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Death, and the life after (or promise thereof).

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    Death, and the life after (or promise thereof).

    This post is not meant to cause controversy, it is a serious question.

    I have been raised a Catholic, and as I aged I became educated on the Catholic teachings, of which I have very little belief in the teachings anymore. Much of their teachings defy what is written in the bible, and they even went so far as to add books to the Bible, against the teachings that were already established.

    I am a 50 year old man, I was a faithful and serving person to the Lord, until 2010 when my dad died. My dads death rocked my foundation in my belief. My father too was a faithful servant, and went to church every sunday, served his country and community, all of which was done humbly.

    I had spent my life believing in what I was told, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, etc. Obviously as I grew older I knew there was no such thing of these things in the literal sense, but it left me wondering "What else was I lied to about"?

    I had been raised to not ask questions, or question religious leaders. But how was I expected to learn things when questions came into my head? Such as, what were these giants of the valley spoken about in the bible? How did creation carry on when Adam and Eve had but two sons?

    When I got married in 1993, I myself had a renewing of spirit. It was a wonderful time, getting married, the prospect of having a family. My renewing of faith wasn't with the Catholic church, but with the Anabaptist teachings. I became very inquisitive of the teachings of Menno Simms and Jacob Ammann. A very simple, humble, obediant way of life.

    In 1998 my wife and I attended a Billy Graham crusade in Ottawa, Ont. He is the only evangelist I really enjoyed listening to. He never came right out asking for money, his preachings were always educational events, and where to find them in the scripture. He taught me more about the Bible and God then the catholic church. When he called people forward to declare their life to Christ, I made a bee line. I felt empowered. I know this was only an symbolic showing. But it was a really cool feeling.

    In 2003 my marriage fell apart and we divorced. This was after years of counseling. There were only two real issues in the marriage, and neither was money or a third party. The counseling brought many great ideas to the marriage, but weren't received by both parties. A sad day.

    In 2010 my Dad died. That's really what rocked my foundation. This man that I had looked up to all my life, he did everything right in my eyes, served his Lord and country, was faithful to his wife and family, was a community leader. He was taken from me by a cancer that came unannounced, uninvited, and didn't leave regardless of what was done by doctors. My dad fought a good fight.

    On the early morning when he "died" (was actually euthanized by a nurse in the hospital) his family, my mom and his 3 sons and our wives were all around his bed. He knew we were all there, then the nurse injected the meds to end his suffering. As the meds took hold, his life left. There was no bright light, no angels singing, no happy relaxed expression on his face, it was like someone shut off the light.

    Call me naive, but i half expected to see/feel something, something that gave me peace of mind that he went on to the after life, but there was nothing.

    It has left me to where I am today, feeling nothing, betrayed, lied to and left wondering what there is to life, and is it true.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not suicidal. But I have to ask, have we been lied to about religion? Is it some smoke and mirror the governments have used to keep their people in line?

    Has anyone else felt this way?

    But more importantly, what have you done to return back to your belief?

    Wanting to believe, but have serious doubts, trying to avoid the unforgivable sin..
    Last edited by Silas; 11-02-2016, 06:28 AM.

    #2
    Originally posted by Silas View Post
    This post is not meant to cause controversy, it is a serious question.

    I have been raised a Catholic, and as I aged I became educated on the Catholic teachings, of which I have very little belief in anymore. Much of their teachings defy what is written in the bible.

    I am a 50 year old man, I was a faithful and serving person to the Lord, until 2010 when my dad died. My dads death rocked my foundation in my belief. I had spent my life believing in what I was told, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, etc. What else was I lied to about?

    I had been raised to not ask questions, or question religious leaders.

    When I got married in 1993, I myself had a renewing of spirit. Not with the Catholic church, but with the Anabaptist teachings. I became very inquisitive of the teachings of Menno Simms and Jacob Ammann. A very simple way of life.

    In 1998 my wife and I attended a Billy Graham crusade in Ottawa, Ont. When he called people forward to declare their life to Christ, I made a bee line. I felt empowered.

    In 2003 my marriage fell apart and we divorced after years of counseling that brought many great ideas to the marriage, but weren't received by both parties.

