Religious Struggle

Owl

Registrant
Hi,

I’ve been struggling with the religious/spiritual abuse that was used as a method of control when I was a child.

Found this website and I think it applies for anyone. Hope it may help someone.

 

Sawyer49

Registrant
Struggling with our faith is a journey many survivors are on. When spirituality and religion is used to control or perpetrate acts of abuse it can effect our relationship with Christ for years to come.

A few things I have learned on my own journey, my Creator and my Lord never wanted these things to happen to me. He loves me died in my place and never forces me to do something. He is not religion, in fact He hates religion. You see religion is always people telling other people that they must do certain things in order to reach God. True faith is not about what we must do to reach God, it is not religion. True faith is relationship, it is all about God reaching us He did the reaching. He did the work He saved us. There is not one thing I can do to make God love me He already loves me and Owl He loves you to.

God bless you on this journey

Sawyer
 

Owl

Registrant
Struggling with our faith is a journey many survivors are on. When spirituality and religion is used to control or perpetrate acts of abuse it can effect our relationship with Christ for years to come.

A few things I have learned on my own journey, my Creator and my Lord never wanted these things to happen to me. He loves me died in my place and never forces me to do something. He is not religion, in fact He hates religion. You see religion is always people telling other people that they must do certain things in order to reach God. True faith is not about what we must do to reach God, it is not religion. True faith is relationship, it is all about God reaching us He did the reaching. He did the work He saved us. There is not one thing I can do to make God love me He already loves me and Owl He loves you to.

God bless you on this journey

Sawyer
Thank you
 
The article is wonderful and though it is pitched most directly at women it is certainly apropos to men. Religious teachings can easily be used to harm people in the name a a higher good. It especially happens in the more fundamental faiths who tend to be very rule bound. It is important to seek support as you're doing Owl. Finding a right relationship to our spiritual nature is really the work of a lifetime. It generally involves finding a new relationship with spirit because our first encounter typically was through the religion our family was committed to. For me, it didn't take very long after I'd left home to conclude the Christian church in which I was raised was not a good place for me. As a trauma survivor who acted out some of my responses to the abuse, being told each week that "I am by nature sinful and unclean" was not helping. The journey that followed has been a long one, but definitely a fruitful one. I now have a relationship to spirit which works for me. I'll say nothing more than that simply because you will need to find you own way. But I'd encourage you to spread a wide net. Questions about spirit have been explored for thousands of years and there are great spiritual texts worth exploring produced by all faiths. I love the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Christian mystics, Buddhist dharma, Sufi teachings, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Give yourself permission to let go of whatever causes you pain in the faith you grew up with and see what else is on offer in the great spiritual traditions of the world. We are NOT sinners and we are not doomed to hell and damnation. We are worthy of love and compassion. It is available to us.
 
For the fun of it... I'll post again a piece from the Upanishads that I liked so much I typed it out...

Two birds, one of them mortal, the other immortal, live in the same tree. The first one pecks at the fruit, sweet or bitter; the second looks on without eating. Thus the personal self pecks at the fruit of this world, bewildered by suffering, always hungry for more. But when he meets the True Self, the resplendent God, the source of creation, all his cravings are stilled. Perceiving Self in all creatures, he forgets himself in the service of all; good and evil both vanish; delighting in Self, playing like a child with Self, he does whatever is called for, whatever the result.

Self is everywhere, shining forth from all beings, vaster than the vast, subtler than the most subtle, unreachable, yet nearer than breath, than heartbeat. Eye cannot see it, ear cannot hear it nor tongue utter it; only in deep absorption can the mind, grown pure and silent, merge with the formless truth. He who finds it is free; he has found himself; he has solved the great riddle; his heart forever is at peace. Whole, he enters the Whole. His personal self returns to its radiant, intimate, deathless source. As rivers lose name and form when they disappear into the sea, the sage leaves behind all traces when he disappears into the light. Perceiving the truth, he becomes the truth; he passes beyond all suffering, beyond death; all the knots of his heart are loosed.

Mundaka Upanishad, III.1.1-2.9
1500 B.C.E.
quoted in
The Enlightened Heart, edited by
Stephen Mitchell
 
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