Post

Conflicted

I've been Christian all of my life. Well, up until, maybe a month ago. People always comment on what a good, faithful girl I am. But I'm really not. It hurts me inside to have this good, Christian image.

I'm a secret Agnostic. Only one of my friend knows, really. That's it.

I feel like God kind of let me down. I prayed constantly over something that was on my mind, and I never really got an answer back. It still plagues me, what I was praying about.

I began to see how all religions overlap and it made me feel sick inside.

Finally, on Facebook, there was a picture that popped up in my newsfeed. It was a picture of a girl who had gotten killed in a car accident. It was one of those 1 Like=1Prayer ones. But after I "liked" the picture, one of my very hypocritical friends blew up at me. She was going on and on about how I was a bad person for not dropping everything to pray.

And that's when I felt myself begin to doubt my entire faith.

It's the hypocrites like her who made me turn away. She thinks that just because she went a Christian school for a few years and that she goes to church every Sunday, she knows everything about God and if you don't agree with her, you're wrong. And I began to see the flaws in Christianity. Agnosticism seemed like the best fit for me after a while.
Unfortunately, I'm still forced to be an active member at my church, as I am just about to be confirmed. I had to give a children's sermon and everybody commented on what an amazing job I did, thus proving how flawed Christianity has become.

But I'm still very conflicted. I have a huge, irrevocable crush on a religious guy, who only dates religious girls....
MSonnapony MSonnapony 16-17, F 4 Responses Apr 29, 2012

Your Response

Cancel

In the New Testament it is taught, "Our Father who art in heaven" — God living in the heavens separated from men. We are living on earth and He is living in heaven. Further on we find the teaching that He is a God immanent in nature; He is not only God in heaven, but on earth too. He is the God in us. In the Hindu philosophy we find a stage of the same proximity of God to us. But we do not stop there. There is the non-dualistic stage, in which man realises that the God he has been worshipping is not only the Father in heaven, and on earth, but that "I and my Father are one." He realises in his soul that he is God Himself, only a lower expression of Him. All that is real in me is He; all that is real in Him is I. The gulf between God and man is thus bridged. Thus we find how, by knowing God, we find the kingdom of heaven within us.



In the first or dualistic stage, man knows he is a little personal soul, John, James, or Tom; and he says, "I will be John, James, or Tom to all eternity, and never anything else." As well might the murderer come along and say, "I will remain a murderer for ever." But as time goes on, Tom vanishes and goes back to the original pure Adam.



"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Can we see God? Of course not. Can we know God? Of course not. If God can be known, He will be God no longer. Knowledge is limitation. But I and my Father are one: I find the reality in my soul. These ideas are expressed in some religions, and in others only hinted. In some they were expatriated. Christ's teachings are now very little understood in this country. If you will excuse me, I will say that they have never been very well understood.



The different stages of growth are absolutely necessary to the attainment of purity and perfection. The varying systems of religion are at bottom founded on the same ideas. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is within you. Again he says, "Our father who art in Heaven." How do you reconcile the two sayings? In this way: He was talking to the uneducated masses when he said the latter, the masses who were uneducated in religion. It was necessary to speak to them in their own language. The masses want concrete ideas, something the senses can grasp. A man may be the greatest philosopher in the world, but a child in religion. When a man has developed a high state of spirituality he can understand that the kingdom of heaven is within him. That is the real kingdom of the mind. Thus we see that the apparent contradictions and perplexities in every religion mark but different stages of growth. And as such we have no right to blame anyone for his religion. There are stages of growth in which forms and symbols are necessary; they are the language that the souls in that stage can understand.



The next idea that I want to bring to you is that religion does not consist in doctrines or dogmas. It is not what you read, nor what dogmas you believe that is of importance, but what you realise. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," yea, in this life. And that is salvation. There are those who teach that this can be gained by the mumbling of words. But no great Master ever taught that external forms were necessary for salvation. The power of attaining it is within ourselves. We live and move in God. Creeds and sects have their parts to play, but they are for children, they last but temporarily. Books never make religions, but religions make books. We must not forget that. No book ever created God, but God inspired all the great books. And no book ever created a soul. We must never forget that. The end of all religions is the realising of God in the soul. That is the one universal religion. If there is one universal truth in all religions, I place it here — in realising God. Ideals and methods may differ, but that is the central point. There may be a thousand different radii, but they all converge to the one centre, and that is the realisation of God: something behind this world of sense, this world of eternal eating and drinking and talking nonsense, this world of false shadows and selfishness. There is that beyond all books, beyond all creeds, beyond the vanities of this world and it is the realisation of God within yourself. A man may believe in all the churches in the world, he may carry in his head all the sacred books ever written, he may baptise himself in all the rivers of the earth, still, if he has no perception of God, I would class him with the rankest atheist. And a man may have never entered a church or a mosque, nor performed any ceremony, but if he feels God within himself and is thereby lifted above the vanities of the world, that man is a holy man, a saint, call him what you will. As soon as a man stands up and says he is right or his church is right, and all others are wrong, he is himself all wrong. He does not know that upon the proof of all the others depends the proof of his own. Love and charity for the whole human race, that is the test of true religiousness. I do not mean the sentimental statement that all men are brothers, but that one must feel the oneness of human life. So far as they are not exclusive, I see that the sects and creeds are all mine; they are all grand. They are all helping men towards the real religion. I will add, it is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die there. It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, and symbols are good for children, but when the child is grown, he must burst the church or himself. We must not remain children for ever. It is like trying to fit one coat to all sizes and growths. I do not deprecate the existence of sects in the world. Would to God there were twenty millions more, for the more there are, there will be a greater field for selection. What I do object to is trying to fit one religion to every case. Though all religions are essentially the same, they must have the varieties of form produced by dissimilar circumstances among different nations. We must each have our own individual religion, individual so far as the externals of it go.



