Wh among you still believes in God?

traillius

Registrant
Despite all that has happened. I believe, although I am a little angry about everything I have experienced negatively. I doubt myself, not God. After all, God is not the perpetrator. Neither am I, but I don't doubt on that account. I doubt due to my imperfections, and those of others. I want to be a better follower of the faith I am attached to. ( roman catholic christian ) Its just that the doubt and pain, and all my responsibilities, both make it hard.
 

Obi

Registrant
traillius,

i still believe... you are correct. we are all imperfect. we are all sinners. we all fall short of the glory of God. for this every single one of us should be spending eternity in hell. however, through Christ's death our sins are washed away. john 3:16 explains it all.
 

calv

Registrant
Abuse has "refined" my faith...

I was told what to believe and not to feel. I grew up in church but always knew in my heart that something was wrong !?! I just didn't know what it was. Everything looked one way on the outside... but what was on the inside was pure hell.
If God was real... than why was church so f**ked up?
I prayed and prayed...
God please show me the truth!!!

He did.
It is not easy...
but I have come to know Him
and he watches over me and gives me peace.

Religious institutions are full of sick people...
It made me sick too...

Church has taken on a new identity for me.
It is a very personal thing for me.
I only share my thoughts about it with those whom I trust.
I don't debate religious issues.
But I do fellowship with the real church...
with my bros and sisters
walking the same path as me.

It is very scary... because i feel like I was brain washed...
now im washing my brain!!!
renewing my mind
understanding what is real and what is not.

God is answering those prayers i prayed as a child,
he is giving me wisdom and understanding...
and it is very humbling.
 

MusicMan

Registrant
Hello men,

Thanks for this post traillius. This is the biggest part of my life and my recovery, that is, my relationship with God. I count it as my greatest privilege to be able to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.

I know that I have wondered why many things had to happen, but whatever happened happened. I'm OK and survived. The damage has been vast for me, but I'm still here and happy to be that way. No matter what, I am blessed.

Beside working on my recovery and the difficulties I experience with that, the only problem that I have with my relationship with God is my inability to figure out mentally, emotionally and spiritually how to forgive my perpetrators. I really, really want to, but I don't know how. I could say that I do, but to know it and feel it is a different story. I'm working on it. That is my goal. Who am I that I should hold on to the anger and the hurt and unforgiveness, when I know that God has forgiven me.

I know that God is good all of the time and that He understands where I am. I absolutely know how you feel. I don't doubt God, I only doubt myself. I agree, too, with you, calv, that the abuse has refined my faith. I have learned that the world is full of imperfection. But, God is perfect and He takes my hand and walks me through it all.

God bless.
 

pufferfish

Registrant
I do.

I read the Book of Eli daily (see the movie to understand why I say that). And I try to listen to and follow the voice I'm hearing.

Allen

pufferfish
 

nltsaved

Registrant
when i called out he heard me when i called on him he showed up
when i excepted him he changed me.
the end .
 

woundedowl

Registrant
I Still Believe In God!
In 1968 when I was a 6 year old my mom started to send me to church. She went to the Sunday service with me and that was it. She did not go to the church any other time because she was afraid that she would be ask questions about home life ect...but she sent me to everything there was for a child my age. The only catch was that I had to walk to the end of the block and turn the corner out of sight of my house and continue down the long lonely sidewalk to the big white doors alone. So hard to open, so afraid of getting my hand trapped. I remember how it smelled as I entered, with heart pounding and??? (memories evaporate after this, I still don't know why I cannot remember anything about church????) If my mother ever knew how terrifying all of this was she would have kept me home, but she was a victim too and home was it's own little nightmare. (I can feel this all so vividly as I write) Being little and in the situation I was in was lonely. Just me, mom and he/she? Kind of like climbing up out of hell and walking a demonic gauntlet of terror on the way to church. I don't remember what happened at church. I only remember that picture of Jesus on the wall and somehow, someway He was there and held my hand, every time, on that long walk that was at night and during the day, hot or cold, rain or shine, relentless. I don't remember either end of the trip only the long treks back and forth. I think she really wanted them to see, not realizing.....seeing and helping are two different things. But He walked with me and walks with me. When I was a boy I could sometimes see Him and He would tell me things and I could see angels and oh how they want to help but they cannot cross over without our help. I know it sounds crazy! but I am balling my eyes out, I don't know why, it just happens (and happens, and happens.......) I could not live if He was not holding my hand. The church hates me and rejects me. It does not understand nor care to understand my problems. I am not imagining this, I have been told in so many words more than once. Beware confiding in religious friends, watch the relationship change, like magic. I am not criticizing anyone, it just hurts, that's all. I do not fault them for they are filled with sick people who are mostly in denial about a lot of stuff themselves. Considering what goes on under their own roofs, I am not surprised. No matter! If I am condemned by the masses as a non believer unless I pretend to live another man's life, so be it, for He Still Holds My Hand!! I Still Believe In God!
 

