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magz
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12 Jun 2017, 5:36 am

I have somewhat similar issue.
I was raised roman catholic, in a quite conservative family. I had a lot of questions, but instead of putting me down, I was encouraged to look for answers in theological works - for quite a lot of smart people had similar questions during the last 2000 years and some of them did come to some answers. As a result, the roman catholic and eastern orthodox theology became my special interest for years ;)
Also, as a teenager, I practised christian meditation and helped with the liturgy, mostly singing.

The problems started when I grew up. I felt like there is no place for me. Spotting all the theological errors in a sermon, noticing wrong pitch in hymns, messed up symbols in faux bysanthine painthings, terrible acustic of the church and lithurgical mess... and nobody to talk about it. People either don't care or overreact like i was attacking them personally.
Having children made it even worse - forget about meditation. No place for theological discussion. I feel like all they expect me to do is to teach the children prayers and cook yummy dinners :/ Oh, and of course give birth to more and more.

As profesionally I do science, I learned to value doubt. To search for the truth you need to ask all the possible uncomfortable questions. I can't un-learn it for religious services. But have nobody to talk it throught. People tend to react the silly "with us or against us" way.

So, after several years of struggling, I gave up. Now I'm officially agnostic. My parents mourn it and I miss spirituality but can't find it anymore. I just don't fit in :(


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Empathy
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20 Jun 2017, 10:08 pm

It all sounds theologically distressing for you.):



RandomFox
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21 Jun 2017, 11:23 am

magz wrote:
So, after several years of struggling, I gave up. Now I'm officially agnostic. My parents mourn it and I miss spirituality but can't find it anymore. I just don't fit in :(


Hey magz, I just noticed you're from Poland, I'm originally from Poland too and I know how religion is closely tied to tradition there and how so many people, including my friends, just follow in their parents' footsteps and then pass it all to their children. I'm a Buddhist and I refused to teach my daughter catholic prayers, I didn't take her to church or anything like it although both mine and my ex's families pressurized me quite a lot.
I taught my daughter to choose for herself - if she needs religion - and talked to her a lot about different religions and different ideas about spirituality, afterlife, various traditions.

For me, you don't need God or gods to connect spiritually with the world, wonders of Nature and unsolved mysteries of the cosmos work for me even better. In Buddhism you can believe in gods or not, but they are only karmically bound creatures just like humans, so not a great object of worship. Philosophy - although it's not exactly spirituality ;) also gives you so many questions (+ possible answers) and subjects so deep you can get lost in thoughts and get minor revelations that feel almost "spiritual".
If you miss the group feeling, of people worshipping together, belonging there - that may be harder to substitute but I'm sure it can be done.



magz
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27 Jun 2017, 4:09 am

That's kind of interesting - I once read that buddhism is particularily popular among Aspie women.
Well, I don't believe in rebirth and can't imagine myself as a vegetarian but sometimes I put a small stone on a top of a pile of stones... just to feel some kind of a connection with other people, I believe...

I never really had this group feeling, always been somehow odd in any group, so this is not what I miss. I rather believed God is the ultimate love and connecting to Him/It made me look at everything the wiser way. But this kind of spirituality, althought AFAIK totally in agreement with the Christian theology, is in fact very rare and hardly understood in Catholic practise.


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Aimee529
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08 Jul 2017, 6:19 pm

Wow magz! That sounds very similar (although different) from my experiences! And thank you whoever it was for mentioning the connection between Buddhism and Aspergers! I had never heard that before! It sounds to me like the primary issue is the combination of fundamentalism and autism. They do not appear to mix well.



Nay
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12 Sep 2017, 6:51 pm

Just because you've had bad experiences with people doesn't mean you should turn your back on jesus.

Much Love, Nay. :heart:



CrouchingOwl
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12 Sep 2017, 10:26 pm

Trying to find a sensory match as well as a theological match sounds like a lot of work, wish you well. I have switched denominations and found myself a good home but I can easily see how sensory issues might prevent someone from wanting to enter a lot of churches.



Fireblossom
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14 Sep 2017, 7:49 am

Well I grew up in a Christian family, Evangelical Lutheran to be exact, but our family wasn't exactly religious. Most people in our town were the same; we were members of the same religion, but didn't really have much religious activities. I don't remember ever going to church aside from when we had to go with school or when there were funerals etc. in the family. When I was a child I did go to some kind of... bible gatherings (No idea what to call them in English, but the kind of event where lot of people go to someone's house and sing hymns, read the bible and listen to the priest) with my family, but I'm pretty sure my parents did it more because it was a social norm than because they actually believe in God.

Around the time I hit puberty I suppose I could have been called religious, praying every night and all, but after entering junior high I just dropped it all since I didn't see the point in it anymore. At the age of 14 I did go to the confirmation school and -camp, but it was just because everyone did it and it's traditionally been seen as a gate to adulthood. It turned out to be a big mistake, but I think that was mostly because I ended up on the same one as my old classmates, most of them also my old bullies, did. One of the worst experiences in my life, which led me to the final decision of leaving the church once I was adult... but well, I probably would've done that anyway.

While I had made the choice, I only got to leave the church at the age of twenty since before that I didn't know how to do it officially. I tried to ask my mom, but apparently she didn't like the idea, in fact she tends to avoid talking about religion unless there are lot of other people who agree with her views with her. In the end I got some advice and managed to do it, so now I'm an atheist both in my mind and on paper.

