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Want to believe in God but can't


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 25th April 2017, 2:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by GorillaTheater View Post
I get it, BC, I really do. I believe that there's a God, but He doesn't seem to care too much about suffering, and so much basic Christian doctrine makes no sense to me at all. I've struggled with this for years and have absolutely zero insights to offer as a result.
GT,

Are you open to the possibility that it's not the Consciousness of God that is behind or causing all the suffering and chaos that we see on this planet, but the lesser-lower consciousness of the Fallen Beings or the legions, forces and agents of Antigod?

I agree with you that basic Christian (and other major religions') doctrine makes no sense but I think that's because all Truth and everything truly of God has been taken out of it -- by that same fallen-lesser-lower consciousness that now belongs exclusively to the material realm of man/humanity, for sake of greed, selfishness, envy and lust.
I don't think it has anything to do with the TRUE God of Light and Love...only with the falsified, graven-imaged angry, vengeful, psychotic, despotic 'god' of the Christian (and other major religions') doctrine.

There are sources that can help us to Truth...despite the apparent fallen-lesser-lower will and desire of current supposed keepers of Sacred Truth, True Teachings and doctrine to keep us enslaved to them and what they want us to believe about God and ourselves and life in general and the purpose of Life.
One example of such a source is How Christianity Falsified the Teachings of Jesus. By happenstance, it just came to my attention two days ago that the Teachings of Sufism were given as a response to the falsification and misinterpretation of the original Teachings of Muhammad. The articles linked through the menu on the left-hand side of
this page does give food for thoughts to ponder...if one is so inclined. .
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Old 25th April 2017, 3:10 PM   #17
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I get it, BC, I really do. I believe that there's a God, but He doesn't seem to care too much about suffering, and so much basic Christian doctrine makes no sense to me at all. I've struggled with this for years and have absolutely zero insights to offer as a result.
I gave up the Bible as absolute truth and authority long ago. There is too much that doesn't make sense or contradicts itself. I see the Bible as different voices struggling to make sense of God and Jesus. Basically, a bunch of voices that struggle like us to understand exactly what God is and why bad things happen, what's the purpose of life, what happens when we die, ect. When you start looking at doctrine outside of the basics (there is one God, Jesus as a sacrifice for sins), it's all so nuanced that the average person probably has no idea what it even means. A lot of those questions caused me to throw in the towel for many years and declare myself an atheist. It's sad really that the church is not a place where many of us feel comfortable talking about these things. Because a lot of people have the same questions.

The suffering thing is very difficult to make sense of. I think a lot of people stop believing in God when they experience something awful and realize you can't pray your way out of something, or you can't be good enough to get rewards from God.
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Old 25th April 2017, 3:12 PM   #18
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Are you open to the possibility that it's not the Consciousness of God that is behind or causing all the suffering and chaos that we see on this planet, but the lesser-lower consciousness of the Fallen Beings or the legions, forces and agents of Antigod?
I'm curious. Can you explain more about this?

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Old 25th April 2017, 3:22 PM   #19
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GT,

Are you open to the possibility that it's not the Consciousness of God that is behind or causing all the suffering and chaos that we see on this planet, but the lesser-lower consciousness of the Fallen Beings or the legions, forces and agents of Antigod?.

I don't necessarily blame either; we cause a lot of our own suffering, and a lot of other suffering is random. I don't necessarily "blame" God for permitting it, but I do think it's pretty hard to argue that our suffering is high on His list of concerns.

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I agree with you that basic Christian (and other major religions') doctrine makes no sense but I think that's because all Truth and everything truly of God has been taken out of it -- by that same fallen-lesser-lower consciousness that now belongs exclusively to the material realm of man/humanity, for sake of greed, selfishness, envy and lust.
I don't think it has anything to do with the TRUE God of Light and Love...only with the falsified, graven-imaged angry, vengeful, psychotic, despotic 'god' of the Christian (and other major religions') doctrine.

There are sources that can help us to Truth...despite the apparent fallen-lesser-lower will and desire of current supposed keepers of Sacred Truth, True Teachings and doctrine to keep us enslaved to them and what they want us to believe about God and ourselves and life in general and the purpose of Life.
One example of such a source is How Christianity Falsified the Teachings of Jesus. By happenstance, it just came to my attention two days ago that the Teachings of Sufism were given as a response to the falsification and misinterpretation of the original Teachings of Muhammad. The articles linked through the menu on the left-hand side of
this page does give food for thoughts to ponder...if one is so inclined. .

