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  #1  
Unread 4th December 2010, 01:40 PM
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Losing my faith

Hi,
I've been losing my faith over these past several months. Last night, I wrote this because I feel the need to tell someone, and not hold it all in, and so I'm posting it on here this morning:


In my attempt to be honest to myself and my own experiences with God, Iíve come to doubt my faith more than I ever have before.

When people around me so certainly heard God tell them things or move in their lives, and those things seemed all too often aligned with their own views and opinions - I committed myself to only saying things that I was sure was from God. I didnít want to confuse my own thoughts with those of God. While Iíd never felt something before that felt undeniably like a divine message, I kept faith that I might hear something. But I never did.

When I read in the Bible where it said to have a reason for believing, I took that as finding a rational proof. I kept looking, and thought I found something, only to find the flaws in it. Iíve since kept looking, but whenever I find an answer, it only opens up more questions. In the process of looking for rational reasons to convince others, Iíve come to the point where Iíve failed to convince myself.

When I was told that during prayer we should not just say things to God, but spend time listening as well, I listened. I cleared my mind and listened for a message. But apart from the non-sensible mental static in my mind, I heard nothing that I could honestly say I thought was from God.

Iíve seen those who said they were led by God ignore the suffering of the least in society and drive some of them over the edge. Yes, I know weíre all fallen people, and Christians donít have it right, but why do so many Christians get things so spectacularly wrong?

I have so many questions, and so many doubts. At first, I ignored them; my faith was enough, and I had faith there would be answers. But thereís only so many unanswered questions you can have about something before you begin to question the entire thing itself.

I know what many Christians will tell me, and what many of you may feel compelled to tell me: unbelief offers no hope. That a world without believing in a God who cares about the world and works to do good in it is not something theyíd want to believe in. I feel the same way. Iím terrified of the idea that after you die nothing happens. But Iím at the uncomfortable point of adhering to a belief system that offers more questions than answers for me and that Iím hanging on to for fear of missing heaven or going to hell. I donít feel like Iím being honest with myself and what actually seems to be the case in the world.

Itís not like I havenít tried. Iíve been through a lot with my faith. Years of torment from religious OCD over false concepts of Christianity and then getting over that, just to deal with another faith-related crisis. Itís been exhausting. These past couples years though Iíve finally had the clarity and sanity of mind to really understand Christianity and be able to try out being a Christian. And Iíve tried so hard, and I keep asking myself, how did I end up where Iím at? Iíd like nothing more than to be a devout believer, but I canít force myself to fully devote myself to something I have serious doubts about.

I havenít personally had any bad experiences with Christians. Iím not trying to Ďabandon Christianityí to justify some sin or to switch to moral relativism. Iím a strong believer in objective morality. I donít think Iím losing my faith for many of the reasons other people my age do. I havenít slowly drifted away due to disinterest, or the lack of any churches with free coffee and candles everywhere - Iíd go to any church if they could give satisfying answers to my questions. I feel like Iíve fought for every square inch of my faith, but have still managed to somehow lose.

Iím not sure exactly what Iím trying to accomplish with this post. Every other time Iíve had a faith crisis, Iíve written out a list of solid points or questions and looked for answers from other Christians, but haven't always gotten satisfying answers. I think this time, Iím just tired of looking and in a way, Iíve stopped looking for answers, but Iím also tired of holding this all in. I donít expect to get any answers that will make me feel any less confused or conflicted. I think I just needed to tell someone how Iíve been feeling and thinking.

Thanks for reading this,
Adam
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  #2  
Unread 4th December 2010, 02:30 PM
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Hi Adam,

I love you
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  #3  
Unread 4th December 2010, 03:07 PM
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Yes I went through what you're describing after I had brain surgery that stopped all feelings of "feeling God's love" whether spontaneously or in any type of worship and prayer.

I understand what you're saying. It took me years to return back to God.
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  #4  
Unread 4th December 2010, 03:19 PM
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Unfortunately many christians say, oh, God said this or that. They say this too loosely. Please don't let other christians hurt your faith. Everyone is at different levels at different times. And many christians don't even know what their bible says in the U.S. because our country is filled with lukewarm christians.

Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (what christ thinks about lukewarm christians).