It didn't really change my life much, but that's probably because my family wasn't really religious to begin with. I have a certain interest in religions and don't mind hearing about them, but I usually find most of them too illogical or something like that and can't get really in to them but who knows, maybe there is a religion somewhere out there (or maybe there one day will be) that meets my view of the world close enough that it makes me believe in God/Gods/Satan/something else entirely one day.

The point is that if you don't know what path you should choose then just keep an open mind and learn about new things. If there is a religion and a religious community that views the world in a way that makes sense to you, you'll find it eventually. Until then don't take things too seriously and enjoy life.



Nay
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14 Sep 2017, 6:13 pm

God doesn't want traditions he wants a relationship. You should take Jesus very seriously because He did actually die for you. Really! Its a personal relationship he wants with you. This is your life we are talking about please take it seriously. I am. Read the gospels and ask God to open your eyes to what you cannot see. I will pray for you. Dont fall for the worlds traps and tricks. All other roads lead to death. Pleasure can be an idol. I know you might think I'm crazy like the rest the world do but you got to believe me. When you die you can't change your mind. Jesus is real. Dont ask God for another trick to prove he's real, He's not a magician. Seek Him with all your heart. He can forgive you and save you. When you stand before God when you die what are you going to say now that you've read this.

For God so loved Nay that He gave His only Son so if Nay believes in Him he shall not die but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Now put your name in there instead of Nay.

You need to repent genuinely from the heart. Mean it. Ask God to come into your life.

There is two deaths for the unbeliever. And only one for the believer. Jesus is God aswel as a prophet, not just a prophet. He's my king, my messiah, my saviour, my lord, my best friend.

STUDY the gospels. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow who knows, dont wait until your on your deathbed you might not get that chance. Your missing out on something so important, the most important decision you will ever make in your life.

Much Love, Nay. :heart:



Sweetleaf
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14 Sep 2017, 6:33 pm

I grew up christian, mostly went to united Methodist churches but yeah over time I found I didn't agree with a lot of the beliefs...actually reading the bible was part of what made me start questioning the religion. Another thing that played a role was I went on some youth group retreat things and went to a christian summer camp...and well lets just say things could get kind of creepy and the people running these things would be kind of pushy about their religious agenda. Like they'd say everyone was welcome to come, but if you weren't sure about your faith or simply not a christian and just came with friends or whatever...they'd sure pressure you to believe a certain way.

But yeah so I eventually totally abandoned christianity after a period of being kind of unsure....I identified as a satanist for a while, also was interested in paganism and anymore I guess I am an agnostic pagan and specifically focus on norse paganism, but yeah agnostic because I am not sure there are any external gods/spiritual entities.


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Nay
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15 Sep 2017, 7:15 am

Turn back sweetleaf thats what jesus is saying. Turn back before its too late. Come back to reality. Jesus lives. Christians are pushy most of the time but some of us have good intentions and motives for being pushy even though we shouldn't be pushy. But some are not pushy. You can be forgiven and delivered for all that satanic and pagan stuff. Read, From witchcraft to Christ. It may help you.

Kind regards, Nay :heart: .



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15 Sep 2017, 7:31 am

I am an agnostic atheist, but have always felt spiritual in nature.



kdm1984
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18 Sep 2017, 8:34 pm

I'm Christian. I was raised that way; had doubts in late adolescence and was agnostic until early twenties when I returned to the faith again. There are still struggles, but I continue to think Christianity makes the best sense in life compared to any of the other alternatives.

That said, I just switched churches. I'd been at the same church since I moved in 2016. Things had been going pretty well in the year or so I'd been there, but in the last few weeks, I was having thoughts that it might be time to find another church. Well, last week, something happened to confirm the thoughts were well-founded: an elder that I and everyone else in the church trusted, ended up abruptly walking out on his wife of almost 30 years, for another woman. His wife then spilled all the beans on the other woman and the marriage struggle on social media. It was a mess, and the way I responded to it angered one of their close associates, who left some really nasty insulting messages for me (I'd been taught different dogma about adultery and divorce from the influence of friends from another church, and that dogma was definitely not well-received by her).

The whole thing has left a horrible effect; I've been quite low functioning this whole week. I don't know how to handle such things; while in flight-or-flight mode, I went ahead and just literally left everyone behind, both the church and my friends there on social media, which may or may not have been the best course of action for me to take. But I still think, overall, this might be a message from the Deity that at least the church change was definitely needed. I will have to trust His will that the new church I'm at (attended for the first time yesterday) will help me to grow further in the faith.



Tim_Tex
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21 Sep 2017, 9:54 am

Raised Pentecostal, then Methodist, but had not attended services for years.

When I was 22, I found my home in the Lutheran church. I was mostly drawn to the lack of sensory-overloading things seen in many Evangelical congregations, and their mostly apolitical theology (i.e. Could care less if you're a Republican, Democrat, or whatever).


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21 Sep 2017, 12:54 pm

Aimee529 wrote:
Did you also have trouble with religion growing up? What have you found that fits? No religion? A different religion? A different denomenation? Help me think this through!

No, I didn't have trouble with religion, growing-up, because whatever questions I had, my aunt answered----and, I'm still a very strong follower / believer of the Christian faith, today.

I do not, however, go to church----I moved out of the area of my last church, and have just never gotten around to looking-for a new one (though, I've been thinking, recently, that I'd like to put more effort into it, and find a new church, because I used to LOVE going to church - it just, totally, made my whole week). I grew-up going to Southern Baptist, Baptist, and Methodist churches, and I will, probably, go-back to either a Baptist or Methodist church (Southern Baptist can be a bit too holy-roller-ish, sometimes).





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