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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: August 18, 2012, 10:46:18 PM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 11:01:22 PM »

trevor,

Good to hear from you, even if what you said wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear! Smiley  As someone who has gone through years of struggles of this kind I can totally understand where you're coming from. Or mostly anyway, as I guess we all have our own thoughts and ideas and emphases. I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely) I have been making good progress towards being a consistent Christian again. I'm even scheduled to start communing again in about a month (I'm currently going through the process of showing that I can be consistent in prayer/liturgy attendance before I am readmitted). Am I saying you will follow a similar path? Not at all. Maybe you will, but probably your path will be very different. So what am I saying?

I guess I'm saying that there are fellow strugglers out here. Even people Christians consider saints sometimes had doubts. Sometimes they left and came back, sometimes they didn't. You have always seemed like a sincere and intelligent person to me. And for me, sincerity is the highest virtue, so when I say that I'm really giving you as good a compliment as I can give. And I also feel like I've got to know you somewhat, as much as possible given the medium and circumstances, and I really do wish you the best. Please stay genuine, and stay who you are (who you've been for years here). The only other thing I would say is, keep seeking the truth. Don't settle, don't be self-assured, always be open to the possibility that you were wrong, that you are wrong, and that you will be wrong in the future. Which is not to say that you should worry yourself silly; enjoy this beautiful world. I think you already are making progress on that, based on your post. Good on you. Keep up the fight. You're still on my side, as far as I'm concerned, even if you're wearing the uniform of another country now.
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 11:07:38 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 11:12:14 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 11:13:58 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
No, I haven't baked prosphora in a good long while (my prosphora come out more like prosphora crackers). 
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 11:14:32 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
That's only for old widows police But I like Trevor more now. Way more mature.
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 11:16:32 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
That's only for old widows police But I like Trevor more now. Way more mature.

Old widows and overly zealous teenagers without girlfriends  Wink

Thank you very much, Augustin.  That means alot.  I feel like I've matured quite a bit over the last few months.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 11:20:07 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
That's only for old widows police But I like Trevor more now. Way more mature.

Old widows and overly zealous teenagers without girlfriends  Wink

Women like a man who can cook.

Thank you very much, Augustin.  That means alot.  I feel like I've matured quite a bit over the last few months.

Convert burnout.  When cradles burnout, they go to the nearest church in the neighborhood.  The Orthodox Church will be there for you if you desire to "return home."  Same goes for you augustin.   Wink
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 11:22:43 PM »

I first started becoming disenchanted with Orthodoxy in 2005, and in January of 2006 I "officially" left it. Since then I've been bouncing back and forth between it and agnosticism (with brief bouts of atheism and flirtations with other religions). Often I felt much better being without religion or Orthodoxy, but I always kept my love for it, and it always pulled me back. Since early 2010 (especially since my wife passed and I had to examine my life more closely)

Thank you, Asterikos!  You're one of my favorite people on OC.net.  I especially can relate to what I've quoted above.  My icons have come on and off of my wall at least ten times in the last few months.  Since leaving Church I've studied Islam and read the Qur'an.  I've also gone back to Church but quit again, and finally I'm just done with all of it (though, you're right, this most definitely isn't my final destination as far as my beliefs are concerned, it's just what I feel right now.)  I'm 18, and I have my whole life to figure out what I believe as I search for what really is the truth.

Have you recently baked a prosphora?  I never did.
That's only for old widows police But I like Trevor more now. Way more mature.

Old widows and overly zealous teenagers without girlfriends  Wink

Women like a man who can cook.

Thank you very much, Augustin.  That means alot.  I feel like I've matured quite a bit over the last few months.

Convert burnout.  When cradles burnout, they go to the nearest church in the neighborhood.  The Orthodox Church will be there for you if you desire to "return home."  Same goes for you augustin.   Wink

Yes, I've heard that first we're "Hyperdox Hermans" and then we turn into "Cradle Christopher"!   Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 11:23:39 PM by trevor72694 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 11:28:53 PM »

Quote
  Same goes for you augustin.   
I know. I didn't call  quits. Just practice it with loads of economia on top of  a who cares attitude. just like they were trying to teach me in younger days back home.
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 11:31:51 PM »

Quote
  Same goes for you augustin.   
I know. I didn't call  quits. Just practice it with loads of economia on top of  a who cares attitude. just like they were trying to teach me in younger days back home.

As long as you know the difference between augustindoxy and Orthodox Christianity.   Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 11:35:23 PM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with.  

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real.  

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about.  

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Read Psalm 42 ("As a hart longs for flowing streams...")

