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Help needed to find faith

(26 Posts)
Pixiefish Fri 03-Oct-08 20:41:52

Somewhere along the way I have lost my faith- if I ever had it in the first place. I have tried my local vicar- who is also a personal friend and I am getting nowehre. I wonder if there is a website I can go to discuss my inner turmoils/feelings about my lack of faith. I don't want to end up on an extreme view/bible bashing website.

Just wondered if anyone knew of a decent site I could go to to discuss and try to find belief.

liath Fri 03-Oct-08 20:44:25

I tried to re-find my faith. I ended up the process a militant athiest. Sorry.

Pixiefish Fri 03-Oct-08 20:59:00

lol liath. I'm pretty much ending up there atm. Desperate to find belief but no idea how to

serin Fri 03-Oct-08 21:05:22

I am not aware of anywhere that offers this online, have you considered some one to one spiritual direction?

You could try one of the retreat centres, Loyola Hall in Knowsley was featured in a recent Times article but I can't find the link for you....sorry. The centre is Catholic led but the journalist was CofE (IIRC)and was very favourable.

Did something happen that led to you losing faith?

Pixiefish Fri 03-Oct-08 21:12:58

I can never remember having faith serin. I tried to find faith and have tried various religions over the years. I really really would like to believe in a god but I just can't. I have spoken to various family memebrs over the years about my lack of faith and have encountered differing opinions. My mother can't believe I don't believe. My uncle told me about his religious conversion when he heard the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse adn saw the flashing lights and thought the world was at an end and he found faith. Other family memebrs just blindly believe.

I want to believe but I don't and I really don't know how to deal with it

serin Fri 03-Oct-08 21:26:08

Wow, Your Uncle's four men of the apocalypse must have been quite an experience for him!

What do you not believe in? God or organised religion or both? and what do you hope to gain by believing?

Pixiefish Fri 03-Oct-08 21:29:06

i don't believe in God. I go to church but don't know what I'm praying for or who I'm praying to.
My friends ds has been zeriously ill recently and she asked me to ask my vicar friend to pray for him.

I did but wonder what i was doing

I would love to believe and have a belief - that ther eis something at the end of this IYSWIM

revjustabout Fri 03-Oct-08 21:30:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AMumInScotland Fri 03-Oct-08 21:37:00

Why do you want to believe? I do have faith, but not because I went looking for it IYSWIM. If I didn't have one I don't think I'd notice the lack of it. What is it about faith that you wish you had?

Pixiefish Fri 03-Oct-08 21:46:31

maybe that's it. i need to not believe

AMumInScotland Fri 03-Oct-08 21:54:01

Well, if you're chasing it all over the place but not finding it, I'm wondering if you're clear what it is you're looking for, and why. Do you want clarity that there is a greater purpose to life? Comfort in the bad times? Or is it just that you have people with faith around you and think you must be missin g something? People seem to look for religious faith for a lot of reasons - maybe if you can work out what your reasons are, it'll help you to either find it or decide you don't need it after all. I don't mean to put you off having faith, mine is very important to me, but lots of people seem happy without it grin

blithedance Fri 03-Oct-08 21:55:57

I know this is not for everyone but have you considered an Alpha course?

(tries to phrase this carefully)
I only say because I was with the CofE for many years, before becoming involved with "born-again" Christianity which turned out to be much more real and personal to me.

Or is that a door you have already pushed?

Marina Fri 03-Oct-08 22:02:30

I was going to recommend Ship of Fools too. It will make you laugh too pixiefish!
It must be a bit awkward having the local vicar as a friend, to be honest.
Can s/he not recommend a third party priest for you? Someone known by them who can talk things through with you?
I am a happy bog-standard C of E type and I think Alpha is run in many types of church, although its origins are evangelical. So ask your vicar pal for a local Alpha course that operates out of, for example, somewhere liberal anglo catholic and try that.

solidgoldbrass Fri 03-Oct-08 22:06:31

You could also have a look at the British Humanist Association for stuff about it being perfectly ok not to believe in higher powers or supernatural beings. Not believing in any gods doesn't stop you being a good person or living a meaningful life.

MaryBS Fri 03-Oct-08 22:14:52

I'm another one who rates Ship of Fools, but take time to have a look around first, familiarise yourself with the boards. The boards are helpfully labelled, with names like Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. I would start with a post in Heaven, maybe Purgatory. Not everyone on the board is Christian either, and very few people on there take themselves seriously.

bloss Fri 03-Oct-08 22:18:07

Message withdrawn

serin Fri 03-Oct-08 22:57:29

Yes, I would second that Bloss, 'Seek and ye shall find'.

