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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 4:07PM #1
Kindred322
Posts: 80

Hello All,


I have to share this with someone because I am so afraid that I will be met with rightious indignation and condemnation from my community. I FEEL the Mother calling me, have since I was very little, but I am having such a difficult time letting go of my cradle religion (Southern Baptist). I find myself feeling so conflicted...between following my heart and staying within my comfort zone, despite it being unfulfilling and devoid. I battle between what my heart says is right and what my mind says is easiest. I feel so torn. I dont want to be rejected by my family and community...that is what I fear, too. I dont know what to do. I know I cant stradle the fence. oh me. Despair.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2009 - 4:23PM #2
Godgirl
Posts: 973

I have been considering different faiths including various chrisitan faiths. I havent been to church in over a month and i feel GREAT!!!!! Although i am looking into more flexible faith traditions.  However, i feel your anguish because i experineced that as well.

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9 years ago  ::  May 03, 2009 - 12:06PM #3
newway87
Posts: 25

I was raised in the C of C, very legalistic and insistent upon women being unable to hold positions of leadership.  I went away from that early in my adulthood.  I am a pianist, and many times I have filled in as accompanist for many different churches--almost all of the "mainline" denominations. 


Now here I sit, Sunday morning at 10:30, and my family and I are not in church.  We're in the family room together, as we have been most Sunday mornings for the last year.  I don't attend regular services any  more unless I'm playing the piano for someone.  For quite a while, I was troubled that my family and I weren't experiencing fellowship the way we ought.  I believe fellowship to be a critical part of living a Christian life, giving believers a support system.


However, I have discovered that this time with my family is irreplaceable.  My kids are in their teens, and during the week we are all going in separate directions all of the time.  These Sunday mornings when I cook a big breakfast and we eat together, or we go out for brunch have become SO important to our familiy.  We talk about important things, like faith, school, relationships, and we laugh and joke as well. 


I continue to read scripture, teach my children, we pray and regularly talk about our beliefs together.  I  do somewhat miss the structure and comfortable familiarity with rites and practices, but I also feel at peace like I never have before.  I realize this forum is far more broad than just Christianity, but let me pose this question: are we less "Christian" because we don't participate in formal worship?

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9 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2009 - 4:10PM #4
Serenity1552
Posts: 321

Apr 29, 2009 -- 4:07PM, Kindred322 wrote:


Hello All,


I have to share this with someone because I am so afraid that I will be met with rightious indignation and condemnation from my community. I FEEL the Mother calling me, have since I was very little, but I am having such a difficult time letting go of my cradle religion (Southern Baptist). I find myself feeling so conflicted...between following my heart and staying within my comfort zone, despite it being unfulfilling and devoid. I battle between what my heart says is right and what my mind says is easiest. I feel so torn. I dont want to be rejected by my family and community...that is what I fear, too. I dont know what to do. I know I cant stradle the fence. oh me. Despair.






If you want to find true peace, and joy, you must follow your heart.  You heart is the source of wisdom.


You may feel uncomfortable at first, but in time, you will know that you made the right decision.


I wish you love, joy, and peaceSmile


 


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9 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 11:35AM #5
Kindred322
Posts: 80
[/quote]


Hi Serenity,


You know, you are right...my heart tells me this is true. The conflict comes when I find myself staring down the barrel of threats of eternal punishment for not "believing in Jesus". My heart pulls me one way, my socialization pulls another. I am really torn. I just want to be the best I can be, live for God or Goddess the best I can, and feel like I have done some good work on earth. I guess the reality is that no one can know for certain what is "real"...thats why we have "faith" right? The hope that what we see as God/Goddess is in fact the Divine speaking to us. Who knows. I dont want to be misguided or "decieved"...I just want to do what is right. My heart seeks honestly and openly...shouldnt that be enough? I dont know. I guess, in the end, it is all about our personal decisions in what we believe. I just dont want to be wrong and burn forever in a lake of fire. That would suck.

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9 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2009 - 9:56PM #6
LeahOne
Posts: 18,418

"I just want to do what is right. My heart seeks honestly and openly...shouldnt that be enough? I dont know. I guess, in the end, it is all about our personal decisions in what we believe. I just dont want to be wrong and burn forever in a lake of fire. That would suck."


I'd like to know why you'd ever want to worship a Being Who would sentence you to burn in a lake of fire for simply not believing things you were told?


 

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9 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2009 - 10:05PM #7
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,796

Oct 29, 2009 -- 9:56PM, LeahOne wrote:


"I just want to do what is right. My heart seeks honestly and openly...shouldnt that be enough? I dont know. I guess, in the end, it is all about our personal decisions in what we believe. I just dont want to be wrong and burn forever in a lake of fire. That would suck."


I'd like to know why you'd ever want to worship a Being Who would sentence you to burn in a lake of fire for simply not believing things you were told?


 



Yes , why would someone want to worship something that would burn you in a lake of fire, for not believing other human beings. Which is what it comes down too.


