I feel God everywhere

sent in by A

I was born into a Lutheran family. My parents were both baptized Lutheran, married in a Lutheran church, and had each of their three children, of whom I was the youngest, baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran religion. I attended Sunday school and church pretty much every Sunday for the first 14 years of my life. I was in the church youth choir as well. When I was 12, we moved to another state because my dad was transferred. My father was an alcoholic, and was verbally and physically abusive to all three of us children, while my mother avoided confrontation to the point that she enabled him to get away with it.

When I was a virgin, I was raped by a friend's brother. At this point in my life, at the age of 13, I renounced God. He had taken away all that I loved and let a sacred rite be stolen from me. I chose to be an agnostic, and I called on God or the devil to come take me to use. Later, I returned to Christianity at the age of 22, when I married my husband. We attended counseling classes required by the Lutheran church for my husband and I to be married there, as he was not a Lutheran and had to adopt the Lutheran beliefs. We attended church prior to our wedding, but not much afterward. I had become increasingly disillusioned with religion and religious people over the past 9 years. I attended a church with my in-laws where they preached that Harry Potter was evil, and I almost stood up and walked out right there. The whole "speaking in tongues" thing is often just stupid; it is obvious the person says the same thing every time they are afflicted. A local "preacher" (I cannot in good faith call him that without quotation marks to indicate the absurdity of it) protested the appearance of "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Daddy Has A Roommate" and waged a war to have them removed from library shelves. Then Bush came along, and all the fundamentalists in this Bible Belt area began praising his idiot name and raving about how evil abortion and gay marriage are.

I finally figured out that there is no religion large enough to encompass the creator of everything. He or she contains all religions, not one. I believe in tenets of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Probably more.

I am a student of history and I know that Judaism is the oldest religion, and Islam the most popular. Christianity is the most violent. When I read about Christ, I don't see him as a judgmental bigot. I've read "The Lost Books of the Bible" and the idea of an imperfect Jesus rings rather true to me.

I know that the Bible was written by human hands, and potentially "seasoned" with each authors' personal opinions or beliefs. There is much that may have been edited out or into the Bible, likewise with the other holy texts. I give weight and respect to all of these wise texts, the older they are, the more sacred. But I don't believe that the Bible is the end all, be all, last stop decision on who goes to heaven and who doesn't.

When I go to these churches, a lot of them praise and worship, I don't feel surrounded by God anymore than I do outside in nature alone--I feel God everywhere. In those churches, I feel surrounded by people who are there just to show others that they came; much of it has a sort of patting-themselves-on-the-backs feel to it. These are the places that have, instead of crosses at the front of the chapel, a performance stage, light effects, and accompanying sing-along screens. I would be much more comfortable in a Buddhist temple.

I don't feel the need to conform to society's view of a "good Christian" in order to be loved by God. I can't believe that everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is going to burn in hell. That every Jew and every pagan and every Muslim and every gay person and every Buddhist and every Hindu and every abortionist/abortion recipient/abortion participant is going to burn in hell. That's a lot of damned people. And if they all deserve to burn--Ghandi and Buddha and the Dalai Lama--then I will burn proudly beneath them.

Wichita Falls
Texas
U.S.A.
How old were you when you became a christian? 6 weeks old
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? what U.S. society calls a "Christian?" 13 years ago.
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Lutheran, Christian
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Independent/Buddhist/Messianic Jew....more too.
Why did you become a christian? no choice, born into it
Why did you de-convert? had my own mind.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you were abused and raped.There are so many disgusting and unscrupulous people out there. Even sometimes our so-called family and friends. One thing though, I to study history and teach it for a living. Judaism is not he oldest religion. There ones far older and texts far older than the bible. Look at the Gilgamesh texts, which thousands of years older than the bible. You will be very surprised at what and is not "original" from the bible. Also, you find stories and similar themes all over the world that are similar , even almost identical to judaism, but much,nuch older.

GoneNsane said...

Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion, if you're talking about ones still around today.

tigg13 said...

Welcome.

I had an abusive, alcoholic father and an enabling mother too. Some of those wounds don't ever seem to go away.

