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Kdeaustin

New here, looking for encouragement

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1 hour ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

 

 It's a difficult time which is why I think you need professional help. 

 

 

I VERY MUCH agree with that advise.  

 

4 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

And like why when people are really struggling why doesn’t he just come down and hug them. Like if my child was struggling really bad and crying and thinking about suicide I would run to them and hug them. Or if my child was struggling with faith in me I would do everything to prove myself. Why can’t God do that?

 

It occurred to me years ago that non of the world's Gods have direct contact with people today.  It is rather ironic that if they are such "loving" fathers/parents, and could do anything they wanted to do, they let humans do all their work for them.  And the humans following these different gods, each believe their God is the true God.  And some even kill people for not believing the way they do.  Like Christian's did in the middle ages, and some Muslims do today.

 

To me, the logical explanation is that God is whatever each person believes him/her to be.  And what each group decides.   In early Christianity they argued about the trinity.  Some didn't believe Jesus was divine.  But a faction of the early church eventually gained enough power to force their views on the followers, even killing those who did not agree.  The logical conclusion I saw, was that mankind creates these gods, and conditions people through fear to believe they are gods spokesmen, and that their God is real.   But they CAN'T ALL BE CORRECT.  And none of them can be scientifically proven.  It all has to be by faith.  So your faith is in whatever you are conditioned to believe.  I hope this helps.

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5 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

...

And like why when people are really struggling why doesn’t [God] just come down and hug them. Like if my child was struggling really bad and crying and thinking about suicide I would run to them and hug them. Or if my child was struggling with faith in me I would do everything to prove myself. Why can’t God do that?

... 

 

A rather plausible explanation is the God you reference does not exist.

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I don't know how to do a link, so Google "Recovering from Religion".   They have a "peer support line", and the number is, 1.844.368.2848.  They can also make referrals to support groups and therapists.  HANG IN THERE!

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@Kdeaustin I'll attach some pages from Leaving the Fold here, written by Marlene Winell. If anything sounds familiar to you I highly recommend getting this book as it's very helpful. Btw Marlene does one on one and group therapy online. 

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3 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

You're going through a very rough time, with a lot of anxiety. At this point in time I would recommend a mental health professional that you can talk to. Preferably a secular one who will let YOU come to decisions regarding your beliefs instead of unduly influencing you based on their own. 

 

^  ^  ^ Good advice. And you are right in wanting to talk to someone. While we can listen and encourage you, you need some instant, one-on-one feedback. Hang in there. It does get better.

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About the one to one. I also reccomend a counselor with experience in deconversion. Somewhere near Idk, maybe there are forums, meet ups for skeptics, etc? 

 

You seem to want absolute certainty. It is highly understanble. A former member of a cultish church and expert on cults and counselor said that THERE is evidence that certainty produces dopamine, a chemical released in dependency for drugs, and in everyday pleasurefull activities. So loss of certainty is a huge blow to the brain and the psyche. This is one of the reasons why many of us have very VERY difficult times with changing any opinion, especially here life long held assumptions. 

 

What if any of the 10000 religions is true? What if you are unable to know what is true or not? What if all the poeple are crazy and psychotic? What if you are living in a vat? Or a computer simulation? What if the flying spagheti monster is actually true?

 

This is why, sometimes,the approach I heard of some Buddhist is to just avoid such kind speculation which produces nothing but more dukkha. Ajahn Chach has this great bit about uncertaintly, unsure. 

 

We would like to live in absolute certanty as much as much as to live permamently on heroin, or coke, or having sex, or eating cookies, sometimes. Drugged out. That is completely understanble to some extent.

 

I think some research in Christian Universalism could help your fear of Hell. Please search Illaria Ramelli and David bentley Hart. If Christianity is true, than to my mind this is the only real possibility. Both are trained scholars in the history and theology of Christianity. Illaria Ramelli is a trained classicist and ancient historian, she has recently written a book on the subject. An academic one and an accesible one. There some interviews, free interviews on youtube and Vimeo, which can be understood by anyone, I think.

