To want to make myself believe in god?

(1000 Posts)
HopHopHopSkip Thu 25-Jul-13 22:55:10

I have always been very logical and so despite going to a Christian primary school, having a very religious mum(though not in a pushy way) and reading the bible when I was younger(the story version grin I was a bit of a book worm) I have never really got my head around how god could be possible.

But I really wish I had the extra "something" that some people seem to find by believing in god. I'm probably not making much sense, but I wish I could get myself to feel like there's somebody watching out, that there's something after death, that everything happens for what'd ultimately a good reason/what's meant to be so on.

AIBU to try going to church for a bit even though I don't believe in god? Or am I just being silly, is it something you can't 'make' yourself feel?

InGloriousTechnicolor Thu 25-Jul-13 23:34:13

You can just turn up to church on Sunday. The priest will be pleased!

Garcia10 Thu 25-Jul-13 23:35:34

I don't believe in God but if I had the feelings that you do I would explore all religions and see which most resonants with you.

Obviously, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know but there is more to religion than Christianity. Exploring the different facets of God will likely help your hoped for spirituality and help you find the faith you feel you lack.

MrsWolowitz Thu 25-Jul-13 23:49:02

It's by Lee Strobel I believe.

ForgetfulNameChanger Thu 25-Jul-13 23:49:35

I sometimes feel the same and think there must be something out there but when I think of God and Jesus I know that I just can't believe in that. It does make me feel quite lost sometimes because I would love that connection with something.

justmyview Fri 26-Jul-13 00:02:55

Do you have a friend who goes to church? Maybe ask if you could tag along some time

You could look at Alpha course - they're run specially for people who are curious & undecided. Could be perfect for you

I'm not quite sure what I believe in, but I do believe in something and that's important to me, even though it's a bit wishy washy

ChaosWalking Fri 26-Jul-13 00:05:51

Try reading 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins and stick with your logical atheist views.

LeGavrOrf Fri 26-Jul-13 00:11:22

I have read the God Delusion, and totally agree with the views. I am a confirmed atheist. But I still don't understand the comfort I derive from going to the cathedral. Conditioning?

Angelfootprints Fri 26-Jul-13 00:18:22

If you want to believe in something greater, then does it have to be in a religious sense?

You could always explore connecting with "something" in your own, spiritual way rather than just looking at organised religion options.

GoodMorningMoon Fri 26-Jul-13 00:29:22

Yanbu to go to church and see!

For myself, I'm not a Christian (not practising anyway) but do appreciate learning about different faiths and connect them to a certain moral framework.

I only go to church in Italy to appease the family and as much as I have a hard time with the doctrine, the community and kinship amongst the churchgoers is quite moving.

ArtVandelay Fri 26-Jul-13 00:36:37

YANBU - I find organised religion difficult but I utterly belive in God. I recently found out that makes me a deist - just have a go and see how it feels. I was raised in religion and I can't do the dogma but I totally believe. Whatever you feel there is a name for it and just let it feel good and bring you strength!

springytoto Fri 26-Jul-13 00:49:43

You could try addressing God re 'I'd love to believe in you but I don't. Are you there?'

I was brought up in a christian family but rejected it all entirely. In my early 20s I witnessed a miracle. It did my head in. It wasn't pleasant - shock doesn't even cover it. The idea that God could actually be real was traumatising. I don't know what I thought but it had never even occurred to me that he could be real.

Over 30 years later and my relationship with God is just so unbelievably precious. I would be dead without it tbf (I've had a rough old life). I don't see it as lazy thinking at all - I am aghast at that (ime God doesn't let me get away with lazy thinking lol). Never such a full, rich, vibrant, alive relationship. Covers all eventualities.

Give it a go, Joe.

springytoto Fri 26-Jul-13 00:53:40

btw I don't think you can make yourself believe. That's God's job. Your job is to tip up and see what happens.

lessonsintightropes Fri 26-Jul-13 00:55:53

I found the Alpha course a bit much and focused in achieving a specific outcome, just FYI, you might find it less pressurising just to go along. And if you find that your neighbourhood church isn't for you, try a few grin there are very different ways of expressing faith and some might come more naturally than others.

PramelaAndherson Fri 26-Jul-13 01:00:49

OP, you don't address the matter of sin in your post so I will ask you whether you feel the need to repent and turn to a new life. I doubt that you would acknowledge yourself as a sinner unless you were to read the bible which tells us we were born into sin and that Jesus' death on the cross has set us free if we would only believe on Him. You will only grasp the truths of grace (God loved us even though we were in sin) and know the joy of forgiveness if you come to know Jesus as your saviour.

