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So Confused!!!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, I have been down this path before. Here I am wondering what faith is the right one.

Christianity, Taoism, LDS, what?

How do I know? Right now I don't.

I know, I think, I belive in God(of the Christian variety), but who is to say that THAT is what is right? I have a hard time condemning people for their beliefs. But for me I WANT to know the truth, but I don't.

I feel so wishy washy. I can't say it's scary, but I do feel like I don't have a true purpose in life. UGH!

Ok, maybe I want a faith to keep me strong, to cling to in bad times, and to comfort me, but also to thank in good times.

This is just so confusing. What do I do?

I have been LDS, I've attended UMC, non-denominational, UU, and Baptist. Nothing sticks with me.

HELP!
post #2 of 12
I'm in the same boat sister! Don't know which way to go and now I'm not even sure there is a "place" to go anymore.
I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to join a church of any kind and feel like I belong there or have total faith in it's beliefs.

Right now, I'm just waiting for some kind of gentle sign to lead me on my way...

Marcy
post #3 of 12
Yep, my thoughts exactly!

Sometimes I wish I could just forget about it all, but the question of what I really believe just nags at me.

I need something. Lately I've been praying to something for my dad who is ill, but who is it I am praying to? I don't know. I grew up in a catholic church, but never felt anything there. I'm totally accepting of other peoples' faiths and I wish I had something I could really cling to. I don't know. It's frustrating.
post #4 of 12
I have been a spiritual quester as well. I was raised by atheist/agnostic parents and grew up a predominiately roman catholic area and attended catholic schools. When I was in the Army and pregnant with ds thousands of miles from home, my Southern Baptist chaplain's Gospel Protestant Service filled my need for community and faith expression.

I wanted to return to my Catholic faith, but when I was told by several priests that the only way I could be considered a "good" catholic was to have my husband undergo the annulment process, for an exorbitant fee. I was all, "thanks, but no thanks" . My dh is not catholic nor married in the catholic church the first time around. Maybe if I were more of a practicing catholic, but I couldn't see how reopening the wounds from his first marriage which were barely healed was going to help our marriage out.

So I told my husband that I wanted to raise my kids in a church, and that he could pick it out. That was beginning of our LDS phase. I have good many great LDS friends, but I have to say that other than its written focus on family relationships, it did a lot of harm to our psyches.

I feel close theologically to the UUs, but my local congregation didn't have that community feel. It didn't nourish my spirit very well.

Even though, I am not a Christian except in the sense that I acknowledge Christian holidays as my cultural heritage, I am currently attending a Congregational church. They are theologically very liberal, the ministers are very down to earth, and no one noses into your business. They have a great kids program and wonderful activities for grownups. As a fairly wealthy congregation, they make sure that time, talent and money is funnelled into charitable projects. For instance we spend one Sunday a quarter at a soup kitchen.

As I write all this, I realize it isn't so much that I want to know the "truth", but that I want to be part of a community of likeminded folks. People who care about me and my family and want to work together for the greater good.

One of my spiritual mentors is Marianne Williamson. She speaks regularily at a church near me and I like her message of hope and love. Her books are good but Marianne in person is so powerful.