 

The basic argument is that if God created beings, knowing beforehand that they will end up in eternal hell, than he is the one responsable. But this is illogical and absurd. Free will is absurd as a defence, because we are talking about what God decided and knew BEFORE the existence of humans or angels, so there is no free will of humans because, go figure, there are no humans yet. So the only rational or reasonable thing to think seems to be that God will eventually save everyone. 

 

Take care

 

 

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On 10/29/2019 at 1:31 PM, Kdeaustin said:

I just don’t understand. So many people have such loving encounters with God. Why doesnt he love me? Or if he’s not real then how do all these people have all these encounters? I don’t understand. I’m just so lost. and so afraid of hell. 

 

They do? Or are they just very active in their own imaginations within the inner dialogue of their own minds? Which seems more likely? 

 

And if the latter is the case, well, so much for hell....

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Another thought.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the intellectual arguments, perhaps you need to "back off" for a period of time, do what you need to do to get the anxiety down so you can think rationally, and then proceed.  Believe me, many of us understand the confusion and anxiety can be overwhelming.

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On 10/28/2019 at 6:48 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

You might want to read up on coincidences and the human pattern seeking behaviour and seeing significance in everyday things when in fact there is none.

 

It's like I never used to se my car make or model - now I see them everywhere. It's merely a function of your brain picking up on something and then attributing it as something special.

 

And no, as far as I'm aware there is no significance in the bible or Christianity to the number 44. Significant numbers in the bible are related to ancient symbology and the like. Things like 12, 7, 50 etc @Joshpantera is probably better clued on this than I am. (Not that these numbers actually mean anything - it's just humans attaching importance to them. )

Yeah I definitely understand what you are saying. I also realized if that was from God that’s pretty cryptic when He has the capacity to just come speak to me. I shouldn’t have to decipher codes. 

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sorry I’m still learning how to reply to everyone.. it’s confusing. So I will just reply here to everyone or try to... @Weezer I used the recovering from religion to contact a secular therapist near me. Hopefully they contact me back soon. Thank you for the resource. @Joshpantera I’m not sure. It just seems like people have these real experiences. I obviously can’t know for sure. But for instance my friends mom is a devout Christian and told me she saw an angel once. And my mom told me about a time she had a really bad sore throat and prayed and it immediately went away. I obviously can’t explain that. So I don’t know. It’s just all so confusing. @Myrkhoos I have researched this before but the hart name doesn’t sound familiar so I will have to look them up. I’ve also looked up the theory of annihilation which makes more sense to me. But I still don’t know. Especially because the majority of the church preaches eternal torture and living without certainty has never been easy for me so I don’t even know how to function when the very core of my existence can no longer be certain, I mean I guess it was never really certain but I wholeheartedly believed it. @TruthSeeker0 thank you for sending that!! It was helpful. 
 

I wish I could just totally stop believing. 

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2 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

sorry I’m still learning how to reply to everyone.. it’s confusing. So I will just reply here to everyone or try to... @Weezer I used the recovering from religion to contact a secular therapist near me. Hopefully they contact me back soon. Thank you for the resource. @Joshpantera I’m not sure. It just seems like people have these real experiences. I obviously can’t know for sure. But for instance my friends mom is a devout Christian and told me she saw an angel once. And my mom told me about a time she had a really bad sore throat and prayed and it immediately went away. I obviously can’t explain that. So I don’t know. It’s just all so confusing. @Myrkhoos I have researched this before but the hart name doesn’t sound familiar so I will have to look them up. I’ve also looked up the theory of annihilation which makes more sense to me. But I still don’t know. Especially because the majority of the church preaches eternal torture and living without certainty has never been easy for me so I don’t even know how to function when the very core of my existence can no longer be certain, I mean I guess it was never really certain but I wholeheartedly believed it. @TruthSeeker0 thank you for sending that!! It was helpful. 
 

