it, I don't quite know how to bring it up though as the time always seems to fly by whenever I see him. We spoke yesterday and I was going to talk to him about a particular topic but we just never got around to it.
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:46 PM

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Warning me? How so? Thanks, I suppose it would probably be a good idea just to bring it up and ask if we could talk about it, I don't quite know how to bring it up though as the time always seems to fly by whenever I see him. We spoke yesterday and I was going to talk to him about a particular topic but we just never got around to it.
I don't personally wish to warn you, I just know that some posts are likely going to tell you about things that will change aspects of other things, etc. which is, in essence, warning you about things.

I personally believe that religion is a good thing.


For my full psychological analysis of why I like religion, see...


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:52 PM

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Originally Posted by Rachael98 View Post


I don't personally wish to warn you, I just know that some posts are likely going to tell you about things that will change aspects of other things, etc. which is, in essence, warning you about things.

I personally believe that religion is a good thing.


For my full psychological analysis of why I like religion, see...
I see Why do you think it is a good thing? x
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 05:53 PM

Hey, as someone who has been in your shoes before I can understand where you're coming from. My parents were both raised Catholic, but stopped practicing beyond the major rituals and holidays before I was born and never really brought it up with me. So, when I started questioning I did a lot of research about the differnt religions to see if I fit any of them and realized that I don't. I think you can believe in God without fitting any one religion. I would suggest comparing religions to see what you agree with and what you don't. I will also warn you that there will be people who insist that you follow and believe what they do and it can be annoying.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 3rd 2012, 08:30 PM

I suppose the main thing I struggle to get my head around is the very beginning. "So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man"

That's the bit I can't get my head around. It has clearly been proven that humans evolved from apes, so how can this be true? I can understand that God made every other animal first, it does not say how man came about other than he was from dust and so perhaps God is the cause of evolution. But how then, can woman be from man's rib? Maybe some of the Christian's on this forum can enlighten me on this part?

Thanks,
Tamz x
   
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Re: Don't know what to think - November 4th 2012, 07:19 AM

You don't have to believe in Christianity to believe in a God. Take what what makes sense you and make your own religion.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 4th 2012, 07:44 AM

Hey there, I hate religion but LOVE God. And obviously there are so many questions left unanswered. And most would probably ask, isn't christianity a religion. yes, but not in the sense of the word. Religion says differently to what god actually says. When religion says do, Jesus says done. When Religion says work harder, jesus sayd relax. I mean, religion has misconstrued so many things and is often a factor people see. Like the catholics and their hundreds of thousands of rules. God doesn't want us to be perfect, because if we were perfect, why would we worship him? We would think we were on equal playing fields to God and become our own God's. Same thing with trials, if we had no trials, how would be appreciate the good in life, and if we had no trials, how would our faith be renewed? We'd just be like 'Oh yeah, life is great, why bother with god?'
But, I am here to say, if you have any questions, direct them this way. I can ask my senior pastors or even answer a few myself, I haven't read all of the bible but only some but I am quite wise for my age. But, the bible is not a rulebook, it's a guide to living, he doesn't want us to become like the pharisees and to worship every rule and obey every single freaking one. The bible is just there to set up guidelines for you to follow. To show you right from wrong, to show you where you need to set up the guard rails. To understand fully of the many things Jesus did and to show why. god sent Jesus to earth to purify us of our sins, but are we sinless? Nooooo! Of course not, for that reason is so we can have true repentance, true repentance is going back to GOd again and again and apologising for our sins, not saying as soon as we become christian I am sorry for my future sins. it does not work like that because you don't know what you're going to do twenty years down the track to somebody.

I honestly believe that God is real. I prayed to God in my lifegroup I was speaking in troubles and then the words just leapt out, I prayed for my mum that she have minimal pain after her MAJOR surgery (she had bone cancer 17 years ago and the prosthesis snapped last week, had to have her flown down to Sydney and today she is on crutches after having another piece of bone removed and the entire metal thing removed from her leg and replaced. She will be transferred back here next week, (this week really, it is sunday night).
god can do massive miracles or small ones. It isn't as if God stands at the freaking gates of heaven and shows you every single sin you have committed and ban you to hell, because then heaven would be desolate.

Jay.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 5th 2012, 06:07 AM

As someone who's been in your shoes before, the best advice I can give you is to reach out to lots of different people. If you want to talk to the university chaplain, push the conversation in that direction. Be upfront about the purpose of the conversation and let him know exactly what you would like to focus on. But, try not to limit your perspective to the things that he says. Reach out to different people in your life or community who have a set of beliefs similar to what you're looking at. Ask them any questions you desire and take time to really consider their answers and what they mean to you. Also, think about picking up a Bible and doing some research to see whether or not the things that it says are things that you find yourself believing in. You'll find that some things will probably make more sense to you than others, but talking to a lot of different people and really doing your homework will make it so much easier for you to determine where your belief system truly lies, whether it's Christianity or something else entirely.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 5th 2012, 02:49 PM

Honestly, I don't think here is the best place to get advice regarding religion due to the diverse beliefs people have here. You can tell some aren't Christians, and if you're leaning towards Christianity, you need to hear about it from someone who really knows Christianity and without people clouding your mind with their anti Christian beliefs. So I suggest you try another preacher if the one you have, isn't satisfying you. Also, there are new believer Bibles that are helpful. I suggest you start with The New Testament because The Old Testament can be intimidating to new Christians and tbh, The New Testament is what God wants us to follow above all. If you as a preacher to just tell you about God/Jesus, they will. Avoid heavier subjects until you have an understanding of who God is, what he wants from us, and what he did so he could have us.


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Re: Don't know what to think - November 6th 2012, 10:47 PM

I would suggest asking different chaplains, priests, vicars, people at all your local churches. Since you don't seem to know what specifically you believe in, it might be worth reading up on some other deist philosophies/ religions; you might decide they're better suited for you than Christianity. (Your options aren't just Christianity or atheism, there's a whole other range of religions and in-betweens.)


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