 


I know I just repeated you Leah, but it was so good. Smile

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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9 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2009 - 9:44AM #8
TPaine
Posts: 10,308

Hi Kindred,


Let me deal with both your posts separately. In the first you stated:

Apr 29, 2009 -- 4:07PM, Kindred322 wrote:

Hello All,

I have to share this with someone because I am so afraid that I will be met with rightious indignation and condemnation from my community. I FEEL the Mother calling me, have since I was very little, but I am having such a difficult time letting go of my cradle religion (Southern Baptist). I find myself feeling so conflicted...between following my heart and staying within my comfort zone, despite it being unfulfilling and devoid. I battle between what my heart says is right and what my mind says is easiest. I feel so torn. I dont want to be rejected by my family and community...that is what I fear, too. I dont know what to do. I know I cant stradle the fence. oh me. Despair.



Is your community so tied up in the Southern Baptist beliefs that they would reject you because you found a path that, while different, made you a better and happier person? Are they that bigoted? The easy way out would be to continue to pretend to go along with the Southern Baptist program. You wouldn't have to worry about rejection, or upsetting your family, or being uncomfortable. You would only have one problem, You wouldn't really be happy, and you'd also be living a lie, which leads me to your second post.


Oct 19, 2009 -- 11:35AM, Kindred322 wrote:

Hi Serenity,

You know, you are right...my heart tells me this is true. The conflict comes when I find myself staring down the barrel of threats of eternal punishment for not "believing in Jesus". My heart pulls me one way, my socialization pulls another. I am really torn. I just want to be the best I can be, live for God or Goddess the best I can, and feel like I have done some good work on earth. I guess the reality is that no one can know for certain what is "real"...thats why we have "faith" right? The hope that what we see as God/Goddess is in fact the Divine speaking to us. Who knows. I dont want to be misguided or "decieved"...I just want to do what is right. My heart seeks honestly and openly...shouldnt that be enough? I dont know. I guess, in the end, it is all about our personal decisions in what we believe. I just dont want to be wrong and burn forever in a lake of fire. That would suck.



Here you mention the fear of eternal punishment. Personally, I believe that to be a myth, but let's assume for a moment that it may be true. In your first post you stated you find the Southern Baptist path "unfulfilling and devoid." Do you think that's what Jesus wants: someone who follow him just to avoid Hell? Plus, if that's what you're doing, how do you know Christianity is the correct way to do it. Maybe Muhammad was right. Maybe Islam is the path to salvation. Maybe Zoroaster was right, or Buddha. Don't follow a religion to gain acceptance or to avoid condemnation, Kindred. Follow what your heart tells you would make you happy.


In closing, let me add this. While I was trying to come up with an answer to you post, I happened to come across a statement I thought was very wise. I think you just might recognize it.

Status: Dare to believe not what you've always been told to believe; rather, believe that which sings to your heart and illuminates your soul.


"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."-- Thomas Paine: The Crisis No. V (March 21, 1778)
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8 years ago  ::  Nov 30, 2009 - 4:22PM #9
Kindred322
Posts: 80

TPaine,


Thank you for your wonderful responses. I truly appreciate an outside, more objective view. I know I often answer myself in my own posts lol.


1. I cannot believe in a God/Goddess that would prefer to punish for an eternity for what happens in a puny 75 years.


2. I must always evaluate what is internalized from childhood and what is real spiritually. Those old beliefs have a sneaking way of popping up and "convicting" me.


3. I realize that I will never have all the answers, no matter how much I pray or conduct rituals. Therefore, I must do the best I can and be sensitive to those messages from the Divine.


4. I realize that all my heart wants is a real realtionship with the Divine. To feel loved and accepted. To know that spiritual development is a process that may take failing without being punished...not to say not take responsibility for actions.


5. I think one of the most poignant thing I have learned is that Man always has an agenda, real spirituality is in experiencing the divine in personal ways (the revealed vs experiential spirituality concept). Another reason why I left Christianity is that I was always told that god is with me and he will answer prayers and knows my heart. Well, the did he know the desperation and depression I suffered? Why did he not answer prayers...oh, thats right its because i have 'unconfessed sin' 'just read his word' etc. Corny BS if you ask me. The Goddess has revealed herself to me in vision and in life in ways that are more real than I could ever have wanted.


6. Continuing to grow. I realize I still have resentment and anger built from being decieved or at least being ignornant for so long. Amongst other knives planted in my back from family. I know peace will only come when I can forgive for the wrong doings...I am just hurt right now. I know the Mother is patient and will not punish me for struggling.


I hope my rant makes sense. Maybe it doesnt...I havent the time to proof read for coherency.


Finaly Thought: All around we see cycles of growth, maturation, and fruition. So, to me is spiritual growth. A cycle that progresses humanity along eternity...working towards being the best we can be. And in the end that is it...we can only be the best we can be. I am finding some peace in that now. I have done my best, with an honest heart, and and open-mind.


Blessings to All.

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