Does God withhold blessings from Christians who are living in disobedience?

(480 Posts)
Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 18:00:12

I am a Christian but my husband is not. I am desperate to be a better person in God's eyes but can not escape the instruction in 2 Corinth ch 6 re being unequally yoked to non-believers. I am nearly 42 and desperately trying to start a family (I mc'd last year). We are due to fly to the Czech Republic in June for donor egg IVF but I can't help worrying that God will not bless me with a child whilst I continue to willfully live a disobedient life. I entered into a relationship with my husband knowing that it is not God's will for me to be with a non-Christian. Am I to be forever outside of God's will? My prayer life has become almost non-existent as I don't feel I can appeal to the Lord for his blessings re a baby and yet it is all I can think about.

I guess the real problem here is that my obsession with starting a family has superceded my devotion and surrender to God's will. Please help me sad

BoundandRebound Fri 03-May-13 18:03:26

Wow

Just wow

If God exists why on earth would that matter?

If there is an omnipotent being that loves us then the minutiae or rules written by men do not matter one whit

Spero Fri 03-May-13 18:06:45

I have always like CS Lewis's take on this - if you do good, with love in your heart, you do it for god. If you hate and do bad things, even if you do it on gods name, he will reject you.

If you love your husband and he is a good man, I struggle with the notion that your god would want to turn his back on you.

This is probably why I do not have a faith - I can't be doing with any deity who would punish or hurt people who do things out of love.

The short answer is no, that is not what God is. And that isn't what the scripture means. I honestly don't know where to start with what you think about such a harsh, interventionist God confused

Instead I will ask why you left it so late to start a family? or gently suggest you think about focusing on something else - maybe get some counselling to cope with not having children if you don't end up pregnant.

God is not taking your baby away because of sin in your life sad It's so sad you think that.

Isabeller Fri 03-May-13 18:19:42

Good luck with your treatment. In my experience it is very stressful all round. We cannot completely control whether we are blessed with the children we hope for but I feel for you very deeply as someone also trying to follow God's will as best I can.

Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 18:24:26

I can't explain why I have left it so late to start a family, Laurie, without entirely outing myself. Believe me when I say I have not been able to think about children until now.

I believe the bible is God-breathed, Bound and hence not 'written' by men. Because of this, I believe that " Corinth 6 about being unequally-yoked is an instruction from God to enrich the Christian's life and not to shackle it. I feel like I am only in a half-marriage being with a non-believer and, as much as I adore my husband, I feel there is a huge void in terms of a shared love of God.

Anyway, can we put aside whether you agree with 2 Corinth:6 and concentrate on whether God withholds blessings? I do not believe God punishes His children but the bible is full of references to godly men who were disobedient and never saw their heart's desire (I'm thinking of Moses and how he never got to see the Promised Land).

Thank you to those who have replied, I do appreciate your opinions.

Pendipidy Fri 03-May-13 18:35:02

My opinion as a Christian would be this: You are not willfully living in disobedience. You made a decision to marry and that decision is now made. If it was wrong, then ask god for forgiveness. God obviously wants married people to stay together if possible and he won't want you to do anything other than pray for your husband and witness to him as a good wife by your behavior. God forgives your sins and then forgets them, so don't think that god Will punish you by not blessing you.

He is a god of love, not revenge or punishment. Jesus died for us to forgive our sins and so we can have life in abundance. God wants to give you good things. Try and live your life how he wants you to, he has a purpose for you that only you can fulfil.

If it is his Will, you Will have a baby. If not, god can give you other hearts desires if you ask him. I Will pray for you cos i know what that longing is like. When do you go? X

Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 19:03:21

Pendipidy, I am very grateful for your insight and your offer of prayer. It is much appreciated. We fly on 10th June and hopefully EC (egg collection) will be the 12th with ET (embryo transfer) on the 17th. Thank you once again xx

Pendipidy Fri 03-May-13 19:08:17

Jewsy, i just thought also. Remember the verse

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Pray and read your bible and see if the holy spirit can give you a verse to lean on and believe in that can give you comfort when things are tough x

God def doesn't punish us when we ask for forgiveness and wants to bless us x

Jewcy. You only quote one part of the scripture - it's not about me disagreeing with you, it's about what it actually says. The scripture is about divorce and to let someone go if you are married to a non believer.

You can't just look at one tiny part of a sentence or you would end up with this: "you are hiding under the stairs from the Nazis. God commands us to be quiet" - and then people just taking that we have to live in silence all our lives grin

God is all loving. He is not withholding blessings from you. Instead I assume other things got in the way to prevent you having a family before now. It's the same for me, I'm the same age. I had miscarriages too. I found another way (a harder one - I'm a foster carer to troubled teenagers) and god helps me with that.

It is not helpful or useful to view yourself as worth punishing - adding stress to fertility issues is really unhelpful. Try to focus on the love in your marriage and the love you have for others. And crucially receiving Gods love for yourself.

I will pray too smile

Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 19:15:51

Thanks, Pen. Do you think 'seek first his kingdom and his righteousness' means we first need to live in accordance to His teachings ie. obedience? I can't help feeling, yet again, that there is some sort of caveat to verses such as the one above.

MareeyaDolores Fri 03-May-13 22:28:10

You can't make yourself a better person in God's eyes, nor can we sort out our own sin through our own strength. That's His job. Definitely not ours! wink

Our job is really simple: to keep our eyes on Jesus, and not worry about our past failings and current weakness. Think of Peter hopping out of the boat and walking on the water to get to Our Lord. And he got there. But with help, not by being 'blessed' with self-guided spiritual successes.

When I can't pray, it's usually cos I'm angry with God for something important. 'Having the row' with him direct usually helps, if nothing else it clears the air.

Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 23:09:12

You can't make yourself a better person in God's eyes, nor can we sort out our own sin through our own strength

Thanks, Mareeya, why can't I get this through my thick skull? I am forever forgetting the essence of Grace & forgiveness.

Jewcy Fri 03-May-13 23:12:30

I'm finding it hard to pray because I believe the thing I desire most in my life is not what God wants for me. I am frightened that children may not be a part of my future and that no amount of assisted conception will get me a baby if it's not God's Will. I am afraid that I don't trust God to fulfill me in even greater ways than a potential child could. I'm afraid to surrender to His Will for my life in case it's not (what I would consider) fulfilling sad

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 23:18:48
PedroYoniLikesCrisps Fri 03-May-13 23:18:54

Are you familiar with the concept of biology? Your ability to have children has nothing to do with a supernatural force.

I really hope the treatment works for you, but if it doesn't, it won't be because there's a god who doesn't like you.

Look around you, Christians breed with non Christians all the time, what you believe is completely irrelevant.

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 23:19:50

God loves you and wants what's best for you. Why would he want you to be unfulfilled??

Spero Sat 04-May-13 09:34:27

This is probably why I am a humanist. I was told growing up that God is love ... Then I read the Old Testament.

stressedHEmum Sat 04-May-13 09:42:10

Jewcy, I am "unequally yoked" and I, too, feel as if there is something huge missing in my marriage. However, I also believe that my husband is sanctified through me, as per 1Cor7:14. God has blessed me with 5 wonderful children.

God does not want to punish you, he wants to give you life in all its fullness. Micah6:8 tells us what God requires of us and it isn't slavish obedience and guilt. You love your husband, God does not want your marriage to be set aside, He wants you to make the best possible job of it and to quietly act as a witness of Christian faith to your husband. Read 1Cor 7 carefully, it should give you hope and peace.

If you pray for forgiveness, God, in his grace, forgives and forgets, He doesn't continually punish you. I think that you are doing enough of that for yourself. There is an old hymn that says, "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear....... Oh what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

Prayer is often the first thing to go when we are stressed, feeling guilty or angry with God, but it is the best thing to help. I will say a prayer for peace for you, but the best thing would be if you could bring yourself to do it. God is waiting for you to talk to him, He always has time to listen and He already knows how you feel and what you want.

I hope your treatment goes well and that you find some peace, because I don't think that this kind of stress can be good for you just now.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 12:22:25

Bubbles and Stressed, your posts have been hugely helpful, thank you.

Spero, unsurprisingly, yours has not.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 12:26:20

Pedro, I believe God is master of my body and my soul and I want to obey Him and love Him with all my heart and strength.

Spero Sat 04-May-13 13:20:58

But as a Christian I am sure you will forgive me.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 13:24:34

I don't think that God is as petty as humans!

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 14:27:01

Certainly not, Spero, I would like to see you thrown into the lions' den.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 15:26:14

Pedro, I believe God is master of my body and my soul and I want to obey Him and love Him with all my heart and strength.

Does he give you instructions then?

interalia Sat 04-May-13 15:51:07

Not all of the Bible is equally relevant. Clearly, the words of Jesus are the most important, most Christians do not take everything Paul said literally. I have just read that passage, and it seems more to actually be about not joining with people who are the polar opposite of the Christian faith - i.e. 'righteousness' v 'wickedness', 'Christ' v 'Belial', 'light' v 'dark'.

Well, your husband is clearly not evil or dark, is he? You have a relationship of love, which is the most important thing.

I really don't see how it can be interpreted to say that you shouldn't be married to the person you love, more like don't associate yourself with murderers and people who are actively bad.

And the Old Testament was written when people still fundamentally misunderstood God. That's why Christ came, to show what God really is, rather than what people who wrote the Old Testament thought God was. Much of the Old Testament is completely irrelevant to modern day Christians. Leviticus was a book of rules written for Jewish people about 4000 years ago, and is not what we are supposed to be doing now. A lot of it is contradicted elsewhere in the Old Testament and by the words of Christ in the New Testament. (obv Corinth is NT, but this was just for the poster who said that the OT made them think that God wasn't love).

Good luck with your treatment

LizzyDay Sat 04-May-13 15:54:30

If you are serious about wanting a marriage and children, please consider focusing less on your relationship with god, and more on your relationship with your husband. That is what is real and important. Don't take him for granted if marriage with him is what you want. I'm sorry if that sounds unkind, it isn't meant to be. This sounds like a very difficult time for you, I hope all goes well.

MareeyaDolores Sat 04-May-13 16:10:03

Hiya OP

Think Lizzy might have given you better, more Christian advice than any of us blush. I'm often tempted to spend time in spiritual naval-gazing, and suspect that God would usually prefer me to be doing the washing-up and notice whether DH is looking stressed.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 17:28:37

I do have one genuine question. If god is master of your body and your soul, what's the purpose of the IVF?

That's either against god's will or interfering with God's belongings.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 17:46:23

God appears to bless people who break the 10 Commandments with children- including murderers, so I don't see why he would single you out purely because you can't control your DH's belief system and yet love him anyway.

Spero Sat 04-May-13 18:03:52

I just think its a shame that your faith is making you so stressed and sad. I don't mean this in a piss taking or sneery way - I genuinely thought faith was a positive thing as people who had it were generally reported to be happier.

If your god really wanted you to be unhappy for committing the 'sin' of loving and marrying a non Christian then he can't be much cop.

It from what the other Christians are saying, it does seem like you are interpreting scripture in quite a bleak way.

dogsandcats Sat 04-May-13 18:16:08

I am a Christian.
I have been thinking about this thread today - still havent completely finished my pondering. This is where I have got to so far.
Forgiveness - God forgives us if we say we are sorry to God. And as someone else as said, as far as I can remember he forgets too. Pretty vital for all of us I think you will agree as we all sin.

Actually, meant to say , before I went any further,a.did your husband used to be a Christian, and is no longer.
b. never believed, but not against Christianity.
c. actively working against it.

I think you have other slight confusions.
A Christian can pray all they want, but if something is not Gods will, it is not Gods will. I am sorry about that, but also I think it has to be taken with the bible verse of Romans chpt 8 or it could be Romans chpt 6 "All things work together for good for those who love God".

You ask the question "Am I forever to be outside of God's will".
I dont believe that for a minute. See my first paragraph.
So I dont see any problem at all in asking for Gods blessings for a baby.

Yes, your last paragraph is a problem to you.
But we are all human, and Gods ears are always open to prayers.
The other helpful verse for now is Phillipians 4 verse ? "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me".
I suggest you pray for more strength to help you overcome ehat you have written in your last paragraph.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 18:34:57

Lizzy, I love God more than I love my husband. If I could tell you the ways in which God has literally saved me, plucked me out of the gutter and set me on my feet without outing myself, I would. When I read of His son's death on the cross I know I will never be loved by anyone as much as Him. I want to live according to His teachings, because I know this path will bring me the peace I crave. This, however, does not mean my husband is neglected <rolls eyes maniacally>> We have a fantastic, fun-filled, intimate and mutually-respectful thing going on.

My outlook on God (or my faith) is not bleak, but I am frequently sad when I look at how much better a person I could be if I didn't let my ego/selfish wants/runaway gob/imperiousness/unkind words/intolerance/cynicism/pride get the better of me.

Thank you to all of you for posting, it helps and is a great reminder to keep looking to Jesus.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 18:35:53

Dogs, the answer to your question is 'b'.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 18:55:31

Spero, you have said upthread that you are a humanist. What does that mean to you, please?

TreeLuLa Sat 04-May-13 18:57:03

erm....

There is no God.

So no need to worry.

HTH

LondonJax Sat 04-May-13 19:01:38

Hi Jewcy,

When my husband and I were about to try IVF for the first time we visited a church whilst on holiday and, in amongst all the various parish information, we saw a booklet about IVF. Basically, this particular church leaflet said that IVF was wrong in God's eyes - if you couldn't have a child naturally you should be content with your lot in life was almost exactly the words used.

Although I hadn't been to church since I was 7 years old (and my husband since he was 13 years old) that still hurt and made us really question if we were making the right decision. I'd always been a person who doesn't ask for anything in a prayer - I always say a thank you though, even if it's just for a sunny day to get the washing dry! So I'd call myself a Christian even though I didn't go to church.

About a month later we both wrote down on a piece of paper whether we wanted to go ahead with the IVF and how many tries we would give it. Both of us wrote down yes to going ahead and that we'd stick to two tries.

Our first attempt was unsuccessful and the church leaflet really began to bury itself in my subconcious. But we went ahead with our second attempt...our son was born when I was 44 years old. My own eggs. I only produced three eggs and all three were fertilised.

So, as a non-church goer, was the church leaflet (the written word) correct? Or was I given a sign that God's wishes and the 'man-made' rules could sometimes two different things? Did God provide the right IVF doctor at the right time? Or were we just lucky?

Our son was born with a heart defect and was given a month to live. A fantastic doctor saved his life. In some areas of Christianity he would have died because of man's interpretation of God's word. So, did God, again provide help for our son? We certainly felt something watched over him - we went to our GP through a gut feeling that something wasn't right, she sent us to A&E because the equipment in the surgery wasn't giving a true reading, the local hospital had a consultant on that day who specialised in congenital heart defects and spotted the problem, the heart hospital had a bed and it happened to be the hospital where the surgeon who had pioneered the technique used on our son worked (and was on duty that day and did his procedure). So many coincidences coming together to save our boy. By the way, I never prayed to God to save his life. I just, again, said thank you for getting us to the right hospital and doctor. I didn't believe God would save him directly, I believed the doctor would - but then you could say who provided the doctor...?

So, I suppose what I'm saying is what God or nature or science or whatever you want to call it, wants for you and what man interprets that to be can be two different things.

If things go well for you I imagine you'll thank God and wonder why He wasn't angry with you. If it doesn't go well, is it really all down to your husband or your staying with your husband and God's anger at that? It can't work both ways.

I honestly don't believe God is so 'straight down the line'. If I did I'd have taken that leaflet as a sign not to go ahead and our son (who is currently breakdancing round the room - his heart condition is very well managed) would never have enriched our lives. The one thing God supposedly gave us is free will and DH and I exercised that by going ahead with the IVF.

I really wish you well with the IVF. Try to be thankful for the chance, no matter what the outcome.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 19:24:46

It makes me incredibly sad when I hear people say they love God more than their husband. What a catastrophic blow for hubby and how bizarre to love something which probably doesn't exist and you can't demonstrate any evidence for over a guy who loves you enough to support you through a period of your life when you appear to be at your lowest and hold your hand as you go through the motions of IVF.

If I were him, I'd be unbelievably insulted, probably to the point of leaving you to it.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 19:28:07

I think it is just a different sort of love, Pedro- like the ridiculous thread recently about loving your DH more than your DCs- not comparable.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 19:29:01

There is room for all- one doesn't take anything from the other.

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 19:34:09

Every now and again, you come across these threads on MN that are so preposterous they render you speechless.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 19:37:40

What was said was, I love God more than I love my husband.

That doesn't sound like just a different sort of love. I don't love my wife more than my son, I love them both equally in different ways. Here the OP is clearly stating more love for an imaginary friend than for a very real husband. It makes me sad and disappointed for humanity.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 19:38:34

Every now and again, you come across these threads on MN that are so preposterous they render you speechless.

I completely agree.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 19:43:17

It was what was said - my point was it was just as silly as saying you love your DH more than DCs or vice versa- it isn't comparable whatever OP thinks.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 19:54:49

London, thank you for sharing your experience, you must be very, very grateful.

