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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: When you're hanging on by your fingernails....
Adeodatus
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# 4992

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... to the whole religion thing (assuming you ever are in such a position), what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

Or, to put it another way - on those days* when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?


(* For me, at the moment, any day when I've read the Church Times.)

[ 15. June 2016, 18:40: Message edited by: Belisarius ]

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Divine Outlaw
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:

Or, to put it another way - on those days* when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?

I think it's true. Not the platitudinous crap. The whole God creating the world, Jesus offering salvation bit.

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insert amusing sig. here

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dyfrig
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Jesus.


Sorry, I sound like some bright-eyed loon.

Must be some way of making that sound more intellectually satisfying.

Nope - can't think of one.

Must be it then.

Jesus.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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Matt Black

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Grace. Pure, unmerited God (Triune, of course [Biased] ).

[ETA - plus, TBH, the bit at the end of John 6 - there's nowhere else for me to go]

[ 15. June 2007, 13:23: Message edited by: Matt Black ]

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Jonathan Strange
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I let go of my faith because of platitudinous crap. My faith (or, more accurately, God) didn't let go of me and I came back. I now put the platitudinous crap down to fallible humans, and now consider my faith walk to be trying get past that to the good stuff. I rarely go to church now. The ship helps.

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"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death,
When he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again"

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I think I'd actually need a positive reason to formally drop it. I'd need to be sure it was rubbish - a positive non-belief in it rather than just a lack of belief, because I've got to justify a positive shift in position.

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A Feminine Force
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I reflect on my life and all the times my love for Jesus and my faith have saved me from disastrous decisions, when every other aspect of my life seemed like a forced-march over the cliff to death or insanity.

I guess it's always faith that prevents me. The intellectual artifacts of Christianity have never been enough. It's the living Word within me that sustains me until my next heartbeat and breath. Nothing else really matters.

LAFF

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C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
... to the whole religion thing (assuming you ever are in such a position), what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

My wife and kids. It hurts them that I've let go of all but that last fingernail's hold. So I don't quite let go, or, to switch metaphors, I can't bring myself to completely close that door.

I want to still believe, but I don't. Half of what the church teaches is platitudinous crap and the other half is destructive, hurtful crap. Sure, there's good in the church, but it's because of the good in people, and it's not at all unique to the church. All of the objective evidence falls apart under any serious scrutiny. All of the subjective evidence seems to be nothing more than emotion.

I want to still believe, but I can't find any reason. But I don't shut the door because it would hurt my family.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Paul.
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I let go. But it wasn't because of the "platitudinous crap" (I reckon as long as people are trying to be nicer than they really are - which is a good thing - "platitudinous crap" is a feature of human nature, not Christianity per se) but because of feeling weighed down by the expectation of it all.

Having said that, if I was ever in that position again, I'd remind myself of how hard it's been to claw my way back to even the tiny measure of faith I have now and somehow try to hold on.

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daisymay

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Adeodatus,
I fell over the cliff - and it felt terrifying as I fell. It was the same circumstances "when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap" that you mention.

But I landed, (or was caught and carried by God as a flying eagle) down in a jungle where I had to cut and slash through to move along. But it was a fertile area full of green plants, as opposed to the cropped, dry, area I'd been in before.

What happened was that somehow or other, my belief was eventually totally transformed into its fresh birth and growth.

I think it might be the relationship with God, God's responsibility, that either pulls us up or catches/directs us as we dive down.

{ETA; why can't my fingers always spell correctly, in the right order?}

[ 15. June 2007, 14:44: Message edited by: daisymay ]

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Matt Black

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{Because you were hanging on by your fingernails too long, perhaps? [Smile] }

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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TubaMirum
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I'm not sure. But I don't think I can let go anymore.

It's a great story, though - the best ever told, I think. I don't think much about platitudinous crap, but about the plain story and the weirdness and beauty of it. Nothing quite like it. The Church itself is an ass, but we always knew that. I could easily leave it, but not faith. The religion itself is weird, wild, revolutionary stuff that I think is true. And it seems to be Good For Me.

Anyway, I really like that Guy.

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moron
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Having not quite loosened my grip completely I still hang on because my reason (such as it is) apparently requires a supernatural element to the universe.

And IMO Jesus' resurrection is the best evidence for supernatural intervention by God.

But it's all faith.

