In Search of Religion - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-12-2002, 01:35 PM   #1
pax
ONE
love, blood, life
 
pax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ewen's new American home
Posts: 11,412
Local Time: 06:19 PM
In Search of Religion

Here's how it is:

I was raised Catholic until I was in fifth grade or so; had taken First Reconciliation, Communion, etc. in the Catholic church. When my parents got divorced, I started going to church with my dad, who was going back to the Lutheran church (the church he was raised in). For those of you who may not know, the Lutheran church is one of the largest and oldest Protestant denominations, and is actually pretty close to Roman Catholicism in their liturgy and some other things they do. I was confirmed in the Lutheran church and until recently, I was pretty active--sang in the choir, read lessons, assisted with Communion, and even mentored a girl for confirmation last year.

When I started at this Catholic college two years ago, I attended Mass there because a lot of my friends did, and I still felt comfortable with Catholic liturgy. I would sometimes go to Mass at school with my friends and sometimes go to the Lutheran church with my family. Either way, I was going to church at least once a week.

I've had a few problems lately, though. With some of the scandal in the Catholic church, I've been feeling less and less comfortable with going to the Catholic church (no offense to the many Catholics here--I would probably feel differently if I had been Catholic my whole life). And I've found that going to the Lutheran church has been boring me more than really "awakening" me spiritually.

I feel a bit homeless these days in terms of religion. I've thought about checking out the Society of Friends or the UUA because of that quiz at Beliefnet a lot of us took a few months back. But I know a lot of my family would be sad if I stopped going to the Lutheran church, and I know my friends would miss going to church with me if I stopped going to Mass at school. But I don't get anything out of either one anymore. I still believe strongly in God and Jesus, but I need something new to help me manifest that faith, I suppose.

Any suggestions? Has anyone had any experience with a situation like this? Think it's right/wrong of me to leave a church or churches because of the reasons I stated? I haven't been to church in several weeks at all and it's starting to feel weird.
__________________

__________________
and you hunger for the time
time to heal, desire, time


Join Amnesty.
pax is offline  
Old 08-12-2002, 08:35 PM   #2
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 05:19 PM
I'm in a similar position, honestly. I do consider myself Catholic, due to the bulk of my belief systems, but there is often an implicit opposition to divergent belief systems (which is often the case with any religion). Truthfully, I grew up believing Catholicism to be a fairly liberal religion--anti-fundamentalist, fairly great integration with science and religion, social activism to aid the poor, etc.

The problem became that, in the years since I graduated from high school, I learned more about the structure of Catholicism, along with some of the encyclicals produced by the papacy and documents written by his right-hand, the leader of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith (the successor to the medieval "Papal Inquisition"), Cardinal Ratzinger. I found myself disturbed by much of what they believed and the contradictions it developed. Cardinal Ratzinger, for instance, recently reasserted that the Catholic Church is the sole device for salvation--a complete backtrack from Vatican II, which allowed salvation within most all Christian sects and even made it possible for non-Christians to see salvation. Their social beliefs and subsequent reasoning for suppression of women often makes you scratch your head. What did Ratzinger state, for instance, about the recent excommunication of the seven female priests? That female priesthood goes "contrary to the dignity of women." Does it even make sense?

Of course, the public-at-large recently learned the hypocrisy of the Vatican in dealing with the priest molestation issues. Not only did the Vatican seem annoyed by the whole thing, they seemed pained to even want to do anything about it, wondering why anyone even would make a big deal about it. The summoning of all American bishops to the Vatican was similarly frustrating: the Vatican didn't want to do anything, and just wished it would go away.

Knowing such realizations about the Catholic Church, I have often pondered why anyone would stay, let alone me. Indeed, though, I have stayed, because no other faith is quite like the Catholic Church. I have long since disowned those who run the Church, but the faith, itself, I've found to be on fairly good foundation.