Well, specifically what I had in mind regarding unfathomable doctrine is the following:


1) Why is blood necessary for the covering of sins? Please don't quote Hebrews because I get the argument it presents. My concern runs a little deeper and may not be answerable: why does God demand sacrifice to propitiate for sin that He permits to exist?


2) And in that vein, why does God permit sin to exist if it's such an anathema to Him? Free will? Please see the following.


3) So the price for our exercise of free will in sporting around with sins which God permits to exist is eternity in Hell. An eternity, vs. a comparatively brief moment of lusting and lying and all of the other banal sins we commit.
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Old 25th April 2017, 3:33 PM   #20
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I think one of the great disservices of the majority of cultures and the way we are raised is to think of death as some horrible, catastrophic event. If we all just accepted that death is part of life (so to speak) we wouldn't struggle with it so much. The key is to make the most of your life while you're here.
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Old 25th April 2017, 4:53 PM   #21
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I say take the pressure off yourself to form your beliefs. What I eventually did after being raised in a fundamentalist community is take what good I could from it but not swallow the whole pill. Then I explored other systems, such as reincarnation, paranormal, psychiatry, and found some interesting things that resonated with me. But then I decided to stop reading specific belief based stuff for some decades and just follow my own path with an open mind. And why I did this is because until something happens to you, whatever it is, a message from God, being saved by an angel, talking to spirits, prescient dreams, any of that, you can't be sure it's your reality. So instead of taking on what others professed, I just believed in whatever happened to me. And once I opened up like that, things did happen to show me that there was something out there at work.

I believe each of us has our own path and so we can't all have the same religion.
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Old 25th April 2017, 7:41 PM   #22
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I think one of the great disservices of the majority of cultures and the way we are raised is to think of death as some horrible, catastrophic event. If we all just accepted that death is part of life (so to speak) we wouldn't struggle with it so much. The key is to make the most of your life while you're here.
IMO, death is a horrible and catastrophic event. There isn't much more that is crueler than death. To suddenly rip away a family member is insanely cruel IMO. To live a life and form relationships and have a consciousness that is unique. . . . and then for all of that to cease to exist because of death. I think that is one of the worst things I can think of.

I think that is why we created religion and why we spend our entire lives trying to avoid death and to deny that we will die. What happens when we die has been a preoccupation for humans as far back as we can go. In the US, we certainly do our best to deny that death is something that will happen to all of us. We keep people alive at all costs. I think in my culture, we don't deal with death appropriately at all. But I think we do so by denying that death is the normal ending to life. We concentrate on keeping people alive over quality of life. But that is a different topic entirely.
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Old 25th April 2017, 7:44 PM   #23
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I say take the pressure off yourself to form your beliefs. What I eventually did after being raised in a fundamentalist community is take what good I could from it but not swallow the whole pill. Then I explored other systems, such as reincarnation, paranormal, psychiatry, and found some interesting things that resonated with me. But then I decided to stop reading specific belief based stuff for some decades and just follow my own path with an open mind. And why I did this is because until something happens to you, whatever it is, a message from God, being saved by an angel, talking to spirits, prescient dreams, any of that, you can't be sure it's your reality. So instead of taking on what others professed, I just believed in whatever happened to me. And once I opened up like that, things did happen to show me that there was something out there at work.

I believe each of us has our own path and so we can't all have the same religion.
I like the quote in your signature. I've had to sort of accept my doubts and learn to live with them. Though there have been times in my life when I truly did believe in God without question. And not just when I was a kid. I never bought into the idea that there is a hell for non-Christians. That idea makes no sense at all because, for one, you would have to be exposed to Christianity. Many people aren't. That's a question that you will ask and never get a good answer for.
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Old 25th April 2017, 7:52 PM   #24
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1) Why is blood necessary for the covering of sins? Please don't quote Hebrews because I get the argument it presents. My concern runs a little deeper and may not be answerable: why does God demand sacrifice to propitiate for sin that He permits to exist?
This is a question that I have asked since I was in high school. Why in the world did God need to sacrifice Jesus to pay for humanity's sins? Can't God just forgive sins if He likes? Was is just symbolic? I understand that Jews used animal sacrifices, and Jesus is supposed to replace that system. But why require a sacrifice in the first place? It seems very pagan and influenced by old Middle Eastern religions.

