Introductions - Who We Are, Why We're Here

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Guffy

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I’m a Christian, but I like to distinguish myself from the popular stereotype type Christian, as I think almost any Christian would. When I say that I am a Christian I mean that I follow the Christ, come from God, and who is God. (see John 1:1 and following) I believe this Christ to be Jesus of Nazareth as declared by the cannon of the New Testament and prophesied about in the Jewish Torah and the Prophets. I believe these scriptures, combined into the modern Old and New Testaments, are God’s revelation to man about who God is and who He wants man to be. I also believe, based on the book of Judges continuing through Paul’s letters to John’s revelation, that this revelation has almost always been misinterpreted by us. In the last few years I have come to doubt the infallibility of these scriptures, yet I still believe that God has protected them so that they are adequate for bringing us into a relationship with God, and teaching us to live in a way that brings honor to Him.

I am looking forward to being a part of this discussion.
 

AncientEagle

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Good forum.

I am a Christian, raised a Protestant, at home pretty equally in small, rural Methodist and Baptist churches. I gravitated more firmly to the Baptist church, lost connection for a good many years, but chose it more rationally in later years because the foundations of the faith (not necessarily those most often bandied about in the media) fit best my understanding of God, the trinity, and my salvation. I believe in the Scriptures, though by no means in the infallibility of our understanding of them.

Three decades in the Army accustomed me to associating with people of many faiths, as well as some with none at all. Many of my best friends were Catholics, including my very best one. Serving in the Middle East, I gained at least a slight understanding of, and and appreciation for, Islam. My closest friend for a year in an Army service school, and a good friend for years afterward, was a Buddhist from Nepal. My younger sister married a Jew, now deceased. By his own choice, he was buried in the cemetery of the small country Methodist church where I grew up, because he said he felt most at home there.

All of this is by way of saying I have come to believe that we are all a vast army of pilgrims, trying with imperfect understanding to find our way. It is not for me to dictate limits for God's power or restrict the number of paths He may have laid out for us. While I believe the only way for ME to God is through Jesus, I have no idea what plans God might have for other people who've been brought up in other beliefs. I feel that, as a Christian, I am obligated to be as tolerant as the one whose name I use for my identity.

As I may have mentioned in other threads, my daughter grew up attending, first, Army chapels and then, later, mostly Baptist churches. She attended a nominally Baptist college, was called to the ministry, graduated from a Methodist seminary, and was ordained in the Baptist church. Oddly, given that we live in the middle of traditionally Southern Baptist territory, where women preachers are generally not looked upon with favor, she was called as pastor of a small Baptist church. After five years there, she married a fellow Baptist preacher and seminary professor. They moved north and became co-pastors of an American Baptist church.

We never encouraged her to go into the ministry. We were not a notably devout family, except for her. That is, we were never leaders in the church, just church-goers. Her calling was clearly a matter between her and God, without intervention by her parents. In many ways, she led us rather than our leading her. Some of the religious tolerance I try to practice, I learned from her.

This is a rambling dissertation, meant to say that I feel I am continuing to grow in faith, certain of very few things, but convinced that as I continue to search, more keys to this life and what is to follow will be revealed to me. And comfortable in the conviction that many things are beyond my ability to see or understand, but are understood perfectly by my God.
 

ColoradoGuy

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Since Mac asked me to co-mod the forum, I should let everyone know my perspective. I'm a Quaker, a member of a group officially known as the Religious Society of Friends, sometimes just Friends for short. We come in several flavors, some of which are closer to standard Protestant formulations. My version is called "unprogrammed," Quakerism, meaning that it follows the traditions first laid out by George Fox, founder of Quakerism, in about 1650 in England during the Civil Wars there.

