Author Topic: I left religion and now I am lost...  (Read 4264 times)

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Gabe Grinstead

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I left religion and now I am lost...
« on: March 03, 2008, 06:34:41 AM »
Well, ever since finding out that Hell is not eternal, I have lost some direction in my life.  Now, I am not saying that is a bad thing, but it is a very uncomfortable feeling.  I don't feel the need to go to church. I still pray, talk to God, focus on what is right... But I don't 'strive' anymore.  Before I tried as hard as a could because I was trying to escape Hell, but now that Hell does not exist, the drive for Heaven just doesn't seem quite as strong.

I have become negative over everything religion now... I have a hard time being objective over any organized faith... I now defend the outcasts, even sinners that are outcasts.  It just seems all so backwards to me.

I struggled with a wife who thinks I am not a Christian. I struggle with a co-worker who thinks I am 'dangerous' to people because of my theology. I struggle with not being able to have fellowship in person with someone who believes the same as I do, or who doesn't think I am totally crazy. I struggle with a lot of things.  Things that I struggle with my entire life... But now I just don't seem to care about my imperfections, at least not in the sense that they will incur punishment.  I now desire to be rightous for no other reason that because that is the right thing to do.  But it still doesn't magically happen and I am not a firm believer that you can change yourself anyway, if you wanted too. It is all Christ and it appears it is on his timing, not mine. It seems to happen when I don't think it is happening.

I don't know much anymore... I guess I am lost and waiting for Jesus to show me the way.  I hear people say 'to live is Christ' but that doesn't make any sense to me.  Yeah, I can pretend what it means like I did before, but the reality is - what does it really mean? Gramatically, it doesn't make any sense and I am sure I could be like everyone else are just make up what it means to me.  But I can't do that, not in good faith.

I know others have been in this position... Any advice? Being in a religion solves this problem because you don't have to think, you simply have to listen to your pastor tell you what to do. But, I don't think I would trade emotional stability for the lies of religion. Sometimes I wish I could have taken the 'blue' pill (shamless MATRIX reference). And the problem I am really facing isn't finding out what is WRONG.  I already know that Traditional Christianity is WRONG on MANY things.  But so is Islam, and Budhism... So finding the wrong is not the problem, it is finding the truth and getting a mystical 'Jesus is the Truth' statement doesn't solve the problem, unfortunately...

Offline Cardinal

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 07:32:58 AM »
 :cloud9: It's a hard transition to switch from works to grace, and it makes the flesh nature of us that is used to the do's and don'ts and the false security of being in the flock numbers, feel unstable and insecure, like a drowning man, trying to hang onto whatever driftwood floating by we can grab hold of. What He's really wanting now is a closer relationship with just Him, where we learn to draw our life from His Spirit, and just LET GO and rest in Him and trust that He is doing a finishing work in us, as we have been called outside the camp.

In a true "dead" salt lake you cannot sink, not even if you try to. The water looks the same from all appearances, but the salt you can't see makes you buoyant. It is the same with this work of the Spirit; it feels like you could fall in and drown because you are used to being able to in normal water, but the truth of the matter is, this water, this flow of the Spirit, is not "normal" and He wants you to see that you can't sink because He has you in the palm of His hand, and He will raise you up without any effort on your part, except to have faith without seeing the result immediately.

Eventually, you come to the realization that you can't fall in any state of permanency because your nature has been so changed that you simply draw no pleasure from that which is not expedient to your spirit man. So you find you are no longer not doing things because you are not supposed to, but because you have no desire to. Sometimes you may try it anyway, unaware of that nature change, falling into old patterns and habits, but it won't be long before the joy is gone and you will fall back in line. That is the nature change that has been being worked in you, to bring you to this point where you could be trusted with the mature things of God.

Don't beat yourself up, keep pressing in, in your Spirit, keep praising Him and He will reveal Himself in greater intimacy than you have ever known before, because He has begun to remove the tutors and governors that were over you for a season. He is to be our only covering, the "fathers" and the "mothers" must relinquish their hold on us, so that He can be birthed in us, lest we be "pregnant" but never bring to birth. Not coming out from under the "mother" the church, means we risk being stillborn, refusing to allow the veil of the flesh to be rent. Praise God He has deemed you worthy to be brought to "birth".

