Jump to content

Losing My Religion, Only To Find My Faith


Recommended Posts

Everything I once believed about Christianity has come to a head. I look back at the Old Testament all the way to the new and have come to the point where I feel I must let go of the religious baggage in favor of simple submission to life and love.

 

It is a very difficult thing to deprogram one’s self from many years of indoctrination. Even so, the journey I began many years ago has now come full circle. I no longer believe in an eternal hell, nor do I believe in the god described in the Old Testament scriptures. :o

 

I no longer view God to be some sort of father figure, looking down on us humans, dishing out reward and punishment for our deeds. I no longer believe in judgment for our sins, nor do I believe in God’s wrath.

 

My views have been developing since early childhood and it has taken me the better part of 30 years to find my oasis of tranquility, my safe haven, my Eden. It wasn’t until I started to question what I had been taught since childhood that I was even able to begin to realize what I now call my “great awakening”.

 

Without going into too much detail, I found love. Yup, I lost my religion, only to find truth and life in the power of love. I wouldn't trade it in for the world or for all the kingdoms of the world. In short, I found my faith.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing some of your journey with us JaggedZenMonkey, and many welcomes to the board! Though undoubtedly unique, I think your story has strong resonance with those of us here who have left behind an older religious worldview for something more rewarding -- even though that end was not necessarily in view at the start, as losing one's religion can be a very traumatic experience for some. I know I put up a quite a fight myself, but now looking back I can see that my fears were largely unfounded, and something better was waiting beyond fundamentalism.

 

I'm looking forward to future dialogues, please feel free to share your thoughts any time.

 

Thanks,

Mike

Edited by Mike
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful Story James. Not dissimilar to many others here. I rejoice every time i hear someone say they lost religion only to find their faith and Love.. I also felt elated when i truly surrendered my belief system to God as unwanted baggage so i could lighten my load and be more receptive to reality.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billmc

As Mike and Joseph said, James, there are a number of us here that have had similar experiences to yours, myself included. I was about 42 when I "lost my religion" but I stayed in a dark night of the soul for a number of years until I had an experience that convinced me I was okay and loved regardless of my religious beliefs or lack thereof. At this point of the journey, I am trying to follow Jesus again but much more discerning about how I do it. Anyway, enough about me. :)

 

I appreciated what you said about the old tapes playing on our heads and how hard it is to erase them. And your thoughts on finding the freedom to question certainly ring true with many of us. Many of us are seeking to let go of religion in order to embrace relationships. I'm glad you found us, look forward to your contributions, and say jump in with both feet! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks like I found my home! :P

 

 

Thanks guys, it's nice be among like minded people ....

 

I'm glad you've found the place to your liking.

 

Now that you're living here, just remember to take your shoes off at the door and help out with the dishes once in a while. :P

 

See you around. :D

 

Peace,

Mike

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a Korean home people take off their shoes to feel comfortable and the doors are shorter than most people in the traditional homes so people have to bow with respect on entering, which you have done. Thanks for entering..............................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it is hard to deprogram years of indoctrination. As I have mentioned I went to an conservative Evangelical school from third grade through eighth grade; that is six years. It seemed to take me twenty years to lose my religion and reach a point where I could approach religion and Christianity again without the baggage.

 

For my journey it was very useful to educate myself in the liberal traditions in Europe going back to around the 1750's. If you consider the path of the Enlightenment there is one path which led to deism and natural religion, one that lead to atheism and one that lead to liberal theology. I find myself drawn to the threads of the Enlightenment between the natural religion (for example Spinoza) and the liberal theology (for example Schleiermacher). I am also fascinated by the period right after Hegel where the atheist clearly emerged and split from the natural religion and liberal theology movements. Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx where leaders of this atheism movement after the period of Hegel where attempts to reconcile the Enlightenment with the Church seemed to fade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed it is! I try not to categorize my beliefs, but I do (At times) call myself a theological mutt, hehe. I lean far left, bordering on atheism or maybe I lean towards natural religion? I don't know! What I do know is that I believe in love and that's enough for now. Nice to read you, Scott!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it is hard to deprogram years of indoctrination. As I have mentioned I went to an conservative Evangelical school from third grade through eighth grade; that is six years. It seemed to take me twenty years to lose my religion and reach a point where I could approach religion and Christianity again without the baggage.

