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Did I Ever Really Believe?

We didn't start going to church until I was about eleven, but when we did, it changed my life. Suddenly everyone around me started encouraging me to live my life for Jesus, and I wanted to! I loved church, because we had fun and all my friends were there. We sang songs and didn't have to wear dresses and I often went barefoot. I went to church camp and I was happy. Mostly. For some reason, after I prayed to Jesus to save me, I didn't have that feeling that everyone else had. I couldn't make myself REALLY interested in God. I didn't feel that he had touched me or did anything special in my life. And it really hurt. I cried over it lots of times. Why couldn't I be a good Christian like everyone else? I thought that there was something wrong with me. I just wanted to feel the spirit of Christ inside of me like everyone else did, but no matter how hard I would pray, nothing happened. As I got older, I started to be bothered by the attitudes of people in my church. They seemed judgemental and bigotted. They would call other religions cults, and they would have bumpers stickers on their cars that said things like "Marriage = One Man and One Woman". They were all very conservative Republicans. The close-minded things they would say bothered me so much. As my high school years ended, I was becoming a very pro-choice, gay-marriage supporting, accepting of all religions, liberal who might just be an atheist, too. I was ashamed of the views I had at first, but then realized how I should be happy that I am not like them. Many of my insecurities stem from my Christian upbringing, and not feeling "good enough" or "Christian enough". There will always be a fear in the back of my mind that I am wrong, and I am going to Hell. The fear instilled in me is so strong. I am scared right now. Still, I cannot force myself to believe in something I don't believe in. I am at best agnostic. I don't think there is any way to know whether or not there is a God. I almost hope there is. I would love God without all the mess associated with organized religion. There is so much narrow-mindedness and superiority associated with Christianity that I don't think I could ever go back to that. Still, I wish there was a way for me to know the truth. Not knowing is killing me.
airbear airbear 19-21, F 4 Responses Dec 3, 2007

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This describes what is going on with me right now perfectly. Come back so we can talk!

This is what I am feeling right now...I go to a Catholic highschool and am surrounded by born-again Christian friends and religion teachers and Christian parents...I'm actually afraid to tell my parents I'm agnostic. My teachers certainly don't know. Only a few of the friends who've bothered to ask know. I'm also left-leaning politically, and my father is very conservative Republican...But I do feel like believing in Christianity would be lying to myself, and if there really IS a God, he would want me to use logic and see that the Church was hurting me (I have self-esteem issues as well. Just last week I was told I was going to hell by a 'motivational speaker' we had.) instead of helping.



The only thing I can have faith in is that I'm not Agnostic to spite anybody, but just because I'm being true to myself...and if I'm judged by someone or something when I die, they will see that I only wanted to do what I thought was right. I'm going to try to focus on making joy and peace in this world, and worry about the next one later (:

I used to feel like you did about church but now I believe it WAS God guiding me away from there because it wasn't good for my self esteem to consistently feel like I'm not living up to their standards.



Now I don't believe in a devil or hell. I feel like those are made up concepts, placed by "people" to help control us out of fear.



Whatever you choose to believe, it should point you toward peace. If you don't feel peace, just change your belief. Even when it comes to things you feel about yourself.



If you think, "I'm not worthy." and it makes you feel bad, just change your belief to "I am worthy."



A belief is just a repeated thought. Change your thoughts and change your beliefs.



Whatever you decide to believe, guess what? You are right!



You never get it wrong when you follow your preaceful, joyful feeling.



You are exactly where you are supposed to be.



Enjoy your life!

Oh, I understand you. This is happening to me as well. I feel like I can't believe in God, but there's still a fear that I'm not right and I might go to hell. :( It's a weird thing.