What brought you to your religion? Any religion (or for those who have fallen out of belief - why?)
I'm interested in people's stories. Those who were brought up in the same religion they follow now, those brought up without and have found one, those brought up with one religion and now following another or none at all. I find all religions interesting - (despite the conversations I have with people regarding sexuality and religion!) and love learning about them. So, tell me your story. Share it with us all.
ONE RULE ONLY - Do Not Bag On One Another's Religions or story of faith/lack of in the comments - unless it is conducive to further discussion (eg respectful questioning)
I don't follow a religion...I follow my Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son, Christ Yeshua (Jesus). It is not a religion, for all religions are man made. Therefore, being a follower of Christ is a life-style - it is putting His words and my faith in Him...into practice.
I really do not know how I went from the violent streets of Chicago and ended up before Christ's throne. It's hard to explain, but the best way for me to explain it is by equating it to a small voice that persistently called me. It started out small and quiet, but grew in frequency and intensity. I think you could say that I was compelled - gently...gradually...graciously...gratefully.
My conversion from server of self to server of God did not occur overnight. I never saw the heavens open or heard the angels singing. It was a slow albeit gradual transformation.
As claiming here,do you know that Jesus never said he is God incarnated,or Son.It s Paul who says that,not Jesus.There is no where in the four Gospels that we have today, did Jesus say that statement.So,you are following religion,especially Paul.
James, you may have misunderstood what I said. Christ is the perfect representative, reflection, and manifestation of His Father...He IS the WORD of God. So when Christ said, "When you have seen me, you have seen the Father", this is what He meant.
So, you mean he is not the actual biological son of God?
CJ Sledgehammer, I appreciate your story. Clearly you have been rescued from what could have been a much different life.
James: Christ Yeshua is definately the biological son of God...fathered by the Holy Spirit. Christ Yeshua never claimed to be God the Father, as some believe, but He did claim to be the only begotten Son of God, Lamb of God, and Word of God.
James: Please read Matthew 26:63-64, "...The high priest said to Him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.'" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is as you say."
Please read John 1:1-18; 3:16; 5:22; 10:36
My friend my answer is in my hub: Trinity exposed...Check it,please.I talked about the meaning of god in Hebrew ,plus Hebrew doesnt have G capital letter,how could the translators distinguish God nd god and choose the suitable places for G and g?
My first wife grew up in Chicago. When she was 'saved,' she went out onto the streets to share her joy. She went up to a young man and asked, "Do you know Jesus?" and he answered, "I am Jesus." Later she learned that Jesus is a common Hispanic name.
I went door to door a lot. Once, a very attractive young woman answered the door. She was wearing a fishnet, knit top with nothing under. I am positive I was speaking gibberish and staring. Awkward moments in personal evangelism.
I myself was brought up in the religion of islam. However, there came a point in my life when I began to question islam and all religions and wondered if islam was actually the true religion. Not because I felt that islam was ever wrong, or not for me, or that it wasn't true. Islam always felt perfect for me. But there came a time when people would ask me questions about the prophet and islam and when I answered, I answered out of my own beliefs but I couldn't provide actual proof. This bothered me. I couldn't actually prove my own religion as true or answer questions with proof. So I began my quest for knowledge and the truth. I began to analyze all religions. I looked in to hinduism, judaism, the nation of islam, christianity, the different sects of islam, nuwabians, israelites, hebrew israelites, buddhism,freemasonry, etc.I've studied the bible so intensively that I actually know more bible verses by heart than I do of the verses of the Quran.