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Jenn.
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I guess I hang on because somewhere deep down I believe that God exists and that Jesus is the closest I'm gonna get to finding out about him.

I've been hanging on by my fingernails many times in the last couple of years, and that has what kept me there, and (I believe) God holding me there, although why he didn't give me a hand up earlier I never did work out!

The story of the prodigal son always helps me too. When I am feeling really crappy about Christianity I want to be there with God, but I simply don't believe he loves me. So I return to him as a servant and hope he meets me. I guess if I believe God exists, then I should serve him. The sonship stuff comes later.

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Talitha
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I so know what you mean about needing something to come back to when it all looks so implausible.

These are the thoughts that generally work for me. Everyone's different, so they probably won't work for you, but I hope they might.

  • I have a moral sense and I feel sure it's something more than an arbitrary social construct. Science can explain (very successfully) how a moral sense could have developed, but not why I as an individual ought to obey it beyond what's convenient to me; and I feel confident that it is more than just another instinct (like the instinct to reproduce) whose cause we understand and which we can or should ignore when it suits us. This line of reasoning makes it easier for me to believe the moral sense came from a divine source.
  • The argument that says that, in a Godless universe, reason itself is the product of undirected evolution and so we can't necessarily trust its conclusions, including the conclusion that the physical world is all there is. (Lewis outlines this argument well in Miracles.)
  • (This is more of an emotional than a rational one) I look at the people I love, and I think this person is so great and the love I feel for them is so great that both must have come from God. And, furthermore, God must be even lovelier and more interesting than this person, in order to have created them.
  • Reading the words of people who acknowledge that God isn't always easy to find and who trust him in spite of this. Examples, for me, include Adrian Plass, the Screwtape Letters, and the Ship [Smile]

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Yangtze
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
...what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig: Jesus
I'm always stunned when people say this. I just don't have that experience at all. And, given the centrality of Jesus to Christianity, question whether I really am Christian as opposed to merely spiritual / churchy / whatever...

I've had my moments when Jesus has been useful as my 'invisible friend' but generally it's a more general God that I connect with.

And that, to attempt to answer the OP, is why I hang on. Because I have experience (and want to believe??) in something transcendant. I probably remain in Christianity because of inculturization (it's the culture and tradition I was raised in) and because it tells a good story. Therefore no driving reason to change to a different religion with a different story.

I remain with the church (albeit I only have ever had one leg in the CofE and that is only remaining in by a toe at the moment) because of community.

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organic cotton, fair trade cotton, linen

Sometimes I wonder What's for Afters?

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Ruudy
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?

There's not just one thing; there's two.

First, somehow through it all, I find myself believing it's true (say, the Nicene creed).

And second, during long periods when I have not acted in accordance with it, life has become disastrous and hardly worth living. I guess it's the end of John 6 for me too. The last house on the block.

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The shipmate formerly known as Goar.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Or, to put it another way - on those days* when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?

Nothing at all.
[Devil]

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Choirboy
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I haven't had too much of a problem with losing faith yet. I have had a problem with finding the church being full of platitudes, and I haven't found an easy answer for that. My faith and the mass keep me coming back, but it can be exhausting.
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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
Nothing at all.
[Devil]

But still you post here. Some latent evangelical motivation?
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MerlintheMad
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
... to the whole religion thing (assuming you ever are in such a position), what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

Or, to put it another way - on those days* when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?


(* For me, at the moment, any day when I've read the Church Times.)

Too late. But I don't utterly throw out Jesus Christ, because to me the story of his life and teachings seems to make him the most profound human manifestation of God ever. My belief in Jesus Christ AS God suffers from too much exposure to our dogmatic doctrines. I don't think that he was out to create a new religion, but rather to reform the old one. Everyone else took it from there.

"The whole religion thing", to my mind, is supposed to morph over time for each individual. Some people will leave it (dogmatic, organized religion) altogether; others will keep looking for a better congregation to hang out with. As long as you are always wanting reunion with "God", and living the best you can to not betray that desire (and repenting when you fail), I don't see how personal religious faith can ever die. It may spend some eons virtually comatose, but never dead: and "God" will see to the reviving of our faith.

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Afghan
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I was well aware that the platitudinous crap content could run quite high and the evidence was somewhat underwhelming when I gave up on trying to make metaphysical naturalism work for me. I was baptised into the Christian faith with my eyes open. I knew there'd be days like that.