We have no clergy, or, as it is frequently put, we have no laity -- in a sense, all are clergy. We consider ourselves Christian, but we have no sacraments or liturgy. We do have what are called Testimonies: these are Simplicity, Peace (we are pacifists), Integrity (sometimes called truth-telling at all times. "Speak truth to power" is originally a Quaker expression, lately appropriated widely by others), Community, and Equality. We study and use the Bible but do not accept the inerrancy of Scripture. The fundamental Quaker belief is that there is "that of God" in everyone, often called the Inner Light. This means that we devote much effort to listening to that "still, small voice" (another now common expression that was originally a Quaker usage) within all of us. Our usual mechanism for doing this is during Meeting, which consists mostly of silence until someone in the group feels called to speak.

Insights ("openings") can come at any time, however -- not just at Meeting. Thus an essential tenet of Quakerism is that the secular and the sacred are one -- separating them is a false distinction. This is one reason Quakers have been known for centuries as political activists -- from the time of the abolition movement (Quakers were heavily involved in the Underground Railroad) until the present.

Quakers believe that spiritual wisdom can come from anyone -- children, non-Christians, anyone -- so we have a long tradition of listening -- "hearing" is the Quaker expression. (Another common usage today -- "I hear you," meaning I understand you-- was original to Quakers.)

All of this makes the notion of this forum very interesting to me.
 

Alpha Echo

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I'm pretty excited about this forum. I hope that it works!

I grew up in a Baptist home with Baptist beliefs. I was baptized when I was 8 and never ever questioned God. He just was.

Until I got older. Then I've pushed Him away and pulled myself closer too many times to count. I've questioned and searched and ultimately landed where I am now.

I'm at the beginning stages of divorce. From the time my husband started having "issues" to the time I found out he was actually having an affair, I have grown a lot closer to Christ, and my faith has grown a lot stronger. I believe I'd be on my knees if it weren't for the things I've witnessed Him do in my life, at times when I've been most lonely and depressed. I have felt a sudden need to express this with anyone who will listen, so I hope I have a lot to add here!
 

Norman D Gutter

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I was raised Episcopalian in New England, where we considered ourselves English Catholics rather than Protestants. Was saved senior year in college, and found an evangelical (not fundamentalist) protestant church in a small denomination. Since then it has been an interesting 35 year walk. Well, it will be 35 years on Easter Sunday.

NDG
 

jst5150

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Since ColoradoGuy punched his ticket, here's mine:

I'm Jewish. Conservative Jewish, actually. There are various grades of Judaism, just as there are different angles of Christianity, Islam and other religions. Conservatives are in between Orthodox (and ultra-orthodox) and Reform. Orthodox is more strict. Reform is loose. Instead of 10 Commandments, Jews (who follow them) have 613 commandments, to include being kosher (kashrut) and saying a blessing after using the bathroom.

Being Jewish is not a religion. It's not a race. It's not a citizenship. It's not a club. It's not a walk. It's not a branch of faith. It could be all of these things. The Jewish experience is sometimes difficult to describe. And because of this, the range of Jewish people runs from those who are nonpracticing but are born Jewish to those who are not only born Jewish, but observe all G-d's commandments. Generally, a person is born Jewish if his/her mother is Jewish or at least part Jewish (e.g., Harrison Ford. Yep. We claim him).

ETA: The holiest day of Judaism is the Sabbath, which starts on sundown Friday and ends sundown Saturday each week. Yom Kippur is a close second. Rosh Hashanah pipes in third. Passover and Hanukkah fall somewhere trailing behind.

Judaism has rabbis. This from Jewfaq.org: "A rabbi is not a priest, neither in the Jewish sense of the term nor in the Christian sense of the term. In the Christian sense of the term, a priest is a person with special authority to perform certain sacred rituals. A rabbi, on the other hand, has no more authority to perform rituals than any other adult male member of the Jewish community. In the Jewish sense of the term, a priest (kohein) is a descendant of Aaron, charged with performing various rites in the Temple in connection with religious rituals and sacrifices. Although a kohein can be a rabbi, a rabbi is not required to be a kohein." if you know someone named "Cohen," his/her name evolved from kohein.

There is also the issue of the state of Israel. It's not an issue I wade into. However, I understand the discussion.

