Probably my last thread


#1

I wonder if other people have this experience.

The more I hear the arguments for Catholicism, or Christianity as a whole, the more I am convinced it’s mistaken.

I used to be Catholic, and I used to argue passionately that it was the wholeness of truth. Now that I am on the other side, the arguments sound so laughable, I wonder how I ever believed them to begin with.

Any former agnostics or atheists that have had this experience in reverse?

Anyway, I think this will be the last thread a participate in, because I don’t see the point in coming back here anymore. I used to think I could act as a peace-maker. To foster understanding between believers and non-believers.

That didn’t seem as arrogant to me when I started posting here.

But now I find myself getting so angry I’m just exacerbating the problem. So this is kind of a farewell thread.

To those of you who have been very kind and understanding: thank-you. To everyone else: don’t worry, I’ll be gone soon.


#2

Yep, me. Rejected the faith for 30 years. Now every objection I thought I had has been answered in spades.

Anyway, I think this will be the last thread a participate in, because I don’t see the point in coming back here anymore. I used to think I could act as a peace-maker. To foster understanding between believers and non-believers.

That didn’t seem as arrogant to me when I started posting here.

But now I find myself getting so angry I’m just exacerbating the problem. So this is kind of a farewell thread.

To those of you who have been very kind and understanding: thank-you. To everyone else: don’t worry, I’ll be gone soon.

I know about the anger thing. At this point I would just say, seek to conform yourself to the good, the true and the beautiful. We can agree on that, right? :thumbsup:


#3

God bless, Sideline. God respects your freedom of intellect and of choice… he gave them to you. I wish you well, I wish you peace.


#4

You are making a mistake sideline. But good luck - you will need it.

James


#5

I was an atheist for 15 years. This month marks three years with the Catholic Church for me. :slight_smile:

Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) gave a speech on relativism. I heard it, thought about it, and started attending RCIA a week later.

God bless.


#6

I think sometimes these forums can burn people out. I have taken several long extended leaves from them just because the constant debate wore me out and left me feeling less than charitable and faith-filled. Take a sabbattical and nourish your soul. There is no need to argue online or be “the peacemaker.” Most everything said on these forums has already been said ad nauseam. I used to find myself putting hours of research into answers, just to have people shoot me down. It was quite disheartening. Then I thought “I don’t have anything to prove to anyone! I don’t even know these people!”

I wouldn’t simply write off your faith. You may just be in a dry period or “dark night of the soul.” Why not persist in going to mass out of pure determination, and pray to God to show you His face?

Whatever you decide, I wish you well as you continue your journey.

Judie


#7

Sideline

I really wish you the best and hope things work out for you. I’ve never had an atheist type moment. All of my experiences in research of other religions/beliefs etc just made me run back to Christianity any time I felt the need to question.

But I do understand your frustration and anger…especially on this forum!!!

Sometimes the comments on these forums can be uncharitable/ignorant/judgmental/self-righteous etc. and can really try a person regardless of their faith

On the other hand there are some really loving and caring people here as well that make up for all the nasties :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope you are able to find peace


#8

I am sorry that you feel you have to leave. That is unfortunate. Before you go, you should know that I was an avowed atheist who hated Christians and their God for many years without repenting or second thought. I engaged in vilest of blasphemies and compounded my sins in every way I could think of. I wasted years of my life and was so violent in my opposition to Christianity that even people who were not Christians would get embarrassed by the level of my vitriol.

Now I am a passionate believer and conscious defender of my faith and I want to share some things with you ere you leave.

I don’t think anyone could ever arrive at the idea of the theist God and prove it conclusively through scientific or logical testing and deduction. I do believe that the existence of a Creator is manifest;y evident, although I will not delve into why here. However, the idea that our Creator cares about us and is involved in our day to day lives is ultimately a leap of faith. But it is not a leap into darkness. It is a leap into relationship wih another who can and will catch you.

I hope you don’t give up and I pray that the quiet assurances given to us all to call us home will find a softness in you that you may find yourself receptive to the relationship that God so richly wishes to have with you.

Until that day, go with God and His mercy be upon you.


#9

I would suggest finding people offline to be friends with. You probably already do that. But look for Catholics who are peacably living out their faith, and don’t worry about discussing apologetics with them. Just socialize. Perhaps you will see Jesus in them.

Good luck.


#10

When I struggle with my faith, which is daily, I just read the Gospel and the words of Christ and from them I feel a sense of divine. Especially the Gospel of John, where Christ talks frequently on hearing and believing his words. When I read the words of Christ, they are so profound that I become convinced that they are inspired by God. I think that the biggest mistake Christianity has made through the ages is that it has ventured off from the primacy of the Gospel message and the teachings of Christ.


#11

I wonder which ones he found “laughable.”


#12

Hi Sideline

I sort of had the reverse experience. I spent many yeasrs as an agnostic/atheist before I was drawn back into reading the Bible again, and then started praying again and my faith blossomed again. (I would also say that my agnostic/atheist years were valuable years for me; it wasn’t a dark period or a period of debauched immorality).

