Did you have a bad experience with a church or church member ( as a child or adult) that negatively impacted your views against a higher power or religious beliefs?
not really. they just never answered direct, pointted, well forumlated questions, and subtly accused you of questioning God when you did that. i never did get any straight answers to a lot of questions, and still don't, even here in the religious forums.
Yes I've had a bad experience of church, and yes it was about the money thing. However, I understand that the problem is with the church and not God. There are so many in the church who never read their bibles, so when the preach starts talking nonsense, they can't refute it, so they fall into a trap. I've was one of them.
Yes, I've had lots of bad experiences with religion. I think most people have. It's the insanity of going back over and over again expecting it to get better that's the most difficult, and I see a lot of people doing that. Shopping for the "right" church. Just doesn't exist to me. They are opportunists and businesses preying on those who don't feel secure enough with their place in the universe, looking for a deeper connection.
The connection is within us. And I don't think you have to believe in God to find it. But believing in God may also help many to find it. It's personal.
More than once but God won't ask what were they like and what they did. He'll ask me what was I like and what I did!
There are way too many bad experirnces to list here in this forum. The bottom line is that I hate being lied to, and the use of fear tactics to reinforce the lies.
When you go to church and the minister says gimme gimme gimme, its a big turn off, I went with my mother and listened to the minister say give me your land, give me your jewelry, give me your cash, and my mother fell into the trap. We would go without electric or water so she could give to her church. Meanwhile the minister had a new car every year, his kids in private school, 3 bedroom 2 bath home with a pool, and a RV in the driveway. I would say something is wrong with this!
When my father died, my mother arranged for his funeral to be conducted by the priest of the Catholic Polish parish church in Ealing, London, which they had both attended for decades. The priest talked vaguely about Leon being a good man, but said that even good people did wrong. Therefore my father was now in the suffering of Purgatory. We could help get him out quicker by giving money to the priest so that the priest would pray for his soul.
When my mother was dying, the Polish priest could not be bothered to visit her. The Catholic parish priest of the church nearest to where she lived, a sweet Irish guy, did visit, although she had never attended his church. He also arranged for a nun to come and visit her between times. These visits were of immense comfort to my mother. To the disgust of the Polish community, I arranged for her funeral to be conducted at the church of the Irish priest. He asked me to do a reading. I told him that I no longer considered myself part of the Catholic faith. He said that was totally OK as far as he was concerned and that he was happy for me to select a reading with which I felt comfortable. On the day of the funeral, he was wonderfully supportive and also shared some good jokes with me
I hate the Catholic church, but have deep respect for that Irish priest.
Yes. I was "difficult" if I had questions, and "lacking in faith" when I didn't understand something. I was deemed bad, and not worthy, and kicked out.But only after being forced to explain in explicit detail,to a board opf men, including my fahter, the circumstances surrounding my boyfriend raping me. Apparently it was my fault, I was asking for it, and they were slightly dissapointed that I didn't "enjoy" it.
Ahhh, Justine76.... we always "ask" for it, don't we? And everyone around you wants to know what we did to "deserve" it. I have started to believe that it is because we are women, it's what we are here for.... to take the blame for men's bad behavior.
You do not need to go to church to get that reaction! But Justine 76, do not think that is a Catholic problem. A number of my family members are Jehovah Witnesses and when my 16 yr old cousin was raped by her barely months younger than her neighbor and got pregnant as a result, chaos resulted. They blamed her, despite never having 'disobeyed' the elders or shown lack of conviction, because he never disobeyed the elders or shown lack of conviction. Our grandfather was an elder until his passing but still they held the words of the boy's family over ours. She must have wanted it, they said, but changed her mind when she found out a baby was on the way.
no... is that question implying that some sort of abuse turns people who would otherwise be good little sheep into non-believers rather than accepting the fact that people mature at some point?
Tis true that abuse can be a contributary reason for good sheep to turn into non-believers. However are you implying that all others who have left their church have done it though some maturing process, whilst those remaining are somehow still immature?
