Relying on Protestantism to Ease Loneliness

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belijojo
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26 Mar 2024, 12:00 am

I suffer because of the verbal violence from my classmates and the pressure caused by my studies.On-campus psychological counseling doesn’t work and hospital psychological consultation costs are a bit high.So I went to the local church.

I don't know how to translate the name of this church(maybe Mongan Church/Grace Church).Communism regards religion as a spiritual opium,so I can’t fully agree with their discussion about God.But their kindness really rubbed off on me.

The first time I went there, they were doing corporate prayer and it was amazing.Everyone sang together and crooned "Amen".All this is going on just like the flag-raising patriotic ceremony in my elementary school.Participating in group activities makes me feel a sense of belonging and relaxation.Most of the believers are old ladies who preach to me with simple kindness.
I participated in their Bible study that night and it was very, very comfortable. There were no exercises or standard answers.The young man studying traditional Chinese medicine next to me said: The reason why patients do not improve after treatment is because they do not trust traditional Chinese medicine. This is similar to the fact that people who do not believe in God cannot receive God’s love. People around him echoed him. I feel a little crazy.

I like the atmosphere in the church. I heard that there will be Bible study every night before March 31st, so I plan to attend as long as I have time, not for the Bible but for the sense of collective belonging.


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26 Mar 2024, 2:30 pm

China has had a profound tradition of highly sophisticated philosophies and religions which have entered the collective consciousness of the world. Yet it sadly chose to deny its own culture and religion(s). I find it sad that Chinese people think now the West, which was lagging behind China for a thousand years, and destroyed it in the Opium wars and all that followed, think it can offer them more. But whatever works for you. Hope they won't ask something of you in return.



naturalplastic
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26 Mar 2024, 2:35 pm

Christianity in general, and Protestantism in particular are spreading like wildfire in China.

But China's traditional Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, are also reviving in this post Communist era as well.

And new cults are catching on as well...notably the Falun Gong movement (which like the earlier Moonies)now even have an American newspaper of their own.



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26 Mar 2024, 5:01 pm

belijojo -
If it brings you comfort, stick with it.


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belijojo
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27 Mar 2024, 9:34 am

Today is Wednesday. The pastor said that Jesus chose to rest instead of preaching the gospel on the Wednesday before his crucifixion. We should also rest and pay attention to work-life balance.
I cried in the prayer that followed, releasing the pressure I had been under for so long.


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ToughDiamond
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28 Mar 2024, 6:38 pm

belijojo wrote:
The young man studying traditional Chinese medicine next to me said: The reason why patients do not improve after treatment is because they do not trust traditional Chinese medicine. This is similar to the fact that people who do not believe in God cannot receive God’s love. People around him echoed him.

I'd have been annoyed myself. I'm wary of the "it doesn't work for skeptics" defense, and see it as a clever way of blaming unbelievers for miracles not working on them, and misdirecting people from thinking that maybe if the miracle doesn't happen, then it's because there's no such thing as miracles.

belijojo wrote:
The pastor said that Jesus chose to rest instead of preaching the gospel on the Wednesday before his crucifixion. We should also rest and pay attention to work-life balance.

I saw a piece by an online pastor that started with a few scriptural quote about God resting on the 7th day etc., and went on to teach the followers that they too ought to rest occasionally and that overworking is a bad thing. The only comments the pastor got were highly complimentary. I just felt that there was no need to use scripture to back up the blindingly obvious, and that his take-home message smacked very strongly of "you can't progress without scripture, and you need me as your leader to interpret it for you and tell you what to do."

Still, if it gets you through the night like nothing else has been able to, then I suppose that's good enough, so I hope you don't let my comments disillusion you. I just recognised those two assertions for what I think they are, and as they so graphically represent why I'd go down like a lead balloon at a spiritual gathering if didn't keep uncomfortably quiet, I couldn't resist airing my views here. No harm intended.

