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Switch to Forum Live View Trying to give Christianity another go...
5 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2009 - 2:56AM #1
Sombra
Posts: 17

I had another topic under this section where I think I came off as a little hostile.  I deleted it mainly because no one responded to it...so let me try this again.


I've been drifting away from Christianity since I was 14.  I was reluctant to tell myself that I wasn't Christian because I feared both hell and God.  I never picked up on the image of a loving God that everyone else in my church picked up on.  Not to mention that I'm prone to questioning things to death especially when I can't make sense of things.  I don't like how judgmental people are at my church.  And also there was only one question I asked of God multiple times...something that I felt needed to be answered (It's a bit personal so I don't want to say here though if you're curious I guess you could ask in a private message) and I never got an answer for it so I just gave up.  The fact that my mother is trying to force church on me doesn't help either.


I've been talking with some Christians on other sites though...one as a debate on issues and another because I'm just trying to figure out what I believe in and she's very much about God's love and trying to get me to understand it.  And I'm about 65% sure she's trying to convert me but I'm stubborn and it would take a lot to convince me of things.  


Anyways, there were a lot of factors that were making me drift away from Christianity, mainly the way I've seen other Christians behave towards each other and other religions.  The worst thing was the time I was in church and the pastor started mocking other people based on sexuality and beliefs and I just felt myself becoming so angry...like I was feeling a tightening in my chest (for some reason when I get upset that's where all that tension goes) like I wanted to just scream.  I really don't care that they think differences in beliefs and sexuality are bad but to mock a person on those things is downright cruel and unnecessary.  And the entire congregation just laughed along with him...that church maybe right for everyone else in my family (my mother is friends with the pastor and many other members of the church).  But that church embodies the reason why I've been drifting away from Christianity.


But lately I've been feeling a pull back towards it.  So I figure I would give it another go.  Though at the same time I feel a pull towards aspects of Shamanism...mainly the meditation aspects.  If it really is about the love, the I want to see/feel that.  Before it was about the fear of hell and just getting to heaven.  Personally I care very little about either concept and I don't think that should be the important part for now.  Shouldn't the relationship with God be the most important part?


Anyways, I'm still rather lost and confused...any advice would be good.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 15, 2009 - 12:36PM #2
mas21
Posts: 24

Don't be put off by the christians you have already met. We are all imperfect, and anyone who claims to be otherwise is decieving themselves and others. Try out some other churches, maybe some non-denominational ones, I go to a church that is part of the New Frontiers movement www.newfrontiers.xtn.org/ and can really recommend it. A good church should support you in your quest for answers, and should not be mocking people. The church leadership should be accountable and happy to explain their actions when challenged.


I don't know much about Shamanism but if it is the meditation side that interests you, then it is possible to practice meditation within christianity. I think there is some articles on beliefnet about christian meditation.

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2009 - 10:20AM #3
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Please don't assume that "Christian" is synonymous with the type of Christians that you have found to be bigoted and judgmental. As noted, we're all imperfect people, and Christians can be jerks as easily as anyone else (including persons in the shamanist traditions!). And "Christian" is also not synonymous with conservative evangelical Christian. I am in a mainline denomination (ELCA); I'm also gay and partnered; I'm also a commissioned lay minister, whom my congregations entrusts with assisting our pastor in a very public, responsible way. Christianity pitches a big tent, and there's plenty of room for people with progressive sociopolitical viewpoints. (And I'll just note that, contrary to popular belief, sometimes encouraged by entities like Beliefnet, Christianity isn't about adhering to a set of political talking points; it's about radical trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ.)


I have some sympathy for your interest in shamanism; at one point in my life I was very attracted to neopaganism. As the other respondent pointed out, if your attraction is rooted in a sense of the sacred in creation and in a longing for "awe" and mystery, there is plenty of that in Christianity, particularly in the more traditional, liturgical Christian traditions. You don't have to choose between Christianity and mysticism, or between Christianity and caring for creation; like the old spaghetti sauce commercial put it, "It's all in there.";-)

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2009 - 1:12AM #4
Sombra
Posts: 17

Nov 13, 2009 -- 10:20AM, tawonda wrote:


Please don't assume that "Christian" is synonymous with the type of Christians that you have found to be bigoted and judgmental. As noted, we're all imperfect people, and Christians can be jerks as easily as anyone else (including persons in the shamanist traditions!). And "Christian" is also not synonymous with conservative evangelical Christian. I am in a mainline denomination (ELCA); I'm also gay and partnered; I'm also a commissioned lay minister, whom my congregations entrusts with assisting our pastor in a very public, responsible way. Christianity pitches a big tent, and there's plenty of room for people with progressive sociopolitical viewpoints. (And I'll just note that, contrary to popular belief, sometimes encouraged by entities like Beliefnet, Christianity isn't about adhering to a set of political talking points; it's about radical trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ.)


I have some sympathy for your interest in shamanism; at one point in my life I was very attracted to neopaganism. As the other respondent pointed out, if your attraction is rooted in a sense of the sacred in creation and in a longing for "awe" and mystery, there is plenty of that in Christianity, particularly in the more traditional, liturgical Christian traditions. You don't have to choose between Christianity and mysticism, or between Christianity and caring for creation; like the old spaghetti sauce commercial put it, "It's all in there.";-)




I don't assume that.  The majority of my friends are Christian actually.  However I find it hard to separate that aspect from the whole.  I generally don't care what people believe...so long as I don't feel forced to believe it.  I know they're not about political talking points but adhering to a specific set of rules set by a specific text...I don't know.  I'd like to believe that religion is more about the entities involved (not just Christianity but all religions that have texts), but the texts are a major part of those beliefs.  I'm talking to a lady on another site who would do her best to argue to me that you're not fulfilling your whole potential as a Christian because being gay is a sin according to the Bible.  I personally think that God doesn't care so much about something so insignificant as sexuality (well to me it seems insignificant...others will beg to differ).


And that's not why I felt attracted to Shamanism...It's something entirely different that I don't really care to explain...nor do I really know how to...

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2009 - 5:48PM #5
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Speaking from my own experience as a student of Scripture in an academic context...the Bible is really a remarkable collection of documents that do not deserve to be read in the wooden, one-dimensional way that so many Christians read them. And because the Bible is supposed to be a living, continually engaging book and not a dead letter, it's not simply about trying to understand what the texts meant to their original hearers/readers, but also trying to hear what they have to say for us, in our own own time, in our own collective and individual situations.  At least in my tradition, the Bible isn't like a book of "regs." It's a conversation.

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