Monday, May 17, 2010

More on Spiritual Homelessness

So. Still haven't attended a new church. I'm not sure I need one right now. When I decide to go I am going to try a "God is Still Speaking" UCC nearby and then a local UU. We'll see.
As for now? I believe nothing, I disbelieve nothing. But I feel like I cannot believe in the traditional God of the Bible. So where does that leave me? He's not gonna come here and speak to me no matter how hard I pray so I'm thinking, Deism. Or maybe Agnosticism. I kinda like that better since there's no faith required.
When I look for "proof" of God, I find NOTHING. I see life and I am amazed. But I am more amazed when I think it was species evolving than when I think that something created it to perform that way. Today I explained to Elliet how flowers reproduce. It's amazing! But it's amazing with or without God!
I can't find a reason to believe right now. In anything.
Any ideas?

18 comments:

  1. Wow. These are tough questions to be asking. And even harder to answer. Let me know when you're free to chat.

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  2. I agree. Tough questions and even tougher answers. I'm sad that you feel this way. Our Heavenly Father has such a great love for us. It is because of Him that we have the things we have. We did not evolve. We were created in His image. How amazing is that? Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave His son to die for our sins so that we will one day have the opportunity to live with Him again. This life is a test. We are here to prove our worthiness to be with Him again. We have been given the wonderful gift of agency and we get to choose how we live our lives. There are many, many wonderful people on this earth. Of all different religions, races, backgrounds, etc. I pray that you will not totally turn from a mericiful, loving, and kind God who knows you and loves you very much! I pray that I have not offended you, and I understand your struggle. Much love, Beth.

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  3. Thanks, Bethan. Not offended at all!

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  4. St, our problem (you and I) is that we were raised with a very narrow view of God (for example, calling God Father instead of Mother). (See, that's shocking, isn't it?). I think that you and I don't want to give up on believing in God because we know... somehow we know... that there is a Being beyond, above, in, and around us. It's just that we can no longer use the words and images we were given as children, and we're stuck because we don't know how to use new words and images. Make any sense?

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  5. YES, that's it exactly!

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  6. If "that it exactly," Sarah, I don't understand why you don't check out a UCC (or UU) church.

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  7. Which is why I said that's exactly what I'll be doing. The thing is, while I blame my religious upbringing for limiting my understanding of God, I'm still in a place where I just can't be sure. Everything that has happened that has made me *feel* like there is a God has been tainted by the pentacostal definitions of what I was experiencing.
    So maybe that's not it *exactly* but the part about the narrow view of God making it harder to believe is absolutely true.

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  8. Ah, I guess I was confused by what you meant when you said in the post "I'm not sure I need one right now." I think it's clearer to me now.

    For what it is worth, I'm of the mind that church is a lot more vital when people more freely disbelieve (and participate anyway, for reasons they cannot really or readily identify). This by no means that all "dis-believers" should attend church. Simply that there is a place for them if they choose to do so.

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  9. Oh, I realize I was not clear. Each week I actually think I will go but then I chicken out. But I know for certain I can't walk into the Vineyard.

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  10. You asked: “So where does that leave me?” I think it leaves you in an honest place. Try to think of your spiritual journey as a fluid one rather than a stagnant one that needs a permanent labeled. I agree with you that life is amazing with or without God. Before you try to prove that God does or does not exist, maybe you should ask why God might exist (for you). i.e. How does the possible existence of God influence you? Toss aside things like guilt and other negative influences and hang on to the things that inspire you in a good way. Maybe those things can represent God for you. I have plenty of doubt and question the details in the Bible, but I love what I’ve learned from Jesus. I try to put what I think is the essence of Christianity (& many other religions) into action. For me, a church with a strong service/outreach focus and acceptance & love for all was a good match. We express our beliefs through action by working in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, food pantries etc. What comes to mind when you think of what you want from a church? There are no right answers to that. Only you know what you need to enhance your life. I think exploring various churches/pastors is a great idea. I think you might learn a little something from each one and I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

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  11. Blogging is kind of fun, maybe you can believe in blogging for the short term and should you find your belief in God again you can engage it then. Otherwise, just continue to be honest with yourself and be open to new experiences.

    Brian

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  12. Good idea, Brian. :)
    Right now I believe in respect and kindness and the community of all people.

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  13. I just came across this interview w/ a very prominent theologian who teaches at Duke University, named Stanley Hauerwas. He was asked by the inteviewer what he thought the biggest challenge facing the church is today. His response is interesting:

    "Sentimentality, the church is filled with sentimentality. I wish that we could produce interesting atheists, but we’re not strong enough believers to produce interesting atheists. Instead what we hear so often in sermons is sentimental drivel about love and how Christians are supposed to love each other and everyone, in a way that is just bullshit. There’s no reality to that."

    If you're interested, the whole interview (it's about an hour long) is here.

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  14. All spiritual beings have doubts of faith at times. I do believe in God. I am not sure the bible is totally accurate, as it has been interpreted by mankind and was written for a more simple man (and woman). So is it possible that God designed us to evolve? I truly believe that. The bible somewhat agrees with the big bang theory. The bible says God created the world in six days - we are pretty arrogant to believe that one of our days is as long as God's. It can also be a parable. After all, the bible is filled with parables. BTW, great pic on boobemancipation.

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  15. Thanks for the comment...and the compliment. :)

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  16. Does the fact that a species evolve take away from the creative force of God? I don't see a conflict between the two. I think that putting the creation account into the same category as a parable is probably not accurate, but that to discuss the idea of what is poetic description and the nature of divine revelation is probably more to the point. In other words, evolution doesn't disregard God as an artistic creator, but can reveal levels of artistry and imagination about God and tell us more about his nature. Maybe sometimes how we try to see God at work is too logical and tame, with us trying to explain everything rather than just enjoying what it shows about him. If that makes sense....

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  17. I agree with that, Deb. I am amazed when I study science, including the theories of evolution and the beginning of the world. I find my greatest spiritual experiences when I am in nature.

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  18. It's super hard to compare experiences and ESPECIALLY with something like this---but I can say that when I was at the stage where this post sounds familiar, I decided to let it simmer. Not try to make any big huge decisions one way or another, not try to switch denominations, not try to get God to give me some proof---just, like, tread water for awhile.

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