I really miss church BUT

(34 Posts)
Mitchy1nge Tue 28-May-13 21:39:49

it feels like it and God are a complete load of shit at the moment (the people at church itself are nice I mean The Church)

is there some way of reconciling these slightly opposing impulses?

I love this quote from jeffery R Holland, "So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work."

I think it may apply here. Sorry if it doesn't.

The rest of his talk is here (he is an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng you might enjoy it/find it interesting too.

lavenderpekins Tue 09-Jul-13 11:02:46

If you want some inspiration google a film called father of light you can stream it for free. Its incredible and i'm a christian by the way x

Lyall3b Fri 21-Jun-13 17:39:47

Perhaps find an Alpha course to see if you can work out the areas that upset you.
www.alpha.org

Dione I think sometimes it is in talking to God about how we really feel that we can sometimes acknowledge it for ourselves.

Mitchy1nge how are you doing? You said you miss church, what is it you miss? As I said a way back I am a Christian.

I feel our relationship with God is very important and sometimes we can be part of a church for a long time without actually connecting to God.

It can sometimes feel like God is absent from the world, but I do not believe he is. Ultimately all of us will make the decisions about what we feel about God for ourselves. Despite what people may say God (or our concept of God if you do not believe God is real) is a very big part of our wider society and concept of ourselves as people. That is why I think (Personal opinion here, of course) it is a very big thing for people to feel they are rejecting God. It may be that if you were brought up in the church you are only now really challenging the beliefs you were brought up with. The fact you came onto Mumsnet to start a thread about this topic suggests it is quite important to you (or is that my imgaination?)

All best wishes, Mitchy1nge.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 09-Jun-13 18:16:00

God already knows how we feel. It's ourselves that we need to be honest with.

zulubump Sun 09-Jun-13 16:28:00

Hi Mitchy, I'd like to encourage you in line with what Springy has said. God can't heal and do amazing things without us to do them in partnership with him. I don't think God intervenes against our will, he works with us, if we let him. Also agree with Springy about being totally honest with God when we are confused/frustrated/angry. He wants to know how we really feel. If we can't be totally honest with God, who can we? I hope you can find a way to do this so that you don't have to throw God out along with The Church.

You say that the people at your church are nice. Is there anyone you trust that you can talk things over with? For me, finding Christian friends that I can trust and be honest with has been invaluable.

All the best to you Mitchy.

EllieArroway Sun 09-Jun-13 13:22:51

iyo! Do please clarify that this is yo. A discussion, I think, would include clarifying that whatever is one's opinion

No - it's not my opinion.

There's no evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone that the religion that has tediously dogged the western world for 2000 years is based on anything factual.

Same goes for any & all claims that the major religions make.

Anyway - I agree with Dione. If the OP is happy, that's the end of the matter. Telling her to talk to a god that (for sensible, sound reasons) she no longer really believes exists is arrogant & pointless.

If you want to discuss evidence for god/Jesus with me, springy, please feel free to join the YEC thread. You would be most welcome.

springytate Sun 09-Jun-13 12:55:26

iyo! Do please clarify that this is yo. A discussion, I think, would include clarifying that whatever is one's opinion.

I was talking to OP, Dione, when I suggested baby/bathwater.

Of course she shouldn't force herself to believe whatever. That's just mad.

imo.

EllieArroway Sun 09-Jun-13 10:46:13

Do I recognise your name as someone who trawls this board to encourage people to drop their faith? You may have an axe to grind about religion

No, you don't. I discuss issues - this is a discussion forum.

All that palaver - 2000 years at least - hasn't come from nowhere. Yes, it has.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 08-Jun-13 22:41:10

No Springy, I'm not advocating throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Mitchy has said that it's not just the church she's having problems with. She is having problems with the whole concept of god. She describes the loss of her faith, not religion as feeling as good as giving up smoking.

That sounds great and she'd be mad to deny it and spend her time trying to force herself to believe something that she doesn't.

springytate Sat 08-Jun-13 22:28:25

Baby/bathwater then!

All that palaver - 2000 years at least - hasn't come from nowhere. Don't chuck God out as well?

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 08-Jun-13 22:25:53

Mitchy if you feel better away from your church. Just do it. If you are losing/have lost your faith and it feels as good as *giving up smoking*[wow] grab it with both hands. That kind of happiness and peace and relief(?) is not to be sneezed at.

Accept it and move on to a happier, more fulfilled life.smile

springytate Sat 08-Jun-13 22:16:03

Reality? It may be 'reality' to you Ellie, but I'm not sure anyone is the authority on 'reality'. Do I recognise your name as someone who trawls this board to encourage people to drop their faith? You may have an axe to grind about religion - in which case, I'm with you on that.

I should clarify that I didn't specifically mean losing catholicism when I said 'you might be losing your religion' (above). I'm not taking a pop at eg catholicism. I'm not a fan of religion - and neither was Jesus, if you think about it. People mix God and religion up, which is where people get the idea that God is cold and vile - when he's the opposite.

EllieArroway Sat 08-Jun-13 08:54:22

it doesn't make any sense, even though it sort of did before, I suppose I'm losing my faith (such as it was) and it's starting to feel good - exactly like giving up smoking

Good for you, Mitchy1nge smile

And yes, the smoking analogy is good. You suddenly realise that you can live quite happily without something you thought you needed.

