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To want to make myself believe in god?

(1000 Posts)
HopHopHopSkip Thu 25-Jul-13 22:55:10

I have always been very logical and so despite going to a Christian primary school, having a very religious mum(though not in a pushy way) and reading the bible when I was younger(the story version grin I was a bit of a book worm) I have never really got my head around how god could be possible.

But I really wish I had the extra "something" that some people seem to find by believing in god. I'm probably not making much sense, but I wish I could get myself to feel like there's somebody watching out, that there's something after death, that everything happens for what'd ultimately a good reason/what's meant to be so on.

AIBU to try going to church for a bit even though I don't believe in god? Or am I just being silly, is it something you can't 'make' yourself feel?

BreeWannabe Thu 25-Jul-13 23:00:05

Definitely go to church and find out. Find one you feel comfortable in; where you feel welcomed. They'll be delighted to see you and you'll hopefully have the chance to chat through your thoughts (with no pressure).

Good luck smile

jackstini Thu 25-Jul-13 23:02:45

Of course YANBU.
Why not try it and just see how you feel.
It isn't something you can make yourself feel, but you may find you feel it anyway!

I have that 'extra something' feeling you mention and am grateful for it every day. Totally get what you mean.

Have a look for a church nearby you can try - or ask on the religion board if any MNers know a good one to try near you.

If you're in Notts you are welcome to come to mine! smile

pussycatmomma Thu 25-Jul-13 23:03:41

You are not being silly at all!! People come to faith at many different points in their life and the fact that you are open minded and "want" to believe as you say , would imply that you are already at the begining of your journey of faith. I didn't come to faith as such until I was around 28 and even then did not come to recognise Jesus or have a relationship with God until I was around 33. That's a good 5 years of wondering after first being interested in becoming a christian. Everyone is different and everyones relationship with God is different. I just wanted to encourage you really. Have you tried any churches near you? Sometimes a sense of "belonging before believing" is common and finding a good bible based church is the key. Don't overcomplicate but do enjoy the incredible journey you are on!

MrsWolowitz Thu 25-Jul-13 23:04:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuperiorCat Thu 25-Jul-13 23:05:33

I've seen the comfort and happiness that faith gives to people.

I wish I could have that. But I can't. I just don't believe.

pussycatmomma Thu 25-Jul-13 23:07:12

Duh it took me so long to type I missd all the other replies! But yes --> what they all said! X am also in notts

InGloriousTechnicolor Thu 25-Jul-13 23:07:18

MrsWolowitz, who was the author of that book? It sounds interesting but there are several different books by that title on Amazon. Thanks.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 25-Jul-13 23:08:28

Yanbu. I believe in God, and Jesus. I can't imagine not believing.

Definitely try a church, you may need to try more than one to find one where you 'fit'.

Elderflowergranita Thu 25-Jul-13 23:09:24

I am very much of the 'faith the size of mustard seed' christian, but I find huge comfort in allowing myself to go top church, in listening with an open heart and embracing the wonderful fellowship to be found in coming together, singing and praying.

I spent years being too fearful of relinquishing my logical/non believing side. I am far happier having taken that leap into attending church.

ZingWidge Thu 25-Jul-13 23:09:27

I think that if you want to believe you just need to pray and open your heart.

I wanted to believe and I prayed. I felt the most amazing peace for 3 days.
and that was it. so simple.
I've been a Christian since my 24th birthday (almost 15 years) and I'm so glad I tried!

LaurieFairyCake Thu 25-Jul-13 23:12:42

I am a Christian and don't believe what you've put in your original post grin

I certainly don't believe everything happens for a reason unless that reason is free will or chance or bad luck. Nor do I believe in heaven.

Instead I believe in God every day, that I am comforted when sad, that I am supported in my work, that my life is happier when I feel spiritually connected to God and the people around me.

Have a go at praying. Studies prove even if you don't believe it's really good for you smile - calms the heart rate, reduces stress.

ZingWidge Thu 25-Jul-13 23:12:44


you mean "The Case for a Creator" by Lee Strobel?

it's on my bedside table! wink

LeGavrOrf Thu 25-Jul-13 23:13:48

I remember posting something very similar a few years ago, and some lovely people posted advice.

I don't believe in god, and am quite happy that when we die, we die, there is no heaven or higher being. But, strangely, I have always found great comfort in going to church. I don't know if it is the surroundings, the quiet contemplation or singing hymns, but it is very soothing.

I wondered if I was a complete hypocrite in singing hymns when I don't believe in god, but on my thread some lovely Christians said that any kind or faith or whatever you get out of church is fine.

I also accompanied my niece to the hospital chaplain when my FIl died at Christmas. The prayer in the chapel was so comforting, and the chaplain and assistants were so wonderful, they really helped. Perhaps it is because I have been raised as a Christian culturally. But anyway, even though I am an atheist I have found a lot of solace in churches and Christianity.