Maybe your questions can be answered using the below.
www.TheBibleProofBook.com, (you will need acrobat reader for this), read The Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell a former agnostic- (its overwhelming circumstantial evidence of bible) and Examine the Evidence by Muncaster a former athiest/The Case for Christ and The Real Jesus by Lee Strobel a former athiest. www.equip.org (articles), http://www.gotquestions.org/,
http://christiananswers.net/

Feel free to email me, if you have any questions. I prayed for you.




1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
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-Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-Abortion - 45 million dead babies and growing
**Proverbs 6:16-17 - states that there are seven things that are an abomination to the Lord; one of them is the shedding of innocent blood.
Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind, Albert Einstein.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,
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  #5  
Unread 4th December 2010, 04:22 PM
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Hi Adam, and welcome to CF!

Originally Posted by wsgqapu_ap View Post
In my attempt to be honest to myself and my own experiences with God

When people around me so certainly heard God tell them things or move in their lives, and those things seemed all too often aligned with their own views and opinions

I didnít want to confuse my own thoughts with those of God.

When I read in the Bible where it said to have a reason for believing, I took that as finding a rational proof. I kept looking, and thought I found something, only to find the flaws in it.

In the process of looking for rational reasons to convince others
I snipped out some good and very powerful things you wrote, and ended with the bolded part. Do you see the problem??

1. Where were you looking for your "rational answers?" the bible itself is the likely spot, but creation itself is another "book" G-d wrote. Human society is a jumbled mess, being a fallen species and all.

2. We all need to sort through the apparent contradictions in the Bible, and as long as we're seeing any not kid ourselves that we really know what any of it means. IMHO.

3. We need OUR OWN answers. These will never suffice for another! Some of our answers may help another along the way ...

Originally Posted by wsgqapu_ap View Post
I feel like Iíve fought for every square inch of my faith, but have still managed to somehow lose.
Not to speak ill of the Church as a whole, nor of any individual cell of the Body, but what you're looking for can't be provided by the Church. Christianity is a personal relationship, w/ Jesus Himself. This is a deeper level of the law vs grace thing, like so:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

Not sure if you can see how this addresses your situation, but I say this is your wound that needs to be bandaged up. Praying for oil and wine ...
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  #6  
Unread 4th December 2010, 06:42 PM
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God loves us all unconditionally.
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  #7  
Unread 4th December 2010, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wsgqapu_ap View Post
Hi,
I've been losing my faith over these past several months. Last night, I wrote this because I feel the need to tell someone, and not hold it all in, and so I'm posting it on here this morning:


In my attempt to be honest to myself and my own experiences with God, Iíve come to doubt my faith more than I ever have before.

When people around me so certainly heard God tell them things or move in their lives, and those things seemed all too often aligned with their own views and opinions - I committed myself to only saying things that I was sure was from God. I didnít want to confuse my own thoughts with those of God. While Iíd never felt something before that felt undeniably like a divine message, I kept faith that I might hear something. But I never did.

When I read in the Bible where it said to have a reason for believing, I took that as finding a rational proof. I kept looking, and thought I found something, only to find the flaws in it. Iíve since kept looking, but whenever I find an answer, it only opens up more questions. In the process of looking for rational reasons to convince others, Iíve come to the point where Iíve failed to convince myself.

When I was told that during prayer we should not just say things to God, but spend time listening as well, I listened. I cleared my mind and listened for a message. But apart from the non-sensible mental static in my mind, I heard nothing that I could honestly say I thought was from God.

Iíve seen those who said they were led by God ignore the suffering of the least in society and drive some of them over the edge. Yes, I know weíre all fallen people, and Christians donít have it right, but why do so many Christians get things so spectacularly wrong?

I have so many questions, and so many doubts. At first, I ignored them; my faith was enough, and I had faith there would be answers. But thereís only so many unanswered questions you can have about something before you begin to question the entire thing itself.

I know what many Christians will tell me, and what many of you may feel compelled to tell me: unbelief offers no hope. That a world without believing in a God who cares about the world and works to do good in it is not something theyíd want to believe in. I feel the same way. Iím terrified of the idea that after you die nothing happens. But Iím at the uncomfortable point of adhering to a belief system that offers more questions than answers for me and that Iím hanging on to for fear of missing heaven or going to hell. I donít feel like Iím being honest with myself and what actually seems to be the case in the world.

