How my views on God and religion changed over the years


#1

I was raised a Catholic. From a very young age, I’ve always believed in God. Maybe I didn’t when I was younger, I may even blindly followed just because my parents wanted me to. I don’t remember now anymore for sure, but I am pretty sure the belief was real.

I am now 19 years old, and over the past year my views on everything in general have changed.

First off all, I’d like to say I believe in God, not because I was told to believe in God, but because I cannot fathom any other possible explanation of the origin to the universe. I also do not believe that the series of events that eventually have lead to human consciousness and awareness of one’s own being could have been a fluke - no way. Something greater than any mind can comprehend set this up. So, the only thing I can think of is that there is a universal creator, otherwise if somehow proven not, I would end up believing that the universe is an illusion and does not really exist.

However, I do not know for sure weather this universal creator is the Christian God I once believed Him to be. I found a few problems with my religion’s description of him - for example, God having human-like qualities (and thus making Him imperfect).

I still however, despite this changed view, feel the love of God, and love Him back. Weather or not He is the Christian God, or some kind of mysterious metaphysical force that our minds cannot comprehend - because I honestly do not know, and I honestly do not even know if that matters or not, because I do believe in “The Creator”.

Just thought I’d share, I want some feedback - did anyone else go through similar, any comments? Do you think I’ve still got a shot at eternity with my different viewpoint if I did go off-track?


#2

Hi Njguy,

Everyone has a shot at eternity! And if we get off track, it is never too late to find our way again.

God doesn’t have human-like qualities. Humans have God-like qualities, as we are made in His image. It is the fact that this image has been marred that makes us imperfect. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to allow that image to be restored and bring us back to the fullness of life that He designed for us. That opportunity exists for all who will receive it.

Peace,

petra


#3

Hi njguy58,

When I read your post, I thought of my Dad - who seems very lost right now. Hopefully you aren’t as confused as he is.

He was a strong Baptist Christian (okay… not Catholic, but he took it seriously at least), who started opening up his mind to “possibilities” outside the church in the areas of humanist philosophy. Over the years, he really “slid down the slippery slope” until today he doesn’t even believe that Jesus is God anymore. He’s confused, bitter, and miserable, and hates anything even resembling “organized religion.” I feel so sorry for him, and so disappointed that he has fallen so far.

I’m a recent convert to Catholicism, and I can’t believe how deep the Catholic faith is. Even though I’m a “newbie”, I would urge you to go as “deep” in your Catholic faith as you can - you’ve got the TRUTH! It took me 43 years to find what you already have!

God made a promise in His word that I took seriously - and He has answered… He said that I’d find Him if I searched for Him with ALL my heart. Make sure you search in the right place! You’ll find God in Scripture, in the Catholic Church, and in a serious commitment to prayer. Don’t avoid these disciplines, or you’re likely to be seriously misled. My heart goes out to you in your time of searching.


#4

you have experienced what usually happens when you sincerely begin again to study the faith, which is that immediately more questions arise. Your next step is to follow the logic of your own conclusions and see where they lead you. To do this systematically and fruitfully, you must take time with each of your objections, examine your conclusions, and examine the premises from which you have drawn these conclusions.
i.e. you say you have trouble with the Bible ascribing human attributes to a transcendant God. Get help with formal scripture study that explains the literary devices being used by bible writers who use such language, and with the meaning of the passages in question, before you make a global decision to discard all such biblical language from consideration.

I heartily recommend the Basic Apologetics series (after a crash course on the CA homepage articles and library, and a subscription to This Rock, of course) which you can order from CA, for such a systematic study. The Bible the Basics by Steve Kellemeyer is another sytematic scripture study that addresses the questions that will arise as you consider this doctrine in more depth.

For the question of whether God is personal or an impersonal power again follow the logic of each supposition. A good place to begin is with the problem of evil in the world. What would be the response of a personal God vs an impersonal God, and what in fact, has God actually done in human history.

If you are sincerely seeking the Truth, rather than merely affirmation of your own opinions, the Truth will find you, because it is He who has initiated the search in the first place.


#5

I went through a similar experience as you only it took me 19 more years than you to come back to the realization of God. Once I got over myself and really began to search I found myself back in the Catholic Church.

You are beginning to see God’s great mercy. Keep up your search and go where God leads you.


#6

I am only a few years older than yourself and had the same thought.

I was confused. You see thousands of different denominations, lots of different religions, and many telling you that God doesn’t exist.

Well, by Gods grace I was forced to take a “Christian Concepts of God” class at a Catholic University. It hit home how real God is and how many Catholic thinkers have been in your shoes for 2000 years.

Book that really hit home with me were “Christian Concepts of God” I forget the author, but he is a Jesuit, St. Augustines “Confessions”, and “Francis” a story of St. francis’ Journey of finding the Lord.

The last two book are of note because Francis was a very poor Catholic and Augustine was a pagan before their conversion, which show that your doubts and questions have been around for the 2000 year history of the Catholic Church.


#7

By what you’ve written it appears that you might be open to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Find an orthodox Roman Catholic Dominican priest or sister and get ready to begin a journey in mind and spirit.

Start off by reading some basic Aquinas. After awhile, you’ll be hooked.


#8

You sound alot like where I was a few years ago, except that I went all the way to atheism. I would encourage you to keep examining Catholic theology, that’s what led me to the Catholic Church. It’s very important not to believe anything blindly.


#9

Well, I do not think atheism will ever be an option for me. I mean, I have my reasons against atheism that do not even involve God.

Thank you for all the responses. I never even possibly thought that I might actually be on the right path by stepping off the to the side and asking many questions.

I also would like to add, that I sometimes have this weird feeling inside of me, like I am “onto something” when I think about this kind of stuff.

I’ll take note of the stuff mentioned above, and when I have time this summer, I’ll resume my searches.

God bless you all!


#10

I also went thru a period of doubt, but never doubt about the existence of God or that He was a “personal” God - so in that way my experience was different.

You like to ponder and ask questions. Ponder such things as beauty, truth, sense of justice. They truly exist. How would it be possible for an “impersonal force” to establish such things?

Most importantly, if you still have some faith in even just the possibility of a personal God, then be sure to PRAY to Him in your search. Ask, beg Him for His help. For He is the truth; the source of the truth which you are seeking. Again, pray; here I am speaking from experience.

Nita


#11

Maybe the Holy Spirit is tugging at your heart? ! ? !


#12

If you believe in “The Creator,” that is a good place to start. One of the other posters suggested that you study and learn the teachings of St Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica). I agree with that.

If you like to read, there are so many good books that could help you in your journey. You can find a lot of them in the library (or online), so it won’t cost you anything. Also, you may have EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) available through your cable company. If you do, you can watch this on TV or, if not, you can get it through the internet. There are a lot of great shows–including one about Aquinas. This EWTN show might be a good introduction for you if you are not familiar with Aquinas.

Here are some books I recommend:
Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton (or anything by Chesterton)
Literary Converts by Joseph Pearce
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
Another Sort of Learning by Fr James Schall
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
Evangelion Vitae (encyclical) by Pope John Paul II
Veritatis Splendor (encyclical) by Pope John Paul II

Also, be sure to keep praying for God’s guidance and wisdom and keep reading the Bible.

Many of us on this forum (including me) would hate to see you waste your time on the many godless philosophies/worldviews that are popular in this day and age. We warn you because we have been there, found these philosophies bankrupt, and would hate to see you and others waste your best years.


#13

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