I'm not sure why I am recommending that.  I just think it's a good one to read.  You're not the first person to go through this.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 11:37:29 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 11:58:33 PM »

I was afraid of this.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 12:37:10 AM »

My dear Trevor, it is always great to hear from you.

your best quality , along with your winning charm and gentle loving soul is your genuineness and sincerity. I can not say enough how refreshing those are. to me they are the mark of a true seeker of the Truth. those who genuinely struggle are worthy of honor and admiration as far as I am concerned. to say one is not Orthodox anymore is waaaaay better than to say one is when one knows one is Not and use all sorts of pomp and hot air to hide what one is. such existence of pretense is the worst possible way to be my beloved. so even if my heart ached in pain hearing what you had to say, but I was also comforted by your continued sincerity and honesty that remains unchanged.May the Lord preserve such sincerity in you as I know it is just that very thing that will make all of us embrace the Truth when we find it even if that Truth demands what might look like unbearable suffering from us.

 when David says the fool says there is no God in his heart, its because the fool is not after the Truth , rather after his personal pleasure and comfort, so every time he has to restrain himself or extend himself beyond what is comfortable to him for the sake of the Truth, he opts for what seems like an easy solution of denial of this God/Truth that demands all those things and make his life uncomfortable, so in his foolishness  he says there is no God, if there is no God there is no need to worry about what one does or does not do.the foolishness then is for him to think that just because he says God does not exist to expect God to cease existing. you are not such man, you are a genuine seeker who hungers for the Truth and is struggling genuinely with it, and that genuine struggle is a refiner of saints. do not surrender your freedom to seek the Truth even to the  comfort you might feel as you abandon it. that is not freedom that is a bond of fear and pain , this weapon has been used by the enemy to kick warriors men out of the battle field. typically what is offered by the enemy is ' your life will be much easier if only you stop being a christian' Let Love and Truth guide you in your journey not pleasure and comfort seeking instinct. so long as you Love the Truth, the Truth will guide you home I have no doubt about this, and in this life or the next that's worth everything that comes with the territory.

so  remain your beautiful honest self and the world will be a better place for having you lived in it my dear terevor. May the Lord guide you, protect and strengthen you. May the Prayers of all the Saints be with you. love you! hug!

with love in Christ,
Hiwot.
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 12:42:38 AM »

Hey Trevor,

Thank you for the update and for the honesty.  You were honest with us and so I'll be honest with you. I find this news to be absolutely devastating.  You are a sensitive guy and you were a breath of fresh air on a forum where coldness and cannibalism often reigns. You will be missed. I don't mean this to sound patronizing but you will be in my prayers.
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 12:46:42 AM »

Hey Trevor,

Thank you for the update and for the honesty.  You were honest with us and so I'll be honest with you. I find this news to be absolutely devastating.  You are a sensitive guy and you were a breath of fresh air on a forum where coldness and cannibalism often reigns. You will be missed. I don't mean this to sound patronizing but you will be in my prayers.
Thank you, but you needn't be devastated.  If God is real, perhapse in his infinite wisdom and power I'll find my way to Him again. Smiley  (Also, I'm still sticking around OC.net, so you won't be missing me.  I may not be the annoying zealot that I was a few years ago, but I'll be here).

As always, I appreciate your prayers.  Whether there is someone who hears them or not, good thoughts are worth something no matter what one believes or disbelieves.  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 01:02:16 AM »

and a class at school
What class?
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 01:03:42 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 01:04:09 AM by trevor72694 » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 01:04:51 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 
So that made you revalue your beliefs?
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2012, 01:05:50 AM »

The doors are always open for the repentant to return, my friend. I can't really add anything to the great posts by Hiwot and Asteriktos, but I can post this advice that helps me when I am filled with doubt or worry. They say that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one soul that has repented and returned to the Lord than over a hundred who did not have such dramatic struggles (or something like that), and I know there are many saints who lived without God for some of their lives and yet are today remembered among our greatest and strongest intercessors before the Lord our God. I will pray that you become one of them.
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 01:06:11 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 
So that made you revalue your beliefs?
No, it wasn't that.  But this little test that I took did make me want to put Church on the back burner.  
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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 01:09:06 AM »

Not to pry into your personal life, but I'd like to know what your father thinks about this because wasn't he against you being Orthodox in the first place?
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 01:09:35 AM »

So you were naive when you were religious, but now that you're not all your problems have magically gone away as a result. And you're not naive anymore. Interesting how that works out.
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 01:11:56 AM »

Not to pry into your personal life, but I'd like to know what your father thinks about this because wasn't he against you being Orthodox in the first place?
No, you're not prying at all.   Smiley

My father wasn't against me being Orthodox.  In fact, he converted a couple of years after me!  My mother was rather against it, but she saw that just because I was religious didn't mean that I would turn into a judgmental bigot.  She lets me do what I want, as long as I am happy.  I really have amazing parents, I just didn't see it when I was a couple of years younger. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 01:14:30 AM »

So you were naive when you were religious, but now that you're not all your problems have magically gone away as a result. And you're not naive anymore. Interesting how that works out.