Your current beliefs sound alot like Unitarian Universalism. You might want to check them out and see if they have a local fellowship. They offer a non-dogmatic philosophy that attempts to incorporate as many belief systems as possible.

Good luck and be happy.

Free_Deist said...

After I quit Christianity, I still believe in a creator also, but I'm a Deist instead. Kind of fitting considering that I'm from Philly, home of Ben Franklin, one of the most famed Deists in history.

Your testimony sounds quite similar to what Ian has posted on this site a couple of times.

Tim Simmons said...

"I am a student of history and I know that Judaism is the oldest religion"


Not much of a student.

Also, do you feel god in the hospitals where children are dying of cancer?

Do you feel god in the natural disasters that kill millions of people?

Do you feel god in the animals designed to kill other animals violently in order just to survive?

Just curious.


Tim

Dionna said...

Tim,

I read your response and I found it to be quite harsh. Perhaps you are having a bad day? Did you read her post thoroughly and the responses that followed?

Here's your response to her post:

"I am a student of history and I know that Judaism is the oldest religion"
Tim - "Not much of a student."

Anonymous had already politely corrected her by writing - "Judaism is not the oldest religion. There ones far older and texts far older than the bible. Look at the Gilgamesh texts, which thousands of years older than the bible."

Also, she wrote that that she had been raped which is a horrendous thing that has left a deep scar in her life. The "god and disaster" questions weren't necessary. She knows what tragedy is.
She has found her definition of what she feels god is and it works for her.

Welcome to the boards A, and take care of yourself. I hope that you find the peace that you seek.

Tim, please don't take this as a personal attack.

Thanks.

Hellbound Alleee said...

What you feel everywhere doesn't have to be God, or the same thing. It's pretty nice to get out from under the occult. I think that there's a lot of stuff that is everywhere, like "nitrogen," or "gravity." You know what's everywhere? Causality. It's all too big for one creator, or a dozen creators. It was here before creation, because it was here before time. Creation implies time.

eric said...

judaism is the oldest relgion eh?

You should specify oldest still around today.. religion has been around since the beginning of human life. And it was not judaism.

Deamond said...

You know that fish symbol that apears on the back of Christian Fanatic's cars? If Christians knew what it ACTUALLY symbolized, not only would they not put it on their cars, they also would not allow children to look at it!

Take one (or even just draw one on a piece of paper) Then stand it yo on its tail so that the nose is pointing straight up. Then look in the middle and think "Larry Flynt".

Yes, that's right.

It's a symbold of the Creator Godess. Of the part of the Creator Godess from which the universe was born. It's called a Yoni.

Judaism is merely the oldest monotheistic riligion that still exists.

Tim Simmons said...

Dionna,

Harsh would have been calling her names and saying she is stupid and perhaps that she is this or that.

How is it harsh if I post one opinion of her own view of her knowledge and a few questions?


Could it be that if a reply doesn't hug and kiss then it must be harsh?



Tim

Bentley said...

I'll tell you what you feel, you feel your presense, it's your out pouring of self-expression, it's your inner being expressing love for all things that are good and deserving your love.

You are expressing your humanitarian and zest for life, you see no need to judge others, maybe they've been mislead. maybe they've been misguided, but you have risen above most people, you see life as it really is, you have compassion for others that cannot grasp the brass ring of life.

Your feelings are natural and are equal to a god, but you do not need a man's make believe god to coax you into a mental oblivion of conformity, you own it, you have overcome a great mental trauma, and you can now evaluate life for what it is. You have an aura of self worth, you need no one to fulfill your desires, you have the most powerful possession that can be owned, you have the one real true self, it's you! you are the god of you.

Don't ever let anyone take that away from you, you have the ability to do anything that you want and accomplish anything that you desire, not because I say so, but because you now know it's true.

Go your own way and do the things that you know you can do, you hold the key to wisdom, and you are in the minority, many wish they could obtain what you own, but they do not know how. Go spread your godly love and share it with the world, not though religion and dogma's, but with kindness, but be good to yourself firstmost, because You are the most important thing in the world right now.

I wish you love peace joy and success and it will be.