I wish I could just totally stop believing. 

Well the " whole church" is probably wrong then. Especially in the west there problems from the first bible translation. The majority opinion was never and is never a defining characteristic of truth.

 

And they are totally wrong about their idea of free will.  There is no such free will. There is nothing without a cause or multiple causes actually , in the material world so every choice you make is predetermined by those causes. Look up free will debates, especially sam harris. This is a very common illusion actually. People equate choice with free will and responsability but they are pretty much modern human fictions like also, sorry to say, human rights. Useful as thinking instruments sometimes but no more than conventions. Again this was recognised by some old church fathers like st isaac the syrian. You can search Isaac the Syrian universal restoration.

 

Anihilationism seems just as absurd to me because again God creates beings just to destroy them , fully knowing that when he creates them. It makes no sense really. 

 

You cannot suddenly stop believing no more than you can suddenly stop knowing english or a language you know without brain damage or smth like that. Or stop knowing to walk. Or any other habit for that matter which is deeply ingrained. You can stop speaking english however. And speak French. But it will still be in your head for a while, maybe forever. As a memory.

 

Living with uncertainty is very, very hard in the beggining. 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well the " whole church" is probably wrong then. Especially in the west there problems from the first bible translation. The majority opinion was never and is never a defining characteristic of truth.

 

And they are totally wrong about their idea of free will.  There is no such free will. There is nothing without a cause or multiple causes actually , in the material world so every choice you make is predetermined by those causes. Look up free will debates, especially sam harris. This is a very common illusion actually. People equate choice with free will and responsability but they are pretty much modern human fictions like also, sorry to say, human rights. Useful as thinking instruments sometimes but no more than conventions. Again this was recognised by some old church fathers like st isaac the syrian. You can search Isaac the Syrian universal restoration.

 

Anihilationism seems just as absurd to me because again God creates beings just to destroy them , fully knowing that when he creates them. It makes no sense really. 

 

You cannot suddenly stop believing no more than you can suddenly stop knowing english or a language you know without brain damage or smth like that. Or stop knowing to walk. Or any other habit for that matter which is deeply ingrained. You can stop speaking english however. And speak French. But it will still be in your head for a while, maybe forever. As a memory.

 

Living with uncertainty is very, very hard in the beggining. 

 

 

 


annihlation is definitely more welcoming than eternal hell. But I agree it doesn’t make sense to me either. I am reading Bart Ehrmans book on how Jesus became God. The one thing I have trouble letting go of is all the times Jesus is reported to have shown himself to people. How did you all reconcile that? I can possibly get down with hallucinations for the disciples but Paul never met Jesus. That’s what gets me. BUT on the other hand, he never doubts that it’s Jesus. But all the other disciples doubt that it’s actually Jesus. It even says Jesus spent 40 days with them to give them many proofs. Why did they doubt him so much if they had come to know and love him? They didn’t even recognize him but yet he still had holes in his hands? And Paul who had never met him recognized him. Doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes I wonder if the gospels got the visions from Paul. But it appears they are independent sources. 

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It is hard to know what that vision actually was. Again I am not overruling supernatural, although rhe word itself is fraught with problems. 

 

First, Paul may have never met Jesus personally BUT he knew about him quiye a lot. He says he was a persecutor. So he must have known about his teaching. Maybe stories of he looked. He then says he went Arabia for a couple of years. By the way he does not wheter he was prone to visions in the first place. Some people are. We do not know about his contemplative practices. If he was over zealous and was spending hours in prayer , which again is a catalyst for visions. Or maybe he was dehydrayed or starving in the desert in that travel. It is weird however that an educated pharisee knowing full well the intrdiction to believe any vision or prophet changing the Law believed that vision. He futher describes multiple visions over the years. It was always interesting to me that God chooses to communicated in ways that make people go in altered states. 