It wasnt long that I realized just how beautiful islam really is.I studied the hadiths and was overwhelmed by the beautiful character of prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. How he treated his wives and the testimony of them and all women who knew him as to how genuine and loving his character is. It is not to discredit the other prophets and other religions, but the significant difference between islam and any other religion is this:
Every religion teaches to be loving, kind,charitable, compassionate, don't steal, don't commit adultery, or fornication, etc.. But the missing element in these religions.... is that they don't show you how. How exactly does one learn how to not drink if they are alcoholics? How does one learn to have a loving heart and find peace within themself? They only say "do this" or "don't do this" but they don't provide a way which would help me not to do this or that or develop the necessary discipline or mentality to do this or that. And if there are answers to these questions in these religions, none of them compare to the sytem of islam. Islam has the most perfect system as to how to find peace within yourself. It has the perfect solution to every problem. You want to know how to have a loving marriage? Islam provides the perfect answer. About modesty? About brotherhood? About unity? How to maintain humility in difficult situation? Islam has the answers to them all and any other question as to how to find peace and love and tranquility, not only within yourself, but with others as well.
I appreciate the spirit in which you shared. I have heard other Muslims talk about their faith and it came across so militant. You have given us a glimpse into your search which lead you back to your roots, to practice your faith more fully.
I don't say this to be insulting, but if you want to learn a thing or two about slavery...Islam is for you. King Suleman "the Inexorable" enslaved many Africans via the sword and said they were no better than the animals that lived around them.
That was SOLOMON of the Bible not of the Quran.Islam enjoins upon every Muslim to respect other prophets, and therefore any criticism or disrespect against other prophets goes against Islamic principles.
so does GOD, but few people understand this. obeying GOD puts a crimper on their lifestyle so they dont. but the answer to happiness and peace in all aspects of our lives is in the KJV bible
KJV is just a copy and it has undergone many changes since the first translation.I want the original scripture.Where can I find it?
Honestly, James...please read your history. King Suleman and Islam may not have been the original slave-trafficers, but they perfected it. They made men into eunuchs, while killing those who would not embrace Islam. Sultans even had their sons killed
Oh yu mean Moroccan king.Well,he represented only himself not Islam.Is it logicaly,acordin t the destruction of Iraq nd events in abu ghrib prison nd killing of innocent kids by th US governmnt in Pakistan ,that Bush or Obama represents Christianity?
And Christianity didnt promote slavery? Every western religion has, none excluded. It is part of the evolvement of humans.
James, my friend, please do not confuse America for a "Christian" nation. Our politicians follow the path of greed, corruption, vice and violence. Christ has virtually nothing to do with America and America has virtually nothing to do with Him.
It s you initiated this kind of conversation.I used the same logic you depended on.I respect Americans and all religions and creeds.By the way,Jaqui will be glad to see us in pole s apart lol I really do respect her:)
Thank you for asking, jlpark. I recently published a hub, 'What do you believe and why?' which tells more of my story than will fit here. In a nutshell:
I was raised Catholic, had an early interest in mysticism, metaphysics and eastern philosophy. When I was 22, my younger brother (with whom I was close) died in an auto accident. After that, I left Maine in the northeast of America and moved to Oklahoma City in the midwest (geography for non-Americans - also the regions have in general distinctly different mindsets.)
Probably as a grief/rebound response, I went into a relationship with a vibrant Christian woman and over a few years left my metaphysical beliefs. I removed from my life all the metaphysical/occult books that had once been my greatest treasure and started carrying a Bible everywhere I went. I read it through twice.
I worked for Bible ministries and belonged to an evangelical Christian church. I was devoutly Christian for more than 14 years in a 25 year marriage. It is too much to write here what happened, but after a life-shaking event I wrote out principles to live by and eventually made a choice to live true to myself and to internalize the power and authority that I had been giving away.
That is when I left what for me had been numbing dogma and brought out more of who I really am. My experience in different religions gives me a broad perspective, and I have understanding (without condescending) and respect for people of all faiths and for those who claim none. We each have our own path to walk and can learn from each other. Mine is an unfolding perspective.
