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Deidre

Do you follow a different faith now that you're no longer Christian?

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On 3/3/2017 at 0:14 AM, Deidre said:

 

I never had a holy spirit ''experience'' before deconverting. I had left Christianity for a few years, so it wasn't a sudden change back. Although, I will admit...atheism left me feeling empty at times, especially when my grandmother died two years ago. I was an atheist when she died. That said, I never really owned my faith before deconverting. It was a faith ''given'' to me by my parents, and my childhood. So, I had this holy spirit experience, that is the only way I can describe it. I went to look up online if others have had similar experiences, and their experiences and feelings were nearly identical from an emotional and physical standpoint, and I compared it for the first time to what the BIble says about it...when people encountered the holy spirit. It might sound crazy from an objective view, but that's what happened over a year ago that led me back. The difference is...I'd say now, I own my faith. I don't believe the entire Bible as literal (well, I never did) and I follow Jesus' teachings, and have a very different opinion of Jesus than I once did. It's all very new and refreshing, as to what I once followed. I think that faith should be experienced...whatever the faith or beliefs are. I think that Christianity or any faith, can't be confined in a book or a set of stories from long ago. That's the best way I can describe ''why'' I came back. 

 

Diedre,  

       I hate to say it but I'm am honestly not optimistic about your faith lasting. You have been down this road before and youve seen what we see. You already know that the bible is a fairy tale. I have had the "Holy Ghost" experiences myself. Being in a church service so fired up that you can't contain it. Shouting at the top of your lungs. Saying Amen with tears streaming down your face. I've been there and I've done that. But when I did it I whole heartedly believed what the bible was saying. If you have went into it not believing everything that's being taught your eventually gonna lose that Amen. 

       I may be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time. And in your case I hope I am. It's just hard for me to see how anyone can stay on fire for God and stay filled with the Holy Ghost and have doubts about what is being taught and having doubts about God's power. Normally I would be happy for someone who found something to believe in. But in this situation I'm afraid your just going to have to go through the hurt and anger you felt before. The Holy Ghost filling is an intense spiritual high. I admit that. It is a spiritual energy that pours off of the believers. That high is also addictive. Ya just want more and more. But what happens when God isn't making good on his promises anymore? Or when you start having doubts and you can't feel it anymore? Or a few more years down the road when the new wears off? I have felt that energy in more than one religion. And I believe that a true believer in any religion attains the ability to tap into that energy.  But that feeling doesn't make the foundations of that religion any less false.

       I apologise for being pessimistic. Just don't wanna see ya have to go through this crap twice.

 

Dark Bishop

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Yes, it seems that the holy spirit experience is simply a human experience, natural and available to human beings. Christianity has hijacked that natural spiritual feeling by stamping it with a name from it's own mythology. I've felt a buzz like that while sitting in a gardens and expressing to some one very deep pantheistic philosophical ideas about the natural world, universe and existence as a whole. It's not an external being, one of three. It's not a supernatural force or personality. It's a state of mind, emotion and awareness when a human being comes into awareness of the whole - either focused directly or taken indirectly via mythological symbolism and archetypes. That's why it can be experienced by any one from any tradition including those who don't fancy any tradition at all. 

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There is a danger in religious faith built on pure emotion, if that is what Deidre is describing.

 

Emotions change.

 

Now, I'm not going to be so silly as to suggest that one's spirituality must be entirely based on provable or objectively evidenced facts, as I rather doubt that this is something that can be so reduced.  However, some sort of philosophical basis or rationale other than what one "feels" would provide a firmer foundation.  What "makes sense", for whatever reason, is a good place to start.

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On 3/18/2017 at 6:32 PM, Ellinas said:

There is a danger in religious faith built on pure emotion, if that is what Deidre is describing.

 

Emotions change.

 

Now, I'm not going to be so silly as to suggest that one's spirituality must be entirely based on provable or objectively evidenced facts, as I rather doubt that this is something that can be so reduced.  However, some sort of philosophical basis or rationale other than what one "feels" would provide a firmer foundation.  What "makes sense", for whatever reason, is a good place to start.

I agree, but at the end of the day, it's all subjective. Faith will always be subjective, no matter what the faith beliefs are. To me, I believe it is my truth, but my truth won't necessarily be yours. And vice versa. I don't get hung up on worrying what others believe, so long as their faith beliefs don't intrude into my life, or try to force me to believe what they do. I think that is a problem with many Christians, specifically, but not all Christians think alike. 

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Of course it's subjective.  It's just a question of the extent to which any given individual has thought through the belief system, or just relied on an emotional response.

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I was always interested in Eastern spirituality - and, let's face it, as a fictional work of action/adventure/romance/drama, the Bhagavad-Gita (indeed, the entire Mahabharata) kicks the shit out of the Bible for sheer scope and awesomeness.

 

What I have discovered is that I need not adhere to any belief in literal gods/goddesses, etc - I can take (and have, and will) truths about the interconnected nature of consciousness, the falsity of the "individual self", the danger of the ego, and apply them to the pains of my past, the struggles of my present and the careful, deliberate steps in my future.

 

It doesn't hurt at all that Eastern (especially Indian) food, music, dress, etc are FAR removed from what I was/am used to as a Western "Christian" (because in India, everyone who is not Hindu or Muslim is 'Christian', just as a matter of reference). It's too easy to get comfortable with the ultimately pessimistic Western worldview when you surround yourself with ideas, sights, sounds that are basically Judeo-Christian.