I have found much wisdom in the Catholic Church (particularly the writings of the mystics) but I also find some people arguing over detailed theologies, philosophies ordoctrines that we really have little insight into; I’m happier accepting some things as really rather mysterious and not worrying too much about detailed doctrine (I think it’s better to be roughly right than precisely wrong). As you will know the Catholic Church contains all sorts of spiritualities - there are those who like to work through the detailed doctrines and “rules” and there are those who prefer the approach of the mystics who don’t try to define everything. We can each find our own way.

Looking around forums it’s clear that religious forums attract a certain type of person - usually people who feel commited to a specific point of view and would like to share their conviction; which can come across as very preachy (I’m being a little like that now :wink: ). I think forums generally make very poor places for growth of faith and frequently it’s hard to discern the presence of God in them.

Please try to keep an open mind, but I agree it’s not sensible to hang out in any religious forums if you have any serious search for faith; you’re very unlikely to find God here or in other forums.

But good luck and God bless you on your journey. Don’t burn any bridges. Jesus does love you.

Michael


#13

We shall pray that you return soon, as well. Many devoutly faithful are so challenged by a dryness of faith, growing doubts. Please consider Mother Teresa, who experienced just what you describe, but remained obedient to the end. She accomplished much even though she was in the spiritual desert.

As to arrogance, I believe what you see is confidence, which can masquerade as arrogance. We boast only in the Lord, if we observe properly. Your life is not done yet, so your spiritual journey is also not finished. We shall pray for you, as you are in a state of spiritual warfare.

Christ’s peace always be with you.


#14

I am one of those that had the opposite experience. I was agnostic for the first 25 years of my life. I gradually became aware of God, and as I did, I saw all of my old arguments against Him in all of their foolishness. Some arguments against God are laughable, but most are simply a lack of understanding. Many people have misconceptions about what Christians believe God is, and they never bother to find out the truth. Others are led astray by the words or actions of those in the faith who are sorely mistaken about something. Still others have a hard time reconciling a challenge to their faith, and they give up to soon without looking for the answers.

Since becoming Catholic, every question I’ve had, every doubt that has surfaced in my mind, has been answered to my complete satisfaction. That’s saying a lot, considering how skeptical and analytical I am. And I haven’t stopped at the easy questions, either. If you take the time to dig deeper into your faith, you will see the intricate wonder and perfection of it all.

May God lead you back home.


#15

I’ve had that experience too, and have seen a number of threads in which people have shared similar thoughts.

Judieis right - take some time off. Don’t write off the Church, just come back when it seems right to you.


#16

No one should allow them self to get so hung up on apologetic debate and discussion that they burn out. It’s kind of like being in a combat zone every day and creates a sort of spiritual PTSD that messes with your spiritual life, no matter which side of the debate one is on.

Sideline,

I’m sorry things have not worked out so well for you and that you have been overcome by that anger.

Y’know, I never ever expected to come back to the Catholic faith either. :shrug:
My Testimony


#17

Thanks for all the kind posts. It’s strange, if this were the kind of reaction I usually got, I wouldn’t feel the need to stop posting on the site.

There does seem to be one misconception on this thread, though.

I haven’t recently decided to give up on Catholicism… just these forums. I haven’t been a Catholic for over a decade. I’m not on the verge of losing my faith; I lost my faith a long, long time ago.

The only thing that has changed has been the degree to which I reject my former faith.

It is possible that I will once again change my mind, but it really doesn’t seem likely. I’m sorry if I gave people the impression that I was a wavering Catholic rather than a confirmed skeptic.


#18

sideline - don’t do it dude! There is nothing to be skeptical about. Look at the torture and suffering the early saints put up with just to keep faithful. These people all were close to Jesus and the apostles and original bishops and popes etc. For the Catholic Church to be still standing after 2000 years in the wake of all the calamity and changing empires and world events in that period is miracle enough and testimony enough that she has it right!

No one else on the planet has the certitude and continuity of message and salvation, insight, pedigree and unshakable authority as does the Catholic Church.

COME HOME! Your family needs and wants you.

James


#19

that explains it. You must be burned out. 10 years without the real presence of God in your life. That would burn me out. Go sit before the blessed sacrment. God is a person is the first principle that you have to understand for your faith to be more than an unconvincing argument. Only He can explain that to you. No argument will do unless he utters it in the stillness of your soul. God is a person present on the tabernacles of the world. I hope some day you go and see him and ask him to prove his reality to you. Give him 15 minutes and then forget about it till he proves it to you. you won’t wait long. Good luck and have a good life wherever you go.


#20

that I will once again change my mind, but it really doesn’t seem likely. I’m sorry if I gave people the impression that I was a wavering Catholic rather than a confirmed skeptic.Oh I had no doubt of that at all my friend, but I want you to be sure that you re-consider this action very carefully and prayerfully for all the reasons that I mentioned in my earlier post.

Please don’t misunderstand about my own opinion, and that is that you have made a mistake and been misled by well meaning people with Bibles. Good intentions and emotional appeal aside it is still very substantial error in doctrines that you would be wise to examine carefully and objectively.

I was a deacon in an Assembly of God church and prior to that almost went into the ministry in a Southern Baptist church, but it was a distressing experience the more I got into it, and is eventually what brought about the collapse of my faith completely. It took YEARS to recover. Years that I might have been of some use to Our Lord and His Church. :o

Please don’t make that same mistake in your own life.


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