I guess it's pretty obvious from what I've written here that relying on Protestantism to ease loneliness wouldn't work in my own case, though yours seem friendly enough people while nobody rocks the boat. My own solution for loneliness is very different. It involves trying to relate to people but remaining genuine, which means that I argue against their assertions sometimes, because if I have to keep pretending to buy what they're saying when I don't buy it, I feel that intimacy is impossible.

Not that I'm saying you're not being genuine with those people you've found, if you truly believe their claims. I wonder how welcome in that church I'd be if I said what I've written here to them? If I ever find a church that does welcome such criticism, that would be great, but I think all churches have a doctrine that refuses to embrace any such thing, so I have to remain unchurched. I wonder if unquestioned core beliefs are compulsory in all groups?



belijojo
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28 Mar 2024, 8:52 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Not that I'm saying you're not being genuine with those people you've found, if you truly believe their claims. I wonder how welcome in that church I'd be if I said what I've written here to them? If I ever find a church that does welcome such criticism, that would be great, but I think all churches have a doctrine that refuses to embrace any such thing, so I have to remain unchurched. I wonder if unquestioned core beliefs are compulsory in all groups?

Unquestioning is the basis of monotheism. All Biblical debates are based on the premise that the Bible is the Word of God.

Last night, the pastor explained the Bible and said that Jesus wants us to expand the church.Then she mentioned that one of her former followers defected to another faction and took some of them with her.During the prayer that followed, four people prayed loudly for the church.I see greed for power in their faces.

No other interpretation of the Bible is allowed in this church.


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ToughDiamond
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29 Mar 2024, 2:14 am

belijojo wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Not that I'm saying you're not being genuine with those people you've found, if you truly believe their claims. I wonder how welcome in that church I'd be if I said what I've written here to them? If I ever find a church that does welcome such criticism, that would be great, but I think all churches have a doctrine that refuses to embrace any such thing, so I have to remain unchurched. I wonder if unquestioned core beliefs are compulsory in all groups?

Unquestioning is the basis of monotheism. All Biblical debates are based on the premise that the Bible is the Word of God.

Last night, the pastor explained the Bible and said that Jesus wants us to expand the church.Then she mentioned that one of her former followers defected to another faction and took some of them with her.During the prayer that followed, four people prayed loudly for the church.I see greed for power in their faces.

No other interpretation of the Bible is allowed in this church.

I suspect the unquestionable core values / beliefs are very common in secular groups too. I suppose the idea is that if the group has nothing of that kind in common, there's no binding force between them and the group will get smaller. But I'm not sure how true that is. A common purpose will unite a group, but it doesn't have to be a belief, except for the belief that the purpose is worth striving for. Quite what the purpose of a religion is, I'm not sure. I'm sure it has at least one purpose, but it's not a matter I've thought over very thoroughly yet.

I'm not sure it's such a bad thing for a group to get smaller unless there's a war going on. I do know that leaders can be very hostile towards anybody who encourages a splinter group that would shrink the main group. I guess that's to do with that greed for power that you sensed, and maybe an irrational fear of being small.

As for the Bible being the Word Of God, that notion seems to vary in intensity from church to church. The C of E doesn't insist that it's the absolute, perfect literal truth from cover to cover, so they'd have no problem if for example it was proved that Adam and Eve never literally existed as described. They'd probably say it was beside the point. OTOH such churches as the Pentecostals tend to be completely literalist and so there are a lot more ideas that would be anathema to them.



belijojo
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29 Mar 2024, 4:51 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
I suspect the unquestionable core values / beliefs are very common in secular groups too. I suppose the idea is that if the group has nothing of that kind in common, there's no binding force between them and the group will get smaller. But I'm not sure how true that is. A common purpose will unite a group, but it doesn't have to be a belief, except for the belief that the purpose is worth striving for. Quite what the purpose of a religion is, I'm not sure. I'm sure it has at least one purpose, but it's not a matter I've thought over very thoroughly yet.

I have an immature understanding of the purposes of religion.

