(I love this site!!!)
In my opinion, guilt is of the ego and has nothing to do with what is God. That energy lives in each of us, as us – not somewhere outside of us. God loves us more than we love ourSelves and is consistently trying to open us to the amount of Love we let into our lives. That energy of God created the Universe through our intention and cannot be made sad if we do not attend church.
My reason for logging-on this morning was to look for a spot to post this passage from http://www.orindaben.com… it speaks to me and maybe to you. It is from a book “Spiritual Growth” by Sanaya Roman.
“Since you were a child you may have felt you had a special purpose or mission. You may have felt you had a special purpose, a mission to accomplish, though you probably did not know what it was. Your doubts about your worth may have increased as you found little outside validation of your inner sense of personal value. If you have a sense of a purpose, a mission, you are here to add much light to the world in whatever way you find to do so.”BillMember
A minister I know named David once quoted, “Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. Chances are, I don’t believe in him either.” I disagree with the opinion expressed above that religion is just a set of rules or a single answer to all of the mysteries of the universe. That is taking a very narrow view of religion.
Some churches here in Canada don’t believe in easy answers to complex questions. My church runs a web site called http://wondercafe.ca because “we believe that it’s important to have a place at which you can explore your spirituality and life’s big questions on your own terms.” It doesn’t force religion down anyone’s throat, and it is quite comfortable talking about major issues like atheism. It also doesn’t mind poking some gentle fun at religion with videos like the “EZ Answer Squirrel” http://wondercafe.ca/webisodes/ez-answer-squirrel
It takes persistent patience to find the right spiritual path for you, but it is worth all the trouble. The value of religion isn’t found in its books or its buildings, but in the relationships with other people and ultimately something that is bigger than all of us.AnonymousInactive
Last Thursday night my wife wanted me to pick her up from work and go to confession. When we got to the church we went in, sat at one of the pews, and when the confessional was open she told me to go right on in. I really didn’t want to, but for some reason I did. What a waste of time that was! Like just about everyone else, I don’t keep a running inventory of my sins, and like almost everyone else I’m neither a great saint nor a great sinner. So I sat there in front of the priest, stammering about God knows what, and telling him all about my ADD, which at least made me feel better about being there. He then gave me absolution, saying “I forgive your sins, whatever they are!”. Afterwards I did not feel cleaner, forgiven, or even better – I felt like a fool for even being there. That’s it for me! No more confession ever again! I told my wife that if she wants to go to confession it’ll be by herself!AnonymousInactive
Speaking as a convert to Catholsism (formerly ECLA Lutheran), I only go to confession if I feel I need it. God already knows what my sins are & the important thing is to seek his forgivness (I’ve had more than one “discussion” w/preists about this).
As for being able to handle church, I’ve found participating in choir or being a lector/reader or Eucharistic minister helps to break-up the boardum of sit & listen, stand & listen, kneel & listen…
Even if you give-up on church and/or organized religion, I pray you don’t give-up on God.
I dunno… I just feel that most speak of religion, faith, spiritualism, etc as if it’s a given that those concepts are the default. It frustrates me to no end that those are pro-active choices but are misinterpreted as something else. If you were born into a faith-based family, and you were raised in “faith”, it wasn’t by default. It was by your parent’s choice. And when you became old enough, you made a choice (either conscientious or not) to continue with it.
So when I read stuff like “finding the right spiritual path for you” (or anything else I may have read elsewhere), to me it’s the equivalent to reading that it takes hard work to “find the right peanut-butter for you”–which assumes that 1) humans have a biological need for PB, 2) that I even like peanut-butter and 3) it does not cause my body harm.
I personally believe that the modern light-weight “we’re friendly and not scary at all” religions give safe haven–or something to hide behind, if you will–for the hard, mean, judgmental, “You’re going to hell!” thumper religions when it’s all a choice, not the default of basic, Tabula rasa humanity.
We all know the three points for peanut-butter above are false. We would never dream of suspending rational thought just to make ourselves believe humans need PB to survive, but we do for religion. I just don’t understand why more can’t see what’s plainly there. For ME, it’s the equivalent to being held up behind someone in the passing lane who refuses to see he’s adversely affecting everyone, and will not move over even when he does end up realizing he’s in the way.
It incites my ADD “REALLY?! REALLY?!” reaction.
Anyway, former Roman Catholic here. Did the whole indoctrination up through Confirmation and CYA for teens.AnonymousInactive
I dont believe in religion (following rules set by a church) I believe in having a relationship with God. Make God your friend, talk to him about anything and everything, tell him when you are scared, sad, confused, angry. tell him when you are happy, thankful, excited.
Also I have learned I need to stop living by my plans and accept that God has a plan for me and I need to let him carry that plan out.
I have this on my facebook page…
For we walk by Faith, not by Sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Father, please help me be a woman of Faith, believing that you will work all details out in my life. Let me not rely on tangible, explainable things, but to remember that YOU are in control.
men would obviously put in the word “man” rather then “woman”
really, who cares if your priest forgives your sins? Jesus already paid for them and the ONLY one you needs to forgive your sins is God, you only need to ask him and its done.
I am Baptist by the way and I have found a church that has taught me about living by God’s plan and talking to him like a friend. I finally dont have that “something is missing” feeling.
you could try reading “the purpose driven life” my church promotes that book and I learned a lot from it.billdMember
There is no one/single church or religion that covers all I believe or think. I find that Catholic covers a lot, and I’m quite interested in the history of each “church” or religion, but for me, there are big holes in each.