Sorry this is so long. I guess I had a lot to get off my chest!
post #5 of 12
I am a Christian, and I am absolutely NOT CATHOLIC. I have found that there is way too much controversy and confusion with Catholicism, and some churches are still against birth control. I had a friend that was Catholic, and some of the things in the Catholic church just did not make sense to me. I believe that you don't go to Heaven by telling some jealous guy in a box what you did that was naughty.
I have not decided what denomination I am, but that is the great thing with Christianity. I have a relationship to Christ, not one single church. If you are not comfortable with any particular faith, I would recommend going to each different church and talking with the religious leader. Jewish faith is kind of like Christianity without the New Testament. They don't believe Christ was who he was, but they read the same bible.
I would not recommend 7th day Adventists, as far as Christianity goes, because my Grandfather is one, and they wash eachother's FEET at each church meeting....WAY to weird for me!!
Good luck on your search..I will pray for you.
post #6 of 12
...and Islam isn't the Kalashnikov-toting mess it might seem...
FYI--we also believe in the divine inspiration of the Torah and the Psalms and the Gospels...and the Qur'an. Our relationship to Jesus (peace be upon him) is not the same as a Christian's. We believe in one Deity, the same Deity as the Jews and CHristians...and that Allah's (swt) message was sent to mankind through countless messengers...and in life after death and final judgment. We have a few extra rules, I suppose, but they really do serve to keep me away from "temptation," so to speak.
Anyway--I surely do not wish to sell my faith to anyone. We all come to our conclusions in the right time with the right amount of searching and consideration and love.
But I hope you realize that you're not alone. Thinking people all over the world choose their faith--including those who choose to follow the path in which they have been raised. At some point, we all have to make the decision. It's a big one for many of us. May you be divinely inspired, insha-Allah! It says wonderful things about you that the decision is an important one to you...
post #7 of 12
You might enjoy the book The World's Religions by Huston Smith.
Here's an article I found doing a web search:
http://www.motherjones.com/mother_jones/ND97/snell.html

Huston Smith seems to love all religions. The book is very compelling. I found myself relating to each of the religions as he presented. This book tells more about the beliefs rather than the 'history', so it's great from a spiritual perspective.

IMO, Most/all the world's religions started out with truth-seekers too, then other people thought they could also find truth by doing the same exact thing that the original person did. Only, it didn't work, but more and more people tried to follow that path anyway. And some people saw that all these people wanted someone to just tell them what the truth is and that gave them power over the group... Moral: find your own path to the truth and don't assume someone else's truth is yours. Of course, this may all just be an excuse for me, I grew up in the Bible Belt and still have scars.
post #8 of 12
This book is buddhist not christian, but it does address the question you are asking. I read it several years ago, and remember that it was very good :

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
by Chogyam Trungpa

--AmyB
post #9 of 12
I wish you all the best on your path to finding the truth.

Mel
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I feel close theologically to the UUs, but my local congregation didn't have that community feel. It didn't nourish my spirit very well.
That's how I felt when attending the local UU church.

We do(did) attend an AWESOME! church close by that fit our every need. Caring people, down to earth ministry, the pastor spoke to us as equals, and spoke in ENGLISH.

But after Mark lost his job, we slowly stopped going, ,and no one from the church called until about a month ago.

I guess I am asking to much when I say I want to be involved in a church that cares about its members body, minds, and souls.

I remember the LDS church I attended was incredible when it came to giving. The refridgerator we had broke, and within 2 days we had a new one, compliments of the church. I loved th sister missionaries like CRAZY! they were the best.

But...oh well.

It's like I know all the facts, I believe them to be true, but I still don't "get" it.

I have a theory on this but won't share it.
post #11 of 12
I guess I think there's a fine line between a caring community, and one that genuinely respects people's boundaries and free agency. I'd had a similar experience to yours with our first Quaker meeting. We stopped going (because of some of the stuff going on with one of the committees and one particular member) and it really irked me that nobody followed up to see why we'd stopped going. But eventually I correctly decided they were giving me some space and that was a good thing.

Maybe your former church should have tried to contact you when you stopped coming to see if you needed anything. But one of the complaints that people often have of high demand churches (and you seem to be familiar with them) is that they persistantly hound inactive members, and that can be extraordinarily annoying and manipulative. Maybe the question to ask yourself is whether they would have provided more support if you needed it, without expecting them to be mind readers like I did for awhile.
post #12 of 12
I think there is a difference also between the core of the *faith* that one believes in, as manifested in the written texts, and how it is carried out in the culture. What may be true in the original text of the Bible, for example, may not be what you see in the church. We are so influenced by our culture that I think the church is more a collection of cultural norms salted by some truth rather than a pure expression of any certain faith. So...maybe an idea is to go back to the source and, with prayerfulness and openness let it speak to you and see what happens? Then find a congregation that best exemplifies the truth as you discovered it? Just a thought. I relate to your struggle.
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