There's a myriad other conversation about Judaism that can be typed here of varying degree. And as it fosters understanding, I'll be sure to help ColoradoGuy chime in and develop a dialogue on all levels that aids to understanding and, ultimately, helps your writing.
 
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Reilly616

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I live in Ireland, so not unsurprisingly I was raised Roman Catholic. I only started to think about religion when I was 11 or 12, and over a few years I read alot of literature on the subject, and came to conclusion that alot of it was nonsence, which is why I am now an Atheist. Or agnostic if you prefer that word, but I rate a 6.9 on Dawkins' scale of agnosticism.

I suppose the reason I'm so interested in the subject of religion it that I found it such a natural thing to give up. In my experience, giving up belief in God was the natural progression from giving up belief in the Tooth Fairy, and Santa. I'm not mocking, that was simply my personal experience as I learned more and more about the world. So I guess I'm interested in why many adults still do believe in religions and gods. It seems such a strange idea to me.

Stemming from that then, I love the history of religion--the nice parts, not the wars and such :D... well, sometimes the wars. I like to see where specific dogmas or stories come from. As a child I always wondered what chicks, eggs and rabbits had to do with Jesus. Learning about the fertility celebration, celebrating Ishtar, that preceeded Christianity, was very interesting for me.

I crave knowledge. And there is no such thing as useless information.
 

MarkR

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I'm here for encouragement and to learn from others about writing.

Religiously, I would describe myself as a Pentecostal Christian. Unlike many I know, I think defining who God is based on the Boolean logic of modernism is ridiculous. Absolute certainty is a concept that is completely foreign to me. God is much more than I could possibly comprehend. I consider Jesus my closest friend. I believe he did live on the Earth as a real person, and the written Gospels are about as close to accurate narratives as can be written about His life, death, and resurrection. I believe the Earth is very old, and Genesis 1:2 and the next couple chapters are describing a local preparation of the Promised Land in the original Hebrew. I rate around 1.5 on the Dawkins scale. I am slightly more certain that God exists than I exist.

Politically, I am rather liberal. The "family values" of the Republican Party seem like a cheap political trick. I judge people, and myself too harshly.
 
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Monkey

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I'm an eclectic Pagan, and part of me feels wary of admitting it, even here. I may even come back and erase this post at some point...Paganism is NOT accepted in the rural area where I live, and my husband teaches.

I've always felt a deep need for a spiritual connection, and I've always seen and felt things that I couldn't explain away. By the time I was seven, I was intensely studying religion, with no prompting--or even support--from my parents.

I started by walking to the nearest church (Methodist) every day. When it became clear to me that that wasn't my path, I started checking out every book on religion at the local library. I went to church with anyone who would take me, regardless of religion or denomination. I always tried to immerse myself fully in my studies; I really wanted to believe...or rather, I was seeking answers. I wanted to find The Religion. I wanted to hear The Still, Small Voice. I wanted to know Why.

Over time, I realized that there were common themes to almost every religion I studied. There were connections, overlaps, synergy...I started focusing on these. Then, one day, I picked up the Vedas, and certain stories, certain themes, just leapt out at me. Sadly, I could never find anyone willing to teach me about Hinduism. (And hey, if you're Hindu and willing to teach, I would still love to learn.)

Later I met my husband, born and raised Pagan, and discovered for the first time someone whose beliefs on most things really mirrored my own. He taught me so much, and he solidified a lot of what I had only theorized before. He wasn't seeking a spritual path--he'd found his long ago--but while we could debate the night away, he never said I was wrong and he was never closed to considering whatever wild theory I came up with.

So my belief system focuses on the truths that aren't limited to one religion. I believe in a higher power that is so large it cannot be encompassed by any one entity fathomable to the human mind; humans focus on aspects of this divinity and give it names and attributes understandable and reachable. I believe in being careful in what aspect of the Divine I focus my mind on. I have an intense love of Nature, I tend to worship Hindu dieties (some of whom are from the Vedas and not recognized in modern Hinduism), and I often celebrate the same sabaats as Wiccans. I have a very personal relationship to my religion, based on my own experiences and my own studies.