 

By the way modern neuroscience posits that ALL reality is produced in the brain so all we have is actually a continous " vision" . So what you perceive is a byproduct of your nervous system "digestion" of reality.  And , as the digestive system itself, the nervous system backfires even in normal functioning people. Trauma is sometimes described as an indigestible event which breaks the system. Necesattung some kind of purging , which therapies offer. 

 

And I personally became extremely skeptic of visions and what they are and how they are tested and interpreted from Orthodox mystic writers. They wrote that most of the time visions are delusions either from the devil or human nature itself. You are highly discouraged from imagination in your conyemplative practices anyway.

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10 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

I’m not sure. It just seems like people have these real experiences. I obviously can’t know for sure. But for instance my friends mom is a devout Christian and told me she saw an angel once. And my mom told me about a time she had a really bad sore throat and prayed and it immediately went away. I obviously can’t explain that. So I don’t know. It’s just all so confusing.

 

A guy once told my friends and I that his father was a werewolf. He must not be lying? He must not be delusional? My ex fiance thought that her house was a portal for spirits. Must be right?

 

The problem is that you're not thinking objectively at all right now. You're not stepping back far enough to look at the big picture. I've watched kids pretend that they were possessed by a demon at my church school. I literally watched them play into it one by one, for attention. It was obviously false. Group hysteria and based on attention. 

 

Christianity is often a breeding ground for group make believe, group hysteria, and people feeding off of one another's superstitions. Even the people that seem nice. Why would so and so say that? Because so and so is delusional. So and so is your friends mom. So and so is any number of people that any of us have known, who may be a nice person.

 

They are also delusional if they're talking about seeing angels face to face. These experiences range between actual experiences of delusion to completely made up for attention. The more you look into it the more evident it can become as to where these outrageous claims sit on the sliding scale. But it requires thinking objectively and taking in the bigger picture to see it clearly. 

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12 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

I am reading Bart Ehrmans book on how Jesus became God. The one thing I have trouble letting go of is all the times Jesus is reported to have shown himself to people. How did you all reconcile that? I can possibly get down with hallucinations for the disciples but Paul never met Jesus. That’s what gets me. BUT on the other hand, he never doubts that it’s Jesus. But all the other disciples doubt that it’s actually Jesus. It even says Jesus spent 40 days with them to give them many proofs.

 

First of all, we as a group are operating on many fronts of information concerning Paul and the Gospels. The bible at face value. What apologist's claims about the bible. What critical scholars reveal about the bible at face value and what apologist's claims about critical scholars. And finally, what ultra critical scholars add to the table. 

 

The bigger picture

 

The gospels are anonymous letters which were given their names during the 2nd century. Hands down they are not eye witness accounts. They're written way too late to be. They must have been started around the end of the 1st century by non-eye witnesses and then reworked, probably several times, into the mid to late second century when they finally begin to appear into the historical record. The first canon was the Gnostic Marcion's canon, which consisted of him introducing into the historical record some of Paul's letters and a Gospel of the Lord. This was in the 2nd century. He claimed to have found Paul's letters in Antioch.

 

What does this mean? 

 

The gospels did come after Paul. Paul never met an historical jesus. Neither did any of the gospel writers in like fashion, coming in behind Paul who never met an historical jesus. How could the writers of these late written letters have known jesus during the time of 30 CE and prior? 

 

12 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

Doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes I wonder if the gospels got the visions from Paul. But it appears they are independent sources. 

 

Paul's jesus was a celestial being who's voice spoke out to him on the road to Damascus (In Acts). The gospel's actually come in behind Paul's Gnostic, celestial oriented material and try to bring the story down to earth, so to speak. They try and fill in the back story, after the fact. Sort of like all of the Star Wars prequels coming out. They go back, and try and fill in the blanks with origin stories and such. They address what happened during a previously unaddressed part of a timeline. But they are fiction, addressing voids with more fiction. 

