View Full Version : Faith

April 13th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Hi, gang. Someone has suggested to me a forum to discuss religion. I think it might be sorta nice to have a meeting place for those who wish to talk specifically about their faith, spirituality, etc. Obviously, MWO does not subscribe to any particular religious dogma and I believe members have shown a healthy respect for one another's beliefs. But might be good to offer a forum for those who wish to share more on this important aspect of their lives.

I always like to weigh adding new forums with managing the board, which is growing quite large (a good thing.) Would like some feedback.

Also, I don't know if yesterday's idea re: an "oldies only" area is going to work due to some technical restrictions, but I'm still working on it...


April 13th, 2006, 02:17 PM
I am just becoming interested in other beliefs. I sometimes go on the web and look up different churches and what they are about.
BUT, it may be like talking politics and end up in arguments??

April 13th, 2006, 03:09 PM
No matter what religion, it boils down to origin of life and spirit. Who made it, none of us. Believing in a higher power no matter "who" we call it still remains, one must exist? Like when we're in deep sh.t what do we say?...Oh God, help me. Why then do we feel some great sense of relief in knowing? I believe! just wish the whole world would get on the same page, true faith and religion does not hurt others. We all came from the same source whatever we call it, but continue to destroy ourselves because of "differences", which will always be.

April 13th, 2006, 04:16 PM
I kind of think it would be nice to have a separate forum for this type of thing, that way those of us who "would" like to discuss it can...and those who *wouldn't* like to can easily skip it.

As RJ said, MWO doesn't espouse any particular faith, or faith at all for that matter, but some of us do have faith and are wrestling with issues of our disease and our relationship with our faith.

Others have had unsettling runins with misguided practioners of religion, and might like a chance to discuss that.

I think we have enough gentle people here to keep it polite and supportive and not turn it into stone throwing or even worse, proselytizing (had to check spelling on that one, means seeking converts).

Just my .02


April 13th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Long term Thread...

I also like the "long term thread" I would be nice to go and chat about all the issues that we have NOW! They have changed and are different from the beginning. But I do see where that might be an issue as to who can post and who not RJ..so just whatever you can come up with. If not, don't worry...you have enough on your plate!

Thanks all,

As far as the Faith! I DO with all my heart believe in God. I have seen His wonders in my children! But he has taken away children from me also...so not sure where I stand..I do believe and want to pray..but for what..I pray for my family but how will this help me with my drinking? Do I pray for me? I will read and read....does that make sense? Sorry..I do not want to affend anyone! It is just a post and only my thinking...

Wishing everyone Love and Peace!

April 13th, 2006, 04:45 PM
Re: Long term Thread...

Okey doke, thanks, folks. I think there's enough interest here to start a "faith" thread...will move it on over. :-)


April 13th, 2006, 04:54 PM
I would not be where I am today without my faith!! Funny thing is, I married an atheist. So we go round and round about God all the time. Our children our both being raised in the Catholic tradition, and my husband is the most "Christian", Non-Christian" you will ever meet! Go figure!

If we can do it under these cercumctancces, and maintain a happy mariage of 21 years, certainly we can have adult conversations about our different beliefs and share our different opinions, all the while keeping it civilized.

I think it is a marvelous idea!


Oh, and I still think the veterans forum is a great idea too if it can happen! :)

April 13th, 2006, 05:09 PM
I'd worry about a thread on religion/faith.

It does appear in some peoples posts but it can be very divisive and I'd hate to see the inclusivity that currently exists on the board being erroded. I'd think that people may say things based on their beliefs right now, but the way the forum is set up, they are talking from their heart rather than talking from their religion base. Someone reading can often take on board what people say from the heart, but will turn off if it is overtly religion based.

Where I've seen faith/religion in peoples posts, I rarely see it being the start of a discussion.. so my feeling is that people may be interested (sort of in a distant way) but wary of engaging in a full on discussion about it because the main focus here is about stopping or altering drink habits. I'm generalising, but this is obviously my opinion.


April 13th, 2006, 05:36 PM
This is a great idea.

And a great book on the topic is:
The World's Religions
by Huston Smith

Need to reread it about now myself.


April 13th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Thanks again.