Jesus defended the outcasts too, and was persecuted for it. The servant is not greater than the master, so we too get persecuted for it. You are not lost, you just are in unfamiliar territory right now. Remember He told them to keep their eyes on the Ark because you have not been this way before. Keep your eyes on the ark, and He will lead you into the next step for you. Blessings to you in your journey.......
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 07:46:16 AM by Cardinal »
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Kratos

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 07:49:25 AM »
I can relate totally to both the problem and the explanation. If we can just stay out of our natural minds, we do alright. But when those thoughts about whether we are the ones off track come in, it can get hard. I mean, how can we few be right and the whole rest of Christianity be wrong?

It is tough to keep going forward. The only thing tougher would be going back.

I am glad we are in it together or it really would be hard to keep walking this way alone.

John
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Seeking a Kingdom whose Builder and Maker is God

Offline Cardinal

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 09:11:21 AM »
But when those thoughts about whether we are the ones off track come in, it can get hard. I mean, how can we few be right and the whole rest of Christianity be wrong? John

 :cloud9: That's when we have to remember that He always deals with a remnant within a remnant, FIRST. There is no safety in numbers in this walk, and we must not give in to the temptation of numbering the "tribe".........Blessings to all......
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

noname

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 09:51:02 AM »
Hi Gabe,
as someone who has always been destined to walk the path of the "less travelled" and many times stumbling around in the dark hitting obsticles with one's head and saying..."hey everybody, watch out, there is an obsticle here"... I kinda get what you're saying, and the sentences jumping out of your post for me were:

Quote
I now defend the outcasts, even sinners that are outcasts.  It just seems all so backwards to me.
that sounds to me very much like another person I've heard of who understood the sinners, had compassion on them and even defended them...he was also said to have done things "backwards" and not "conforming" to what was the flavour of the day...he was the rock upon which these destitute people could find their feet again

Quote
I now desire to be rightous for no other reason that because that is the right thing to do.
i sense the birth of a new star...shining forth in righteousness and love :)

Offline firstborn888

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 12:13:37 PM »
Hi Gabe,
as someone who has always been destined to walk the path of the "less travelled" and many times stumbling around in the dark hitting obsticles with one's head and saying..."hey everybody, watch out, there is an obsticle here"... I kinda get what you're saying, and the sentences jumping out of your post for me were:

Quote
I now defend the outcasts, even sinners that are outcasts.  It just seems all so backwards to me.
that sounds to me very much like another person I've heard of who understood the sinners, had compassion on them and even defended them...he was also said to have done things "backwards" and not "conforming" to what was the flavour of the day...he was the rock upon which these destitute people could find their feet again

Quote
I now desire to be rightous for no other reason that because that is the right thing to do.
i sense the birth of a new star...shining forth in righteousness and love :)

Amen.

 - byron

Offline firstborn888

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 12:18:11 PM »
I can relate totally to both the problem and the explanation. If we can just stay out of our natural minds, we do alright. But when those thoughts about whether we are the ones off track come in, it can get hard. I mean, how can we few be right and the whole rest of Christianity be wrong?

It is tough to keep going forward. The only thing tougher would be going back.

I am glad we are in it together or it really would be hard to keep walking this way alone.

John

Of course I can't relate to this particular struggle since I never believed in eternal hell, but I can now relate to the alienation, even from family. All I can say about it is that though fear is a strong motivator - love is the strongest motivator of all.

 - byron

Loveroftruth

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 12:20:43 PM »
:cloud9: It's a hard transition to switch from works to grace, and it makes the flesh nature of us that is used to the do's and don'ts and the false security of being in the flock numbers, feel unstable and insecure, like a drowning man, trying to hang onto whatever driftwood floating by we can grab hold of. What He's really wanting now is a closer relationship with just Him, where we learn to draw our life from His Spirit, and just LET GO and rest in Him and trust that He is doing a finishing work in us, as we have been called outside the camp.