Pedro, I really wouldn't worry for my husband, he is the happiest he has ever been - his words, not mine.

For all you other professionally outraged posters: why do you come to a thread like this? Do you expect me to collapse in stunned mortification that you have enlightened me with your disbelief? I find your comments as piteous and uninspiring as you do mine.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 19:55:40

..and I would bet that you wouldn't raise an eyebrow if a poster declared that they loved their dog more than XXXX..

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 19:57:30

Pedro, why do you say that I'm at 'the lowest period of my life'? You have absolutely no idea, do you? Believe me, I have been saved from that period and am eternally grateful to God for it.

ouryve Sat 04-May-13 20:01:34

hmm

You asked a question, Jewcy, people will give you their answer. It may not be the answer you want. Personally, I read the thread title in Active Conversations, thought "what?" then read your OP and thought "FFS". Despite your question, I'm sure you wouldn't want my answer.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:07:23

ouryve, I'm fairly new to mumsnet so I thought that the aethiests/mockers/outraged would simply stay away and leave it to people who actually have a clue.

'HTH'

TreeLuLa Sat 04-May-13 20:11:08

You see, Jewcy, the thing about MN is that you are canvassing opinions from a number of people, many of whom won't share your beliefs. It being a public forum and all that.

That's why so many people have expressed an opinion that does not agree with your own.

If you just want people who agree with you, I suggest another site.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:14:52

Tree, you have deliberately misunderstood me, methinks. I am confounded by the arrogance of those who have never had a spiritual relationship with God yet would try to negate my experience. What is the actual point?

To come on here and tell me there is no God whilst completely ignoring my position is not only rude but ignorant and narcissistic. I will pray for you..

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:16:30

Oh, and Tree, as an aetheist, isn't it you who ought to be seeking another site?

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:16:46

*atheist

Spero Sat 04-May-13 20:20:23

Jewcy - I sum up my belief system in the words of Robert Green ingersoll

'Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now and the way to be happy is to make others so'.

I don't know if there is a god or gods. I don't know who or what created us. All I know is that religion seems to cause a great deal of unhappiness for many people and a great deal of evil is done in gods name. So I don't have faith.

I used to wish I did because I head it made people feel happy and comforted. But I can see that isn't always the case.

If there is a god and he loves you, he won't punish you for acting out of love?

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 20:22:16

'I thought that the aethiests/mockers/outraged would simply stay away and leave it to people who actually have a clue.'

That's the sad thing, people who think they have, and it makes them miserable.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:30:08

Spero, thanks for your reply. I largely agree with you. However, I don't believe true happiness lies within ourselves. This belief comes from living the majority of my life abiding by my own rules and becoming increasingly unhappy with the choices I was making. I have caused much, much pain to others and to myself.

It's all about love at the end of the day, isn't it? For all of us.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:32:06

expat, when did I say I was miserable? I said it makes me sad when I know I am not living according to God's teaching. Aren't you sad, sometimes, when you've upset a loved one or let someone down?

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 20:39:45

You sound pretty miserable in these posts, including the OP. I don't believe there's a god so I don't have to worry about letting an imaginary being down. I'm glad, too, it's hard enough communicating with people who can actually speak back to your face, I can't imagine how difficult it would be continually trying to guess what a fictional, and rather spurious, IMO, being felt and thought about my unrequited love for him/her.

Spero Sat 04-May-13 20:47:37

But I thought Christianity boiled down to its essence was faith, hope and love, the greatest being love?

You are not loving yourself it seems. You are painting a picture of your god as a vengeful, hateful being who would seek to punish you for loving your husband.

Perhaps you could turn it around and think god would be pleased that by loving your husband you increase the amount of love in the world and might even be showing him the way to love god too?

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:53:55

I am guilty of not loving myself, that's true. I have already asserted that God does not punish those who love Him; He is a God of love. That doesn't mean I don't have a responsibility to uphold His teachings, however.

Expat, I am sorry you find it hard communicating with living, breathing beings. No wonder you are finding my posts weird.

ouryve Sat 04-May-13 20:55:59

I will pray for you..

I'm sure I have that on my bingo card, somewhere.

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 20:56:10

' I am sorry you find it hard communicating with living, breathing beings. No wonder you are finding my posts weird.'

If only that were the reason . . . hmm

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:58:44

ouryve, grin

Spero Sat 04-May-13 20:58:50

Then surely the only thing god can be angry about is that you do not love yourself as one of his children.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 20:59:25

expat, come on, love, cheer up!

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 20:59:51

Oh, believe me, I'm laughing my arse off here.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:00:02

Blimey, Spero, now I am miserable...

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 21:00:19

Especially at ouryve's last post. grin

Spero Sat 04-May-13 21:02:46

Didn't mean to add to your woes. But your religion is all about love and forgiveness!

So stop trying to second guess god and just love your husband and yourself. Maybe you will have a baby to love, maybe you won't. But either way, it can't be about god 'punishing' you.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:05:05

Thanks for the encouragement, Spero. I've always got the cats...

MareeyaDolores Sat 04-May-13 21:15:39

Come on, now, let's all play (pray?) nicely.

<shows the believers a yellow card>
<shows same card to atheists>

<Gets confused which other cheek to turn which way, as theists and non-believers unite to beat up patronising thread newcomer >
wink

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:16:26

It bothers me that some of you enjoy suggesting that I am subject to a vengeful or hateful God. For those of you who are married/in a relationship: do you ride roughshod through that relationship, doing as you please, overstepping boundaries and living as though you are all that matters? This is not how I wish to be in my relationship with God. Yes, he is an all-loving, all-forgiving God, but it pains me to know I hurt Him; that I so wilfully ignore His precepts and commands sometimes. This is what my OP was actually supposed to be about; and branching off from that was my fear that this wilful disobedience may result in blessings being withheld (whatever that means).

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:18:06

Mareeya, sorry you found me patronising.

MareeyaDolores Sat 04-May-13 21:26:39

Trouble is, when we're being hard on ourselves, it's easy to get a bit vengeful and hateful. And then we imagine others feel that way too. And then we (some of us, well me, anyway) imagine God might behave like that, while telling ourselves we aren't really projecting our own image onto Him, because He's only being vengeful/ hateful for our own good.

When I do this, I see a similarity with the abused childs thinking: anyway, being sent up chimneys / caned / sleeping in a coal hole was good for me, and my parents only did it cos they loved me. The difference is that (contrary to much of the apparent evidence) I am learning to trust God enough to tantrum at Him.

MareeyaDolores Sat 04-May-13 21:28:46

grin jewcy, you can't be the patronising newcomer, I've reserved that space for myself.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:33:54

Mareeya, a light bulb moment for me when I read your post. Thank you, thank you...

ouryve Sat 04-May-13 21:33:55

My DH doesn't issue commands that I have to obey, jewcy. Our relationship is far more equitable than that.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:39:14

How about your boss then, ouryve, or are you, in fact, omnipotent?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 21:39:35

Pedro, I really wouldn't worry for my husband, he is the happiest he has ever been - his words, not mine.

I'm not worried about him I'm said for you. Although he must have had it pretty hard in the past if you're off to a foreign country for IVF and this the happiest he's ever been.

Pedro, why do you say that I'm at 'the lowest period of my life'? You have absolutely no idea, do you? Believe me, I have been saved from that period and am eternally grateful to God for it.

Hubby not around then? Fair enough. What has god done for you though? I mean seriously?

and I would bet that you wouldn't raise an eyebrow if a poster declared that they loved their dog more than XXXX

Actually that's almost as weird. So I'd be raising a lot more than just my eyebrows.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 04-May-13 21:43:39

but it pains me to know I hurt Him; that I so wilfully ignore His precepts and commands sometimes.

Don't worry about that. As we've ascertained elsewhere on MN, god will forgive rape and murder arbitrarily so whatever you think you've done probably isn't going to bother him that much.

alemci Sat 04-May-13 21:49:10

You did what you had to do. Don't be too hard on yourself. God can still use you in your situation. Lost of believers marry non christians. Half the time the christian men are very thin on the ground and anyone decent was snapped up leaving a nerdy few.

i misyoked myself over 20 years' ago and watch as my own dd gets hung up on the whole scenario too of only dating christians etc and feeling very fed up with the whole thing.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:50:47

Pedro, seeing as you asked: my husband was an alcoholic for two decades until he recovered through rehab two years ago (before we met). His mother ran off and left her husband and kids when DH was six weeks old. He has just learned she has died and that his 'dad' may not be his real one. However, this doesn't concern him since his 'dad' (and all of his 'family') have rejected him since he was sentenced to prison five years ago. He has a son who has just been assessed as being on the autistic spectrum. He lives with his mother. DH is six months into the first job he has held down in ten years. It is exhausting and not well paid but he comes home to me and the meal I love cooking for him and his eyes literally blaze.

Our struggle to conceive (plus the miscarriage last year) has brought us even closer and we have much hope for the future, with or without a baby. I cannot deny I yearn like crazy for a child of my own, but I'm blessed to have found DH. He is so clever and worldy and erudite and hilarious - his mimicry has me weeping, I swear. I am feisty, shouty, short-fused, passionate, crazy and a complete pain in the arse to live with, I'm sure, but my husband feels like the luckiest man alive. I can't explain it, either.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:54:44

As we've ascertained elsewhere on MN, god will forgive rape and murder arbitrarily so whatever you think you've done probably isn't going to bother him that much.

Humans, too, forgive rapists and murderers. We are capable of the most paradoxical and insane and wondrous feats. What's your point?

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 21:56:02

Alemci, I hear you on the male Christians who are available being thin on the ground! Especially at my age.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 04-May-13 21:57:57

Hang on. Jewcy, forgive me if I'm wrong, but was it not you who made horrible comments towards a size 20 poster recently, laughing at her "rolling in her own lard" and referring to her as an elephant?

Again, I do apologise if it wasn't you, but I get really angry by people who discuss at length the ins and outs of their own faith, but forget basic Christian attitudes toward others.

IsItMeOr Sat 04-May-13 21:58:44

OP - Another humanist here. I thought it was interesting that you read the Robert Ingersoll quote and responded that you thought happiness couldn't be found in yourself. Did you actually read the last bit about making other people happy?

You do seem a bit unaware that philosophy and spirituality extend beyond purely religious spheres. So atheists can have a philosophical viewpoint and a spiritual life. So you're not just going to get religious people on these threads, or indeed christians.

FWIW your description of your previous phase of life where you weren't so close with god, sounds like you weren't actually being true to yourself, as my experience is that people being true to themselves behave in a way that they believe to be right. But then I'm a born again atheist, so we are clearly on different trajectories.

Anyways, glad you're finding help from some of the other MNers with extensive bible knowledge and kind hearts.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 22:03:02

With regard to OP's question - do not worry! Not looked up the actual scripture, but God does not want anyone to perish and also there is a bit about the husband sanctifying the wife and visa versa. Could find chapter and verse for you if you are struggling.

By the way OP, not read the whole of the thread so apologies if it has moved direction.

alemci Sat 04-May-13 22:03:54

always more women in churches I think and the men always get to cherry pick them then you end up with a load of lonely women who seem to think they are doomed to be single for the rest of their life - it's God's will when they don't really want to be single.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:06:31

Stuff, yes, I am guilty of having been unkind to the OP and I asked for my post to be removed - which it was. This is my point: I let God down so easily it is frightening to me. Why should I expect to be blessed if I cannot even 'love my neighbour'? God commands us to love and yet, left to my own devices, I am not loving. Not enough, anyway.

You do seem a bit unaware that philosophy and spirituality extend beyond purely religious spheres. So atheists can have a philosophical viewpoint and a spiritual life. So you're not just going to get religious people on these threads, or indeed christians.

I can see that now, Isitmeor. I keep thinking this is a Christian thread or whatever and it isn't.

I'm glad of the kind hearts, too. Much nicer than me sad

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:09:24

Alemci, I feel sad when I see those young married Christian women in the fellowship who have indeed been 'snapped up' and their older counterparts looking so longingly at the children being popped out or is that just me? grin

dogsandcats Sat 04-May-13 22:10:07

alemci. Therre are Christian websites. Not sure how many Christian men on there.
Also, can I ask, though no need to answer, is yoyr dd a Christian. Or does she believe, but has not become a Christian yet?

dogsandcats Sat 04-May-13 22:10:48

That should say, Christian dating websites.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:11:56

Stuff, my comment was not directed to the OP but it was unkind in general, for which I apologised and had the post removed.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 04-May-13 22:17:40

Your comments (plural) were so hurtful and they were directed at the OP and designed to make her feel shit. ("I think we're all ignoring the elephant in the room here" winky face.)

I wish the best for you OP, and I'm not intending to post again, but maybe spend some more time considering other humans' feelings as well as God's.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:20:15

Quite right, Stuffez, I have self-flagellated many times since that post (in my head and heart).

Spero Sat 04-May-13 22:22:03

And the way to be happy is to make others so.

LippyDiDooDah Sat 04-May-13 22:22:35

I'm always reminded of Psalm 37 v4:

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I read some interesting notes on this verse (it was my baptism verse):

Delight thyself also in the - Lord. The word rendered "delight" means properly to live delicately and effeminately; then, to be tender or delicate; then, to live a life of ease or pleasure; then, to find delight or pleasure in anything. The meaning here is, that we should seek our happiness in God - in his being, his perfections, his friendship, his love.

And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart - literally, the "askings," or the "requests" of thy heart. What you really "desire" will be granted to you. That is,

(a) the fact that you seek your happiness in him will regulate your desires, so that you will be "disposed" to ask only those things which it will be proper for him to grant; and

(b) the fact that you do find your happiness in him will be a reason why he will grant your desires.

All the best in the C.R in June OP smile

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 22:25:20

Jewry - you have not let God down. Why do you think Jesus was crucified?
If we could be righteous in our own strength there would have been no need, we are redeemed through Him.

If we could have obeyed the law, we would have no need for redemption through Christ. Old Testament law includes a lot - and animal sacrifices were necessary for when (inevitably) people went wrong. Look at David, look at Abraham. Their paths did not run smoothly. God is forgiving. be patient with your husband...with regards to finding his way. Just love him.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:28:02

Lippy, your post resonates with what I know to be true. Would you say this is what is meant when Jesus says, 'ask for anything in my name and it shall be done'? Is 'the caveat' that we must first be desiring what God would have for us ie. righteousness, forgiveness etc?

Sorry, don't know it I'm entirely making sense.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:31:02

Daftdame, thank you for your beautiful post. Much appreciated. At bible study on Thursday night we were looking at 2 Kings and Solomon's building of the temple. I couldn't help remembering how he ended his days, allowing his wife to build idols to Baal (or whoever). So loved by God and such an obedient servant and yet...and yet...sad

MrsPoglesWood Sat 04-May-13 22:31:08

Your faith is clearly strong and very important to you but you do seem to being exceptionally harsh on yourself. There are very, very many of us who were baptised as Christians, who perhaps went to church with our parents but as we've grown older have either become atheist, agnostic or have perhaps converted to another religion. Yet most of us have had children - some with the help of IVF, live happy lives, have nice homes, good jobs etc. Some won't sadly but I don't believe it is down to being denied blessing. Surely we - us who have apparently fallen by the wayside - would be the first to be denied 'blessings' for living disobedient lives? Not someone like you who is actively worshipping and praying?

I live in "wilful disobedience". DP and I live together and are not married. We have a DC and live a good happy life.

When I went to church and Sunday School we were taught about a loving and forgiving God, a God who helped those who were living difficult lives and did not judge.

Perhaps it might help if you spoke to your Vicar/Minister/Pastor about it. I think they would be a bit alarmed that you were taking this so seriously and probably misinterpreting it. Your use of words such as "wilful disobedience" is a bit worrying to be honest. I really don't think that any loving God would want you to turning yourself inside out like this.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:34:18

Daftdame, I can't help frequently feeling disappointed that some of my behaviours are no better (or loving) than before I came to know Christ as my saviour. Take the example of my mockery of the lady mentioned by Stuffez: it really gets me down that I still have that side of me that would willingly ridicule someone else. It's not on.

ZZZenagain Sat 04-May-13 22:36:12

I think you should speak to a spiritual advisor within your church about this 5or clarification on the status of your marriage and guidance wrt asking God to bless you with a baby. I don't think it can be good for your marriage if you continue to equate it with "wilful disobedience" to God 's will, therefore sin. I can see this marriage running into trouble longer term.

You say you have a prayer blockage atm since you cannot pray for a dc in your opinion. I think you can personally, but you need the word of someone who thinks similarly in religious terms to you. What a bunch of people on the internet say will probably not be enough to remove your doubts.

If you are feeling a bit obsessed by the desire to have a dc, you might be putting this first atm (understandably so) but this would then be an "idol" presumably (1st c).

Speak to a church leader about this whole issue

ZZZenagain Sat 04-May-13 22:38:07

crossed posts with MrsP.