Confession? that’s one of the areas I “diverge” from the mainstream – Jesus taught us to pray in private, and that we need to go through him….. I figure if that’s the case, I don’t need an earthly human to help, I go to the source. Odd – as it seems I know what to do anyway after that, no need for a person to tell me. Somehow, I “just get it”.
My Dad’s church study group used to enjoy having me join them – as the only teen every to be in that group, as my thinking was so different, and I tossed out thoughts that had not come up before, and triggered many of them to think a bit differently. I enjoyed that. I was more at home with the adult discussion than with those my own age, but then, I’ve found that most of my life.AnonymousInactive
That’s exactly the way it has been for me. I was always resentful to be put in the children’s table at a family gathering because I wanted to hang with the adults. I wanted to join in their discussions. My parents were always dismissive of me but other relatives and friends always included me. Maybe they were humoring me at first but then I would dazzle them with what I know which always turned out to be more advanced for my age. I was the kid that was the teacher’s pet. In college that changes not just because I was older but because the professors were contemptuous of their students. Previous to joining college I always thought that it was the nerds against the jocks and that if us nerds could join together we could change the world for the better. When I went to college I found that many nerds could be just as much assholes as the jocks, even more so in some cases.OrionMember
I was raised Catholic. There was no hope for me to ever pay attention in mass or CCD. I also never rationalized why all these rules! I ran from it all in my teens. I eventually came back to GOD and am still Christian but could not conform to man-made rules. I believe that Spirituality is God-made and Religion is man-made . But whatever your beliefs, untreated ADD makes it so much MORE confusing! Since I began medication, I have actually been able to focus while I pray. There is an inherit beauty in finally being able to tune in more deeply. Peace!AnonymousInactive
I recently have begun learning about Buddhism, and I’m beginning to think it just might have the answers for me. A while ago I picked up the book Buddhism for Dummies, and it’s a pretty good introduction to Buddhism. I like how Buddhism does not force me to accept anything I am not comfortable with, yet seems to provide me with the tools I need to end suffering, which for me has been my lifelong battle with ADD. I will be continuing my learning about Buddhism for a while longer, because I want to learn as much as possible before commiting to it.AnonymousInactive
Bob L., regarding Buddhism. I’m partial to it, too. I haven’t had a chance to look too much into it, though. I tried about a year ago, but I got distracted. Heh.
But what I do know is that the individual is taught to recognize and follow a journey up to higher potentials. And that there isn’t even necessarily a god involved.
Many dogmatic religious people misinterpret Buddhism and atheism as, “So, you like it because YOU get to be a god, huh? Or because you can just focus on yourself and be selfish?”
No. That’s not it. No Buddhist or atheist (not a belief, not even a world-view) are interested in being what you think of as a god. Buddhists want to be better individuals. The effect is that they are part of a greater, better community. Take Japan for instance… low crime. I used to live there, and the people are so nice, well disciplined. You can leave your car running in a regular size town, go into the shop, come back out 10 minutes later and it will still be there. I used to see people do that constantly. That’s not selfishness.
Back to ADD: I like Buddhism for the positive guidance. I need something like that. I hope it works out for you, Bob L. Thanks for reminding me of it. I’ve also been meaning to go to a Unitarian Universalist Church to keep some sort of structure in my week. You can be any religion you want to participate in a UUC–you can even be an openly gay atheist. Instead of sermons, they give educational lectures on different religions, faiths, or philosophy.
But I’ve been forgetting to even look to see where one was. HAHA.JohaneMember
Everyone’s experience with religion and religious services is different. Much like everyone experiences ADD differently. I’m a Roman Catholic. I go to Mass every week. I learned years ago that going to Mass isn’t about a series of rote prayers or about standing, sitting and kneeling. What I learned years ago was that going to Mass was about being Present in the Presence of God. So I attend. My mind wanders. I figure if I’m made in His image, then He’s OK with my being absent minded and fidgety.
I was only recently diagnosed with ADD, so duringng all of this time, I was undiagnosed ADD. As time went on, it became easier for me to attend Mass and oddly enough to pay some atttention during Mass.
Hopefully, this will help you and others as you travel your road of Faith.AnonymousInactive
I thought “omnipresent” meant something else, then, and not exactly a specific type of building. Well, I know for sure my attention span isn’t omnipresent; I can give you that much!ADDledMember
One aspect of Buddhism I like is that you are responsible for your own salvation. No one is going to do that for you. That, and the fact you’re not made to feel inferior because you don’t believe in their religion.AnonymousInactive
I’m a scientist, so to me religion is just a way discovered thousand of years ago to control a population. Ignorance is the key with religion, keep your fidel as ignorant as possible and fill their questions with absurd answer. That’s what I think about religion of all kind. I do respect Buddhism since it’s more a philosophical approach than a blind faith.
Through my life, I always wondered how my brain was working, why so many difference, why am I thinking this way, how does it work… I’ve taken some classes at my university on cerebral imaging and cerebral signal processing and figured out things religion is not even close to be able to explain… I even got a book entirely dedicated to the brain as christmas gift, explaining the history of brain research, different case and how it’s working as we know so far. It completly demolish anykind of spiritual ghost theory, still the universe is complex and on the atomic level, you’d be suprised how it’s working.
The only thing I find religion usefull for is the introspecting effect that praying has… When you pray, you talk to noone else than yourself, it’s like a good meditation… I’ve done the same exercise but with my jiu jitsu class, we do some meditation for a few minutes before each class and damn I feel good. I was thinking about taking some tai chi class because of that.
What you call God, I call it answer to mass ignorance! Religion is less popular than it’s ever been, why? Because science is more popular than it’s ever been…
Sorry, my ADD also as a strong oppositionnal behavior
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