Losing My Religion

historical-sculpture-religion

That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion…

I’m lost, confused and disillusioned. Nothing makes sense to me about God or religion anymore. These days, I find myself questioning the very values and belief system that was once at the core of my existence.

measuring-spirituality-religion

I’ve reached a crossroad in my life and now I sit on the fence when it comes to my faith. I’m probably more of a doubter than a believer and more agnostic than an atheist. I’m plagued by guilt and fear of going to hell (and my hair can’t stand the heat)! It’s the one principle stopping me from being more definitive about my opinion on whether God exists or not.

474666679_0ec3754b56

I was raised a Catholic, attended church every Sunday, prayed most nights (to be a supermodel – never happened) and was surrounded by a devoutly Christian family. But the world, the people I’ve immersed myself with and personal experiences has taught me more about how to live a loving, positive life than the dogma that dominated my upbringing.

shutterstock_8152021

Sadly, religion doesn’t always unite people. In a lot of instances, religious conviction divides families, communities, even nations around the world (more than a soccer game in the UEFA league). We witness every night on television the effects of hatred caused by extremist beliefs. Who’s to say one religion is more ‘right’ or ‘better’ than the other. At the end of the day, whatever floats your boat. But faith could be the biggest bunch of bollocks ever, up there with the Kardashians and Donald Trump.

religions_l

Every religion has elements of brainwashing or a cult like hold over its members. The moment you lose your right to freedom of choice as a result of religious persuasion is a violation to human rights. Life throws curve balls at you every day, therefore every individual has the right to make rational and logical decisions based on their own circumstance as oppose to the teachings of systematic indoctrination. Let’s face it, “the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some”.

6359219582826001061156779871_religion

I’ve learned to keep an open mind, not to judge people based on whether they’re Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Scientologists, Pastafarians, Collingwood supporters etc It’s not your beliefs that make you a good person, it’s your actions and behaviour. You can go to church, a mosque, synagogue or temple as often as you like; read the Bible, the Torah or the Quran daily, but it doesn’t mean you’re more righteous or virtuous than a person who attends the footy every weekend. My theory is, how you’ve inspired and encouraged those around you, your integrity, kindness, generosity, patience, understanding and the love you’ve demonstrated will have a huge impact on others, and consequently will be your lasting legacy. Ultimately, it’s how you respect and treat people that matters.

article-18-map

References

‘Losing My Religion’

Writer(s): Bill Berry Peter Buck Mike Mills Michael Stipe
Producer(s): Scott Litt R.E.M.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Losing My Religion

  1. Questioning religious convictions is easy. Acting on the answers requires courage regardless of the direction you are taken.
    And you are right – “Ultimately, it’s how you respect and treat people that matters.”
    Perhaps if religions are viewed from a social construct instead of the dogma being promoted more people would lose the fear and guilt when they examine their personal belief systems. Fear and guilt – the tools of provocateurs – are very powerful negative motivators entrapping people in emotional prisons.
    Would humanity be as willing to remain in religious bondage if they viewed religious belief systems as systems of government? Think about it. In order to survive itself, humankind needs a social structure complete with codes of justice, morality, penalties, and of course a powerful unseen sentient being (or many) that wields the ultimate power over your soul.
    A strong armed leader can maintain a society as long as he/she is present. But what happens when the leader isn’t around? That’s where and when the fear, guilt, and the all-powerful unseen sentient being/s are used to control a population.
    And who decided there’s only one god? Does having one omnipresent and omniscient god in charge of everything trump multiple gods confined to a single responsibility? Is it a way to unify people instead of them bickering over whose god is the best? Was a single all-powerful god created by man to prove their society’s supremacy?
    Now the question really should be:
    – How is a religion different from government other than granting you entrance into the heavens or paradise?”
    – Why are you allowing a religious belief system based on fear, guilt and a better existence in an ‘afterlife’ to wield so much power over you?
    And finally:
    – What are you going to do about it? Do you have the conviction to live your life and align your actions with your beliefs?
    Ultimately, it’s how you respect and treat people that matters. And that’s EXACTLY how religions are failing.

