Stopped believing in God


Perhaps there could be better explanations for the contemporary layperson, but the why requires some basic theology. It’s unavoidable. God’s relation to creation, what God is not, what Man is, what is fulfilling for man, what is human dignity, man’s ultimate ends, etc… all needs to be grasped as pieces to the puzzle.


I think that is the point. Those things are of God, and find perfection in God. ‘Mere Salvation’ is in fact the fullness of those things. For me honor, duty, integrity, and love are very important. But I can’t follow those things any better than by becoming a servant of God. Trying to do it our own way is going to end up corrupting that which we want. That isn’t freedom.

I can ‘live free and accept whatever suffering…’ by choosing to smoke. But in the end I’m going to end up limiting my freedom by compromising my health. I’ll limit the freedom of my loved ones by compromising my life, which they value. I’ll limit the freedom of those around me who might inhale the second hand smoke…

It is what it is.

It sounds like you have noble ideals and goals. I’d suggest you would find the fulfillment of those goals in God, not outside of him. ‘mere salvation’ is far more free than just doing what you want.


So a person hears that there is a hell, and still refuses heaven, he is making a choice. Honestly, why on earth would a person not run and embrace God as a loving father? There is a war for souls going on, and the evil one has a lot of power to lie and deceive.
If you break into a store and steal all their cash, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up in jail. Really, it’s that simple. What is there to argue about?


And if I give all that I have to feed the poor, and to serve the downtrodden, I shouldn’t expect to spend eternity in hell because I didn’t believe in the right God.


Christ said in the scripture that when you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.
Why are you so angry?
Mother Teresa’s sisters do that every day. Would you like to become a sister or brother? It’s available to you.


It’s an easily asked question, but it’s not a simple question. Neither is theology supposed to be simple.

And the answer isn’t complex in the way the legal laws and precedants of the laws of the United States is complex, but it does require significant reflection and thought. Oftentimes the more fundamental the concept, the less it can be distinguished and broken down into finite parts, the more reflection it requires.


I have a reasonable hope that those who do care for the poor and downtrodden are accepted into heaven, so I guess that’s that.


Two things, that’s misrepresenting the idea of hell and conflating niceness with meriting perfection.


Catholics and Orthodox understand the Church to be more than the sum of its human parts. It is God’s instrument on Earth for guiding men and women towards personal holiness.


I realize that I oversimplify at times, we all do. But the question that underpins the OP…is why?


that is not correct. They are in Hell because they rejected God. I don’t think you understand what we mean by God in the Catholic Church. If someone has never heard of the Christian God, yet tries to live an honorable life, following the moral law written on our hearts they can still be saved.

The parable of the son who said ‘no’ to his father yet went out and did the will of the father is saved but the son who said ‘yes’ to the father but did not do his will was not saved.

You can’t reject what you don’t know or understand. The OP does not know God and does not know Christ. She knows OF them but doesn’t KNOW them. And that is a struggle for many people even people who have believed all their lives.

I knew of God and Jesus from childhood. Had a Catholic school education and all the sacraments. Went to church and followed all the teaching of the church. Even the ones I didn’t understand. But I didn’t come to KNOW the Lord until the Holy Spirit opened my heart at the age of 59.


it’s a simple question for God but a complex answer for man.


Let me offer my understanding. On death, we come before the heavenly gates. God opens them for us, offering perfection and full communion with Him. In order to enter, we must detest our sinfulness and accept Him fully. The problem is that when we die, our hearts are fixed. If we don’t turn away from our sins in this life and try to be better, try to emulate God’s perfection, try to seek Him, we won’t turn away from our imperfections before the gates. The idea of spending even a moment in the full presence of God would be disgusting, because we’d be too attached to our imperfections to let go of them. So, those who accept the gift enter heaven. Those who reject it aren’t forced to accept it, because that’s not loving. Instead, they leave. The only other place to go for them is hell. That’s how people go to hell, they’re so attached to imperfection that they reject perfection and, as a result, enter hell.


“The God you do not believe in, does not exist.” It is a quote from a very vise priest and I can’t remember who. It is about what our imagination of who God is that needs to be challenged so that the real God can appear.


Yeah, I apologized earlier for that. It was impulsive and I shouldn’t have said it.


I realise that now. I comment as I go. Thank you.


Rejecting that god and feeling comfortable not seeking the real God means you aren’t actually trying to seek God in your life.


Those are not at all exclusive. They go together.

A dog is not God. I am not God. A tree is not God. You may love all of these things, but they are not God. What did God say? “If you love me, you will keep my Commandments.” And which of these is the very first?

God is love, and God is truth. You cannot love God while simultaneously preferring lies about Him over what is actually true. To put it another way, can I truly say I love Jesus when I believe He’s a purple dolphin? It’s a ridiculous example, but Jesus is obviously not a purple dolphin. You don’t actually love someone if you don’t at least know them for who they really are.


no it doesn’t. It’s not one size fits all.

it matters as to whether you understand just who the Christian God is. If you have a full understanding of who God is and reject him then it won’t matter how kind or compassionate you are in this life. You will not be saved. You can’t be saved by any action you do on your own. Good works only count when they go hand in hand with accepting Jesus and following him. Only then do they have merit.

If you’ve never heard of Christ or have never heard of the Christian understanding of who God is then you are not rejecting God. You can’t reject what you don’t know. Therefore you can still be saved. That is Catholic doctrine. You are still not saved by your own works but by the grace of God. It would not be just for God to condemn someone over something they have no control over.


if you understand what Baptism is and still reject it then you can’t be saved. But from your arguments I think you don’t know what a Catholic means when we say you must ‘understand’ what it is that you are rejecting. And how much greater in the eyes of God is the one who says, “I don’t understand, but I accept and obey.”

If you know and understand that the Catholic Church is the body of Christ and then reject the church you are in essence rejecting Christ. And you are rejecting the tenets taught by Jesus himself.

correct, because it is just that. A rejection of Christ.

then it is good to examine their claims to speak in His name. Scripture tells us how to do this. Do they have apostolic succession? Because Jesus clearly gives authority to his apostles who clearly passed that authority on to their successors. If they are successors of the apostles then they have the authority to teach and preach in his name.

it’s your choice. I know many who think like you do. The hardest thing for us to do is to trust God completely and surrender to his will. We sure like to be in charge and pick and choose how we will have our relationships defined.

Well the threshold is clearly defined for us so we don’t have to guess what our mark should be. No one will judge you here, not even the church. Only God can judge you. But we can lie to ourselves. We’ll never be able to lie to God. As my sister once told me, “What I am doing is good enough, God is merciful and I rely on that”. She didn’t want to be involved in church either. Too hard, too much time, too many rules. She was good enough and she trusts that God will see it her way. I sure hope so for her sake. I still love her and I still tell her she is missing out on the best thing ever. But she likes to be in control and surrendering control is going to be very hard to do. But there is always hope!

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