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Exploring my Beliefs

(9 Posts)
LollipopViolet Mon 27-Aug-12 20:11:18

Hello everyone smile

Well, the last week or so has been interesting.

On Saturday, I will be attending the wedding of a friend who is Christian. I haven't been in a church in 6 years or so, and have never associated myself with any particular religion. My family have always left me to get on with it saying, "different people believe different things, the best thing to do is be open minded."

If I had to say anything, I'd say I'm quite spiritual. I believe there is something after this life, I believe in fate, and I believe in karma. I believe in treating others as you wish to be treated, and helping others whenever you can.

Anyway, me attending this wedding has sparked discussions within the family, mostly between me and my gran. Nothing bad, just talking about beliefs and what they believe etc. I discovered that most of my family have been christened, which I didn't know, and that both grandparents were at various times regular church goers. But I don't feel like all my beliefs fit into Christianity I also tend to say "oh my God" quite a lot. I've attended workshops on sound healing, I've had reiki, I sang in my college choir in our Christmas concert in 2006, which was the last time I was in a church. I've basically tried to have as many different experiences as I can.

Has anyone else had this happen in later life? And did you then find yourself drawn to a particular religion?

I'm very happy as I am, although I do like the sense of community I hear about from my friends who do attend church. I did some work experience within a Christian radio station and I did find it very interesting and the people I worked with were lovely.

So, could this be the start of me finding I actually believe in something more than I previously thought? I guess the starting point would be, to see how I feel on Saturday?

Nigglenaggle Mon 27-Aug-12 21:12:15

I feel church can go either way, much of the traditional church drives me mental with dogma - would Jesus approve of half the things they do??? I think not! But I do know a few people who are members of a small evangelical church and I get that much more, although its not for me. But it seems closer to what religion should be. Personally I'm drawn to paganism, but cant reconcile any religion with the scientist in me. I want to believe (I cant bear not to really) but if I'm reaistic I can't.

LollipopViolet Mon 27-Aug-12 21:15:58

Niggle, apparently my friend is evangelical, I'm going to sound very daft now, but is there some kind of website that explains all the different "branches" of Christianity?

mariammariam Tue 28-Aug-12 01:14:35

RC church view on itself and the main denominations plus a tongue in cheek view of the non-denominational congregations. And a handy chart from a GCSE site

Sglefrwr Tue 28-Aug-12 01:26:15

Lollipop I hear you!

I'm a Christian married to a Sikh, we had both wedding ceremonies, but seeing his religion and reading about it has really made me question my own beliefs at times. Sikhism is such a beautiful non judgmental easy going religion its confused me a lot about what I actually believe I was never really big on the Jesus sun of god and questioned that a lot maybe I should be Jewish, religion is confusing hehe grin

Nigglenaggle Sun 02-Sep-12 14:45:44

I suppose its a question of whether you really believe in Jesus, or just want a group of people that feels like family. If you think its more the latter, then there are lots of groups that can feel like that - some based around hobbies and nothing to do with religion at all. I find all the different Christian denominations mindboggling to be honest.

nightlurker Sun 02-Sep-12 21:08:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tuo Sun 02-Sep-12 21:47:59

Hi LollipopViolet!

I am going to stick my neck out and say that, interesting as it may be, I don't think that reading about different faiths, or different denominations within Christianity, is going to help you to scratch the itch that you have been feeling... If anything, you're just going to end up confused and wondering how it all got so complicated.

And, of course, it is complicated, but it also isn't. At the heart of all those Christian denominations are a very few fundamental beliefs (summed up, more or less, here).

I think that if you want to explore those beliefs further (without necessarily signing up to all or any of them in the first instance) the best way to do it is to find a church where you feel comfortable, and to attend, listen, and when you feel ready talk to people in order to find out more. You don't have to 'pass a test' to get into a church. No-one will ask what exactly you believe, and you are free to take part in as much or as little of the service as you like.

I'd maybe start with one of the churches most local to you and see how you like it. Personally (unlike Nigglenaggle) I do like a more traditional service. The advantage of that for a 'newbie' would be that it'd most likely follow a very similar pattern every week, so you'd quickly come to know what to expect. And if you've previously sung in a choir you might find some of the music familiar (or not - depends on the choir, obviously, but you seemed to be saying that it had links with the church...). OTOH, you might prefer a less 'structured' service so something at the more evangelical end of the Church of England or perhaps a Methodist or United Reformed Church service might suit. Or since you have a church-going friend, why not ask if you can go along with her for a few weeks?

If you hate it, or find that it's not what you're looking for, well, you haven't lost anything, and at least you have explored those feelings that you've been having. And if it is... well, that's also fantastic, and the start of what some of us would say is a life-changing journey. I accept that you may decide it's not for you... What I think would be a shame would be for you not to try to find out. (And I say that as someone who ignored that 'niggle' for about 20 years before finally going back to Church, so I know how easy it is to ignore it.) Good luck!

dishwashingdoll Tue 25-Sep-12 10:30:38

Hi I have been Christened and alhough I do believe in Jesus and think Mary is an incrediblely beautiful being I really struggle with the dogma in the churches. I had been contemplating going to church because we are fairly new to the area and I want my son and I to be part of the community however when in the local church I saw a picture of one of the Sunday schoolers it said, Judgment; Jesus judges who gets into heaven and who does not. What??? Religion seems closed minded it is just soo different to spirituallity. It would be great to find a spiritual community group for families because while I've looked on the Buddhism website locally they don't have family days.

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