Update on trevor72694

trevor72694

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William said:
That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I think that our friend Achronos is only joking!  James is a faithful Orthodox Christian.  He seems like an honest chap, he'll do what he believes is right. 
 

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Achronos said:
William said:
That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I'm willing to bet good money he will be an atheist in a few years. Just wait bud.
How much good money?
 

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trevor72694 said:
FatherHLL said:
trevor72694 said:
Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

**Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair :)

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   :)
Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
Father, that is very interesting.

I am very interested, how could you tell from so early on?
Well, several things, but I will only mention one.  Many of your posts rotated around you and your perceptions and practical matters.  It was only a matter of time before you figured out that life is ok without God because the focus has always been you.  Even when you were focusing on God the central focus was still you focusing on God.  But keep this in mind.  If there is no God then there are no absolutes, and there is no instrinsic value.  If there are no absolutes and instrinsic value, then we have no value as persons, and all of our thoughts, feelings, writings, speaking, and actions in general have no value.  Now that does not prove that there is a God, it just proves that if there is not one, that your entire thread on an update of Trevor is meaningless and of no value.    
 

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Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
 

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FatherHLL said:
trevor72694 said:
FatherHLL said:
trevor72694 said:
Hello, all.  It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.

I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left.  He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family.  It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.

I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year.  Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home.  He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.

I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit.  I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine.

**Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**

People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired.  I feel so much better since not going to Church.  I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy.  Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.

I think that I did a bit of growing up.  I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).

I'm going through a period of disbelief.  It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while.  I used to be so zealous!  I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God.  Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself?  I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.

I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists".  I just don't think that God existed to begin with. 

I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back.  At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head.  It was real, because I made it real.  If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real. 

I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened.  I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.

I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide".  I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.  I'm not going to hell.  I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints.  Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about. 

I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much.  I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.

So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair :)

If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing!  It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much!  (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).   :)
Yea, feelings are deceptive.  

I don't think anyone is offended, and a few of us are not surprised, but saw this coming from early on.    

In ancient days, many liked Ba'al as a symbol because as a deity it represented the self to atheists (much like Satanism today).  It represented "do what you will, there is no God."  One could shape Ba'al in any form they wanted to as a person--baal took the form of whatever person or town wanted it to take, Baal was the image of them in their perception of what reality is.  That is why Ba'al was such a popular idol.  As Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  I suppose you have made your choice.  I would not assume that "your whole life" lasts a long time.  We have plans maybe to give ourselves a million chances, but unforeseen things happen, and when our breath departs, we return to our earth, and on that very day our plans perish.    

Lord have mercy.  
Father, that is very interesting.

I am very interested, how could you tell from so early on?
Well, several things, but I will only mention one.  Many of your posts rotated around you and your perceptions and practical matters.  It was only a matter of time before you figured out that life is ok without God because the focus has always been you.  Even when you were focusing on God the central focus was still you focusing on God.  But keep this in mind.  If there is no God then there are no absolutes, and there is no instrinsic value.  If there are no absolutes and instrinsic value, then we have no value as persons, and all of our thoughts, feelings, writings, speaking, and actions in general have no value.  Now that does not prove that there is a God, it just proves that if there is not one, that your entire thread on an update of Trevor is meaningless and of no value.    
I appreciate you sharing this, that is a very fascinating observation.
 

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William said:
That's not funny. I don't know why you all think that about James. But he would never do that.
I agree. [sarcasm]By the same standard I guess I must be next, right?[/sarcasm]

Anyway, I wish you the best Trevor even though this is not the news I wanted to hear. I pray that you return to the Lord. You do seem like a sincere and honest person.
 

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Severian said:
Anyway, I wish you the best Trevor even though this is not the news I wanted to hear. I pray that you return to the Lord. You do seem like a sincere and honest person.
Thank you very much.  I wish I could believe like I used to, but I just can't muster up the faith I used to have.  Who knows?  Maybe St. Tikhon (my patron saint) will appear in my dreams and punch me in the nose, and then set me on the straight and narrow!  :)
 

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That is why I left Church in the first place, but my belief in God was still strong.  It was learning that I am just fine without God in my life that pushed me to question his existence, and then realizing the answer to that question.
One can adjust to many different situations, sure. Believe me...I lived essentially as an atheist (or I guess it would be better to say agnostic) for a period of about a decade after my mother passed away. I know all about feeling free from/to whatever. But we have a higher calling than feeling "fine" with wherever it is we are. As Fr. HLL rightly points out, feelings are deceptive. The passions drag us every which way.  This is why Christianity, properly lived, can be so exhausting. As St. John the Dwarf tells us, we are to expect temptation and struggle until our very last breath. And, again, to paraphrase Fr. HLL, that last breath might not be too far away (well, it never is, if you look at the big picture). I don't mean to be dour, just realistic, and I suppose at least a little empathetic toward someone who feels like they're better off without religion. I understand why you feel that way. But that doesn't mean that your feelings (or my feelings, or anybody's feelings) are to rule the day, given how fickle they are.  