As to why I'm here...

My first thought was that I'd avoid this room like the plague, and I probably will, for the most part. But I would love to talk to someone who could enlighten me on their personal experiences with Hinduism or chat with people who are interested in the same sort of eclectic spirituality that I am.

I am NOT interested in anyone trying to convert me, nor am I interested in trying to convert anyone else.
 

A. Hamilton

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I'll probably mostly lurk here, depending how it goes. I love observing and absorbing.
I'm Christian with Pentecostal, Southern Baptist and non-denominational background. my teen home was conflicted in beliefs, with an intense Assembly of God step-mom and an agnostic former Methodist dad.
my beliefs are pretty basic, evangelical doctrine I think, but I do believe that there is so much we just have no way of comprehending. someone up thread said there's no way to completely define God. I agree. there's even a promise in the New Testament that states one day we will see clearly. I look forward to that, but the journey is magnificent. our understanding is just too incomplete. I believe scripture is the Living Word of God-meaning that it's impact will change as we grow in our knowledge of Him.
looking forward to this.
 

Don Allen

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I've popped back on here a couple of times to see where this was going and I 'am finding some comfort, in as much as everyone seems to get that Mac's intention (correct me if I'm wrong) is to examine a bit of where we came from, (religiously speaking) to see where we are currently, and to explore the possibilities that may lay ahead.

I have to admit that to a certain degree I find that I'm a little jealous of some of you whom, I can tell find so much comfort in their religion and beliefs. Yet I'm also intrigued by the people who seem to be at a cross roads such as myself.

I guess that like you Mac, I've always been taught to question and as I've gotten older find that I don't like or agree with "pat answers" you know the standard line sort of thing: "Jesus loves all men" for example only, not picking on Jesus in any way. Did he really love everyone? Well, Jesus is God. So God loves all people, yet some people die horrible deaths, are tortured beyond humanity, live lives of poverty, and use God's name to perpitrate all kinds of evils upon their fellow men. So can I assume that perhaps God dosen't love "all people" but just some people?

The pat answer is what were taught from our first days in church, that "God has a plan" "God judges you in heaven" God forgives all that repent and belive" on and on...

Somewhere in my life, I just came to the conclusion that those answers weren't good enough. I need more, and thats where religion lost me...
 

Medievalist

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Then, one day, I picked up the Vedas, and certain stories, certain themes, just leapt out at me. Sadly, I could never find anyone willing to teach me about Hinduism. (And hey, if you're Hindu and willing to teach, I would still love to learn.)

In about a year of study, you can learn enough Sanskrit to read them yourself, in carefully annotated (and illustrated, even!) student editions.

Really!
 

aruna

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Over time, I realized that there were common themes to almost every religion I studied. There were connections, overlaps, synergy...I started focusing on these. Then, one day, I picked up the Vedas, and certain stories, certain themes, just leapt out at me. Sadly, I could never find anyone willing to teach me about Hinduism. (And hey, if you're Hindu and willing to teach, I would still love to learn.)

.

Monkey, I would love to discuss Hinduism with you though I am terribly shy about doing so publicly. I've pm'd you.

For the record, over the last 35 years I've done a rewrite of the major Hindu epic Mahabharata and right now I am revising it for the umpteenth time. It's not a translation as I don't know Sanskrit apart from a few essential words; it's basically a retelling in my own words, using the various English editions available as my source, and using the skills of a novelist, ie giving it the structure of a novel, and eliminating all inessentials to the main story, but keeping the flambouyant, quite purple, original style --- LOADS of hyperbole, and that's intentional!

I've also kept the idea of primarily Western readers in sight, as Hindus know this book by heart, but most Westerners don't, and I think that's a lack. It's such an amazing story!
 
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kuwisdelu

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Personally, I'm pretty non-theist.

I'd call myself either agnostic or deist, depending on the day.

I like Catholicism, and it's my personal favorite of the Christianities (at least during John Paul II).

