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My Religion, my rant.

Alright after reading a post by cmer I made a post that finally made me tell something I have wanted to say for a long time, "I am NOT a christian!". This was not a decision I made on my own. I didn't wake up one morning or get really fed up with church and just decide to not be a christian. I have never been one, since the moment I came into this world I have never been pushed into the christian religion by my parents.

I have only attended some church with friends and my grandmother. This does not mean that I do not respect the christian religion, it's just that I don't really understand it. And I have tried to understand it. But it is really hard to hear about "god" and "jesus" and just don't care b/c you see no practical reason for it all. This is hard for some of you to comprehend. Many of you have been brought up on this all of your lives and it's all you know. Maybe some of you have been raised as christians and have decided to leave the faith. But I have never had a faith. All I know is that there are all these religions out there. But I do not belong to any. I have been raised with "no" religion.

My parents don't even know what it is like to have this "void" in your head. They were both raised on a religion, my mom was protestant and my dad was catholic. It was their decision to leave their faiths. My mom still believes in heaven and god but not church. My dad is pretty skeptical. I have never had a chance to choose. You have no idea what it is like to try to be a christian after never being one. It's strange. I don't understand it and I don't get it.

To me "The Bible" is just this book. It's interesting to me, I really enjoy reading some of it, but I can't live my life by it. I just don't see how people can. This was the way I was raised. I have "No Religion". This post even makes me want to cry (in fact when I reread it, I did). I feel like somewhat of an empty shell. There are 3 things in this world that people should not discuss: Religion, Politics, and Economics. I can't even talk about Religion, because I have no beliefs, nothing to go by.

So as I end my discusion I just want you to all know that for me, not being a christian was not my choice. I would have rather had been raised on this belief system and then chosen to have left it then to have never had it at all. I live in an area where religion is very important in peoples lives and "I have no religion".

Lastly, I really repect the christian beliefs. I just can't make them my own, because they have never been.

(Also I didn't mean to upset anyone in my post, sorry I if I did. I hope as many of you are my friends reading this, that you don't think differently about me. I am still me. I will always be. My non religion will not rub off onto you. I don't mind if you talk about religion in front of me. I've been use to it my whole life.)

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
aboyandhisrobot
Nov. 13th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)
Wow. That was very touching and honestly that's how I've felt for a long time too. I've always had great respect for Christ as a healer, and lover, and man of faith. He wasn't afraid to speak out against ignorance and hatred in his fellow man. Unfortunately, just as it did then and as it always will, his message has gone over the heads of many. Everyone takes the message given to them and don't even attempt to look at it from a different perspective. I'm not Christian either, but I've been spiritual my entire life. If you feel like you wanna talk about faith or anything without someone bashing you over the head with it, don't hesitate to let me know ok?
Finding what you believe with no map is a long hard journey, but when you get there you'll be so much better off. Good luck getting there. ::hug:: Stay strong.
anijgrl7
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for being a friend. I will remember that you will allow me to speak my mind without any hesitation. I feel grateful for your words and I know I can come to you and you will listen, thank you.
aboyandhisrobot
Nov. 13th, 2004 06:38 am (UTC)
You're very welcome. I understand what it's like to feel out of place spiritually and I wish I had had someone to talk to when I was figuring out my spirituality. At least who didn't either a) cram their religion down my throat, b) look at me like I'm off my rocker, or c) dismiss my input and suggest something the opposite. Like I said before though, feel free to come to me if you feel like you need a second opinion on something. I'd be glad to listen and offer advice how I can.

Also, as far as recommending specifically Christian denominations, I'm with Kim in suggesting methodist or possibly unitarian(although they might be a little too new age hippy-esque depending on the church). Then again I'm not entirely certain of that. You're best bet is to just keep trying until you get something that feels right whether it be with christianity or any other religion. I had to make quite a few jumps before I knew what was going on with me and I'd be prepared to make more if I thought it would better my perspective.
cmer
Nov. 13th, 2004 02:48 am (UTC)
First and most importantly, *hugs* because I know exactly how it feels to not know where you stand since you were raised with "no religion," plus not understanding what Christianity and other religions are about.