Mmm, the world's religions are full of rational logical intelligent people. You cannot assume that the athiest is somehow of a higher intelligence and enlightenment. If the world startts to believe that the atheist are some master race, then it wont' be long before the religious persecutions begin to the flow the opposite way.
i didn't say i was an atheist. i just stopped believing in fairy tales. and yes there are some very mature people in organized religions. but posing this question was clearly a loaded attempt to shift attention from the shortcomings of many major organized religions.
Apologies for my assumption about you.
I'm not sure that it was a loaded question as you say. We all know that organise religions have used and abused people down through the centuries, and as the abusers claim to be annointed of God, He gets the blame for it.
Now John Lennon may like to to imagine there was no religion, but people being people will just find another banner to abuse people under instead.
The communist states declared themselves atheistic, but carried on abusing people in the gulags and denying those in oppresive tower block estates a chance to a quality life.
George Bush used a false banner of WMD and terroism as an excuse to abuse the people of Iraq. Some estiamtes are as high as a million people dead just so that he could steal their oil and keep fat Americans in their SUVs.
I grew up in a country where we eat, talk, sleep with our religion-Catholicism. Growing up, I was singing in choir, attending lots of church services and we live our life as I call the Catholic way of life. I see that we are continiously challenged by technology, everyday probs, politics and in trying to survive in this world -- we survive physically of course and emotionally
Religion brings forth orderly values and society is adapting to it, humans are imperfect, the search for perfections make us to commit basic mistakes..
I'm so sorry to hear all of these experiences you had. . I can say that what you experienced was definitely NOT Christian behavior. Please don't let it turn you away from God because of someones actions God had nothing to do with it. Those kinds of things churches do are wrong and legalistic. As for the tithing thing. that was old testement and under the law. We are no longer under the law but grace. It's those kind of happeings that give Chriatians a bad name. Please don't judge all by the actions of some. though I know you aren't
again it apalls me that so many "churches" or "religions", treat people like that, "in the name of God" believe me God dosen't condone it.
My dad the preacher flaunting his affair in front of the entire congregation.
The congregation shunning my mother while welcoming his mistress at every turn
Leaders of the congregation visiting my mother at home to request that she grant my a$$hole dad a divorce........
Does that count?
That may very well be true, but most certainly when it comes to their religion, they turn into blithering idiots.
Cute story to demonstrate hypocracy. My Dad's been a minister for 60 years. Back in the 70s when my brother and I were touring with Ambrosia we were the typical long hair types. My Dad was holding a revival in Montgomery AL. We happened to be doing 3 shows in Atlanta so we drove over to Montgomery to surprise him one Sunday evening. When we got to the Church the service was almost over. One of the ushers wouldn't let us in due to our looks, mostly the hair I think. He wouldn't even let us sit on the back row. We hung out on the front steps until the service was over and our Dad came out first to greet everyone leaving and thank them as was his habit. He noticed us and waved us over. He was tickled to see us as it'd been about 5 months since we'd been home. He started introducing us to some of the Deacons and low and behold, the head Deacon was the very guy that wouldn't let us in. Needless to say the look on his face was priceless.
hehe, my friend just told me a very funny story two nights ago. her mother was attending Catholic Mass and it came time for communion. this was in Reno NV. a man in a black leather trenchcoat with long grey hair walked up to the front to receive communion. he put on his sunglasses and mumbled incoherently and rather than receiving communion he was escorted away by several ushers. the priest informed the congregation that they had just seen a case of demonic possession. now this is a Catholic Church in downtown Reno where a lot of street types hang around and it's quite likely the man was just looking for some comfort from the cold. i laughed hysterically at the story.
That seems rather fishy, because the Catholic Church is much more skeptical than many other denominations about "signs and wonders" or, on the flip side demonic activity. It would take a lot more than just showing up and muttering incoherently to convince a Catholic that someone is possessed.