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11 minutes ago, L.B. said:

I was always interested in Eastern spirituality - and, let's face it, as a fictional work of action/adventure/romance/drama, the Bhagavad-Gita (indeed, the entire Mahabharata) kicks the shit out of the Bible for sheer scope and awesomeness.

 

What I have discovered is that I need not adhere to any belief in literal gods/goddesses, etc - I can take (and have, and will) truths about the interconnected nature of consciousness, the falsity of the "individual self", the danger of the ego, and apply them to the pains of my past, the struggles of my present and the careful, deliberate steps in my future.

 

It doesn't hurt at all that Eastern (especially Indian) food, music, dress, etc are FAR removed from what I was/am used to as a Western "Christian" (because in India, everyone who is not Hindu or Muslim is 'Christian', just as a matter of reference). It's too easy to get comfortable with the ultimately pessimistic Western worldview when you surround yourself with ideas, sights, sounds that are basically Judeo-Christian.

 

The basic views of life and spirituality are so totally different when contrasting East and West.

 

Here, our religions are based on our old monarchies, with a powerful ruler/judge setting out the rules, creating us and everything else. The universe is a mechanical artifact. Eastern thought is more organic. Everything, including people, is seen as an integral part of the universe, not being created or built by someone but instead growing out of it and shaping it together.

 

The East makes more sense.

 

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Everything, including people, is seen as an integral part of the universe, not being created or built by someone but instead growing out of it and shaping it together.

 

I SO agree; I would submit that even if there is an intelligence that is connected to what exists, reality and the cosmos (and WE) would be a manifestation or outgrowth of that power, not a standalone "work of 'his' hands".

 

I believe it stands to reason that if everything that exists came from a Source, then everything that exists is both:

 

1) made up of the same "stuff" as the source - I don't believe any power could 'create' or manifest something lesser than itself - that's pointless.

 

and

 

2) totally interconnected - the idea that we have a symbiotic relationship with other living things that use or diffuse oxygen is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Western ideas can't see that there's a REASON we're all interdependent upon the same elements for life and survival. It's because at the widest, shallowest macro levels AND at the tiniest, invisible micro levels AND in non-detectable, non-quantifiable essential ways, we are totally bound to one another and indeed ARE the same thing. Every vase in the shop is from the same elements - shaped differently, used differently, colored differently - but absolutely the same stuff.

I don't believe we were "molded" or formed as "individuals", to relate to the universe as such; I believe the problem is that we've buried the essential ONE in layers of selfish, individualistic ego - hence the fighting, contradictory religions and factions within each religion - none of the fighting has to do with TRUTH - it has to do with propping up false egos.

 

To use a pistol as an analogy, the pistol is (ultimately) pointless if it's unloaded (it would be foolish to imagine a power in the universe that did not manifest its full, total power; you know - like a 'god' that would hide and not make itself truly known at all).

Yes, there are secondary, tertiary and more uses for a physical object called 'pistol', but if it is truly to manifest its 'pistolness', it NEEDS the things that fire from it and go on to create new causalities.

 

Further, the pistol has been commandeered by lots of competing, fighting people, and they have each and every one assigned THEIR purposes to the BULLETS, with (ahem*cough*bullshit) "NO possibility" that ANY other purpose for the loaded pistol is correct - THEY are the true ones, with the true agenda. That leads, because of ego to infighting even among the different 'gangs' - who is best at USING the pistol, who is firing it the most accurately, etc.

Fighting, even, over what kind of 'bullets' to use - are they meant for self-aggrandizement (target practice - the "best life now" crap of the Osteen types), or are they meant to do the maximum damage to 'enemies' (fundamentalist factions), or are the bullets simply meant to help us feed ourselves and protect ourselves from harm (here, I believe, lies the intent of most Eastern philosophies - self-realization, 'feeding', as it were, and protection from the 'wild animals' of ego).

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I realize this is a long thread, but am just going to answer the OP.  Yes, I did go into Buddhism and became a Buddhist in 2008.  Very quickly I found that this was not an easy shift from being raised a Baptist fundamentalist.  I have had relapses into Christianity since 2008, but I would say at this point that I am a Buddhist.  I left off practicing meditation for a couple years and realized only then how beneficial overall it was to me.

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I see no point in exchanging one mythical deity for another one. Likewise, I see no point in exchanging a legalistic literal version of Christianity for a mainstream or liberal version of Christianity.  All versions of Christianity are man made & are based on myths, legends, & folklore. 

 

If it's community you seek join a social club. 

 

 

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In which case, fine.  Whatever makes sense to you,

 

For others, mythology and the idea of a discrete deity may well have some point.

 

And a fair few of us do not seek community.  I have an online presence on a pagan forum, but. beyond that have not joined and have no intention of joining any physical group.  The church provided quite enough of that for my lifetime.

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I tried deism before I became an agnostice atheist.

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On 3/6/2017 at 10:42 PM, Deidre said:

LOL Hmmm....there has to be something more to it, for him to consider himself a ''Christian'' atheist. Ask him to join here and tell us. lol :lol:

 

@Deidre

 

He's joined us, Deidre. We're having a conversation here: 

 

I'm curious to know what you think about's Robert's christian atheist perspective? 

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