This may not help and may very well be a waste of time to read…I was raised catholic…sort of…never got confirmed until recently.
I use to believe that I didn’t need a church and I didn’t need the Bible. I only need to recognize God and do the best I can to be a good person. Poor definition because who is to say what is good and what is bad without God’s Words? I could be wrong with this train of thought.
One thing about me was that I always wanted to do whatever God wanted me to do. I didn’t believe in the Bible so much because of all the different “interpretations” that made no sense to me whatsoever. So, I always trusted God to point me in the right direction in life minus the whole church thing…
When I finally decided to study Catholicism (long story there)…I personally realized that there was knowledge here. This happened after I read the entire Bible on my own, which was a pretty hard feat since I was still in college at the time. For every question I had I was presented with Context to understand the passage. This was the key for me…context of scripture from the time the scripture was written and their culture. I was given clear teachings on specific issues that had a lot to back it up. Lots of verses from the bible to back up the claim, as well as from well known and respected thinkers of the past. In other areas of society I was only presented with one verse or even half of a verse…they teach this in speech class for debating your point of view… (I got into a fight with my speech teacher over this ridiculous notion of only telling parts to make your ideas/opinions look like the truth…ended up only failing the class). So, I guess in short, I felt that the church had nothing to hide and they presented everything they had.
I have a deep love for Buddhism and Japanese culture, more so of the times before the Edo period. So, I’m not ignoring or looking down at other religions, but unfortunately, in many religions I see selfishness, escapism, oppression of women, Etc. No offense to anyone. I love other religions, especially of those from ancient times…the stories…so fascinating…
I do see God everywhere…even in crimes, so I understand how hard it is to say, “well they experience God too so what does it matter? Why should I bother?” The conclusion I came to was that God knows what is in their heart and that could have been His way of leading them closer to Him. We don’t know these other people’s history or their inner thoughts. If he never showed Himself…would they react that He abandoned them? What good would that be for God? This doesn’t mean that God should materialize in every single person’s home and say, “Hi, it’s me and i’m real so believe in me, kthxbai oh and don’t forget to pray!” then vanish to the next person’s home.
You may not like to hear this but there is also the prince of lies that adds to the confusion…he does like to perform fake miracles to keep us confused and separated. It is good to know we can look at the fruits of the miracle to see if it was from God or not. Also, if we decide that God doesn’t care about us…that He just made us and left us to our own devices without any sort of guidance…then where does love come from? Humans have to be taught everything, from what love is to how to walk. (not sure if you studied feral children but that can help understand this).
Hope this helps…even if it is just to keep this post alive for an intelligent individual to notice and properly assist you.