What gets me through them? A feeling that my faith is right for me - even if it turns out not to be true (which is after all a risk with any faith). I hope, of course, that my sympathy for the faith is somehow indicative of a spiritual discernment of its truth, but I'm aware it might not be.

But I can't give up on it. It's become too much a part of who I am. I like to think it was who I always but never saw it before. A certain amount of bloody-mindedness probably helps as well.

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infinite_monkey
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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Jesus.


Sorry, I sound like some bright-eyed loon.

Must be some way of making that sound more intellectually satisfying.

Nope - can't think of one.

Must be it then.

Jesus.

Right there with you. Even when (and it's most of the time) I can't connect with God, or Jesus, as a felt presence in the moment, I hold to the stories of him. The one where he pays taxes by asking Peter to just grab the coin from a fish's mouth so they can get on with the more important business of God; the one where he raises Jairus' daughter from the dead and then demands that they make sure she has something to eat. How his last documented miracle is healing the ear of the man sent to arrest him.

I read and reflect about the life of Christ, and it challenges, intrigues, and betters me in a way nothing else really has--even when I don't really see him on the path ahead of me, I feel driven to follow.

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
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chive

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

I can't. I've tried many, many times to let go, to walk away from God, the church and all the flaming bullshit that surrounds it. I only get so far before I get drawn back. I've found that each time I get drawn back it's in a different position and that position takes some time for the disillusionment and anger to settle in.

I've said this before when I was in a different place but I think it's probably still true now. 80% of the time I don't believe in God, the other 20% I wish he would bugger off.

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'Edward was the kind of man who thought there was no such thing as a lesbian, just a woman who hadn't done one-to-one Bible study with him.' Catherine Fox, Love to the Lost

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Bullfrog.

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I let go.

And God is still there.

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Scot

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What if he's not?

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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feast of stephen
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
... to the whole religion thing (assuming you ever are in such a position), what's the one thing that stops you letting go?

Or, to put it another way - on those days* when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?


(* For me, at the moment, any day when I've read the Church Times.)

Remember all the times God has been there for you. How even bad times can turn out eventually for the best, but you didn't realise it at the time.

And failing that, like some of the others have said, what else is there?! Christianity's the best show in town. Only our God (or version of God) bothered to manifest himself in semi-human form and suffer to help us. All the other Gods (versions of God) were too lazy! And because Jesus was human aswell as divine, we can relate to God alot better, as we know that Jesus went through alot of crap in life (alot more than most of us will ever see!) and that even though he could have escaped from it, he chose to perservere. And as for atheism...Dawkins Hitchens... [Snore] [Biased] And if Christianity should turn out to be a pipe-dream...then it jolly well should have been true!! And I will feel extremely hard done by and will remonstrate with the creator to find out why he didn't bother to send his only Son etc! But I trust (to believe is to hope for that which we do not see yet have been told all about, to paraprhase ) that there won't ever be a reason for me having to misbehave myself like that. I hope my ramblings helped and didn't seem trite, I also go through difficult times, but it's the above along with prayer and usually some very strange conicidences, that keeps me going when I hit rock bottom, and I'm always so glad that I did hold on by my fingertips. Also, throw away that bloody Church Times man! [Big Grin]

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"A man who does not think for himself, does not think at all" Oscar Wilde

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comet

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
I want to still believe, but I don't. Half of what the church teaches is platitudinous crap and the other half is destructive, hurtful crap. Sure, there's good in the church, but it's because of the good in people, and it's not at all unique to the church. All of the objective evidence falls apart under any serious scrutiny. All of the subjective evidence seems to be nothing more than emotion.

I want to still believe, but I can't find any reason. But I don't shut the door because it would hurt my family.

This is me. Though the "family" bit would expand outward to include community. The Episcopalians in Alaska all know me and count on me, like one counts on a slightly eccentric cousin.

It's family. not something you can walk away from.

I have let go of most of it - the anglican version of christianity doesn't speak for me anymore. But I'm family, and I still attend and still send my money and still chant the liturgy because that is what you do when Grandpa asks you to.

And then I go to the Quaker Meeting because they do speak to my heart. They do represent me, and my relationship with God.