MrsPoglesWood Sat 04-May-13 22:42:09

Absolutely what ZZZ says. Please talk to someone at your church.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:42:14

Thanks, Pogles, for such a detailed share of your perspective. I have spoken with the vicar at my old church (I now live too far away from that fellowship and the churches around my village are rubbish - none are evangelical or seem to have a minister who actually loves God hmm) who has tried to instil in me the blessing of recognising redemption and grace. I do cling on to the knowledge that God loves me and wants the best for me and that every one of my sins - past, present and future - have been nailed to the cross. But...doesn't God ask us to live a certain way, love a certain way and choose to be with those who would also love Christ so that we may flourish together in God's love? I feel like I have wilfully turned away from that in order to be with my husband.

Jewcy Sat 04-May-13 22:46:09

Thanks, ZZZ, yes - it bothers me endlessly, the knowledge that TTC a baby has become my 'idol'. Crumbs. I'm off to bed. Good night everyone and thankyou - all of you - for your posts (am feeling v humbled by Stuffez' reminder to me about kindness to others).

Night all.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 22:50:45

Jewry- I think you have to be patient with yourself and with you husband. I think you have much to learn, there is much to be revealed to you.

Remember the Bible can only make sense when you take it as a whole book. Read and read, pray and pray, pray for revelation through the Holy Ghost, pray that you may interpret, pray that you will discern God's will, pray for revelation...and wait. Faith is the substance of things which are not seen...(I'm remembering here may not be an exact quote). The word promises that God will write his laws in your heart....seek Him. Sadly Mumsnet is not the Holy Ghost...

ZZZenagain Sat 04-May-13 22:50:49

email or write a letter to the vicar at your old church, write what is troubling you, ask if you can arrange a time to call and discuss this with him because it worries you so much. Even if it is an expensive call, it might well be worth it.

dogsandcats Sat 04-May-13 22:53:06

For when you wake up in the morning. I think you are being a bit hard on yourself.
I think, and I could be wrong,that people start off being Christians from different points. Our lives before becoming Christians will range from having quite good behaviour all the way to very bad behaviour.
I dont know exactly what your behaviour was like before you became a Christian. But if it was not so good, God will understand that. And will realise that it may take longer than others to become more Christlike. Or even if it is not a case of a long time, that some major and minor slip ups may occur along the way.
Hope this makes sense.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:05:06

Jewry - look at what Jesus said about the Pharisees, look at how forgiving Jesus was to the adulteress woman, look at the story of Martha and Mary.

Don't judge yourself, focus on what Jesus did. Peter only could walk on water whilst he was looking towards Jesus, he began to sink when he looked away. Forget about what you are doing and study what Jesus did. Let it change your heart...(and give it chance!) remember Jesus also ministered to the Samaritan woman and then agreed when he healed a Gentile child that even dogs could eat the crumbs...

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:06:54

Sorry Jewcy^

MeSoFunny Sat 04-May-13 23:07:09

:-O and what of the other, countless, unions between Christians and atheists which have issue? What was God saying to them?

Or is god only interested in you?

MrsPoglesWood Sat 04-May-13 23:14:38

From what I can see you and your DH love each other very much. You have a loving and happy home in to which you would welcome children. You are an actively worshipping Christian but your DH isn't. But he is a good and loving man.

People without religion do usually have a human moral code where we do the right thing, respect others and treat treat people with love and kindness. You do not have to subscribe to a particular faith to do that. I think you perhaps need to take a step back from your adherence to the words in the Bible and actually put your relationship into perspective as to what a loving and fulfilling relationship is.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:19:29

Jewry - you are worried about you sin, David, Moses killed. Saul had a vision of Jesus asking him why he had been persecuting him. God knows we are sinful creatures, it's why He sent Christ.

You have got to accept that we are forgiven through Christ. Accept forgiveness. Your repentance involves accepting Christ has the power to redeem you and taking that in faith.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:29:39

MrsPogleWood - I see what you are saying the Bible taken out of context can seem very harsh. You really have to take in it's entirety.

God is a loving and forgiving God. A lot of people draw strength from their faith, it is their strength. The Bible defines love, even as someone outside the faith you would have to admit there are lots of beautiful things said about love in the Bible.

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:31:12

Sorry again Jewcy! ^

daftdame Sat 04-May-13 23:43:11

Sorry Pogle reread and see you are more lapsed (?) than outside the faith as such.

I too lived with my (now) husband - I don't think I really saw him as anything else but came to my senses when realised the law would not see him as next of kin...we married, Yay!

MrsPoglesWood Sat 04-May-13 23:48:43

Indeed so *daftdame" but there is also lots in the Bible that is cruel, mysoginistic and downright horrible. It is also widely accepted - and proved through carbon dating of the manuscripts - that much of the Bible was written at least 2 centuries after Jesus died. And there are lots of bits missing I think. The Bible we have today is what the early church leaders thought we should have rather than what we should've had.

MrsPoglesWood Sat 04-May-13 23:52:55

Yes daft am more lapsed that anything. I do have a faith but I don't go to church. Me and the God chap have a special relationship, we just have informal chats now and again.

exoticfruits Sun 05-May-13 07:32:49

What a lovely thought to start the day MrsPogleWood - it really made me smile to think of you having your "informal chat' over your early morning cuppa. smile

You can find something in the Bible to fit what you want to say. In his job my father used to have someone who did a Bible quote to back up his opinion. My father used to take great delight in finding a quote to write back that fitted his opinion- he never failed to find one!

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 08:07:24

Good morning MrsPogleWood et al.

Re. church I see it as the group of people who are Christians rather than a place.

Re. Bits of the Bible, it's what we've got, need to read it - the word is spirit. Without it, knowledge of it I think your faith can be 'off' centre, also you could become the victim of someone else's 'strange' doctrine.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 08:34:13

exoticfruits re. You Dad's versus his colleague, I tend to think of the paradoxes as checks and balances. You have to look at each quotation in context, it is the reason that isolated bits of the Bible taken out of context can confuse. For me the answer is read more not less, then you get the balance. As I said you have to take the Bible in it's entirety.

I also love a good paradox, for me it can be how you know it's from God - it shows something bigger than we are, something that is right on the edge of our under standing...God's mystery.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 08:39:09

^ sorry it should be Your Dad in my last post -not quite used to the iPad.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 08:50:20

Humans, too, forgive rapists and murderers. We are capable of the most paradoxical and insane and wondrous feats. What's your point?

My point was that whatever you think God is punishing you for, he probably isn't given his level of forgiveness in other areas. But I said that originally so why not read the post before asking questions which have already been answered.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 08:56:06

I can't help frequently feeling disappointed that some of my behaviours are no better (or loving) than before I came to know Christ as my saviour. Take the example of my mockery of the lady mentioned by Stuffez: it really gets me down that I still have that side of me that would willingly ridicule someone else. It's not on.

Perhaps it's just that you think God will swoop in and make you a better person. Well sorry, you need to work on that yourself, whatever you believe in.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 08:59:31

Pedro, seeing as you asked

Actually I didn't ask. I made a statement that his life before now must have been a bit crap. Apparently I was right. But thanks for the lovely story nonetheless.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 09:20:43

Just out of interest - how do Christians put for eg Leviticus 'in context' ?

Seems quite unambiguous to me and inconsistent with idea of god as love.

It is no mystery to me why the op sees god on terms of punishment when there is so much in the Bible that states very clearly how angry he is and what kind of hideous punishments will attend infractions of various dietary laws or wearing two different fabrics etc.

If the Old Testament is simply obsolete and contrary to Christs teaching,is there anywhere in the New Testament where he explicitly says this?

I asked this question on an Alpha course, and answer came there none.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 09:25:41

Pedro, I am astonished at your relentless shrugging and goading. I've seen you all over mumsnet and I'm sure you find your insouciance charming. I, however, see veiled bitterness wherever you appear.

Actually I didn't ask. I made a statement that his life before now must have been a bit crap. Apparently I was right. But thanks for the lovely story nonetheless.

That 'lovely story' wasn't the half of it. But, yes, maybe DH is simply very easily pleased being married to me after a life that was 'a bit crap'. What a horrid, horrid woman.

To the rest of you kind enough to have posted since last night, I will return, but I'm getting ready to go to church.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 09:27:34

Read my lips: I do not believe God punishes His children. My OP clearly asks about the withholding of blessings.

Must dash..

dogsandcats Sun 05-May-13 09:47:40

Spero.
I think I remember correctly that you have a child?
Would your child say that you love him or her all the time?

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 10:06:36

Spero in the Old Testament there was the old covenant, God's people were trying to live righteously by following the law. If they managed it they were blessed, if not they were cursed. They also gave offerings and sacrifices in order to receive God's blessings. Since the fall, where humans ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they showed their unwillingness to take God's word in faith.

I think it took up until Christ for them to be ready to accept they couldn't be righteous in their own strength, ie they couldn't follow all the rules without being in full communion with God, through Christ.

NicholasTeakozy Sun 05-May-13 10:18:36

Doesn't anybody find it strange that we humans have been knocking about this planet for around 100000 years yet it's only in the last 6 or 7 thousand that the god of the Abrahamic faiths has made his presence known. hmm And why send his book down to a bunch of illiterate desert dwelling tribesmen in the Middle East instead of somewhere like China where there were millions of people who could read?

Threads like this remind me why I agree with Hitchens when he (should that be He?) asserted 'Religion Poisons Everything', because it's true. To live your life according to the tenets of a book written in the Stone Age by many authors, and whose translation is still being argued over is, to me, ridiculous.

dogsandcats Sun 05-May-13 10:51:30

Ah Nicholas. It depends on your pov as to how long humans have been on the planet.
A lot of Chistians, as a far as I know, think it has only been the 6 or 7 thousand years that you talk about.

Will maybe answer the last part later.

IsItMeOr Sun 05-May-13 11:09:14

dogsandcats I know your question was directed at Spero not me, but as a humanist, I try very hard to help DS know that I love him all the time, even when I'm disappointed in his behaviour.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 12:21:04

NicholasTeacozy -works for me...the Bible I mean.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 12:23:56

I've seen you all over mumsnet and I'm sure you find your insouciance charming. I, however, see veiled bitterness wherever you appear.

I'm flattered. On the other hand your overly aggressive retaliation to atheistic comments early on in the thread is charming.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 12:24:33

I love my child all the time and always will no matter what she says or does.

Sometimes I am profoundly irritated by her and wish she would stop whining for eg but that has nothing to do with how much I love her or whether or not I would give my life to save hers.

I always would.

Sorry, still don't understand about how Old and New Testament fit together. Presumably Jesus doesn't advocate killing gay people or adulterers or people who eat shell fish. So where in the new Testament will I find rejection of the Old?

hellymelly Sun 05-May-13 12:30:12

I can't comment usefully on the faith side of this, but I had my daughters at 41 and 43, and I hadn't left it so late by choice either. I was lucky, I wish you the same. I also can't believe that anyone who is clearly so concerned with being a good person would be punished in the way you imagine. It is harder to conceive as you get older, but not impossible, many of us are lucky, some are not, some need extra help to conceive. It is just biology, not religion, that will dictate whether you conceive or not. I hope you get the baby you long for.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 12:33:58

Sorry, see I got the wrong perspective on the question - I hope my child knows this because we have had explicit conversations about it. I explain when I have shouted or snapped - sometimes it is because she has behaved badly or sometimes I have been unfair because I am tires or stressed. I emphasise this has nothing to do with how much I love her.

If she ever felt that my love was dependant upon her consistent obedience to arbitrary and oppressive laws I would feel I had utterly failed, not merely as a parent but as a human being.

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 05-May-13 12:51:24

I agree with Laurie - that scripture which has worried you refers to divorce or to not stating with someone who tries to steer you away from God...as long as your DH respects your beliefs completely & doesn't try to influence them, sure your marriage can only be a positive. Otherwise the interpretation is a flat out 'Christians are the supreme race; all others are wrong - dont become involved with them or you are damned". I cant & won't believe that is a 'god breathed'message.

Nor can I believe God does not want you to have a child - our main purpose in life is to procreate and maintain His race. But whilst God can bless and guide, he can't overrule our own natural choice ie Adam & Eve. For whatever reasons in your life you've been unable to start a family, it is now quite late. I very much hope for you that it's not too late & your treatment works. But don't necessarily be quick to blame God if it doesn't and, as others have said, he may bless you in other ways that you dont even yet realise are your hearts desire...

dogsandcats Sun 05-May-13 13:23:44

The point I am trying to make, maybe not very well, is that a child, any child,would almost always say at times that their parent does not love them. But a parent does, even though the child will disagree from time to time.
Same thing happens with us and God.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 13:29:12

Spero there is a large part of the New Testament which deals with your question, sorry I can't remember chapter and verse when but it talks about grace and law and the old covenant (brought in with Moses) and the new brought to us through Christ. Perhaps someone could help out? Anyway it's all there...you've just got to keep reading.

dogsandcats Sun 05-May-13 13:34:51

Hebrews possibly?

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 13:37:03

God's greatest command is that will love Him with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength..and that we love one another. This is all I am trying to do.

Blessings to you all.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 16:08:23

Sorry, still don't understand about how Old and New Testament fit together. Presumably Jesus doesn't advocate killing gay people or adulterers or people who eat shell fish. So where in the new Testament will I find rejection of the Old?

If Christians didn't want to live by Old Testament values they wouldn't have it as part of their scripture. They'd just be New Testament Christians. But as they don't, you have to assume that the OT is very much a part of the religion. Any rejection of it in the NT would be counter-intuitive.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 16:39:12

Pedro wasn't talking about the rejection of the Old Testament. You don't reject the first part of a book because there is a second part. However the second part does move forwards from the first part, like any book.

Why are you so adamant about what Christians believe in? If you want to find out more about what we believe in, read more of the Bible yourself. What I was talking about was recognition of the Bible as a whole book, not just taking pieces out of context.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 16:41:11

^ that should be -I- wasn't...

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 16:43:16

Jewcy - now that sound like a good idea. grin

alemci Sun 05-May-13 16:44:58

Hi Dogs and Cats yes definitely she is. At times I wish she'd lighten up a bit as I think the sex before marriage thing just makes the young people get married in a rush IYSWIM.

She had a serious relationship that broke up over a year ago and I wish she'd find someone else and if it doesn't work out then it doesn't but not make such a big deal of the whole thing. She is now away at university so I find it easier.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 16:47:53

Why are you so adamant about what Christians believe in? If you want to find out more about what we believe in, read more of the Bible yourself. What I was talking about was recognition of the Bible as a whole book, not just taking pieces out of context.

I've read it. It's quite poor in quality.

My point was precisely the same that the books should be taken as a whole. The OT is quite disgusting in terms of what it teaches and this is the basis of Christianity. So what if the NT 'moves things on'? It doesn't change the fact that the OT exists and has some bizarre suggestions about how life should be lived and the type of god you have looking over you.

I'd actually respect a religion far more if it based itself purely on the NT.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 16:56:10

Well everyone has a choice. As you'd guess I don't feel the same as you about it. You do need to be ready to take some things in faith, as you do with science (all science involves assumptions). I believe truth exists beyond our realisation of it. Best book I've ever read...and I read a lot too.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 17:03:05

all science involves assumptions

We've been having this debate elsewhere. Science doesn't have to include assumptions and scientists don't have to have faith of any kind.

Most things religionists think are assumptions of science are actually either conclusions of science or are due to a lack of understanding of science.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 17:57:32

That one is really new to me. Have you found purest green? I have -got- to know. I'm quite excited. Tell me -now-!

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 18:29:06

By the way Pedro what is your take on the Ellsberg paradox?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 18:46:18

I'm not sure I understand what statistical probability has to do with scientific assumptions.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 18:49:04

That one is really new to me. Have you found purest green? I have -got- to know. I'm quite excited. Tell me -now-!

I don't think so....it's not really green...If it has a name it's probably "orange".

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 19:10:39

pedro humour me...it's fascinating. If only for the reason of paradox - the other I feel it's quite telling about human nature.

What's it got to do with anything? Just EVERYTHING! Most people would rather take a known risk that promises a very poor return rather than an unknown risk that promises a far better return...says it all!

What's this orange all about then?

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 19:22:19

pedro I'm being a pest I know, but what do you think of epigenetics...'Sins of the fathers', anyone?

Also the nocebo and placebo effect?

Spero Sun 05-May-13 19:27:26

O dear. God certainly moves in mysterious ways.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 19:33:11

Paul wrote extensively in the New Testament about the freedom of the believer from the demands of The Law (Old Testament). It is widely accepted within Christianity that the Law was meant to point the way towards our need for a savior, and to foreshadow Christ, and is thus no longer binding upon us because of the grace of God.

The point of Paul's writings, of course, is that we no longer have to strive to be perfect (an impossible goal), because we have salvation through Christ. If you truly love and follow Him, however, you will want to live according to God's will. This means honouring your parents and the sabbath, not worshiping idols or committing murder or adultery, etc. In other words, this means obeying His law because we want to please Him, not because we have to in order to be saved.

Jesus Himself said that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul," and that the second is to "Love your neighbour as yourself." He didn't make these up when questioned, but rather quoted an Old Testament law that would have been well-known to His disciples and other people of that time.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 19:35:32

Yes and Paul also said it is better to marry than to burn. He approved of marriage only grudgingly as a way to slake horrid lusts.

