Hi all. I was raised Methodist and was put through Sunday School , baptism and confirmation. I never really thought too much more about it through High School and college. I took Philosophy courses , Anthropology , Evolution , etc. and learned a lot about science . Anyway , the more that I have learned in school , the less the religion made any sense as far as explaining the whys and hows of the world. Then , on top of this , there are so many other religions in the world with different philosophies , belief systems , practices , rituals , and Gods , whether Jesus is the son of God , or he's just a prophet , and some with no concepts of heaven or Hell.
Then there's the story of Adam and Eve and a talking snake and an ark etc. Then we have all of the bad parts of the Bible with the Crusades and the Inquisition , stoning brides that weren't virgins on their wedding nights , sacrificing people , etc. Universe 5000 years old vs 12 billion. Humans basically how we are today vs. fossil records of many early versions of man (Neanderthal , etc.) . Evolution from one celled organisms from the sea to fish to amphibians to mammals to monkeys to apes to a branching off phase. The Bible writers were very superstitious with regards to everything about the universe and so attributed it all to God is angry. No idea of germs , viruses , disease.
The planet seems to be designed more for insects than humans. And speaking of insects -- if it wasn't for our pesticide programs , the insects would consume most of our food.
Wow . I've really been ranting for awhile. And suffering. Tsunami killed 200000 people including 1000's of children. Where is our loving God? Some say that God created the world but has no control over nature. OK. Why do people try to say God is punishing people or that he chose to save the survivors? Why do people pray for sick people if He has no control over individuals (not a personal God)? Kids with horrible diseases and cancer. People that get terrible terminal illnesses.
I could go on forever. I guess I am trying to say that my later years and education pretty much put a lid on my early religious upbringing. I find it truly hard to believe the Bible story these days -- just like the Muslims don't believe ours and the way we live. Then there are the Hindus , Buddhists , the ancient Greeks (and their Zeus) ,Native American Spirituality , etc. Everyone has their ideas. A good percentage of Christians believe that Jesus will fly out of the sky in the next 50 years and save the world.
It's enough to cause a lot of anxiety.. Basically , one's geographical point of birth on this planet determines what you will be taught and believe . At least until you get older and may want to investigate other viewpoints.
Has anyone else had these thoughts at any time?
I believe that I understand your views from an educational standpoint. I see your points and questions on how all the bad stuff that happens and why you question why a loving God would allow this to happen. I agree that religion causes added stress and anxiety in lives along with confusion. I am a Christian who believes that Jesus died on the cross for our sins... I struggle with many of these thoughts myself. I continue to do my best to be faithful and pray for the needs of others and I rejoice and give God all the praise and glory in all aspects of my life. I work as a computer programmer for a school district and I devote much of my time seeking to find people who are in need suffering from anxiety, stress, pain and health issues. I pray for each one and I provide Hypnosis relaxation audio or video files to provide comfort and relaxation in their lives. I have witnessed and can testify that some amazing things have happen for some of these people over the last year. I believe that God is real and that he wants us to trust Him both in good times and difficult times. I will pray for you and if you would like to watch my video's you can view them at:
http://video.yahoo.com/video/profile?yid=hypnosisbasics_101. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing. Steve
Badvibes, I dont know. I am going throught the same thing myself for a few years. It is hard to find faith and when you have no faith it is hard to find meaning which spirals off to 100 other things. I dont think people who trust and have faith are naive, I envy them because they have found comfort in that where my brain just cant fit it all in.
It is easy to see how something as confused and confusing as religious teachings would certainly contribute some degree of uncertainty to what its "all about" and our indivdual fates. On the other hand, religion hardly has a monopoly on this -the same situation applies to any institutionalized system of belief, thought or values. I was listening to a religious argument (I'm not making this up) among 3 athesist the other day; it took me about 20 minutes to figure out I wasn't listening to 5 Jews.
To the extent, however, that one has internalized any code of thought, belief or behavior, there may indeed be conflicts which serve to encourage anxiety and panic. It is also true that it is in the nature of panic and anxiety to seize on ANYthing that will make us nervous. And on the other hand, to the extent that religious beliefs offers some sense of comfort -a respite from the stormy night, as the hymn says, then maybe it is not a bad thing.