Because when I did despair, and I did let go of that last grasp with my fingernail, God was there. God was there in the kindness of my neighbors, of the birds at the feeder and the blooming of spring. God was there in the money that always appeared right when I needed it. God was there in the person who just felt they should call right at the moment I was ready to give it all up.

And when I attended a Meeting. Then two. And walked away feeling like I had received a message. a kindness. a loving "hug" through the silence.

So, it may be a bit wierd, but that's why I'm still listening.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Dafyd
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Jesuit Spirituality says, very wisely, never make a binding decision in a state of dejection. That includes decisions about what to believe. If you're in a mood where everything seems meaningless and you're quite unsure about whether any of your beliefs make sense, that's not a good time to start reviewing your belief in God.

That seems sensible to me.

Dafyd

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Horseman Bree
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Every time I wander off down some leafy sideroad, trying to tune out the abysmal unChristianity of the church or the Church or the Synod or whatever, I am brought back by a specific event of one sort or another. One of my writing students takes a "But there is no God" position and I have to engage with her; the church community offers me an opening to do something worthwhile; another church offers a seminar (I was at a workshop led by Marcus Borg this week, sponsored through the United Church, immediately after my Anglican diocese had moved back to about 1890 at Synod) and so it goes.

SomeOne is not letting me go.

(But, yes, you should never read The Anglican Journal or whatever church newsrag you get.)

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It's Not That Simple

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Bullfrog.

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The way I see it, God simply is what's there. IT doesn't mean I have to like it, doesn't mean I have to expect it to be nice to me, doesn't mean that I have to believe in religion, or that I have to go to church, but ultimately I think God is there.

Hell, God is here.

I suppose at some point I realized that religion isn't really a change in reality, it's a change in perception. I can look at all of this and say it's just a random, meaningless chaotic blur, or I can sat=y that it's God. Either way, I have to love it, because loving it is the easiest way to to cope. Apathy is boring and hatred just leaves me feeling burned out.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by comet:
Because when I did despair, and I did let go of that last grasp with my fingernail, God was there. God was there in the kindness of my neighbors, of the birds at the feeder and the blooming of spring. God was there in the money that always appeared right when I needed it. God was there in the person who just felt they should call right at the moment I was ready to give it all up.

And when I attended a Meeting. Then two. And walked away feeling like I had received a message. a kindness. a loving "hug" through the silence.

I sort of relate to that, except it's the other way around. I let go of God and religion and found beauty in nature, hope in the kindness of strangers, love in my family, peace in the silence. Those worthwhile things, and so many more, are there, are real, are what makes each new day worth living. Once I let go, I realized that all of the good in the world didn't go away.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Beautiful Dreamer
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Jesus.

That is it. And I know a good bit about hanging on by your fingernails, because for quite some time this is where I was. I had had it with organized religion or the legalism I had come to know all too well. Not a small factor was the fact that I have bipolar and during the depression/mixed states, the last thing I feel is close to God. But I had basically been through the wringer with some believers I was involved with who taught a very distorted view of God and were very judgemental. I left these people and I left a lot of the baggage of the legalistic groups, but I never left Jesus Himself. Despite how much I pulled away, He kept coming after me and sending good friends to help in my healing. I am still a work in progress, though. I still have a hard time letting go of some things, but He never let go of me. I eventually was able to trust 'church people' again, and found a good church home.

Sorry if this wasn't the answer you wanted, or sounds too trite. But it is true.

--------------------
More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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comet

Snowball in Hell
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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
I sort of relate to that, except it's the other way around. I let go of God and religion and found beauty in nature, hope in the kindness of strangers, love in my family, peace in the silence. Those worthwhile things, and so many more, are there, are real, are what makes each new day worth living. Once I let go, I realized that all of the good in the world didn't go away.

exactly. And I don't think that Thing - sentient or not - really gives two shits wat we call it. It's still real and still worth getting up every morning for.

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

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Mechtilde
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Jesus for me, too.

I did give up. In fact, I've spent my entire life running to God or away from him. I have scars to remind me of how beautifully I managed my life on my own. I left the church after being abused by one of those "hired shepherds" Jesus warned about. So Jesus let me run away as long as I needed to, and let me feel like a lost sheep for a good decade. But he always knew where I was, and when he called me back, I was ready to return.