 

And it starts mainly with the gospel that was later named, "Mark." This is thinking objectively. Stepping back and looking at the big picture. Walking forward in terms of the facts on the table. Matthew and Luke copy and rework Mark. And John brings in a sort of merger between Gnostic and Orthodox beliefs. It's the mystical gospel, using mystical terminology, but orienting and tugging the mystical towards an orthodox framework. That was the landscape of what was going on historically during the 2nd century. Acts, follows Luke and adds to the story of Paul. The whole thing is mainly to do with 2nd century issues. All of it enters the historical record during the 2nd century. 

 

12 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

It even says Jesus spent 40 days with them to give them many proofs. Why did they doubt him so much if they had come to know and love him?

 

So now, the question is what gives many proofs? What says that someone saw, knew, loved and then later doubted jesus? 

 

Anonymous gospels that we have only speculation to rely on in order to place them, at best, near the end of the 1st century long after any eye witnesses? We don't posses any CONTEMPORARY writings or literature about jesus. The gospels, historians, or any mention of jesus comes from non-contemporary sources. And the arguments then have to go towards whether or not someone thinks that non-contemporary sources are good enough to make historical conclusions based on. Some say yes, some say no. But the point being is that these are not writings by literal disciples who personally experienced any of the claims being made. At best, they are hearsay and at worst, a complete work of fiction. That's how we tend to look at it around here. 

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Anyone ever played the telephone game? Now imagine the telephone game as some story about a dude named Jesus, and the stories weren't actually ever written down until long after this person died. Sounds surprising that there's four different versions in the gospels? 

That presupposes that Jesus actually lived and isnt a fictional character. Hey, plenty of people have invented religions with fabricated stories. The fact that millions believe this one doesn't make it true. 

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And why o why would the Almighty God who wants everyone s salvation make it depend on fragile people? And some pieces of literature of dubious origins. I mean can t he send an angel to everyone and tell him?Why so much fuss? I do not have an answer to this.

 

But more than logic, I am so sorry you are going through this awful time. I personally cannot, and admit my weakness, reconcile the loving God part with so much suffering. I just cannot. I tried, and tried, for years and almost went insane, but could not stomach it. The fact that God COULD remove all suffering but DOES NOT it just....to me...I cannot, simply and fully. At the moment it is just too much. 

 

I do not immediately jump to delusions about visions. I do not jump to truth either. But someone has to first explain definitory testing methods of the difference between them. As many Christian will admit to the existence of brain damage and hallucinations, too. Maybe she saw an angel. Ok. How do you the difference between a real apparition and a delusion? How do you test for spiritual appearances in a conclusive manner? 

 

One of my biggets problems is that most prophets tend to have the logic of believe me I have secret knowledge you will be damned if you fail. Ok, there so many who say that. Obviously you cannot take it all on belief. And Muhammed in the Koran was the genius at this kind of rethoric. It seems to me the least of the world s religions I would be interested in. I mean their mystics tend to dance in a circle and chant real fast and say they have visions, when that activity was something I did as a child in playgrounds with other children and it gets you dizzy and high. Also a kind of mini merry go round. I mean, really? Plus the whole receiving visions in the cave, nine wives including a minor of six, had sex when she was nine, war monger and genocidinal maniac , obvious copycat from the Bible, sometimes word for word...That guy...really? Anyway, maybe I have a bias against him, but anyway. So how do you choose.

 

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Yeah trust me I don’t understand. I don’t understand any of it. And what I’m going through now is mental torture so I can’t reconcile that with any loving God. I just don’t know how to get over this fear. Especially because it’s just so hard not knowing. 
 

have all of y’all studied hell? If y’all had to conclude what it would be based on your studies do you think the Bible tends to go more with ETC, universalism, or annihilation. Just wondering. 
 

