March 6, 2003 at 1:33 am #63653
I have a query regarding religion.
I was brought up basically knowing the bible and going to Sunday School via the Church of England (Anglican) Church. However going to church was not something that was regular for our family as I grew up. Over the years, I have read about various organised religions and attended various church services etc. There seems to be good and bad in all of them in some way. John Edward has stated that he is a catholic and that this doesn’t conflict with what he believes and practices.
I do have a strong belief in God, but I also have a bit of a problem with organised religion and the fact that a lot of them have conflicting ideas and practices. I belive that He/She is not something we should fear and that God is in all of us – whether we attend a church or not.
I would like to know of others experiences with this conflict and how you found what you were looking for. At the moment I pray and talk to God and practice what I believe is right for me. I am not looking for recommendations of various religions here – I am just asking what feels right to you and what helped you find the answers that seem to me to be quite confusing.
SylvieMarch 6, 2003 at 3:34 am #85413
Well – just to tell you where my background is, I am Catholic and am a regular churchgoer.
I do believe that God is in all of us. I believe that God responds to all of us whether we are part of an organised religion or not. I believe that its what is in your heart that’s important, and the way you live your day-to-day life.
I like going to church because it gives me a focal point and a reminder of what I should be doing. When I was younger, it was merely routine but now that I’m a little older, I go to church with a new ‘set of ears’ I guess, listening to what God wants me to do TODAY, this minute, at this stage in my life.
I do believe that people can find God outside of organised religion, but I feel, for myself, that participating in organised religion does not hinder my personal relationship with God but rather encourages me to support and strengthen it.
Hope this helps,
MonicaMarch 7, 2003 at 1:06 am #85442
Although a bit off topic here, this sounds like a great topic for our sister site Spiritdiscovery.comMarch 7, 2003 at 11:42 pm #85463
I can so relate to your post. I found that after losing my sweet son, 3 years ago…I began to question everything in my life…from relationships to religion. I tried to go back to my religion (Roman Catholic) however found no solace whatsoever in attending mass. I found the priests to be judgemental, hypocritical and just plain “mean”. Rather than leaving church with a peaceful, loving feeling….I would leave feeling “bad” and “unworthy”…like if we weren’t the “perfect” Catholics, then no sense being Catholic at all! I don’t believe that is what God has in mind for us!
I also found they portrayed God as a vengeful being. I prefer to think of the “higher power” to be loving, forgiving, kind…
I know that I was very angry with Him after my son died and what with all the children suffering at the hospital I had witnessed, I wondered how He could let these things happen. I have since read alot and searched within myself for answers and I know these things all happen for a reason. (Don’t know the reason quite yet).
I could go on and on on this topic but I won’t. I am sorry if I have offended anyone…just stating my own personal experience and opinions here.
I still don’t attend mass…I prefer to work on myself by lending a hand to others in need. I work for our local hospice and deal with death and dying everyday. I lend a sympathetic, knowing ear to parents who have lost a child. I feel in this way I am not only helping myself to heal but I am getting to know God better…..
I believe it’s not the number of times you went to church that will count in the end….but the number of times you extended your hand to help another human being.
ConnieMarch 7, 2003 at 11:43 pm #85464
Was I supposed to have posted on SPiritdiscovery? Oops, not sure now if I did the right thing? Yikes! Please let me know.
PaulsMomMarch 8, 2003 at 12:19 am #85465
Interesting topic – religion. Organized religion has always been a struggle for me. Personally, I was raised Roman Catholic and decided as an adult that the Methodist Church was better suited for my children – it’s being Catholic without the guilt! LOL
I go to church to set an example for my kids, but I do not need the church. For me personally, I have God wherever I go. It is funny because when Pastor Raj sees me on the occasional Sunday service, he used to ask “Where have you been Lori? We missed you at church” and I would answer “Oh Pastor Raj, you know I have God wherever I go! I only go to church for the stories!” He knows that I go because I want to and not because I have to. My kids attend church school regularly, but as for me, I go when I feel like it. Kids needs a religious foundation; they can choose to just be spiritual later, or both.
I know that if I never even steeped into a church service again, I would still get to Heaven. If you live a life aware of God, then you go to God, regardless of religion.
LoriMarch 8, 2003 at 1:01 am #85466
Yeah… Spirit Discovery is the place ye should be.
Not to panic though, no harm done.
March 8, 2003 at 3:39 am #85467
If you live a life aware of God, then you go to God”…..very nicely put, Lori! I will not forget that line. Thank you so much for sharing.