I can't take Paul seriously.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 19:36:17

So if you are a Christian, do you have to follow the rules laid down in Leviticus?

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 19:48:16

Jewcy Is your worry that you think you don't want to live according to God's-will enough?

I think in order to 'die' to oneself you have got to forget yourself, somewhat...that means give yourself time to know God's will and focus on loving others as he loved us. Humility is more about not focussing on yourself than self degradation, which involves a certain amount of self obsession.

Did you expect your transformation to be overnight? There are years of sin in us...generations of it. Be patient, with yourself and others - it is one of the fruits...

Spero you are no fun! I thought scientists liked a puzzle!

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 19:49:49

Spero! You're obsessed with Leviticus! The OT isn't that cerayzee, you know. It's not that long ago that this country put people to death for certain 'sins'. Societies move on; evolve. The rules in Leviticus were laid down for an exceptionally disobedient/stupid/arrogant/proud/thought-they-knew-it-all people who really should have listened to God in the first place. I wish you would read the OT from the very beginning and try to see in actual fact how much God loved his people. They were so special to Him - He calls Himself a 'jealous God' and was so angry when they continued to worship false idols and lead themselves to ruination. He wanted the best for them but, being human, they thought they knew best. Nothing changes in that respect.

When atheists try to negate Christianity by beating them with the OT I wonder if they feel the same about, for example, the Children's Act which, as we know, has changed and evolved since its inception. Do we think the Act of 1908 was a pile of irrelevant crap? No. It was formed for the protection of children and has had many, many additions and alterations since. The 1908 Act was appropriate for those times and so was the Old Testament.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 19:53:13

Spero Leviticus, no too complicated to follow.

The Holy Ghost writes the laws in your heart if you seek God's will with all of your heart and all of your mind. It's like when you get a massive manual and don't read it but get shown by the person who designed the machine, bit by bit, just as you need it.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 19:54:52

Daftdame, my worry is that I do not surrender to God's will for my life. Yes, I pray about everything I face in life but I don't think I listen hard enough or for long enough. My biggest problem is that I am highly-strung; an anxious person really; an overthinker; a worrier. I don't relax easily and worry about how I am fitting into this world and whether I'm doing all I can to be what God wants me to be.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 05-May-13 19:57:08

So the OT is no longer relevant. Right. I don't think the NT is relevant any more either, would you agree? Probably not. But the problem is that you'd be hard pushed to find two Christians who agree 100% on which bits to still follow and which bits to discard. You will also find a great number who insist that the entire bible is timelessly relevant.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 19:58:10

I will never, ever listen to those who say there is no God. I can see His handprints on every stage of my life - particularly when I was a God-hater. I have never been so wretched as when I lived by my own rules and for my own pleasures.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 19:59:23

Although Leviticus has some very sensible, things in it, washing hands and surfaces after handling meat for example.

I think you have just got to remember the people of the Old Testament didn't have complete redemption through Christ available to them.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:00:26

I'm the latter, Pedro. I think the whole of the bible is relevant.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:01:55

Pedro the Old Testament is still relevant to those who don't accept Christ!

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:02:02

Some of the greatest lessons I have ever learned I gleaned from the Old Testament.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:03:25

And those who do, although thankfully we have the new covenant and promises.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:07:54

And some of the most reassuring promises from God, which honestly lift my heart and soul:

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah ch 29 v 11.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:10:10

Jewcy well you know Jesus told you not to worry... Have you read Joyce Meyer 's 'Battlefield of the Mind', I think you may find it useful re. the worrying. God didn't give you the spirit of fear...

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:10:21

In other news, I've had an email from the Czech clinic asking me to choose between the following two egg donors:

Donor A:
1) Blood group and Rh factor: 0+
2) Eyes: Brown
3) Hair: Brown
4) Height and Weight: 172 cm/59kg
5) Education: Student of Economics
6) Hobbies: History, Reading, In-line, Skiing, Swimming, , Theater, Cooking
7) Age: 24
She has donated once before – successfully.

Donor B:
1) Blood group and Rh factor: 0+
2) Eyes: Brown
3) Hair: Brown
4) Height and Weight: 170cm/60kg
5) Education: Student of Journalism
6) Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Movies, Dogs, Walking, Bike, Nature
7) Age: 23
She has donated once before – successfully.

Any thoughts, ladies?

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:15:05

Blimey, daftdame! No, I haven't read that but I'm sat here now with Joyce Meyer's The Confident Woman, which my husband bought for my birthday last year!

When atheists try to negate Christianity by beating them with the OT

It makes perfect sense that things changed as people progressed and become more civilised. A problem only arises if you think a god was somehow involved. A god would not become more civilised as time went on. A god surely wouldn't change his mind about what was right and wrong either. Christians tell me every day that there is an objective morality. If so then god used to be immoral.

On the other hand you could try claiming (as some do) that whatever god declares is moral today becomes moral because he said so. That would mean the atrocities in the OT were virtuous.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:20:48

Well enjoy! By the way re. the eggs I don't think it matters what you choose, just do your best to be a wonderful mother!

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:28:38

BackOnlyBriefly - God doesn't change but the point is people can now be redeemed through Christ.

The OT law was dealing with people who couldn't necessarily have a personal relationship with God except through the law. The problem was it didn't always change them at a heart level, like a health and safety jobsworth, all for the sake of the rule book, self congratulation for memorising the thing, instead of the purpose behind it.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:31:36

Back, I am not claiming that God somehow 'moves with the times' or becomes 'more civilised'. I believe His laws and edicts were wholly appropriate for his people at that time (before Christ came to the world with His message of salvation).

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:33:15

Thanks, daft, I'm praying about the donor, obviously but am already drawn to donor A; she sounds suitably nerdy grin

Iin that case why didn't Christ come earlier? What was the point in waiting?.

God told people that if they saw a homosexual they should kill him. Does anyone really think that was good and necessary? Imagine yourself talking to a gay friend now and explaining it. "yeah well I wouldn't kill you of course, but back then murdering gay people was right and proper".

it's not just the laws either. According to the OT god was a monster. You can almost open it at random and find another example of this. Christians say things like "oh well that was the OT, it doesn't count".

Another favourite example. Elisha says "God! those kids called me baldy!". So god sends some bears to tear them to pieces. I guess if you hear that in a sermon you just nod along with it, but think about it. Think about the blood and the screams. Think about the grieving parents. Can you really say that was ok because god said so?

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:45:21

Back, I am serious when I say I will come back when I've stopped grin! I mean it...your post certainly makes the OT sound so cruel and absurd. I'll be back...

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:46:06

..*Back*, can you remember the exact place in the OT? I want to look it up..

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 20:51:52
daftdame Sun 05-May-13 20:58:54

back Re the waiting, the people had to be ready to come back to faith in God rather than their own righteousness. There were lots of prophesies to prepare them.

Re. the rest I just don't know fully. I suppose if the people were so broke and degraded they couldn't be fixed. God still was very forgiving to those who genuinely sought Him, think David, Abraham.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:02:17

Jewcy re your husband buying you the Joyce book - lovely, he's genuinely encouraging then...just give him time.

2 Kings 2:23-24

23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Ah yes think Abraham.

Genesis 22 where god tells Abraham to take his son and kill him and Abraham says "Yeah ok god. If you say so" and fetches a knife.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 21:11:45

I would also fetch the knife if God wanted me to slay DH especially when he's watching the golf grin

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:12:52

back it is harsh, but sin ruins those without hope of redemption.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:16:21

God did not require Abraham to slay his son....got to remember the end of the story.

Thank you, Jewry. I read that and no it doesn't help. It tries hard to paint a different picture and reinterpret it because the writer knows that no decent person could accept what it says as reasonable.

No he didn't, but the moral of the story is that if you are a good person you should be willing to kill your children to please god. Abraham was rewarded for being willing.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:25:12

As I said you can't take parts of the Bible in isolation for it to work. You need faith and you need to want too seek God.

Without God all is rendered meaningless for me, degradation and entropy. I don't know what to say - you'd have to tell me how you have hope without God, how do you navigate and find your moral compass?

NicholasTeakozy Sun 05-May-13 21:25:43

all science involves assumptions

As does religion. The difference between religion and science is that science tests those assumptions/hypotheses and if they're found wanting minds/theses are changed accordingly. Thus we see that science is evidence based. The opposite of religion.

To quote Hitchens again, "that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

Hitchslap

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:27:00

Er, last time I looked the Children Act did not advocate killing people. It's core principles remain unchanged - he welfare of he child is paramount. Statutory amendments have expanded certain definitions, not changed its meaning entirely.

so not a helpful analogy.

Sorry, don't want to derail thread but as a non believer find it endlessly fascinating that Christians get to pick and choose which part of the Scripture they follow. so all those embarrassing demands that you stone to death certain groups get glossed over as out of context.

So there is your answer op - just ignore the bits of the Bible that make you uncomfortable.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 21:30:31

I don't know what to say - you'd have to tell me how you have hope without God, how do you navigate and find your moral compass?

^^
This.

A moral compass that points you towards killing children, gay people, and women. Is that really a help?

I and others work out morals without god and no children are required to suffer and die to inspire us.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:31:16

Ah, the old canard - how can you have a moral compass of you don't believe in god?

It's quite easy actually. I don't do stuff to people I wouldn't want done to me. So I don't rob, kill, cheat or lie and I try t be kind.

I don't need fear of hell fire to make me good.

Sorry op for diversion. I wish you all he luck in the world for your treatment - and I really do think it is luck and science involved here, not an angry or cruel god.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:33:09

Nicholas do you not think truth exists separately from what we can, as humans, realise?

Re. Ellsberg paradox, what is your take on it?

Dismissiveness is a negative assertion, to be more scientific you should admit when something just not known.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 21:34:21

So there is your answer op - just ignore the bits of the Bible that make you uncomfortable.

None of the bible makes me uncomfortable. My discomfort lies in my seemingly endless ability to live exactly how I please when there is a loving God who wants the very best for me.

I've had some marvellous reassurances, though, from the kind people on here smile

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:36:07

By the way, I do not hold with any killing back, I merely accept hubris.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:36:14

I thought the whole point of this op was how upset a certain part of the Bible was making you?

Sorry if I have missed the point.

But I appear to being told that you can disregard the OT if you feel like it, which must be a comfort of sorts.

bruxeur Sun 05-May-13 21:38:31

God's finely tuned moral compass stopped the Pope from speaking up about the Holocaust. He's a real swell guy. But hey, fuck'em, they were only jews. That's almost as bad as gays!

bruxeur Sun 05-May-13 21:40:11

So Lev 18:22 doesn't make you uncomfortable, OP? You're not uncomfortable about being a bigot?

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:42:18

And don't fogey all the kiddy fiddler priests quietly shipped off to other parishes. Thank goodness Christians have their Bible to show them the way! Heavens knows what evil disgusting things they would do without the Good Book t guide them!

Sorry for being so snipey but very little pisses me off more than being told I cannot have a 'moral compass' because I don't believe in any god(s). I find that very insulting.

LynetteScavo England Sun 05-May-13 21:43:32

" I have never been so wretched as when I lived by my own rules and for my own pleasures."

But isn't that what you are doing now, being married to a non-Christian, and having IVF?

This is NOT what I believe...it's what I think you think God wants.

Personally I think God wants people to be happy and kind and have babies and bring them up with love.

You need to stop beating yourself up. I think you get a lot of comfort from prayer, and you aren't praying much atm because you don't think you deserve that comfort.

I think you should pray....not necessarily for a baby, but for guidance.

None of the bible makes me uncomfortable

Personally I don't like kids being mutilated and killed, but it takes all kinds to make a world as my old mum used to say.

daftdame, I do not hold with any killing Have you told god that you disagree with him?

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:51:12

Don't worry, of god was advocating killing people, he didn't really mean it, or it was acceptable at the time or insert justification of our choice here.

Yup, without faith it is all entirely bonkers.

So op, embrace your faith. Trust your god. Trying to dissect scripture seems sure fire path to unhappiness and uncertainty.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:51:33

spero I didn't tell you anything, I asked.

Crimes are committed by all sorts, but do you believe in forgiveness and redemption. Or are the most faulty completely doomed? Is there anything to predict these faults? What next, eugenics?

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:53:11

But how on earth do you think it is a question worth asking? Do you really think atheists are immoral and lacking moral compass? What about Hindus? Buddhists? Jains?

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 21:55:22

back so you know what God thinks but do not believe He exists? If He is merely a figment of my imagination what right have you to define him?

Spero Sun 05-May-13 21:56:15

And what on earth do you mean by 'doomed'?? To hell? What do you mean by 'faulty'?

I will abide by the criminal law, those who commit crimes are punished accordingly. I try to forgive people who wrong me as bitterness is very corrosive. When we die, we die.

That doesn't mean I am wallowing in chaos or entropy. It means I try to make the best of this one life.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 22:06:00

spero what you believe is your choice entirely and the same goes for me.

What are you doing on a spiritual thread, you can't be surprised surely?

daftdame I am pointing out the inconsistency in people's positions. For that it isn't necessary to establish whether god exists or not.

You defend god's actions in the OT yet you say you don't approve of killing. That is a contradiction.

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 22:13:08

back what do you do with the things you don't understand? The things that are beyond understanding? Do you believe these things just don't exist...

bruxeur Sun 05-May-13 22:14:13

Ah! The god of the gaps argument.

God's been getting quite a lot smaller since the Enlightenment, hasn't he? Do you think he's well?

daftdame There are plenty of things I don't know. It doesn't make me despair and nor should it. It's perfectly ok that there is more to find out. what I don't do is make up something to explain them. Thunder & lightning was frightening once and that's why people thought gods caused it, but now we can make lightning and learn how it works in school.

Not sure why you think some things are 'beyond understanding?' and how would you know?

daftdame Sun 05-May-13 22:20:41

Alive and well.

Do you lot come out in force on spiritual threads? bruxeur et al..

You seem quite satisfied with your 'answers' so I'll let you be.

bruxeur Sun 05-May-13 22:30:07

God will be as dead as Thor and Zeus soon enough. Perhaps those unwilling to think for themselves will be Scientologists by then.

Ilikethebreeze Sun 05-May-13 22:32:21

Can I just say that I dont think it is helpful for Christians not to talk nicely on here to non christians.
I am a Christian btw.

Ilikethebreeze Sun 05-May-13 22:32:42

I dont think atheists are necessarily immoral or lacking in moral compass to much of an extent either.
And fwiw, Spero, you sound to me like you behave very well. [better than some Christians].
I am a Christian btw.

Spero Sun 05-May-13 22:41:40

Thank you breeze, I try and sometimes I fail but I will always try. So if there is a god I hope he will understand why I could not find faith.

I don't want to mock or deride anyone who doesn't think what I think. But nor do I think I should absent myself from threads about religion - even though I don't have a faith, I find it very interesting because of course so many people do believe in so many different kinds of gods and I am interested in why and how they have faith.

I joined this thread because I thought it sad the op was not finding comfort in her faith and I still struggle to understand why if god is love any of his followers should be so scared and so unsure of his love.

I am afraid I am still struggling to reconcile the unambiguous hatred of the OT with the message of Jesus.

But I do hope the op finds happiness, even if it isn't with a baby. I would wish that for everyone no matter what god they follow.

alemci Sun 05-May-13 22:41:48

the old testament is quite brutal and a bit of a stumbling block. God does seem very harsh. At the moment I am reading a book about Samsom by Jeff Lucas which is quite interesting. I, too am a christian but somewhat backslidden.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:33:15

*I don't want to mock or deride anyone who doesn't think what I think. But nor do I think I should absent myself from threads about religion - even though I don't have a faith, I find it very interesting because of course so many people do believe in so many different kinds of gods and I am interested in why and how they have faith.

I joined this thread because I thought it sad the op was not finding comfort in her faith and I still struggle to understand why if god is love any of his followers should be so scared and so unsure of his love.*

What a crock of shit.

There..I've said it. No, not very Christian but I'm sure the atheists will be rejoicing at my demonstrable frustration. I would like to know why the likes of brux (you sound very bitter, by-the-way) et al feel the need - yes, need - to come to these threads to tear me - yes, me- apart. I came here because my heart was heavy about my disobedience. My heart is heavy because I love God and know - yes, know - there are decisions I am making/have made/will probably continue to make - which actually feel wrong as someone who is supposed to trust her God and His word.

Some of you have come hear with not kindness or words of hope for me (or anyone else here), no words of comfort (I don't necessarily mean spiritual; I mean from woman to woman perhaps). You have come instead bearing gifts of derision, hopelessness, cynicism, and outrage.

Do you see that your rhetoric and Hitchen-esque soundbites are as tedious and predictable and as empty of hope as you claim my God to be? I have no problem with Leviticus or any other part of the bible. Neither do I understand God's ways; if I did I would be equal to him.

I can only imagine the horror you inflict upon muslims..