And now, leaving the wooly imagery behind, I've had a good long look at him and the only thing I really fear is being separated from him. I've been through scary periods of darkness since then, when I look and look but can't see him. I think this is because my face is buried in his chest and I can't see anything; that is, he's too close to be seen, not too far. I hang on to that -- by my fingernails, when necessary.

It's so hard to talk about these things without sounding like a complete idiot.

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"Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?"
Sylvia Plath, "Mystic"

Posts: 517 | From: The cloud of unknowing | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged
Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
# 11014

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quote:
Originally Posted by Mechtilde:
It's so hard to talk about these things without sounding like a complete idiot.

Definitely. Words never seem to be able to do "him/her/it" justice, whatever the hell "he/she/it" is.

Welcome to the ship!

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Evangeline
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# 7002

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quote:
what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?

To echo others to some extent and also fearing sounding like a complete loon. What has stopped me walking away is the reassurance of GOd reaching out through the crap (both mine and the Church's) and dragging me out of a spiritual vacuum. It is impossible for me to not believe in God now. I have hung on by a fingernail once or twice, when things have been really tough and I feared that rather than unbelief, I will be like Job's wife and curse God. Prayer, your own and others for you really does help.

The church can be so crap and I have walked away from it in the sense of the human institution, but I hope I will never be able walk away from God.

Posts: 2871 | From: "A capsule of modernity afloat in a wild sea" | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by Mechtilde:
It's so hard to talk about these things without sounding like a complete idiot.

Indeed.

Like many others, it is the inability to walk away because of the conviction, emotional and experiential, of being at points of complete and utter loss of hope, and finding that, through people that I believe have been sent by God and a divine sense of peace [see, I am a complete loon! [Smile] ], and knowing the prayers of many people helped me, I was able to be carried through it.

I am one of those people who seemingly is always struggling: when I see bombs go off, children dying of famine, people killed in car accidents, etc... , I wonder what on earth is going on. Even in my day to day life I find it a struggle. Holding on to belief is sometimes very difficult [which is why I'm always amazed (and annoyed sometimes) when people say Christianity (or religion in general) is switching off your brain or being all happy and joyful knowing God is in charge -- I may believe He is, but I struggle with what goes on in the world continually(*)]. The words of John Donne forever echo for me:
quote:
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Yes, take me Lord: even though I be "betroth'd unto your enemy", for true freedom is to be found only in you. However hard that may be.


[(*) I've resigned myself to accepting it's our free-will and not so much God's will, and not prying deeper, but it's still darn difficult]

[ 16. June 2007, 03:43: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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WatersOfBabylon
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# 11893

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For me, it's routine.

I go in and out of religious phases. Sometimes, I feel joyously overwhelmed by God and creation and I go about my daily routine in a rapture.

But that's a rarity.

More often, I wake up on Sunday mornings and think, "I do NOT want to go to church today." I rail at God for allowing me to suffer. For allowing others to suffer. For not healing me.

But if I can make myself go through the motions- go to liturgies, say a prayer or two, make the sign of the cross before I eat, kiss an icon- then I can usually pull myself out of the darkest of doubts and claw my way into some kind of peace with God.

I still don't know why I make myself do all the work it takes to get out of the mire. Why don't I let myself just not believe? I believe because I want to believe, but I don't know why I want it.

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Alogon
Cabin boy emeritus
# 5513

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
when the whole of Christianity, from start to finish, seems just one long line of platitudinous crap, what's the one thing that stops you walking away from it all?

J.S. Bach. Olivier Messiaen. Herbert Howells (even though, or maybe partly because, he apparently thought so too and still hung on by his fingernails).

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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M.
Ship's Spare Part
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For me, and it's been a semi-permanent state for a lot of my christian life, it's because at the end of the day I believe it, dammit.

Intellectually that is; I've only rarely felt much emotionally. But, there it is, I believe.

M.

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Socratic-enigma
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# 12074

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Wrong question?

Perhaps it should be:

"Why not let go?" What is preventing you - fear? Simple anxiety; or merely habit?

Let's try a somewhat different analogy.

A very comfortable house which protects you from the outside; where death and suffering occur - but they are not final; merely transitional - simply a case of going into that room (which unfortunately you can't peek into; nor have you ever seen anybody come out: Although of course you are told that long, long ago...someone actually did!)

But you keep glimpsing the world outdoors, and begin to question the veracity of what you have been told: Contradictions cannot simply be explained away. They multiply.

