About to become an Atheist PLEASE HELP!


#1

I have been going through a real tough time spiritually lately. It all started when I started my search for the one true religion over a year and a half ago. I went through all the world religions one by one and marked them out when I knew they couldnt be true. I got stuck between Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and Neo-Paganism. So I prayed to God to show me the truth and I have been praying for over a year with no answers. There are times when I stay up all night crying and begging for God to show me the truth. I am like Thomas I need to see to believe and Thomas is a saint and in Catholicism there are thousands of reports of God (or someone on his behalf) appearing to people when they didnt ask for it. So why cant God show me the truth if he has to others? I promised him that once I know the truth I would use my life to serve him (Priest, Rabbi, Imam). My only desire in life is to serve God and yet he wont answer me no matter how much I pray and beg. Lately I have been watching alot of Dawkins and Maher and this whole thing isn`t helping. I about ready to give up and become an Atheist which would really depress me because there would be no afterlife or reason for being I will fill even more worthless than I already am. Not to mention that I have to hide this whole thing from my parents at the same time( racist anti any religion other than baptist christian types)
Please I am begging everyone to help me.


#2

Have you ever wondered why atheists don't seem to feel this crushing hopelessness that you're feeling?


#3

What if God's deliberately withholding an answer from you, for the sake of making a statement about your attitude?

I mean, I'm a teacher, and sometimes a student asks me a question I know he knows the answer to but is playing the helplessness card and just wants me to tell him what he already knows. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I do just give him the answer, but if I suspect he's playing dumb I clam up, look him in the eye, and kind of smile, as if to say, "Seriously? You need me to say so? Are you saying I just wasted my time teaching you this stuff for the last 1-9 months?

Don't you know how to determine what is the truth, Brockman?

Even more pointedly, what if God gives you whatever answer it is that you're looking for right now? If you're all tied up in knots over how we know truth, then if God gives you an answer, how are you going to know that is the truth?

Don't despair, though. This is the time in your life when you are supposed to be going through an epistemological crisis. Up till now you have been trusting people you are supposed to trust, people who are not supposed to be playing mind games with you or lying to you. Now you are transitioning into the adult world of suspicion, ambiguity, and deception. (That's why an under-18yo cannot legally enter into a contract in the USA - youth are too naive.)

When John the Baptist's disciples came to Jesus claiming John had doubts that Jesus was The One, Jesus basically gave them the kind of answer I'm talking about. Jesus basically said, "Seriously? The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor hear the Gospel ... and you have to ask?" (For John had no doubt about Jesus - he was sending his disciples to ask because the disciples weren't sure.)

When are you going to give in to the obvious?


#4

I was going to write some encouraging notes for you but, after reading Rainaldos post…he has said it all!
I will pray for you to see the “truth” that is right in front of you!


#5

[quote="Brockman138, post:1, topic:291854"]
I have been going through a real tough time spiritually lately. It all started when I started my search for the one true religion over a year and a half ago. I went through all the world religions one by one and marked them out when I knew they couldnt be true. I got stuck between Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and Neo-Paganism. So I prayed to God to show me the truth and I have been praying for over a year with no answers. There are times when I stay up all night crying and begging for God to show me the truth. I am like Thomas I need to see to believe and Thomas is a saint and in Catholicism there are thousands of reports of God (or someone on his behalf) appearing to people when they didnt ask for it. So why cant God show me the truth if he has to others? I promised him that once I know the truth I would use my life to serve him (Priest, Rabbi, Imam). My only desire in life is to serve God and yet he wont answer me no matter how much I pray and beg. Lately I have been watching alot of Dawkins and Maher and this whole thing isn`t helping. I about ready to give up and become an Atheist which would really depress me because there would be no afterlife or reason for being I will fill even more worthless than I already am. Not to mention that I have to hide this whole thing from my parents at the same time( racist anti any religion other than baptist christian types)
Please I am begging everyone to help me.

[/quote]

God is giving you an answer. His answer is His silence, and your pain and longing. Any pain, darkness, hopelessness we feel in this life is a testimony and a likeness to Christ, and a proof of God.

This might help. It's by Rumi.
All night, a man called “Allah”
Until his lips were bleeding.
Then the Devil said, “Hey!
Wherefore doest thou cry all night
And never once have you heard Allah say, “Here, I am”?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing!”

The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground
And fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
“Why are you regretting praising Allah?”

The man said, “ I called and called
But Allah never replied, “Here I am.”
Abraham explained, “Allah has said,
“Your calling my name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of “Allah”
Waits a thousand replies of “Here I am.”


