The cool people? haha and (sigh) I've never been one of those. Everybody IS welcome to join in. I'm interested in the cool people as well as the not-so-cool ones. I think everyone's "life story" is soooo unique and totally interesting.
Which brings me to another question for anyone who will answer-----Were your parents or other influential people in your lives, Christians? And how did that affect your current belief system?
If no one answers, I'll still get to be here sipping on that cool Strawberry Daquiri.
I'll be saying that all weekend. I also like "rats!"
I don't think this thread will get moved. It will just take a little time for us to zero in on it.
So, I'm not christian but I'll answer your question.
My mom is Catholic, my dad was Episcopalian. We went to Catholic church. My dad stayed home and watched football. When we asked, we were told he didn't go with us because he wasn't Catholic.
He passed away before I figured this out though: I was moving some stuff around, and when I was putting my books back on the shelf, I realized that a few of my books were the same ones I recognized from his bookshelf when I was a kid. So, maybe there was a different reason he stayed home... Too bad I never got the chance to talk to him about this. He wasn't reading "Guide To Atheism", but the subject matter tilted the way mine does...
But, I feel a little bit less rogue since I put 2 and 2 together. I think about it a lot. I never remember him talking about religion...
I didn't mean to bail on ya Brenda, something came up. Do I think? I really don't have any way to know. I don't talk to my mom too much about it. We have NO hard feelings about religion in my family, but we do get pretty emotional talking about my dad in general. It's been awhile now since he passed but we've been through some real hard times.
Anyway, he would not have gone and undermined my mom's religion to us as children regardless. If we have non-belief in common that's great but I know for sure that we both have respect for everybody's opinions.
Oh- and he loved fighting with people as much as I do. I'm always in good fun with it.
Woo hoo, I'm cool. First religion thread I don't mind posting in
Tree - yes - for the kids. Does it represent Christ, no, its a tree with 19 years of my daughters ornaments, 14 of my sons & speckled with a few I've had forever. So the tree on one side looks like a Barbie Doll/Dance/girlie tree, other side, soccer/snowboards, boys stuff & mixed in are all the cute ornaments they've made over the years and of course all the ornaments that say "1st Christmas, 2nd Christmas" blah blah blah. I do enjoy just sitting in the living room with the lights of the tree on and total darkness in the house, its peaceful.
Sounds like my tree. I love sittin' watching the lights too! Drat it though----I've had to tape together a styrofoam snowman that my son made years ago......I'll keep doing that until there's no longer any way to keep it on the tree. ha
Great thread, first time I've seen a pleasant discussion on a religious thread...
I do drink most anything in moderation. My parents were Anglicans and members of the Church of England. Nothing they said drove me to church or away from it. My sister taught Sunday School in the Methodist church, it was boring. I am a believer but I had to go a whole long way around the block to get there.
Oh and yes we do have a tree now, didn't when I was in my Messianic stage (Look in Jeremiah to see why not) but now we have a huge PINK artificial tree that looks stunning when it's decorated. We enjoy the few days off!
Christmas is a pagan holiday anyway (Saturnalia) and Christ was probably born in Sept /October, so I don't 'do' Christmas from that point of view, besides we celebrate Christ daily - 24/7/365!
On the other hand our Christmas Carol Service is our best turnout for the year, so obviously all the token 'once a year brigade' like it!
Yup, I'm a little late with it (sorry I missed you again) but here is my answer: I believed in Jesus the Savior briefly in the 2nd grade. I had nightmares about him chasing people. This was the same year we as kids decided Santa must be Jesus in order to have all that magic power. LOL. So yes, some folks think it is silly but it is very true. When kids find out there is no Santa, lots of other stuff goes out the window with him.
God? I just never did believe. Why - I can't answer for sure. Maybe its because I was in public school, attending catechism after school. That is a wild guess. Maybe because the religion story-books were right on the shelf next to Aesop's fables & Dr. Suess. Who can say.
