a Question of faith???(21 Posts)
I believe in God. The God I associate myself with has always been the christian one. Here in lies my problem. I do not believe that Jesus was the litteral son of God. I believe he was the son of God in the way that we are all Gods children.
There is not a single branch of the church that I can wholly align my faith with. I often attended Methodist services in my youth and I respect that faith very much. However I never accepted commumion as I felt I would be making a promise to God that I could not keep and I would be accepting a part of the faith that I did not truly believe in.
I dont know how to direct my faith, does anyone have any suggestions? I am open to any opinion.
Also I would like to get my child christened/ baptized but feel it is wrong to do so when taking my own situation into consideration. I want to thank God for this wonderful and very special addition to our lives and to officially let him know that I do not take his gift for granted in any way. Any opinions on what I could do here would also be welcome.
Am I over thinking things?
"The God I associate myself with has always been the christian one. Here in lies my problem. I do not believe that Jesus was the litteral son of God."
If you don't believe that Jesus was the son of God, then you're saying you don't believe he was the Christ. Ergo, you don't believe in the most fundamental tenet of Christianity.
Now, that's not to say that there isn't a Christian denomination that wouldn't welcome both you and your child - it's just that it would be hard to make baptismal vows, given your beliefs.
Have you tried just talking to priests/pastors/ministers about your situation? I'm sure there's someone who could help and who could direct you to somewhere you could call "home".
No Jesus wasn't the LITERAL son of God in terms humans think, but he was the firstborn creation, ie God created him first. After that all other creation was made through Jesus. Jesus has a unique position over all other creation and can therefore be seen as Gods son.
When thinking of baptism, perhaps you could look to the example Jesus set. He was baptised as an adult, when he was able to decide for himself to dedicate his life to doing Gods will, which is what baptism signifies. Thanking God in your prayers for your child is something you could do, until your child is of an age to understand if they want to be baptised or not.
Keep praying and asking for Gods direction, obviously he is best placed to help you in your quest.
heverhoney1 - by the sound of things you have been through a similar journey to me.
I believe in a 'GOD' figure but not that Jesus was the literal son of God. Although he was a great prophet/teacher/philosopher. I was also brought up Methodist and also for the same reason as you did not feel able to take communion.
When DS2 was born I walked home from the hospital in the morning and stood outside my local church and wanted to go in and say thank you to my GOD figure but felt it wrong to go in.
My DW wanted to have our children christened but since neither of us feel strongly enough to want to go to church regularly and because of my own feelings about my God figure and Jesus I again think it is wrong. DW is a Catholic though and she has no problem with a sort of pick and mix approach to her religous faith.
I put myself closer to being an aetheist Quaker now rather than Methodist and believe that actually my GOD and goodness comes from within. If my DSs want to be baptised or confirmed then I will allow them to choose for themselves in later life.
No you are not over thinking things.
Many people hardly think about their faith at all. My FIL just goes to Catholic Mass out of habit and respect for his deceased mother but even he bothers less and less these days. He has never said why he goes at all and appears to have no real 'faith' just a habit really.
JCSCOT - I agree with you, I know that the belief in Christ is fundamental to the Christian Church and that is why I dont feel like I have a place in which I can associate my faith. I have read that Methodists can carry out a service of thanksgiving rather than a baptism. That would seem a sensible service as you do not have to take the aforementioned vows. However it is still carried out in a CHRISTIAN Church and I do not want to anger any person who holds that faith dear. I have more respect than that.
JEME- Sorry I just dont get it, didn't ADAM come first? I believe in the existance of Jesus but that he was a man, a very good man, but a man never the less. I know this is similar in premis to other religions - Judaism and Islam but there are aspects of these faits ~I do not agree with also. Bearing this in mind I can only associate myself with the religion I grew up with.
i dont know a lot about quakers - but aren't their meetings one where you sit for an hour in silent dialogue with your spirit/god/self?
anyway wanted to throw them in - might be worth a google.
think its important to find your god house.
There's any amount of organisations that will help you name and acknowledge your a version of a --non-existent-- Higher Power that suits you. Just, when trying them out, be on the lookout for loopiness and nastiness ('Our ritual circle/temple/gathering house is ever so welcoming, you just have to give up sex/disembowel a mouse before we let you in).
Ah SOLID my whole dilema is circled around my being unable to have my faith dictated to me - I dont think Cult leaders have much to work with here. I respect that you have no belief in a higher power just as you should repect those of us who do without resorting to belittling us. Each to their own and all that xxx
Hever, that depends on if you believe Jesus existed in heaven before coming to earth. Adam was the first HUMAN created, but the Bible talks of myriads of angels in heaven, they broke out in heavenly applause when they saw creation (Job 38:4-7)
Thank you. Ok I understand what you mean now. However, no I still think Jesus was a man.
