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Not feeling anything anymore, any ideas? All views welcome

(20 Posts)
PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 07-Apr-13 20:32:14

Hi, I'm a Christian or at least that is how I have feltuntil fairly recently, but now I'm not so sure.

Church seems very shallow now and I am really feeling out of touch, to me church doesn't feel like the loving accepting place I imagine when I think about Jesus. Recently things like the gay marriage debate have made me feel more like this, church is very caring and loving until 'we' (not me personally but church as a 'body') disagree with something and then 'we' feel like we can tell others how to live their lives. I feel like leaving church but I don't know where that leaves me with my faith.

I still believe in God in some description and to me Jesus was the most inspirational man to walk the earth. I would like to follow his example but I feel I can do this outside of church. I also can't accept that Christianity is the only way to God, for me Gods love is open to any faith or none, I see God more as a creator or overseer, with an interest in all humanity not just a select few. But then I do sometimes even struggle with that and feeling like there probably isn't anything anyway, its just guesswork but I personally don't feel that the world occurred purely by chance.

Should I just leave church for a while and see how things go? I just don't feel anything in church anymore and I often see more love and 'Jesus spirit' outside of church than in it. But the thought of turning my back on Jesus and ultimately God feels too much.

Pollykitten Sun 07-Apr-13 20:36:26

how about you give yourself 6-12 months freedom to explore a range of ideas / approaches without feeling you have to commit to anything in that timeframe? the time would be set aside as personal exploration, & you could give yourself permission in advance to leave or return after that process?

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Apr-13 21:00:33

pioneersandpirateships I'm so sorry that you are having a hard time with your faith. I know totally hoe you feel. It can seem very hard and I feel the while equal marriage debate is challenging many. As s committed Christian, who feels my relationship with Jesus is central to my life I would just encourage you to find the real Christ in your heart. Prayer and Christian meditation may help. Maybe get in touch with some pioneering type Christians engaged in fresh expressions of mission and church in this country. If you want to find an accepting Christian view of gay marriage try googling Matthew Vines and look on the Accepting Evangelicals website. Jesus was s revolutionary who stood up for little people, challenged authority and did amazing things. Please do not allow the human and yes sometimes shallow side of church put you off Jesus. Pm me if you would like to.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:02

There's certainly no benefit in attending any kind of institution which does fit with how you want to live your life. What you believe in and how you feel you should behave in life are very personal to you. You don't have to go to church to believe in God.

I'm not going to tell you what I think you should do, but I will suggest that you don't let a church rule your life, your welfare is not their biggest priority.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Apr-13 22:24:01

I also think you should not a let a church rule your life. Nut if you have found your current church I'd turning you sway from God my humble suggestion would be to find s group of Christian believers who can encourage you in your faith. I know
Not everyone will agree with me but I sense your faith is important to you and I expect you will want to think carefully about all the views expressed here. I have been a Christian a long time but I do understand about doubts. I really hope you will find the reasurance and maybe a new lease of life to uour Christian faith.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Apr-13 22:25:48

Apologises for mistakes my phone is not allowing Mr to correct mistakes!

EllieArroway Sun 07-Apr-13 22:46:56

I personally don't feel that the world occurred purely by chance Neither do I, as an atheist, and neither does any scientist considered an expert in the field. It's not God or chance - there are other alternatives. Just so you know.

PioneersAndPirateShips Sun 07-Apr-13 23:31:01

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate your input. I will have a look at the things you have mentioned italian, and I think I will spend some time just thinking things over like polly has suggested. I'm not really in a position to make any decisions yet, leaving church would be a huge step for me and I dont want to rush in (or out of) anything.

Pedro I think you have summed up how I feel really, I dont want what a group of other people who I often find myself disagreeing with dictating my morals, but italian has also hit the nail on the head about faith being important to me. I guess thats the problem really, if I felt it wasnt important it would be very easy to walk away.

Ellie would you mind elaborating on other alternatives? I probably sound stupid now but I always thought there were only really two choices. I'm interested to know other ideas.

Gingerdodger Mon 08-Apr-13 09:01:34

This is really hard and I do feel for you. It is sometimes really hard to reconcile personal views with those publicly stated by other members of the church and I, also find myself constantly having to negotiate my way through this to get to my own position.

It may be that you need some space and thinking time. Quiet churches with nobody else in are a great time for this. Also are you such a lone voice as you think? Churches hold a broad range of people, many of who may be thinking the same as you. The views of the church which we seem to hear most about are not always those which are expressed in individual churches and often people's personal experience of their church is a million miles away from this. Are there any groups within church where these kind of discussions are welcome?