One of my best friends is a vicar, she was my friend before I 'got' faith, (we met at baby group) and we used to talk a lot about beliefs and my lack of any!!

Have you tried to talk things through with your own vicar? It should not be a disadvantage that you know this person as a friend, it is her/his vocation in life to help others come closer to God. I am sure they will appreciate your honesty.

Also I wouldn't expect to 'feel' much in Church TBH, if its anything like ours there is far too much going on to stay focused, esp if you have DC's with you!

I feel closer to God when it's just me n 'im, or when praying with a friend.

liath Sat 04-Oct-08 07:45:48

I do sometimes wistfully wish I had faith as it could be very comforting.

The thing for me was that faith wasn't really enough - I needed to understand what I was believing in, to really believe God is real IYSWIM. I went to back to church, re-read the bible and just did a LOT of thinking.

At the end of the process I just couldn't reconcile a belief in God with what I knew about the world - evolution in particular (and I wasn't swayed by Richard Dawkins at this point, I deliberately didn't read anything by him at the time).

Now my previous faith seems to me a bit of a cop-out intellectually - "I don't understand it so I'll just blindly believe in it" but a little part of me still wishes I did believe so I understand your dilemma smile.

solidgoldbrass Sat 04-Oct-08 22:34:26

I can see, sort of, that irrational beliefs in some Thing out there that wuvs you and Knows Best is sort of comforting, and that many people will desperately buysearch for any old load of cock that delivers the following:
It's not your fault
It will be all right in the end
It's someone else's fault, set fire to them
Oh and do something irrational and pointless just to please Me, your imaginary Higher Power... Or else

But there's also something comforting in understanding that it is actually Up To You to make your life as good as possible, that life is not a rehearsal for some on-a-promise Better Place and that it doesn;t matter what other people eat or wear or have sex with as long as they are basically fair and kind and reasonable.

sasamax Wed 08-Oct-08 23:14:15

I know that some people can find direction and faith through retreats or workshops.
Interestingly, there is a Tibetan Monastry in Scotland who run various residential and day courses - have heard very good reports about the stuff there. You don't need to be...erm...Tibetan Monkish...(buddhist or something????) obviously - it's for anyone at all.

sasamax Wed 08-Oct-08 23:15:25

Just looked it up - samye ling monastry.

sasamax Thu 09-Oct-08 10:18:00

And just a point to note:
Darwin's theory of evolution has never actually been proven and has many many large gaps and inaccuracies.
Just thought I'd point that out since generally it is assumed as fact and that's just not the case

mariagoretti Thu 09-Oct-08 23:47:04

Doubting Thomas didn't believe to start with, he just couldn't until Jesus confronted him.

I'm a bit baffled by the evolution arguments above. Plenty of Christians are quite happy with Genesis as revealed truth that is trustworthy and meaningful, it's not supposed to be a modern scientific account.

Evolution is a useful model, it is 'true' in the sense that it fits the evidence well. But as science moves on, someone may well come up with a better theory. Or they may not.

I don't think that we have to choose between the two accounts, surely one answers 'why' we are here and 'who' arranged it, and the second answers 'by what mechanism did we get here'.

onager Fri 10-Oct-08 00:04:49

If right at this moment you don't believe in god then you actually have more than one choice in front of you. Even if you're sure you want to believe in a higher power you can choose any of them you like.

I'm an atheist so I'm perfectly ok with you not believing at all, but it struck me that you might feel you ought to believe in god since your family and friends do. If so then regardless of the truth of the matter I suspect trying to believe because people around you do might not be the best way to achieve peace of mind.

Nettee Sun 12-Oct-08 10:52:40

I have had similar struggles with wanting to believe and not being able to. I read a book called something like "why can't I find Faith" and CS Lewis' ?Mere Christianity - not sure of the name but famous book. Both arguing the case for Christianity being true but I found that there was still a leap of faith to be made which cannot be reasoned out. I then read Neale Donald Walsh's Conversations with God trilogy which really struck a chord with me and enabled me to have faith in God but not worry about the doctrines of the Christian Church that I feel are wrong or just not true (homophobia, existance of hell, literal truth of the entire bible etc). There are not that many people in the country that go along with this faith but I have joined up with the local Unitarian Church who are very accommodating of all personal beliefs including atheism. I am sure I am still on the journey and who knows what I will believe in 20 years time, I maintain links to the C of E by taking my children to the family services and I think the traditions and values of the Church are important.

Anyway I suppose what I am saying is that you can't force yourself to have faith it is an inner knowing and as lots of people have said there is nothing wrong with not believing. Keep searching - or stop trying - and maybe you will have a light bulb moment where you know God is there - whose theology you then go along with is - I think - a choice based on how God has revealed him/her self to you.

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