And the idea of us all being sinners. We don't have a choice but to sin, so why are we held accountable? We never got a choice in the matter. Adam or whoever, the first humans, sinned, and we have to pay for their sins? My view is that the creation myth is simply an allegorical attempt to understand human origins, but, besides that, there is a real struggle between the idea of free will and being born a sinner. A lot of contradictions that makes no sense.
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Old 25th April 2017, 7:58 PM   #25
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I cringe when people pray for healing.
I don't come from a religious family, but a close friend of mine did. His father had brain cancer and was given 6 months to live. They prayed for him every day. His cancer went into remission for 11 years. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence such as this indicating that prayer can have a positive effect on disease.

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I don't see the world as a dark place, but I do find it depressing that when we die, our consciousness ceases to exist. Basically, we cease to exist. I don't understand the point of all of it if that is what really happens.
How do you know this to be true, that consciousness ceases to exist when we die? What evidence do you have?

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I think we have control over our actions to some extent but not our beliefs. Certainly not our emotions. And that leads me to believe that beliefs are heavily reliant on emotions.
Aren't you controlling your emotions and beliefs with regard to this issue, i.e. by choosing not to believe? Surely you are exerting free will with respect to the issue of a higher power, by choosing not to believe in one.

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Old 25th April 2017, 8:09 PM   #26
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I thought I would make a thread about this ongoing issue in my life because I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone about it. I've always had doubts about the existence of God, but those doubts never seemed to matter until the past few years. To me, the world seems depressing and pointless without the hope of God or an afterlife. I think a lot of this has been spurred on by seeing my parents get older and finding it very depressing that when they die, they may cease to exist and I'll never see them again.

Part of me thinks religion is a complete sham that we made up because we are all scared to die. Heck, we spend our entire lives fighting against death. Another part of me feels that the idea that God doesn't exist is just as preposterous. How can the world be so complex without some kind of divine creator? I'm not really interested in debating if God exists or not. I'm looking for people who have similar struggles who would like to share how they cope. I feel like my mind is full of strife on a daily basis, and it's kind of affecting me negatively at this point.
Have you seen the movie "The Tree of Life"? If so, I suggest you watch it multiple times, and attempt to figure it out. The entire movie is basically a cipher, a hermetic teaching about the true nature of creation or "God", if you want to use that term. Once I understood what that movie is really saying, it really changed my perspective about these things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRYA1dxP_0
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Old 25th April 2017, 9:00 PM   #27
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How do you know this to be true, that consciousness ceases to exist when we die? What evidence do you have?



Aren't you controlling your emotions and beliefs with regard to this issue, i.e. by choosing not to believe? Surely you are exerting free will with respect to the issue of a higher power, by choosing not to believe in one.
I have no evidence that anything happens or does not happen after we die. I meant that I find it depressing IF nothing happens when we die.

I'm not choosing not to believe. That is the interesting thing about all of this. Until recently, I've never questioned free will with regards to belief, but I've realized I can't will myself to believe in God. I've tried to convince myself that God exists in a variety of ways, but, at the end of the day, I'm not certain at all. If I had a choice, I would chose to believe in God. It's been a startling revelation for me. That we don't chose what we believe. I think the Calvinists have it right.
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Old 25th April 2017, 9:13 PM   #28
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Have you seen the movie "The Tree of Life"? If so, I suggest you watch it multiple times, and attempt to figure it out. The entire movie is basically a cipher, a hermetic teaching about the true nature of creation or "God", if you want to use that term. Once I understood what that movie is really saying, it really changed my perspective about these things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRYA1dxP_0
I'm going to have to watch that movie when I get time this summer.
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Old 25th April 2017, 9:54 PM   #29
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I'm not choosing not to believe. That is the interesting thing about all of this. Until recently, I've never questioned free will with regards to belief, but I've realized I can't will myself to believe in God. I've tried to convince myself that God exists in a variety of ways, but, at the end of the day, I'm not certain at all. If I had a choice, I would chose to believe in God. It's been a startling revelation for me. That we don't chose what we believe. I think the Calvinists have it right.
An additional perspective to consider:

Belief Hinders True Understanding
by J. Krishnamurti:

"If we had no belief, what would happen to us? Shouldn't we be very frightened of what might happen? If we had no pattern of action, based on a belief - either in God, or in communism, or in socialism, or in imperialism, or in some kind of religious formula, some dogma in which we are conditioned - we should feel utterly lost, shouldn't we?

