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5 Bumps

Only if your faith is strong enough...

Something came in in a Heathen discussion I was reading, where a druid was desperately trying to cram it into his mold and couldn't figure out how (because they're different religions, duh, but anyway). The subject came up of feeling faith, feeling connected, what ever way you want to describe the moments of peace that come with prayer or meditation or whatever it is you do when you connect with your deit(ies) of choice.

As an offshoot, a few people were discussing how when they were Christians, they were constantly being badgered to try harder when they didn't feel that connection naturally, and told (usually by parents) that it was their fault and they weren't trying hard enough. It's the total opposite of what happens when they are at a blot giving oaths, and that place that's simultaneously peaceful and ultracharged with energy is reached. If someone wasn't feeling it, and felt they had to force it, they'd most likely be advised by those around them that they probably aren't Heathen, and should try exploring elsewhere to find that connection. The gods won't mind - they appreciate the thought, but they're not vengeful demanding obedience from all or anything like that.

At the same time, we all know Christians who do get that same buzz from worship, who don't feel disconnected from Christianity, and are basically in tune with where they need to be (or they're really convincing liars about it).

So which is more likely - that someone can be any religion they choose if only they try hard enough, and if they're not feeling it, it's their own fault, or that people are naturally drawn to one or another or none, and wherever they get that feeling of peace without trying is where they are meant to be? is it really a "sacrifice" to force yourself into a mold you don't fit into, or is it more along the lines of self-loathing, like homosexuals afraid to come out?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 3:10 PM on Oct. 28, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • This: people are naturally drawn to one or another or none, and wherever they get that feeling of peace without trying is where they are meant to be?

    If you have to force yourself to be happy in your religion, then it's not the one for you. For me, if it doesn't feel right, then it's not right.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 3:17 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • I know that as a teen, when I had figured out that I just didn't buy the whole thing I'd been fed my whole life - my parents kept insisting that I go to church with them. They thought that my going would somehow snap me back into believing or something. They even went as far as bribery.
    I never felt right at church (once I was out of all the kid classes and whatnot) ...it all seemed so...fake and overdone
    Once I was out of my parent's house I felt more okay with not believeing, than I ever did sitting there trying TO believe
    The kinds of churches I went to were very much of an "if you aren't with us, you are against us" kind of mentality- meaning I was jut begging for Satan to be my best friend, since I wasn't a believer anymore.
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 3:22 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • So which is more likely - that someone can be any religion they choose if only they try hard enough, NO and if they're not feeling it, it's their own fault, well that's what the churches I grew up in would have you believe or that people are naturally drawn to one or another or none, and wherever they get that feeling of peace without trying is where they are meant to be? Yes

    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 3:23 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • *jut= just...(thought I'd fixed that!)
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 3:25 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • As a Christian, I have sometimes, but not always or even nearly always, gotten to that place of peace and connection through prayer. It is wonderful, but I don't believe that the way I've found it is the best way or the only way. Seeing someone force herself into a religious mold that doesn't fit is as sad to me as knowing a homosexual who is afraid to come out. Living in a disguise, whatever form that takes, will only cause pain in the end.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 3:39 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • ugg...i always hated that line. believing in something isnt supposed to be difficult, you either believe a certain way or you dont. when you force it it's not peaceful, its not even faith...its coercion and brainwashing (either personal and/or from someone else).

    i think there's a place for sacrifice in spirituality, but lying to yourself is not the right kind of sacrifice. and any "all knowing" deity would obviously be smart enough to know one is faking it.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 3:41 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • This is actually a very complex question and a good one.
    It is also one I do not think we will ever have the answer to.
    I personally feel that the Spirit speaks to us all, in the voice we can hear. Obviously you have to give a little time and study in whatever path to be open enough to hear but "I" do not think that all paths are meant for every person. I think you have to be quiet an allow yourself to be led. You also have to discern what is the true voice for you and what is a false feeling of wanting what you want.

    I know that what I believe is right and true for me. It is not always peaceful.
    I also know that many sociopaths only feel peaceful after their ritual is done. I can't say that I think that is a true path to goodness (holiness, whatever) for anyone.
    I do believe in evil and devils. I do believe that they can also lead us on paths we should not go.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:58 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • It's not about trying - we're naturally drawn to a religion(s) or we're not. Something is going to resonate or it isn't. You can't force it, it just is or isn't.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 5:00 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • It is THIS: people are naturally drawn to one or another or none, and wherever they get that feeling of peace without trying is where they are meant to be?

    It is not a sacrifice, it is stupidity and lacking critical thinking skills: is it really a "sacrifice" to force yourself into a mold you don't fit into, or is it more along the lines of self-loathing, like homosexuals afraid to come out?
    jeanclaudia

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 5:37 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

  • I feel people who tell others that their lack of connection is due to their own "lack of trying" are the ones who are forcing themselves into a mold they know they do not fit into. And misery always loves company.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 8:41 PM on Oct. 28, 2013

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