    In 2010 my Dad died. That really rocked my foundation. The man i had looked up to all my life. Taken from me by a cancer that came unannounced, uninvited, and didn't leave regardless of what was done by doctors.

    It has left me to where I am today, feeling nothing, betrayed, lied to and left wondering what there is to life, and is it true.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not suicidal. But I have to ask, have we been lied to about religion? Is it some smoke and mirror the governments have used to keep their people in line?

    Has anyone else felt this way?

    But more importantly, what have you done to return back to your belief?

    Wanting to believe, but have serious doubts.
    Hello Silas,

    Hope you do not mind a lengthy reply. Mind you I do not know what or who it is you're doubting.

    Lets begin with condolences to you for your loss... . I can only feel your pain and suffering. Like you I have lost loved ones, and I had one failed marriage that led to divorce. Five years ago I was remarried after soul searching for seven years in isolation, searching and battling a conviction as to whether I could remarry.

    Part of dealing with doubt is to ask questions, to express your doubts in sincerity, and for support surrounding yourself with and directing those questions to believers in fellowship, and of course God through prayer.

    Are you also familiar with apologetics? Apologetics is the defense of Christianity. If you are not familiar with the term or branch of study I'd like to welcome you to whole new world, which I think through it, your questions should be answered, at least intellectually.

    First, I'd like to share an article with you, please take a moment to read this: How Should a Christian Deal with Doubt? - Christforums

    Then I'd like to address your doubts if you allow me or others. You were lied to as a child about Santa Clause and the Easter bunny etc, partly, because those really exists from a historical perspective. Saint Nick really lived, but that was distorted over time in our culture by being commercialized. And the Easter bunny represents fertility which is symbolic of a pagan goddess people really worshiped. On those holidays some Christians in the Reformed Protestant worldview call them days Christmas and "Resurrection Sunday". Though we celebrate on the same day, we are actually celebrating quite a different historical event. I think those names speak for themselves about what we teach our children and how we address pagan influences on those days. As to why we celebrate on those days is a different discussion.

    As for your losses, you know death is the end of all our lives here upon the earth. In my worldview the sanctity of life is worth suffering for, holding onto and cherishing. We suffer and experience pain as your dad had through his cancer because life is precious... If life wasn't worth anything I doubt we'd suffer when it loosens from our grip. We are powerless, but only for a time do we experience God's grace Matthew 5:45 "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." It is a wonder why any of us wake each morning and that God had not taken us all. Should we not give thanks for life?

    You expressed that you are wanting to believe. Is there is an obstacle in your way that you have identified? Perhaps read the Scriptures and try to find that deep underlying obstacle. Lemme ask you, what if you put all your doubts to the side, but first write them down, and then forget them for a time being and just read from the Scriptures and engage others in fellowship? What do you have to lose? I can only see positives, perhaps some wisdom, new brethren, and those questions may be answered in God's time! We tend to isolate ourselves during such times as you have experienced, but that is the worst thing for us.

    I hope you feel comfortable about expressing your doubts here. Please don't be afraid to question anyone. Scripture tells us to test everything; hold fast to what is good 1 Thessalonians 5:21 !!!

    If you don't feel comfortable expressing your doubts in a public forum by all means private message me, but I recommend your local church and the church elders. If you care to share them here, perhaps one at a time you can create some threads, lets address them one by one.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by Silas View Post
      This post is not meant to cause controversy, it is a serious question.

      I have been raised a Catholic, and as I aged I became educated on the Catholic teachings, of which I have very little belief in anymore. Much of their teachings defy what is written in the bible.

      I am a 50 year old man, I was a faithful and serving person to the Lord, until 2010 when my dad died. My dads death rocked my foundation in my belief. I had spent my life believing in what I was told, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, etc. What else was I lied to about?

      I had been raised to not ask questions, or question religious leaders.

      When I got married in 1993, I myself had a renewing of spirit. Not with the Catholic church, but with the Anabaptist teachings. I became very inquisitive of the teachings of Menno Simms and Jacob Ammann. A very simple way of life.

      In 1998 my wife and I attended a Billy Graham crusade in Ottawa, Ont. When he called people forward to declare their life to Christ, I made a bee line. I felt empowered.