And is not this acceptance of a belief the covering up of that fear - the fear of being really nothing, of being empty? After all, a cup is useful only when it is empty; and a mind that is filled with beliefs, with dogmas, with assertions, with quotations, is really an uncreative mind; it is merely a repetitive mind.

To escape from that fear - that fear of emptiness, that fear of loneliness, that fear of stagnation, of not arriving, not succeeding, not achieving, not being something, not becoming something - is surely one of the reasons, is it not, why we accept beliefs so eagerly and greedily?

And, through acceptance of belief, do we understand ourselves? On the contrary. A belief, religious or political, obviously hinders the understanding of ourselves. It acts as a screen through which we look at ourselves. And can we look at ourselves without beliefs? If we remove these beliefs, the many beliefs that one has, is there anything left to look at?

If we have no beliefs with which the mind has identified itself, then the mind, without identification, is capable of looking at itself as it is - and then, surely there is the beginning of the understand of oneself.
"
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Old 26th April 2017, 2:38 AM   #30
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I'm curious. Can you explain more about this?
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Well, specifically what I had in mind regarding unfathomable doctrine is the following:

1) Why is blood necessary for the covering of sins? Please don't quote Hebrews because I get the argument it presents. My concern runs a little deeper and may not be answerable: why does God demand sacrifice to propitiate for sin that He permits to exist?

2) And in that vein, why does God permit sin to exist if it's such an anathema to Him? Free will? Please see the following.

3) So the price for our exercise of free will in sporting around with sins which God permits to exist is eternity in Hell. An eternity, vs. a comparatively brief moment of lusting and lying and all of the other banal sins we commit.
Hi BC1980 and GT.

Hope you won’t mind that most of my response will consist of links to related articles. I simply could not explain it better, and I’d probably need a heckuva lot more words to say it less effectively...mostly because I am still a student and learn something new or understand something better every time I read any of these. .

I found three articles related to the idea of blood sacrifices: God does not require blood sacrifices and The blood of Christ does not take away sin; and then this one speaks to how (false) ideas of the need for ‘blood sacrifice’ became manifest on this planet in the first place: Is the Old Testament God a false god?

God will forgive ALL sins if we do our part about it. There is no “eternity in hell” – the Catholic Church made that up so that the masses would stay in fear of God and feel indebted and enslaved to the Church as their only source and hope for redemption/salvation; “eternity in hell” was simply a power-play move by the Catholic Church...which obviously worked very, very well.
Jesus did speak about “a sin that cannot be forgiven”, but there is a higher understanding that goes beyond a literal interpretation of the words.

God does not ‘permit’ sin and it is not actually anathema to God. In the same vein, God does not have a ‘list of concerns’. Free Will allows/permits US to CHOOSE for ourselves whether or not we will sin, which actually means going against Cosmic-Universal Laws or ‘the Law of God’ which can also be called ‘the Law of Love’. Once God set us loose in the world, it is up to us; and God does not have a preference or particular desire for (or aversion to) our choices. The reason is that God is confident in the Original Plan and Vision for the Ascension of the Spheres including all its inhabitants, and also is confident that the Cosmic-Universal Laws will ensure the ultimate victory of this Plan and Vision. God isn’t concerned, doesn’t care what we do in the meantime or how we use our Free Will. If we make choices that lead to our suffering and/or the suffering of others...God knew this potential and possibility before we were given Free Will by God. (This potential for us to destroy ourselves through our wrong use of our Free Will is actually at the root of the original ‘Fall’ by those who are the original Fallen Beings.)

Free Will is not the same as using our conscious awareness or intellects to decide what profession we’re going to get into, or if or who we’re going to marry, or what we are willing or able to accept for a belief.

Do human atrocities break God's heart?

All suffering, atrocities and negative conditions and circumstances that have ever manifested on this planet are the result of the Fallen Beings or the legions, forces and agents of Antigod: The [Original] Fall [of the Fallen Beings] into Duality and this one talks more about the fallen consciousness and its desire to prove that God made a mistake by giving us free will. The menu on the left-hand side of this page links to more articles on the Fallen Beings.

Why is there evil in the world? (#1) and Why is there evil in the world? (#2).

This one speaks generally to sin and its consequence – what we see as suffering on Earth but is actually only karmic returns, which we ourselves, individually and collectively, generate through our Free Will decisions and choices that are against the Law of Love: God’s Grace, Sin and Karma. Is there any injustice in the universe?

Much Love and Light for all personal spiritual journeys.
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