No, no, no!  My friend, that is not what I meant!   Wink

When I first joined this forum, I was a different person.  I was barely 15, and I didn't think for myself much (this is why I say that I was naive).  I'm not suggesting that naivety and religiousness go hand in hand, I'm merely using it to describe myself when I was more active in the Church.
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« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2012, 01:16:52 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 
So that made you revalue your beliefs?
No, it wasn't that.  But this little test that I took did make me want to put Church on the back burner.  

1.  Therapists are supposed to be supportive.
2.  Quit the church because of a test?  Huh?   Huh
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2012, 01:20:20 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 
So that made you revalue your beliefs?
No, it wasn't that.  But this little test that I took did make me want to put Church on the back burner.  

1.  Therapists are supposed to be supportive.
2.  Quit the church because of a test?  Huh?   Huh

1.  And she was.  She was extremely helpful and supportive!  Smiley

2. No, I didn't quit Church because of this.  This test made me want to not have Church as such a high priority in my life, but not quit it.

Since I started this conversation, I suppose I owe you all this much for the sake of context.

I originally left Church because of my sexual orientation.  This was something that I didn't feel comfortable even thinking about while I was in Church.  This is no fault of the Church's, but my own.  I stopped Church, and I was able to accept myself for who I am.  I needed to stop going for me.  The disbelief in God came later.
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2012, 01:23:19 AM »

I'm just a bit incredulous that all of your problems went away when you stopped going to church. You stopped having panic attacks? What about church gave you panic attacks?

Your story inspired me a lot. I'm a year younger than you. I remember coming to the forum as just an internet lurker sorrowful that he wouldn't be able to really experience Orthodoxy for years. Then I saw your story, and found out that there's no age requirements on beginning to look into the Church. So I have you to thank for the fact that I've been in contact with my priest and attending an Orthodox church for a little over a year, so I'm especially sorry that you have of all people have turned away from God. I can only hope and pray that you'll come to your senses and that I won't follow you in this as I followed you before.
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2012, 01:25:21 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 

Isn't this an example of a flaw in the test, or maybe your idea of what the results say about you, not a flaw in your values? My religion is most important to me because the Lord is my creator and my salvation, but I don't think that is to the exclusion of my biological family and love. Rather, I give thanks to God for the family He has blessed me with quite frequently, and the love we show for one another is in some small way a reflection of God's love for all creation. So I don't understand why there is a problem with saying that religion is most important. After all, we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

So I think the test has created a false dichotomy.
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2012, 01:27:29 AM »

I'm just a bit incredulous that all of your problems went away when you stopped going to church. You stopped having panic attacks? What about church gave you panic attacks?

Your story inspired me a lot. I'm a year younger than you. I remember coming to the forum as just an internet lurker sorrowful that he wouldn't be able to really experience Orthodoxy for years. Then I saw your story, and found out that there's no age requirements on beginning to look into the Church. So I have you to thank for the fact that I've been in contact with my priest and attending an Orthodox church for a little over a year, so I'm especially sorry that you have of all people have turned away from God. I can only hope and pray that you'll come to your senses and that I won't follow you in this as I followed you before.
Well, gee, thanks.   Wink

Nothing about the Church gave me panic attacks.  I LOVED the Church.  I remember posting before about my anxiety problems, and I said that they went away because I was trying to explain that I'm not the same person I used to be (I stopped posting on this forum for quite a while.)

I am glad that I helped you, William.  Orthodoxy truly is for everyone.  I hope that you find happiness and peace in the Church.
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2012, 01:28:42 AM »

I am glad that I helped you, William.  Orthodoxy truly is for everyone.  I hope that you find happiness and peace in the Church.

Thank you.
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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2012, 01:33:02 AM »

It's a fantastic class where we analyze our personalities and our traits.  We also learn life skills such as paying bills and balancing checkbooks.  I took a test at the beginning of the year about my values, and "religion" was my highest value, even over family and love.   Embarrassed 

Isn't this an example of a flaw in the test, or maybe your idea of what the results say about you, not a flaw in your values? My religion is most important to me because the Lord is my creator and my salvation, but I don't think that is to the exclusion of my biological family and love. Rather, I give thanks to God for the family He has blessed me with quite frequently, and the love we show for one another is in some small way a reflection of God's love for all creation. So I don't understand why there is a problem with saying that religion is most important. After all, we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

So I think the test has created a false dichotomy.

It very well could be, but you didn't know me back then.  Church was the most important thing, period.  I would always drag my mom out of bed to drive me (I would go three times a week).  It was all I talked and read about.  I'm afraid that in stead of "witnessing" to people, I put them off by how religious I was.  I had bad opinions about several things as a result of my religiousness, which caused me to shelter myself from the most interesting people.  I have become so much more accepting and friendly (in my opinion!).