Religion must have had its own reasons for being born, surviving and even growing, but a purpose is not necessary.To put it another way, no one wants to do this, but when everyone gathers, its purpose/impact is to maintain the existing social system.

Once I simply thought that Americans had a common purpose-to destroy Asia, Africa and Latin America and then suck the blood out of them through free trade.But one user on this site taught me that there is a game of different interest groups in the United States, and they do what they are doing now in compromise, with different purposes.

Likewise, poor people need religion for comfort and warmth, and rich people need religion to maintain status.When the poor have no money to eat or see a doctor, religion makes them pray instead of revolution.When rich people own a lot of land, religion teaches them not to harvest all the food and not to delay the wages of workers.Because of these different needs and purposes, different people are united by religion.

Religion is the opposite of law. Without it, the angry poor would destabilize society. That's why I mentioned in the thread: Religion is a spiritual opium.
ToughDiamond wrote:
My own solution for loneliness is very different. It involves trying to relate to people but remaining genuine, which means that I argue against their assertions sometimes, because if I have to keep pretending to buy what they're saying when I don't buy it, I feel that intimacy is impossible.

This is the true way,instand of relying on God.If I knew the right way to make friends


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naturalplastic
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29 Mar 2024, 5:35 am

belijojo wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:


I have an immature understanding of the purposes of religion.

Religion must have had its own reasons for being born, surviving and even growing, but a purpose is not necessary.To put it another way, no one wants to do this, but when everyone gathers, its purpose/impact is to maintain the existing social system.

Once I simply thought that Americans had a common purpose-to destroy Asia, Africa and Latin America and then suck the blood out of them through free trade.But one user on this site taught me that there is a game of different interest groups in the United States, and they do what they are doing now in compromise, with different purposes.

Likewise, poor people need religion for comfort and warmth, and rich people need religion to maintain status.When the poor have no money to eat or see a doctor, religion makes them pray instead of revolution.When rich people own a lot of land, religion teaches them not to harvest all the food and not to delay the wages of workers.Because of these different needs and purposes, different people are united by religion.

Religion is the opposite of law. Without it, the angry poor would destabilize society. That's why I mentioned in the thread: Religion is a spiritual opium.
ToughDiamond wrote:


Like me, and everyone else, your a product of your society. You have the typical Marxist view that "religion is the opiate of the masses" to keep working class down. The official pov of Communist China that you grew up being indoctrinated with.

Trouble is Marxism itself is a kind of religion...a utopian "opiate".

Americans often "shop around" different churches to find the one they like the most. So ...just look at it as Protestantism and Marxism are just two competing churches. So you dont have to feel so ashamed that you might be ...succumbing to Protestantism...at the expense of the creed of Marxism. Marxism is just the state-backed religion of your country. Just view them as competing creeds (brands of opium maybe).



belijojo
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29 Mar 2024, 6:34 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Like me, and everyone else, your a product of your society. You have the typical Marxist view that "religion is the opiate of the masses" to keep working class down. The official pov of Communist China that you grew up being indoctrinated with.

Trouble is Marxism itself is a kind of religion...a utopian "opiate".

Americans often "shop around" different churches to find the one they like the most. So ...just look at it as Protestantism and Marxism are just two competing churches. So you dont have to feel so ashamed that you might be ...succumbing to Protestantism...at the expense of the creed of Marxism. Marxism is just the state-backed religion of your country. Just view them as competing creeds (brands of opium maybe).

Thank you, your post inspired me.

In fact, what I am believing is an early version of Chinese Marxism that is highly offensive to all other isms. I'm now going to "shop around" and check out the latest version of The official pov of Communist China.My ideology might be softened by it.


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29 Mar 2024, 5:31 pm

As a former bible boy myself, if participating in protestant mass brings comfort then I would advise not thinking too deeply on the politics or philosophical reasons for your decision.

Prayer has the same value regardless whether you are buddhist, christian, muslim or even an athiest who participates in group meditation.

