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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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Cool confusion and fear. - January 13th 2013, 03:01 PM

So I was born in a very small town, and everyone there are mostly Christian save for 2% of the population, or less. But lately I've had my questioning about my upbringing and belief, or lackthereof, of Christianity. There is not one person in my family who doesn't believe in God and the holy trinity, and there's only two to four un-Christian people in my school. So to get to the point, I'm really questioning my belief of a God. I mean what god would let people starve to death? What god would let someone do a heinous crime and just get away with it? I think that I first began questioning it seriously when my pastor told my youth class that even though people who live in a very economic bust living area don't have the ability to get a bible and hear the word, they'd still go to hell. That makes no sense whatsoever to me. It's not their fault they can't have access to those materials, and what god would do that? That's just incredibly mind-boggling to me, and I have a hard time believing that. And the fear would have to be about telling people that even though I was brought up in a very-Christian based house-hold, family, and environment, that I'm not sure whether or not I'm a Christian anymore. So I guess some of my questions would be those up there, and how would I go about telling my family when I'm ready.


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Re: confusion and fear. - January 13th 2013, 03:51 PM

Hey there,

It sounds like you are struggling with the concept of how God can let people struggle and all of that. I too struggle with that concept and there have been times when those things have caused me to question my own belief in God and, honestly, I still struggle with it at times.

I think the best way to talk to your family about this would be mentioning to them your reasons for struggling with your belief. It might help to explain it to them that way because it is possible that at some point in their lives they too struggled with belief in God.

I think that telling anyone in your family that you struggle with God can be hard. I know that when I told my family they were very adamant about converting me but I didn't explain why I was struggling with my belief either. I just sat down one day and said "I don't believe in God." However, over time and talking I was able to talk to my parents and explain that the reason I questioned God was because of A,B,C and D.

So, maybe before you make the decision to talk to them about it you could try making a list of reasons why you are struggling with your belief and go from there. It could help but that does not mean that your family will not struggle with this revelation.

I would try and answer your questions but those are some of the same things that I struggle with off and on.


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Re: confusion and fear. - January 13th 2013, 04:48 PM

Religion and spiritual beliefs are a very personal and private thing. And while it’s hard to not let family and friends influence you, at the end of the day, your soul, your being, whichever you believe will move on from this life in one form or another. And you will be on your own. So you need to personally come to terms with what you are OK with, what life you want to live, and what sort of afterlife you wish to go to. You can ask others how they feel, read books, learn about other religions from others, but at the end of the day what you decide to believe is a journey that only you can take and you have to take it alone.

Starting to question religion and spirituality at this age is completely normal and very healthy. You are no longer a little kid and can think for yourself. I am a big believer in following your head and your heart when it comes to these types of situations. Just because your family is Christian does not mean you have to be Christian too. But I definitely think you should figure out how you feel before you start telling them that.

As I am sure you know that there are different schools of thought on higher beings. I know it can be really difficult to see something like the Connecticut shootings and still believe in a higher power. So I am just going to tell you how I feel about those situations as a pagan. I believe in reincarnation that is based on a karma system. So just because someone gets away with something in one life, does not mean they get away with it in the next. I believe that if you commit negative, violent, criminal or harmful actions in one life and you were not caught, or did not pay a karmic debt, it will be carried with your soul to your next life and you will face consequences in due time. I personally do not believe people get away with things, I know eventually it will come back to haunt them.

This school of thought also works the other way. I think that God will praise the children that were lost, that they will be rewarded for their bravery in such a horrific situation. They were trapped; there was nothing they could have done, so I believe that in their next life they will blessed, given great opportunities, living a life of happiness.

That is my personal take on that type of situation. I have faith that is what happens and it took me awhile to figure out how I felt about life and spirituality. I started that journey in my teen years and now it’s your turn. Feel free to PM me any time if you want to talk.