 

For my journey it was very useful to educate myself in the liberal traditions in Europe going back to around the 1750's. If you consider the path of the Enlightenment there is one path which led to deism and natural religion, one that lead to atheism and one that lead to liberal theology. I find myself drawn to the threads of the Enlightenment between the natural religion (for example Spinoza) and the liberal theology (for example Schleiermacher). I am also fascinated by the period right after Hegel where the atheist clearly emerged and split from the natural religion and liberal theology movements. Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx where leaders of this atheism movement after the period of Hegel where attempts to reconcile the Enlightenment with the Church seemed to fade.

 

 

Fascinating post, especially the distinction between natural religion and atheism. I hadn't notice that before. What do you think is the difference, why did some go the atheist way and some to liberal theology and natural theology? Did the atheists throw out the baby with the bath-water? Or maybe those who went the way of natural and liberal theology are those who have the suspicion that reality is more than what we can know through empiricism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My initial thought is that it related to social motivations. Most of the German philosophers up to Hegel where students in Lutheran seminary; that was the main educational path following high school. The development of liberal theology was associated with those who wanted to reconcile the developments in enlightenment philosophy with their careers in religion. Following through with their career to become a priest would be the most practical outcome, that is what Schleiermacher did.

 

I see the natural religion as being a progression from the liberal theology which was more idealistic and still held that there was some objective truth obtainable by reason. God could be perceived by reason. God was either the remote author of the deist or God began to be associated with reality or humanity in a pantheism or humanism. Hegel seems to have been going down this road though he still thought the Church was useful for society and that the philosophers God could be associated with the Church's God. For Spinoza was Jewish so the priesthood was not an available career path. Also during this time they began to doubt this historical truth of the bible so they were moving away from the idea of revealed religion.

 

Hegel's students split and one group of his students decided they need to be more aggressively atheistic. This could take a philosophical bent or a practical bent. I think of Freud and Marx as reacting to the practical problems of the church in society or in mental health. After Hegel it became possible to attend college without being on the path of priesthood and it university positions were available which did not require ordination.

 

I do think it is unfortunate that both the liberal theology and the philosophical conceptions of God don't seem to have as strong a position as fundamentalism and atheism in our current time. It seems we live in a very polarized time. I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether the intellectual path which Hegel's students followed was necessary or did it as you say through out the baby with the bath water. I do think also that they over estimated the extent to which the bible was fiction. My understanding is that circa 1880 it may have been common for an intellectual to think that Jesus did not actually exist in history; I think now we understand better how the bible was written and that it is likely there was a historical person named Jesus and that there is some credibility to the accounts captured in the early writings of Paul and the Gospels (at least in the general idea of what Jesus was likely about).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott wrote: I do think it is unfortunate that both the liberal theology and the philosophical conceptions of God don't seem to have as strong a position as fundamentalism and atheism in our current time.

 

I think the reality is that there have never been nor is there a large portion of the population with intellectual capacity and/or interest in delving into the "deeper" things, intellectual thought, so for the majority of people, their thinking tends toward being simple and superficial. They want, or only have capacity for (and I'm trying very hard not to sound arrogant or condescending) easy, clearly laid out sets of behaviors and beleifs. The very same reason most of us here have difficulty in religious settings where we feel one is required to check your brain at the door is for others the reason they are so receptive to that kind of religion. They WANT to check their brain at the door, whether it is for lack of capacity, or by choice toward lazy thinking.

 

I find it difficult to communicate on any level with most of those within that sub-culture, but NOT only in matters of theology or othher "heady" stuff....I simply cannot contribute to, let alone get involved in, conversations that seem to me are endless drivel about characters in tv shows and celebrity gossip, or going shopping or talking about what we think our neighbors might be doing. I just can't engage in that kind of trivial smalll talk, especially when it seems endless and the only kind of thing open to conversation.

 

Jenell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service