Alchemist

Registrant
No. No I don't believe in God anymore. Stopped a long time ago.

I sometimes think if all this would be easier if I still had faith. I always found comfort in things like prayer before I stopped believing. But then I realize I'd rather face a hard truth than believe a beautiful lie.

I'm not trying to rag on anyone's beliefs and if your faith in whatever/whoever has helped you then by all means keep doing what you're doing. Just saying things from my personal perspective is all.
 

SirVivor

Registrant
Hello Brothers,

I write this to you on a summer's Sunday morning. It's beautiful right now but this whole week hasn't been emotionally, and I've found my self wrestling with the same concerns mentioned here. What it felt like to me was that I loved Jesus but he didn't love me. But then I realized, I was looking at it from the World's institutional perspective. But where is the "Good News" I keep hearing about?

I am a Universalist. I believe we can all learn from each other. How does that old story go? Something like this; "I was complaining to God about this, that, and the other and I asked why He/She would not send some-one to fix it... He/She said, "I did send some one, YOU!"

Some here have said that we are born broken, sinners, and I respect that. I believe that we are all children of God and that Jesus was trying to teach us how to realize that. That's the "Good News" to me.

Bless You All
 

InsideTheWall

Registrant
pufferfish said:
I do.

I read the Book of Eli daily (see the movie to understand why I say that). And I try to listen to and follow the voice I'm hearing.

Allen

pufferfish
I've seen that movie and liked it. Personally though, I prefer The Wall and listen to it almost every day.
 

InsideTheWall

Registrant
Wait! I'm almost regretting saying anything. I was referring to the album, not the movie. You don't want to watch the movie until you're already familiar with the album it came from. The images you'll find in the film, which is more of a feature length rock video than a movie, are very dark. It can be very uplifting if you understand the underlying themes of societal isolation, hope, and the idea that one is never truly alone.

But if you don't understand it will come across to you as depressing at best. The movie is too brutal to serve as a good introduction. Buy the album, don't watch the film.

Sorry for thread jack. It ends now.
 
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westsidej

Registrant
Greetings my brothers. How's everyone's summer so far? Sorry that I haven't been online much.

Great posts so far on both the religious/atheist points of view.

Here's where I come down. I was raised by a non-practicing Jewish mother and agnostic father, at best who also had Jewish heritage.

I was circumcised, ate Matzoh crackers, some other Kosher foods but that was about it insofar as my faith was concerned. I went to Catholic church with my friends simply due to peer pressure.

During and after my years of molestation, I started to look for a faith but could never find a Christian religion or denomination that felt right to me and answered my questions about G-d and what happened to me.

Several girlfriends tried to get me to attend their churches and I did but didn't feel right or my faith affirmed by their doctrine or deacons. The trinity never made sense to me and I have always rejected the council of Nicea.

I ended up marrying a Unitarian Universalist but don't agree w/ much of their belief system, save the Judeo-Christian part that they have as part of their faith. The only reason I go to the UU church sometimes is that you can't have children w/ parents of two different faiths or odds are they will end up with no faith at all. Luckily, there's plenty of Jewish thought and wisdom in the UU "religion."

Finally, after soul searching and finally dealing with my CSA by getting into therapy, I have found my way back to Judaism, the religion of my ancestors on both sides of the family.

I've joined a local synagogue's intro to Judaism courses since I have to become a Jew, even though I have grandparent's on both sides who are Jewish. I'm been reading books and downloading podcasts on Judaism & Jewish life.

So, to come full circle and answer the question, my parent's poor job at both protecting me from predators (and even knew about a couple of my abusers) and providing me with spiritual guidance resulted in years of soul searching and finding out what my faith and belief system really it.

The CSA didn't really shake my faith in the almighty since that was already taken care of for the most part by my parents.

Thank G-d, I returned to the religion that suited me the entire time, Judaism.


Take care my brothers and have a fantastic rest of the summer.

Jay
 

CruxFidelis

Registrant
I've always believed in God.

I was born into a strict Jewish family, learned the Torah, had my Bar Mitzvah and all that. My wife & I started dating in high school and they weren't so keen on me dating a non-Jewish girl, and in my late adolescence I wasn't such a good Jew... that was OK, because my wife was a lapsed Catholic with no attachment to religion. Eventually, she had a conversion. I saw how prayer made her feel safe. She is a survivor of sexual abuse and before she started praying again, I was the only person who could make her feel safe, but when she had flashbacks and she started asking Jesus to be with her and keep her safe, it gave her a feeling of peace. I saw firsthand how getting back into her Catholic faith helped her heal from the sexual abuse in her life. When she had a PTSD episode and asked me to pray with her, I did. I found myself saying the Rosary even though no one had taught me to say it. I wanted to experience the security she felt. I wanted the peace inside me too. Eventually, I decided to convert to Catholicism. I twasn't the easiest choice... my family was not so happy. But I did it nonetheless.