Falling on my face several times and trying other religions has brought me to Jesus (Christianity). Experiencing the incredible change in my life after submitting to Jesus is confirmation enough that the "religion" I follow is the way to go. He saved me
Then peace be with you...daughter of Christ. :0)
If this fine young lady said that Jesus saved her...why in God's name would she want to abandon her Savior for one who has done nothing for her? Why would she cash in her Eternal inheritance with Christ, so she could hang out with Mohammed?
It s not a measure by which to judge which way to follow.With all respect,if you talk to Hindus you will hear some amazing story how an animal(S) saves their lives and even here,some Muslims get healed after praying to good dead men(Adriha).
So be it, James, but even if this young lady thought that an animal spirit saved her...Mohammed still has done nothing for her. From what I know of Mohammed...all he did is bring HIS perspectives to the world through the point of a blade. Slavery!!!
Arabs be4 him(pbuh) used to practice the Judeo-Christian nd Pagan slavery.They used to buy and sell slaves,abuse them,and flog them to death if slaves disobey.The Muslims had fought long and bloody battles against the Pagan Arabs to liberate slaves
I was born and raised in a christian environment and practiced faithfully all of my young years into over half of my adult life. There came a time for me when I felt that I was not being fed/lacking in knowledge. When church and prayers no longer offered solutions to the pains/emptiness that I experienced in life, I realized that I was who I was because my parents were who they were (christians) and it was no longer enough for me.I began questioning it all and needed solutions to not only the trails and tribulations of life but my spiritual path as well.I am still on my spiritual path and I do hold to the knowledge and wisdom gained along the way but it just feels as if there is something greater that I am missing.............I find beauty and truth in all religions or spiritual journeys so I judge none, I'm still learning and seeking.
I was raised in my current faith (Catholicism), so I guess you could say my parents brought me to it at baptism. I don't really have some huge compelling story of how I came to my faith because I've "always" been in it. I would say I have had a continuous conversion of heart that continues to bring me closer to God and to the Church. I have fallen out a little bit lately, for really nothing more than laziness and boredom - I still believe my Church teachings, yet lately I can't seem to motivate myself to just get going and attend church on Sunday. Something to work on in the New Year I suppose.
First of all, thank you for the thoughtful, open ended question.
I have not fallen from belief in a Higher Power in my life, but I made a definite decision nearly five years ago to begin re-examining my beliefs. I was raised in an Evangelical Christian home by loving parents who viewed it as their responsibility in life to raise us that way. I attended a conservative Christian college and graduated with a BA in Biblical Ed. In addition to four years of Bible College, I spent ten years in professional ministry including evangelism, missionary work and pastoral ministry.
I felt that my stringent theology had become a box in which I kept my God. I now rely on Him daily, but try to allow Him to be whomever He truly is. I know the part He plays in my life and I would not attempt this life without His guiding hand. But there is no stringent dogma, no ceremony, no book. All I have is faith in His existence. I am not required to share that faith with anyone nor to defend my faith against anyone. I do have some writings from early in this process which I brought to HubPages. I will be removing those soon to a separate blog. I want my HubPages articles to reflect who I am today and not the rather negative person I was a few years ago.
I am happy where I am. I feel at peace with God as I understand Him and I am content to allow others to pursue or not pursue a spiritual life which includes a belief in God.
Your well-grounded answer also brought a smile. At the time that I was re-examining my beliefs, and leaving the dogmatic aspects of my faith behind, one of my favorite sayings was, "I had God in a box, but He got out!"
Gary, when did you live in Oklahoma City? I lived in Shawnee in 77 and 78.
Shortened for space.... in March, '75, I drove a 67 Chevy pulling a house trailer from Maine to OKC to work for a church. Had a summer romance, then returned to Colorado that Thanksgiving. Married in '76, and we lived in Springfield, MO for 6 years.
There are remarkable similarities in our pasts. re: God in a box It was a precise kind of Christian box, i.e. pre-mil, post-trib, anti charismatic, eternal security, strong emphasis on evangelism and missions etc, etc. All so meaningless now.