In a true "dead" salt lake you cannot sink, not even if you try to. The water looks the same from all appearances, but the salt you can't see makes you buoyant. It is the same with this work of the Spirit; it feels like you could fall in and drown because you are used to being able to in normal water, but the truth of the matter is, this water, this flow of the Spirit, is not "normal" and He wants you to see that you can't sink because He has you in the palm of His hand, and He will raise you up without any effort on your part, except to have faith without seeing the result immediately.

Eventually, you come to the realization that you can't fall in any state of permanency because your nature has been so changed that you simply draw no pleasure from that which is not expedient to your spirit man. So you find you are no longer doing things because you are not supposed to, but because you have no desire to. Sometimes you may try it anyway, unaware of that nature change, falling into old patterns and habits, but it won't be long before the joy is gone and you will fall back in line. That is the nature change that has been being worked in you, to bring you to this point where you could be trusted with the mature things of God.

Don't beat yourself up, keep pressing in, in your Spirit, keep praising Him and He will reveal Himself in greater intimacy than you have ever known before, because He has begun to remove the tutors and governors that were over you for a season. He is to be our only covering, the "fathers" and the "mothers" must relinquish their hold on us, so that He can be birthed in us, lest we be "pregnant" but never bring to birth. Not coming out from under the "mother" the church, means we risk being stillborn, refusing to allow the veil of the flesh to be rent. Praise God He has deemed you worthy to be brought to "birth".

Jesus defended the outcasts too, and was persecuted for it. The servant is not greater than the master, so we too get persecuted for it. You are not lost, you just are in unfamiliar territory right now. Remember He told them to keep their eyes on the Ark because you have not been this way before. Keep your eyes on the ark, and He will lead you into the next step for you. Blessings to you in your journey.......

What a WONDERFUL POST Card!!!!!!!!!!!!  :HeartThrob:


Gabe, oh how I can relate! We are in this together, many many of us  :HeartThrob:

Offline hopeful

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 03:13:58 PM »
Hi, Gabe!   :icon_flower:

 Something that has helped me in this transition is doing things that I really enjoy.  For me, that's writing, planting flowers, arts and crafts or going on walks in the country side or Forrest.  I don't do these things as a substitute for God but rather as a way of feeling rejuvenated and motivated; a way to feel that drive that you are lacking.  But as I'm enjoying those pastimes, I'm also really enjoying the Lord- not blocking Him out.  He's involved in it with me and I'm worshipping Him while doing these things but it isn't religious at all.  It's sort of hard to explain...

  I am now free to enjoy life with no fear lurking in the background to spoil it.  When I'm talking to God while playing in my flowers, the memory of rejection from people fades off into the distant past instead of staring me in the face!  That annoying question of "What do we  do now?" disappears, too!  Well, we plant flowers now, that's what!   :Sparkletooth:  Plain and simple!  And we're gonna have fun doing it, too!

Don't know if that made sense or not...   :HeartThrob:
You're welcome to visit http://toknowhimmore.blogspot.com/

Offline Cardinal

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 03:29:56 PM »
 :cloud9: Hopeful, your post reminded me of something the Lord told a friend of mine. She was feeling guilty about not "seeking" Him constantly in the Word as she was accustomed to doing, and was going on vacation to the ocean. He waited till she got there, and was walking on the beach, when He told her she was not just a human having a spiritual experience, but He was also a Spirit having another human experience within her, and HE liked walking on the beach with her talking to Him, TOO.

Religion taught us to delegate Him to one or 2 days a week, and the rest of the time we were to put Him on a shelf, but He wants to be actively involved in every breath we take, as real as anyone else in our family.

One of my experiences with this was His great sense of humor. My main hobby is my flower beds in the Spring and Summer. I salivate over the first sign of flowers popping thru, LOL. I love Spring, even though it kills me for about a month of weeding, tilling and planting, ect. My husband and oldest son were that way over fishing. So as I was digging, I would find bait.