Secondly, O_O

I have been raised exactly the same way, the "no religion" thing. My parents were raised in the same way as yours, too, and they hardly forced me to read about the Bible, (although they did buy me a children's version when I was ten years old in case I was interested).

And... actually after I got cancer in 2001, for some reason my mom suddenly thought that by going to church as often as she could would somehow "cure me." That stopped after I protested and became a REAL bitch about going to church. In my eyes at the time, I thought going to church was boring, plus I was not at all interested. Greg felt the same way too.

Then after Greg died, I honestly felt lost and alone. I didn't know where to turn when it seemed like everyone else had their God or Allah to turn to, and somehow I felt like I needed someone or something to turn to, so I opened up myself a little.

The summer before Greg died, by the way, I was trying to get to get through the chemo therapy on my own. My aunt Jeri gave me these children's books called the Narnia Chronicles (if you want to borrow them, I can lend them to ya). The way CS Lewis copied Aslan from Jesus was wonderful and I loved his character.

Those books didn't help me understand the Christianity religion any more or any less, however, nor did I want to learn any more about it. The fact that I felt comfortable and loved by this particular character made me realize that I don't have to follow Christianity's God or Jesus or the Jewish God or the Muslim God... I can have my own.

Sounds strange, I guess, but that's what I came to the conclusion of. Oh, and Dan Brown's book, Angels and Demons opened my eyes a lot too. And having my own God and believing in someone who (or that, if "God" ends up being an alien.. LOL) I think is there for me and loves me all the time makes me smile, feel comfortable, safe, and secure. Like a light that likes to follow me around. LOL I still don't like going to church 'cause it's boring and I still don't understand anything about it. ;) But if I'm in one to just visit, I sorta feel comfortable and safe inside.

And yet other times science and the awful events in this world confuses me and makes me really wonder about God and who or what God is and if there really is a God. So, yeah, I'm part Christian, part agnostic, part athiest. And I'm...probably confusing you now.

Sorry... my comment looks silly. Anyway, that's what I personally did to help myself get through life. *hugs* Do what you can so you no longer feel depressed and empty believing in Someone or Something or not Anything at All. :)
anijgrl7
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:33 am (UTC)
I found your post really moving, thank you. Yes, I wondered what it has been like for you through all that you have gone through. It was nice to see that you found something to believe in. I hope one day I can find it too. LOL I have thought about the whole alien possibility LOL. And I guess maybe I am an agnostic. I do tend to believe that there must be a greater force out there than just me, I just don't know what it is. Whenever someone mentions "god" I just shudder at the name. I don't know why. The name "god" just does something to me. I guess my problem is that I think too much. I wonder how "god" could possibly exist, and it makes me challenge all these religions.

Speaking of froce at play, did you know there is a Jedi religion?
cmer
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:42 am (UTC)
Wow, my comment was moving? Awesome. ^_^ I don't think I've ever "moved" someone like that before.

Yes I do know! Cory, a friend I knew in high school and is a BIG Star Wars fanatic, told me they were "making one soon". That was, like, back in 2000, so I'm not surprised that it's "completed" now or something.

Let's join in the Jedi religion! Sounds much more fun than spending hours reading thousands of years old books. It IS your destiny, anyway. ;)
orcapotter
Nov. 13th, 2004 02:49 am (UTC)
::hugs::

There's a lot I could say... but yeah, I don't know where to start and to keep from sounding like I'm preaching.

In my opinion, though, and from what I read of your post, I don't think your problem is that you have no religion - I think it's more you feel you have no faith... no belief in anything beyond the physical. I think that's what that empty feeling is. There's a space there that wants to believe in something but you're not sure what that is.