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:39:40

...*so scared and so unsure of his love.*

<rolls eyes>

Are you deliberately being disingenuous (that's a rhetorical question, by-the-way; every single one of the haters who have come to this thread survive on disingenuity)? Do you think your questions and liberal outrage are something new? Jesus himself faced such diatribes every day of his ministry. Scholars and mockers like you were forever trying to catch him out by setting His teachings against those of the OT. Read what Jesus says if you want the definitive answers.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:44:22

Brux, I'd like to ask you something: when you practised what you were going to say in front of the mirror before parachuting into the thread like a deranged servant of Dawkins, did you stop to consider that, actually, you might just come across as a stroppy knob?

bruxeur Sun 05-May-13 23:48:16

Hmm. Stroppy or bigoted. Let's play Mornington Crescent with the Bible until god tells us which is best!

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:52:45

I have a better idea. Let's play Slaughter The Atheist.

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:54:13

...which reminds me, it's BH tomorrow and I will be mind-numbingly bored. Brux, I think you should come round to my gaff to play this Mornington thing. What is it, by-the-way?

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:55:41

Why do I feel like all you atheists are far more 'religious' than I'll ever be? hmm

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:56:21

I'm off to look for the prayer thread...

ravenAK Mon 06-May-13 00:02:52

Jewcy, are you perhaps a tiny bit pissed?

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:15:13

Ha! Raven, if only you knew...I'm teetotal, my love.

MareeyaDolores Mon 06-May-13 00:16:15

Well, I'm a believer and sometimes I do feel afraid and unsure of His love. That doesnt have to be because God isn't there, or isn't loving. It's probably because I'm a human, who has human, messy feelings. And there's no way that I live up to Christian ideals so I'm not in the least offended at that being pointed out to me wink.

The various well-known saints were acutely aware that only God can drag anyone towards that miraculous standard of living up to ideals (and the clue is in the name: they were saints ie not simple, narky, lazy, chocolate-addicted types like me).

So, to summarise:
Wobbly-emotions (mine or other peopl's) neither prove nor disprove God's existence.
The existence of failng / sinful / distressed Christians is also not proof either way.
Certified saints (speaking for themselves) stated they needed God in order to become good, and couldn't do it unaided.

OP I am desperate to become a better person in God's eyes is sort of missing the point, I think. You don't have to be a full-on Calvinist predestination-elect type to note that He wouldn't have bothered with the Cross if He was planning to dump you at the first opportunity wink

TheYoniWayisGerard Mon 06-May-13 00:16:41

I love how you insult other posters on MN they get affronted when someone challenges you and your beliefs, excusing your behaviour by hiding behind all this 'God is angry and I must seek forgiveness' bollocks.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 00:19:40

Sorry you feel what I say is 'a crock of shit'

I am not setting out to be disingenuous.

I am genuinely curious about why you - who professes to have faith in a loving god - seem so bitter and full of hate whereas I, who has no faith is (on the evidence of this thread anyway) much happier and at peace with myself.

ravenAK Mon 06-May-13 00:26:40

Fair enough.

We'll cross that excuse off the list, then...

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:34:14

Mareeya, you seem to have it all worked out. You seem happy.

Gerard, if you have no time to read the thread in its entirety (including my feelings about being unkind to the other OP) then I have no time for your 'bollocks' either.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:35:00

Raven, don't be shy..spit it out.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:37:55

... seem so bitter and full of hate whereas I, who has no faith is (on the evidence of this thread anyway) much happier and at peace with myself.

Wrestling with myself and the deeper tenets of the Christian faith makes me bitter and full of hate because...?

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:39:17

..*Spero*, it's much easier to come across as the 'happier and more peaceful' one on a thread where the OP is wrestling with aspects of her faith, no? Give yourself a great big pat on the back, old girl.

ravenAK Mon 06-May-13 00:41:22

I think Spero's covered it, tbh. You do seem to be spoiling for a fight.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 00:41:54

I can see you are wrestling with your faith, and I hope you make it through. All this stress can't be helping with your plans to conceive.

But I am sure when you think about it you will accept that wrestling with your faith is no excuse for such gratuitous and unpleasant insults to another human being.

I have only wished you well and continue to do so.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:42:22

I'm off to bed. I'll see you all in the morning. Sleep well, all..

NicholasTeakozy Mon 06-May-13 00:43:51

Jewcy Sun 05-May-13 23:52:45

I have a better idea. Let's play Slaughter The Atheist

Spoken like a true monotheist. It's usually only Moslem countries that allow atheists to be persecuted though, so maybe you need to change gods. HTH.

DaftDame I don't gamble, therefore Ellsbergs Paradox has as much meaning to me as Pascals Wager: none. When I die I die. That is it. If you want to give comfort to a bereaved family you need a physicist at your funeral to explain energy. It's wonderful. And beautiful. And so much more comforting than being told that I'll burn for eternity for not loving a man made construct.

I'll take atheism, rationalism, science, reality and freethinking over religion every time.

To those who worry or question how us atheists live a moral life without a god. It's easy. From my perspective anyway. I kill all I want. Which is not at all. I rape all I want. Which is not at all. I'm nice to people and animals without a god. To be honest, if you need a god to tell you how to behave you've got bigger problems and should probably be locked up for the public safety. grin

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 00:46:51

Crossed posts, sorry. Raven, my back is up, certainly - I feel sad that atheists have come here not to help or clarify or comfort - just to disparage. Why not simply start an athiests thread where you can all be derisory en masse? Oh, wait, no need...you all just come over here.

Spero, don't concern yourself with my stress and its potential impact on my fertility. I doubt I have ever come across a woman quite as passive- aggressive as yourself (and no, that really isn't me being nasty or bitter).

Good night all.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 00:47:54

Good idea to go to bed. Thought I had learned my lesson last night after staying up really late to watch The Premonition - surely more proof that either god doesn't exist or if He does, He hates us by visiting such films on an innocent world.

So there you go Jewcy, I am not so well balanced after all as will feel like crap again come 8am when dog whines to go out.

Sleep well all!

ravenAK Mon 06-May-13 00:56:28

I've only bothered so I can check the rules to Slaughter the Atheist, tbh. It doesn't sound as much fun as Mornington Crescent, but does seem to demand more commitment from the players than Gentle Derision.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 06-May-13 01:07:57

Wow. I am shock at the direction that this thread has taken.

Jewcy you sound under stress, hardly surprising under the circumstances. I think you would benefit from having someone to talk to at this time. Can your church put you in touch with a Christian Counsellor? They will be able to see it from your POV and can help you deal with the IVF.

I'm saddened at your treatment on this thread because you are a Christian in need of support.

nohalfmeasures Mon 06-May-13 01:13:12
Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 07:59:25

Jewcy Jewcy.
You lost it a bit last night didnt you?
tbh, I didnt feel at all comfortable reading all those words, so I didnt.

I hope you either do not come back to this thread, or if you do, that you can see you behaved wrongly and apologise.

You come across to me as maybe trying your best God wise.
But agree that your tongue needs a lot of taming.

And unfortuneately, if you do that sort of thing in real life as well, that is sure not helpful to Christianity.

I hope you manage to find some peace.
Please ask for Gods forgiveness.
And please say sorry on here if you are able.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 06-May-13 08:05:06

Oh! Now all understand why you brought up Ellsberg, you meant to being up Pascal but didn't want the obvious religious connotations. Forgive me for not making the connection between wagers and death.....

My thoughts on it in that case are that I do not think that wagering on god holds any weight. If it turns out I'm wrong and I have to answer to God, at least I can tell him I tried to understand through proper means.

Originally I posted to counter a derogatory remark about atheists, but I do have something pertinent to the OP to add.

The internal conflict that is the root of the problem is caused by trying to obey a god. If you work out your own morals, aims and ambitions then you don't need to suffer that. Contrary to popular belief, being an atheist is not a cold, dark and painful place. It is a warm, relaxing and comfortable place without that continuous conflict between what you know is right and true and what one of the gods requires you to do and believe.

If it helps then it doesn't even matter if the gods exist or not. Since you have no way to know they do then any decent god will allow for that and forgive you for not doing things his way. So you can put it aside and wait and see.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 09:24:17

Having read some more of what was said on here last night, it wasnt just one Christian who wasnt talking nicely, it was more than one.

I personally dont have a problem with non Christians being rude, offensive or nice on this MN topic.
But I most certainly do think there is a problem when Christians do it.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:06:55

Ilikethebreeze, Take your patronising tongue and stick it where....oops! there I go again...I see you haven't directed any of your, frankly, nauseating proselytising toward the atheists, whose rancour has unsettled and upset some kindly folks who came here for help or to offer comfort and advice.

You blatantly think atheists are immune from the parameters of kindly behaviour and that Christians must always be perfect.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 10:14:16

Jewcy, how long have you been a Christian for, and did you read nohalfmeasures helpful link?

I very much welcome non Christians on here. Whatever their tone or behaviour.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:17:35

O dear.

I want going to post again as I thought you were clearly upset and a good nights sleep would put you in a better frame of mind.

There is nothing passive about my aggression. When I am pissed off I say so, as I did when I thought it was being suggested as an atheist I could have no moral compass.

I tried to be helpful in my very first post. I do think CS Lewis as a helpful take on it.

But, like so many Christians you would rather direct your energies into fretting about the wording of the scripture than actually acting in a Christian way.

So knock yourself out.

And no half measures, thanks for that link. I can now see it is not only Leviticus which is disturbing but Deuteronomy as well.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:22:46

Back, I am entirely uninterested in your view of gods. Do you always come onto Christian threads and try to tell believers why they should reject the one they love? Do you do that on the relationship threads too? Do you go onto a relationship thread where a wife says she feels inadequate sometimes and you tell her she has no need to be a subservient numpty and to just leave the bastard?

but I do have something pertinent to the OP to add.

No. You don't. It is interminably boring to keep hearing the same argument from atheists. You have not lived my life. You haven't been to the places I have been. You have not lost everything. You haven't had the spiritual journey and then salvation like I have. Don't presume you know everything there is to know about my God simply because you are an atheist. I'm sure you feel comfortable buttressed by the likes of Hitchens and Dawkins - those achingly groovy iconoclasts - but you are deluded and are in the dark.

Contrary to popular belief, being an atheist is not a cold, dark and painful place. It is a warm, relaxing and comfortable place without that continuous conflict between what you know is right and true and what one of the gods requires you to do and believe.

hmm If you had read all my posts you would know that I was an atheist for twenty years. I lived a life you wouldn't believe. I feel like I am home now. I am at peace with my choices because I know God has a plan for me and He loves me more than I could even know. I simply have to read, listen and pray (and talk with other people who love God) because sometimes the answers are difficult.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:27:06

If you are genuinely at peace with your choices, why are you so aggressive and unpleasant on this thread (and others where I have read your posts)?

No doubt you will just dismiss this as another crock of shit, but you might want to reflect on it a some point.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 10:27:24

Jewcy. You say in your op that you are willfully living a disobedient life.
I took that to mean just in the non equally yoked part.
But maybe you are doing it in lots of other areas of your life too?

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:27:56

Oh, but, Spero. That is my point: I was clearly pissed off last night and - so sue me - it showed. You, on the other hand, are one of those mumsnetters who veils her derision and secret blood-boiling by this grating insouciance which appears to be The Thing To Do around these parts. I know full well you are steaming inside. Let's not pretend otherwise.

You have returned for one reason only this morning - and that is to goad and to frustrate and to upset. I will always defend God and I'm afraid I will (probably) also become angry and frustrated at times whilst doing that.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:29:02

I want going to post again as I thought you were clearly upset and a good nights sleep would put you in a better frame of mind.

Another crock.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:32:04

Spero, you may wish to reflect on why you think Christians ought to be perfect and how much joy you get from provoking them.

Breeze, you are right, I sin in other areas, too. What's your point?

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:32:34

O and by the way I am neither 'deluded' or 'in the dark'. I am currently being treated for breast cancer and have a 20-30% chance of being dead in next five years.

But I am not afraid or unhappy. I will be sad not to see mu daughter grow up but I am not suddenly desparately clinging to a 'god' to make it all better.

if there is a god he will know i have tried to live a good life. If he isnt impressed by that and is angry i didn't go out stoning homosexuals, well fuck him quite frankly.

you criticise atheists for not respecting your faith, is it not just as wrong for you to call atheists 'deluded' ?

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:35:05

I am leaving you to it. I will not return as there is nothing at all helpful coming from the haters and you have happily and successfully derailed the thread. Well done all of you.

...and Spero, do run along and stop stalking me wink

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:36:12

Seriously. I am not steaming. I am probably at a loose end because I can't go out or do much at moment as immune system is compromised.

But I don't get joy out of baiting vulnerable people. I like to debate about interesting matters and this is one.

You are probably better off talking directly to a priest or similar than bringing your troubles to the Internet.

And you need to think about what you are projecting. I am honestly not 'steaming'. Why do you need to believe that?

Because you want to think I am sobbing alone in the dark with only my 'delusions' for company?

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:36:48

Sorry you feel that way. Hope you can find others to support you in real life.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 10:37:21

Crumbs, we cross-posted. I am sorry you are suffering. I promise I will pray for your recovery. Turn towards God - He loves you, Spero.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:41:57

Thanks, but I am not suffering. I will get better or I won't. No point in adding suffering to the mix.

And take comfort from your last words. god loves you. So why would he want to punish you, if you also act from love?

Back, I am entirely uninterested in your view of gods.

I know that, but there may be people reading who have not yet decided and I'd like to offer them the choice of your way or mine. We don't want more people emotionally torn this way do we.

You were already having a go at atheists when I got here. I can see you'd like a rule where you get to say what you like and others get to say what you like too, but that's not how it works.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 10:49:42

Jewcy. How much of your own will have you given up to become a Christian?

When you become a Christian there are 2 things you have to do.
Say sorry for things you have done wrong [ no need for a list, God already knows what we have done wrong], and believe Jesus was raised from the dead.
Did you do those 2 things?

glastocat Mon 06-May-13 10:52:12

Blimey O'reilly! Have to say this thread isn't exactly full of Christian love! grin

nohalfmeasures Mon 06-May-13 10:55:30

Jewcy, I think it would be helpful to consider my link posted previously, then go back over your posts and ask yourself "Is this how Jesus would have responded?"

Spero Mon 06-May-13 10:58:38

Sorry, that made me laugh. I had a mental image of bearded bloke in sandals telling the Pharisees they were a crock of shit.

If it helps, I have got a book called What Would Buffy Do? Which I find helpful in almost every situation.

nohalfmeasures Mon 06-May-13 11:09:55

Spero grin

Salbertina Mon 06-May-13 11:13:55

Mutual respect, Christian charity?? Some discussion on here has been hectoring and a v poor demonstration of Christian virtues (love thy neighbour?)

Jewcy, remember that many/most people, not just you (!) have suffered in their lives- abuse, bereavement, betrayal etc. We all have our own ways of coping which may include religion or atheism, both equally valid for that individual so long as they don't ram theirs down other people's throats or attack theirs if opposing!

Spero Mon 06-May-13 11:38:37

I have taken my folding chair to the park at the back of my house. I sit here with my ipad and coffee whilst my dog tries to get belly rubs from every passing stranger.

It is sunny and glorious. I am happy and at peace. There is no darkness or delusions here. It makes me sad that some Christians seek to portray my life as such, because I don't share their faith.

And I find it odd that faith doesn't bring peace. But there you go. Each to their own.

I hope everyone else has a lovely day.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 11:45:00

I hope you enjoy your day Spero smile
Hand having a park at the back of your house I would have thought.
I too have very nice views, but no park in sight!

Faith does bring some peace.
But as you can see, Christians are not perfect, so we have a way to go to get perfect peace.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 11:52:06

I am sorry. My responses have been spiteful in some cases and I want to apologise to those they were directed towards. I also want to say sorry to those Christians who must've found my anger difficult to read. I have a long way to go in taming my tongue but I will keep looking to Jesus.

nohalfmeasures, your link stunned me into silence (oh, the irony). Mainly because it should be so easy to keep schtum and look to Jesus instead. I just find it hard when my Lord is rubbished but I know there is a wrong way to respond and I am certainly guilty of that.

Peace be with you all today.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 11:58:02

Well done.

Actually, taming the tongue is very hard, as I think it says on the link.

Salbertina Mon 06-May-13 12:10:08

Peace be with you too, Jewcy and everyone on here.

It may help to focus on the fact that questioning Christianity or any religion is just that and is valid; it's not an invalidation of your personal views to do so so try not to feel angry or "rubbished" if people do so.

How supportive is your church in presenting a benevolent, charitable God? If it isn't, i might be tempted to look around for a new one.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 12:35:54

Salbertina, as I mentioned upthread I am currently not worshipping at any church except when I go to stay with family every three weeks (their church is amazing but far away).

I live in a tiny ancient village and I have hunted high and low for a sound evangelical ministry but the churches here are awful with crusty old vicars who neither love Jesus (it would appear) nor wish to help others grow. Some would say any church is better than none but I can't bear sitting in those High C of E churches where they spend eons chucking incense around and reading out the week's notices but happily avoiding ministering to God's people.