I hollered out one day, "Anybody want a worm?", because I wasn't sure if they were planning a fishing trip anytime soon. As soon as I said those words, the Lord spoke as plain as I  have ever heard Him, and said in a humorous tone with the understanding with it, "I do, I do!"

Get it? In the Word He said, "Jacob (the carnal nature), you worm!" The Christ nature (fish) wants to consume lots of "worms". All of them, LOL. Isn't that priceless? My daughter was about 12 at the time, and was helping a few feet away. She heard me cracking up, talking to the Lord and wanted to know what was going on. It opened up a good discussion for me to explain some foundational principles, and I swear it felt just like we were back in the first garden, talking with God in pure fellowship. THAT is what He wants. Blessings to all....
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Redlettervoice

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 03:40:37 PM »



Gabe!~

Did you ever hear the song: "His Hand reached further down that I could reach up" ?

It came to my mind when I read your post.  How we are the work of "HiS" Hands.

How the Spirit teaches each one of us.  How sure is our salvation when we realize

it is not based on "our" works, but on HIS, and He will be right on time in YOUR LIFE

with whatever is NEXT for "you" ........Read where you understand, skip where you don't,

remember to forgive, when you need to, and ask forgiveness when you need to. What

doth the Lord require of you but to LOVE Mercy, do justly, and to walk humbly with thy

God? Nothing!  That's it in a nutshell.  You wait and see, God will surprise you, when

you least expect it...........He will be like a ping pong ball in the ocean.  For you are HIS.


Gabe Grinstead

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 04:21:02 PM »
Thanks for everyone's kind and hopeful words.  I am glad to know that I am not alone and is something I must experience for now. Keep on keeping on as they say... :D 

gr8wuf

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2008, 04:58:04 PM »
Gabe I share the same experience. I felt almost hostile to any hint of religion for awhile.

I tried going back to church for several years but it was mostly because I was seeking community more than anything else. But in the end, it was very evangelical and I was ignoring more of the teaching than I was using ... and feeling very lonely in the middle of it all, so I just left.

It's been quite a journey to where I am now, which is studying and growing and loving. I do go to a church now and then but mostly to be with extended family and it is a church that never preaches ET. The messages are very practical and apply to my daily life. I probably wouldn't go except for my family being together.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There's still SO MUCH to enjoy and apply to our journey.

jenna

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 05:31:06 PM »
Gabe, I felt the exact same way you do. At one point in my life, I stopped going to church, and really thought bad about most religion. None of them ever "got it right". Or all of it anyway. I did not give up on God, though, I just read the bible and studied at home. Then I got to the passage where it says we are judged according to our works. (Rev.20:12) While no amount of works can ever save us, I know I would like to be judged according to good works, not bad ones! I want my reward to be with God.
This is not meant to be a scare tactic. Just a reminder.
God bless. :HeartThrob:

shibboleth

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2008, 05:57:15 PM »
Well, ever since finding out that Hell is not eternal, I have lost some direction in my life.  Now, I am not saying that is a bad thing, but it is a very uncomfortable feeling.  I don't feel the need to go to church. I still pray, talk to God, focus on what is right... But I don't 'strive' anymore.  Before I tried as hard as a could because I was trying to escape Hell, but now that Hell does not exist, the drive for Heaven just doesn't seem quite as strong.
I know what you're saying, Gabe, because I had to experience so much of what you are talking about. I went to church just because I was supposed to go. Actually, there were times when I'd leave church with a sense of lostness, lonliness and helplessness that I never experience anywhere else. (After doing a study on church, I have a new perspective on what it means and no longer feel a desire to "go to church.") The striving and not feeling guilty is all a part of God showing us His great and glorious amazing grace! Wow, to think He loves us no matter if we're good or bad, right or wrong, faithful or unfaithful, happy or sad, mad or glad. He just loves us unconditionally. Period. That's a hard hook and line for most of us to swallow. Just hang on to the fact that He really does love you, Gabe, and don't listen to anyone who says otherwise.
I have become negative over everything religion now... I have a hard time being objective over any organized faith... I now defend the outcasts, even sinners that are outcasts.  It just seems all so backwards to me.
I hate religion....the striving, working, and doing things to make ourselves acceptable to God. What always bothers me is that those who put laws and regulations on others, never seem able to keep them themselves. They always fail, even if it's a minor offense. I've seen it too often in myself and others that when I try to put laws on people, I fail much more than when I love them in spite of their sins....as hard as that is to do.

