Religion - when did you choose? How?
Some are born into it, some choose it, some choose to leave it. So, when did you choose? Were you born into a particular religion and still follow it as an adult? Did you find something later in life?
Christened, because my parents felt it was the normal, right thing to do.
Confirmed at the age of 11 years, because I thought it was the normal, right thing to do.
Served at the altar, as a boy that carried the incense ("boat boy"), then as an akelyte, because I was told it was the normal, right thing for a young teenager to do.
Joined an evangelical, hallelujah-type of church, because they said it was the "better" thing for me to do. (And they praised me for it... that felt real good!)
Left the church, because I discovered I was gay, and "they" would not like that if I had had the guts to tell them.... and I KNEW that was the abnormal, right thing to do.
Found a church that was run by and accepted homosexual people.... this was obviously the just and right thing for me to do.
Left that church because there seemed to be a lot more to life than playing at religion.... about the best thing I could do at the time. Right or wrong? No idea.
Tried Siddha Yoga, chanting, meditating, smelling wonderful incense, getting turned on by drums and Sita music. The fun thing to do and I liked it.
Visited their Ashram in India, searching for love and companionship.... did not find it, only people who were up them selves in ecstasy. Left that pathway, the only thing I felt comfortable doing at the time.
Explored, tried Vipassana, it lifted me above the mundane and taught me so much about myself.... continuing to explore...."Search Every Byway," as you hear in that song from Sound of Music...."til you find your dream."
All of that experience is what my life could not have done without.
Freedom to look, explore, try, experience, accept or reject....a priceless commodity, gift if you like. Not to be trifled with.
Czech republic is often viewed as one of the most agnostic countries in teh world and thus I had been born into a family where no one was practicing any religion, apart from great-grandma, although most of my family is pretty neutral towards any kind of religion.
Was visiting school found by archbishop from age 11 to 19, went through a phase where I considered getting christened, then left that way because of the way how some of my christian schoolmates treated me - I thought that I really do not want to have anything in common with those idiots, and although my "relationship" towards christianity is rather friendly again, I do not think I would ever get into wanting to become a christian myself.
About two years ago I found my way towards church of Jedi, and since then, I think that this is the religion I can point at and say "yes, this is it - this is religion which says things I can agree with". And believe me, it's a great thing to be able to say that.
I was born into a Christian family, and was raised in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. This is an extremely conservative denomination, i.e. they wont ordain women, etc. I believed everything I was taught up until about 15, when I started questioning a lot of what I had been taught and found the answers to be lacking. I ended up leaving the church over differences of opinion, mostly the whole "being gay is a sin" thing, since I am bisexual. I tried out some different religions, like Wicca and such. Nothing really stuck, so I just called myself agnostic. I did eventually realize that not all Christian denominations are like the one I was raised in, and for a while I went to a gay-friendly Episcopal Church. There are things I really like about Christianity, but there are things I disagree with as well. For example I do not believe that Jesus is God. Which is a pretty important belief in Christianity!
But a couple years ago, I met my current partner (who is now my husband, as of Monday!), who had converted to Islam. I told him up front that I would not convert, but I fasted with him during Ramadan last year (because I figured it would be mean to eat in front of him when he couldn't), and it turned out to be a totally life-changing experience. I read the Quran and it answered so many questions that I had, which Christianity didn't answer. Of course, Islam has a lot of the same problems Christianity has: people interpret it different ways and some are more strict than others. Some are anti-gay, some are not, etc. Despite what the media says (and how certain cultures "interpret" things), Islam actually allows women far more rights than most other religions, which was another issue I had with Christianity. But when it comes down to it, I feel like God led me to my husband (who is transgender, btw) and to Islam, and so I decided to convert. Being an American, a lot of people would (and do) think this is an odd choice, but I have found that Islam is a really beautiful religion and is really nothing like what the media would have most Americans believe (and is not at all to be represented by extremists/terrorists, as what they practice is contrary to Islam, which means "Peace"!). So, there it is... my religious journey!
Really like and appreciate your comment. I agree that the media here in America has misconstrued what the Islamic religion is really about.
Congratulations, MK and to your husband. Wishing you a long, loving and successful partnership.
I was born and raised in the Catholic church and went to catholic school. I always felt something was "not right". For example in the church they would make us go to confession where you get in the little phone booth sized box and tell all your 8 year old sins to the priest so that he can absolve you of them. I remember thinking well, if we come here and pray directly to god every morning before school at mass - why do we need a middle man to confess? I got tired of all the propaganda that everything was evil, threats of hell, demonizing of women etc.
My mother was sent to a boarding school where the nuns would make the girls bathe in the dark, because if they saw their own naked bodies they might get turned on. That kind of business is pervasive in strict Catholicism and it's nonsense. Slut shaming young girls for having the audacity to have the beautiful bodies "God" gave them. I believed it was nonsense from a very young age, but was scared to question it initially. After all, my grandmother was a former nun and truly believed this stuff with all of her heart and I didn't want to hurt her or my mother.
As an adult, I explored many different paths, but never found a religion I liked or could believe in. I am what one writer here at HP called a "sacred atheist" - I am not a militant atheist at all and I do have a spiritual side, I just don't believe a diety is out there who expects us to be obedient and follow a rule book that is thousands of years old and not relevant to modern society or times. I look at science and the process of life and I am in awe of it though and it is deeply moving - no need for some being to pull the strings.