I'd still like to give it try. Indeed, we don't to want to promote divisiveness, but there does seem to be a fair amount of interest.

Like any other forum (books, cooking, abs, etc.) members may decide whether or not it's a topic of interest and if they want to participate.

And if things get out of hand, I've certainly got my magic buttons back here I can call upon...



April 13th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Many insightful posts here, and I thank you for them all.

Personally, I grew up in the Southern Baptist church here in the USA. Did not fit me at all. Not the place to ask the tough questions that no religion on earth has answers to.

Eventually, I found a church that openly admitted it didn't have all the answers, Presbyterian USA. The frequently poke fun at themselves, and I found that very human.

The church I used to go to in Texas is on the National Historic Registry. Big stone walls, gigantic real pipe organ that pounds at your guts when Bach is played.

I miss it. Now in Colorado I am without a church. Went to a small Presbyterian USA church (small churches can have real people issues) loved it first 3 years. Great female minister, her husband was a retired Philosophy Professor (also had a divinity degree)and the associate minister and lead adult classes. He was great, and one of the most well read people I have ever known, and humble about it too.

Then they left the church when asked by a big college to open up a religious studies department. In comes a new minister, crazy choir director that is mean and nasty to my wife, my wife can't take any more and complains, minister does nothing about it. We leave the church. A year later, he fires the choir director.

Now she and my son, visit a Presbyterian Evangelical church. Yes, we Presbyterian USA people call that the dirty "E" word. While we do have missions, it is not to go "save" the damned, it is to help support usually small growing churches elsewhere that need help.

They love the church, I feel indifferent. I have visited a couple times, and generally got a cold feeling. They have a world class choir (and my wife is a great singer who needs to sing) great organ etc., but theologically, I do not agree with their doctrine, so could never do more than visit.

While I do have faith, I do keep in mind that faith and religion are different things. One can have faith, and not appear religious. And one can appear religious, but be void of faith. Just look at the BTK killer, for a chilling example of the latter.

Right now, I am overwhelmed with change, so doing the church thing isn't going happen for me now, maybe never. I'm just happy my wife and son found a place they like.

And I always keep the words of a good friend and mentor in mind, "Always remember, there is something out there bigger than yourself, bigger than all of us."

April 13th, 2006, 08:31 PM
Very well said Backpacker77, and I agree with you 100 percent!

I have faith! Just not sure where my religion falls right now. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Take care,

April 13th, 2006, 10:04 PM
Re: Faith UUA Church

I once visited a UUA church (Unitarian Universalist Association) in Texas. It was a small church, without a permanent minister, so they had rotating ones or guest speakers every week. This time I visited, the minister was from Oklahoma City. He said, "You know, as you go from east to west coast in the UUA, there are differences. Or as I like to put it, in the East Coast UUA churches Jesus is optional. Here in the midwest UUA churches God is optional. And out in the west coast UUA churches -- clothes are optional. :lol

April 14th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Re: Faith UUA Church

Tammie, I can certainly relate to "not knowing where it falls right now". Religion is a gigantic place.

In fact, if the worlds religions, all of them, are like the trees of a forest, and we zoom back from those trees we now see the forrest for the trees. :eek

Not saying that all religion is the same, but it does remind me of something my female minister (and aren't they really smarter anyway?) said to me

"Remember, we are all trying to find God, it's just that we are also all on our own individual journeys to get there. And every one's road is completely different, though the destination is the same."

April 21st, 2006, 05:46 PM
I think this is a great idea. I have had a problem opening up to anyone about my drinking because my life is surrounded by people of faith who are intolerent of drinking for any reason. I have really felt alone in spite of my faith. This forum or thread as you called it, lets me know I'm not the only person of faith who has a drinking issue. It might help others who are closet drinkers to open up as we have. Thankful, Eliziby

April 24th, 2006, 09:57 PM
There should be more of us using this thread. There has to be more people of faith with this common problem. Please let us know how you use your faith to deal with it. E

April 25th, 2006, 01:12 AM
Alcohol takes me far, far away from God. I stayed out of touch with him for a long time, even though I was going to church (sometimes), praying only when I felt miserable after drinking for what I did, said, etc...I used my relationship w/ him in self serving ways and felt angry at him for this condition I have. When I am not drinking, I turn to him as a trusted friend and seek guidance and understanding. I feel the faith back in my heart and soul. I know he doesn't make junk. I know I have a purpose here. These feelings disappear as soon as I pick up that drink. I am finding comfort in prayer these days. It's really helping me thru some tough periods and the road of recovery. Church has NOT played much of a role in my recovery, but my faith is growing deeper each day as I grow in sobriety.