It is not clear to me, from what you write, that you are terribly burdened with a great deal of anxiety or panic about the diversity of religious thought and action - I wonder if you are just proposing the idea that it could be so. It would be helpful to know more about your feelings on this.
And I will take this opportunity to remind forum members and visitors that this forum is about anxiety and panic -NOT about religion or converting people or evolution/creationism -etc. Those who wish to engage in such discussion may feel free to do so on their own, of course. And certainly, any of our actions and beliefs which are rooted in religious tradition and personal beliefs and values are just fine; it gives me a sense of strength knowing that someone might pray for me.
I guess that my anxiety could be that there is confict between my upbringing and what I have learned and witnessed later in life. Then the whole guilt thing of religious dogma -- believe that Jesus is divine and go to Heaven or vice versa. But , on the other hand , people born Jewish or Muslim (to name a few) believe he was just another prophet. Then people say that these books were written by very superstitious men thosands of years ago where everything was attributed to God being mad at them for not living correctly. No knowledge of germs , viruses , etc.
I mean , I (or anyone) could "say" that "Ok I believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose" . In my heart of hearts , after everything that I have learned , there's doubt. But , religious dogma tries to tell people if they don't believe they are going to you know where for eternity for this thought crime.
Others say that it would be just without God -- not any sort of real place (even the Pope mentioned this a few years ago). I read the other day that Mother Theresa herself had doubts of her faith for years! Of all the people.. Then there's the translations form Hebrew. The word Sheole (spelling?) can be interpreted as just grave. Then there was an actual place on earth in biblical times called hell -- just a long trench outside this city where they threw bodies and other waste and garbage from the surrounding area.
I've never been very religious . Even growing up as a child I just listened to everything , didn' t understand most of it , and later on never really thought about it at all until recently. Maybe it's all part of a middle age crisis..:^) I have sometimes prayed when I have had some low points over the years. I think that there has to be something out there somewhere (some force) , something beyond us , but don't feel the draw to organized religion and all of the beliefs contained within , especially since I could have been brought up under some other religios tradition in another part of this world --and we're all human being under one god , if you will.
Any God that I would want to believe wholeheartedly in would be loving and show forgiveness to all of his children -- not just the ones that believe in Christianity. Then again , humans are weak and He should realize that not everyone will think and act the same. I have a close friend (though I haven't seen her much since she got married a few years ago) who is Indian and was brought up Hindu. Now , I'm sure that she has heard of Christianity (just like I have heard of Hinduism) , but she will practice in the tradition of how she was raised. According to some people in Christianity , anyone who doesn't believe that Jesus is the Son of God will be banished forever in the proverbial lake of fire.
Is this the kind of loving gentle God that people want to have alongside them?
These kind of thoughts can certainly make one anxious. I don't know what to think anymore. Maybe I shouldn't think about it at all. My older neighbor said just ask to be shown what is true and I'll believe that. Or one could say that "anything's possible". Leave all options open. Just live life the best that you can , be kind to others , do onto others as ...... , ya know. Who knows?
Sorry if I am getting soooooo deep into this. I think that may be part of my problem also. I get too deep and no one knows the answers but everyone has their ideas.
I totally understand your comment about your brain not being able to fit it all in. I wish that I could just say "yeah , I believe it all". But my logical brain kicks in with it's .02 cents and shows all the reasons where it may just be part of superstitious thinking. There's so much suffering in the world -- children with cancer , tsunamis , earthquakes -- lots of humans die from these and I'm sure many were faithful in their beliefs. How can one make any sense out of these things? There are still 1000's and thousands of children starving and dying on this planet in Ethiopia and elsewhere. Innocent people dying. Some say it is God's will. What purpose does it serve for anyone if that is the case? People recover from illnesses -- God did it. It's a miracle. Someone else dies of the same affliction. What happen to God there? That person was no good? Some people survive a plane crash and say God saved them. Were the rest of the people not good people or important?
