Can you find God without Church or Religion?
Hey Whats up my nudist family,
I need your thoughts and advice. I recently left Christianity, due to reasons that I won't discuss. My dilemma is that I still believe in G-D, however in my reading I feel that I am more aligned with the Judaism, but because I have been Christian so long I am struggling. Being a Black Woman from the South, Christianity is my foundation and the Black Church Experience will always be apart of my life. I don't know how to move, But I know that I still believe in YHWH. Any advice ?
It's a tough place to be in. It will take time to mourn the loss of a faith community, and to get a sense of how valuable having a faith community is for you.
About ten years after I quietly departed my last Christian congregation, I found myself in the orbit of Orthodox Judaism - my partner was Orthodox - and it meant a lot to me. But I never seriously considered converting, because of its tribal nature - your new name is not child-of-your-father, it's child-of-Noah; you really are leaving your family and joining a new tribe, and I didn't feel called on to do that. There are, of course, much softer-edged theistic communities, from Reform Judaism to New Thought to the Unitarian-Universalists. Islam, in its original conception, was basically intended to be a non-tribal monotheism in submission to the god of the Jews; in the old days rabbis might discourage potential converts by suggesting they become Muslim. The softer-edged version of that is Sufism.
You can study on this, and contemplate it, and seek out conversation, and you may find that's enough.
Be cautious about TV/ video. The medium is powerful. It disrupts the quiet of your soul without really providing the experience of embodied, collective worship.
Perhaps needless to say, but it's an internet forum so I'll say it: This is just a personal statement; everyone's life and spirituality is different. Sharing those differences need not be an exercise in arguing right or wrong.
Thanks for your openness and vulnerability. You are a courageous and brave woman from the South, as they make them.
My path may be different, but I have also taken distance from my church and faith of origin due to complex yet undeniable reasons. I won't look at this in terms of right or wrong, but rather as a means of self care, both preserving and recreating my self, faith and well-being.
My advice to you is throw out that gray tepid bath water that no longer serves you and keep the shiny-eyed sparkling black baby of the core of your faith. God is already with you, reinventing herself with grace and goodness. Fill your heart with the images and stories that give you strength. Let go of the dogma with the sense of break-up akin to Bob Dylan singing: It ain't me, babe. No, no, no, it ain't me, babe. It ain't me you're looking for, babe.
Today is Easter, and I'm not convinced of any physical resurrection of Jesus myself, and for many Christians that's missing the whole point. If you encounter the same, please accept my forgiveness as one who was once so staunch. Now it's not for me. I see the resurrection in people recovering from illness, addiction and despair. And in you. On this fine Easter Sunday, I frame the resurrection in your new life as a beautiful black woman from the South. No particular details required. I celebrate you in whatever demographic variables you choose. If there is a heaven hereafter, it will come from us defining heaven on earth, claiming our freedom, our oneness and goodness. What do I know as some middle aged white cis-gender dude? I don't, but claiming new life in you, here and now, I will celebrate, and it's all good.
Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
Religion and a supreme being (g-d), go hand-in-hand.
I left Christianity years ago because:
1. There's no mention of it it scripture -- don't bother with the verse about Antioch -- it's not about Christianity.
2. There's no authority given in scripture to create a new religion -- Messiah did not establish a new religion -- certainly not Christianity.
3. Followers of Messiah are either born Jewish or adopted into Judaism -- there is no scriptural support to call them Christians
4. Christianity -- from it very beginning (in 132-136 AD) has incorporated Paganism into its beliefs and worship -- something scripture explicitly says NOT to do
If you truly follow the teachings of the Bible, you CANNOT be a Christian. If you are a Christian, you do NOT follow the teachings of the Bible. The two are mutually exclusive. Water and oil. A hard cooked egg with a runny yolk. You can't get sweet water and salt water from the same spring. Can't get olives from a fig tree or figs from a grape vine.
I recently left Christianity, due to reasons that I won't discuss. My dilemma is that I still believe in G-D, however in my reading I feel that I am more aligned with the Judaism, but because I have been Christian so long I am struggling. Being a Black Woman from the South, Christianity is my foundation and the Black Church Experience will always be apart of my life. I don't know how to move, But I know that I still believe in YHWH. Any advice ?
I still believe in YHVH and his son Yahshua -- more so now than when I was a Christian.
One of the things the Bible says not to do is to add words to Scripture. Yet, Christians have done this extensively to make it seem as if their Pagan practices and worship are actually supported by scripture.
The only path to wisdom is through knowledge.
Read everything you can and make up your own mind, dont listen to opinions of the misinformed.
Who are the misinformed?
Anyone who thinks their opinion on God is the right one.
I don't know how to move, But I know that I still believe in YHWH. Any advice ?
First, let your search be one of joy rather than pain. It's appropriate somehow that you asked this at the time of Easter/Pasch/Ramadan, since all these holidays are in some way related to re-birth.
You are the chick emerging from the egg. You won't be able to go back, but after a while you won't want to, because the world is now all fresh and stimulating, with so much to learn and so many new ways to embrace your love of yourself, your world, and your God as you perceive your God to be. Let your heart steer you toward that goal. If the congregation you seek is one that loves the same things that you love, you'll know that you've found your people.
I think the Quakers had a pretty good bead on it when they say that God is that small, still voice inside you that your hear when you shut up, and the people around you shut up. It's also the core of Eastern-style meditation, of folks going off into the wild to find their spirit animal, of just sitting by a brook and listening to what it has to tell you.
Don't worry about finding God. Stay open, and God will find you.
Well I am not religious but I believe in God. That is the whole point of my post. I am learning especially as I have not been in church at times due to work or travel and I still worship God in my way that he and I have established in our relationship. Religion is just the motions, but relationship; is key. I believe that is what Jesus taught.
I had a man ask me if I was a Christian, I said no I believe in God.
Christianity is different churches twisting the word of God to fit their idea of how you should act or behave.
It's an attempt at control just as government tries to control you with laws.
Read the bible, don't take this verse and that verse to try and influence others to your way of thinking.
God is Everywhere i love being out in nature which God created as for church sure it's a place to learn but let's look at some of these church leaders in all denominations pervs , child molesters , congregation molesters - yeah ladies the pastor told you to have sex with him wasn't God idea , mega church ministers in mansions with their private jets , sports cars while 2 miles away homeless people in tents. just my opinion and no doubt there are good spiritual leaders but just like us nudist - yeah everyone says nudists are the nicest people you'll meet is BS in the end we all put our pants on one leg at a time. God is always with me good times and bad .