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Drifting away from religious faith

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Drifting away from religious faith

Postby serendipity » Sun, 23 Apr 2006 3:42 am

I think I still believe in God so am not drifting to be an agnostic nor an atheist, but am drifting away from any religion practices as I suppose I have become quite skeptical towards religions or maybe more of the practitioners/followers.
For one I was in a point of my life when I thought that the bad things happened in my life were the result of me being punished somehow. Not sure why I felt that way, but it's probably because I was comparing meself to the "active" practitioners, and put myself as one of the not-so-faithful followers.
Which sort of makes it an evil circle actually.
Since if it were true that since I'm not a good follower, I was then being punished, the disappointment made me drift away from Him as well.

I began to realise that shit (excuse my French :D ) happens in life regardless you're being a good follower or not, it's just the way life is, and so am trying to go back to practice the religion practices for the sake of learning more about the faith.
However, I am still quite skeptical towards religions that have the history of showing some violent past and even recent practices of imposing their faith to others who either have no interest in faith nor (which is worse) have other faith as after all it is actually about free will, isn't it?

Since I was born, I was already baptised as a Catholic, went to Catholic school till senior high and still sometimes went to church and to the gatherings like Bible study even when I was in a non-Christian country for so long.
I haven't been that tempted yet to converse my religion yet, but to be honest, I might not mind to at least learn more about the religions that seem to be more "peaceful", such as Hinduism or Buddhism.

I guess this would matter to those who do have faith one way or another to a (or several?) deity beings with whatever name(s) you call Him/Her/Them. I was wondering as a person who once drifted away and would like to restore the faith, at least in a degree, how to start?

I actually have been going back to church sometimes after stopping going for several years actually. But there is a downside in Catholic's mass I must admit, that it does feel like routine as the mass is conducted in order mostly and even I would still remember by heart what replies we should say, the singings, the prayers in my first language, and it just doesn't feel it can help in growing one's faith as it feels more like a routine already, and not something inspirational or such.
Am I the only one to think like that by any chance?
Would it be a sin to make the mass more interesting in a way?
The same analogy would apply with the argument of making the learning process to be more interesting in classrooms for example, to hold the students' interest.

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Postby tranquillusion » Sun, 23 Apr 2006 2:09 pm

I'm a current protestant who went cold turkey and "withdrew" from God for 3 years, and in that time explored heavily into other religions-- especially Islam and Buddhism, and indulged in all the things that was off-limits to me as a christian.

I would hate to admit i made a mistake,.. and hoping that the 3 from 19-22years could still prove useful because i had a very very good relationship with 'God' before breaking away. He talked to me through the Bible, in any passage that i randomly flipped to.. and i was blessed during sermons,.. as if the sermons were tailored for me every week, and had a special warmth filling me. He was so close that i could sometimes hear him speak beside my ear when the spirit is just indwelling in me to the fullest. It doesn't mean that my life was plain-sailing and smooth when He was carrying me of course.


[color=dark blue]
Now even though I'm back in church again, and was baptised when i was 23,.. i cannot hear His voice on any regular basis. I go almost every week to church, but service is sometimes a hit-and-miss. The worship songs sometimes touch my heart, but I'm not changed, nor does God talk to me through them, unlike previously.

It's sometimes like Eve in the garden of Eden,.. and the tree of knowledge... i wanted to experience the world as a regular person, and i was curious because i was in a christian environment all my life. And God kept on asking me for 2 weeks, 'Are you sure? Do you know what you're giving up for what you think you're missing? Is it a good trade-off',.. i could still hear his voice in the beginning for up to 2 months at odd times but i kept on rejecting it and thought it'll be easy climbing back. I was wrong! [/color]


It is becoming better though. Until a month ago, i was using my own effort, I allocated 10 hours for serving God in church each week, because that's what I thought he wanted. Now, i still serve in church for 3 hours, but i'm not using it to get closer to God. It really doesn't work, unless you're already close to God and He's using you to minister to other people.

Instead, i just set aside the first drowsy 5 mins of the day to talk to God, even before i brush my teeth,.. just to thank him for the things that happened yesterday and to entrust the day to him. I still attempt to talk to God when i think of him, like when i'm showering, or travelling,.. but my attention is divided, so really,.. just 5 mins works for me. And knowing that He just wants me to rest in him.


[color=dark blue]
I'm not gonna divide my life to before the desert and after. I'm just resting in the assurance that God will know what He's doing, and bring me back somehow so that i not only know intellectually that I'm loved and saved, but actually feel His presence.

