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I have lost God

(105 Posts)
whatshapeisthisnow Mon 14-Oct-13 18:02:44

Everything has just gone. Almost overnight. I can no longer believe. Nothing happened to make this happen it just sort of occurred to me that it's all made up confused

I am feeling sad that this has happened. I miss going to church. I feel hollow and empty. It is quite a depressing state to be in.

I am not sure of the way forward now. I want to believe but I don't see any way back.

Coupon Sat 26-Oct-13 17:39:05

whatshapeisthisnow how about getting some books on various topics and see where they take you? You could look at the history of the Bible, some Richard Dawkins, books on other religions, Christian books on faith and how we feel, etc. Also perhaps visit one or two other churches for a new perspective. I think it's totally normal to question one's faith and to feel differently at different times.

Coupon Sat 26-Oct-13 17:34:24

> I don't like to read that people who are atheists can't have proper morals. It's insulting and rude.

I don't recall reading that anywhere on MN. Can you give any examples?

Coupon Sat 26-Oct-13 17:31:48

> people do good things on a daily, hourly, minute basis NOT because they want to go to an imaginary heaven

The Christian faith is based on salvation by grace, not deeds Bunny.

Well, if you want to interpret the experience within traditional religious thinking then I'm sure you could describe it as "a dark night of the soul"
- but there are other ways of looking at how you're feeling now too (as I'm sure you're aware)

springylippy Thu 24-Oct-13 13:33:48

Jesus had it, the 'dark night of the soul', I suppose, on the cross: my God my God why have you forsaken me.

Which I assume could mean - where are you, I've lost you.

Agreed, it could suggest that he hadn't lost his belief in God but that he felt forsaken, abandoned. You thread title says you have lost God, which could suggest a similar thing.

I wouldn't take it too seriously iiwy. I am not being flippant. 'Feeling' you have lost God is, ultimately, an emotion. Devastating, of course - I feel for you. But if you have lost religion, rote, mentally relating to God, then you've not necessarily lost him entirely; you're probably gaining more of what he is about. But the dark bit is uncomfortable and can be very distressing. Try not to take it too seriously if you can.

Because God hasn't gone, that's not possible. You're probably shifting gears which will be his doing. So good for him to be leading the thing. Alarming, of course; especially as we are so used to driving it all, driving everything. Wonderful (and challenging) to find out we don't have to, that the relationship he wants he is perfectly capable of carving out - whether we are knowingly on board or not. Painful, though - as he knows it will be. Devastating and desolating. It's not possible to nail your own self to your own cross - always a spare hand - so it's a good job he knows how to do it.

iiwy I'd go with it. Which will take time if religion has defined you. Enjoy and explore being 'Godless', enjoy losing the bits you never enjoyed but felt you 'ought to' (good to get rid of those, I find). Enjoy sloughing off the tonne of guilt (that was never meant to be there) and obligation (ditto). Spread out.

headinhands Sun 20-Oct-13 11:39:52

Great opportunity to make up your own religion. But no, that's shocking. I know I get irritated with the local church drama group doing assemblies but that's another level.

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Oct-13 11:35:07

Thankfully, DD's school exempts a child from RE on demand from parents.

There are schools that demand to see written proof that your child is being brainwashed educated in another religion to exempt them from Catechism shock

headinhands Sun 20-Oct-13 11:32:56

Ahh right, no that doesn't sound like the sort of RE I'd be wanting my kids to have either.

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Oct-13 11:12:30

I think it depends on the RE.

I gather from around here that most DC get a "history of religions" type of RE. That would be fine.

This doesn't exist where we live, which is a Catholic country. RE is basically peddling of Catholicism. The course itself is called "Catechism" and is meant to pave the way for the children to be confirmed as Catholics at the end of 2nd (3rd?) year.

headinhands Sun 20-Oct-13 10:49:47

I'm happy for my dc's to have religious education. I think looking at the religions in comparison and contrast to one another is a great way to see the manmade-ness of them. I have Christian friends who remove their dc's from religious education so they don't 'confuse them' I think was her explanation. I didn't probe her on the assumptions behind her thinking as she's almost family, I keep my probing to Mumsnet. grin

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Oct-13 23:16:39

Exactly, BackOnlyBriefly.

That is exactly why no child of mine is having religious education of any kind.

When they are old enough to debate it, we'll talk about it. If they want to research religions, they are free to do so. if they feel like following one, I won't be thrilled but will live with it they are again free to do so.

But I will not be complicit in their brainwashing introduction to religions.

BackOnlyBriefly Sat 19-Oct-13 18:26:26

Many people are led into becoming religious before they are old enough to have experience and a critical sense. The Jesuits for example boast that this is their method. Get them while they are too young to know any better.

