Finding Religion

Roger Nowell

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#61
I won't evangelize Ringo, all I can say is from my own experience of Christianity and understanding if that helps. Let others put their own beliefs forwards.

Firstly, from a Christian perspective the only way to salvation is through Christ. If there is any other way to God then he need not have bothered. I believe that 'all roads lead to the same God' is a dangerous fallacy. "No-one comes to the Father except though me".

I went briefly to Sunday School but, other than the odd Carol concert, didn't go near a church until my 40's.

I then had a lot of problems in life. It would be easy to blame a God I didn't believe in. However I realised that the problems were natural or man-made.

I got an urge to try Church and went the odd time to a local Church of England church. It wasn't for me.

I then spent five years making sporadic visits to a smaller church. Always from Easter until summer. I liked the people and approved of the morality but didn't want to get involved too deeply.

Every January I'd start suddenly thinking about the crucifixtion and resurrection. I'd start reading the Bible and at Easter I'd start church again.

So, finally, in year six I returned yet again on Easter Sunday. This time I stayed. A year later, on Good Friday I went to church. I was thinking of little other than the roast lamb for lunch. Part way through the service I suddenly realised - to my amazement - that I believed.

So, no direct revelation, no estatic experience but simply a renewed heart.

Like you, I knew something wasn't right and I perservered until it was. Life isn't perfect and I still have plenty of problems like everyone. Christianity no more provides all the answers than does science. I'm not what I should be, nor what I will be, but I thank God that I'm not what I was.

Every blessing in your search.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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#62
That is making an assumption. That an 'afterlife' would be based on the current one.

And that you (whatever you are) will even be able to reference your Earthly existence.
True. But it's kind of the only reference I have.

I certainly don't want to spend eternity on sofa.
 

escargot

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#64
I won't evangelize Ringo, all I can say is from my own experience of Christianity and understanding if that helps. Let others put their own beliefs forwards.

Firstly, from a Christian perspective the only way to salvation is through Christ. If there is any other way to God then he need not have bothered. I believe that 'all roads lead to the same God' is a dangerous fallacy. "No-one comes to the Father except though me".

I went briefly to Sunday School but, other than the odd Carol concert, didn't go near a church until my 40's.

I then had a lot of problems in life. It would be easy to blame a God I didn't believe in. However I realised that the problems were natural or man-made.

I got an urge to try Church and went the odd time to a local Church of England church. It wasn't for me.

I then spent five years making sporadic visits to a smaller church. Always from Easter until summer. I liked the people and approved of the morality but didn't want to get involved too deeply.

Every January I'd start suddenly thinking about the crucifixtion and resurrection. I'd start reading the Bible and at Easter I'd start church again.

So, finally, in year six I returned yet again on Easter Sunday. This time I stayed. A year later, on Good Friday I went to church. I was thinking of little other than the roast lamb for lunch. Part way through the service I suddenly realised - to my amazement - that I believed.

So, no direct revelation, no estatic experience but simply a renewed heart.

Like you, I knew something wasn't right and I perservered until it was. Life isn't perfect and I still have plenty of problems like everyone. Christianity no more provides all the answers than does science. I'm not what I should be, nor what I will be, but I thank God that I'm not what I was.

Every blessing in your search.
That's a beautifully set-out and paragraphed post. Makes it easy to read even on phones. Gets the message across. An example to us all.
 

Ringo

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#65
I won't evangelize Ringo, all I can say is from my own experience of Christianity and understanding if that helps. Let others put their own beliefs forwards.

Firstly, from a Christian perspective the only way to salvation is through Christ. If there is any other way to God then he need not have bothered. I believe that 'all roads lead to the same God' is a dangerous fallacy. "No-one comes to the Father except though me".

Every blessing in your search.
Thank you, Roger, for your gentle post.

I am glad that you have managed to find your way. My own deeply held beliefs would seem to rule out organised religion from the get go. I mean no disrespect but I cannot believe in a religion which asks its believers to celebrate people, dates and events which are known and proven to be false or at the very best, just older rituals and events changed to make the pill easier to swallow during conversion.

And there lies the rub. I do not believe in an almighty yet I long for the comforting fellowship of being a believer. Of knowing someone's got your back. Or that there is a masterplan. I just don't think it's an exclusive deity. "No-one comes to the Father except through me". Well that's not very Christian is it? What if I am a wayward lamb? Am I not still a child of God who should be accepted as any other? I was given free will - shouldn't I be allowed to not believe in him but then still be accepted into the kingdon of heaven when I go? Because if not then he seems quite a spiteful God and I'm not sure I want anything to do with him anyway.

I'd prefer a more omnipotent and benevolent force to be in charge. Not a consciousness but an order. A pre-destined path to be in motion maybe. To know that we are all connected and one but not because a book says so. But I don't want this thread to be all about me and "Ringo's path to Religion". I'm just using my own thoughts as a springboard.
 
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Roger Nowell

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#68
Thank you, Roger, for your gentle post.