So I'd probably laugh at this story too, likely because it doesn't strike me as true.
Growing up I was raised without religion in order to have an open mind enough to find my own path. Most of my family are Witnesses. My mother is though she doesn't practice. My step-father was a Roman Catholic though he doesn't practice. I went to Catholic mass and Witness meetings. I studies with Protestants, Methodists, Baptists, and more before finding an Assembly of God Church I was happy in. When I was forced to take a leave of absence, my return was met with mirth and disgust for how religious they thought I ought to have been.
It took time but I finally realized that my relationship with God is between me and Him. It is not man's job to judge another and I have found that most religions do just that. They all have their pros and cons, some more so than others. Every religion is based on someone's interpretation of the Bible, however loose or strict. Being humans doomed to err, the best we can do is our best. I do not go to church anymore, nor do my kids, but I pray daily and do my best to teach by example that Christians do not judge others, they don't gossip or cheat, and they always do unto others as we'd have done to us.
"Every religion is based on someone's interpretation of the Bible"
i'm sorry but there are at least a couple non-Yahweh based religions out there and some of them have been around a good piece longer than that little book.
You are right about that, I should not have generalized by saying all. That being said I have studied a few of those, too, and found good points there as well.
there are many things i love about Christianity, i just find the religion to be inconsistent in practice and dogma and there are too many contradictions. i choose to draw from it what is good but cannot practice it in good faith for these reasons.
Off topic momentarily.
I just want to thank you for your hub 'No Rest..."
Unfortunately I am the moody, irrational and unable to trust men one!
Off topic-you're welcome. The stereotype didn't make itself up, of course some of you reacted that way-I just wasn't one of them and everyone thought I should have been. It's not unfortunate-it's human!
It's not the religions that are necessarily inconsistent between practice and dogma, but the people who follow (or attempt to follow, or claim to follow) those religions. Only a perfect person follows his or her religion or philosophy perfectly, whatever it may be, unless he or she is making all up along the way.
This has a lot to do with why I choose to be Catholic despite having some downright horrible experiences with people in the Church. I find Catholic teaching good. I recognize when Catholic people violate those teachings. And I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
That would be a good reason to keep going!
I was fortunate to not have any church affiliation so I could easier fit into a 'free' (as in non denominational) body of believers, but you are right, the RCC have good teaching and are about 98% right in line with traditional scripture.... The 2% is a bit of a problem, because it's very wrong, but like you say, don't throw the baby...
I'd say it's 100% in line with traditional Scripture. What Protestants (and all "nondenominational" congregations are actually just non-specific Protestant) consider in line with "traditional" Scripture are really much more recent interpretations that are not backed by Tradition.
Oh well. I'm certain there's another thread or several about what's all wrong with the Catholic Church where I've had a complete heyday refuting the inaccuracies, misconceptions, and misrepresentations.
Is that positive or negative?
i am not a Hebrew i am a hamster incarnate from the Hamsterhood of the Plaid Lodge so pardon me if i don't use proper Hebrew terminology.
Your reference to Plaid. Are you a closet Welshman?
CYMRU AM BYTH!
Proud Plaid Cymru member, even though I'm not Welsh by genes.
I didn't mean it as an insult.
Sorry, I didn't know you were a hamster...
"Christians do not judge others, they don't gossip or cheat, and they always do unto others as we'd have done to us"
This is what everyone who wants to be a decent human being should strive for. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, it has to do with being decent. It is a personal choice and should have nothing to do with an afterlife (not that I am saying this is why you believe that living by these rules is important, because I don't think that's what you are saying at all).
Many Christians forget these basic rules of living, especially, it seems to me, those who attend church and push the church's agenda rather than the the pure love of one another that was the original doctrine of their chosen religion.