ConnieMarch 8, 2003 at 3:40 am #85468
Don….thank you but I’m afraid if I do go there…..I’ll never get out! LOLMarch 8, 2003 at 8:43 am #85469
I want to keep this short, (because Don wants us to be in Spirit Discovery area and I will put this there, too.)
Growing up Presbyterian, but going to a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church because it was within walking distance gave me an interesting background as far as organized religion goes. (My sister married a catholic and my mother turned Mormon later in life, too..so I have a very ecclectic background.) It wasn’t until a “catalyst” occurred — an experience that changed my thinking, that I delve into reading about “new age” ideas and philosophies. So right now I personally don’t feel the need of an organized religion (unless this “group” counts as one…LOL) I know I need you all!
I kind of liken the comparison of needing an organized religion to connection yourself to “god/spirit/energy” to the physical idea of needing a “gym membership” or doing exercise on your own. I think you can accomplish what you need either way and it is just a personal choice of how you get there. One is not better or worse than the other…just different.
Love, light, and peace,
NOTE TO DON: I tried to post this in Spirit Discovery and it said it was not accepting new posts?????March 8, 2003 at 3:22 pm #85472
I too believe in God. I do not attend church though. I think because when my dad was young he would talk about being in church all the time. ( His mom was a minister) he didn’t press us to attend Church. Through my life time I have attended numerous churches with friends, Catholic, Methodist, Babtist……. I was curious though and was wondering :confused:
Do you think that the family members of the people who come through to John are more Church oreinted (sp?) ? I have wondered about that. Any comments ?
SandyMarch 8, 2003 at 5:05 pm #85474
Hi Pooh…I just love the “gym membership” analogy. Thank you for putting it in a way that I think everybody will “get”.
Sandy….I don’t think church going people have any better chances of being “read” than anyone else. I was fortunate enough to get a reading from John back on January 14th in the gallery (not sure if you’ve read my report on it?) and I am currently in an “organized religion dilemna”. That is to say, I have been questioning my own religious upbringing and finding many many things I don’t agree with. However, I do feel that I am a deeply spiritual person and I went into the gallery simply with an open mind and an open heart. I remember saying to my son the night before the taping…”I’m leaving it entirely up to you, Paul….if you feel you should come through, I will be so very happy…but if you don’t, I will accept and respect that”.
My son did come through for us that day and we had an amazingingly long and accurate reading. So to answer your question….no I don’t think it makes a difference whether you are a church going person or not….I don’t think that matters on the “other side”…..
Wishing you love and peace….
ConnieMarch 9, 2003 at 9:21 am #85486
Thank you to all of you for sharing your personal experiences.
I’m still quite new to this and I apologise if I posted in the wrong place – I just thought that the friends of JE would understand what I was on about. You have shown me that you do and I appreciate your experiences and the fact that you care enough to reply to a newbie still finding her way.
SylvieMarch 11, 2003 at 8:46 am #85522
I have read in a couple of books written by who I would call true psychics that there are approximately 10 billion souls created by God, supposidly more than enough to populate the planet. I’m not on the Other Side right now to verify that.:D
NightMysticMarch 12, 2003 at 3:33 pm #85564
This was an interesting thread to read. Imagine, we managed to discuss religion without ticking anyone off (I think). :) I’m Catholic, or as I like to say, a “pick and choose Catholic”. I don’t agree with all the teachings of the church, but I have no problem ignoring them either. I also believe that you don’t need an organized religion to have a personal relationship with God, (Pooh, I loved your analogy.) but I personally like going to Mass and belonging to a parish for the tradition and the sense of community. My family has belonged to the same parish for 5 generations. I love having those kind of roots.
Connie, the only thing I would like to say to you is not to let individuals turn you away from something that means something to you. If you don’t like what someone is saying, try someone else. There was a period of several years when I wouldn’t go to our parish anymore becasue I couldn’t stand the pastor and one of the other priests. The pastor had a very “holier than thou” air about him, and the other guy was all “fire and brimstone”. That’s just not for me. I believe in a loving God, not a vengeful God. I would be sitting there thinking how wrong I thought they were, instead of getting anything out of it. Anyway, I went to another parish for several years and then when both of those guys had moved on, I went back. The priests we have right now are super. Very down to earth and realistic. Anyway, I guess my point is that if the Catholic church still means anything to you, try some other parishes. If you’d rather find something else, then keep looking. Maybe you’re perfectly content not belonging to any organized religion, but you said you’re in an “organized religion dilemna.”
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