Never Going Back said...

Hey A, it would nice to hear you respond back to some who have commented on your post.

As was stated before, Judaism is not the oldest religion. The early Hebrews were not even monotheistic. They believed in a pantheon of gods. Yahweh is suspected to have been their war god. Early Hebrews did not have any doctrine of Hell, Heaven, original sin, Satan or angels and demons. The Hebrews were highly influenced by the Zoroastrians who brought the idea of One God, Hell, etc. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve's punishment for their sin was death, not Hell. The Hebrews were also influenced by the Sumerians, the Babylonians, etc. Judaism and Christianity are so deeply penetrated with other religious beliefs that they are hardly original at all. They are both notorious for having their faith polluted with "pagan" worship, doctrine, and symbolism.

As for the rape you suffered at the hands of your brother's "friend", I suffer with you as I was a victim of molestation by my brother for four years.

You said that you feel God everywhere. It's hard to look around you and not feel appreciative to SOMETHING or SOMEONE isn't it?

Tim, Dionna is right. You could have shown a little more tact, but I do get your point. Does she feel God when a tiny baby is born with no genitals, when another starved baby gives up it's last breath in his mother's arms or when a group of orphaned children huddle in an abandoned building in Romania trying to keep warm, hoping that noone will come to steal their only pair of shoes or worse: to rape or kill them while they sleep with one eye open?

Where was God when you and I had our innocence stolen from u, A? Where was God all the nights I cried out to Him to speak to me, to visit me in my dreams, to just answer me ONCE? Where is God, now as the Christians, Muslims and Jews all fight in the name of the same God?

This is in no way an attack on you. I am just venting anger. I just find it sad that people attribute beauty and nature to God, but are stumped to explain away the atrocities seen every day around us. Gosh, if a baby is born with no genitals, their parents must be guilty of some terrible sin unless of course they are Christians and then God is only using this for their good. What a crock of shit!

Mike said...

I'm curious. Since one has to choose to become a Christian if they become one, how did you choose it at six weeks old? Child prodigy :)?

Anonymous said...

I wrote that post. When I referred to Judaism as the oldest religion, I was referring to the oldest of the three major monotheistic religions--Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Not counting Zoroastrianism or any other, older religions or polytheistic religions. Just the three main monotheistic ones that exist today and have existed in vast numbers for the past several hundred years.

I wasn't wrong--I just didn't clarify.

Anonymous said...

To "never going back": When I say "GOD" I see it more as an anagram for "General Overall Directory" of all souls that have existed or exist--like a soul net, as well as Greater Omnipotent Being.
And, to answer your questions about the terror and horrors afflicted upon people of this world: are you not stronger for what you survived? I know that I am. I am also more open-minded and appreciative than others who have suffered less.
I DO see beauty in the horrible things. And before you tell me that I cannot possibly imagine what I am talking about, I would like to say that I am a T.V. news photographer and it is my job to go to the scenes of violent accidents, homicides, aggravated robberies, or to cover horror stories of molested children or dead soldiers. My dream is to end up in the Middle East and Africa, working on the front lines of these out-of-control territorial/religious/tribal wars to photograph what is going on and to show the world.
We, the human race, created an environment that is ripe to breed rapists, murderers, and perverts. We manufactured a society that harbors creeps. I don't see the hand of GOD in these things--I see the direct result of the hand of man.
That which does not kill you, makes you stronger. I have been raped five times in my life. Abused emotionally, physically, and mentally by a couple of boyfriends when I was younger, too.
Again, as to being "wrong," I wasn't. I just didn't clarify the specific religions to which I was referring. But some of you are VERY quick to belittle another person just for the hell of it. I would question myself as to why I feel the need to be so insulting to a stranger.
As to mike's question: I was baptized a Christian when I was six weeks old. I was confirmed into it at the age of 14. That is the age at which you are deemed an adult in the Lutheran church. In the Lutheran church, you don't "choose" to be a Christian as an infant. You are baptized so that if you die before you reach the age of confirmation, you are protected from the fires of hell.
But I did read by the age of two and have been considered a prodigy by some, to answer that question. ;)

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