Whether it's a flaw in the test the way you see it or not, it was a good thing for me. 
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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2012, 01:46:45 AM »

Hmm. I guess you have a point. I didn't know any of that about you. But what you describe also doesn't sound anything like the Orthodoxy I'm learning to live by. I guess everyone is different in that way, but I'm still trying to understand how you go from "I was bad at balancing my commitment to my religion" (or "I was anxious", or whatever you feel the problem was) to "God doesn't exist". I mean, I'm bad at staying away from sweets, but sweets still exist (I just try to avoid being alone with them Grin). I don't know you at all, so please forgive me if this is out of line, but it seems like you could benefit from looking to transform your experience and understanding of your religion, rather than giving up religion.

Granted, when I did that I became Orthodox... Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2012, 01:52:34 AM »

Hmm. I guess you have a point. I didn't know any of that about you. But what you describe also doesn't sound anything like the Orthodoxy I'm learning to live by. I guess everyone is different in that way, but I'm still trying to understand how you go from "I was bad at balancing my commitment to my religion" (or "I was anxious", or whatever you feel the problem was) to "God doesn't exist". I mean, I'm bad at staying away from sweets, but sweets still exist (I just try to avoid being alone with them Grin). I don't know you at all, so please forgive me if this is out of line, but it seems like you could benefit from looking to transform your experience and understanding of your religion, rather than giving up religion.

Granted, when I did that I became Orthodox... Smiley
This isn't out of line at all, my friend.  Smiley

That is why I left Church in the first place, but my belief in God was still strong.  It was learning that I am just fine without God in my life that pushed me to question his existence, and then realizing the answer to that question.

I mean, I can't say for 100% certainty that God doesn't exist (and I truly believe that not even the most religious of the religious can say that they know 100% that God exists).  You know, because you have faith in him.  You learn about him and attend Church and commune with him while building a strong relationship with him.

I've realized that "faith" is all in your head.  It's real if you believe that it's real.  I just don't believe that it's real, so for me, it's not real.

I hope that makes sense.  I'm currently half asleep and still on the computer (that's what OC.net will do to you), so I'm going to bed.  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2012, 01:56:04 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
 
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2012, 01:57:47 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
 


Father, that is very interesting.

I am very interested, how could you tell from so early on?
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2012, 02:00:23 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    
 
JamesR is next.
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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2012, 02:01:04 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    
 
JamesR is next.
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« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2012, 02:14:13 AM »

That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
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« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2012, 02:15:21 AM »

That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I'm willing to bet good money he will be an atheist in a few years. Just wait bud.
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« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2012, 02:21:50 AM »

That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I think that our friend Achronos is only joking!  James is a faithful Orthodox Christian.  He seems like an honest chap, he'll do what he believes is right. 
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« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2012, 02:21:59 AM »

That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I'm willing to bet good money he will be an atheist in a few years. Just wait bud.

How much good money?
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« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2012, 02:22:51 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
 


Father, that is very interesting.

I am very interested, how could you tell from so early on?

Well, several things, but I will only mention one.  Many of your posts rotated around you and your perceptions and practical matters.  It was only a matter of time before you figured out that life is ok without God because the focus has always been you.  Even when you were focusing on God the central focus was still you focusing on God.  But keep this in mind.  If there is no God then there are no absolutes, and there is no instrinsic value.  If there are no absolutes and instrinsic value, then we have no value as persons, and all of our thoughts, feelings, writings, speaking, and actions in general have no value.  Now that does not prove that there is a God, it just proves that if there is not one, that your entire thread on an update of Trevor is meaningless and of no value.    
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« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2012, 02:25:46 AM »

Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
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« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2012, 02:26:14 AM »

Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

 **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair Smiley

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   Smiley

Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
 


Father, that is very interesting.

I am very interested, how could you tell from so early on?

Well, several things, but I will only mention one.  Many of your posts rotated around you and your perceptions and practical matters.  It was only a matter of time before you figured out that life is ok without God because the focus has always been you.  Even when you were focusing on God the central focus was still you focusing on God.  But keep this in mind.  If there is no God then there are no absolutes, and there is no instrinsic value.  If there are no absolutes and instrinsic value, then we have no value as persons, and all of our thoughts, feelings, writings, speaking, and actions in general have no value.  Now that does not prove that there is a God, it just proves that if there is not one, that your entire thread on an update of Trevor is meaningless and of no value.    
I appreciate you sharing this, that is a very fascinating observation.
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"It is true that I am not always faithful, but I never lose courage, I leave myself in the Arms of Our Lord." - St. Thérèse of Lisieux
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