There is the anxiety and conflict kicking in again....
I understand the nature of your philosophical angst, and would be pleased to engage you in it at greater depth if you'd care to -just use the forum's email service and give me your contact info.
MEANWHILE, consider the possibility that other issues are expressing themselves in this great cosmic debate about God, Mother Theresa, and other persons and entities which are important to you. Trsut me, you are not the first to have said, "But what about ...?"
And the doubt, the "but what about" aspect are very central to the thinking of a panic person. We're the folks who don't do well with denial, who want a diagnosis affirmed again and again. "What if" and "suppose" are the obsessions we deal with on a daily basis.
So, for now, get your head (a good one it is, by the way) around the idea that the issues and conflicts you're dealing with -while expressed in a religious and philosophical context- are really about something else, and when that something else is delt with, the relgious matters will magically take care of themselves.
Theology is the study of religion. Spirituality is our relationship with God. We are given free will and freedom of choice. Do you take anxiety medication? I used to have the proble of counting and my brain runs fast but I have learned to channel my thoughts. Some people find power in prayer and re;igion is a hot debate topic for some.
God is a loving God. But because He loves us He gives us the choice to make. We either believe in Him and accept Him as our Saviour to live with Him eternally or we decide to live without Him. Its our choice, He paid the penalty for our sins, it up to us whether we accept it or not. I too suffer from anxiety and I too have doubts about God and religion occasionally. However, I choose to believe that Jesus is the one true Saviour.
I have issues with structured religion. I don't think I need to go to a building and have someone stand up there and read from a book and tell me how to think and act.
Even the front of the current Christian Bible says the King James EDITED version.
A little side note quote" Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let US make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
That is one of 22 that I know of instances that they forgot to delete when editing. And that one was in the 1st chapter.
None of us will ever know the real words put to paper by the men that wrote them (they are sealed in the vault in the Vatican) because those in power are afraid of what would happen. They would lose control of the masses. Yes the Kings of the land used religion to control their people. The words were twisted.
ACK but I rant. Anyhoo. I am spiritual, I believe there are higher being(s).
We as a people are beautiful and creative.
To blame misfortune on a God or Devil is wrong. Are humans to live forever? No natural disasters? No plane crashes? It's a flip of a coin, chance whatever other name you want to call it. Fair? h.e.l.l. no but there it is.
Please remember that this forum is about anxiety -not religion (nor cooking, nor politics ...etc). If you'd like to carry on with an off-topic discussion, contact forum members using the message feature. For general religious discussion, Yahoo Answers provides a religion and spirituality forum.
GOD is Awesome, He has givin us life and let us make our choices as how to live it, we choose right from wrong and He helps us along the way. God is the only choice for me with out him I would have no hope in the Evil world. Barbara
I am struggling right now with my spirituality. I was brought up a Roman Catholic and always had strong beliefs. However, with heartache and saddness that I have experienced my faith wavers. I would love to have the beliefs I had in the past. It was a great source of comfort and strength.
suzi, look at the thread on the topic colonoscopy and scared. I think it's on page two now in the Gastroenterology Forum. I feel like God brought three of us together for a reason. I've been talking to two others who are catholic. One who was questioning a lot too and wanted answers. Read the thread and let me know what you think. You can pm me.
I also suggest you read "As Silver Refined" by Kay Arthur. It talks about how God teaches us through our trials and sufferings and makes us better people and better able to serve others. Even Jesus Christ suffered terribly. There's no getting around pain and suffering in this world. But we have one who promises to walk with us when we go through these trials. I've gone through a terrible time the last few years too. But God has taught me so much. I wouldn't want to go through it again, but I've grown because of it.
You can write to me anytime. I love the Lord and love talking about Him. Take care.
People who know better know that science prevails over myth. It's a struggle. religion can be a useful crutch for anxiety. I say don't sweat it to much. Hope for the best if it helps, use religion in times of need. But it doesn't have to be black and white. Meaning you don't let it consume you. Life is a roller coaster and anxiety stinks. If religion helps use it. Consider it CBT! It's a personal thing, pick out the things in religion that comfort and help you positively.
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