I mean, I can't say for 100% certainty that God doesn't exist (and I truly believe that not even the most religious of the religious can say that they know 100% that God exists).  You know, because you have faith in him.  You learn about him and attend Church and commune with him while building a strong relationship with him.
I am always puzzled by this kind of thinking. Mere existence is such a very low threshold for believing in something, isn't it? I exist, but if I were to start garnering believers to myself, I'd be on the lookout for the four horsemen of the apocalypse!

I've realized that "faith" is all in your head.  It's real if you believe that it's real.  I just don't believe that it's real, so for me, it's not real.
Hmm. I think faith is all in your head, too...if it is, in fact, all in your head. But if it is at the center of your whole life in such a way that you can face down doubts knowing that they also exist in your head, then you might see why there's no reason to privilege the doubt over the faith. To revisit my objection to the false dichotomy of the test you took, I must ask: Why do you follow one to the exclusion of the other? Why is one a sign of the unreality of God or the complete subjectivity of faith, but the other the operating principle by which you'll now live your life? Again, I ask your forgiveness if this is out of line, but it seems to me that from what little I've read about you in this thread, you have vacillated from one extreme to the other. Before you were religious (or what you thought being religious was) to a fault, and now you are disbelieving. You are not living in the middle whereby you may believe and doubt. As I wrote, I believe that they are both in your head; it's just a matter of recognizing who put them there. As a Christian, I believe that faith comes from God -- it is not willed or believed into existence by the individual. No person, lacking in faith, can consciously decide or will themselves to believe. Is this not what are experiencing right now?
 

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copticboy7 said:
Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
If his faith can be so easily shaken by my words on this forum, then the faith was never strong to begin with.

I like JamesR alot. He's very intelligent for his age and is going to go through many changes, which is why I stand by my prediction (and various of his posts have slight indications of his future).

And btw I am very glad I'm not in his shoes when I was his age.

EDIT: If you are so worried about what I said, then you should be even worried by how this thread and the one Trevor made before showed how liberated, happy and free he was without Orthodoxy. Since they are pretty similar in age, I would seriously have second thoughts IMO.
 

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Achronos said:
copticboy7 said:
Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
If his faith can be so easily shaken by my words on this forum, then the faith was never strong to begin with.

I like JamesR alot. He's very intelligent for his age and is going to go through many changes, which is why I stand by my prediction (and various of his posts have slight indications of his future).

And btw I am very glad I'm not in his shoes when I was his age.
You all and your predictions!  Why don't you just write horoscopes for us younger members, hm?!  ;)
 

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At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
 

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trevor72694 said:
You all and your predictions!  Why don't you just write horoscopes for us younger members, hm?!   ;)


I don't know how accurate that is since it's not from dattaswami, but yeah.
 

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Achronos said:
copticboy7 said:
Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
If his faith can be so easily shaken by my words on this forum, then the faith was never strong to begin with.

I like JamesR alot. He's very intelligent for his age and is going to go through many changes, which is why I stand by my prediction (and various of his posts have slight indications of his future).

And btw I am very glad I'm not in his shoes when I was his age.

EDIT: If you are so worried about what I said, then you should be even worried by how this thread and the one Trevor made before showed how liberated, happy and free he was without Orthodoxy. Since they are pretty similar in age, I would seriously have second thoughts IMO.
Trevor is being honest and sincere with us about himself. You are being honest and sincere about another member potentially to their detriment.
 

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copticboy7 said:
At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
Give him some credit, though.  Many times the faith of the young is very strong and steadfast.  
 

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Achronos said:
trevor72694 said:
You all and your predictions!  Why don't you just write horoscopes for us younger members, hm?!   ;)
There ya go. The swami says you've got a good chance, and she seems pretty on the ball...

(Hahahaha. I kill me.)
 

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copticboy7 said:
At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
I support JamesR in whatever he chooses to be and wish him nothing but the best in his life. I'm not going around condemning him if he decides to leave the Orthodox faith. Some people need to take a break and walk away for awhile, and I respect that.

I don't know what doubts I planted, all I made was a prediction on par with what the weatherman said about the weather tomorrow. Who cares? Relax.