Too many people get hurt and die with religion being used as a justification. Everyone thinks "God" is on their side and in my mind that meant someone was always wasting their time then... It just didn't make sense to me.
When I got older, I said "enough is enough" and walked away happily from all religion. As a spiritual person, I do love a lot about Buddhism though
I was born a Hindu, but I always believed in one God. I always hated how people are separated by religion, and I wanted to do something about it. Then I came upon the story of a great man called Bruce Lee and his teachings. He created a fighting style which wasn't bound with rules and tradition. Take what is useful, and leave out what's not. that way you can learn the best parts from everything and leave out the rest. Same thing can be done with religions, Take the best part, the good values, and leave out the things you don't want. that way you can learn everything without the chains of religion stopping you.
This is an easy question. I didn't choose my religion, as I was baptized in the Catholic Church by my parents.
You're not born with ideas, you have to learn these types of things and accept them or reject them. Newborn humans can't walk within the first hour of their life like some animals do, and it even takes us a while to learn how to talk.
Knowing all that, how could anyone be born into a religion? It doesn't make sense.
Anyway, to answer the question, I don't have a "religion" in the traditional-go-to-church sense of things. I just like studying the bible, and seeing how things fit together in the world around me based on it, and talking/debating with others about it. No one person has a license on truth when it comes to the bible (least of all, myself), and I've had bad experiences in churches, but none of that stops me from getting to know God through the example of Jesus.
I chose the bible over religion roughly 15 years ago. How and why wouldn't fit in this text box, but needless to say it was a series of events in an order of statistical improbability on a cosmic scale, with experiences I have yet to explain as simply just mere coincidence or natural.
Most people are born into a particular type of religion depending on the culture and assimilations. I was born into Christianity but later chose to opt out of religion all together. It seems that all the things that religion stands for are only relevant in small circles. What is the sense of trying to be a better Christian than another person? Fabricated systems based on favor and choice steers the human psyche away from our true purpose which is to learn, grow and be responsible to the thing that created us in the first place, life.
I was baptized and raised Catholic. I come from a traditional Mexican-american family so Catholicism was prevalent. Although I did my communion and confirmation, at a young age I began to question the faith I was raised in. At thirteen I began to break away. I consider myself more spiritual than religious. I believe in a universal energy. lf I were to be asked if I was Catholic my response would be no. I have no disrespect toward the religion, but my beliefs and where I am at in life separate me from those beliefs.
For me, I had an accident that made me believe in God. I can sort of sensing it present when I avert death in that accident.
edhan, I am not attempting to discredit you in any way, but could you tell me if that experience of yours makes you want to evangelize it? Or are you happy simply to hold that conviction for yourself, and be tolerant of others who don't believe?
I choose the path that I am following back in 2005. I raised as a Christian Scientist during my childhood. I was taught we are all God's children and if we are good we go to heaven. I was good with those teaching until I started researching the different types of Gods and religions in the world.
I started to study the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and from reading the Bhagavad-Gita I was convinced that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why, because the major teachings are that we are not the body, we are spiritual beings having a spiritual experience. Krsna explains the relationships between the living entity, Material nature, Time, Karma and Himself as the Supersoul, in a way that makes sense.
Another thing about the Bhagavad-Gita is that the followers of Krnsa are supposed to love all living entities and try to help them get closer to Krsna so we could all go back to the spiritual world, an eternal world full of bliss and knowledge.
Compassion towards all life, truthfulness, cleanliness, are also other major themes in the Bhagavad-Gita. What attracted me is the personality of Krsna, from not only the Bhagavad-GIta, but the Mahabarata, the Srimad Bhagavatam and Krsna Book. Krsna is described as the most famous, intelligent, wealthy, beautiful, strongest, and renounced out of all the Gods. From studying other cultures and religious traditions I came to the conclusion that I fit in best with the Vedic culture.
I hope this meets you well.
Dhira Krishna das
The Religion i was born with is my privelege since it is part of my upbringing as a person. Since it helped me to be a better person, i lived with it
As a child I knew about the different religions and my parents were not fans of them. I did not believe in the idea of heaven and hell. So I asked my mother, what is the purpose of all this stuff like going to school, getting a job, a house and wife when in the end you end up dead? The dead person who dies as a child is no different than the dead person who dies as an old man. Both are dead!
Then I was reading a book on yoga philosophy and it said that man is not a body but an immortal soul (Socrates also taught this). The purpose of life is for the person to realize this or experience this. When I read that, I knew it was true. This is also similar to what Buddhism teaches. This immortal soul is also in a state of endless love, perfect peace and infinite happiness. So the human being is here to discover this incredible treasure inside of them.
In the U.S. yoga has become the biggest sensation. People do it because it makes them feel good. The above is the reason why. http://wopg.org
I was born into the Christian religion, but I was not saved until I was 25 years old. My son was 3 years old when he began seeing demons in our home. It opened my eyes to the truth and I turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for help.
It was then that He saved me and I chose to follow Him with my whole heart.
Now I could not survive without Him. He is my joy, my hope, my peace. I love Him very much.
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