Another thing that has troubled me, indeed, is the intellectual level of mass, which I find to be complete drivel. I can flat out recite the entire mass in my sleep. I remember every last Bible passage they use, mostly because it falls on a cycle. The sermons, themselves, are contradictory to official Catholic doctrine, as they often speak at a wholly fundamentalist level.

I'm "bored," for lack of a better word. I find more religious satisfaction reading on my own, and, on the contrary, I often leave Mass angrier and emptier than when I came in. Unfortunately, I don't have any answers myself to your question, but something tells me that we are certainly not alone in the world of Catholicism.

Melon
__________________

__________________
melon is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 01:40 AM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Lilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: back and to the left
Posts: 8,523
Local Time: 04:19 PM
but i stiiiiiiiiiil haven't found...

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I feel a bit homeless these days in terms of religion. I've thought about checking out the Society of Friends or the UUA because of that quiz at Beliefnet a lot of us took a few months back. But I know a lot of my family would be sad if I stopped going to the Lutheran church, and I know my friends would miss going to church with me if I stopped going to Mass at school. But I don't get anything out of either one anymore. I still believe strongly in God and Jesus, but I need something new to help me manifest that faith, I suppose.
i don't attend church. even on the big holidays. i used to, but then the iris protestant side of my famly moved back into town and there was a fight and blah blah blah (helloo! we are in AMERICA, LET IT GO!!!!!!) {needless to say, i've been very bitterized with organized with organized religion for a long time}. so i spose i can't relate to you on the churchgoing front.


what i can say is that religion, nay, faith , is for you. not for your friends, not for your family. the relationship you hold with God, with Jesus, is a one-on-one relationship. in my opinion you don't need church to be faithful, but i can see where it would be comforting to you. my advice is to change your "religion" (note that it actually makes me cringe to write that word). if you aren't getting satisfaction from your chosen religion, then it's not for you. communicate with God, with Jesus, let Them know what's happening, and surely you will be led down the right path for you.

__________________
Lilly is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 07:59 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,573
Local Time: 05:19 PM
Re: In Search of Religion

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
Here's how it is:

I was raised Catholic until I was in fifth grade or so; had taken First Reconciliation, Communion, etc. in the Catholic church. When my parents got divorced, I started going to church with my dad, who was going back to the Lutheran church (the church he was raised in). For those of you who may not know, the Lutheran church is one of the largest and oldest Protestant denominations, and is actually pretty close to Roman Catholicism in their liturgy and some other things they do. I was confirmed in the Lutheran church and until recently, I was pretty active--sang in the choir, read lessons, assisted with Communion, and even mentored a girl for confirmation last year.

When I started at this Catholic college two years ago, I attended Mass there because a lot of my friends did, and I still felt comfortable with Catholic liturgy. I would sometimes go to Mass at school with my friends and sometimes go to the Lutheran church with my family. Either way, I was going to church at least once a week.

I've had a few problems lately, though. With some of the scandal in the Catholic church, I've been feeling less and less comfortable with going to the Catholic church (no offense to the many Catholics here--I would probably feel differently if I had been Catholic my whole life). And I've found that going to the Lutheran church has been boring me more than really "awakening" me spiritually.

I feel a bit homeless these days in terms of religion. I've thought about checking out the Society of Friends or the UUA because of that quiz at Beliefnet a lot of us took a few months back. But I know a lot of my family would be sad if I stopped going to the Lutheran church, and I know my friends would miss going to church with me if I stopped going to Mass at school. But I don't get anything out of either one anymore. I still believe strongly in God and Jesus, but I need something new to help me manifest that faith, I suppose.

Any suggestions? Has anyone had any experience with a situation like this? Think it's right/wrong of me to leave a church or churches because of the reasons I stated? I haven't been to church in several weeks at all and it's starting to feel weird.
Churches within the same denomination can be quite diverse, so try not to put too much stock in a church's official denominational affiliation (or lack thereof). Good luck.
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 08:11 AM   #5
Acrobat
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 320
Local Time: 10:19 PM
I was in this same situation several years ago. I stopped going to church altogether for about three years to search. You might find this funny...but I was on the verge of becoming agnostic when VH-1 showed "Rattle and Hum" and as I watched Bono I decided to give Christianity another chance!

