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davide.h

Spiritual and/or religious comfort

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I was talking to my therapist recently about my complicated feelings about my religious background. I grew up in a fairly typical American Protestant home. Church on Sundays, grace before meals, stuff like that. As I got older I drifted away from the church and now I would not call myself a "believer" in any real sense. I just like certainty too much. That said, there is something to be said for the sense of community one gets while attending church or synagogue or any kind of house of worship. I kind of do miss that, and I've gone with my parents to their current church on occasion and found it more open and accepting than the somewhat more conservative environment I grew up in. And of course, I still love Christmas and other cultural trappings of Christianity. I've kind of been wanting to have it both ways, and I'm not really sure I can. So that's where I'm at now. I know people get uptight when religion is brought up but we're all mature here.

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Hi davide.

I think this is a common problem with those who have been brought up in a religious or semi religious home and have got to a crossroad in life. Anxiety stirs things up, that's for sure, and it affects not only our emotions but makes us think about more profound things. You mention certainty, but can there ever be such a thing? None of us know from moment to moment what will happen, but faith and belief in some sort of agency or a supreme being or authority, can help a lot in overcoming uncertainty and, yes, anxiety, which is after all about uncertainty! 

As we all know, religion can bring people together but can also divide. I am a Christian, but not in the sense that the church would have me believe. It's not the man I am concerned with, virgin births and the son of God etc, but what he said; the teachings. But just as Buddha, Krishna and many others gave helpful advice about living, most of what they said has been ignored.

I entirely agree with you about a sense of community in a church, and helping each other is what it's all about. "Love thy neighbour as thyself". But we have to be discerning and not take on board any old rubbish that is dished up these days to create a power base, as in certain denominations of the Christian church and other religions. The words of Christ were kind words designed to teach us how to behave toward each other. But 'religion' has tended to distort them out of all recognition. Christ castigated the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, (read the gospel of Matthew), and there are an awful lot of Scribes and Pharisees around today!! You have to follow your heart.

In the words of a very wise man who was an eminent astronomer, "The more I look into the universe the more I realise there is a great intelligence at work". God? I don't know, but I do know that pondering on unanswerable questions gets you nowhere. Kindness, empathy and compassion toward each other irrespective of gender, race or creed, would make us all so much happier. Do what you feel is right in your heart, not your head.

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Hey David,   I grew up in a very radical Christian family / environment.  I am not active in the church and have not been in many years. In fact, due to the turmoil brought about by that lifestyle, I rarely step inside a church as they can trigger me.  There is a sense of community there and it is somewhat hard to duplicate that outside of that particular setting.  There are lots of other communities though. We here at AC are a community.  I get that we cannot sit in person with each other and socialize but it's still a community.  Have you thought about joining a group for hobbies where you can interact with folks who like similar things?   I'm thinking of something like fantasy football clubs or gaming clubs. My son went to a comic shop for years to play games once a week and they were all very friendly.  Maybe you could volunteer at a food bank or shelter.  It seems you need something to do with your time and some interaction with others. 

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Hey David,   I grew up in a very radical Christian family / environment.  I am not active in the church and have not been in many years. In fact, due to the turmoil brought about by that lifestyle, I rarely step inside a church as they can trigger me.  There is a sense of community there and it is somewhat hard to duplicate that outside of that particular setting.  There are lots of other communities though. We here at AC are a community.  I get that we cannot sit in person with each other and socialize but it's still a community.  Have you thought about joining a group for hobbies where you can interact with folks who like similar things?   I'm thinking of something like fantasy football clubs or gaming clubs. My son went to a comic shop for years to play games once a week and they were all very friendly.  Maybe you could volunteer at a food bank or shelter.  It seems you need something to do with your time and some interaction with others. 

People do and can get uptight when it's brought up and you are right that we are all mature here. Some rely very heavily on their faith to get them through hard times and I admire that greatly.  But for me and many others I have met here, our faith is actually a big source of our current mental trouble.  

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But for me and many others I have met here, our faith is actually a big source of our current mental trouble.  

Yes Joy, and therein lies the reason why so many can't believe or trust in religion. They look round and what do they see. Christian fighting Christian. Muslim fighting Muslim. Is it any wonder they give up on it? But the really sad thing is that the last thing the  founders of those religions wanted was killing in their name. "Put up thy sword, for those who fight with the sword will perish with the sword". The words of Christ were all about peace, forgiving, restitution, honesty, love, empathy and compassion. But what do we see? Hatred, bitterness and the conviction that I am right and you have it all wrong.