Background: grew up christian, in a christian family, but my parents didn't get any of us baptised as they believe in leaving us to make our own choice. Personally, i'd rather they baptised all of us as infants.

As for your feeling about bein' punished for bein' a 'bad follower', well,.. the great thing is it could be possible for you to change churches yet keep the same denomination if you want. That's what i did. And in this church that i was in for the past 4 years, they do see things in black and white but they never give you the feeling of being judged and condemned, and there's no feeling of guilt or helplessness. And some things that have shades of grey, they leave it up to God because they know that they could be wrong. [/color]


P.S. If you're into music,.. the choir in Kampong Kapor Methodist church in little india could touch you spiritually. 9.30am service in the sanctuary. And it should have close roots to your mass. And has a pipe organ-- not that God cares about that! Or the contemporary service will have a good worship. No, I'm not a member,.. i only go there maybe twice a year.

If you could bring yourself to trust me,.. you do not want to find God in other religions. I've done that. Peaceable history or not. We're all imperfect,.. any religion who tries to be holy-moley is probably be covering up their tracks well and silencing dissenters hehe. Or if you do not trust me,.. try to forge your own way,.. and may your path be made straight.

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Postby Bonbon » Sun, 23 Apr 2006 8:49 pm

God will not leave your nor forsake you no mater how long or how *badly* you've drifted away

He's always there with you side by side. He walks right beside you , the footprints can you see them?

It's all about Relationships with God, not about rules, regid ceremonies, nor is it about denominations, and rituals.

The OLD LAWS have passed, it has been replaced by God's grace. No longer what you need to do or not do. He has given the freechoice, freewill to all. and that's what is so good about Him....I moved away for 3 years as well, but you know for ALL things He will turn good to those who love Him l! (ok my bible quotes sucks)....I took me so many de-tours, long winding journey, I still got there eventually, and now I look back, could have done it faster, had I followed his route.

:) He's the loving father, shepherd, for even ONE lost sheep He will be sacrificing himself just to save that ONE and only.

surely goodness and mercy shalll follow me all of my life!!! :wink:

Feel free to let me know if you want to check out one of those SUnday services at new creations ...I'll learn to be patient tihs time!
Last edited by Bonbon on Mon, 24 Apr 2006 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby tiki » Sun, 23 Apr 2006 9:07 pm

If HE sacrifices himself, who then will the next GOD be? And in who's name does HE make the sacrifice?

With all due respect, I am always ears perked when it coems to religion and science.
'If you feel alive
in a darkened room
Do you know the name
of your solitude..'

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Postby serendipity » Sun, 23 Apr 2006 11:58 pm

tiki wrote:If HE sacrifices himself, who then will the next GOD be? And in who's name does HE make the sacrifice?

With all due respect, I am always ears perked when it coems to religion and science.


I can understand as I'm a believer in science too actually, but the question is not whether science and religion can collide for me...
I think there is a thread already about science and religion a while ago, no?

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Postby Bonbon » Mon, 24 Apr 2006 9:12 am

We don't have all the answers, nor do the scholars, if we do we'll be the God Himself.

However, i' m like Tiki more than happy to see what science vs. religion issues you have...would be a good discussion..you learn more from each other.

A good book to check is a case for Christ, or a case for Faith, written by a US journalist, who wasn't convinced about Christianity without digging into facts....so then he did, and went through the journey that we all did...and now he is a believer!

(can't remember which one talks more about religion vs. science) but BOTH are fab books, give you all the evidence, and facts...

Let me know if you're interested in finding out more, I'll see whether I can find out which bookstore sells it...(believe all christian bookshops sell them)

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Postby Batman » Mon, 24 Apr 2006 11:14 am

wow man this is a nice place to be, Philosophy, my favourite subject.
would love to have a discussion sometime.
It's not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 24 Apr 2006 12:00 pm

Batman wrote:wow man this is a nice place to be, Philosophy, my favourite subject.
would love to have a discussion sometime.


Batman, nobody said you couldn't join the discussion. :?

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Postby Batman » Mon, 24 Apr 2006 12:52 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Batman wrote:wow man this is a nice place to be, Philosophy, my favourite subject.
would love to have a discussion sometime.


Batman, nobody said you couldn't join the discussion. :?



i know sundaymorningstaple, did i said anywhere that anyone said i cant join in.
It's not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me...


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