I am glad that you have managed to find your way. My own deeply held beliefs would seem to rule out organised religion from the get go. I mean no disrespect but I cannot believe in a religion which asks its believers to celebrate people, dates and events which are known and proven to be false or at the every best, just older rituals and events changed to make the pill easier to swallow during conversion.

And there lies the rub. I do not believe in an almighty yet I long for the comforting fellowship of being a believer. Of knowing someone's got your back. Or that there is a masterplan. I just don't think it's an exclusive deity. "No-one comes to the Father except through me". Well that's not very Christian is it? What if I am a wayward lamb? Am I not still a child of God who should be accepted as any other? I was given free will - shouldn't I be allowed to not believe in him but then still be accepted into the kingdon of heaven when I go? Because if not then he seems quite a spiteful God and I'm not sure I want anything to do with him anyway.

I'd prefer a more omnipotent and benevolent force to be in charge. Not a consciousness but an order. A pre-destined path to be in motion maybe. To know that we are all connected and one but not because a book says so. But I don't want this thread to be all about me and "Ringo's path to Religion". I'm just using my own thoughts as a springboard.
Thank you, Roger, for your gentle post.

I am glad that you have managed to find your way. My own deeply held beliefs would seem to rule out organised religion from the get go..
Hi Ringo

I had all the same doubts. They are big subjects that much wiser people than I have written volumes on. They will never be resolved on a single, on-line forum. All I can say is that after a lot of study I have found what are, for me, satisfactory answers to those questions.

To quote the current Archbishop of York, "I am a beggar telling others where he has found bread".

I'm bowing out of the thread now as I have nothing useful to add.

Blessings
 

Ringo

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#69
Hi Ringo

I had all the same doubts. They are big subjects that much wiser people than I have written volumes on. They will never be resolved on a single, on-line forum. All I can say is that after a lot of study I have found what are, for me, satisfactory answers to those questions.

To quote the current Archbishop of York, "I am a beggar telling others where he has found bread".

I'm bowing out of the thread now as I have nothing useful to add.

Blessings
I'm sure you have plenty of useful things to add. I may not share your belief but I respect it and am interested in how it makes people feel.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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#70
I'd prefer a more omnipotent and benevolent force to be in charge. Not a consciousness but an order. A pre-destined path to be in motion maybe. To know that we are all connected and one but not because a book says so. But I don't want this thread to be all about me and "Ringo's path to Religion". I'm just using my own thoughts as a springboard.
Once again that sounds a lot like me. In which case, you may wish to investigate Daoism. There are no rituals to observe, but you can if you want to. "it loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them."

No - I'm not a card carrying Daoist by any means, but it gives me the sense of direction and meaning that I was looking for. This was my entry point, so it might be of interest to you.

 

Frideswide

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#72
Part way through the service I suddenly realised - to my amazement - that I believed.
That sounds like my experience of shifting from consubstantiation, or memorialism, to transubstantiation. I attended RC masses, as a protestant, to support people who couldn't attend on their own. And then, part way through the service I suddenly realised - to my amazement - that I believed.
 

EnolaGaia

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#73
Ringo:

I know the apparent void or lack of 'connectivity' or 'grounded-ness' to which you allude. It's an unavoidable side-effect of the very same cognitive capacities that make us human - i.e., the capacities for conceiving and interacting with abstractions above and beyond the immediate (e.g., physical) surroundings.

One could crudely describe it as 'imagination' in the strict sense of that term - i.e., the ability to conceive / visualize something that's not externally present to perception. This is the key capability underlying semiosis, symbolic-style thought processes, and interacting via language.

Imagination is unlimited in scope, and once you've got it you can't turn it off. We are doomed to not only see the downtown street but to also be able to extend the 'mind's eye' around corners to wonder, assume, or analyze (etc.) what may be around each corner along the street. We can't help but do so if operating at or beyond a certain level of conscious awareness.

We can't see the dots in front of us without trying to connect them (to other dots, and even to dots that are imagined rather than immediate). No matter how widely your explanatory horizon extends, you can always extend it farther with a 'what if?' or a 'why?'.

This is the inescapable capacity that underlies the creation of any belief system by which we orient ourselves, up to and including 'conspiracy theories'. Such belief systems represent totalizing explanations that connect the dots we take as fixed points, be they present for inspection or imagined from scratch.

This void is always 'out there', and your sensing it triggers something analogous to a vague hunger. The issue then becomes how one can at least mitigate this hunger. You can ignore it, evade it, accept it, or convince yourself you've assuaged it by any of myriad means. The options are innumerable.

Religion represents one such option.
 

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#75
I find the activities of the various Interfaith groups, online and off, very interesting. Biased in that it's not the place to get a crash course in atheist belief - but you won't get one on any faith either, unless it's one of a series. Interfaith Glasgow is having an evening talk on "the role of faith in Mental Health" soon which I'm hoping to get to. Not a preachy group at all!

It's also not about trying to create a new religion by amalgamating the best bits of the old ones. Although Old Ones would in theory be welcome to join in :D

Does anyone else have anything to do with them?
 