My girlfriend/partner/best friend in the world identifies as atheist/Catholic/Jewish. Atheist because she's kind of lost her faith through many personal turmoils. Catholic because she was raised Catholic by her grandmother. Jewish because her father is Jewish and only recently found out her mother's side of the family (and thus her mother herself) were actually Jewish before converting shortly before the Holocaust (for fairly self-explanatory reasons).

As I explained in another forum, I'm fairly indifferent on the topic of God. Sometimes I'll believe. Sometimes I won't.

My personal favorite idea that I came up with is that God is a novelist. We are all but characters in his own personal novel. That is why sometimes beautiful things happen and sometimes terrible things happen--it would be a pretty uninteresting story otherwise.

I was raised fairly non-theist by my father (which is another way to say he's also indifferent--Protestant by birth, also thinks Catholic is the most "beautiful" of the Christianities, but has no true personal "religion" and is fairly agnostic when it comes to true faith).

I was raised Zuni by my mother. It's not something I bring up very often, but I do practice the Zuni religion when in Zuni. Outside of Zuni, when I'm on my own, I don't really follow its more utilitarian tenants (such as deshkwi, which is similar to lent). When I'm on the reservation, I practice it to satisfy my relatives and my mother and because I think it's also beautiful. I'd be happy to talk about what we believe (which is also to say that no, not all "Native Americans" believe the same thing....hehe.....) but that is probably for another discussion thread (or maybe not?)

It may be helpful to mention that Catholicism and Zuni do have an amicable and intricate history. When the Spaniards first came, they tried to convert us. We didn't like that for the most part, but I suppose we got the good priests, and we respected their beliefs. During the pueblo revolt, when we threw out and killed the conquistadors, we saved some of the Catholic priests (who even intermarried and went native in the ensuing years) and we preserved many of the Christian relics they'd brought (some of which still exist and are still honored). Many Zunis, in fact, practice a hybrid of the two religions, which we do not believe are contradictory to one another.

Personally, I don't really believe in anything.

I'm a scientist. Sometimes I have faith. Sometimes I believe in things that no one else can explain, or for which there is very little evidence. I used to be a paranormal enthusiast and conspiracy obsessionist (aliens, area 51, bigfoot, nessie, you name it), but that phase has passed, though I am still very open-minded to the possibilities of all these things.

When it comes to God.....I don't know. So really, I'm agnostic. When I'm feeling faithful, I'm deist. When I'm feeling thoughtful, I buy into my own theory of God as a novelist and we his characters.

Though I identify as a scientist, I don't want to "disprove god." I don't think very many scientists do.

But I will point out holes in theories that claim to "prove" god, just as I will point out holes in any theory.

And I enjoy debate, but I'm not the biggest fan of argument. If that makes sense.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. And that's my introduction.
 
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aruna

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My personal favorite idea that I came up with is that God is a novelist. We are all but characters in his own personal novel. That is why sometimes beautiful things happen and sometimes terrible things happen--it would be a pretty uninteresting story otherwise.

:) That's one of my favourite ideas as well!

Added to that is my own experience of how much I love my own characters, thus I KNOW that not only does God love me in spite of the horrible patches S/He makes me go through -- since I am the heroine of my own story, S/He will brinhg me through in the end, according to the amazing plot, and to a glorious climax!
 

Zoombie

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First, there was Zoombie.

And Zoombie didn't know what God was. He heard his classmates mention God once or twice, and so, he asked his Mother.

Zoombie's Very Wise Mother, who shall be known as ZVWM, got Zoombie a children's picture book on all the major religions.

They all sounded very silly to Zoombie.

Then came a slightly different part of Zoombie's left, wherein he learned to stop talking about himself in third person cause other people found this to be very. very. very. VERY annoying.

And so, now, I butted heads with those of other faiths because I had not yet learned the two very important rules of coexisting with other humans:

Just cause someone disagrees with you does not mean they deserve to be burnt at the stake (hey, it was middle school and we had just read the Crucible).

And, of course.

YOU CAN BE WRONG!

Thats something I have tried to remember as often as possible. Not only can I be wrong, but I need to be brave enough to say, "Yes...I tas wrong."