      In 2003 my marriage fell apart and we divorced after years of counseling that brought many great ideas to the marriage, but weren't received by both parties.

      In 2010 my Dad died. That really rocked my foundation. The man i had looked up to all my life. Taken from me by a cancer that came unannounced, uninvited, and didn't leave regardless of what was done by doctors.

      It has left me to where I am today, feeling nothing, betrayed, lied to and left wondering what there is to life, and is it true.

      Don't get me wrong, I am not suicidal. But I have to ask, have we been lied to about religion? Is it some smoke and mirror the governments have used to keep their people in line?

      Has anyone else felt this way?

      But more importantly, what have you done to return back to your belief?

      Wanting to believe, but have serious doubts.

      Silas,

      Although I'm far from the official greeter here, welcome to CF.

      May I start off by saying two things. First, your candor is refreshing. I really appreciate honest and open people. Second, your post made me smile. Not that I don't understand and appreciate your struggle, but precisely because I do.

      I hope to be back here with further feedback, but for now, I will say this: STOP. All of what you've described are your efforts toward reaching God. My friend, you never will reach Him. You never will know the Father until you enter through the Son. The Son who comes to YOU. The Son who seeks and saves the lost. The Son who gives sight to the blind, and the Son who gives life.

      Stop your striving and let Christ wash you. Then, and only then, will you be clean.

      Grace and peace to you!

      Brian

      PS: We all have faith; however, much of it is misplaced. It's not as though Christians have faith but atheists don't. Atheists, and Christians to some degree, have faith in self, money, power, looks. . . The way back for you is not to gain faith, as if it were something out there. It's for you to place your faith back where it rightfully belongs.
      Last edited by thatbrian; 11-02-2016, 12:27 AM.
      Comment>

        #4
        Hello, Silas:

        I am pleased to see that you have come to this board with your concerns. I am can resonate very well with those concerns. I myself was raised Roman Catholic and Anglican, and almost became a Monk and Priest of the Anglican Tradition. And then, I chose to leave the monastery, and went through a few relationships, including a DISASTROUS marriage that was truly the marriage made in Hell. At the same time, the Anglicans started ordaining homosexuals, and eventually started marrying them. I went through my divorce, as brutally nasty as it was. I wound up a serious drunk, and even homeless. I lost my faith in Jesus entirely. I continued to believe in God as a Father figure, and so studied Judaism and other religions that did not teach Jesus, but I stayed away from meaningful Christianity except for occasional visits to Anglican Churches.

        This went on for 11 long years. And then, one day in May (29 May to be precise, of this year), I visited the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) of a friend. I had no real belief. I just did it for the heck of it, just to see it. My wife (my new wife of two years and a few months) and niece, whom we are raising as our own, came with me.

        After Divine Service, I was minding my business, looking as though I was one cool cat, and then I had a Vision. I am not joking, either. I am not exaggerating. Jesus Christ literally reached out to me with his hand from the Cross, and said to me, "You are a sinner, and deserve eternal death and damnation forever, but take my hand, Sinner, and be saved!"

        Well, of course, I am not in the habit of receiving Visions. So I thought I was cracking up. Too much pressure on the old mind. But two minutes later it happened again. The same Vision! Well, who am I to argue with God? I went to the Pastor and immediately requested instruction in the Lutheran Faith. I was confirmed on 21 August 2016. Incidentally, 29 May was my 42nd birthday.

        So, what does all this mean, and how does it affect you? Well, simple. God is calling YOU! He is reaching out, to YOU. He does so in different ways for different people. I grieve with you for you painful losses of your father and your wife. I have not lost my parents, but I have lost close friends, and men that were as dear to me as a father. And I have been through the pain of divorce. I know that ugliness. But God is calling you. I know that can be hard to realise right now. But I want to quote at length from Martin Luther's hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God".

        1. A mighty Fortress is our God,
        A trusty Shield and Weapon;
        He helps us free from every need
        That hath us now o'ertaken.
        The old evil Foe
        Now means deadly woe;
        Deep guile and great might
        Are his dread arms in fight;
        On Earth is not his equal.

