My Beliefs. What Am I? Am I Lost?

I was raised Christian by an extremely devote follower, my Grandmother. Went to church every Sunday until about high school. Christians schools all the way.

I still remember the exact moment I became skeptical of the Bible. I was sitting in my religion course sophomore year of high school, and we were discussing some of the stories. I understood that the Bible was more symbolic than actual, but I just had those lingering questions. My question was, “How do we know which ones God wants us to take as real or fake?” No answer…

I was kicked out of class…to sit in the principles office. That was it for me, I was going to allow myself to look beyond this belief system; I just really didn’t care.

College came around and I experienced ups and downs. Experienced drugs. I mean, I was trying to enjoy college. Isn’t this what everyone does!

I transferred to a new school after freshman year, and for some reason my life changed.

I’m a junior now, and I am more confused than ever. Yeah schools fun, classes are easy, that stuff makes sense. But I am thinking of the future, and I don’t know what to expect. Every civilization rises, only to fall. Archeology has shown the top species go extinct.

I wanna believe there is some form of God. I would love to die and be given eternal life and happiness. I was once asked “Is suicide still bad if you’re curious?” I was like “…What? I don’t effing know, that’s way too deep right now!”

That very question drove me to think about this issue, read the Bible, and relate it to other things.

I follow the Bible, it is my religion, but I do not follow any of the monotheistic separations.

My belief is that the Bible was written by men. I believe they are no different physically then any of us, but mentally these men were by far some of the greatest writers in human history. I believe that the ‘Holy Spirit’ is the realization that we are conscious, we exist. We are no different from any other species on this planet. We must love each other, everyone should be taken care of.

The Bible is a book, and its not just a fiction book. Its a ‘movie’ based on true events. The writers couldn’t explain what happened before, they weren’t present. They did the best they could to explain it, but they did it in a story.

And it is impossible to say the Bible is non contradicting. Yet I simply refuse to accept it as a ‘fiction book’ that many of my friends believe. All of these stories, have to have some meaning…some purpose.

I am not saying its all true, I believe there were probably some people along the way that added stuff to change the story, but that’s just my opinion.

I believe the Bible is a story of consciousness. The hidden meaning of the story is that we are all ‘Gods’ because we recognize Being. With this power, comes responsibility. God (our love for everything, the equality conscious) battles the Devil (The skeptical conscious, Ask questions, knowledge)

Just a few examples, which are important in my beliefs:

Revelations. it describes that humans will witness many tragedies. We will witness horrible things towards mankind, but never see the a comforting “god” to come save the day. This will cause us to question his existence. This will result in us creating divisions, estrangement between each other. ‘Hell’ will take over, a ‘questioning’ conscious. Yet there will be a day when we will be push to extinction, and only love towards all will allow us to survive. No divisions between us

Leviticus 20:13 (I bring this up, as one that plays a contradicting role.) The man and woman relationships serves a purpose. Beyond the companionship, which a male can feel with another male, the purpose for man and woman is create new life. Their lives continue with generations, and that generation would stop if man lays with another man.

Genesis 9:20-21 Man discovered a way of altering consciousness. It causes us to go back to a state like Adam and Eve, naked, away from consciousness.

Please guide me. Being lost in the dark without light is a scary thing.

Be my flashlight.

You’ve certainly written something very eloquent - you might want to think about starting a blog. You might get a lot of visitors!

Honestly, I wish I could help you. Since my reversion to the Church, I have spent hundreds of dollars on books on philosophy, history, etc., and I am slowly making way through them. The more I learn, the more that I learn that I have a lot more to learn! So, really, it would be dishonest of me to give you comprehensive guidance or advice when I am still so naive. I hope others can help you.

I will say this, though: that first question you asked was a good question, and it’s a question that Protestants can’t answer. The Bible is not just a book - it consists of many different books that were written by many different men (yes, Catholics believe they were written by men), in different time periods, in different cultural milieus, and in different genres. A person such as yourself (i.e., so far removed from the original contexts of the book) can’t be expected to pick the Bible up and understand it, which is why you’ve come up with some pretty quirky and several anachronistic interpretations. But you’re not alone. This is a problem for all Protestants.

For us, the Church is the authoritative interpreter of the Bible, and she has an understanding of al these nuances. More than that, the Church is the one who wrote and ratified the Bible. It is the Church that takes precedence!