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Re: confusion and fear. - January 13th 2013, 05:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by missashlynxo View Post
So I was born in a very small town, and everyone there are mostly Christian save for 2% of the population, or less. But lately I've had my questioning about my upbringing and belief, or lackthereof, of Christianity. There is not one person in my family who doesn't believe in God and the holy trinity, and there's only two to four un-Christian people in my school. So to get to the point, I'm really questioning my belief of a God. I mean what god would let people starve to death? What god would let someone do a heinous crime and just get away with it? I think that I first began questioning it seriously when my pastor told my youth class that even though people who live in a very economic bust living area don't have the ability to get a bible and hear the word, they'd still go to hell. That makes no sense whatsoever to me. It's not their fault they can't have access to those materials, and what god would do that? That's just incredibly mind-boggling to me, and I have a hard time believing that. And the fear would have to be about telling people that even though I was brought up in a very-Christian based house-hold, family, and environment, that I'm not sure whether or not I'm a Christian anymore. So I guess some of my questions would be those up there, and how would I go about telling my family when I'm ready.
Hi Ashlyn,

First of all, I want to let you know that I am an agnostic. I do not believe in god(s) because I do not see any evidence for god(s). However, I will also let you know that I was, for a time, part of the Christian community. I'm telling you all this so you can see we have similarities, but also to let you know that my opinion, I hope, will be largely unbiased -- but of course leaning towards agnosticism.

You should, first and foremost, GENUINELY think this over. Do not reject your religion, or faith, solely because you have a few objections. Actually analyze your questions and decisions. Just because you have some moral objections about something, does not make something invalid. I.E. Just because your youth Pastor told you something, doesn't make it true. Just because you were raised believing god will send people to Hell because they never heard the gospel, doesn't make it true. That is, Christianity may still be true, but your understanding of it may be wrong. Does that make sense? It might be your indoctrination that is incorrect, and not Christianity.

So, that being said, as opposed to rejecting your faith as a whole, seek answers to your questions, see if you can find a valid answer to these questions, and see if what you're being told is true by testing it with the Bible. I, however, will give you some of my thoughts on your questions. Not necessarily Christian thoughts, but just some things to consider. Just, please, make sure you think this through and actually seek answers and not just questions or reasons to leave your faith. It's a big step. Make sure you're confident with your choice.

Now, let me respond to some of your questions:

Q1: What god would let people starve to death?
A1: To be honest, I don't have a solid answer for this, however, I believe Saint Francis of Assisi said he asked god this question. The answer he got from god was: "Why do you let people starve to death." That is, people starve to death because people do nothing to help. It's not necessarily god's fault. I read once that if you have a extra shirt, you've stolen from the naked. If I were faced with this question, I would say, "Why am I allowing people to starve to death?" Yes, I cannot solve all the starvation, but I am not any better for not giving. I believe in Ephesians 2:10, the Apostle Paul says that Christians are the workmanship of God for good works. So, essentially, Christians are the ones who are to be doing god's work, which then, according to Paul's logic, Christians are to blame for the people starving to death (which of course, I don't believe -- I think it's everyone's responsibility).

Q2: What god would let someone do a heinous crime and just get away with it?
A2: This is based on the assumption that god WON'T do anything to the people that do heinous crimes. However, isn't there a Hell? And aren't there degrees of severity to Hell? And if there are degrees to the severity of Hell, don't you think people will be punished accordingly?

Lastly, you talk about something your Pastor said, maybe your Pastor is just wrong. Maybe god will save those people, you don't know, and neither does your Pastor. In fact, the early Church, and early Christian's believed that the Gospel was already preached before Christ even lived. They believed god inspired people like Socrates, Plato, and various others. So, those people who haven't heard from the bible, may have still heard the gospel.

Also, I promise this is my closing remark, you ask in your questions, "What god would do [fill in the blank]?" I think this is a good what to phrase it, "WHAT GOD?" In other words, maybe your Church doesn't believe in the Biblical god. Maybe another god exists. Don't let your questions remove your belief in god. Why? Because your questions assume attributes of a deity, before even proving a deity. What I mean is, you are assuming god is good, before you've even proven there is a god. What if there is a god and god is evil?

Think about it. Don't make a quick decision. Leaving your faith can be difficult. Trust me. If you need any help, or someone to talk to, PM me. I'll give you my honest opinion, and I won't try to force you to be anything except honest with yourself.


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