Well said! These values are what most Christian religions claim to support but fail to. That was the point I was making but even an "atheist" (which I am not suggesting you are) can exemplify these characteristics. It IS all about being a decent human being and if the only reason a "Christian" is acting that way is to achieve an afterlife, then they are being hypocritical and that goes against everything pure and decent.
I am not an atheist. lol. Although I see no problem with those who are.
I believe in many of the things Christ taught, or that the book says he taught, and I think that there is a great deal of 'truth' in every religion you look at.
Being a good person, as you correctly state, is it's own reward. As long as we continually put thought into and evaluate our actions through the question "did I do harm?" I think that we will all be fine. In the end, true Christianity has almost nothing to do with believing in a God or that Christ was the son of God, rather it is about striving to be better people and making the lives of those around us a little less miserable.
The minister of a Christian religion told me because I have psychic powers I was possessed by Satan. Several people grabbed me and tried to cast this so called devil out of me. I was only 16 years old and very innocent.
I never involved myself with these so called Christians again.
It left a bitter taste in my mouth for them.
It did not kill my belief in God.
Not as a child, however 3 years ago my grandfather has been a devout Christian for many years. However he got diagnosed with heart failure and required a triple heart bypass. During this time a group of Jehovah’s Witness's convinced my grandfather to change religion, ensuring that he could not have a blood transfusion during his operation and also got a vulnerable man to donate £20,000 to their "cause". Fortunately he survived the operation, however we are still fighting this particular group as my grandfather was not in his right mind! This more than anything has caused me to doubt the real motives of SOME (don't want to tarnish everyone with the same brush) groups of supposedly religious people.
WOW! Witnesses do believe that it is a sin to get a blood transfusion but this is the first time I ever heard of them asking for money like that! They beleive in tithing but that wasn't tithing!! There is a school in New York where they print The WatchTower, I would suggest contacting them with your case if you haven't done so already. Many concider going to that school is the end all be all of education for the 'cause' and they might be able to help shed some light on this story. I am sorry they did that to you.
Good question and some interesting answers.
I was a late starter to religion, had the Sunday school stuff up until 8 years old, parents token Christians (as in we were born into the Church of England) but never went to church except to hatch, match or dispatch family.... self adopted a Jewish 'mother' when I was 13 years old and became more Jewish than the Jews, well at least than the Reform Jews, went away from everything with the Sixties and drifted into Wicca and stuff...
Came to faith when I needed a saviour really bad to save me literally from the bad spiritual company I was keeping.
Been in churches for 17 years and seen bad ones, good (enough) ones and all the spectrum in between.
Hoping to one day see a body of believers who REALLY live the life, and it may happen.
The fact is that God has hidden His people in amongst all the churches, they are all hidden alongside pew warmers, the fools, the phoney and hirelings that make up Churchianity.
The real believers range from the simple but devoted to the sincere and empowered.
I spent seven years outside the gate learning how to be a believer without having a church around me, I never left the church, I left churchianity.
Most of what we need to do to be Christians is written in Matthew 25...
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, hold the lonely, heal the damaged...
Pray incessantly for the saints (that's us) and watch and pray for His return.
John 3:16 is a conditional statement, it's worth deciding on that one no matter who you are or what you believe.
dude sorry to tell you but i met Jesus on the causal plane and he has ascended and showed very little interest in returning. all the "kind" donations people have been pouring in his name kept him trapped on the causal plane and he asked me what to do. storing your treasures in "heaven" is a tricky bit if you ever wanna leave since nobody has use for them on the causal plane. my own vast sub-causalian complex is more than 1.7 trillion levels deep. i disposed of his treasures for him and he went merrily on his way. not saying he won't come back for a visit but does he really have to save you twice?
Wow, really glad you let me know, I may have just sat here awaiting His return, doing all those good deeds stuff and hoping to be stinking rich in heaven.... now I can get back to being a psychopathic killer and have some fun.... where did you say you lived?
I was once, at about 15 or so, asked "nicely" to leave a church for questioning God because it is a SIN to question God and one that the church couldn't tolerate. I guess that means that questioning is worse than, say taking the lords name in vain, which many very religious people do on a daily basis.