I want to sit under a challenging ministry where the Gospel is central and I can grow spiritually. I crave spiritual milk because I want a closer walk with God and I need fellowship, too. I honestly am not forever flagellating myself; I know God has forgiven my past (and my present and future) sins and wants the best for me; I know He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me; plans to give me hope and a future. However, I know if my walk with Him is not close I am wont to lose sight of His truths and I don't want that, for that is where I find peace.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 12:43:28

1 Corinth 13 v 1-8:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I am rubbish, rubbish, rubbish sad

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 12:44:33

...but God loves me smile

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 12:50:16

Please don't flame me for this question: do you think some people are naturally more 'loving' than others? I am not talking about Christians and atheists as separate entities here, I am talking about the human race as a whole; do some people find loving (in the true biblical sense) easier than others? Is our ability to 'love thy neighbour' shaped by our personalities (for want of a better word)? Or our upbringing (learned behaviour)?

nohalfmeasures Mon 06-May-13 13:32:42

I think it does come naturally for some. I think for others it has to be a conscious effort.
Try Googling "5 love languages". DH and I did ours and they were VERY different from each other. It was good because now we know we have to make an effort to communicate in each others "language".

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 13:51:47

Yes Jewcy. I do think some people are naturally more loving than others, Christians and non Christians.
Agree with all of your post.

When we become Christians, we all start from a different background.
And find aspects of the bible easish or hard, according to our background and our inherent personality.
Personally, I find things like obeying relatively easy I suppose, but it took me 5 years after becoming a Christian to become patient.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 14:11:08

I find it easy to love others and because of my past I am less judgemental than I was as an atheist when I lived for myself and by my own rules. Back then I pretty much hated everyone. I am, however, quick to anger which pretty much rules out the love bits when I fly off the handle. I volunteer with addicts and sex workers and find that they keep my feet on the ground. The past is never very far away.

I've just read the thread and wanted to quickly say * Jewcy* my husband and I had IUI for our daughter and then later also tried IVF many times, including with donor eggs. Sadly it was unsuccessful.

I really really hope your treatment will be successful; I know two ladies who have little boys aged under 2 who are the result of IVF with donor eggs, it does work sometimes, I hope it will for you.

I've been a Christian for 30 years and come from an evangelical background. I am amazed to hear of your story and your past. I wonder if maybe because your life was so 'hard' that's my choice of word based on what you have described, that now as a Christian, saved from a terrible time of it, you feel a great responsibility to live a very good Christian life.

I expect many of us as Christians do feel a responsibility to live a good life. Please do be kind to yourself and do not expect too much of yourself. We all make mistakes.

The Bible in 2 Corinthians 6:14 talks about being unequally yoked and this passage is sometimes used to talk about marriage to (or could be partnership in a business with) a non-Christian. It could also have other meanings.

However, I would say that we have free will and we may marry whoever we are legally allowed to marry. Marrying someone who does not share your faith, or even someone whose faith is very different in their life even if we are both Christians, can make life much harder for 'us'. So personally I believe this is a suggestion to us that life can be harder when we marry someone who doesn’t share our faith. Which many would say was true.

However, this is a general point and there may be people out there for whom life would be harder to be single. I know it would for me!

Based on what you have said about your husband and your relationship I would say that he came into your life and has been a blessing to you, and you are a blessing to him.

I think that is wonderful. I really do not think God has any desire to withhold a blessing from you because of that relationship. Whether you will be able to have e a child together or not I don’t know but I wish you all the very best.

I don’t believe everything that happens is directly down to God because we have free will and there is also the biological factor that sometimes things happen, babies born etc, and sometimes people get sick etc and that is not in my option all down to God doing things. My hubby and I are Christians and have had lots of fertility treatment, only one lot of it worked.

I would suggest getting some support for the fertility side of life, there are fertility threads on musmet that are helpful and there maybe support groups on line or in real life.

* Spero* I am so sorry to hear about your breast cancer. I hope you are getting lots of support in real life and I wish you well, and a recovery. For what it is worth a friend in real life was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago. She had a terrible prognosis and actually had chemo before surgery and amazingly she has made a good recovery and (I am not sure of all the terms and what a full recovery would mean) but she looks back to good health and as far as I know all is currently well. I am a Christian and I will say a prayer for you because I am not sure what else I can really offer! I do run the Race for Life when I can and I really really hope this terrible disease will be eradicated. Thinking of you.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 14:29:13

I think you need to work on your anger first and foremost.
Part of the reason I say this is because sometimes we may only meet or interact with people once
So they may know you as a Christian, and then you let rip, and that is the impression they are left with.

An advert is half coming to mind. Something along the lines of "We only have one chance to make a first impression?" grin

LondonJax I loved reading about your son. How amazing and wonderful. My DD likes break dancing too! We had IUI for our daughter. I knew not to discuss fertility treatment with anyone who would have a different opinion to me! I had made my mind up and stuck to what I felt was right. It was so personal to me. Now that it is in the past I would happily discuss it with anyone!

Jewcy I also love Jeremiah ch 29 v 11. Reading about your choosing between egg donors has really brought it back for me! I had two to choose form and they were remarkable similar, just like yours. What is your gut feeling!

* Jewcy* Yes, I do think some people are more loving than others. I would also say that I think sometimes having a difficult life can make people maybe (Just mu opinion) find it harder to be loving. For example if people have said or done mean things a person they may find it hard to accept love or care or innocent questions from others and may doubt other people’s motives.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 14:45:46

I think definitely we all have different abilities and different ways of feeling and expressing love as a result of our inherent personalities and our life experiences. Some of us just have to try harder - I have to try hard to be organised for eg, it is not my natural state but I know life runs more smoothly if I try.

But it's not the falling that matters, it is rising every time we fall - can't remember who said that but think it very true.

You are not rubbish if you fail, you are only rubbish if you can't be arsed to even try.

Italiangreyhound, thanks for your good wishes. Only one more round of chemo to go!

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 15:00:36

Italian, thank you for your post, it has uplifted me. My life has been chaotic and pretty wild, at times, and I don't claim to have had it harder than anyone else. When I have been seriously ill it has been as a result of the choices I have made. When I have been in the gutter, I have put myself there. When I have been battered and bruised it is because I have stayed in that relationship. When I have been homeless it was as a direct result of my addiction. My past is littered with sadness and pain because of the choices I made in how I lived. My past is also punctuated by some wonderful, hilarious, deeply happy and fulfilling times where I have travelled the world and met marvellous people.

However, the wonderful times never lasted and I inevitably sabotaged the potential for good outcomes with the choices I made. I have prostituted myself, had an abortion, been made homeless, lived in a women's refuge, been to rehab, been given a suspended prison sentence, lost my family, attempted suicide (twice), have been hospitalised many times due to my alcoholism, watched my father attempt suicide (four times) and on and on..

I am not trying to elicit sympathy here. I am trying to give you a glimpse of how my life has been for two decades and how much I am thankful to God for lifting me out of the misery when all health professionals, family, social workers and friends failed. I love where I am now: I live a hugely uninteresting (some would say) and peaceful, chaos-free life. I can see God's handprint on every stage of it up to the present day and I want to serve Him and give Him the glory. This is why I feel saddened when my old nature seems to be never far away and I still feel shackled to my old self.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 15:03:19

Spero, how are you finding the chemo? I think you are very brave, I can't bear hospitals. When is your last chemo scheduled for?

Spero Mon 06-May-13 15:03:52

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

I think I have got that quote wrong but hopefully you get the gist.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 15:08:58

The first one I wanted to die. It was horrible. But it was more the fear of the unknown. Zombie was very kind and talked me through it on here and by number 3 it was kind of routine. I have been very lucky and not has the horrible side effects like mouth ulcers. I am just fetchingly bald and quite tired. I feel crap for the first week and then much better until the next.

Last one tomorrow if my blood counts are ok. Very relieved.

I do think this site can be very supportive and helpful - just try to filter out the stuff that makes you angry andif you find your buttons being pushed, take a break.

Spero, that sounds so awful. Really really hope you will pull through this.

Spero don't want to ignite an argument at all but was reading back and you asked * Just out of interest - how do Christians put for e.g. Leviticus 'in context' ?* Some Christians do not take the Bible all literally. Leviticus was talking about a specific situation for a specific group of people. As Christians we believe Jesus fulfilled the law. I believe some of the passages are talking about avoiding the kind of worship including sexual practices that were not acceptable, e.g. temple prostates etc. Anyone who has read about temple prostitutes would not want that for anyone.

Pedro The Old Testament is the story of God’s people, the Hebrews, and their journey. Personally, I would not want to take it all literally. It doesn’t mean it is no longer relevant. It just means we are not bound by it. But sometimes you need to remember the past. To lose it totally might mean that one day you try to go back to it! George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ I don’t know if it is relevant here but I think part of the Old Treatment is about mistakes, Moses killed an Egyptian, David had an affair with Bathsheba and then killed her husband etc etc, full of people making mistakes, not a pattern for us to follow! Yet there is also wisdom, and beauty and poetry and psalms which are special songs we say and sing, like the ‘Lord’s my Shepherd’, it is a lot of stuff. But we are not expected as modern day Christians to stone anyone. And I expect most Christians and non Christians know that.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 16:11:36

Italian - it is just very hard for me to reconcile Leviticus and Deuteronomy with the whole concept of god as love. The passages I read are very unambiguous in their instruction to kill gay men and adulterous women.

I see lots of religious people, particularly in the US use the Bible to justify their discrimination against or even outright contempt and hatred for gay people.

I attended an Alpha course in my 20s as I was genuinely curious and no one could explain to me how they reconciled this, other than by shuffling a bit and saying it was taken out of context.

I do not know if god or gods exist so I suppose I am not really an atheist. But it is a sad fact that for me at any rate, the most bigoted and hateful people I have ever met professed to believe in god and were followers of the Abrahamic religions.

I appreciate not all religious people are like that but a lot of energy seems to be directed at following 'laws' rather than looking in ones own heart and asking questions there.

MareeyaDolores Mon 06-May-13 16:15:56

This thread is really interesting. As I read it, the atheists seem to be fairly united in saying that objective 'goodness' matters more than subjective happiness. And that we all ought to practice what we preach, accept our faults with humility, forgive others and hope we too can be forgiven, remember to love our neighbour and not to worry too much about past or future as each day has enough troubles (and joys) of its own. Was going to pop back and add a post with the Catholic viewpoint, but you've already phrased it in a more theologically sound, and loving way than I would've, so I'll defer grin

Yes, spero there is a lot of hatred and anger out there. I don't know why. I can't say why people seem so hung up on some aspects of life. I do believe God is bigger and better than all that. The lives of some amazing and kind Christians are a good testament though, it is not all doom and gloom.

MareeyaDolores Mon 06-May-13 16:53:10

Jewcy, I really think you need some regular contact with some RL Christians. And although you may not be comfortable with the leadership of the local churches, it's likely that there will be believers within the congregation(s) who you can fellowship with. Whether they are RC, CoE, Baptist, Methodist etc shouldn't get in the way.

It's likely that they will irritate and sometimes fail you too (well, assuming you're anything like me blush), but that's ok. The disciples were always falling out, but it didn't stop them becoming the Church.

The fundamental need of any believer is God, and when we are struggling, it's very hard to look for Him alone. Denomination does matter, there are some important points of difference... but these don't negate the Holy Spirit's promise to show up whenever two or more Christians pray together.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 16:53:14

I am a Christian who takes it literally.
I have been on a few philosophy threads before, but have had a nc.
I personally dont have much of a problem with any of the books. To me, OT an NT make sense [admittedly i will never fully understand it all, but I try].

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 16:54:00

Very good post Mareeya

MareeyaDolores Mon 06-May-13 16:54:34

I did see that you're going to church every few weeks... but (again, assuming you struggle as I do), it may not be enough.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 17:37:28

I am now questioning myself about why I accept Leviticus and Deueronomy so readily.
I think it is because at about aged 10, I used to go to a relatively small school. Myclassroom had 4 years in it with both sexes. On the whole the boys played up, and the girls didnt. The boys regularly got told off by the teacher and had to stop what they were doing.
And I could not see the point to it. To my mind, if you were not naughty, it cut out the agro from the teacher. She was a relatively strict teacher.
So I learnt from that.

Ultimately I trust God.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 17:55:12

But how is a man loving another man worthy of being called an 'abomination'? Why does god want them dead?

How can god call love in any form an abomination? Why does he care what we do with our genitals?

Why is sex only permissible in order to procreate? Why give us the capacity to have orgasms if sex wasn't meant to be enjoyed?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 06-May-13 17:56:54

But we are not expected as modern day Christians to stone anyone. And I expect most Christians and non Christians know that.

So my question is how do you know that? God didn't tell you not to, so it must be based on your own take on morality. One which is not dictated by god..... Imagine that!

Pedro Imagine that wink. Well, the church in general, at least mine, doesn't teach me to stone people and yes I also do think for myself.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 18:04:07

Yikes Spero. You know the bible better than I do!
Can you tell me which verses you are speaking about please?

Spero Mon 06-May-13 18:12:07

I went to the link nohalfmeasures gave and asked what the Bible thought about homosexuality and adulterers. Deuteronomy was a particular eye opener.

Women who commit adultery are to be stoned to death because they have shamed their father.

Pedro Just to clarify if my church were asking me to do any stoning I would be quickly leaving (and reporting them!). It's the same kind of argument about why I won't wear a head scarf to church, context. I don't want to hijack this thread but if you want to chat to me you know where you can find me! smile.

LizzyDay Mon 06-May-13 18:14:39

Ilikethebreeze - do you mean that being religious is tied up with a child-like notion of 'behave yourself or god will be cross'?

If so, I can really see that - I was pretty compliant at school, and we had religion rammed down our throats at pretty much every opportunity. So I grew up thinking that not believing in god was somehow 'naughty'.

It's a hard feeling to shake off, but I found that when I did and began to think for myself about what was 'good' and what wasn't, it was very liberating.

OP - sorry, you probably won't find that terribly helpful - except that I think possibly what you have 'found' with religion is the feeling of being supported and in a community? If so that's great, but it's not exclusive to religious groups, so don't beat yourself up too much about not being 'Christian' enough. If you focus on practical skills for living and working well, and maintaining a positive focus, the rest should fall into place.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 18:15:03

Check out Deuteronomy 22:21 and Leviticus 20:13

I just do not understand why Jesus did not explicitly reject this stuff. It is utterly incompatible with a loving god. You can't just explain it away by saying it was due to the primitive and barbaric culture of the time. This is the Word of God.

Jewcy any news on your donor did you pick, feel free to PM me if you prefer. It was such a joy when I got the donor details through and I wrote out exactly what was said about the two lovely ladies who were offering to be my donor. Such an amazing time. I certainly agree with others that finding a church in RL would help. If you want a more evangelical one you might look for one doing an Alpha course http://www.alpha.org/ in your area. Not necessarily to do the course but just because that sort of church would be more evangelical. You might also find a Baptist church or free church quite to your liking. But I agree with MareeyaDolores that And although you may not be comfortable with the leadership of the local churches, it's likely that there will be believers within the congregation(s) who you can fellowship with...

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 18:22:15

Lizzy and Spero. Those are both questions to which I need to have some thought.
Hopefully I will be able to get back to you later this evening.

LondonJax Mon 06-May-13 18:46:18

Wow a lot of 'stuff' has happened on here since I posted! Something that may help you Jewcy, with your original question (and why I didn't mention this originally I don't know. Probably because, in our family, it was a normal way of life so it didn't occur to me...) My dad was an atheist. When you're dead, you're dead. No heaven, no hell. End of story. My mum is a Christian. We went to Sunday school, mum's choice. Dad was OK with it as mum was happy and he adored her. She accepted his ideas as she couldn't imagine her life without him (though she's had to get used to that as he died 20 years ago after 41 years of marriage). They rarely discussed religion (probably easy as we have Jewish, Christian and Atheist backgrounds in our extended family which makes for fantastic celebrations and interesting conversations!). Mum would say a prayer every night - Dad would go and make her a cuppa so he could tut in private. But he never ridiculed her, nor she him because they were each other's life. They tried for 13 years to have children. Turned out to be a blockage in mum's fallopian tubes. That was sorted, mum lost a baby, tried again. Had me and two other children. So, if God will withhold blessings from a Christian who was 'locked' to a non-believer, he must have been looking the other way in our family, because an atheist and a Christian had a long, happy marriage and produced three (usually) pretty laid back kids. What they taught us was how to be tolerant and not to get so bogged down in worries that your life passes you by. My dad's favourite saying was 'don't worry about it. Next week the roof could cave in and you'd have wasted all that energy on this'. BTW my cousin, who was atheist, had the most moving, Humanist, funeral service I have ever attended. They had to put speakers outside the hall as it was filled to capacity and still more people were waiting outside to pay their respects. He did nightshift for the Samaritans and was one of the most 'Christian' non Christians I have ever had the honour to know. Tolerance and the ability to say 'My way isn't your way, but I respect you just the same' is a by-word in our family.

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 18:52:26

Lizzy, no, it's not the 'community' or 'support' thing. It is simply that, after having rejected Christ for so long and living to the best of my own abilities, I found it was not the kind of 'living' I wanted. I didn't go looking for Christ, however, He dragged me kicking and screaming.