And I'm ready for the monk quotes about how they will be forever condemned to hell for blaspheming the Holy Spirit in 3..2..1...
 

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trevor72694 said:
copticboy7 said:
At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
Give him some credit, though.  Many times the faith of the young is very strong and steadfast.  
I completely agree.
 

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copticboy7 said:
Achronos said:
copticboy7 said:
Achronos, please stop. I don't know if you remember being James' age, but doubts find their roots because of careless words from people like you. I'd rather leave the boy in peace and let him mature and grow in the Lord without other people doubting him.

Do you pray for him? If you really think he'll be an atheist than you should feel a strong urge to pray for his walk with Christ. If you already are doing this, I thank you.
If his faith can be so easily shaken by my words on this forum, then the faith was never strong to begin with.

I like JamesR alot. He's very intelligent for his age and is going to go through many changes, which is why I stand by my prediction (and various of his posts have slight indications of his future).

And btw I am very glad I'm not in his shoes when I was his age.

EDIT: If you are so worried about what I said, then you should be even worried by how this thread and the one Trevor made before showed how liberated, happy and free he was without Orthodoxy. Since they are pretty similar in age, I would seriously have second thoughts IMO.
Trevor is being honest and sincere with us about himself. You are being honest and sincere about another member potentially to their detriment.
Well Trevor is genuine and so is JamesR. It's why I enjoy reading their posts because of their honesty. But as I said above who cares what I predict, who am I?
 

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Achronos said:
copticboy7 said:
At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
I support JamesR in whatever he chooses to be and wish him nothing but the best in his life. I'm not going around condemning him if he decides to leave the Orthodox faith. Some people need to take a break and walk away for awhile, and I respect that.

I don't know what doubts I planted, all I made was a prediction on par with what the weatherman said about the weather tomorrow. Who cares? Relax.

And I'm ready for the monk quotes about how they will be forever condemned to hell for blaspheming the Holy Spirit in 3..2..1...
Sorry for coming on strong, I just remember being his age and I would have wanted people to have confidence in me.
 Banned as a duplicate account of "bishoy."
 

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copticboy7 said:
Achronos said:
copticboy7 said:
At 16, our faith is more often than not fairly weak at many moments just because of the fickleness of the age. All I'm saying is not to plant doubts in his head and just support him :)
I support JamesR in whatever he chooses to be and wish him nothing but the best in his life. I'm not going around condemning him if he decides to leave the Orthodox faith. Some people need to take a break and walk away for awhile, and I respect that.

I don't know what doubts I planted, all I made was a prediction on par with what the weatherman said about the weather tomorrow. Who cares? Relax.

And I'm ready for the monk quotes about how they will be forever condemned to hell for blaspheming the Holy Spirit in 3..2..1...
Sorry for coming on strong, I just remember being his age and I would have wanted people to have confidence in me.
Heh I'm waiting for the PeterTheAleut post about age, get ready.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
What are you doing with your time these days, Trevor?
Right now?  Sitting in bed with my laptop at 1am watching two fellows wager over how long it will take a teenager to turn to atheism.  ;)

I do loads of volunteer work with clubs at school.  I'm also the go-to guy when teachers need things done (which isn't as much a good thing as it sounds).  I also organize our blood drives, so I'm preparing for that.  I am starting senior year, and my current project is designing a booth for the freshman to come to and learn about my club.  I get to go to school super early on the first day and everything (yay...).

And yourself?  It's good to see you.  :)
 

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People need to be careful of what they say in threads like this.  We don't want to say things that will cause others to stumble.

Everyone goes through times of doubt.  Many recover from it and return to the faith.

Trevor,
Earlier you mentioned sexual orientation.  I'm not in a position to speak to you about this, but I know others on this forum have struggled with this and stayed in the faith.  I know this sounds cliche, but did you go to the new priest at your church and have a good long talk with him before deciding to leave?  If not, you may want to do so.  Just a suggestion.
 

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Thanks, Trevor.

Good to see you too. It's good that you're getting involved. You'll have a lot of fun during senior year, just don't get too sentimental!

I take God's existence as a given these days, as most Christians do. It seems like the change in you is more in how you are experiencing the world, versus something involving classical proofs for God or for atheism or any of that detached boring crap.

Met. Anthony Bloom wrote in his book "Beginning to Pray" that sometimes, to be honest, one must say to God (paraphrase): "I'm not ready or too weak to bear with you right now, I can't be with you all the time."

I think that's what you're doing experientially in your own way. Also growing up. Don't get a girl pregnant or do anything stupid, don't use anybody, bear what you can. You're a good dude.
 