God is the glue that holds me & my family together, and I don't think any amount of suffering can change that
 

calv

Registrant
Thats a great story! God works... in mysterious ways.
I was told what to belive and how to feel growing up.
We read the Bible after every meal and prayed b4 and after the meal.
A strict dutch reformed community w a christian school.

I always knew God was real and I did love the Bible stories.
I remember Him as a very young child BUT...
i could not understand how such awful stuff could happen to me...

It has been a long journey with me and God. He can be found in almost any place!
Follow your heart and seek him I think you will find him exact where you need him.
We don't always get along...
And religion confuses me.
Ive gone thru a few "church sects" and met many other "people of faith" Ive come to respect others choices and I don't debate theology. There is just so much I don't know! If it is working for you it is no one eles's bizness...
You may find that your past will help you in the future together, There is just something about connecting with God and if you get that than your in a good place. You never know where the road will lead you.
Family is Family... but your WIFE is your WIFE ! You belong together!?

I like your glue!
 

Jim1961

Registrant
CruxFidelis said:
I've always believed in God.

I was born into a strict Jewish family, learned the Torah, had my Bar Mitzvah and all that. My wife & I started dating in high school and they weren't so keen on me dating a non-Jewish girl, and in my late adolescence I wasn't such a good Jew... that was OK, because my wife was a lapsed Catholic with no attachment to religion. Eventually, she had a conversion. I saw how prayer made her feel safe. She is a survivor of sexual abuse and before she started praying again, I was the only person who could make her feel safe, but when she had flashbacks and she started asking Jesus to be with her and keep her safe, it gave her a feeling of peace. I saw firsthand how getting back into her Catholic faith helped her heal from the sexual abuse in her life. When she had a PTSD episode and asked me to pray with her, I did. I found myself saying the Rosary even though no one had taught me to say it. I wanted to experience the security she felt. I wanted the peace inside me too. Eventually, I decided to convert to Catholicism. I twasn't the easiest choice... my family was not so happy. But I did it nonetheless.

God is the glue that holds me & my family together, and I don't think any amount of suffering can change that
That is an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!

I was an agnostic/atheist most of my teen/adult life. Then I married a Catholic, and saw (as you did) first hand how her Faith helped carry her through tragedy.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 years ago, and never wavered in her Faith. She is now (thankfully) in remission.

I joined the church in 2003.

:)

Jim
 
Hi MusicMan,

At the most recent Weekend of Recovery in Canada I let go of a big chunk of my anger towards one of my perpetrators, my Dad, through a human sculpting activity that we did. I learned that I can hate and despise the part of my Dad that abused me and love the part that took me fishing and camping and taught me how to fish, garden, work and to use tools. Through that separation of good and evil came forgiveness.

If you haven't already, or even if you have, I would recommend attending a weekend of recovery. It was a totally awesome time and there will be others there that you can discuss forgiveness with.
 
I still believe in God. What has really helped me is to remember that I John says that God IS love and that John 3:16 says the "God so LOVED the world, that he GAVE his Son..." I realized that God loves me for who I am, not because I earned it or needed to do something, but because he loves all of us unconditionally! It is that unconditional love that I have been looking for all my life.

I was raised fundamentalist in a Baptist church. My dad and mom were my abusers and my Dad was a deacon in the church, so that has given me a real disgust for hyprocrisy!

Shortly before getting married I left fundamentalism and my future bride left it to. For most our married life we have been Lutheran, but that recently hasn't been doing the trick. I didn't feel like I could be authentic at church. I felt like I had to put on a happy face and I wasn't really sure if I would be accepted if people there knew about the abuse.

Recently I have been attending an Orthodox church, which is way different than either Catholicism or Prodestantism. The first time I attended the priest's wife, who knew about my abuse, told me that the church is a hospital. That is something I totally believe. I feel very supported at this church but I am taking things very slow. Just enjoying the services and the lunch they have every Sunday after the service. Orthodoxism aligns much more closely theologically with where I have been headed for a long time, but I don't agree with all of the doctrine.

My faith in God as always been there and has sustained me through many difficult times. I believe that in His love for us God gave us freedom of choice, and sometimes people make horrible choices, like abusing others, but God is not responsible for those choices, the abusers are!
 
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