Monday, September 13, 2021

SO MANY QUESTIONS

                PART IV

  • why did you quit church, both in terms of the faith you were raised with, and then later stopping attendance at Sunnybrook? Do you wish you had found a different church, or are you happy leaving entirely?  are you at all religious/spiritual now?

               I was hoping this question wouldn't come up but it has to be answered both for others and my own mind. 

               My parents were members of a conservative , exclusive evangelical group. They sometimes called themselves Christians, sometimes brethern, some times Christians gathered in the name of the Lord and so on.

               They were great on Sunday school. When I was a preschooler one of our teachers told us we would go to hell if we smoked or went to movies! Some how or other this didn't pass the smell test in my little four year old mind. So doubt and skepticism started early. They were always discussing the bible. So in our home when there were visitors they usually got studying the bible. Some of those old guys couldn't read so this puzzled me as to how they could study the bible.. 

              They were very clingy and you did not have a chance to look at anything else. 

             What it did was play with my mind. They did an excellent job of indoctrination. It took years before I overcame the rigid beliefs and was able to look at things with an open mind. 

               So I left said group and did not go to any church. I went to the Anglican Church in Inuvik a bit. Since I hadn't seen any different religious routines I found it interesting. 

             When I was in the Arctic the kids quite often dropped into the school for a visit if I was doing preparation. They would tell me about spirits. They had a solid belief in their spirits and also Jesus Christ. 

             These kids got me thinking about faith and what faith really is. I didn't have it. 

           Here , I attended the United Church. I wanted my kids to have some exposure to religious practices. 

           For me, I was just occupying a place in a pew. I went through the motions but for me it wasn't real. So I decided that I should not take up space .

          I've never gone back to regular attendance and have no intentions of doing so. 

         Now I don't have any issues with people who wish to worship and practice their faith. Corporate worship is very beneficial. Fellowship is important for people. 

             Now you could get me down a rabbit hole about denominations and religions disagreeing with each other and fighting. You could also get me going about denominations telling untruths about other denominations.

        But this is enough. I hope I've answered your questions and that I make sense. 

30 comments:

  1. I'm in the same place as you are religiously. I usually don't say much, but one day while we were visiting her, my elderly mother, who practiced her faith religiously, asked me why I didn't go to church. I had never wanted to tell her the answer to that question, but she had just previously asked me how much I weighed, so I decided to let her have it. I simply told her that I was not a believer. I'm sure she prayed for me every day for the rest of her life, but she accepted my answer.

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    1. You remind me that my dad prayed for me everyday.

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  2. Your daughter is a smart lady. I enjoyed reading her posts here on Hiawatha House. And I found your thoughts here in "Part IV" quite interesting. The world of "religion" is something each human has to figure out on their own.

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    1. We also have to find a path to follow and hopefully all will be open to letting others have their own view.

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  3. I understand a lot of what you are saying here about various churches and beliefs. I was raised in a very strict Southern Baptist Church and eventually became disillusioned about it. I do consider myself to be religious/spiritual but we rarely attend church anymore. I guess my beliefs are more personal and have always served me well.

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    1. As I said people find corporate worship very supportive and we have personal beliefs as well.

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  4. I feel much the same, I do not have to attend a church to pray. I can pray anywhere. Religious freedom is an important issue and there should be a separation of church and state. Take care, have a happy day!

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    1. Yes, right on. a separation of church and state would solve so many issues.

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  5. I have a great many issues with organized religion. I can't see that ever changing.

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    1. In some places it looks like organized religion couldn't get any worse.

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  6. I quit religion several years ago. I just stopped believing in all of the stories and rules. I try to be kind and treat others the way I would want to be treated and that is enough for me.

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    1. Kindness seems to have gone missing in organized denominations lately.

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  7. I was raised in the faith, albeit with different tones than yours. I was quite committed to it for the first half of my life. One day, I saw it very differently.