It may be that Protestantism was always going to lead to this kind of confusion. It’s no surprise that the majority of the “new” atheists come from Protestant backgrounds, from Hitchens to Dawkins.

Anyway, all the best.

That’s just it though. I have never picked up the Bible before and could understand every story the way the Catholic Church taught. Now, I read through every book like it was written specifically for me. It flows so easy, and I understand (my opinion) the hidden message of each book-down to the very verse.

And if I had to consider myself anything, I would probably label myself as a secular humanist that follows the teachings of Jesus.

Use to be atheist, but that just leads to becoming a humanist :thumbsup:

Hmm, not exactly where to start! There’s certainly lots to cover. I guess i’m curious about why you think there are contradictions… Your supposed contradiction of male and male sleeping together doesn’t make sense to me. Please explain.

Also, i would strongly advise that you take the Old Testament with a grain of salt. Realize that Jesus came with the new Covenant and discredited a lot of the old covenant. This is why we don’t sacrifice animals, abandon lepers, etc.

In regards to getting drunk and altering our consciousness, we don’t return to our state of Adam and Eve. We will never return to our state of pure nakedness until we die and rise again.

To find a balance between how we ought to live our lives and what constitutes morality, the New Testament will provide that. For further guidance, look to the Church and the Catechism. I could understand that may be a problem trusting the Church, but read Acts of the Apostles to maybe get a better idea of Apostolic Succession…

You offered many good words and insights here - thanks.
I’ll just remark on your closing lines which are so true. The darkness is frightening. It’s a little taste of what it really means to be lost – but the fact that you’re experiencing it is a very good thing. It’s for a reason.

I’ve had to suffer through a lot of that darkness myself and was quite lost for a while.

Consciousness is a gift that we have. It’s like awareness. One of the great things to discover in life is to learn how to truly become aware – of God. With this, you will see the light. You will find that there is more meaning in reality.

It seems like you’re already sensing that.

Moving from atheism to a compassionate humanism is a very important step forward spiritually.

The more you grow on this good path, the more you’ll become aware of the danger of being lost – you’ll get more sensitive to spiritual realities. It’s just as you’re doing now – in seeing various connections between the Bible and our various struggles.

Eventually, an important step you can take is to communicate with God through prayer. The Bible is a book of prayer – we speak with God and He answers and guides us.

Learning how to discern where God is helping and directing you is another important step. We do that through prayer and then being alert to the present moment in life.

It seems like you’re half a Catholic already, then.

Seriously, I’ve said this to others before, but such a conception of Jesus is nothing more than an abstraction. At least give Jesus the respect of taking Him seriously - He who is the Son of God and who founded the Church on St. Peter. Anything other than this is just a vague abstraction separate from the primary source we have on this figure AND separate from the history of the origins of Christianity. Maybe you can maintain this abstraction, but it wouldn’t be honest.

Well I think you already addressed in your next statement. Love thy neighbor is taught, so shouldn’t we love the choice of the male-male relationship? I see Catholics (perhaps they are extremist) protesting gay right all the time.

By pure nakedness, I was referring to an animal instinct mind. A non skeptical mind.

Why is that an abstraction? I believe the attributes of God are the goals to strive for. I give Jesus more respect than any other human being, because I believe he was the one that came most to this state of living…this state of recognition. He was a ‘God’ because he could forgive anyone and love them more than anyone at the same time.

I just personally can not give him the attribute of resurrection. I believe he lives on as symbol, the man who become part of the ‘God conscious.’

No man will be a flash light to you; Christ is the Light of the world. Proverbs tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning, the beginning of knowledge and wisdom; not human wisdom, which is human philosophy.

How hard would it be for God who spoke everything created into existence including yourself to part the red sea and keep a man alive in the belly of a great fish or resurrect the dead; since He is the giver of life? It is nothing for Him. The Bible was written by both men and God; this is called a paradox where both are true. You will not find any contradictions in the Bible and if one existed, then it is rubbish.

Matthew 4:16 “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”- that Light is Christ.

Jesus last invitation or command in the last chapter of Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

If you want eternal life, then do as Jesus commanded, repent, for the Kingdom is at hand, and believe the Gospel, which means “good news”. Mark 1:14-15 ***Now after John {This is referring to John the Baptist}***had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

I will also say that unless you are regenerated or born again; you will not be able to understand the Scriptures in it’s fullness.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

You are welcome to send me an email if you have any specific questions.
May the Spirit of God blow your way.