The fact is that what we call 'religion' today has nothing to do with real religious teaching or belief. You can be the most religious person on earth and still be the biggest hypocrite. There is no need to go to church, unless you want the companionship, to be a good Christian. Just follow the teachings of Christ.

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8 hours ago, JOYCICLE said:

Hey David,   I grew up in a very radical Christian family / environment.  I am not active in the church and have not been in many years. In fact, due to the turmoil brought about by that lifestyle, I rarely step inside a church as they can trigger me.  There is a sense of community there and it is somewhat hard to duplicate that outside of that particular setting.  There are lots of other communities though. We here at AC are a community.  I get that we cannot sit in person with each other and socialize but it's still a community.  Have you thought about joining a group for hobbies where you can interact with folks who like similar things?   I'm thinking of something like fantasy football clubs or gaming clubs. My son went to a comic shop for years to play games once a week and they were all very friendly.  Maybe you could volunteer at a food bank or shelter.  It seems you need something to do with your time and some interaction with others. 

People do and can get uptight when it's brought up and you are right that we are all mature here. Some rely very heavily on their faith to get them through hard times and I admire that greatly.  But for me and many others I have met here, our faith is actually a big source of our current mental trouble.  

Oh I get that and I wasn't trying to be insensitive.  I know there are many people who don't have warm memories and with good reason. I was just talking about my own personal experience.

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You were not insensitive at all, nor did I think you were. I was just explaing my own situation and that it plays in greatly to my current issues and that talking about it with others is a good thing IF one is so inclined.   :)

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 0:09 PM, jonathan123 said:

But for me and many others I have met here, our faith is actually a big source of our current mental trouble.  

Yes Joy, and therein lies the reason why so many can't believe or trust in religion. They look round and what do they see. Christian fighting Christian. Muslim fighting Muslim. Is it any wonder they give up on it? But the really sad thing is that the last thing the  founders of those religions wanted was killing in their name. "Put up thy sword, for those who fight with the sword will perish with the sword". The words of Christ were all about peace, forgiving, restitution, honesty, love, empathy and compassion. But what do we see? Hatred, bitterness and the conviction that I am right and you have it all wrong.

The fact is that what we call 'religion' today has nothing to do with real religious teaching or belief. You can be the most religious person on earth and still be the biggest hypocrite. There is no need to go to church, unless you want the companionship, to be a good Christian. Just follow the teachings of Christ.

I'd be intrigued to talk with you more about this as you've clearly given it a lot of thought. Feel free to send me a private message!

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I have a very strong faith in God. I am a Christian and I have suffered horribly for being one. You see, I have OCD, the cornerstones of which are fear and doubt; essentially the antithesis of the bedrock of Christ's teachings. Many, many times I have been angry with God for what seems like unnecessary worry, fear and doubt. The intrusive thoughts that enter the head of an OCD sufferer can be horrible. In fact, they almost always strike you where you are most vulnerable. In this case, I am talking about my love for God. Awful, shameful thoughts enter my head and there is nothing I can do about it. And yet, my faith continues to grow.

 

My wife was diagnosed with colon cancer in November of 2014 and died in November of 2015. During that time I went through a severe episode of panic attacks/OCD/GAD that almost did me in. Through it all and to this day, the fact that I have God to call on is of huge importance to me even when it seems futile. I am no saint but I am a true Believer.

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I believe in G-d, but do not participate in any organized religion. 

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On 1/5/2017 at 11:22 PM, davide.h said:

I was talking to my therapist recently about my complicated feelings about my religious background. I grew up in a fairly typical American Protestant home. Church on Sundays, grace before meals, stuff like that. As I got older I drifted away from the church and now I would not call myself a "believer" in any real sense. I just like certainty too much. That said, there is something to be said for the sense of community one gets while attending church or synagogue or any kind of house of worship. I kind of do miss that, and I've gone with my parents to their current church on occasion and found it more open and accepting than the somewhat more conservative environment I grew up in. And of course, I still love Christmas and other cultural trappings of Christianity. I've kind of been wanting to have it both ways, and I'm not really sure I can. So that's where I'm at now. I know people get uptight when religion is brought up but we're all mature here.

I'm torn in this way as well. I generally like the togetherness of a church; it brings me warmth. However, due to my severe allergy to BS and false promises, I just can't bring myself to go to a church for that comfort. That's why I got a dog. 

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