Welcome to reality.

springytate Sat 08-Jun-13 00:40:29

You might be losing your religion. Which, imo, is a good thing.

Mitchy1nge Fri 07-Jun-13 22:39:56

thanks, it's nice of you (all) to take the time to reply flowers

it doesn't make any sense, even though it sort of did before, I suppose I'm losing my faith (such as it was) and it's starting to feel good - exactly like giving up smoking

springytate Fri 07-Jun-13 22:23:57

and I have certainly been rude on occasion

springytate Fri 07-Jun-13 22:22:59

(sorry to take an age to wind up here..)

to answer eg this bit: how shit it is - what is the point of a God who only intervenes now and then if it suits Him?

this is precisely what I'd say to him - what is the point of you if you only intervene now and then if it suits you? (see? it's so good to get it out there!). Where were you when such-and-such happened? You say you're this and that - i can't see it.... etc etc.

You don't have to be rude but you can certainly be honest - totally honest. There's not much point talking to him if you're not honest, really.

springytate Fri 07-Jun-13 22:17:58

I didn't really answer your q there, sorry.

springytate Fri 07-Jun-13 22:15:52

Just wondering - have you talked to God about your doubts/frustration etc? I always find that helps so much. The great, great thing about it is .. that he can take it smile (I wouldn't think much of him if he couldn't tbh).

I don't want to sound blingy/rude etc but I do enjoy having it out with God. It is so refreshing to be absolutely honest. Such a relief. imo, nothing is barred when you have it out with God. ime the most productive times have been when I am angry/frustrated/confused with and about God.

I personally find church very difficult a lot of the time a bit religious! . I don't get where people are coming from half the time, which is a bit desolate. I wasn't brought up in a structured church and don't understand most of what goes on; the traditions, culture, behaviour. I often find it all very weird. That's just my experience - prayers welcomed if anyone feels so inclined!

I see prayer as talking to God. If I read the bible too, I can say 'you say here that you will always be with me, you will never leave me = thanks/that's great/I don't feel that/thanks for being with so-and-so/please do something about Syria' etc. it leads on iyswim. YOu start talking about one thing and you sort of move along.

imo, God is amazingly gorgeous, the church erm.. not so [LOL]. But then, I'm the church, so I have to take my place in the not so part..

wigglesrock Wed 29-May-13 13:52:56

I go to mass and the chapel because I like the building, I like the parishioners, I feel at home there and I like a bit of a chat with God. The church itself as an organisation can go whistle. I don't believe or support vast swathes of the Catholic church's teachings but I have no issue with reconciling going to mass with being unsupportive. The church in its proper form is made up of people. People who struggle, try, forgive and generally do the best they can.

That's who I bother with. That probably makes much more sense in my head than it reads smile

acorntree Wed 29-May-13 10:55:08

I think it is normal to feel like this from time to time – we need to make a conscious decision whether or not we want to believe. Sometimes it is really hard because we don’t know where we are going, or if we are going anywhere or just following shadows. In the process of making that decision and remaking it, and reviewing it, there are bound to be periods of doubt.

Personally, I think of it a bit like climbing a mountain (something I do in my spare time) - often the peak of the mountain is hidden from view behind intermediate crests, and all you can see is steep up hill slog with no end in sight, sometimes the fog comes in and you can’t see where you are going at all. Sometimes it hails, and the water gets in your boots. Why are you spending your holidays doing this ? When I am really walking up soggy wet mountains in Wales, I keep going because I know that there will be times when the cloud clears, and the sun shines, and there is a fantastic view, and I know the sense of achievement when I reach the top is worth it. When I really lose sight of why I believe in God or when I am struggling with the institutional nature of Church, I have to make a similar decision to keep going and wait for a feeling of faith to return. I just have to believe it is worth while even when it seems empty and sterile. I tell myself that the fog of doubt will lift eventually. Then I pray a lot. But I have to make a conscious decision that that is what I want to do. It would be easy to decide to walk away.

When I was having a hard time with prayer; moving from a shopping list prayers of my childhood to a relationship with the divine then I found 'God in all Things' by Gerald Hughes very helpful.

There is something called stages of faith theory which shed some light. If you want to go back it implies that you are moving through one of the stages which makes sense if faith is a journey. One way to describe it is like the life cycle of a butterfly. We start our faith journeys like catapillars eating up the stuff around us and happy to stay within the boundaries of our leaves. As we grow we start to question and this is going into the chrysalis stage. Everything feels like it is going to mush. This has been called the 'Dark Night of the Soul.' Eventually the butterfly emerges able to fly being comfortable with mystery and paradox. Many people reject faith as they come out of the catapillar stage but there are other more mature forms of faith out there. James Fowler and Scott Peck are the more academic writers on this but Alan Jamieson wrote a book 'Chrysalis' a few years ago which chimed with my experience.

I don't know if any of that helped so prayers anyway.

mikkii Wed 29-May-13 00:03:46

Mitchy, I think Tuo really has similar ideas to me. Do you have a parish sister you can talk to? Ours is fantastic, and also really understands the pressures of family life having been a surrogate mum to her niece and nephew.

StuffezLaYoni Wed 29-May-13 00:01:47

My view might not be helpful to you, but why don't you spend some time focussing on being a loving, helpful, kindly human being. These aren't qualities exclusive to any church or religion, but are qualities to be admired and desired. Just an idea.
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