More importantly than seeking a church you need to seek Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Read the gospel of Mark and decide for yourself whether a) this man Jesus actually lived and, b) he is the Son of God. If any of these strike you as true then I suggest you seek a fellowship which seeks to expound the Gospel.

A belief in God is not enough: we are to turn away from sin, repent and follow Christ.

springytoto Fri 26-Jul-13 01:03:07

And [answer the q!] of course I would say YANBU. You are being R and DE (dead exciting)

springytoto Fri 26-Jul-13 01:08:40

Pram , that may have been the way in for you. But it isn't the way in for everybody - it wasn't the way in for me. Jesus was the way in for me - big time - but the sin thing not so much. (yy I get it, it's important. But it's a bit gloomy and ime God didn't focus on that for quite a while with me - and he has never been heavy about it with me. I had a broken heart and he focused on that.)

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 26-Jul-13 01:13:12

YANBU.

My faith in God is the best thing in my life and I am grateful for it everyday.

I would agree that there is more to religion then just Christianity, there's no harm in exploring different faiths.

Also, I would absolutely agree with taking the time to talk to God and just reflect.

Twirlyhot Fri 26-Jul-13 01:13:57

You can choose to believe whatever you want.

lessonsintightropes Fri 26-Jul-13 01:22:03

Quietly seconding springytoto Everyone's experience is different. I know if I'd attended some of the more evangelical places I would have been really put off. Sorry, PramelaAndherson, not trying to undermine your advice or experience, just trying to say that people find different routes and for me in particular I would have found your route to faith extremely challenging.

Lot of lovely supportive posts here. Before I begin however, I'd appreciate not being flamed for my personal views; this isnt the Naafi Bar on Arrse. OP I'm just wondering whether your real question is perhaps "I do want to have faith in a higher metaphysical power, that gives meaning to life and maybe he/she will give me comfort that I live after I die and I don't at the moment; so where do I start?"
As humans we all seem to have this need for such answers; so in no particular order of importance, but naturally coloured my own western background, this is how it occurred we have: Christianity, including Catholisism, Orthodox (Greek & Russian) Coptic, Church of England (all denominations), Methodist, Quaker, Amish, Baptist, 7th day adventists, Evangelists, Mormonism, Jehovah's witnesses. (Apologies to those who I've missed out). Islam, including Shia, Sunni, Ahmidiyya, Suffi, Ibadi. (Again apologies to those I've possibly missed) Judaism and all it's sub sects, Hiduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Druidism, Wicca, The Pantheon of Grecco/ Roman gods, responsible for the names of our months. The Egyptian pantheon, their breakaway one god Ahtenist "heresy". The Viking gods which give us our weekday names and Scientology. According to each of the above, all of them are right, as I understand it. Although I'd probably advise caution on scientology, unless you're rich; given that it was made up by a not very good science fiction author who needed an alternative income stream. Most importantly read their teachings and don't take everything they all say as (do forgive me) gospel. All of them, by and large, will tell you that the other one is either superstition or not quite right. (The three main Abrahamic religions seem to be your best bet for serious infighting) You only have your entire lifetime to do this and make your mind up. Anyone that tells you "believe in my version or there will be everlasting pain/fire/punishment of the worst kind" etc I suspect should be avoided. As are those that presume to tell you that you should/shouldn't do, eat, look at, think, about various prescribed/ prohibited things when and where you are told.
Otherwise, you could accept that we all live a finite amount of time, revel in the unassailable fact that it was you that made it here for however long you have. Marvel at the utterly amazing, breathtaking wonder of our massive universe and please please enjoy, embrace and love every day of this short time we are all given every day until it stops. I'm an atheist, I don't have an issue with anyone of faith. I don't engage in debate with those that do, there's no point, we will never convince each other of our respective life viewpoints. Make the choice that feels right for you, whichever it is. Just please love every day you have here. I personally don't believe we get another bite of this yummy cherry, but that's just me.smile

BettyCrockerLover Fri 26-Jul-13 06:26:37

I am curious as to why church was automatically suggested by some posters. As though Christianity is the only path to God?

Mimishimi Fri 26-Jul-13 06:33:41

I'm a bit the opposite... I do believe in God but dislike going to church smile I always feel like such a hypocrite because there are some theological points I just can't ring myself to say I really believe in.

Mimishimi Fri 26-Jul-13 06:34:02

bring smile

PramelaAndherson Fri 26-Jul-13 08:29:28

Betty. that is because Christ is the only way to God. Jesus himself said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man shall come to the Father but by me.'

LeGavrOrf Fri 26-Jul-13 08:43:52

Blimey.

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