April 25th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Faith has played an important part in my life, my whole life! From a very young girl I was taught the rules of the church, as an adult, I embrace them. However, there are some of those rules, as a child, and as an adult I do not agree with!

I am not angry with God for this afliction, I believe it to play a signifcant role in my life. It is not something I am yet able to put into words, but something I have been heavily reflecting on for the last four weeks. I do look forward to being able to share my thoughts on this when the time is right and am glad we have this spot to do so!


April 26th, 2006, 05:49 PM
I have never felt good about my drinking right from the very first glass of wine. God made sure of that. I have really suffered from guilt. He's been right there with me making me miserable with conviction. The only time I'm not feeling so bad about it, is when I'm drinking. That only makes me want to drink more. You're right, the church doesn't play much of a role in support for me either, but it was because I never shared my problem with them. It was my secret. I never let my drinking keep me from attending, but sometime I felt like such a hypocrite. I can't tell you how many times that every word that was spoken at our Bible Study or a worship service was meant just for me. God has not let me rest, and I am getting very tired. Even though we drink, we are still His children. And like a good parent should do, He punishes us when we do wrong. If you are in this program, exercise is a part of it. I walk for mine. I read the Bible verses that go with a short devotional from a book of daily devotionals, then I pray as I walk. Somewhere in this program I heard or read the term "Power Walk" I call mine my "Prayer Walk". Hope to hear from you again. Prayers, E

April 26th, 2006, 07:36 PM
I copied this from the "My Faith" thread just to be thorough.

I read from RJ that it may be a good idea to talk about our faith and that she was going to start a new thread. I do not wish to make waves in this arena at all but my original comment was that perhaps we may get in to debates about religion. I understand that a lot of the MWO members know who God is. I wonder if anyone here knows who are Allah, or Budha, or Centeotl, Sita-Rama, or Yahweh, or Elohim, or Isis or even Nike (the running shoe). Nike is the Greek goddess of Victory. There is some history to this and many others. It is important that we are not blind by our personal beliefs.

I understand what faith is and I know personally about the power of prayer. I was baptised Catholic and raised as a High Anglican for what that's worth. It confused the heck out of me as a child. I now believe that there is an omnipotent energy. I know that just to ask does not always get the results. How many times have I tried to make a deal with God praying that I promise to quit drinking if He please let me feel better now. I don't know what God looks like, or feels like. I believe that if we lead our lives in an honest and ernest manner, that we will have no regrets. Now, this could be the guilty quality of Catholicism. I don't know. I believe that there is a power and it has many forms and many names but I do not believe that we are able to capture, hold, have, control or otherwise get favours from this power, no matter what we do. I think that if we do not go against the natural flow of life then our lives will be without obstacles. I think that this ominpotent energy is the same energy no matter what religion or what name we give it.

April 27th, 2006, 05:48 PM
I think you are talking of religion. I believe religion itself exists to control faith. On the other hand, faith exists to keep religion in check. Religion is man's interpretation of God's will, faith is mans acceptance of that will. I have met many people who are devoutly religious; sometimes to a fault. They are so busy trying to do the right thing (as they believe is described in their religion) they overlook the main issue of what God has in store for them.

They fail to learn what they have based their faith in / on. Religion is based on doing for God. Faith is based in believing in God. I think if one truly has faith in God and what God has in store for them, they will do marvelous things for God. Not because they have to, but because they want to; and God wants to use them. Then again I think one can work night and day for their religion. Sacrificing much of themselves and their families and have their work come to naught, because it wasn?t from faith.