Dreamer

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2008, 09:24:49 PM »
I can't remember who said it but I remember it -- most people don't want to know what's true, they just want to be safe.  Religion is safety, there's safety in numbers. 

Christ is truth, He's where life is, in Him is where we find true freedom. Once we know we're free from the bondage that man wants to keep us under, we're free to truly follow Him without interference.

Gizmo

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2008, 04:06:29 AM »
Gabe,

You are not alone in these struggles, but it sounds like you are on the right path.  At least I hope it's the right path, because I'm right behind you!!!

I can't say I have any answers.  My old religion would spout empty platitudes.  What I can say for me is the peace of the gospel is worth the price of admission.

There is a site trying to bring us together. www.championsofgrace.com  I haven't had much success getting together with gospelly folk, but they are still young.  I also listen to Mike Williams' radio broadcasts on www.glennkleinonline.com or Mike's teachings on www.gospelrevolution.com or archived audio at www.gospelogic.com.

Blessings!
Giz

arup

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2008, 06:10:11 AM »
Gabe,

I understand how you feel.  I'm still working through some of the same things.  I would encourage you to remember that doctrine (be it UR or whatever) is simply knowledge, but the goal is Jesus.  Lots of people here have already said that.  I was given some good advice recently to not forget what Jesus had given me in the past and continue in pursuit of Him.  I got too wrapped up in trying to study my way to the truth than getting to know THE TRUTH...

Another brother at your side,

Andrew

edit- I wanted to add, however, that UR was an important piece for me in continuing to get to know Him, but certainly not the end.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 06:11:53 AM by arup »

Offline Cardinal

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2008, 06:15:21 AM »
 :cloud9: Amen to that Andrew..... :thumbsup:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

eirinikos

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2008, 12:45:54 AM »

I was just thinking about how I've been battling with how to 'express' my faith. That is, some people wear Jesus T-Shirts, have Jesus bumper stickers, go to church regularly, hang out with christian friends, go on christian 'encounters', etc. You can do all those things and not know anything about God, yet you will be considered a 'christian.'

I myself have struggled because I NEVER felt like I fit in with these christian circles and activities. I never fit in in christian church groups. I NEVER felt right about wearing religion on my sleeve. In face, I've pretty much figured out that there is no such thing as a true religious expression. All things external are just fluff, and idolatry.

The only real religious expression is this: to have love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness. These things only come from walking with God, having him be the source of your life.The manifestation of these things is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give to the poor, defend the cause of the orphan, the fatherless, and the widows. There is NO other pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2008, 02:08:41 AM »
 :cloud9: That's a lot of wisdom you got there already.  :thumbsup:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline hopeful

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2008, 04:12:24 AM »
The only real religious expression is this: to have love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness. These things only come from walking with God, having him be the source of your life.The manifestation of these things is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give to the poor, defend the cause of the orphan, the fatherless, and the widows. There is NO other pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God.

 :thumbsup:  And sometimes that manifestation can be to wipe a nose, give a drink, be silent as a lamb,  give a smile or tell a story.

 :HeartThrob:
You're welcome to visit http://toknowhimmore.blogspot.com/

jiggyfly

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2008, 09:34:53 AM »
Sounds like your being delivered from religion Gabe and because of that your experiencing an identity crisis which is normal for anyone who was caught up in a religious system.Just keep relating to Jesus.

Loveroftruth

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2008, 12:50:01 PM »
When does the identity crisis end  :sigh: :mblush: :msealed: :mshock: :dontknow:

jiggyfly

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Re: I left religion and now I am lost...
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2008, 01:55:56 PM »
When self is denied and knowing Jesus is all that really matters.