Itís not like I havenít tried. Iíve been through a lot with my faith. Years of torment from religious OCD over false concepts of Christianity and then getting over that, just to deal with another faith-related crisis. Itís been exhausting. These past couples years though Iíve finally had the clarity and sanity of mind to really understand Christianity and be able to try out being a Christian. And Iíve tried so hard, and I keep asking myself, how did I end up where Iím at? Iíd like nothing more than to be a devout believer, but I canít force myself to fully devote myself to something I have serious doubts about.

I havenít personally had any bad experiences with Christians. Iím not trying to Ďabandon Christianityí to justify some sin or to switch to moral relativism. Iím a strong believer in objective morality. I donít think Iím losing my faith for many of the reasons other people my age do. I havenít slowly drifted away due to disinterest, or the lack of any churches with free coffee and candles everywhere - Iíd go to any church if they could give satisfying answers to my questions. I feel like Iíve fought for every square inch of my faith, but have still managed to somehow lose.

Iím not sure exactly what Iím trying to accomplish with this post. Every other time Iíve had a faith crisis, Iíve written out a list of solid points or questions and looked for answers from other Christians, but haven't always gotten satisfying answers. I think this time, Iím just tired of looking and in a way, Iíve stopped looking for answers, but Iím also tired of holding this all in. I donít expect to get any answers that will make me feel any less confused or conflicted. I think I just needed to tell someone how Iíve been feeling and thinking.

Thanks for reading this,
Adam
Adam, I know what you're going through. You sound like me in my experiences. The reason you are going through this is because you're a 'thinker,' and a part of your personality type feels best by reasoning until a sense of cognitive closure has been reached. Unfortunately, no form of religious belief, including faith in Christ, can give us rational closure, it's not in the structure of our humanity. In other words, we are finite beings who cannot acquire all of the knowledge that we crave.

This is all I'll say at this point, because to go further would then track off into a formal discussion of philosophy, apologetics, history, psychology, etc, and I know that is not what you need at this moment.

I just want to say that you're not alone in feeling the way you do.
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Unread 7th December 2010, 03:23 PM
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Did you know that there's more historical information for Christ than Alexander the Great?
Check out "The Historical Jesus Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ."
The Historical Jesus - Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ
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The Bible states that those who fornicate (living that lifestyle) will not inherit the Kingdom of God be it between homosexuals or men and woman who are not married. (Gal 5:19-21).

Again, I urge anyone who supports homosexual marriage to repent of their sin.
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Unread 9th December 2010, 12:36 PM
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It is a sorrowful & fallen world which many often wonder what all of this is about. This is where we may be closer to the Lord than we realize because our capacity to yearn for His command to love God & our neighbor as ourself with all our heart, soul, & mind seems at its greatest. We cannot change it but can only find ways to help it. How you do this is between God and yourself & whatever is done for the good should be done also with interior prayer for the salvation of whoever one is called to help (so for ex. if you donate to a food bank pray that those who receive your charity also have salvation for instance & leave the rest to God). We are not saved by works but by grace for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

I am a sinner who always needs to repent & not the most happy person & may even have slight depression but also have thanksgiving in the hope of the salvation that Jesus Christ has given us & praying that others have it (who? God knows, I just pray). We are called to pray for all (1 Timothy 2:1). An atheist may say well you have probably helped produce a chemically induced placebo effect in your brain to offset your melancholy and for your purpose this is good. No, this is a small instance of God giving me His grace & then a scientific explanation of this can then suffice. I also better show some gratitude, give thanks, & share the grace given to me. I see my home town deteriorating as murder & other crimes increase. One may wonder how the Lord sorrowed as an infant as a fiend murdered the infants of Bethlehem (Matthew 3:16).

Remember as the Lord Jesus Christ tells us that we will have tribulation in this world but to be of good cheer since He has overcome it (see John 16:33). God bless.
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Unread 9th December 2010, 12:58 PM
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I'm not the warm and fuzziest person but I'll try my best.

First I would ask why you have faith in the first place and isolate the source of it. Look at where it comes from and how it has affected your life. If you have a /to you is the important part/ legitimate reason for having faith in a god then by all means return to religion. If your having trouble with fully believing in something that is never going to give you proof / and it isn't/ then maybe you need to rexamine what your beliefs are and maybe give the other side of the arugment more than a passing glance. I don't usually try to 'deconvert' people so to speak, but I was in your exact situation once, trying desperatly to believe and hating myself when I couldn't force it or fake it. Remeber be honsest with yourself and the answer must some from you.

Hope this helps and best wishes!
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