I took a questionnaire about beliefs and it turns out of all the posible religions Christianity if only the 6th! most fitting. Will have to research some more. Though I do have an undescribably emotional tie to the christian faith and I am loathed to cut it.
I think your thread is really interesting and I think it's wonderful that you're thinking these things over...
I'm with you on the Jesus - son of God question. I get terribly confused by it all and prefer to think of him as a prophet/ learned teacher.
Occasionally I go to Quaker meetings and find them wonderfully accepting of all approaches. Maybe you'll find some answers with them....
See their website for more info. http://www.quaker.org.uk
The BBC website is v good on quakers
Have a good day
Thank you pinkfluffyslippers. May I ask how you found the quakers? Was it family led or did you stumble upon them while questioning your own faith?
I have read some of what you suggested and quite agree it does warrent some further investigation. So thank you again.
My mum goes to Quaker meetings but has never formally joined. I've been quite a few times over the years and I just like the silence of the meeting and the fact that you can just "be". You can be Quaker - Christian, Quaker - Aethesit, Quaker - Buddhist.... (I'm more of the latter but don't want to give up the Christian side of things)
As for my journey - well, I've shopped around quite a bit (raised a Catholic) and have never felt quite at home anywhere but the Quakers are definitely the place I'm happiest to return to.
It's worth going to a "meeting" and seeing what you think. You may find the silence a bit overwhelming, or liberating...or you might go to sleep (some do)
Have a look for Advices and Queries - which is the QUaker "handbook" on who / what they believe. (May not have got the definition quite right) But its full of thought provoking ideas -I think the most inspiring "advice" it contains is the phrase = Live Adventurously....
The only "downside" of the Quaker is they don't sing hymns - so if you want a good singsong on a Sunday - then you may have to think again!!
Enjoy your journey wherever it leads
heverhoney our local church (Church of Scotland) offers blessings as an alternative to christenings for parents who are not comfortable with the oaths they take during a christening. It is still a wonderful service of celebration and very meaningful. We, the church community, really enjoy them and welcome parents to bring their children for blessings, the exact opposite of being offended or upset! Perhaps you could ask about that at churches local to you?
I don't know much (anything really) about the stuff surrounding Sikhism but do the basics sound aa possibility to you?.
I think I would like to know a lot more about various religions really. (Should we not have learnt this stuff in religious ed at school)
The Quakers definatly sound like something I will look into further. I had a look at bits of Sikhism and although I agree with many principles the basis of the majority of the religion is on the words of Gurus. I dont think there is anything wrong with this approach but I am not very good at being told what to believe. I realise this puts me at a bit of a dissadvatage when it comes to most of the worlds religions but learning about them cant do me any harm can it?
hever I have been having some of the same thoughts as you and I am exploring what God and faith might means to me.
I have just started a programme with this group who are inclusive to "people of all faiths, or none". We look at a whole variety of different religions, which is fascinating.
I found out about the group because I am being married by one of their Ministers. Many of them also offer baby blessings
"I believe in God. The God I associate myself with has always been the christian one. Here in lies my problem. I do not believe that Jesus was the literal son of God. I believe he was the son of God in the way that we are all Gods children."
That's how I ended up a muslim Tried to be a christian - went to all sorts of churches but couldn't get over that one sticking point no matter how hard I tried - then a friend suggested I look into what other religions believed about Jesus and I found Islam fitted me perfectly. Might not be right for you but your words hit a chord with me.
That is interesting difficult decision. So far I have done a quick scan of reform Judaism, The Quaker movement, Sikhism and the group Dolly parting mentioned.
Do you have any ideas that conflict with that of Islam? Is it a matter of interpretation? How do you reconcile ny differences?
Reform Judaism on the main looked like a good idea but when it came down to it there was still conflicts of interest and spiritual requirements that seem to be a step too far.
Still looking into the Quakers though.
I haven't any beliefs or ideas as such that conflict with the core beliefs of Islam so that hasn't been a problem. There were quite a few bits and the start that I baulked at out of a kind of vestigal desire to find SOMETHING in the religion that meant I could ignore the rest of my beliefs and therefore wouldn't have to act on them/be acountable to God for my actions.
Once I looked into it properly I found that like anything, interpretation and context is key and while I might not agree with what some other muslims think and how they have interpreted God's message that doesn't mean I can stop listening to the message for myself and doing the best I can.
Sometimes it feels a bit like when I was growing up - everyone around me reading the bible and showing me bits where it can be interpreted as Jesus being God's literal offspring and a diety in himself - and me sitting there just not being able to understand why they read that passage that way when to me the meaning was obviously different.
I guess what I'm saying is keep looking, keep an open mind and you might find the answers where you least expect them
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