All humans seek self-actualisation (according to Abraham Maslow)

The early gnostic chritistans emphasised the importance of looking beyond superficial meaning in the words of the bible and focusing on hidden meaning in scripture that is designed to lead you to spiritual enlightenment. Protestantism is just another road you can take, if you are comfortable then just ride with it and not think too hard.



belijojo
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30 Mar 2024, 9:15 am

Today, I added the Wechat of the clergy, and she told me that I could send her questions about the Bible as much as I wanted.That's nice,


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belijojo
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27 Apr 2024, 9:06 am

The pastor here graduated from the North America Bible Institute and his theoretical level is insufficient. Whether he defends the Bible or refutes the theory of evolution, most of his words are based on wrong facts. It makes me suspect that the believers they want to attract are rural people who have not experienced scientific education, and have not considered how to persuade college students.

I thought I could accept another set of perfect ways to explain the world that was independent of my current thoughts, but I failed.

Prayer and gatherings still make me feel comfortable, Amen.


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27 Apr 2024, 10:39 am

Like your Spoiler there ! And have been in shoes that might feel similiar to your own .
And being a Aspie, you might consider it is hard to find companionship ..It does sound like you have found a almost social outlet for lonilyness . And it takes many people many years or never to find that , If it supplements a need to
have associations , by all means, it maybe the better stopgap measure to abject lonilyness . But please realise the limitations of the peoples around you in those circles ..Their beliefs very well may not allow for scientific realism .
So might not ever !...try to raise their level if conciousness. They are there for the comfort of the herd . And in all
the natural world ,Semi-Domestic Animals , Prefer herds .. straying could very possibly mean death or alienation .
And usually there seems to be comfort in numbers , concerning religions of the World and herd animals.And comfort or ease mentally can be an advantage to a stressed human nervous system . Especially a lonily one 8)
Having said all that think of all the religions that have gone asunder since the beginning of humankind . We no longer believe in the Egyptian Gawd RA, but acheologist found much evidence, from those days he was the leading diety .
What Gawd did those people at Gobekli Tempe archeological dig pray to ? 12,000 years ago ,as have seen utube digs in the Country of Turkey ?
Or before the Continental land mass shifts happen .. Our religions will eventually go the way of the dinosaurs .
And so it shall and must be as the documented changes occur of this planet .
But in the here and now, you best take care of you . And the things that help you keep it together imho.
((In short of damaging your Karma, If in fact , you subscribe to that school of thought.))
Personally in your curcumstances genuinely tried to return to tha Cathlic church,that I was raised in ..as a child.
I tried very hard, Found no level of personal support . As I went to masses .After many months having returned to my old namesake church.After a lifetime of being away. I gave in and tried to talk to the priest after mass one day,
:mrgreen: as I was about to give up, On Church And as I tried to introduce myself to him , immediately after watching a friendly smiling interaction between him and a older shorter lady next to me ,waiting for her to finish and walk away :nerdy: ..As I spoke:He immediately made mention that I did not introduce myself correctly and he scowled and just turned and walked away, inside that house of Gawd before another word was spoken :( . Pretty sure thats when religion, had burned down its own temple, inside the Temple of my heart . And that was barely two years ago .....
Under those circumstances, upon my very first interaction with a priest,after all those years. It seemed sacriligious to me to allow them to burn down that temple.( That I had held some degree of reverence for all that time.)
Since then found much better quality of friends, and most know not to engage me on religious topics. :mrgreen:


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27 Apr 2024, 11:23 am

belijojo wrote:
The pastor here graduated from the North America Bible Institute and his theoretical level is insufficient. Whether he defends the Bible or refutes the theory of evolution, most of his words are based on wrong facts. It makes me suspect that the believers they want to attract are rural people who have not experienced scientific education, and have not considered how to persuade college students.

I thought I could accept another set of perfect ways to explain the world that was independent of my current thoughts, but I failed.

Prayer and gatherings still make me feel comfortable, Amen.

The upside of a church is that it's a source of community. It's a shame about the downside.