What led you to Christ?

What caused your faith to die? Is there anything we can help with?
Thanks so much for asking. I wouldn't say that it is completely dead anymore in the way it was back in 2014 or so. I still struggle, but I definitely don't refer to myself as atheist anymore.

As for what caused it... it was just constant questioning. I've been that type of person since I was a kid... questioning, questioning what people tell me.
 

Jessie

Newbie
Thanks so much for asking. I wouldn't say that it is completely dead anymore in the way it was back in 2014 or so. I still struggle, but I definitely don't refer to myself as atheist anymore.

As for what caused it... it was just constant questioning. I've been that type of person since I was a kid... questioning, questioning what people tell me.

What sort of questions, if you don’t mind me asking? Maybe someone here can help settle your questions?
 
After college I got a big corporate job in Los Angeles; my goals were career and promotion. I developed depersonalization and derealization, and nothing felt real. I would show up to my job, day after day, feeling like I was in some sort of matrix.
I quit my job, and with a biz partner, developed a small business (which helped the matrix feelings to subside).

In 2016 I dove into the media, money printing, Hollywood culture, religions and I quickly became aware that all these politicians and celebs weren't atheists but into some sort of weird occultism. I began to question my existence, my purpose here, and my eternal destiny. After speaking to various religious leaders: I became very confused (developed dizziness, stomach pains), as whichever leader you speak to say their specific belief system is the correct path. I vividly remember being up one night completely unsure what path was right and feeling meaningless; I was up around 3am unable to sleep, stomach hurting, and feeling like I was in sort sort of confused daze.

Becoming borderline obsessed with seeking the truth, I spent hours each night researching religious history, apologetics, theology, etc. Very quickly I saw the evidence for the Abrahamic religions, and lack of evidence for most others belief systems. I started to learn about and/or filter out Judasim, Islam, and Christianity at a deep level. Long story short, I accepted Jesus as my savior and was baptized a couple years ago. My journey to Christ wasn't easy (it's hard to put into words how much confusion and seeking I went through), but my purpose has never been clearer.
 

EntWife

Newbie
@Luna Novem Maybe you should spend less time worrying about what you should believe and more time figuring out what you actually do believe. Then you can look honestly at what you believe and see if it's true.

At least, that's what worked for me. Fake it 'til you make it just doesn't work here because you can't fake your way to God. He sees what is in your heart. The difficulty is that you need to see it too. That's a big part of the Christian life, just seeing yourself as you really are.

That's why when I became an atheist, I was closer to God than I'd ever been before. I just didn't realize it yet.
 
@Luna Novem Maybe you should spend less time worrying about what you should believe and more time figuring out what you actually do believe. Then you can look honestly at what you believe and see if it's true.

At least, that's what worked for me. Fake it 'til you make it just doesn't work here because you can't fake your way to God. He sees what is in your heart. The difficulty is that you need to see it too. That's a big part of the Christian life, just seeing yourself as you really are.

That's why when I became an atheist, I was closer to God than I'd ever been before. I just didn't realize it yet.
That's interesting, what you said about seeing yourself as you really are. IDK how old you are, but a huge movie for me growing up was The Neverending Story. There is a scene where the protagonist has to stand before a magic mirror that shows people how they truly are. It's considered a very dangerous mirror... more dangerous than another area with lasers that shoot at you... because "most men run away, SCREAMING" upon seeing their true selves.
 

Aboulia

Robin
That's interesting, what you said about seeing yourself as you really are. IDK how old you are, but a huge movie for me growing up was The Neverending Story. There is a scene where the protagonist has to stand before a magic mirror that shows people how they truly are. It's considered a very dangerous mirror... more dangerous than another area with lasers that shoot at you... because "most men run away, SCREAMING" upon seeing their true selves.
That's more real than you may think, for hell manifests itself by the conscience in the life to come, we won't be able to hide from that "mirror". In this world, we dirty that "mirror" by mental constructs and justifications for our sins so that we can't see it,, but that will all be burnt away, and we will have to stand in horror at the ugliness of our soul, and all our flaws and failings which we neglected in this life, will torture those who do not repent. I've had very vivid dreams about this when I was close to death while I was agnostic, and that's partially responsible for my conversion.

For example, why should I believe a religion just because people tell me it's true? That was one of them.

Well, yeah, you don't just jump off a bridge because everyone is doing it. It's good to test the teachings, and see if it holds water.

Why exactly are you a Roman Catholic? Did you come to this belief after examining the teachings, or is it a just a direction you went, for you don't know exactly where to go, but you realize the godless path is not the correct one?

Personally, I'm Orthodox, for it sits very well with me, as I see it as the most accurate depiction of reality.