I am lucky to life near a beautiful cathedral so often go in for a few minutes to sit and think. The Christians I have met are very kind, and nobody has ever said that a church visit a few times a year is somehow taking something without giving something back. And it fills a certain void. But like you OP I cannot truly believe.

That probably makes no sense at all. Sorry for waffling!

Bumpotato Thu 25-Jul-13 23:14:27

Even though I know it is all hokum I have a certain respect for the church and the spiritual atmosphere and history of it all.

It dissipates somewhat when I see the clergy on the news calling homosexuals perverts.

ZingWidge Thu 25-Jul-13 23:14:50

Lee Strobel is a journalist and also wrote "The Case for Christ" & "The Case for Faith"

DorsetLass Thu 25-Jul-13 23:15:49

Go go go!!!! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain - but do try a few churches until you find one that welcomes you, and you feel comfortable at. Have you thought a out reading any books about Christianity/god/ etc? Happy to reccomendation a few good and fairly easy reads if you are interested?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Thu 25-Jul-13 23:16:16

Maybe try something like Quakers or Unitarians as they are open to a wide ranging interpretation.

pussycatmomma Thu 25-Jul-13 23:16:26

My husband ( a non christian) had just had that book lent to him by someone at church - I think it was called evidence that demands a verdict - the case for christ and I believe the authors name was josh mcdowel - he was a good friend of the old gentleman who lent the book. Actually , thin king about it, my husbamd is prob in a pretty similar position to you, OP - neither of us were what I would now call a christian before we got married, but I def always believed in god although did not "know" him or recognise Jesus as my king and saviour. I started going to church alone and it is only now, 9 years later that my husband does actually come to church with me (his choice) but is very very open about his Feelings and doubt. This is ok! He attended alpha and is still not sure. He comes away with me and our children to church festivals and we have a whale of a time camping with our church friends. He is still unsure! But its ok. He's on his journey and I'm on mine. I trust God that when the time is right he will have no doubt in his mind at all. And yes, I'm one of the happy, clappy, born again types and I love it! Knowing Jesus has changed my life. ............sorry for hijack! I just want to say - go for it. You have nothing to lose xx

DorsetLass Thu 25-Jul-13 23:16:51

Must have posted at almost same time as previous post - obviously had same idea!

thebody Thu 25-Jul-13 23:18:45

I know so many lovely people( and not nice people) who attend church and seem to really believe in God. I think that's fantastic and really wish I could.

however the other half of me sees it as lazy complacent thinking and just can't believe in something I have no proof of.

you are defiantly right to explore your feelings.

I think quite a lot of people do go to church as a social and friendly pastime and not necessarily totally believe in God but then what's wrong with that.

lessonsintightropes Thu 25-Jul-13 23:19:25

I know just how you feel - so started to go to church to give it a try, as it were. I was baptised a couple of years later at the age of 25 and 10 years later (earlier this year) had a beautiful and meaningful church wedding.

Faith came to me slowly, and it took a long while for it to feel a natural part of my life. But it is now, and is both comforting and uplifting.

I'm still not sure I believe in heaven per se and sure I do not agree with some of the opinions peddled by believers which seem utterly contrary to the original teachings of the church - simple love and caring for those around us without judgement - but it hasn't stopped my own journey.

Good luck smile

LeGavrOrf Thu 25-Jul-13 23:20:23

I would be afraid to go to a normal church for a service that wasn't a wedding, funeral or the Christmas service. I wouldn't know what to do! I forgot what I did on Sunday school! Plus I have an affinity for more high church, and wouldn't know which local churches were traditional or modern.

I still feel an awful hypocrite and that stops me from going.

My FIls funeral was very religious, and it was quite simply a beautiful service, and helped us all at an awful time.

SignoraStronza Thu 25-Jul-13 23:21:31

I feel a bit like that. I was in the church choir until about 14/15 when the vicar asked me to attend confirmation classes. I then realised that I didn't actually believe much of it and just liked singing. blush So I wrote a very nice letter explaining why I couldn't commit and never went back.
The village where I live has a lovely c of e Church and does lovely stuff for the kids but I just can't bring myself to take part. I know plenty of my friends have had their babies baptised recently, despite not being particularly religious but I'd really feel uncomfortable. When I'm in Church I don't join in with any of the spoken affirmation bits or the prayers either.
DD1 (despite going to a non Church school) seems to get quite a lot of religion - I think the local Methodists vie with the Anglicans for assembly time.
Sometimes I really do wish I had a faith because it seems a lovely community thing, but it's just never hit me and probably never will.

LeGavrOrf Thu 25-Jul-13 23:22:39

I remember seeing a lovely photo recently of Christians supporting gay marriage, it was of a Christian hugging a gay rights protester.

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