Right, and I should add that we should always remember what the New Testament was intended for. It was a book written for and collected by the Catholic Church. So, it reflects a community of faith.

We can read the Bible as individuals, but it’s always pointing us to the community that God wants us all to be a part of.

It’s an abstraction because, again, it ignores large parts of the primary source we have on him, AND because it ignores the large parts of history that support the Catholic view. Christ wasn’t a man who achieved higher consciousness or a state of recognition - this is an exceptionally anachronistic view that you are imposing on the Gospels that would be unrecognizable and terribly out of place in 1st Judaism and Christianity, and, correspondingly, the mind and purpose of Jesus, the Son of God. Again, you are abstracting.

I just personally can not give him the attribute of resurrection. I believe he lives on as symbol, the man who become part of the ‘God conscious.’

See above. The person whose teachings you say you admire and follow is nothing more than an abstraction of your own making. If you are honest, you have to know that you are not following Jesus, but some vague abstraction of him, an anachronism. If you really do want to follow the real Jesus, the Church is here.

EDIT: By the way, did you guys notice the heresy in his writing? “hidden message?” Man, Gnosticism just won’t go away!!!

Your not lost, you are searching, and JESUS tells us, “he that searches finds” - parapharse.

However, from your youthful anger, you have allowed yourself to walk away from truth, to find alternatives that cause you to question and doubt, but in the end - today - you reach out and declare that you realize that you have not found truth, so you still seek.

You need to hear from folks who are very well educated and can answer the questions which caused you to leave, and which plague you today with doubt. I would suggest you secure CD’s from several such sources as Father Larry Richards at www.thereasonforourhope.com specifically his CD TRUTH. Scott Hahn at www.salvationhistory.com has many great CD’s, Father Corapi at www.fathercorapi.com
Steve Ray, Peter Kreeft, and many others listed at this web site as well. Just get as many CD’s on as many topics as you can afford and let them open up the truth for you.

Also, I would suggest you go to Borders or some book store and get a copy of COLLEGE Apologetics by Father Alexander. It is an easy read and will help you formulate additional questions and grow in knowledge.

And return to Mass. Go to the Newman Center on campus and find out when the Mass times are, and go. I believe you know where the truth lies, and I believe you are tired of wandering, come home.

I will be offering a rosary for you.

Again, these are my beliefs. However, I will continue more. Feel free to continue questioning my beliefs, I am a lost soul.

I find that Jesus’ miracles of healing were not what the Bible tells. Jesus cured the illness, which was the mental state of not accepting the disease. Disease being the actually cause of sadness towards the healed.

I don’t believe there’s any abstraction to my belief, otherwise Judaism, and all the sectional Christian religions would accept Jesus as the way you are imposing onto me.

Heresy? So I guess the religions based on the Bible are all heresy. If there was one sound “out in the open” message of the Bible, there wouldn’t be other interpretations. This is the very problem I have with Catholics, and I hope more on this site do not have the attitude you have.

You’re right, Catholics are against the idea of male-male unions. And you’re right, it is important to love thy neighbor. But is it really loving thy neighbor when you don’t even and proclaim that homosexual relationships are condemned by God!? Which by the way is stated various times in the New Testament (ie.1 Cor 6:9). Isn’t our whole purpose to give God ALL our strength ALL our mind! As stated in Luke 11:27? The idea is to help others to the Kingdom of Heaven! But to look back at the actual reason why homosexuality is a sin, we must look at Genesis in how God created man. “He created man in His image and likeness; man AND woman He created them. For this reason, man and woman will leave their parents, join, and become one flesh.” (sorry, don’t have time to find Bible passage) Thus the very fact that God intended man and woman to be together is to get the FULLNESS of what God intended for us. The sexual union is an image of our unity with God, by which we become the closest to Him during the marital and sexual act. This CANNOT be fulfilled by homosexual interaction, thus not accepted by God. Hence our whole purpose on Earth is to be fruitful and multiply… only possible through male and female interaction.

Sorry, i would love to discuss this further and all your points, but i have an o-chem test tomorrow! lol. Got to love college =p I’ll reply asap though!