St Philaret of New York wrote a very good, brief overview of the faith in 30 small articles, with the standard article being 6-12 paragraphs long you can find them here, (no need to do the study guide, just look and see if you think it accurately portrays humanity, and the world we live in)

 

EntWife

Newbie
That's more real than you may think, for hell manifests itself by the conscience in the life to come, we won't be able to hide from that "mirror". In this world, we dirty that "mirror" by mental constructs and justifications for our sins so that we can't see it,, but that will all be burnt away, and we will have to stand in horror at the ugliness of our soul, and all our flaws and failings which we neglected in this life, will torture those who do not repent. I've had very vivid dreams about this when I was close to death while I was agnostic, and that's partially responsible for my conversion.



Well, yeah, you don't just jump off a bridge because everyone is doing it. It's good to test the teachings, and see if it holds water.

Why exactly are you a Roman Catholic? Did you come to this belief after examining the teachings, or is it a just a direction you went, for you don't know exactly where to go, but you realize the godless path is not the correct one?

Personally, I'm Orthodox, for it sits very well with me, as I see it as the most accurate depiction of reality.

St Philaret of New York wrote a very good, brief overview of the faith in 30 small articles, with the standard article being 6-12 paragraphs long you can find them here, (no need to do the study guide, just look and see if you think it accurately portrays humanity, and the world we live in)

Metropolitan Philaret has not been canonized as a saint by any canonical Orthodox jurisdiction. Maybe he will be in the future, as he was and is greatly respected, or maybe he won't be. Anything written by him should be pretty good though.

Have you read anything by Archbishop Averky Taushev? The Apocalypse In the Teachings of Ancient Christianity, translated by Father Seraphim Rose, is great. It's out of print, but my husband found a used copy for me. I highly, highly recommend it.
 

EntWife

Newbie
That's interesting, what you said about seeing yourself as you really are. IDK how old you are, but a huge movie for me growing up was The Neverending Story. There is a scene where the protagonist has to stand before a magic mirror that shows people how they truly are. It's considered a very dangerous mirror... more dangerous than another area with lasers that shoot at you... because "most men run away, SCREAMING" upon seeing their true selves.
I never saw it as a kid. My husband did though and loved it. He showed it to me years ago. But sorry, I don't remember that part.
 

messaggera

Newbie
For example, why should I believe a religion just because people tell me it's true? That was one of them.

Sincere.

Is this not the flaw with all religions; it is [man] made?
And is Jesus Christ not the way to reach God's kingdom in Heaven?

Jesus Christ (God as flesh) was not meant to be a religion; but rather the truth and the way.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ.
Colossians 1:19


Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.
Luke 17:20 - 21 ESV

Opinion: God is more than man's religion; and of this world.
Like Nicolaus Copernicus, a Catholic clergyman, religion may have constrained his scientific beliefs as well...?



 

Aboulia

Robin
Metropolitan Philaret has not been canonized as a saint by any canonical Orthodox jurisdiction. Maybe he will be in the future, as he was and is greatly respected, or maybe he won't be. Anything written by him should be pretty good though.

Have you read anything by Archbishop Averky Taushev? The Apocalypse In the Teachings of Ancient Christianity, translated by Father Seraphim Rose, is great. It's out of print, but my husband found a used copy for me. I highly, highly recommend it.

If I stumble across it, I'll add it to my evergrowing pile of Orthodox literature, which seems to build faster than I can slowly chip away at.
 

Starlight

Newbie
That's interesting, what you said about seeing yourself as you really are. IDK how old you are, but a huge movie for me growing up was The Neverending Story. There is a scene where the protagonist has to stand before a magic mirror that shows people how they truly are. It's considered a very dangerous mirror... more dangerous than another area with lasers that shoot at you... because "most men run away, SCREAMING" upon seeing their true selves.
This is actually an interesting analogy. Christ crucified on the cross is a mirror of ourselves in a way. It is a reflection of what we *deserve* as sinful humans. We should be the ones on the cross... everyday. Fortunately, and thank God, Jesus took that place for us.

What scares some people from following Christ is that they have to admit that they are wrong and acknowledge that they are sinners. Like in the Neverending Story, when the people see themselves as they truly are... all our reflections are Christ crucified on the Cross. Some run away in fear and denial while the other accept that they are wrong and are brave enough to change and fear and love God.
 
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That's more real than you may think, for hell manifests itself by the conscience in the life to come, we won't be able to hide from that "mirror". In this world, we dirty that "mirror" by mental constructs and justifications for our sins so that we can't see it,, but that will all be burnt away, and we will have to stand in horror at the ugliness of our soul, and all our flaws and failings which we neglected in this life, will torture those who do not repent. I've had very vivid dreams about this when I was close to death while I was agnostic, and that's partially responsible for my conversion.



Well, yeah, you don't just jump off a bridge because everyone is doing it. It's good to test the teachings, and see if it holds water.