In my opinion the Christians need to concentrate on the key message of love and the churches embroiled themselves in arguments over issues such as gay marriage serves only to prevent the key message of God's love for everyone being heard.

But those issues are all about the church and what is really important is what is in your heart. It is sometimes so hard to just get back to that when there is so much complexity and maybe you just need to try and ignore everything else whilst you just concentrate on your personal faith and what it means to you. This needs time and headspace - things we are often very short of.

I hope you manage to find some peace and I will be thinking of you.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Apr-13 23:52:08

Ginger geat post. pioneersandpirateships just wanted to add a touch of humour. There are some great Christian books by a guy called Adrian Plaza. His sacred diary is funny and his own life story is sad and moving.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Apr-13 23:53:01

Adrian Plass. Sorry. Phone!!!!!!

PioneersAndPirateShips Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:46

Thanks everyone, Ginger I do feel like quite a lone voice, certainly I've never heard anyone encouraging difficult discussions and I don't feel brave enoughto tell anyone at church how I am feeling. At the minute I just feel like a complete hypocrite going along to church, praying etc and not being sure if I even believe it is true. I have heard of Adrian Plass Italian but I haven't read anyof his stuff, I'll see if I can find a copy to have a look at.

Gingerdodger Thu 11-Apr-13 06:44:48

I hope that you get some time and peace to work it out, sorry you feel such a lone voice that makes it all the more difficult. Maybe you just need to find some time with yourself to think it through or maybe there are other forums away from your church to share your doubts and thoughts.

Still thinking of you.

PioneersAndPirateShips Thu 11-Apr-13 16:26:10

Thanks Ginger, it has helped to think things through on here. I'm thinking of taking a bit of a break from church and just looking around at some internet sitesand things and seeing where things go from there. I'm starting to think that maybe I'm religious but don't necessarily fit in a traditional church or maybe even any church. I've been listening to some talks on the Greenbelt website which I'm finding helpful

happyhev Thu 11-Apr-13 18:03:11

Might it be worth visiting some different churches to see if you feel more at home in a different church. Also remember that us Christians don't always get everything right, your views and feelings are as valid as anyone else's.

somanymiles Fri 12-Apr-13 05:26:10

I went through the same thing in my early 20s. Don't despair! There are churches out there that you will find a home in. Can I suggest the Unitarian church? Or one of the New Thought churches? Not sure what is in your area but both of these support gay marriage, for example. Good luck!

Jaynebxl Fri 12-Apr-13 08:40:37

Sorry to hear you feel like this. Sometimes church can be a discouraging place to be. However there do exist plenty of churches who do encourage discussion and exploration of faith, and it is just a case of finding them.

marjproops Sat 13-Apr-13 19:16:18

YY to Adrian Plass! His books are helping me BIG TIME atm, my faith has all but gone and ive read his books like a million times and hes so inspirational. and hilarious too. and soooo tells it like it is.

in fact Id recommend him to non-believers too, not to convert, but to see that most christians are not all 'happy clappy alleluia judgmental'.

OP i feel let down massivly by church atm, and by God. Many people, Christians inc see God as some sargeant major type, Jesus as the ally, the friend. exactly how Im feeling atm.

only going to church tbh for DCs sake so she gets some time with her friends there and sunday school.

a sabbatical/time of reflection and searching is a good idea.

unfortunately people are always going to let you down, we're only human. if we were all perfect wed be God and wouldnt need church/God etc.

was going to take a mn break tonight but couldnt pass this by.

springyhappychick Sun 14-Apr-13 15:26:17

church isn't (necessarily) God or I'd kill myself now

I find church/christians terribly difficult and have finally resigned myself to not expecting the 'family' that I thought church should be. ime it is hopeless to expect it.

thankfully, God is awesome and gorgeous and wonderful nothing like church thank goodness . Have you done an alpha course? that puts things into perspective, brings a lot of clarity.

I do believe that a personal relationship with God is what he offers and, to that end, you could talk to him about it, ask for guidance etc. (Hope I'm not being patronising by suggesting that). If he is who he says he is, then he knows you're troubled and conflicted and looking for a way forward. I should imagine he's ready and willing to share your concerns with you.

Italiangreyhound Sun 14-Apr-13 23:42:46

Church is just people, they will always let you down but I must say I have known some lovely people in churches too.

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