I believe in God. And no matter what you may call Him, He is an almighty God.
God Bless


April 28th, 2006, 01:10 PM
Aha MD,
This is my point exactly. You say "God". That is your "God", not someone else's God. You are talking about a Christian God, are you not? I am talking about all the other "Gods", NOT the Christian one. I could be a Buddhist and my Buddha is not your God. Also, Transcendental Meditation does not worship any particular God, however it is a type of religion, just like Scientology is a type of religion. I wonder if there are any MWO members out there who are not Christian?????
Jai Guru Dev to you all. That does not mean "God bless" because I think "God" is Christian.
Thanks for letting me have my say.

April 28th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Ditto Gina;

I feel the same way....We use our faith when we mess up real bad...But it feels good to now open my heart when I pray(which is 100 times a day) and know that so long as I stay close to prayer I will be alright...


April 28th, 2006, 06:17 PM

Truthfully, My daughter, son-in-law and both grandsons all go to Buddhist temple. My son-in-law immigrated here from Thailand when he was 5 and is very much a Buddhist. They worship God. I don't study the Buddhist religion, so I don't really know what they believe; but I have watched them and I will tell you they have a deep faith in God. If they call their God Buddha, it is OK with me. What they are doing is good for their soul.

It is beyond my comprehension that anyone could think that life as we know it just happened. Even if our God is a spaceman, this living system we inhabit is an intricate creation.

I know for a fact many of the people here at MWO are not Christians. We have had these discussions in the past. That doesn't bother me at all. I wish it didn't bother you so much that someone might be a Christian.

And, as always, you can have your say anytime you want.

Have a great day and
Tetragrammaton Bless,


April 28th, 2006, 07:30 PM
HI Bear,
I am a Christian. I was baptized Catholic and studied both High Anglican and Cathocism. I'm not sure why you think it bothers me so much that someone is Christian. What I am saying is that Buddha is NOT God, was never meant to be God and is never going to be God. Buddha is Buddha. I am saying that the use of the term God is used by Christians. The word "bless" is used by Christians. Have you read any Buddhist literature? I have and I have never seen the word "God" there. Maybe my books are all old and the new ones refer to "God".
Sorry to have confused the issue. I do not think that all religions worship God at all. ie. Allah is not the same as what we think is our God at all and if you suggested that to a Muslim, they would be very angry. That is the point I am trying to make. There have been hundreds of years of wars fought over religion and I am not aiming to start one here. I had a feeling I would not be able to get through to some people about this.
Jai Guru Dev

April 30th, 2006, 04:59 PM

What great topics we are bringing up here, one after another. Just wanted to jump in with a few thoughts.

On Buddhism: Yes CB. Buddha is indeed Buddha. (While to each his own), to my knowledge Buddhism is regarded as a non-theistic religion. Not that it denies the existence of a god or gods or goddesses, but it does not require them for the basis of its belief. Is this religious freedom or what?

And on the terms God vs. Allah: Technically speaking Allah, the God of Islam; God, the same of Christianity; and Judaism?s ?the Lord? are all the same.

You are correct that Muslims indeed might get angry if a Christian were to call Allah ?God,? but then Christians might well get angry if a Muslim were to call their God ?Allah,? or a Jew might well get angry if ?the Lord? were to be called ?Allah? (imagine if that happened in a temple), and this is due to a variety of factors, including religious beliefs, practices, and appreciation of other religions or religious tolerance.

Nonetheless, Jews, Christians, and Muslims (and those of The Bah?'? Faith, as well as many others I am overlooking) all worship the same one, the God of Abraham. ?Allah? means ?the God? (as in the one and only) just as the Hebrew ?Elohim? does.

CB, you are certainly truthful when stating that all the world?s religions are not God based (the Abrahamic God).

According to this chart en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maj..._religions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_world_religions)

my best guess if adding together the non-God religions (depending what you do with Hinduism?s God, which is not the Abrahamic God, or is it the same supreme being by another name?) is this:

If I add the following as non-Abrahamic God based religions:

12% Buddhist and Chinese traditional (Taoism and Confucianism)

1% other

3% Primal (I only took half, though I think most all Primal religions believed in a supreme being. For example, in the Navajo religion God is the unknowable, Unknown Power, so there is no name for God. To the ancient Toltecs, God is every living thing, or everything in existence.)