Not everyone is as cynical as that, but if you take kids to church with you then naturally they take it for granted. When you're young you're not going to say "hey! why am I going to church".

So you carry on doing it and carry on believing it even though that is irrational. Not because you are stupid, but because you have never really applied your intellect to the question.

If you are prompted to examine it in later life and realise you've been following it blindly that must be really hard to deal with. That's why you won't see me cheering that someone is going through it.

BackOnlyBriefly Sat 19-Oct-13 18:12:30

Of course belief in any god is irrational. It's supposed to be. Christians in particular are usually proud of believing without evidence. It's considered a sign of faith.

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Oct-13 15:47:42

niminy - I was hoping to soften my words with that smiley, for those of us with a sensitive disposition. You can get the brutal version next time.

headinhands Sat 19-Oct-13 06:53:37

Believers of other religions have 'experiences'. Similar experiences can also be had via secular means, obsession and so on. There's no reason to believe that my experiences were genuine. There's reason to believe they were self/mass induced.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 23:44:39

I think that the rational position is agnosticism - but that from that point it can still be possible to believe in a god. I was (largely) a rational being when I was a Christian... but faith is outside of that. I'd probably say I'm more rational now but that doesn't imply that therefore all believers are 'irrational'.

Zulu - 'Just wondered if any of you that have talked about how you lost your faith would mind talking about how you now view any past "religious experiences" that you had.'

Yes - the term that seemed to apply was 'delusion' (this was decades before that book!). I could see uncomfortably clearly how things could be the product of my own mind, or of induced emotional states (I was quite surprised to find when I eventually went to a non-religious pop concert that the feeling was remarkably similar to some evangelical worship events!)

Are you sure it is niminy - you don't think some of us people are just overly fond of emoticons, or trying to soften our words?

niminypiminy Fri 18-Oct-13 22:53:44

That's a perfect example of a passive aggressive smilie ^

CoteDAzur Fri 18-Oct-13 22:29:12

I don't remember singling out Christians.

It is not disrespectful imho. Anyone rationally thinking about the God hypothesis would inevitably come to the conclusion that it can't be believed because there is no proof whatsoever.

Believers say they are spiritual (whatever that means), use the heart rather than the head, faith doesn't need proof etc. Well, we are rational, using our brains to evaluate the hypothesis, and hence we do need proof.

I'm sorry you feel that is insulting. It's still true, though smile

bluebeardsbabe Fri 18-Oct-13 21:53:00

Cote a bit harsh to insinuate that Christians are irrational. Why can there never be a religious thread on mumsnet that remains respectful of everyone's opinion and doesn't turn into derogatory put downs.

As I mentioned above I feel I have recently lost my faith but I certainly am not of the opinion that I was irrational a few weeks ago. Faith/no faith is so much deeper than that and to state that someone has simply gone from being irrational to rational I find quite insulting.

NonnoMum Fri 18-Oct-13 21:50:35

Been following the thread.

Hope you are feeling OK, OP. I think I genuinely went into a clinical depression when this happened to me... I felt like I had no soul and was just a collection of random atoms. What all the clever rationalists had been saying for years and years... It was pretty rough. I felt like there was nothing 'special' about me.

Also, I didn't know who to talk to. My doctor? A priest? Even my DH didn't know what to say to me...

I had to treat myself with some of the recommendations that are given to people being treated for depression - take exercise, do things for other people, appreciate the beauty that is around in nature...

Sorry to go on - but hope you find some peace...

(*btw I would NEVER say that atheists had no morals - far from it - in fact their morals are that more impressive as they don't come from a place of fear/redemption*) but I didn't want to be associated with the smugness of people like Richard Dawkins who seem so sure they know all the answers...!

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Fri 18-Oct-13 21:13:50

Kitchen you have described almost exactly how I felt about church, feeling hollow and lonely.

ElBombero Fri 18-Oct-13 20:56:07

Oh come on get a grip.

It's a revolution. Read some Richard Dawkins and fill that hole with science and knowledge

zulubump Fri 18-Oct-13 20:45:09

This is such an interesting thread and my heart goes out to you OP. Hope you are getting some support in RL. Just wondered if any of you that have talked about how you lost your faith would mind talking about how you now view any past "religious experiences" that you had. For examples prayers that you felt had been answered; situations in which you thought God was guiding you; inspiration you got from reading the Bible. How do you think of those kind of things now looking back? Not wanting to start any arguments, just curious.

To give my own position I am a Christian, but a relatively new (and often cynical!) one. smile

CoteDAzur Fri 18-Oct-13 20:08:33

Welcome to the rational side, OP smile

This is a complete change in your perception of the world - a paradigm shift on a personal scale. It is entirely normal that you will take some time to adjust.

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