#6

Hmmmmmmmm.... go ahead and become an Atheist. It is a very dark place. You will be back when you actually realize what being an Atheist truly means.


#7

I became an Athiest, and I couldn’t accept it, then agnostic, then I realized the History, and the miracles , all the Saints, and why I find to be overwhelming evidence that God is real , and so is Jesus, and the Catholic Church is what he made


#8

Man, that’s a beautiful poem. Thanks for posting.


#9

Yet, at least.

To the OP: I’m praying for you. Keep looking. God is drawing you to himself, by letting you seek. It is a beautiful thing in life to seek, much like riding in a car while on the way to an ultimate destination.


#10

I believe, help my unbelief!
That is a wonderful prayer.
Just serve him today according to your state in life. Today. It’s a long road to be a priest, rabbi or imam, with many steps. Just take one step and tell God that you trust that He’s so close, you are in his shadow and can’t see him. Your back is against his legs and you can’t seem to find him. By your longing for Him, you can repair for so many who are indifferent to His love. Offer that longing as a sacrifice of love. It is a gift.

Sit quietly with Psalm 42…
As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God…

David sang these words long ago. Today it is your turn.
Peace


#11

Brockman, I realized I was an atheist a couple of years ago now. There were/are just so many reasons and points that made me realize that, if I had to bet, I would bet that there aren’t any gods. If this is what you honestly agree with, then admit your atheism and don’t be ashamed by it. Otherwise, follow whatever religion you think is true or worthwhile.

Don’t despair, though, if you do “stick” with atheism. I know the feelings of disappointment that accompany, after being taught for years that there’s a candy land awaiting us after death, thinking that there probably won’t be anything at all. But one thing my atheism has taught me is (I know it’s a cliche, but I’m being honest) to truly appreciate the good things I have: being born into a home with fantastic parents, never having to go hungry, being able to watch fireworks on the fourth of July, etc.

There’s nothing wrong with you either way.


#12

First off: The use of the words “candy land” to describe Heaven on a Catholic message board is, at the very least, uncharitable and somewhat antagonistic. Clearly, becoming an atheist didn’t do anything for your manners.

And: Fantastic parents, food on the table growing up, fireworks on the fourth of July…none of this came to you under your own power. This kind of logic is a cold, uncaring blow to those who grew up in horrible situations that they could not control.

Thank God that there IS a God who is there for the downtrodden, the lowly, and the powerless. Thank God the world isn’t chaos and happenstance, a world in which those who were born with nothing would have no hope.

And finally: Of course there’s nothing wrong or bad about the OP having a crisis of faith. No one suggested the idea until you brought it up. :shrug: Preemptively picking fights by assuming the other side will tell him that something’s wrong with him? Hardly the work of a person at peace with him or herself.


#13

Hi alongexpected,

I’m curious, why do you feel that atheism gives you a deeper appreciation of things in life? And how would an atheist who has nothing find comfort in his/her existence?

Thanks

edit: And OP, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you either. Grace doesn’t always happen overnight, and many people struggle through their conversions. There is nothing wrong with questioning. I will say a prayer for you (and all other non-believers) that God may help those who seek truth.:slight_smile:


#14

What a lie. :rolleyes:


#15

I went through the same thing and started reforming my life to live according to Christ. It was when I despaired and lost all hope that God revealed Himself to me in a mystical way.

My advice is to keep pushing. A broken heart in nearer to God. I think that a dark night of the soul is needed and all worldliness shaken away before you feel the real presence of God. Don’t give up.


#16

Brockman! Been there, done that. Your story is my story. Tried the Buddhism, other flavors of Christian, Native American Shamanism, Witchcraft/New Age, ad nauseum looking for God. And then I went back to the Catholic Church. I walked in and said, "Wow, you were here all along."

Other than atheists who I find to be narcissists that want to be their own gods, or those that are "too smart" for it, we all know there is a God. You feel it in the depths of your soul. So maybe the question is: "What do you know about Jesus?" There are very few ways to think about Him. Either He was a liar and a con man, a total nutcase, or He was who He said He was.

If He was only a liar and a con man, what did He gain? Why would thousands have died horrible deaths as martyrs for His con game? Especially those that knew Him best (the Apostles) and should have been in on the con if that's what it was? Why would the church He began have lasted any longer than His lifetime? Historian Philip Schaff said," How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor- (who would have to be) a deceitful, selfish, depraved man-have invented and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character know in history...?"