But I also must strive to be wise enough to know when I'm actually wrong and when I'm just getting my leg yanked on by a goblin of un-knowledge.

And now, I, Zoombie, have arrived in this forum.

I am...Atheiognostic, a word I have just made up. I think there is lots of good one can find in religosity (and in the spreading of it to the fuzzy wuzzes). I just don't really believe in the Gods, Goddesses, and giant flying stone heads of mythology.

I also make way too many references to movies. Oh, and I try to not take anything too seriously except for things that matter. Which is everything.

And so, on that note, here is Sean Connery in a red diaper, pondering the existence of his God, Zardoz.

zardoz+sean+connery.jpg
 

aruna

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Again, Monkey, browsing on amazon I came across The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism, and though it is not a very reverend format or language, the excerpt is actually quite good.
Releveant to this thread is perhaps Chapter 6 which has a nice analogy on various religions:

Christians say that to access the Hard Drive you MUST click on the Jesus icon. No other icon will give you access.

Moslems say it's a spiritual crime to use any icons at all: never confuse the Hard Drive with the icons on the desktop. Access the Hard Drive directly, with the code Mohammed provided.

Hindus say, click on any icon! Every icon on the screen will connect you with the hard Drive. If you don't like any of the icons, make up a new one... it will work just as well!

(To that I would however add, while Hindus believe that any name and form will get you there, the main thing is the intensity, or love, with which you approach the Hard Drive. A shallow, laconic or sceptical attitude won't get you in at all.)
 

kristie911

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I've been reading this thread with interest because I'm always fascinated by what others believe.

I was raised going to church...every Sunday. It was a non-denominational church, though as I got older we attended my mom's Lutheran church. So I guess I was raised Lutheran. I always went through the motions but I never really got what all the fuss was about. Deep down, I never really bought into it. But vocally not believing would have devastated my family...it wasn't an option. So I went through the motions until I was almost 30. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've really stood up for what I believe (or don't believe).

I've researched a lot of religions including Paganism, which I thought might be a good fit. It wasn't. I just don't believe in any sort of higher power. At all. I just can't. It doesn't make any sort of sense to me. So I've adopted the title of Atheist...but it's not a title I wear comfortably. I usually tell people I'm not religious and leave it at that. Atheist has so many negative conotations to it. When I tell someone I'm an Atheist, they look at me like I might slit their throat right there. Just because I don't believe in God doesn't mean I have no moral code at all. But most people don't care to listen to things like that. I live in a very religious area, so I usually feel out of place anyway.

I'm dating a Catholic and it's getting very serious. I do worry about what's going to happen. He knows my feelings on religion but I also think he assumes if we get married, I'll do it in the Catholic church...which I won't. Not if it requires me pretending to be Catholic (I'm not taking any classes).

So there's my story. Now you all know more about me and my religious views than anyone else I know. :)
 

James81

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I guess I should throw up a reply in here too, since I love the idea of this forum.

I've had a love/hate relationship with God/religion pretty much for the last 10 years. I was born into a Catholic family, went to a Catholic school until the middle of my 2nd grade year. After that, we didn't go to church for a couple years. Then at 9 years old, my mom decided that we were going back to church. She would take me and my brother to this church over behind our house.

The church? It was a Pentecostal Holiness Church. Yeah from one extreme to the complete opposite extreme. One night, as a 9 year old, I was listening to the preacher's words and I decided that I was going to "get saved." I went to the altar and gave my heart to God (still remember the date, actually, September 1, 1991). And from that moment on I was a HARDCORE christian growing up in a hardcore christian church. I read the bible through several times over the next few years. I went to church 3 days a week. I prayed 3 times a day (woke up at 6AM to pray before going to school, prayed on the bus ride home from school, and prayed before going to bed). Got involved with the church and church functions, and threw my entire life into it.