I don't have a defining moment for you, but I can say there have been three specific times - very personal, I won't go into them - that I tried to reach out to the church or the bible or god. I put a lot of effort into it thinking that I was the only person who didn't believe, so there must be something wrong with me. I had a knot in my stomach whenever I had to recite the Apostle's Creed. If you knew me very well, you would realize that I never lie no matter how much the truth hurts. I don't like that feeling.
So that's my tale. The reason I'm open and I talk about it goes back to the last paragraph. I really did feel like a horrible child for not believing. I kept it quiet even into adulthood. I had the guilt part of Catholic right, anyway. Now I'm completely open.
I think you are a nice person too, Brenda. The direct personal insults are nothing but garbage, I try not to get involved. That is not what I call fighting, that is what I call abuse.
Thanks for asking, I took advantage of your question to explain things I don't normally go into. That is the point of why we are here though, isn't it
OK - your turn to write a novel-length post... I'll check for you later.
A novel-length post? Yes, we could all do that, probably! ha But I'll try to keep it short.
....I don't remember ever NOT Believing! But I do remember being LOST, if that makes any sense to you. My father was a preacher and my mother is the most Godly influence I can think of. The only real Biblical influence she had, though, in her youth, was her grandfather. She said he didn't force the Bible on her, but he read it to her and with her, and there was something in her that wanted to hear it. Desire. Desire for God. I'm not sure if that's the difference that causes people to believe or not believe.....I only know I developed the same desire....to know Him, to know that God I'd heard about all my life, the awesome incomparable author of the Universe.
I think also that I was influenced because I saw proof of the testimony of my Mom and Dad unfold before my very eyes. Daddy had a rather hard rebellious past, and they told me facts about how his life was when they met, and how it changed when he got saved. I heard how he never drank another drop of alcohol after that, and how the Lord called him to preach. And I witnessed that life they led. No one is perfect, but I can honestly say I never heard my father curse, through words or deed, and I heard him preach the Word many many Sundays and Sun. nights and during many revivals where I saw lost people go to the altar in a little Baptist Church and kneel down and pray for Salvation. I was saved at about age 13, but before that I always felt (especially during service and if an altar call was given)...I always felt....guilt and shame and along with that a yearning to find out exactly who and what this Savior I'd heard about...was all about! I'd say part of that feeling might be the same feeling you experience when you said you don't like that feeling when you consider lying?
I also felt so left-out, not out of my family necessarily, but left out of something so big, so powerful, that I felt compelled to try to experience it. I knew my family loved me no matter what, but it was like they HAD SOMETHING important that I didn't have. Yet I knew I COULD have it, if I wanted it. And that was, like I said, a connection, a relationship, with the King of kings and Lord of lords. And when I realized how much He Loved me, to die for me, I knew He was the only One I could depend on to take care of my soul, that unseen part that seems trivial until one realizes it's the main essence of a person. I always knew what He was. I just didn't really KNOW Him, ya know, deep inside my heart.
I'm knowing Him more every day. I trust Him more every day. Partly because I can look back and see how He kept me during some very rebellious times of my own. I think, even after I gave my heart to Him, that I steeped myself in sin a few years after that, and if I had died during that time and not repented, I believe I'd have gone to hell. The fact that He allowed me to live is proof to me that He Loves me and had a plan for my life. I say He waited for me. Why should He? No reason He should've. Except that He knew my heart wanted to be His, that I wanted to Love Him and to know Him. I fear Him in the way of knowing what He is, how powerful He is, how Holy He is. I Love Him because He first Loved me, and He proved it.
So, you and I seem to have experienced similar conflicts at some point, but we came out the other side with very different beliefs.
I had a friend out for lunch today and this exact subject came up. I promise I did not start it, she she did. LOL
We went around for an hour or so about faith, religion, god, etc. etc. I finally told her to go be a Unitarian. She asked me what a Unitarian is. I said, "It's what you are!" When she explores it she will understand that I sent her where she belongs. I'm not interested in changing others' personal beliefs or opinions.
It's not faith itself I have an issue with, is my point.
Wow. This is the first time I've read this forum category, and I swear my blood pressure has got to be twice as high as it was before I started reading. I'm banning myself from this entire topic. It's...