Yes, I've been raised a Christian but it was never pushed on me that it was absolutely what I should believe. In the Methodist denomination, and in others, we go through Confirmation in middle school which gives us the opportunity to affirm our faith by our own will. It's hard for me to explain the differences and connections of faith and religion. You don't have to belong to a religion to believe in something.

I think the best person to talk to would be Gen (ravnclawprefect). If memory serves me right, she was in a similiar position as you. It was during tragedy and feeling utterly alone that she saught out Christ and God through just joining a youth group at her local church. I'm not saying "Christ Wants YOU To be a Christian!" and run out to the nearest church you can find... just if you truly want to fill that void, there are answers out there. You just need to want to seek it.

For Christianity's sake, though, every denomination is different in how they approach the Bible and all that good stuff. I'm not sure which you've visited... but if you ever want to, you're more than welcome to come to my church. I go to First United Methodist of Winter Park.

But yeah, like I said, you just have to research, ask, look around to find the truth that speaks to yourself, not what any of us says. Just know you still have you're friends and that you can always count on us :-)
anijgrl7
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your post. It is so good to hear that my friends don't hate me or anything. I have been so scared to say anything because I have been afraid that people would hate me.

I have tried going to a few of my friends churches over the years. I did try out the whole Youth group thing, not for me. I have been to a catholic service, a protestant service, a lutheran service, and an un-denominational service.

It's kinda hard for me to go to any others being forced to work on Sundays at work. But I may take you up on your offer someday.
orcapotter
Nov. 13th, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
The youth group thing... eh, it's not really my thing. I was very involved with Kid Connection at my church when I was in elementary school... but after Confirmation we stopped going to church as often and sorta fell into a religious rut where we'd only go at Christmas and Easter.

And then Dad had his heart attack and my faith was the only thing that got me through it. It became really important to me to go to church after that. Before, it was like what Tina said - church was boring and I was embarrased to sing hymns and stuff. But, once I was truly convinced of everything my faith does for me, everything suddenly made sense and I felt it important to take part in service. If my church was closer and if I didn't work, I would probably really look into joining something but my church is an old one - it's over 75 years old; so the services there are traditional and not as appealing to the college crowd. So they don't have a college group. I like the traditional services, at least at my church (I have been to many others), 'cause I found the modern hip-hop let's-stand-and-sing-for-the-entire-hour services to be more intimidating and just not my thing.

And yes, the invitation is always open for you to join me ^_^
anijgrl7
Nov. 13th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)
I see that many people's strength in their religion came after a tradgedy in their life. Although I wouldn't hope for one to happen to me, that may cause me to go in that direction, who knows?

My father had the adverse effect after the loss of his father where he no longer turned to religion. Which is probably why I have not been raised on anything. To him, it was like god was punishing him or something. My grandfather died when my dad was only 8 yrs old.

I have had some loss in my life and it has caused me to turn no where or want to look anywhere. I have still yet to cry for anyone who has died. I'm not quite sure why b/c I have been close to a few people that have passed. I keep many things locked inside of me. I don't cry much b/c I've been taught to be strong, and that crying doesn't solve anything. But this was taught to me for a different purpose, and my mind has made it so that I cry for almost nothing.

Am I but a stone? I hope not, I want to open up now that I have, and tell the world all the things that I have never told before.
cmer
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
Pardon me for butting in, but I don't think you're a stone, Lori. *huggles* Lots of events and people can turn others cold. My mom still cries often and I can't do anything but stand there and hug her. Personally I'm tired of crying and it has emptied my soul, it seems, but that doesn't mean I can't feel. I'm still hurt that Greg's gone and I'm still hurt that my parents are depressed for the holidays yet again.. So... just because you don't express emotions as often as others do doesn't mean you don't feel and definitely doesn't you're a stone.

And.. crying may not be able to improve any situation, such as bringing your grandfather back, but it does help heal wounds over time. It's good to just sit there on your bed and cry for hours because in a day or so you'll be smiling and laughing again.

Melanie Adams once told me that always look forward to tomorrow because it is a new day and you haven't committed any mistakes yet. Or something like that.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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