AnonyJoolz

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#76
To quote the current Archbishop of York, "I am a beggar telling others where he has found bread".
Thank you for your two previous posts Roger, they are considered and touching.

I also feel the same thing that I think John Sentamu is expressing in your quote. He has a gift of saying something utterly complex very simply! I found the same nourishment as you did and also the gradual realisation that God believed in me, which was, and is, much more powerful than me believing in Him...
 

Comfortably Numb

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#77
I find the activities of the various Interfaith groups, online and off, very interesting. Biased in that it's not the place to get a crash course in atheist belief - but you won't get one on any faith either, unless it's one of a series. Interfaith Glasgow is having an evening talk on "the role of faith in Mental Health" soon which I'm hoping to get to. Not a preachy group at all!

It's also not about trying to create a new religion by amalgamating the best bits of the old ones. Although Old Ones would in theory be welcome to join in :D

Does anyone else have anything to do with them?
Glasgow, eh...

Didn't know, mate.

See.. Here's arguably one most profound moments of my/our Fortean lives... one of many reasons it was fought for this Forum's life.

Massive achievement by all instrumental for keeping this alive...

Mt daughter is a drummer, coming to attention as such and invited via her online endeavors to be invited by Malcolm Bruce, son of Jack Bruce, meet with him tonight as the band's playing in Glasgow.

Just got to speak with Donna for a moment there and in the background... the band's warming up with a classic Cream Song...

Free, 'Call Recorder' app has evidenced
all therein... however... it intrinsicaly requires some permission to post, so can't for the moment.
 

Comfortably Numb

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#82
But isn't organised humanism a religion for those who want to believe that they don't want religion (but who really do want it)? ;)
Would that perhaps still consequently result, given any Relgion... in all it's guises... ultimately come down to... 'Save me.. Save *ME*..."?
 

INT21

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#84
No one yet seems to have mentioned the great allure of religion.

It depends upon a God that no one can prove, nor disprove, the existence of.

People with a believe in God are unassailable.

And that is also it's most dangerous trait.

This may be a bad analogy, but God is a bit like Donald Trump.

He expects everyone to be loyal to Him, but offers no loyalty in return. And will in fact throw you under the bus if you show any sign of doubt in Him as the 'Boss'.

God (or the belief thereof) may indeed offer comfort. But only up to a point.
If you are trapped in a car in a forest fire, and you know there is no way out, where is God ?
Maybe if you are a typical American and carry a gun in your car He will offer you the choice of killing yourself quickly rather than the horrible death of being burned alive.
But even in that extreme case, the choice will really be yours. And if there are three of you and only one gun, who kills the others before killing himself ?

And isn't suicide a Sin ?

You see, there really is no God watching over you when the chips are down.

Just feel at one with the Universe. After all, we and it are made up from the same quarks.

INT21.
 

INT21

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#85
Wombat,

..I certainly don't want to spend eternity on sofa. ..

Nor me.

However, many people who wish for eternal life in whatever form do not consider the long term view. And what could be longer that Eternity.
As you say, our present life is the only reference point we have. Somehow though, I can't see it being relevant to any Afterlife, particularly if it means spending forever dwelling on the happenings of the short time we spend alive.
If there is an afterlife or any form of other existence after death then it needs to be different.

Unknowable even.

INT21.
 

INT21

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#86
Let me give an example of 'not belonging'.

I have an interest in miniature engineering. And for five years, on the third Sunday of the month, June to September. I go down to where our local club run their steam locos.

Note the time span, five years, and I am there for between two and three hours each time.

When there I chat to the others about what is going on etc. I know them all by name.

On one occasion a few month ago one of the members wife asked if I would like a cup of tea. She said' I'm sorry, but I don't know your name. And non of the others do'.

So, five years and no one knew who I was.

That Ringo, is not belonging but being part of.

INT21
 

INT21

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#87
Roger Nowell,

You write,
..They are big subjects that much wiser people than I have written volumes on. ..

Why do you think that these people are much wiser than you are ?

Surely they are interpreting the same books.

INT21.
 

Frideswide

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#88
INTJ? I recognise your posts as what someone on the outside might think. They aren't the lived experience of many however.

I think this may be one reason you seem to find us so frustrating? But if we attempt to explain (the probably unexplainable, even on a fortean board, remains mostly unexplainable) you will see it as proselytising; if we say nothing you will say we are standoffish and failing to display your preferred brand of rigour.

Can you find us some common ground?
 

INT21

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#89
Frideswide,

The only common ground I can think is that maybe most of us think there may be some thing after this life we lead.
If it exists at all we seem to disagree on the form it will take.
For example, is it based on the standard format of a deity controlling an afterlife. Or is it a moving on to another form of existence that is just another step in an evolution. We have then no memory of a past existence.

That there are such things as Fortean 'happenings' may point to this later outcome.
If there are such things as Ghosts, ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, then they have to be somewhere.

Best I can offer as a compromise at the moment.

INT21.

Edit to remove superfluous word.
 
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