I wish I could just hang out with all of yall at one time. Maybe one of y’all could knock me out and wipe my memory clean of all this. Maybe I just need my husband to hit me really hard with a frying pan and erase my memory. :( :( :( maybe I need to be hypnotized. Idk this is just the worst. And it sucks because EVERYONE around me is either a Christian or doesn’t believe because they just never “caught on to it” or my cousin believes that the people in the Bible were on drugs. But he’s never spent any time researching anything. As much as I wish I could say oh they are just on drugs. I just can’t. I have to go on facts and so I just can’t do that. And I have anxiety so I can’t just say oh well idk what happens after death so I’m just going to live my life now. My anxiety doesn’t allow for that. 
 

 

what makes me the most mad, is if God is real. Then he allowed me to be taken from a really good job in foster care that I was REALLY good at. I’m not trying to toot my own horn at all!!! But I bet with anything my supervisor would have said I was one of her best workers. I was diligent, thorough. Always did exceptionally well in court, always overly prepared for every meeting I attended, overly prepared for everything. Didn’t mind working late. One night I worked until 2 in the morning trying to get a child a home before Christmas. I mean I just have always tried to do my best at everything. And my job as a foster care worker was no exception. And being a mom would be no exception either. So WHY would God take someone from a position like that? I was willing to stay even though it came with a lot of responsibility and little pay. WHY WOULD GOD DO THAT. It makes me so mad. 

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I miss my job so much. I miss my husband. I miss being happy. I miss my life. :( 

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1 hour ago, Kdeaustin said:

I miss my job so much. I miss my husband. I miss being happy. I miss my life. :( 

 

I'm very sorry that you're having such a hard time right now. Maybe they're right, professional help may be more helpful at this time. 

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2 hours ago, Kdeaustin said:

I miss my job so much. I miss my husband. I miss being happy. I miss my life. :( 

Where's your husband? 

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Just now, TruthSeeker0 said:

Where's your husband? 

 

Sorry that was probably confusing. He has been waking right beside me through this. Doing everything he can. He’s cried with me and held me why I’m crying. He’s the absolute best thing that’s ever happened to me. I just feel like I can’t fully enjoy him or fully be his wife right now. I feel like I’m there with him, but not really there with him. Since this is consuming me. 

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5 minutes ago, Kdeaustin said:

 

Sorry that was probably confusing. He has been waking right beside me through this. Doing everything he can. He’s cried with me and held me why I’m crying. He’s the absolute best thing that’s ever happened to me. I just feel like I can’t fully enjoy him or fully be his wife right now. I feel like I’m there with him, but not really there with him. Since this is consuming me. 

I hope you're able to get some professional help. The experience isn't unlike being diagnosed with something absolutely life altering, and in that way it can have a serious impact on a relationship, as the other partner struggles to understand your new focus or concerns. He sounds wonderful but if he's struggling you may both need some help. 

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Just now, TruthSeeker0 said:

I hope you're able to get some professional help. The experience isn't unlike being diagnosed with something absolutely life altering, and in that way it can have a serious impact on a relationship, as the other partner struggles to understand your new focus or concerns. He sounds wonderful but if he's struggling you may both need some help. 

Yeah I’m hoping I like this secular counselor I’ve contacted. It’s hard because my husband isn’t really an intellectual thinker. I mean he’s smart but he just doesn’t think like I do. He’s a diesel mechanic. He can fix and build anything. And he’s really smart at that kind of stuff. And a really genuinely kind person. But as far as the questions and stuff I have he doesn’t think the way I do. He also doesn’t understand my anxiety because he’s never struggled with it. He tries to understand, but I know he doesn’t. He tells me he wishes he could trade places with me, but he still doesn’t understand. So it’s hard for me to talk to him about this stuff. He just believes because he’s been taught to believe and I think the thought of him not believing is scary for him. So I try not to convince him of anything. This has been hard enough for me. I don’t want him to go through anything like that too. So it’s just hard not having many unbelievers to talk to. My husband does believe in annihilation though. He’s always just believed that. I wish I could just believe that. 

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