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So I am new at all this. I am going through a phase where I am unsure if I am still a Christian or not. I don't believe in the bible but I believe in a higher power... I just so happen to stumble across this and was curios. I always thought that atheist were the ones who worships the devil and wore black and danced around at night casting spells on people. That is what I was taught. Boy was I wrong. I have been friends with an atheist for like 10 years and just found out LOL.

Anyways, I have 3 amazing children. They are not baptized because I want them to make that decision for themselves. Yes, it did throw a big rock in the water when I put my foot down on that. But they believe in God and Jesus. When asked how babies are made I told them God took a little of mommies heart and a little of daddies heart and made a baby and put it in my belly. When my nephew died 1 day shy of being 3 months I was asked, mommy why did he die? As hurt as I was I said well sometimes God needs baby angels. So every year we write messages Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc. on balloons and let them go in the sky so he can see them in Heaven.

Now that I am on the fence on if I am still a Christian or not, I have no idea what to do about my children. Do I pull them away from it all? We don't go to church because I don't believe I HAVE to go to a church to praise God. But how do I interfere with what my children believe? Should I just keep doing what i'm doing and let them decided when they get a little older or what? My whole family are Christians and God comes up a lot. My family stays out of religious discussions with me because I always have something to say to contradict what they are talking about.


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Hi @Tom,

Venial is a term of art within Christendom that roughly corresponds to misdemeanor in law.  Petty sinfulness.  

It's contrasted with "mortal" as in mortal sinfulness, which would roughly correspond to felonious in secular law.

So not "venal" in this case,  though many are certainly that as well!

Of course it's a rough correspondence.  The two notions are different.

As you note in the quote, I was also using more common colloquial terms.  In actuality, we call seriously sinful actions (like murder, etc.) "grave offenses".  That's the English translation your catechism uses.

Mortal sin requires the action to be grave,  but it also requires intention with full knowledge.  There's no good equivalent in human law.  Perhaps Treason is closest - grave action taken with intent and full knowledge of the permanence of the separation.

Hm-mm, language is almost infinitely flexible.

Its flexibility serves well those who want to rule.

Language is limited, I'll admit.  We all know that.

I don't get the "want to rule" part.  This language arises mostly from a lot of folks philosophizing.  Philosophers love trying to make precise language about abstract things.  Unless you're Plato, you probably don't want them to rule.

Wow, way to go Savannah! It's obvious you've done plenty of thinking on the Pope/certain aspects of that religion, and you're not willing to just sit back and let someone tell you what you should believe. I think that right there tells you something about your religious belief.

As I see it: you're not sure what you are, but you ARE sure what you're not. That's a good step. :)

I haven't read the whole thread, so I apologize if I double up, but I think religious beliefs are a journey, and also a spectrum. You can fall anywhere along the line, and you are always changing and learning. I stopped believing in god about 4 years ago, but I'm very slowly coming to terms with the word "atheist".

Personally, I've been very happy visiting a Unitarian Universalist church. They focus on peace, love, understanding, etc., instead of superstition. There are some Christians there, and some pagans, and some atheists, as well as a whole lot of agnostics who say they don't know if there's a god, and they don't think it's all that important, but they do believe in some 'higher power'.

If you want my advice--although I'm not a parents--is to teach your kids to be good, and to think. Your parents have taught you that "believing in God" is the default, and to NOT teach your kids to believe is somehow "interfering" with them, right? But kids don't just naturally believe in a god. They believe whatever they're taught. So don't make them believe in god, but don't ridicule them if they do...if you're on the fence about it. Train them when they are old enough to think about how they know what they know. Teach them to ask questions, and investigate, and how to seek the truth. Teach them empathy and kindness, because it's right, not for any religious reason.

I don't believe in the bible but I believe in a higher power.

We're against religion here (including belief in a higher power), not Christianity specifically.

U have so much more tact than I do.

Mostly true. I believe in a higher power in a metaphorical sense, because I believe in behaving for the good of other people, animals, the planet, and so on. It's not a supernatural higher power, but nonetheless, it's bigger than myself. Might be more accurate to say "higher powers", depending on the context. I mean, even lightening in a thunderstorm seems like a higher power to me, sometimes, in the sense that I'm not gonna argue with it when it's coming my way.

Being tactful (as suggested by Tom) is a part of that protocol, too.

That's my pet theory. It's those over-intellectualizing, often power-hungry, patriarchal humans that extended the higher power concept to supernatural levels, and forced their version of it on the masses.

I agree, Pope Beanie.  There is an automatic reflex throughout all of life to make things better and to become healthy.  This is a result of evolution.  It's bigger than all of us and we can tap into it if we know how - such as the example you gave: "Being tactful" along with prosocial behaviour in general. 

When people get high on Jesus, this is what they're getting high on. 

In other words, it's the crossover between science and religion. 

Unseen - "We're against religion here (including belief in a higher power), not Christianity specifically."  - what is this, the "we" club?  I'm not against those things. 


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