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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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