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    1. The big problem with some of these denominations is that they cling onto you. After that it takes while to get them out of your head.

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  8. I have no religion. I don't think I have ever believed in God and the stuff you find in The Bible. It all seems so outlandish to me. I may be less tolerant than you are because I look at "true believers" be they Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu and I just think: Why? We do not require religion to live good lives so please open your eyes.

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    1. I look at many denominations and it seems that they are only interested in power. The more members they have the more power they think they have.

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  9. I was brought up catholic and did not like going to church. They want to own your mind. I haven't been to a church in decades for service but had tried some different ones. I went to a Quaker Meeting for a while and enjoyed it. When we moved that was the end of that.

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    1. It takes a long time to et the Catholic church out of your head.

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  10. I am atheist although I grew up going to church and Sunday School. I even joined the church (at 14 years old) and taught SS for a year. Somewhere between age 14 and age 17 I stopped believing in any god, and we raised our kids with no religion. This has played out in an interesting way. Our son is athiest while our daughter became baptized in the Roman Catholic church when she was at university and is very committed. It has had beneficial effects for her in terms of helping her anxiety. So I have mixed feelings about it. I'm glad she found something to help her, but I wish it hadn't been religion, because it's a bit of an invisible but real wedge between us.

    I found your answer to this question very interesting and I'm glad you wrote about it.

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    1. I could accept your daughter's Catholicism as long as she didn't try to preach to me about it.

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  11. I was raised a church goer. Not any more and quite content too.

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    1. Going to church for nothing is a waste of time.

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  12. I was raised Lutheran, we went to church every Sunday...it was very stiff and formal and kids were supposed to be seen and not heard. We were very active in church and served on the Evangelism Board. Since my husband has been sick we cannot attend church in person so we usually watch online.
    I believe that I am saved by God's grace through his son Jesus Christ and that heaven is my home.
    I believe that you can worship and pray anywhere!

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    1. My family were German Lutherans. They came to Canada for religious freedom. I think very few of them would be Lutherans today. Many of my ancestors were very devout Lutherans.

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  13. Thanks for answering my questions. I had wondered for some time if you were going through the motions, or believed any of it. No surprise you ditched the harsh and rigid beliefs from your family/upbringing. Religion to me is a complete waste of energy and resources. It's truly what Marx called it: the opium of the masses. If I want to be closer to the Universe, I just step outside, or slow down and get quiet. I don't need contradictory fairy tale nonsense to tell me how to be a good person or live a good life. I only ever enjoyed the play/social aspects of Sunday school growing up, and as you know, quit the whole scene pretty early in life. I remain fascinated by how many people buy into it all, and the strange stories and ideas religions perpetrate, but that's it.

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    1. I can see why some people worship and practice. It gives them satisfaction.

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  14. A Christian daughter-in-law of mine who belong to what my father called the holier than thou evangelical Baptist sect was later in her 50s they would all repeatedly told me she loved me if'''''''' this was conditional love and occasionally she tried to enforce her demands by threatening to commit suicide. Some Christian that. Far from the earliest Christians who humbly loved and held hands who change the world in the face of death in the Roman Coliseum

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  15. Yes, there are some very sad and creepy things that go on in the name of religion.

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  16. This is so interesting, Red. I am so glad you answered your daughter's question. I was brought up in a atheist Jewish household. We never went to temple or synagogue, but we did celebrate Passover. That's it. I will always be grateful that my parents did not try to instill in me a religious belief system, but chose instead to help us see the world just as human beings.

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  17. We don't go to a temple anymore like we did when we were kids but I respect the Buddhist teachings of being kind to everyone and respecting the environment and others. Mom doesn't feel a need to attend services except for certain holidays despite having a father who was a rather highly placed zen priest. When our kids were little, we sent them to a protestant preschool, a Catholic kindergarten, public school and had Jewish friends with whom we celebrated their holidays and celebrations.

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