        2. With might of ours can naught be done,
        Soon were our loss effected;
        But for us fights the Valiant One,
        Whom God Himself elected.
        Ask ye, Who is this?
        Jesus Christ it is.
        Of Sabaoth Lord,
        And there's none other God;
        He holds the field forever.

        3. Though devils all the world should fill,
        All eager to devour us.
        We tremble not, we fear no ill,
        They shall not overpower us.
        This world's prince may still
        Scowl fierce as he will,
        He can harm us none,
        He's judged; the deed is done;
        One little word can fell him.

        4. The Word they still shall let remain
        Nor any thanks have for it;
        He's by our side upon the plain
        With His good gifts and Spirit.
        And take they our life,
        Goods, fame, child and wife,
        Let these all be gone,
        They yet have nothing won;
        The Kingdom our remaineth.
        And pay especial attention to the Fourth Verse. I know that losing your father and your wife must be hell. But remember, they have yet NOTHING won.

        You see, my friend, we, as humans, are tainted beings. We canot turn, of our own will toward God. HE must offer unto us his regenerative Grace, which we are then free to accept or reject. but He must offer it. He is reaching out his hand toward you. I realise that in your current emotional state, you must think I am out of my mind. In that event, I encourage you to read the book of Job, which has historically be credited to Moses, and was written about a man who was entirely just and righteous, and yet was brutally punished by Satan, with God's permission. The only thing he could NOT do was kill him.

        And yet, Job remained faithful. He did not blame God. After all, how can we, little, puny humans, blame God? The fact that we are here at all is a pure gift that God did NOT have to grant. Just as it was pure justice to give us life, so would it be pure justice to destroy all life in a wink, IF God so desired. Whatever God decrees IS Just, as he is the Fountain of all Justice.

        My only point in saying all this, is that the absolute sovereignty of God will out, in all matters.There is no way round it. And regrettably, death comes to all. Divorce comes to many. and that is the will of God. But he is calling you. In all your pain, and all your sorrow, God is calling you, as much as he is calling me, or any of us. I hope that helps.
        Comment>

          #5
          Let me give this another try, with more detail.

          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          Much of their teachings defy what is written in the bible.
          I too was raised in the Catholic Church. At the age of 17 Christ called me to himself, and then I was able to clearly see the Catholic Church for what it was. I don't have a kind word for the RCC, so I'll leave it there. Suffice to say, I agree with you.


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          I am a 50 year old man, I was a faithful and serving person to the Lord, until 2010 when my dad died. My dads death rocked my foundation in my belief.
          Firstly, I am about your age, so I have lived a little, and struggled to understand life, with all of its suffering.

          Secondly, while I can completely understand your being rocked to the core by your father's death in one sense, I can't understand it at all in another. The last time I checked, the death rate was 100%. Furthermore, God didn't cause the problem. Adam did. However, Christ, through His life, death, and resurrection, has the cure.


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          I had spent my life believing in what I was told, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth fairy, etc. What else was I lied to about?
          Is this sincere? You imagine no difference between the "Easter Bunny" and Christ?


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          I had been raised to not ask questions, or question religious leaders.
          I was too, but I didn't listen very well. I was tossed out of catechism class for asking too many questions. Tough questions for which the church had no answers other than to tell me to shut my mouth and listen to them because they were in a position of authority.


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          When he called people forward to declare their life to Christ, I made a bee line. I felt empowered.
          You correctly saw that much of the practice of the RCC has no scriptural backing. This may come as a surprise to you, but neither do "alter calls". Billy Graham's brand of Christianity is very man-centered, which is why you aren't alone in your short-lived "empowerment". It's not about your commitment or pledge to Him but His commitment and pledge to you. Some preachers a gifted at storing emotions and getting responses, but that's not how the gospel does its work.


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          It has left me to where I am today, feeling nothing, betrayed, lied to and left wondering what there is to life, and is it true.
          This may seem an odd thing to say, but you are in the perfect spot. Disillusionment with the fleeting nature of this life is the fertile ground in which Christ does His work. Those who are satisfied with the full silos are to be pitied most.

          Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21)


          Originally posted by Silas View Post
          Has anyone else felt this way?

          Only the most fortunate among us.