At any rate, I question daily therefore I must be the worst "sinner" out there.
isn't it funny that this God would give us the ability to question him and then punish us for it?
Yeah.... that's the problem with creating monkeys with really big brains!
too much attention is given to the size of the human brain and the supposed superiority of human intellect. i have had wonderful conversations with spiders and rocks and trees. they think we're a pretty silly bunch!
I rekon God expects us to question Him, otherwise how are we supposed to learn anything? You expect your children to question you don't you?
If the church doesn't like your questions, it's because it doesn't know the answers, and people hate loosing face.
Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" That is, he's expecting a negative answer here. Look at so many of our churches and you will see this question answered.
You are in good company, Luther and Christ were both ejected from their religions for asking questions, at least they don't hang draw and quarter you nowadays, least no longer in Christianity, think you could have problems with Allah though, must not ask questions there I think!
I went to church every sunday as a child, and, you really see how much faith there is, especially when the church is giving something away for free.
I went to a baptist church, and we might have had 200 or 300 members. They had an ice cream social one summer, and 5,000 people showed up. We were back down to our regular church members the following sunday.
When I was older, we had cable TV, and my dad used to like to watch the morning church freaks. Jimmy Swaggert, Jerry Falwell, and the scarey Jim and Tammy baker. These people became multi-millionaires on donated money and they used it all on themselves. That's when I lost all respect for the church.
It wasn't only because television ministry is milking people of their hard earned money, it also became apparent that none of them could agree on which people were worshipping the correct god. And, then you learn about all thse other religions, and wonder why the American church doesn't talk about them.
Another thing that I was shocked to learn, is that the place where jesus supposedly rose from the dead is just a tourist attraction for christians, and the local people, and the people who live in countries around it, are not christian. And, they do not believe that Jesus is the son of god.
There are just too many questions in religion. The only thing that seems universal in all of them is hell. I find that very strange. And, one of the reasons why I try my best to ignore it.
But, sometimes I get bored, and it is something to talk about.
I do not go to church. When I did go, I usually fell alseep from the sheer boredom.
Hell is the scary place we go when we don't eat all our broccoli.
It is to scare us into being good little boys and girls.
Hell is what we make here on earth.
Hell is an amusement park ride for the thrill seekers and heaven is an awfully cold place without all the burning souls.
I would much rather be toasted than frozen! So my hell would be very cold!
Ha! I say the same thing!! I would rather be too hot than too cold ergo 'burning in hell' would be favorable in lieu of 'freezing to death'. Just saying.....
Did you know Witnesses don't believe in hell? They say that there's eternal life or nothing. I always found that interesting since, as you stated earlier, hell is mainly used as a tool for scaring us into obedience, what was there to push for? What if I didn't want to live forever?
Just one of the many, many contradictory things that led me to where I am now~the heathen of my mother's family. But, since I was never baptised a Witness, I just don't know any better. My mother on the other hand, well, she's just lost!!! (Just don't tell her that!)
The structure of the Catholic version of the trinity has meaning in psychology as a partial understanding of one aspect of individuation. The Greek gods are seen more as archetypical examples of the human condition.
I always found the trinity confusing. Roughly translated, it means that God is the Holy Father sometimes, the Son sometimes, and the Holy Ghost sometimes, depending on his mood or what form he feels would be most effective. I never could understand how, then, did Jesus (the son) manage to baptise himself (he was baptised by the Holy Ghost)?
here is a poem i wrote that conflates the mystery of the trinity if you can read through my subterfuge:
On their first meeting,
the Fugitive comes to the
Adversary's front door
But the Fugitive isn't there.
On their second meeting,
the Adversary comes to the
Fugitive's front porch
And leaves the Adversary his Staff.
The Fugitive and the Adversary never meet.
Baptized? He was baptized in WATER by John.
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