Many years ago, I visited a great sage of our own country, a very holy man. We talked of our revealed book, the Vedas, of your Bible, of the Koran, and of revealed books in general. At the close of our talk, this good man asked me to go to the table and take up a book; it was a book which, among other things, contained a forecast of the rainfall during the year. The sage said, "Read that." And I read out the quantity of rain that was to fall. He said, "Now take the book and squeeze it." I did so and he said, "Why, my boy, not a drop of water comes out. Until the water comes out, it is all book, book. So until your religion makes you realise God, it is useless. He who only studies books for religion reminds one of the fable of the *** which carried a heavy load of sugar on its back, but did not know the sweetness of it."



Shall we advise men to kneel down and cry, "O miserable sinners that we are!" No, rather let us remind them of their divine nature. I will tell you a story. A lioness in search of prey came upon a flock of sheep, and as she jumped at one of them, she gave birth to a cub and died on the spot. The young lion was brought up in the flock, ate grass, and bleated like a sheep, and it never knew that it was a lion. One day a lion came across the flock and was astonished to see in it a huge lion eating grass and bleating like a sheep. At his sight the flock fled and the lion-sheep with them. But the lion watched his opportunity and one day found the lion-sheep asleep. He woke him up and said, "You are a lion." The other said, "No," and began to bleat like a sheep. But the stranger lion took him to a lake and asked him to look in the water at his own image and see if it did not resemble him, the stranger lion. He looked and acknowledged that it did. Then the stranger lion began to roar and asked him to do the same. The lion-sheep tried his voice and was soon roaring as grandly as the other. And he was a sheep no longer.



My friends, I would like to tell you all that you are mighty as lions.



If the room is dark, do you go about beating your chest and crying, "It is dark, dark, dark!" No, the only way to get the light is to strike a light, and then the darkness goes. The only way to realise the light above you is to strike the spiritual light within you, and the darkness of sin and impurity will flee away. Think of your higher self, not of your lower.



~ Swami Vivekananda

Why, if you say you're secretly Agnostic, do you still go to church and be around those people who get you down? (Sorry, I'm not Christian and I don't understand the "confirmed" thing...) I don't believe you can be forced to go to church. If you think you don't believe it anymore, then leave. I mean, I'm happy you're seen as good and you try to stay that way, but leading a double life isn't good.

If Agnosticism really feels like the correct path for you, if you truly feel like Christianity has become flawed, then you should follow you're heart.

And the boy you like? Well... I don't know what you should do about that. I'm sorry. If I were in your shoes, I'd try to forget the boy. I mean, I understand huge crushes. I once liked a very religious boy, but since I wasn't Christian, he didn't even want to talk to me. I had to let go of it, because my religious path choice shouldn't need to be based on a boy I like. Because that boy could turn and choose someone else over you...

You sound a lot like a girl I know. I wish I could help more. But hopefully some other comments on here can help you figure out what to do with yourself. I just think you need to be alone and think a while and follow your heart.

Sunshine.....I will forever be surprized at how someone, such as yourself, feels or believes that they have an insight into a divine. How you indicate an awareness of a god's mind and desires. You read scripture and somehow become enlightened to an ultimate truth that those who do not belive the same have no access to. And yet you give counsel to others thinking that what you believe is perfect for them; more or less based on your own perceptions. I hope you refrain from treating this Agnostic forum as a mission field for you. I promise that I will not go to a christian site and talk anyone into Agnosticism.

The world is not completely God-less, it is just not God-ful. And not everyone is tuned into the same religious station, but most are on the same band(by Gods choice). You have to make that religious decision/study for yourself and find where your heart fits... or what flavor of church is for you. It is natural to feel angry though. Dont stay angry at yourself for it. And allow yourself some time to cool off. Grow from it. These are the emotions of an evolved Christian's thinking. So many Christians need to wake up. God is not their personal assistant/ pal that waves a magic wand with every prayer, even when they really need it answered. I love God, but I am a flea on a flea's bottom compared to God's understanding. And when bad things happen to me or those around me, I try to just apply the tools that the book has given (I am not always the best at it though). If he changed every bad situation, I/ others could not learn and grow... I need to use his words to get me by. But, I dont expect an answered pray... it would be nice though(I do pray), but I dont expect him to answer. Aside from that, I am a truly flawed Christian, as so many are. You just need to remember that unanswered is not unheard. As for the church body blowing smoke up your gown, they just want to be kind, especially in God's House. My take, you should take some alone time and just read on Sunday at home for a month. Get a study bible (I really like the Life Application NIV) and read the New Test from the begining. Clear your mind of your church members thoughts and feeling and think God. As for Facebook- It is interesting that your "friend" can see the speck in your eye, yet not see the plank in hers. Let her know that that behavior is petty(privately). Then shut the computer off and leave it off till you feel like all the confusion and anger is clear. I wish you the best path!