I am currently attending a Bretheren Church ( a small non-fundamnetalist denomination) but I am also studying Catholicism on the side. I find the history fascinating and am intrigued by it...and I am finding a lot of things I was taught as a Bible fundamentalists about it were just plain wrong and misleading. It has been good for me to clear up all those misconceptions

I think the idea that its the 'faith' that is important..not the people around it. When I left Fundamentalism years ago I had an attitude like The Edge...I had no problem with God or Jesus...but there were people who were in my way of getting to God. He was up there and these people were a barrier.
All denominations have hypocrites...they are have people who disagree with the doctrines/practises of said denomination...they all have their problems...there is no religious utopia. It is the faith that's important...not the people or the trappings.

dream wanderer
__________________
dream wanderer is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 11:16 AM   #6
New Yorker
 
sharky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,637
Local Time: 05:19 PM
Not to divert or go against your original question but you have to remember that the recent sex scandal in the church is not the Church. And while we in the US have been paying alot of attention to it, the Vatican really may not be-- only 6% of the Catholic Church is American. Don't let the scandals get in the way of enjoying a mass. There really is a lot more to the church than that. Unfortunately, you do have to suck it up a bit. I believe that women should be priests but every time I go to mass there's always a male priest. Doesn't mean I don't like the church, I just disagree with the church's stance.

As for your church question, I've gone through similar situations-- including now-- and really I think its just a matter of your faith being a candle, sometimes it burns bright and sometimes its just a flicker. In the meantime, maybe you should go to services at different churches. For me, going to services for the Church of Christ or Southern Baptist made me realize how much I liked the Catholic mass. To you, it may mean you find a different denomination that you connect with.

In the end though, there is a major difference between religion [the Catholic Church as an instution] and faith [belief in God and Jesus]. You really don't need a church to have faith.
__________________
sharky is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 11:55 AM   #7
New Yorker
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
Posts: 2,551
Local Time: 03:19 PM
I'd suggest trying the Episcopal church -- all the trappings of Catholicism but no Vatican and room for every degree of belief or unbelief. If that fails, bail on church and go to a Buddhist temple. *shrug*

Truth be told, I think you'll have a hard time finding a church that isn't boring unless maybe you go to a large gospel church in the inner city.

You might also think about becoming active in a church --- then you can make interesting things happen, i.e., you might lead a weekly discussion group on a topic that interests you, or you start working with the kids at the church, or you start a charity to provide impoverished kids with new clothes for school.
__________________
pub crawler is offline  
Old 08-13-2002, 09:14 PM   #8
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,297
Local Time: 05:19 PM
For me it's a bit different, because ethnically, I belong to a group where Catholicism and culture are very much intermingled, to the point where it's hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.

Honestly, I find myself bored at Mass, for the reasons melon articulated quite well. At times, I've been privileged to attend mass lead by incredibly well educated Jesuits, often from Rome, and I've enjoyed the intellectualism of it greatly. Generally, I find Jesuit run Catholic institutions to be the ones that appeal to me most, though there is also something very humbling about the Franciscans as well.

I consider myself to be a Catholic who believes that there is one God/Supreme Reality, and multiple roads leading to it. I don't believe my way is the only way nor is it the best way. I do, however, remain a member of the Catholic Church because of the cultural significance I mentioned above, and also because I agree with more of its core beliefs than those of Protestantism.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 08-14-2002, 03:36 PM   #9
Refugee
 
RavenStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Purgatory
Posts: 1,101
Local Time: 05:19 PM
Unless you really needed to align with a religion I suggest you just make up your own religion. Then you wouldnt have to worry about finding a religion that matches you beliefs.
__________________
RavenStar is offline  
Old 08-14-2002, 04:46 PM   #10
The Fly
 
jala's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: fontana, ca , united states
Posts: 119
Local Time: 02:19 PM
Let me begin by saying where I come from. I was born and raised a catholic. Accepted Jesus Christ as a christian at age 16. My husband is a preachers kid. And well, lets say it plays a big part in my life.