FWIW I don't believe it is enough to simply be a good person (atheist or otherwise) or to have a sound moral compass (which I believe anyone is capable of possessing whether Christian, atheist or whatever). The bible tells us that we are sinful from the minute we are born (thanks to Adam's Original Sin) and nothing within us is worthy of merit. But Jesus' death redeemed mankind, opening the way for us to find forgiveness and salvation, without which we are dead in spirit and have no hope of eternal life.

So..there is a need to repent, a need to turn away from our former life and to 'pick up our cross'..

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 19:01:34

Spero, I know this probably offers no comfort to you but I'm praying about tomorrow.

Italian, we have gone with donor A, the nerdy one (like me!) grin May I ask how old you were when you had donor egg IVF? Can you share why you think it didn't work? You can pm me, of course.

Mareeya, you're right, you're right...I live at the bottom of a valley and we don't have a car and a Sunday bus service does not exist in this village so anywhere I have hunted for a church has been on foot within a two mile radius. I can't tell you how disheartened I was coming out of those churches. As soon as we get a car hmm I'll be off smile

I still set Sundays aside as 'special' and, when I can't be at my family's church, I listen online to some amazing sermons from all over the world. Of course, it's not the same as real fellowship, which I miss sorely. DH is brilliant, really: when I have had far to walk in search of a church he has always come with me; rain, hail, wind or snow.

Jewcy your hubby sounds lovely. grin. Good luck with donor A. Cheering you on from the sidelines.

We ended up having many attempts with donor eggs, three in total although only two donors as one was a frozen cycle from donor 2. I will never know why it did not work but one theory is my immune system may be too active and might get rid of the embryos. Certanly I seemed to have multiple fertiity issues by the end which is why are DD is a total miracle. In the end I dad have treatment for immunology issues, I have a special drip. I was also having injections of Clexine in my tummy. It all got very medical and very stressful and expensive. Nothing worked so we stopped trying and are now on the road to adoption. Which I now feel totally fine with.

I had a special drip one off. In addition to the 3 times for donor we ahd one IVF try with my eggs, none showed up so called off! and I lost count of how many IUI attempts. Maybe 6. It's a nightmare but when it works it is worth it. Hope it works for you.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 19:34:54

Lizzy. No. That is not exactly what I mean.
I think I mean that accepting something that is good for us or in our best interest, is ideally, not worth all the fuss and angst against it in the first place, or along the way iyswim. So trying to speed up the acceptance is best for our mental and actually physical well being.
I realise it isnt quite as simple as that.
I did not become a Christian until I was 33. I went along to church, but I did not make the personal commitment until then. I didnt rebel, but I did I suppose have a lot of questions that needed answering.
Trouble is now, I cant quite remember what all those questions were.
I think ultimately it came down to trust.
Did I trust that He would look after me properly.
Which was a silly question in hindsight, but not a silly question at the time.
I did have some issues about whether He existed or not. But they were solved by looking into the sky for me. It just didnt make sense that everything was in the right place for life on earth. I just couldnt possibly see how it could have all been one giant accident.

MareeyaDolores Mon 06-May-13 19:55:02

<only half joking> Bus permitting, you could always go to Saturday evening Mass, which counts for Sunday wink

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 20:28:58

Spero. There are harsh laws in the OT.
I think yes, it can partly be put down to the way of the world at that time.
But ultimately they were God rules. And God was trying to keep order by them. But ultimately that didnt work, which is where the Jesus bit came in[someone can explain this bit better than me]
And I think this is where my personal issue with trust came in. See above post to Lizzy.
I was brought up in a Christian household. Mum was a Christian. Dad was not but he did believe that God existed, but he refused to bow down until late in life.
I witnessed first hand the difference in mums behaviour and in dads.

I decided in the end that I did not need to know absolutely everything. Indeed no one ever will until they go to Heaven.
I also decided that it all came down to trust.
Did I think He existed. Yes. I had seen the difference in behaviour between my mum and my dad.
Did I think He was right. I knew after reading the bible, going to church and my upbringing, that enough of it was right.
[it probably took me several years, actually about 15 more, before I thought, blow this, I am just going to accept the lot]

Ultimately, it is a journey.
I do think I was probably born not being too anti it ifyswim. Certainly after the age of 10, I chose to try and be well behaved, as I have explained.

Ilikethebreeze Mon 06-May-13 20:30:37

That is not my best coherent post. But I didnt want to lose the long post. If you dont understand something,or something is muddled, which it probably is, please ask.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 06-May-13 20:30:56

I wish you the level best for your treatment OP. Whilst you're in the Czech Republic visit the church at Sedlec, on the outskirts of Kutna Hora. It has the most amazing ossuary.

While you're there don't forget:-

Religion didn't invent IVF, science did.
Religion didn't put men into space, science did.
Religion doesn't cure disease, science does.

So if you become pregnant, and I hope you do, then it is purely because of science.

Spero Mon 06-May-13 20:40:25

Thanks Jewcy, it is always comforting to know others are thinking of you kindly.

best of luck with your treatment, I hope you get what you need which I appreciate might not be the same as what you want. But I agree your husband sounds lovely and he will be a great support for you.

thanks for those who answered my questions - you did a better job than the alpha course...

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 21:24:14

Thanks for good wishes, everyone, I really do appreciate it. Nicholas, I understand your point of view and I know your eyes will literally roll out of your head when I say this but I believe God, as the Creator, is behind every scientific discovery. I thank Him every day for the wonders of science and medicine and rehabilitation and fertility treatments. I thank Him for the wisdom He imparts to doctors, consultants, social workers and those who would wish to save lives and help create lives.

If I become pregnant I will be thanking God, whose plan it would fulfil and whose mercy gave me the gift of life.

Thinking of you tomorrow, Spero x

Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 21:27:18

Mareeya, you've got me thinking now...tell me, what goes on at Mass? I've no idea about anything to do with Catholicism. How is it different to the evangelical ministry? Or is that a whole other thread? confused

NicholasTeakozy Mon 06-May-13 22:05:37

No eyeroll but a fuckton of facepalms. As you can see from nos 1 & 3 even Jebus thinks you're daft. grin

NicholasTeakozy Mon 06-May-13 22:10:42
Jewcy Mon 06-May-13 22:26:09

Nicholas, may I ask if you have name-changed for this thread and, if so, why?

NicholasTeakozy Mon 06-May-13 23:21:00

Yes of course you may ask. No, I haven't. Why would I? Ridiculous question.

Thinking of you Jewcy and wishing you all the very best for treatment.

Spero thinking of you too, and really hoping all will go well.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 00:11:26

Thanks, Italian, very kind.

Nicholas, old boy! I hadn't realised you are a man. And a feminist. Feminists don't really like God, do they? The patriarchy and all that hmm
I'm sorry my last question was ridiculous to you. I looked you up, you see - to get a taster of who you are, etc - and I mispellled your username. I was faced with real tea cosies and stuff. Nice.

Spero Tue 07-May-13 13:30:58

It doesn't help for Christians and atheists to snipe at one another. We are never going to change each others minds as we are divided by faith.

Like love and forgiveness, faith can't simply be willed into being, which is why Pascale's wager is such a crock of shit, to coin a phrase.

It's a state of grace, you either have it or you don't. I don't have faith which is why I find the OT terrifying and utterly barbaric.

But the only thing that is going to make me angry is any suggestion that I can't live a good life with moral purpose without faith - as that is demonstrably untrue.

But I think we reached agreement here that no one was seriously arguing that.

EllieArroway Tue 07-May-13 14:35:30

I thank Him for the wisdom He imparts to doctors, consultants, social workers and those who would wish to save lives and help create lives

Makes me wonder why anyone bothers with medical school at all if it's all just down to "imparted wisdom" from God. I also find it rather rude to the medical professionals that you're seeking help from to dismiss the expertise that they worked hard to achieve as imparted wisdom from an outside agency hmm.

I hope science helps you, Jewcy, I truly do. Please don't forget to thank science if it does, will you.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 14:46:05

Jewcy, thought you might like this smile,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbrO1XnrD3I

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 15:07:53

Sorry, Spero, didn't mean to offend it's why I left the thread ( a bit late granted) when the argument seemed to be getting out of hand - at that stage I didn't seem to be able to add anything more useful...

The Ellsberg paradox was my (clumsy) way of saying that there are some things science just can not extrapolate, but it doesn't mean it's not taking the risk.

The question about moral purpose was mere curiosity because I find my faith helpful. I accept it's not the same with you.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 15:08:51

that should be ^worth taking the risk.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 07-May-13 15:35:45

Spero, I am sorry to hear you have cancer. I admire your strength and your honesty.

Jewcy, I understand your not wanting to attend a church where the vicar CBA. However I'm not sure that now is the time to ask God to challenge you. You have already been challenged and you changed.smile

Perhaps now you should be seeking comfort and love. Yes the bible asks that you pick up your cross, but it sounds as though you have borne your cross long enough. Maybe it's time to allow god to show you his love for you. Even Jesus did not bear the cross alone.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 07-May-13 15:36:21

To be honest Jewcy, I really don't know what feminists think of god or gods. I don't see myself as a feminist either, just a normal bloke.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 07-May-13 15:42:03

Spero I absolutely agree with everything you said in your 13:30 post.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 15:57:34

I hope science helps you, Jewcy, I truly do. Please don't forget to thank science if it does, will you.

Please take your passive-aggressive faux concern elsewhere. I really find it nauseating.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 15:58:41

daftdame, thanks for the link. My newly installed internet connection is playing up but I will watch this as soon as I can.

Spero Tue 07-May-13 15:58:47

Can't we all just love one another and be kind? <hopeful>

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 15:58:57

Thinking of you today, Spero.

Spero Tue 07-May-13 15:59:53

Thank you.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 16:00:53

Nicholas, I apologise for thinking you are a feminist. I read the thread you started re your 17 year-old daughter's facebook status where she calls her pals 'cunts' and your response to the negative comments led me to believe you are a feminist.

HTH

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 16:03:00

I don't think I'm being unkind, Spero. The disingenuity of certain posters - and the underlying aggression - is quite astonishing. I know I have retaliated in a less than Christian manner at times, but at least I'm honest.

Spero Tue 07-May-13 16:07:54

You can disagree without being rude. To complain about others aggression and then to be aggressive yourself detracts from the points you want to make.

Come join me on the moral high ground! It's nice up here.

Ilikethebreeze Tue 07-May-13 16:08:28

Jewcy. Rudeness does mean unkindness.

Ilikethebreeze Tue 07-May-13 16:09:50

Actually I think I will leave it to you Spero. You are making better posts than me!

Have you had treatment today?

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 16:11:56

Here is another song...especially for when us Christians get a bit too much 'hair shirt' grin

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX4_z_8qx8Q

Makes me realise how the small things count...smile

Spero Tue 07-May-13 16:13:43

I am sitting in the comfort of my own home while various horrible things are dripping into me so mumsnet is great distraction.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 16:20:47

It certainly is Spero...at least I can help provide that even if my other post haven't ...ahem...quite hit the mark for you.

Hope all goes well for you anyway.

Ilikethebreeze Tue 07-May-13 16:47:34

That link made me laugh out loud daftdame. I couldnt catch many of the words in my computer.
But I have been handwashing dishes since friday, because my dishwasher broke, and the man cannot come to fix it until Thursday. So dishes are very much on my mind.

<also tries to distract Spero. Flings imaginary soap suds in her direction>

NicholasTeakozy Tue 07-May-13 16:53:26

Her exact words were "...fuck all you patriarchal cunts" and it was directed at male friends of hers who were displaying double standards in how men and women are allowed to dress and act. I happen to agree with her, and no, I don't mind her swearing at all.

Spero, I hope your treatment goes well, and yes, Zombie is a wonder.

Spero Tue 07-May-13 16:54:12

Thanks for that link, I just watched Common People and was reminded what a superb song that is.

Daftdame, you haven't offended me - it just hits a raw nerve when the religious suggest doubt that anyone without a faith can live a good life. I feel that is quite dismissive of humanity and what we are capable of, it suggests that without the fear of hell and punishment we would all be out there raping and pillaging. I think most people want to be good and kind. I don't need the Bible to inform me about what goodness and kindness consist of.

I agree with Marcus Aurelius - live a good life because if there is a god, that will please him. If he isn't pleased, he isn't much of a god and isn't worth worshipping. And if there is no god, well at least you have lived a good life and people will have nice memories of you.

i think that is a much more honest approach than Pascal's wager.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 17:05:56

Spero I see what you are saying but for me my faith helps me overcome my fear.

Without it I would just be constantly tying myself in knots.

Whilst I find Science fascinating, I also find a lot of it terrifying (especially bad / incomplete Science) and I find comfort with my faith. That's me...

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 17:06:57

...but you are a feminist, aren't you, Nick?

TunipTheVegedude Tue 07-May-13 17:09:42

OP, I've read the whole thread.
I'm sorry you're going through this very difficult time.

The post that really jumped out at me was where you said the churches near you are no use because they don't seem to have a minister who actually loves God.

I think what will really help you -and I'm sorry that this will probably come across as patronising, it's really not meant to - is not so much about making yourself bite back rudeness or snappiness, though obviously it's useful to be able to do that, but to try and get into the habit of looking for the good in people and responding to them on that basis.

There's nothing wrong with trying to find the church that best suits you, but by writing off certain churches as being spiritually no use at all even when they're your only option you're potentially cutting yourself off from a lot of support and learning. With respect, you have no idea if a particular minister loves God, even if they're not expressing it in the way you've come to expect from the churches that have helped you. You seem like one of these self-critical people who finds yourself habitually responding to other people in the critical way you respond to yourself.

I am sure I have a very different conception of God from you (more Quaker than evangelical) but I don't believe in God as an entity that withholds blessings for disobedience. I would take that concept more to mean that someone who keeps apart from God (through what you might call disobedience) is shutting himself off from all kinds of blessings. There is no connection between your ability to conceive and your marriage to a non-believer but what you can do is be open to the good in both these situations and the way you approach them.

Best wishes x

madhairday Tue 07-May-13 17:41:09

Just read the whole thread (been off MN for a few days) and nothing much to add, but wanted to say that I'm thinking of you, Spero. I can't imagine how chemo feels but used to horrible hospital treatment and it can be the pits. I find MN a real tonic too smile

Hello OP. smile I wish you all the best in your treatment. I'm thinking on your original question. I'm not sure the God I know and worship witholds blessings, but it does seem that blessings are released with obedience (in a good way) - what you are doing now is not disobedience, surely - you have entered into commitment with someone you love, and that is something God blesses, I think. I'm interested to read of all you have come through, but wonder if it has meant that you beat yourself up and possibly overthink things. Disobedience would be along the lines of not loving God and not loving our neighbour as ourselves. I hope you can come to some peace soon.

Spero - yes the OT is incredibly difficult. I think the bible as a whole is relevant but not binding (I am not a literalist) - it is inspired by God. The OT is made up of a number of genres - history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom. You know all this! I'm sorry the Alpha course didn't answer your questions with any integrity. I can imagine their fluffing around about context was an attempt to explain that we do need to study both etymology and context in order to understand the text. The passages about killing homosexuals for example were referring to the practise of men abusing temple slaves - there was no concept of a loving homosexual relationship. The laws were there to protect the vulnerable. The OT has more passages where God is shown as compassionate and merciful than as vengeful and nasty. His compassion is particularly for the poor, widows and orphans and his anger is directed against those who abuse such, who sacrifice to him then turn around and live a life of greed and selfishness.

Doesn't make the hard parts easier, but it needs to be seen in balance.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 18:29:15

madhairday now just adding this for the literalists, I am one. But then my interpretism of literalism may not be the same...History is literal but the lessons learnt from it aren't.

When you add the supernatural into the mix with symbolism working simultaneously with what we are able to interpret literally. Think of Jesus as "...author and finisher of our faith", think of spiritual understanding. Added to this once you understand the Greek and Hebrew, or even the Kabbalah, meaning seems to be exploding from every angle. It really is fascinating to me.

I'm not sure I'm actually know what 'literal' means anymore...

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 18:31:01

That should be I know ^. (oh, the irony!)

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 18:47:13

I am just thankful the Bible offers absolute truth to me, (even if I cannot always comprehend it!).

I am one to get far to caught up in Post Modernism for anyone's liking. I expect I could become totally insufferable without it....

When presented with Science I always get far to caught up in paradoxes and anomalies.

What I really like about the Christian faith is that through Christ we can escape entropy, if I'm not mistaken the 1st law of thermodynamics. Epigenetics is exciting to me because it may be explained by the redemption through Christ.

Well there you go that's my take...

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 19:14:48

daftdame, I wish I understood what you were saying. I am intelligent, but clearly out of my depth here. I am a Christian, but young in the faith. I have read the bible in its entirety but have not studied it nearly enough. I also cannot understand the mysteries (and savagery) of the OT, but mahairday's wonderful post says exactly what I know to be true in my heart.

Tunip, your post, too, I was grateful for. I understand why you think, from my past, that I may be treating others with the criticism I dole out to myself. It is true I am hard on myself and carry the burden of having huge expectations of myself now I am a Christian. However, the hardest battle for me is not attacking those who who I feel are out to attack me or my faith. I do not relish these tirelessly militant atheists coming on here with their attempts to derail my faith and batter me with their vision of what and who I am as a Christian. They have nothing in the way of true concern for me in the context of my post and yet still they come...