Why exactly are you a Roman Catholic? Did you come to this belief after examining the teachings, or is it a just a direction you went, for you don't know exactly where to go, but you realize the godless path is not the correct one?

Personally, I'm Orthodox, for it sits very well with me, as I see it as the most accurate depiction of reality.

St Philaret of New York wrote a very good, brief overview of the faith in 30 small articles, with the standard article being 6-12 paragraphs long you can find them here, (no need to do the study guide, just look and see if you think it accurately portrays humanity, and the world we live in)

I was raised Catholic, and I went back to Mass in my mid-thirties after about 20 years away. After many adult years spent in evangelical churches, I loved the quiet calm and reverence of the Mass. I'm very introverted, and I also love that I'm not "jumped on" at the door of a Catholic church by people wondering who I am, and if I'm new, and whether I'd like to join such-and-such group.
I love the meditative quality of the Rosary and of confession as well.
I think I would enjoy an Orthodox service, also, but being that I am already Catholic (from childhood) and that Catholic parishes are much more common, it seems practical to remain Catholic as opposed to Orthodox. I will definitely check out your link, though.
 

EntWife

Newbie
I was raised Catholic, and I went back to Mass in my mid-thirties after about 20 years away. After many adult years spent in evangelical churches, I loved the quiet calm and reverence of the Mass. I'm very introverted, and I also love that I'm not "jumped on" at the door of a Catholic church by people wondering who I am, and if I'm new, and whether I'd like to join such-and-such group.
I love the meditative quality of the Rosary and of confession as well.
I think I would enjoy an Orthodox service, also, but being that I am already Catholic (from childhood) and that Catholic parishes are much more common, it seems practical to remain Catholic as opposed to Orthodox. I will definitely check out your link, though.
The Latin Mass, or the Guitar Mass? :)

My husband was raised Roman Catholic. We visited the local RC church once upon a time. It felt too much like Protestantism with a Catholic twist to me. If I was going to go to a Catholic church, I wanted it to be Catholic. We might have settled there if it had been Latin Mass. Probably a good thing it wasn't, as our home is the Orthodox Church.

This particular RC church has a very nice shrine to the Virgin Mary.
 
The Latin Mass, or the Guitar Mass? :)

My husband was raised Roman Catholic. We visited the local RC church once upon a time. It felt too much like Protestantism with a Catholic twist to me. If I was going to go to a Catholic church, I wanted it to be Catholic. We might have settled there if it had been Latin Mass. Probably a good thing it wasn't, as our home is the Orthodox Church.

This particular RC church has a very nice shrine to the Virgin Mary.
LOL. To be honest I have never been to a Latin Mass. I wouldn't mind going, in fact I'd like to. The problem is the distance. I know I sound whiny for saying that, but it's true! It's the difference between a parish five walking minutes from me or 40 driving minutes. Add in snow (which I don't do well in) and it's no good.

I really miss the church I went to in the Seattle area. It wasn't Latin Mass, either, but it was very conservative.
 

EntWife

Newbie
LOL. To be honest I have never been to a Latin Mass. I wouldn't mind going, in fact I'd like to. The problem is the distance. I know I sound whiny for saying that, but it's true! It's the difference between a parish five walking minutes from me or 40 driving minutes. Add in snow (which I don't do well in) and it's no good.

I really miss the church I went to in the Seattle area. It wasn't Latin Mass, either, but it was very conservative.
40 minutes?? 40 minutes????? Do you know how lucky you are? I think I might break down sobbing. Wait, I can't, it might wake up the feverish child sleeping on my lap. LOL

Our church is 2 1/2 hours away, so it's 5 hours round trip. We've found out about another church that's maybe 1 1/2 hours away. That church doesn't have their own priest though, so they have Divine Liturgy on Saturday when the priest from another parish can come. We're going to try it and see what happens.
 
40 minutes?? 40 minutes????? Do you know how lucky you are? I think I might break down sobbing. Wait, I can't, it might wake up the feverish child sleeping on my lap. LOL

Our church is 2 1/2 hours away, so it's 5 hours round trip. We've found out about another church that's maybe 1 1/2 hours away. That church doesn't have their own priest though, so they have Divine Liturgy on Saturday when the priest from another parish can come. We're going to try it and see what happens.
Wow. That's serious dedication!! I wouldn't drive that far, I freely admit that right now, lol.
 

EntWife

Newbie
Wow. That's serious dedication!! I wouldn't drive that far, I freely admit that right now, lol.
We don't go that often because of how far away it is. A lot of times we do a reader's service at home instead. That's allowed in the Orthodox Church in situations like this. I don't know if there's anything comparable for Catholics.

But yes, it is really, really hard when we do go! I hope the other parish works out. An hour and a half one way isn't too bad. We could do that most weeks when no one's sick.
 
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