It's a big transition from one religion to another. I had the fights w/ my family and friends. I went from one church to another. I was once the youth president, evangelist leader, and active member of the church. Many things happened within the church that made me think about religion all together. I didn't like the rumors, the criticism, and frankly I didn't care for the people that tried to preach to me and contradicted what they did.

So here I was. Lost, upset, and disgusted by the way people came to church to supposedly praise god and then return to their bad habit (yes, I do understand we all have them). I wondered if I will ever find a church to call home or if I will always be a wanderer. And then it hit me. I finally realized that it's not about church. It's about faith. I was searching for religion and not God. God is not in religion, God is in faith. I realized that just a few months ago. He is always with me no matter where I go. I'm still going from church to church, but I know that when I'm ready to settle in I will. I have many friends of different denominations and faiths, and I've visited their churches. The best thing that made me comfortable at each place is that no one is judging me about where I go or what I believe in. That is a major thing, but also because I know my faith will guide me. It took me along time to figure this out and hopefully it will help you out. It doesn't matter where you go, but where you are happy. If they aren't as inspiring as before, maybe visiting some other place will help relieve your decision.

I would like to hear more about what you have decided or anything else that is on your mind.
__________________
jala is offline  
Old 08-14-2002, 05:03 PM   #11
pax
ONE
love, blood, life
 
pax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ewen's new American home
Posts: 11,412
Local Time: 06:19 PM
There have been some very detailed and thoughtful responses to this thread.

Do any of you who do not have "churches" per se find it harder to live up to the code of behavior, for example, set forth by your particular faith? Has it caused problems in your family? You don't have to be specific, but I'm just interested in knowing how people "make their own" religion.
__________________
and you hunger for the time
time to heal, desire, time


Join Amnesty.
pax is offline  
Old 08-14-2002, 06:53 PM   #12
Refugee
 
RavenStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Purgatory
Posts: 1,101
Local Time: 05:19 PM
Well, I dont belong to any official Satanic orginisations. Then again, my religion is based around personal beliefs in a way. For Satanists, the Satanic Bible is just a starting point, not something to live life by. I only know 2 other Satanists in real life and our beliefs are different but we seem to get along fine. But then again, alot of religions arent like Satanism.

My bestfriend has no religion. Her mom is Christian but there were never any problems between them. She usually just says that she is an atheist when people ask her religion.
__________________
RavenStar is offline  
Old 08-15-2002, 04:17 AM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
zooropamanda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Smile, you're reading my post
Posts: 6,515
Local Time: 08:19 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I can flat out recite the entire mass in my sleep.
Amen to that
__________________
zooropamanda is offline  
Old 08-15-2002, 05:12 AM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
cass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Australia.
Posts: 6,117
Local Time: 08:19 AM
Once again, the timimg of this place amazes me. I have been on some sort of search myself lately and just then my 13 year old son asked if he could go on line to find out about Tat Tvam Asi, stemming from a brief discussion he had with his music teacher at school today (that's why mum is here at I.com..of course) he asked,"can we get some books?"
Music to my ears....... music of the other kind.
Good luck to you paxetaurora.
__________________
cass is offline  
Old 08-15-2002, 09:24 AM   #15
pax
ONE
love, blood, life
 
pax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Ewen's new American home
Posts: 11,412
Local Time: 06:19 PM
What is Tat Tvam Asi? I think I've heard of it, but I have no idea what it is.
__________________

__________________
and you hunger for the time
time to heal, desire, time


Join Amnesty.
pax is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com