So, we've already established I am far from being the ideal Christian (I know, I know, there's no such thing) and, as such, I feel free to say that the devilry of the atheists pisses me right off grin

I have to say, moreover, that, in my past as a prostitute I can only imagine the criticism that would have been levelled at me from the likes of Nick, the feminist. It does seem that neither my life choices before my salvation through Christ, nor the decisions I struggle with since are going to be anything but reprehensible to the likes of him and his ilk.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 19:21:57

...which is interesting in itself.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 19:24:17

Jewcy don't worry I don't understand the things I ponder on half the time... I could easily be accused of other thinking (over thinking even -another Freudian slip?).

But it's why I like the discipline of faith - to reign me in a lot of the time grin.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 19:44:50

Jewcy sounds like you've come through a lot...I for one admire you for coming this far. I wouldn't expect you to be at all perfect. Its inevitable you have some things to work through, as we all have.

I hope you can find some good spiritual guidance - good church, clear revelation, whatever form is best for you.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 19:48:22

Me too, daftdame. I'd like to thank you for your kindly concern and guidance. You sound lovely smile

spero how are you doing? Thnking of you. I don't for one minute think only Christian or people of faith can have morals or be ethical or anthing like that. Your posts are very wise and loving. You are an exceptional person. Thinking of you. Yes we can get along but actually I bet people can also find it amazingly hard to get along even when they think alike, it's not about thinking, it's more about feeling. smile

Jewcy hope you find a church to go to, I find it is very helpful to be part of such a group.

Lovely posts madhairday and TunipTheVegedude.

I'm a feminist and a Christian. I find they sit well together for me.

I just posted this falling plates and someone said they were washing dishes, maybe that makes sense!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGlx11BxF24

Best wishes to all. wink

TunipTheVegedude Tue 07-May-13 20:45:34

Jewcy I think some of the atheist posts are probably coming more from a place of care and concern than you might think.
I know it's not going to feel that way when you know from experience how important God has been to you and they're dismissing that. But I would not be surprised if several of the more forthright atheists are posting that way because they know what infertility feels like and are genuinely sad that someone is (from their perspective) making an already difficult time even harder for herself.
(Not all of the posts....some of them are just sarcastic for the sake of it....)

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 21:12:31

Italian, I've posted a couple of photos of my lovely husband. Will you pray for him?

Tunip, you are too lovely and are making me feel far too guilty wink

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 21:24:15

Hello again. Hope the treatment has finished for the day, spero. Jewcy, you asked about Mass. It's usually in church, generally has some hymns (depending on choirs, folk group, organists etc) mostly lasts around an hour, and has two sections.

'Liturgy of the word' is some prayers, a psalm, and 3 readings. These are usually an Old Testament reading, an early Church bit from the New Testament (eg part of an Epistle) and (highlighted) a Gospel reading. The prayers are usually heavily influenced by (or lifted) from the Bible sermon explains the Gospel,

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 21:31:52

Sorry 'lifted from the Bible' eg the Gloria. And there's the Apostle's or the Nicence Creed.

The 'liturgy of the Eucharist' is similar to what Evangelicals would call the Lord's Supper, or the Breaking of Bread. Again, very large chunks of the prayers are directly lifted from the Bible (Gospels especially). Though Catholics take the relevant Bible extracts literally, and so consider this part of Mass to be much more than a dramatic memorial of the Last Supper.

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 21:34:47

I'd say Our Lord was actually the first feminist <lights fuse and retires to watch>

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 21:47:20

Mareeya, I have a problem with the Catholic belief that Christ's flesh & blood are literally taken into the body during the breaking of bread. I also have a problem with the Vatican and the Pope and the whole contraception thing. I'm afraid I have never had much time for Catholicism when I learned that they go to 'confession' rather than straight to Christ. Also, why do they pray to Mary?

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 21:48:25

I hope I haven't offended you, Mareeya - again, I'm probably wrong on some of the above.

Jewcy Tue 07-May-13 21:50:31

Jesus loved women. Mary Magdalene was His right hand woman, He appeared to her before the disciples after His resurrection and He had nothing but love and forgiveness for prostitutes and others who were rejected by society.

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 22:25:40

My point exactly re Mary Magdalene and the other women grin. No offence re RC queries. I was a bit concerned about offending you!

The Body of Christ thing scares off a lot of people who dont take the Bible that literally. Same as the 'those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven'. And the Pope/Vatican issue was from Peter being the rock, etc. Confession traditions started as a way of being more accountable, and accepting spiritual guidance to mend one's ways.

I won't get into the contraception debate now, or there'll be far too many Catholics along to say I'm talking rubbish and it's the best thing since sliced bread wink

We pray with Mary and the saints, not to them (the scary candles statues thing is like skype-ing your overseas friends for prayer support)

EllieArroway Tue 07-May-13 22:28:24

Actually, it was sincerely meant. I lost a tube & was terrified I'd never conceive - then when I did (naturally) I bled for about 4 weeks & was convinced I'd lose him. (I didn't - he's currently annoying me with Muse at the moment). I wouldn't wish that on any woman & I'll keep everything crossed for you.

But a little balance, maybe. Thank God & your doctors. It's truly unfair to bypass them and thank someone else no matter what belief you hold.

Also - I'll add...when I was discussing (many moons ago) with my consultant the prospects of future fertility I was told, "Well, you HAVE conceived, even if it went wrong. So you're half way there". Hold that thought - it's true.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 07-May-13 22:30:24

I have to say, moreover, that, in my past as a prostitute I can only imagine the criticism that would have been levelled at me from the likes of Nick, the feminist.

I have posted on threads discussing prostitution, including one started by a former 'escort' who was suffering really badly because of her experiences at the hands of the punters. I never criticise these women. If anything I vilify the men who use them. Most women who go into prostitution do it against their wishes and some men still want to have sex with them. I don't. I don't want to have sex with a woman who doesn't want to have sex with me. Simple as that.

It's a shame you don't like feminism; all feminism wants is equality, something your church will willingly deny you.

You've done well to turn your life around and I congratulate you. That you attribute this change to a deity is a shame, you are denying how strong you actually are.

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 22:31:40

But tbh, you could ignore the whole lot of that, and go along anyway if you wanted. Like vast numbers of paid-up Catholic church members do blush. A guest shouldn't be pressurised to sign up to the full package, it's a church, not a Sky+ box grin

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 22:33:18

Sorry nick and others, I meant ignore my post not yours

Ilikethebreeze Wed 08-May-13 07:38:17

That is the thing with God, to whoever is reading.
Whatever your past, be it a prostitute like Rahab in the bible, the biggest criminal on earth, the biigest sinner on earth like Paul in the bible was, if you ask God to forgive your sins, He will.

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 09:13:45

Ellie, thank you for your post, it cheered me to read you eventually had your son. I have a blocked tube, too (I'm entirely convinced this is a result of the ERPC last year. Bloody stupid doctors [wink[). My good tube is attached to a fruitless ovary so I'm sure I can get pregnant again...but I will probably be forty-eight grin Thanks for sharing.

Mareeya, thanks for clarifying some points. I know how hard it is on a thread to make oneself understood in a series of soundbites or with limited space, so I thank you for trying.

Nick, my experience of prostitution was relatively brief. I was not pimped and didn't need to subsidise a drug habit. I was already on the fringes of the sex industry and decided I wasn't earning nearly enough to satisfy my greed. I love sex and, back then, I loved deviant sex. The problem was I didn't know where to go to find a man who would pay me. To cut a long story short I started dogging. Of course, the men there were expecting free sex and, after a few frustrating visits to various sites, I summoned up the courage to threaten the men who wouldn't pay. I carried a knife and wasn't afraid to use it. It worked nine times out of ten. The shock (and, dare I say it?) and hurt in the bloke's eyes when he realised he was going to have to pay for that blowjob freaked me out. One man didn't have a wallet, only a packed lunch, which we shared before he kindly drove me home (my engine wouldn't start).

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 09:18:04

Oh, Nicholas, there are married women all over the world who are having sex they don't wish to have. And their husband's know it. I had sex with a couple of hundred men before I was a prostitute and I swear I wish I had been paid for that. Rotten sex without even being paid to do it!

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 09:47:07

Crumbs. I didn't mean to negate the awful experience of some prostitutes.

Spero Wed 08-May-13 09:50:09

Jewcy, you have experienced a lot of dangerous situations and I am glad you have come out of the other side.

I don't think N or any other atheist on this thread is trying to say YOU or your choices are reprehensible - people feel strongly about their atheism, just as you feel strongly that you want to protect your god and it is easy to slip into quite er, dogmatic language.

I used to do that a lot more and am still guilty of it on occasion but I guess I am slowing down in old age or have realised that you do catch far more flies with honey than vinegar.

Thankyou IG for your kind words, they really do mean a lot.

Thanks Spero hope today is a good day. smile

Spero Wed 08-May-13 11:28:48

Well its under the duvet with mumsnet, child at school and dog seems to have run away, so don't know how it can get much better.

I hope dog hasn't run away but it is strangely quiet...

madhairday Wed 08-May-13 11:29:38

So sorry to hear of all you've gone through, Jewcy. So glad you're out the other side and experiencing freedom from all of that. smile

Hope you're feeling OK today, Spero.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 08-May-13 12:35:42

"Please don't forget to thank science"

Ellie, what does this mean? I understand thanking the doctors etc, but thanking science?confused

Spero Wed 08-May-13 13:17:04

Well, Jewcy thinks its god who enabled scientists to gain their knowledge and yet some religious sects will refuse blood transfusions as contrary to god's law.

This again I don't understand. Either god loves us and wants us not to suffer, so he sent us doctors and scientists to make us better - or he isn't interested or happy with some scientific discoveries which save our lives and he will punish us for using them.

This is I suspect another example of the 'picking and choosing' elements of religious faith which is so baffling to is non believers.

The bits I have read about god wanting to kill gay men, did not seem very clearly linked to wanting to protect temple prostitutes but rather flat out condemnation of gay sex and wishing death on those who engaged with it,

Similarly with the exhortation to kill adulterous women for bringing shame on their fathers, this appears to apply to all and any women.

Again, without faith, I can't make sense of this. I appreciate I am not going to convert any believers because you DO have faith but hope you can appreciate that most atheists are not motivated by hatred or spite - we just genuinely can't get our heads around what you say about god as love, when we read his words and see how religious people sometimes choose to act.

So the laws requiring gay people to be killed were just about temple prostitutes?

I refer any christian who claims that to the Roman Catholic Church, The CofE, and a hundred different denominations in the US and around the world. Once you have explained it to them all will be well I'm sure.

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 13:49:51

I don't want to see the gays killed but neither do I want to be sold make-up by them in House of Fraser grin

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 13:54:40

Spero, I think those religions which refuse blood transfusions are completely bonkers. God gave mankind wisdom to use science to the best of his ability and surely blood/organ donation is one of the most altruistic things we can do as human beings?

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 13:55:05

How are you feeling today, Spero? You must be tired.

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 13:57:03

Spero and Back, I think you really have to suspend your own beliefs and pre-conceptions when it comes to understanding the Bible.

As said before, not one piece makes complete sense out of context. Spiritual understanding can be only gained once you are ready to take the above on board.

Yes, there are Christians who commit crimes, as there are atheists.

Atheism is a 'faith' of sorts because if you were truly neutral you would be Agnostic.

Spero Wed 08-May-13 14:07:17

As I said earlier, I am not an atheist in that I sent the existence of any god - both Creation and the Big Bang sound equally implausible to me. I just do not know.

I am just not impressed by what I read of religious teachings - or perhaps more accurately how human beings interpret those teachings, particularly with regard to contempt for women and denial of their basic freedoms.

I have been able to develop a moral code and at least try to live a good life without thinking I am doing it for god or worrying if I do something he doesn't like.

Jewcy, am not really tired, its hard to explain, just everything feels 'wrong' and out of kilter. But it usually gets better after a week. Bloody dog has not run away and is currently whining at the end of the bed so I guess I have to get up now - hah! More proof that god doesn't exist or if he does he hates me.

Spero Wed 08-May-13 14:07:58

'Deny' not 'sent' what kind of ridiculous auto correct is that??.

Jewcy Wed 08-May-13 14:13:02

Spero, I take it you're not exactly enamoured with your mutt?

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 14:17:41

God does not hate you. I say this as a Christian. He sent his son to save you. God offers full redemption through Christ. God wants you well, Christ healed.

It is this world and Satan that causes disease.

This is what I believe...I don't mean to upset or offend you but please don't give up hope...

Spero Wed 08-May-13 14:19:55

It's ok, my au pair has just come back from her gallivanting and has taken dog away AND bought me a Grazia. So I am wavering now on concept of loving god...

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 14:22:45

grin I hope the Grazia is suitably entertaining.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 08-May-13 16:30:34

Atheism is a 'faith' of sorts

No Daftdame, no it isn't. Atheism is a lack of belief in god or gods, so it is clearly the opposite of faith.

Spero Wed 08-May-13 16:42:17

But I do think both sides defend their beliefs or lack thereof with equal and sometimes unhelpful vigour.

I do not feel offended if someone wants to believe in god. What angers me is of they purport to judge me as a lesser being because I don't. Again, utterly incompatible with concept of loving god. Am I not the one sheep who strayed?

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 08-May-13 16:49:06

Nicholas, some atheists are such because they do not believe in god. For others it is a belief that there is no god.

madhairday Wed 08-May-13 16:55:13

I appreciate I am not going to convert any believers because you DO have faith but hope you can appreciate that most atheists are not motivated by hatred or spite - we just genuinely can't get our heads around what you say about god as love, when we read his words and see how religious people sometimes choose to act

Yes. Totally get this. I'd never, ever say that most atheists were motivated by hatred etc, and I'm so sorry to hear of 'christians' who would say something like this. Most atheists I know are just normal, nice, good people with a moral compass just the same as mine. There is nowhere in following Jesus to say that we are better than others - quite the opposite, really.

I can so much appreciate what you say about not being able to get your head round it all - I wouldn't either - as a thinking, reasonably intelligent person I sometimes ask myself what on earth am I even thinking having faith in God? But then I remember how God makes sense of life, is so deeply compelling, so transformative, and a thousand other superlatives. It's my experience of God and God's great love that convinces me, not all the argument in the world - and that's why these threads will never resolve - I enjoy the debate and still hold that there is good and robust evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, but yes, in the end it all falls down without faith. Sorry - typical copout answer. You just gotta have faith hmm Except it's not really a copout, because it is bloody difficult sometimes to live this path.

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 16:57:11

Nicholas atheism requires faith because no one can prove there isn't a God or gods.

My definition of faith is the belief in something that cannot be seen or proven. Hence wherever there are assumptions, prior assumptions etc there is a degree of faith (though the object of faith could be variable).

Ilikethebreeze Wed 08-May-13 17:01:29

fwiw, I always think that atheists and others who label themselves as something, non faith wise, are far more like to end up as Christians, than others who are not remotely interested in the subject. I could be wrong. smile

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 17:06:29

Spero, yes the vigour can be unhelpful. Its why I have to make an effort to reign my self in, constantly (with varying degrees of success).

When you love God and your faith, criticism can feel like someone criticising a family member, your parents for example.

Although I do get your point about lost sheep. Hence the reigning in.

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 17:09:32

that should be criticism of your faith not ^all criticism.

Jewcy how you doing?

Agree with Mad.

Spero big unmumsnetty hugs to you. ....God loves us and wants us to be healthy. The group who did not have blood transfusions, that I have heard of, based it on a misreading of the Bible. The Bible does not say (to my knowledge) anything directly about blood transfusions. Leviticus is written about the rules for the priesthood, which is why I mentioned temple prostitutes. I too am totally baffled about the stoning 'adulterous women', but I do know one man who stopped a whole group of men who wanted to do that, give me a J, give me a U..... I too can't always make sense of it Spero but it doesn't cancel out the good my faith brings to my life and the lives of others. I don't take it all literally and the bits I don't understand, trouble me!

Backonlybreifly Yes, the church worldwide is struggling to come to terms with what it means for people to be gay. It is struggling. I am sad about it and so are many others. You are right to judge this as bad. There is nothing much I can say except that it doesn't cancel out the good my faith brings to my life and the lives of others.

Spero Am I not the one sheep who strayed? , we are all that sheep! You sound like you have quite a bit of faith but it is tucked away, search that bed, maybe it is under the Grazia.... or the dog! wink

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 08-May-13 17:33:57

I feel very uncomfortable when atheists are judged to be of lesser morals or believers, of lesser intelligence. The notion that people are lacking because they do not share one's faith (or lack thereof) is bigotry.

daftdame Wed 08-May-13 17:44:48

DioneTheDiabolist I too disagree with the judging.

In my previous post I was trying to explain how emotive it can be to receive criticism concerning your faith.

This emotion can sometimes feel quite overwhelming, words can come out clumsily, curiosity can seem like criticism (on both sides).

However I appreciate this is not an excuse, it is not something I do not seek to improve upon.

Dione totally agree.