          But more importantly, what have you done to return back to your belief?
          How does a lost sheep get found? Does he buy a map? Does he resolve to find his way home? Does he use the stars as a guide? No. Of course not. He can do nothing to save himself. In fact, he does not even understand he is lost, or the full extent of his lostness.

          All he can do is bleat and bleat loudly.

          My friend, cry out to God. Tell Him that you are lost. He will find you. He is the Good Shepherd.

          Be well,

          Brian
          Last edited by thatbrian; 11-02-2016, 01:06 AM.
          Comment>

            #6
            Thank you all for your input, thoughts, and advice.

            I apologize on my lack luster banter on my previous post from last night. I have since gone back to it and added more information to help explain my position further.

            Your responses are informative and helpful and I appreciate this from each of you.

            William Thanks for the link, I will indeed read it.
            Comment>

              #7
              Originally posted by Silas View Post
              Thank you all for your input, thoughts, and advice.

              I apologize on my lack luster banter on my previous post from last night. I have since gone back to it and added more information to help explain my position further.

              Your responses are informative and helpful and I appreciate this from each of you.

              William Thanks for the link, I will indeed read it.
              We can all empathize, Silas, and we all want the best for you.

              Struggles are not a sign of a problem, but a sign of a change in the works.
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by thatbrian View Post

                We can all empathize, Silas, and we all want the best for you.

                Struggles are not a sign of a problem, but a sign of a change in the works.
                Most gracious responses Brian. Just remember Silas, the sacrifice of the Father and the Son are greater than any of your sins. While we may waver, John 6:39 says, "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day."

                God bless,
                William
                Comment>

                  #9
                  I don't know if this will help, but I've been there. I watched someone I love very dearly die a horrific death from cancer, to point where at times the family were praying for him to die to end his suffering. When he passed there was a sense of relief but also betrayal. How could God let this happen to such a good man? I doubted. I blamed everyone, from the doctors to God for the lack of a miracle, and I was so angry.

                  Your father is not in pain anymore, but you are. Don't you think that you are God's concern now? Christ was God made flesh, but he lost his own earthly father, the man who raised him and taught him a trade. He knows your pain, because he lived it. Don't ever think God does not forgive doubts in grief and distress, because even the most prodigal son can return home, if he chooses. Eventually even I did, after blaming him for everything, and found that his door is always open.

                  This world isn't perfect, although God originally made it so. It was corrupted, and so things like this tragedy do happen, and will until the final days. All we can do is have faith that at the end God will be there to call his children home and have a place for them.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    We are faithful to the Lord does not mean we don't suffer from disease, separation from loved once or death of loved once. As a human beings we have to live a life that the Lord has destined for us. You you want the Lord to come to you and speak to you and your wife saying "My children do not get a divorce," or "I am taking your father and he will be safe with me."
                    To think about such things is stupid. The Lord Jesus lived like a common man even though he was the son of God. We as a common people, should also live a common life where we feel pain and sadness.
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Well, I am happy to say that I feel that I have had a renewing of faith.

                      Not as bitter, and on a better path. I took witnessing someone else's struggle and receiving guidance that helped me understand why I was feeling the w ay I do.

                      Every mountain I climb, I thank God.
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Silas View Post
                        Well, I am happy to say that I feel that I have had a renewing of faith.

                        Not as bitter, and on a better path. I took witnessing someone else's struggle and receiving guidance that helped me understand why I was feeling the w ay I do.

                        Every mountain I climb, I thank God.
                        Happy for you brother,

                        Remember too you have Scripture and testimony of the faithful including the Apostles that suffered and died horrendous deaths for His name's sake.

                        Soli Deo Gloria,
                        William
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          I'm very sorry for your loss brother, hang in there. In the end, it all matters in your perspective, but for me I think that God is out there somewhere, maybe not in the way that religion has told us, maybe not through what we've read in the articles, but He is out there. If you think about it, it would take millions and possibly even billions of right choices for us to be even talking here. We could've been like the animals, beings of low intelligence, we could've had nothing for food and just died off if we were merely created through an accident. There's a lot of things that go into it, but the main point is someone out there is watching over us, and things happen for a reason, but we cannot comprehend that reason because we're merely humans. We don't even know how the Earth is actually formed, for all you know, God could've caused the Big Bang.
                          Comment>
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