Open the front door.

Step outside.

As Morbius says:

"Welcome: to the real world."


S-E

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"Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."
David Hume

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Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
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When I get overwhelmed by the whole bureaucratic people-organised church politics thing the one thing that keeps me sane is remembering that God is.

He there, and never lost, even if I appear to be.

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Even more so than I was before

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Jonm
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Some sort of daily office?

(and giving up all of CT except the prayer page and Word from Wormingford for a few weeks [Smile] )

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"My God, My God, why hast thou accepted me?"---Caedmon's Call

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Not

Ship's Quack
# 2166

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quote:
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, Child!
And I replied, My Lord.

George Herbert

That's as close as I can get. A mixture of love and some sort of recognition that I went into this as open eyed as I could, and need to stick with it however muddled and meaningless it sometimes seems. A sort of half relieved, half resentful surrender sometimes.

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Was CJ; now Not

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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The church choir (a weekly commitment) and the rhythm of the liturgy.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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The only answer I can give is that I really do believe, as far as Christology and the Trinity go. I have had times when I 'let go' of church attendance, and I worked for the Church for too many years not to have seen the platidunous crap manufactured. Somehow, I never lost my faith.

I need worship and the sacraments, even though I went without them at times. I've had to be 'on the outside' of things to preserve my sanity, ultimately. I have no regard for 'obligations,' obedience, determining where one attends church by postcode, etc.. When I 'go my own way,' as it were, I hang on because my life is empty without worship.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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Beautiful Dreamer
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# 10880

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quote:
Originally posted by Mechtilde:
Jesus for me, too.

I did give up. In fact, I've spent my entire life running to God or away from him. I have scars to remind me of how beautifully I managed my life on my own. I left the church after being abused by one of those "hired shepherds" Jesus warned about. So Jesus let me run away as long as I needed to, and let me feel like a lost sheep for a good decade. But he always knew where I was, and when he called me back, I was ready to return.

...
It's so hard to talk about these things without sounding like a complete idiot.

Glad to know I am not the only person to have been in a somewhat abusive situation. But, to their credit, I don't think the people I had problems with even knew they were doing me harm, or meant to. I didn't really see how harmful some of their teachings were until I got away (I broke up with my ex, whose family was the inner circle I speak of). Is that how it was for you too? And did you ever confront the person or people? I confronted my ex over an email and we had a nice long talk about it, but I don't think I really changed anything. Oh well.

They are good people, it is just that their brand of faith does not work for me. I guess I have too realistic a world view to believe that you can get anything you want from God just by having enough faith or believing right. That is a heresy anyway, I think. Or it should be.

Having bipolar has taught me a lot about relying on God even when I cannot see Him. I seriously wonder if that is the reason why God allowed this to happen. I have also learned a lot about compassion for other people, although I still have problems with that sometimes.

--------------------
More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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What keeps me from letting go?

Realizing that, if all that's keeping me hanging on is my own clutching grasp, then I am simply not seeing the whole picture. There I am gasping and grasping, desperate and dogged, working so hard to keep hold of Him, while all the time it's He Who has hold of me.

So, in the end, I try not to cling. If staying with Him depended on my own personal strength and the skill with which I can grunt and sweat and work up a good steaming "head" of faith... well, it wouldn't happen.

--------------------
I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Mechtilde
Shipmate
# 12563

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Thanks for the welcome, mirrizin.

Beautiful_Dreamer, my experience was like yours mainly in that it wasn't till I was way out of the situation (years later) that I realized I wasn't equally responsible for an illicit relationship I was pushed into by a much older priest when I was very young and vulnerable. I did actually try, a few years ago, to hold out an olive branch. I contacted the parish secretary and asked if she had an address for Fr. X. Instead of saying yes or no, she forwarded my message to him -- definitely not what I'd wanted to happen. He didn't respond, no doubt thinking I was coming after him with a team of lawyers. I may try again; he's an old man now and I'd like him to know I forgave him long ago, but I don't know, maybe I should let sleeping dogs (!) lie.

Back to the OP: I know I'm capable of letting go, so I pray like hell that Jesus will not let go of me. He's got a pretty firm grip so far, and I trust it because I have no choice.

--------------------
"Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?"
Sylvia Plath, "Mystic"

Posts: 517 | From: The cloud of unknowing | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged



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