I cannot answer this question fully in one short 'answer box' on Hubpages. However, I will say this: In my earlier years I was raised in a home where there was little emphasis placed on religion. By the time I got to eight or nine I would have been classed as an 'Agnostic,' i.e. I had an open mind on whether or not there was a personal God who answerd prayers.
As I grew older I found it more difficult to reconcile suffering with a Loving God. And when an older sister 'got religion' I was completely put off. I had no interest really in religion as such - yet I could appreciate the wonder of Nature, the stars et cetera. So the first stirring of 'what's it all about' came in around about 30 years of age.
Of course, there is this truism "Seek and ye will find." My finding - or what got me into really becoming interested in trying to find out the bigger questions of life, came in the form of a book given to me by a friend. It was 'Theosophy' by a Mr. and Mrs Leighton. Reading that book was like having blinkers removed from my eyes. Theosophy, the 19th Century attempt to ammalgamate the world's great religions left an indelible mark on me - I wanted to learn more.
From then on, it's been an ongoing expansion of learning...and I'm still at it...and probably will be for life.
i am not associated with any "religion". when my mother was pregnant with me, even tho she was not a practicing "Christian", on impulse, she dedicated me to GOD. She and I both nearly died while she gave birth to me. When i was 3 i did die...for 4 minutes. this is when i met CHRIST. what i experienced stayed with me and heavily influenced me the rest of my life. when i was 5 or 6, our neighbor asked if i wanted to go to church with him. i should have said no, but i couldnt, i felt an overwhelming urgency to go, so i did. it did not take me long to understand enough to make a conscious choice to follow GOD. when i was 7 or 8, while swimming in a lake, i nearly died twice in one day. both times rather than drown i breathed water. each time i inhaled and exhaled water 3 times. i have written a hub about this experience titled what it is like to breathe water. there has never been a time in my life that i didnt know GOD or CHRIST. They are my life, more important to me than the air i breathe. i attended church til i was in my late 20's. then i began to have questions that werent being answered by the church. after a time of church hopping, i realized what i was seeking could not be found in the church. so i turned to seriously reading the KJV bible and praying. soon my questions began to be answered. GOD became my teacher. there were quite a few things i had to unlearn that i had learned from the church. things like the importance of living in obedience to GOD, like when the true sabbath is, like not celebrating pagan holidays in HIS name. things that are not very popular with mainstream christians. but thats ok...i would far rather please GOD than people.
You are right in thinking that many "Christians" participate in pagan holidays, participate in other traditions that are not endorsed by the Bible and have accepted teachings not promoted by Christ, His disciples or the original Christian church.
I was raised a conservative Jew, but never felt a part of it. I looked at other religions when younger, but for me Christianity just never resonated with me. At the age of 19, my brother of 13 months older then me drowned. At that moment, I lost any positive feelings towards God, yet was still a spiritual person. I always have been a spiritual person, as well as able to see spirit(no I am not insane).
After my brother's death, I spiraled down major time and got deeply addicted to drugs. It was during my recovery, someone suggested I put whoever I wanted on my shoulder to be God. Someone I really felt I could trust, and at that time, it was Glinda the good witch of Wizard of Oz. It was also during this time I married a pagan witch, and my spiriutality grew. God never struck me down either for praying to another God, or Goddess in my case.
I did a lot of traveling, for business purposes and was honored to meet several tribes of Native Americans. They liked me because I had no interest in becoming on of them. I just was me. Their term for God was Great Spirit, though I am aware of the other terms used for It. That word though resonated with me, and I will use it. When in Hawaii to do some work, I was visited by the Goddess Pele, and have been serving her since 1999.
Now I have traveled back towards Judaism, and discovered the Kabbalah and other mystical paths. I follow now the Sabbath Queen/Goddess, Shekhinah. I still do not follow anyone's religion though. I am still evolving and learning, and still learning from Spirit(s). My beloved late husband communicates with me when there is a need.
