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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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Confusion about my faith - November 4th 2013, 11:26 PM

I'm 19 years old and have been going to a Christian girls youth group for 7 years now yet even though bible studies was always a big part I never really cared about it until recently. I feel as though I have just gone along with how things go all my life when it comes to religion it not that I didn't care it just that it all did t matter to me much. It was just tradition something you had to do. But recently I have noticed how many people especially in the youth group I do are so strongly connected to god even people my age and younger seem to be more connected. They talk about god guiding them and helping them so strongly and I really admire this. Yet I am struggling to connect on any level. I pray but if feel like it never seems to make any difference to me. LNG brain keeps questioning everything and can't seem to just believe. I feel this May have something to do with the fact that I am a very logically, realistic person. Deep down I feel that I would love to have this connection and belief but I really don't know how as I know god can't actually talk back to me and I can't seem to find any other way that god would communicate. It really feels like people are only pretending when they say things like god helps me and guides me and tell me what to do. Please help I'm so confused!!

Last edited by Lizzie; November 5th 2013 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Removed prefix
   
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Re: Confusion about my faith - November 5th 2013, 01:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SorchaG44 View Post
I'm 19 years old and have been going to a Christian girls youth group for 7 years now yet even though bible studies was always a big part I never really cared about it until recently. I feel as though I have just gone along with how things go all my life when it comes to religion it not that I didn't care it just that it all did t matter to me much. It was just tradition something you had to do. But recently I have noticed how many people especially in the youth group I do are so strongly connected to god even people my age and younger seem to be more connected. They talk about god guiding them and helping them so strongly and I really admire this. Yet I am struggling to connect on any level. I pray but if feel like it never seems to make any difference to me. LNG brain keeps questioning everything and can't seem to just believe. I feel this May have something to do with the fact that I am a very logically, realistic person. Deep down I feel that I would love to have this connection and belief but I really don't know how as I know god can't actually talk back to me and I can't seem to find any other way that god would communicate. It really feels like people are only pretending when they say things like god helps me and guides me and tell me what to do. Please help I'm so confused!!
Sorcha,

Welcome to teenhelp. I am not a Christian, but I was. I will tell you something that will help you, I believe. The only time anyone experiences faith is when they admit they are faithless and only god is faithful.

In other words, Christianity isn't about you TRYING to have faith or TRYING to do anything. It's about god being faithful to his promises to mankind. When you understand this, you'll experience faith.

I know its simplistic. But when I understood that, it was the only time I had ever experienced real faith and comfort in believing. It was the only time I didn't feel condemned. It was the only time I felt forgiven and accepted. It was when I started questioning this that my faith faltered and I ended up where I am now.


"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
- Carl Sagan
   
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Re: Confusion about my faith - November 5th 2013, 02:32 PM

Hi there,

Thanks for replying to my query. Would you know how I could go about understanding that god being faithful to his promises to mankind??

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Re: Confusion about my faith - November 5th 2013, 04:06 PM

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Originally Posted by SorchaG44 View Post
Hi there,

Thanks for replying to my query. Would you know how I could go about understanding that god being faithful to his promises to mankind??

Thanks
To be honest, this is a difficult question. I will tell you what happened, for me.

When I first converted to Christianity, I felt that I needed to understand proper theology and soteriology (how god "saves" people) to become a Christian. I thought that if I misunderstood theology and misunderstood soteriology, that I couldn't be a Christian because I believed in the wrong deity.

As time progressed, I began to pray, I would try to believe, I would try to repent (stop sinning), and I would read the Bible several (literally about 5-8) hours a day. None of this worked. In fact, the more I tried to understand, the further I came to understanding. I was just littered with more and more questions and doubts.

I began to study various aspects of theology. Namely, Calvinism and Arminianism, I also looked into freewill theology and Catholicism. My main concern, however, was Calvin vs Arminian. The debate is basically this: In Calvinism, man has no freewill. God CAUSES the person to believe. In Arminianism it basically means that god gave everyone a prevenient grace. That is, that god freed everyone to believe.

I ended up siding with Calvinism and became a hyper-Calvinist, a stance which says god chose some to be saved and chose others to go to hell, without any freewill. That god, almost, causes people to sin.

This, however, didn't make me "feel" like I was a Christian. However, as I began to look at Calvinist theology, it made me very uncomfortable. I began to doubt my stance with conflicting theologies in the bible and became thoroughly confused.

There was then a guy in a band called mewithoutYou. His name was Aaron Weiss. I watched him go from being a depressed Christian, to one of the most joyful people I've ever seen. He was humble, and he admitted whatever was on his heart. He seemed genuine. I asked him how he became so happy. He told me what I told you. The only time you experience faith is when you realize you are faithless and only god is faithful.

I didn't understand this at first. In fact, like you, I tried to understand it. The more I tried to understand, the less I understood. And I think that's your problem. You're focusing so much on what YOU have to do. And not what god has done.

If god is real, and if god is the Christian god, then the best I can tell you is read your bible. And instead of focusing on what YOU have to do, focus on god and what god has done. Don't make this an active effort. In fact, just be passive. Because the more you try, the less you are focusing. Let me explain it this way. In the Bible, god says that he opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.

Someone who is trying to believe and trying to understand is focusing on themselves so they can save themselves. They are being prideful. God gives grace to the humble, the bible says. So, instead, admit to yourself you are faithless, and start reading what the bible says you are. Sinful, hateful, etc. And start admitting it and realize that you NEED help to be "saved." That you CAN'T save yourself and that you CAN'T force yourself to believe.

That's how I experienced faith. The problem is, you can be prideful about your humility.

As you can see, I've thought a lot about this, and have been through a lot. And I don't want to tell you to do anything, because it didn't end up well for me (if god is real).

So, as I said, the best thing I can tell you is to admit you're faithless and only god is faithful. Depend on god to give you faith, repentance, and to sustain you. If god says, "You're forgiven." Don't be like, "Oh, but I have to do this that and the other thing to be forgiven." Instead, rest on that promise because god said it. Don't rest on it because you believe it, but because he said it.

This conversation is making me nostalgic.

Anyways, I could tell you to go to a Pastor or do this, or that. As so many people told me to do. But, I only ever had faith when I stopped trying. And you're in the same position I was. If I tell you to stop trying, you're going to think, "But, how do I stop trying?" That's something I can't explain. For me, it just happened. It happened when I stopped focusing on myself. That's probably the probably with humanity (if god is real). We assume that we always have to do. We're damned if we do, damned if we don't -- we're damned to choose, so the mentality goes.

One preacher I found that really helped me understand the gospel was Don Fortner. You can listen to his sermons here: http://www.donfortner.com/

Maybe listen to "Three Helps to Assurance."

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninf...=1015132156208

He talks a lot about man's inability to have faith and god's faithfulness. He is what would be considered a hyper-calvinist. But, don't get caught up on the titles like I did. Just listen to him and you'll be able to tell what he preaches is a lot different than most churches.


"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
- Carl Sagan
   
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