Then, I got burned. The preacher (who was 40) got accused of having sex with my girlfriend and the church split and we left. I hung onto my tight relationship with God for another 4 years, bouncing in and out of different churches. One preacher was accused of stealing money out of the church funds. Another one used to get the gossip on people and cater his sermons as a whipping post to them. These extreme holiness people just time and again turned up doing these really horrible things.

Finally, in high school, I got the nerve to stop going to church. My parents forced me for the longest time until I sunk my heels in and decided I had enough of the hypocrisy.

Since then, I haven't been back much. I sink in and out of th is one church I found back in 2004 that I really like. But never for any length.

My beliefs have radically changed since my childhood, but I still do very much believe in God. But it's the only belief that I have left from that time in my life, which I consider to be a very damaging detour for me.
 

TerzaRima

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I was raised by extremely devout Catholics--weekly Mass as well as observance on Days of Holy Obligation, novenas, no meat on Friday, all of it. The priest blessed our throats on St Blaise's Day. I went to Notre Dame.

Very late in my medical training, I entered a sort of chronic panicky bleakness--Mr Rima called it ontological shock. Maybe it was the cumulative effect of seeing lots of suffering; maybe it was my difficulty reconciling what I knew of neurology with what I had been taught about the immortal soul; I don't know. I read a lot about Christianity and the historical Jesus and it only served to make me more ontologically shocky.

Gradually I stopped going to Mass and have become more comfortable living with uncertainty. I want to believe, but I no longer feel anything. Whenever I go to church with my parents I feel like Cordelia in Brideshead Revisited: "Suddenly, there wasn't any chapel there any more, just an oddly decorated room."

It's difficult for me to countenance going back to the Church, given the particular brand of Catholicism I knew as a kid. But it's extremely exciting to think of learning about other faith traditions in this forum, and that maybe one of them would be my way back to God.
 

DMarie84

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I’m a Christian, but I like to distinguish myself from the popular stereotype type Christian, as I think almost any Christian would. When I say that I am a Christian I mean that I follow the Christ, come from God, and who is God. (see John 1:1 and following) I believe this Christ to be Jesus of Nazareth as declared by the cannon of the New Testament and prophesied about in the Jewish Torah and the Prophets. I believe these scriptures, combined into the modern Old and New Testaments, are God’s revelation to man about who God is and who He wants man to be. I also believe, based on the book of Judges continuing through Paul’s letters to John’s revelation, that this revelation has almost always been misinterpreted by us. In the last few years I have come to doubt the infallibility of these scriptures, yet I still believe that God has protected them so that they are adequate for bringing us into a relationship with God, and teaching us to live in a way that brings honor to Him.

I am looking forward to being a part of this discussion.

You couldn't have worded it better :) I'm the same.

I'm a sinner saved by grace and a Christ follower. I've got a great deal of growing to do. I don't always act the way a Christian should and I'm trying to improve on that, with God's help.

I'd like to be known as someone who doesn't judge people for their failures, like too many Christians do, but try to understand where everyone is coming from and their views on things.
 

Lyra Jean

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This is very exciting for me. I've been on boards, which were Christian, and they allowed other faiths to participate but there wasn't much listening going on with the other faiths. If the other faiths said anything they were just told they were wrong and going to hell. So I'm glad this room exists here.

I feel like I really belong here at AW and there's not many places I feel at home. I know this sounds kinda corny and tacky and this is only an internet forum but it's still true.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.
 

Cassiopeia

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This is very exciting for me. I've been on boards, which were Christian, and they allowed other faiths to participate but there wasn't much listening going on with the other faiths. If the other faiths said anything they were just told they were wrong and going to hell. So I'm glad this room exists here.

I feel like I really belong here at AW and there's not many places I feel at home. I know this sounds kinda corny and tacky and this is only an internet forum but it's still true.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.
I am glad for the same reasons. I've always felt safe here. Where on other forums, I've been accused of so many things that it just sours my desire to talk about religion anymore.
 

Medievalist

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It is very very important that we all -- and I mean all -- feel safe here.

We absolutely must watch out for each other, and be mindful of our differences, and our abilities to celebrate that difference while we find our common humanities.