My spirit path is my religion, which cannot be boxed in with anyone religion. Religion for me cannot hold me, and for me only should not.
I thought it would be best to keep my comment in my answer. One thing I didnt mentioned, but decided I should have is I too have had a near death experience, and Jesus was not the one saving me. It imho does not matter who or what you believe in.
I had death experience too.Staying 10 days in hospital,Only Allah who saved me,no Mohamed peace be upon him nor the Quran.Allah s mercy is upon everyone,believer or nonbeliever.He is rich and above all needs.He can do whatever he likes.
This is a very interesting question for me as in when I was a child I was taken to a nondenominational church and a short time later left there never to go back, (we will not discuss why). I had come to believe that if that was what "God" and religion were all about that I wanted no part in either, literally not remembering ever attending another service for over 40 years.
Within the last few years, (after a troubling lifestyle) found a church with spirit led ministries which is absolutely like nothing else I have ever even heard of. We pretty much all contribute to testimonies and truly get a better understanding of the word.
I consider myself a very spiritual person and believer who now can feel love, give without expecting in return and love it, know that my life here is not about me at all because faith without works is dead.
"Religions" seem to label us all as to having the same gift and that we receive the message the same way while talking the talk, without walking the walk or teaching a better understanding of the word. Many unfortunately strive for a larger congregation only to bring in more money and treat/judge those who need him the most.
I believe as the Bible states that there are no Greeks, Jews, Barbarians, etc., for we are all as one and the fact that they believe alone fills me with joy and faith. The one thing I must always remember is faith alone without works is dead and if I remember that and follow the royal law I will be well.
A very huge amount of methamphetamine consumed over a weekend, and then getting the life nearly beaten out of my by police officers.
Solitary jail cell...black misty shapes passing through the walls, and being sure I was dying from stress, dehydration, near overdose, heart attack...something, maybe all or a combo.
A jailhouse trustee told me to pray. Pray? Pray to WHAT?
I was certain I was going to die...probably would have from fear...demonic shapes passing through the walls...weren't my normal drug experience.
Prayed for a bit...first try didn't work...second try did.
Firstly, thank you all for your insightful answers. I have learnt a great deal about yourselves as people, and about your religions. I felt I should share as well, though as you will see - there is a reason I am interested in all the religions of the world.
I'm currently a humanistic agnostic - not sure of the existence of God, Allah or any other Gods - but not terribly concerned by it either. As a friend put it "not sure how we got here, but now that we are, don't really care how either". I was raised in a non-religious home. My father apparently identifies as Anglican but has not been practicing at all in my life. My mother was brought up the same as we were - non-religious but free to choose one if there was one that we felt fitted us as people.
My little sister and I are curious by nature, so we've looking into all sorts of religions - some for the shock value for my mother, but mostly because we were curious. Curiosity if it was a religion - would be mine! Curiosity also allowed us to find out that religions that were frowned upon by most (Islam and Christianity alike) are actually not what they are made out to be - Le Vayan Satanism is NOT about Satan at all - it's just used the name to be cheeky. But, nope, not for me!.
I have not yet found a spiritual path that feels right to me. I feel that by living my life in such a way that I do not harm anyone intentionally (I'm a nurse...I have to hurt people at some points for their own good - injections etc!) and that I treat others as I wish to be treated myself. Respecting others, and trying to find out what makes them feel the way they do about things, is part of my curiosity and respect for others.
Spiritual paths however do feel more comfortable for me - eg I find myself identifing more with them than other religions. But there are so many faiths and believes out there that I just want to know about them all really.
Thank you again, all of you, for answering this question with such openness. And for those who have commented already - thank you for being respectful.
Thank you for asking, and for inviting us into a dialog of respect and open-minded interest to know each other's perspectives. I will enjoy to read more from you as you find your spiritual path.
Thank you and I have also learned so much from others who have answered and commented which I think is what it's all about.
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