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Salpy said:
People need to be careful of what they say in threads like this.  We don't want to say things that will cause others to stumble.

Everyone goes through times of doubt.  Many recover from it and return to the faith.

Trevor,
Earlier you mentioned sexual orientation.  I'm not in a position to speak to you about this, but I know others on this forum have struggled with this and stayed in the faith.  I know this sounds cliche, but did you go to the new priest at your church and have a good long talk with him before deciding to leave?  If not, you may want to do so.  Just a suggestion.
Yes, I did.  He was so wonderful about it, too.  I don't struggle with it, but merely being in Church made me feel as though I did.  I mean, it's one thing to say "yes, celibacy for me, please!" in Church surrounded by faithful parishioners, icons and the body of Christ.  At my school and out in the "world", being other than heterosexual is becoming more and more acceptable.  I really needed time away from Church to deal with this, as I had to accept it in myself.  Not go out and do sinful acts, but just sit alone and think about what my feelings meant and all of that.
 

trevor72694

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NicholasMyra said:
Thanks, Trevor.

Good to see you too. It's good that you're getting involved. You'll have a lot of fun during senior year, just don't get too sentimental!

I take God's existence as a given these days, as most Christians do. It seems like the change in you is more in how you are experiencing the world, versus something involving classical proofs for God or for atheism or any of that detached boring crap.

Met. Anthony Bloom wrote in his book "Beginning to Pray" that sometimes, to be honest, one must say to God (paraphrase): "I'm not ready or too weak to bear with you right now, I can't be with you all the time."

I think that's what you're doing experientially in your own way. Also growing up. Don't get a girl pregnant or do anything stupid, don't use anybody, bear what you can. You're a good dude.
Thank you.

I think that I might feel better if I could just feel God like I used to.  I used to walk around with my prayer rope like some sort of Fr Abbot Trevor jr. and pray all the time.  I just don't feel it anymore, I feel like I'm alone, and I feel uncomfortable praying to a God who I am not sure is even there.  
 

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trevor72694 said:
I think that I might feel better if I could just feel God like I used to.  
Part of that is finally letting go of childhood. Everything will seem less vibrant and communicable for a while, until you discover new ways of relating to the world.
 

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trevor72694 said:
NicholasMyra said:
Thanks, Trevor.

Good to see you too. It's good that you're getting involved. You'll have a lot of fun during senior year, just don't get too sentimental!

I take God's existence as a given these days, as most Christians do. It seems like the change in you is more in how you are experiencing the world, versus something involving classical proofs for God or for atheism or any of that detached boring crap.

Met. Anthony Bloom wrote in his book "Beginning to Pray" that sometimes, to be honest, one must say to God (paraphrase): "I'm not ready or too weak to bear with you right now, I can't be with you all the time."

I think that's what you're doing experientially in your own way. Also growing up. Don't get a girl pregnant or do anything stupid, don't use anybody, bear what you can. You're a good dude.
Thank you.

I think that I might feel better if I could just feel God like I used to.  I used to walk around with my prayer rope like some sort of Fr Abbot Trevor jr. and pray all the time.  I just don't feel it anymore, I feel like I'm alone, and I feel uncomfortable praying to a God who I am not sure is even there.  

Hi there !

If you felt him, you know that He exists... why this change ?
 

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augustin717 said:
 Same goes for you augustin.  
I know. I didn't call  quits. Just practice it with loads of economia on top of  a who cares attitude. just like they were trying to teach me in younger days back home.
This really should be written to catechisms and Orthodoxy 101s. Ignorant converts would be saved from a lot of fuss and disappointments.
 

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trevor72694 said:
Since I started this conversation, I suppose I owe you all this much for the sake of context.

I originally left Church because of my sexual orientation.  This was something that I didn't feel comfortable even thinking about while I was in Church.  This is no fault of the Church's, but my own.  I stopped Church, and I was able to accept myself for who I am.  I needed to stop going for me.  The disbelief in God came later.
Your honesty is appreciated.  I hope I didn't offend you.  :angel:
 

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Though you left prior to my arrival, I am glad you are doing better, but I am sad you took an earthly path to get there.  Maybe in time you will find how much the world lacks and return home.  Perhaps, this is part of your journey to remove the impurities in "steel" and return strengthened by the experience.
 

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Now that does not prove that there is a God, it just proves that if there is not one, that your entire thread on an update of Trevor is meaningless and of no value.   
That's an easy to refute canard. Whatever apologetics they teach at seminaries, they seem to be stuck in the XVII-th century.
 
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