Heresy is a tough word, but don’t sweat it. It’s just a technical term, I don’t mean by it to denigrate you. I only bring it up because you sound a lot like this old heresy of Gnosticism. As you may know, Gnosticism was a heretical sect in Christianity that maintained the “true” Jesus is “hidden,” steeped in symbolism and allegory. Very esoteric. This is what I am comparing you to. As you have admitted yourself, you have to interpret many parts of the Gospels according to your anachronistic, new-age Gnosticism - i.e., higher consciousness, etc. etc.

What I am suggesting to you is that this is an abstraction that isn’t true, that ignores the context of Jesus’ culture, people, and ministry. Indeed, it disrespects Jesus Himself. In fact, I’d say it is very much disrespectful in light of His sufferings on the cross! He experienced such agony for what? Higher consciousness? Or have you abstracted the reality of the Cross, too? These are heady questions, my friend.

And if your view is not true, why hold to it? The real Jesus is the Chosen One, the Messiash, the Son of God, who really did perform miracles, who really did establish a Church on St. Peter, who really did preach of a real heaven, a real hell, who really did institute the Eucharist, who really did die for the sake of all, and who really did rise again. Your abstraction just isn’t honest.

Okay, whatever you say. Whatever you wish to “classify” me as. Thanks for labeling me.

Jesus’ culture? A man who grew up among the peasants, at the perfect time during the Roman empire and the Jews were being persecuted. His culture is still the same, without him. Was Jesus even poor? The man was given gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Or am I making an abstract assumption on the worth of gold?

In Rome, around 40 BC, there was a historian who recorded around 2,000 crucifixions prior to the time of Jesus. After Jesus, the Romans continued to crucify people. Somehow you want me to believe 1 man’s crucifixion-out of the thousands crucified-was more suffering? How would you know this? Have you ever experienced nails going through your hands and feet? He experienced Agony because his Word was not spread until after his death. He knew that if he changed the way mankind lived, to an all loving society, we would benefit far greater than we ever could with disagreements.

But I bet your non abstract belief can explain to me the true meaning of why Jesus yelled out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

I hold my view because he preached a heaven and hell on Earth. A heaven of the destitute. Our actions create the heaven or hell we live in.

edit: Forgot to add that I believe the Eucharist reemphasizes that view point, to remind us to love all.

There is.

And it is impossible to say the Bible is non contradicting.

There are actually no contradictions in the Bible. Identify an alleged contradiction in the Bible and I will explain it for you.

Heresies come in a multitude of forms; particularly from a world of religion. What sets Christianity apart from all religions is that it is a relationship at a very personal level with Jesus. So don’t sweat it if you get called names or slandered; you are here asking honest questions and you obviously want answers. Read the last five words in Matthew 7:14 & that is one of the most profound 5 words in all of Scripture. I know many true, faithful and loving Christians who were captured by God on those 5 words. Most people who call themselves Christian have no clue about who God is or what the will and purpose for God’s creation is primarily. This is why we have generation after generation confused about what the basics of Christianity are and more importantly the Gospel message. This crosses all boundaries. If you want real answer to tough questions, then use the appropriate forum, like apologetic or non-Catholic religions and start a subscription or I believe the term used most frequently is “thread” and invite me. I will treat you with respect and as one who is seeking answers about God and more importantly; how to be reconciled to God in Christ, who is God. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits and one of the most obvious is what comes out of the mouth of men, which can help you discern truth from error. Pay close attention to how people speak with you; it tells you a bunch about their relationship or lack of relation with Jesus. It is truly life transformation wrought by the power of God and I can testify to its veracity and it’s truth and it has great power to transform lives just as it states.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”

Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 the following: “{It is} not what enters into the mouth {that} defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

So pay close attention to what others say and how they speak in regards to Jesus and to you who is a “neighbor”.

Let me know if there is anything you want to know or need and I will do my best as the Lord leads to be accurate and hopefully insightful, not based on my knowledge, but on His knowledge as He has written.

JM

PS Beware of people and religions that make inclusive claims outside of Scripture; that is usually a flag for “our club is the only club for you”, which moves the true One who can save onto the back-burner. God saves; not religion.

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

You may be having your first genuine religious experience.

Please elucidate whether what you insinuate involves the pontificate.

(Then say that five times fast. :stuck_out_tongue: )

**You are correct for only GOD knows the hearts of men, so only GOD can save. But GOD also organized a religion - the Catholic religion - through which HE has provided many gifts of grace through the sacraments which HE uses to move HIS peoples hearts and greatly assist them in HIS salvation. **

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