Same argument applies to the question of His sanity. Psychiatrist J.T. Fisher: " Here (Sermon on the Mount)...rests the blueprint for successful human life with optimism, mental health, and contentment." C.S. Lewis writes, "The discrepancy between the depth and sanity... of His moral teaching and the rampant megalomania which must lie behind His theological teaching, unless He is indeed God, has never been satisfactorily explained."

That leaves us with one choice: He was who He said He was. You cannot say that Jesus was a great moral teacher, and not agree that He was God. Again, if He was not God, He had to be a liar or a lunatic, either of which precludes "great moral teachings". Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He split time in half. There are no other options. That being said, why would you go anywhere but to the Church of Jesus the Christ and His Apostles? Why wouldn't you go directly to the source for the unchanged teachings of God Himself?

Don't give up. That pain you feel is God calling you. Take a deep breath and jump in with both feet. RCIA starts in the fall :D And one last quote, "The love of God that descends to the depths of our souls, our love which by its irresistible need attracts the God of Heaven and captivates Him... these are two loves that seek each other... and fuse together in a divine unity."- Archbishop Luis M. Martinez (from "The Sanctifier")


#17

To the OP:

If you need a place to start, I’d take a look at C.S. Lewis’s writings, especially Mere Christianity. The path that book takes into discussing the existence of God is similar to the path my life took on my way back to Catholicism.

I was born into a Catholic family and went through a crisis of faith early in high school. Being in a Catholic high school, I struggled back and forth with my thinking on God until (through reason by observance of the world) I could not deny the existence of God.

It is thanks to my brother that got me back into Christianity my sophomore year of college through a Non-Denominational Christian college ministry. I still bore the badge of Catholic like many these days because of how I was raised. And it was through questions of friends there that I realized how ignorant I was of Catholicism and started investigating. I’m still working on understanding everything, but I’m back home.

I’m not sure where in Kentucky you are (I am from Northern Kentucky), but I’d be willing to take you through the reasoning I took to get me where I am today through PM or whatever, to see if it may help you discover what your beliefs are. Just let me know. I know it is a tough time for Catholics in the U.S. these days, but I think it is worth it :slight_smile:

Also, with regard to your parents: My fiance’s parents hold (or at least held) many misconceptions of Catholics and the faith when we first started dating. They don’t completely agree, and I still think they wish I became Protestant, but they know more now than before. I hope and pray that they will one day be completely okay with me and my faith as my fiance is. And so, I will pray that your parents learn and come to accept you and whatever faith you decide.

Best regards,
Ben


#18

If you are looking for something other than His silence, go where He speaks to us through the gift of Prophecy, Healing, Teaching, Counsel, Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, etc. and then listen to what you receive. This is what you are really asking! Where can you find this? First, I would start out at the SCRC ( Southern California Christian Renewal Center) in Glendale, California. Call and ask for a catalog of material and ask for help in selecting some of the best material for your question! They have several thousand CD’s from people filled with the Holy Spirit, so there are likely a few CD’s that you will find most helpful, that will perhaps “speak to you”. Secondly, although you are in Kentucky, I would try to take a trip to the annual convention for the SCRC in Anaheim, California on Labor Day weekend. Here you will meet many of the 10,000 to 25,000 people attending, including many that have had deep personal experience with the Holy Spirit. There will be hundreds of priests, a few bishops and many, many people with the Gifts that I mentioned above, many lectures, people that will help you, direct you, show you, if you ask. It is not that expensive considering the effort you have already made. At the Saturday Mass with 10k in attendance, healers pray for every person attending individually which may be what you need. Don’t attend and refuse to ask people your questions, ask, we are there for you, always. Eventually you will need to find a prayer meeting that suits you and you may need to try several, since each prayer meeting is different according to the Gifts given to the members by God. I would recommend one that has a strong gift of Prophecy, but you will see the Gifts used throughout the convention and you will see the narrow path to Him. It is a path of Unbelievable Love and that is what we all seek, for everything else that we know cannot compare to one second with Him as you will discover!


#19

And Glenn Miller’s Christian ThinkTank, starting here.


#20

Is God really not answering or is He not saying what we want to hear.

I am not sure what type of answer you are seeking from God - are you asking for a verbal or apparition response? It is very rare for a person to be given a direct answer, normally through prayer a person is given guidance and direction rather than the answer.

Have you thought of praying or talking to Jesus and Mary for guidance? Also ask God to allow your guardian angels to walk closer with you and guide you in the right direction.

Good luck on this - God does listen


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