14% Hinduism

That's about 30% of the world's religious population who do not believe in the Abrahamic God, an amount just shy of the 33% world population of Christianity.

So CB you clearly have a very valid point here.

Of course, there are 16% of the world who are not religious at all. And that leads me to Bear's statement. I find it interesting when you said, "It is beyond my comprehension that anyone could think that life as we know it just happened."

Well, in many respects I agree, but on the other hand, I have a good friend who is atheist and thinks creationism is such a lame human attempt at explaining the origin of the universe that it borders on insanity. And I can see his point of view as well. (In fact, he is very well read and informed when it comes to the world's religions.)

Christianity relies on faith primarily, does it not, to explain the origins of the universe? He has no faith, so him thinking the way he does makes perfect sense to me.

I look at the earth at times and say, "How could this be an accident?" At other times I look at humanity and say, "We are the accident."



April 30th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Thank you so much for your words, Backpacker. You have talked about this way better than I could have. Thank you also for the clarification on the "Allah" information. I must be watching too much T.V. So, there we have it. A world of beliefs. I hope I have not soured this thread because of my little blurb. It was meant as food for thought and not to force an opinion. :rolleyes

May 1st, 2006, 09:58 AM
Re: world conflict vs. religious percentages

And food for thought it was. As I look at that chart, I am struck by current world conflict vs. religious percentages in the world.

I'm sure many others will disagree with me here, but we (Americans) are in a religious war, whether we want to be or not. It is the Muslims (some of them at least, as well as others) against (what the radical Muslims, as well as the others, see as) the mainly Christian Americans.

Of course, our president won?t say that because it does not make for good war politics to say that we are in a religious war, but we are. Let?s look at history. It is payback time. Osama?s version of Islam is paying back Christianity.

But what really startled me was the little number at the top: Judaism, at .22% of the worlds? religious population. How much of the world?s energy has the Israeli/Arab conflict used up in the last 75 however many years? In fact, one could easily argue it is at the core of the current war the Americans are in. Wasn?t it Saddam that sent scud missiles to Israel way back in 1991? And here we are in Iraq again 15 years later.

And of those .22% of the world?s Jewish population, how many of that .22% actually live right there in Israel?

I sure do not understand religion, and world politics, and war.


May 1st, 2006, 03:49 PM
Re: world conflict vs. religious percentages

Yes, and you know, this thread was about faith but it is not that easy to separate faith from religion. I have some friends who - for example lose their house keys - , say "Oh, the universe was trying to tell me something". Now, that is their faith / religion, that the higher power is the whole universe and not (dare I say) an icon / image / perception of an actual "being".
In reality, I have faith in my strength to get through rough times but probably because I've been there, done that all by myself. I have faith in a higher power that I do not wish to envision as any "being", just that there is a flow and my belief is to go against the flow will cause spiritual / financial / physical / whatever hardship. I visited India several years ago and I was surprised to see how mellow everyone was there. The very poor and sick people were mellow, not all stressed out. They went with the flow. That's what I want in my life.
And peace.

May 4th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Re: world conflict vs. religious percentages

I totally get your "higher power" flow idea. It's a comforting view.

May 19th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Re: world conflict vs. religious percentages

Hi all, just have to add the one really good thing I got from an AA meeting--the acceptance of a "higher power." Since I am not Christian, I had trouble with this, interpreting this as believing in a Christian god. However, a very wise person explained it to me thusly: "If you cannot accept the presence of a higher power in the universe, outside yourself, you are saying that you are the highest power there is." BOOM. So obviously I HAVE to acknowledge that there is a power outside me at work here. How hard is that? I personally am but a drop in the ocean, and I know this.

And I think this saying comes from Buddhism (someone correct me if I am wrong): "There are many paths, but one truth." Each of us is given the power of free choice to decide what that path is for ourselves.

I highly recommend the books of Joseph Campbell, who studied intensively the world's religions.

Thanks for listening.

May 21st, 2006, 09:50 PM
Re: world conflict vs. religious percentages

Hey Ter,
Thanks for talking in this thread!
CB :)

May 22nd, 2006, 11:41 PM
Amen Bear!