  2. Questioning is good. God wants us to question what people tell us. Dogma, as you noted, might be oppressive and legalistic. If a church espouses you must practice this dogma then it’s probably not based in scripture. We are free to make our own choices. We either choose to love God by accepting Christ, or not. Pretty simple. The only unforgivable sin is unbelief. Everything else is covered by the cross. I love how you said: “how we inspire those around us through our kindness, generosity, etc will be our legacy.” I believe these things toward others flow out of a life lived with the joy of Christ and acceptance of His wonderful free gift. I didn’t do anything to earn it and I never can. He gave it, I receive it. There is no greater love than one lay his life down for his friends John 15:13. This is what Christ did for me and for you. Churches, the buildings and the people in them, often muddy the water and add things to salvation. You have to be baptized, you have to take communion, you have to say the Lords Prayer, you must seek absolution for your sin through an intermediary, and the list goes on. None of these actions save. Salvation comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as John 3:16 reminds us. I pray you were comforted as you poured out your heart in this post. I pray you are comforted by this response.

    • Oh my gosh, those words are beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m so confused. I know so many people who are non-believers or follow a different faith. These people are kinder, more generous, patient, honest and loving than me. But doesn’t the bible say that these people will end up in hell? Heaven will be a lonely place without these beautiful souls. I know some wonderful people who are homosexuals, but the bible says that they’re lifestyle is sinful. Why did God make them that way, only to punish them for being who they are? So many things doesn’t make sense to me. I’m very lost…

  3. i completely feel you and have been going through something similar. i’ve gotten a lot of comfort from reading alan watts, specifically the book on the taboo against knowing who you are and the wisdom of insecurity. learning about non dualism has helped me too.
    one of watt’s insights is that sometimes you have to be in the space of not knowing and seeing what you get- that is true faith, whereas belief and insisting that things must be a certain way is rather dead- there is no faith without uncertainty. embrace your doubt and your humanity, and let God meet you where you are. I don’t think the vision of God as a stern but loving old man is helpful to our spiritual evolution past a certain point. If you think you know God, you are farther from him/her/it/the ground of being than if you had an open mind and heart.

    • That’s so beautifully written. I really appreciate your insight. You help put things into greater perspective. Thank you. Sending you well wishes and positively good vibes.

  4. “Man-made” anything always has room for SERIOUS flaws. And religion itself is the reason over 3/4 of atheists became that way in the first place. It truly is a sad, sad situation especially with the world in the state it’s in right now. There are far more questions than there are answers, and I use to be where you are. What changed? Honestly, I pulled away from anyone and anything and began to read – with fervency – the Scriptures. Before opening up those pages, that RHEMA “Living Word”, I would pray and ask God to open my mind to His Truth, as it pertains to THE Truth. God says that we are SPIRIT, and those that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). The Bible also tells us that we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12). All I really and truly know and BELIEVE with all my heart is that the Word of God is infallible, is of no private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20), and is alive and able to transform every life. Getting caught up in MAN’S renditions of it have no place and it’s not at all what Jesus came to do. So, I encourage you to just open up the pages and let Him minister to you personally. Because He will. He’s so loving and wants so much for you to be all that He created you to be…

  5. I went through a similar experience. My background was Evangelical rather than Catholic but when I came out as an atheist I learnt very quickly who my true friends where in the church. Every ones journey is different so it’s not for me to give you advise but (here comes the advice I wasn’t going to give you) ask your self why you believe in god and how do you know or feel he is real. A lot of my friends and family are Christian and get a lot of comfort from it.

    I did write about why I stop believing I don’t normally promote my posts on others blogs but here is link if your interested.

    https://erick79.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/where-is-god/

    Sorry to be a bit of a know it all but in the REM song losing your religion is slang for losing your temper!

    • There were times in my life when I felt a strong connection spiritually. Life was great, but it was never easy, it was a constant challenge. As I grew older, I began to question more things about the bible, and realised that there were several issues that didn’t sit well with me. Furthermore, with so much sadness around us, I began to question whether a God existed. How could a God let so much despair happen in the world he supposedly created? P.S Thanks for the bit of trivia, honestly did no know that. Cheers!

  6. In my blog I wear different hats. My preacher hat directs you to my blog, possibly the post ‘Pearls before swine’ but you might like to rummage around in the ‘page’ department at the top of the screen or older blogs. It’s just I don’t think ‘comments’ is the place for endless discussions – but be glad to talk via email on some of your doubts and searchings. Love is to will the highest good for another individual – I will your highest good – and trust you will know the Peace that passes understanding that Jesus offers. Have a nice day. KR

    • Thank you so much for the positive words. It’s just one of those mysterious things that we’ll never know if there is or isn’t a God. Science says ‘no’, but you need to have blind faith…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s