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Everything posted by CrystalFaerie

  1. A very confused "Christian" teenager

    Hi there I hope you don't mind a non-Christian answering your question. I was raised in a secular household, so I don't have experience with doubting the beliefs I grew up with, but I have had moments when I doubted the religion I later converted to. In those moments, two things helped. The first was sticking to the rituals. My religion has a strong focus on orthopraxy (doing the right thing rather than believing the right thing): it's considered better to give sacrifice even if you're not sure that who you're giving it to is real, rather than not giving it at all. So I kept up with my daily rituals, even if it only meant saying a half-hearted prayer in the evening. In other words, I kept trying. In your case, I would suggest that you keep praying, keep reading your Bible, and if you feel up to it, keep attending church. If you let your faith slip away, you're going to lose it. I know that sounds obvious but if you don't want it to happen, you need to actively work to keep it. The second thing that I did is a lot less obvious, and it took me a long time to accept it. I let myself doubt. Instead of repressing all the questions I had, I wrote them down and explored them. I asked people of my own religion for answers, and people of different religions for different perspectives which challenged my worldview. It's scary to let the doubt take over, but the more you wonder why you do this, why you believe that, the better you will understand your religion and your God, and the stronger your faith will become. Because faith in itself is good, but conscious faith is solid - while blind faith is at best shallow, and at worst dangerous. It's okay if, through this process, your previous beliefs change. Find the ones that you feel comfortable with, and that you believe are true. If you end up less religious than you were before, that's okay. There are millions of spiritual but not religious people, Unitarian Universalists, agnostics and atheists in the world. Even among Christians, not everyone attends church every week. If you end up changing denomination or even religion, that's okay too. And if your beliefs don't change at all but just become stronger, congratulations! You are now a confident and knowledgeable member of your faith. Everyone doubts their beliefs from time to time, even the most religious of us. I bet even the Pope and the Dalai Lama have moments when they feel discouraged by all the sorrow around them, and wonder if there really is a meaning to it. It can be especially hard as a teenager when your responsibilities are growing, your body is changing, your critical mind is developing and you start to question everything from your parents to your religion. But feeling this way is completely normal, and you're not a bad Christian because of it. Don't worry. You'll figure it out.
  2. Yep, that's pretty much what I think too. I don't set a particular moment to bring up the subject because it depends on the person, on the situation and on my relationship with them (if we're already very close, if we barely know each other's birthdays and favourite colours, or whatever). I mention it when the subject comes up. I also don't use the term "waiting till marriage" because of its religious and especially Christian connotations. My ideal description would be something along the lines of: "At this point in our relationship I'm not ready to have sex, because I feel like it's the most intimate connection there can be between two people, one that should only be shared with a single special person, and I'd feel more comfortable saving it until we both know that we're that person to each other." I do avoid bringing up the subject during the dating/casual stage of a relationship, because like anything too personal, it can scare people off. I'd rather show who I am as a person first, so that when WTM does come up, the guy in question can think "well, I like her enough that she is worth it anyway".
  3. Hello, new here

    Welcome! Hope to see you around
  4. Hi Fellow Waiters

    Welcome, Joseph
  5. Come to Europe Religion is a lot more liberal and a lot less literal here, and every single Christian I know doesn't believe in a literal 6 day creation. By the way, JesSea, I really enjoyed that video!
  6. Hi

    Hi and welcome, Stella!
  7. Ask a Seventh Day Adventist

    What, as a Seventh Day Adventist, do you believe? As in, what beliefs set you apart from other Christian denominations? (Wait, Seventh Day Adventists are actually Christian, right? Sorry for my ignorance )
  8. Haha, as if you would forget that you'd had sex?! "You're a virgin? Are you sure?" "Oh, wait, actually… Yes, I did have sex with my ex-boyfriend now that you mention it. Actually, I'm having sex with my current boyfriend too. Silly me! That had completely slipped my mind." I'm lucky in that I've never been bullied or shamed for not having sex. People have been surprised and curious when I tell them, but I've never been told anything rude.
  9. Intimate disclosure...and tattle

    I'll go against the grain here and say that I'm okay with it, so long as it's not told to just anyone and without too many details. I'm very close to my group of friends and we share everything, even, to some extent, our sex lives. My friends who have had intercourse don't tell each other their partners' sizes, nor do they gossip about performances, but I do know whether they do different positions, oral, role-play, etc. A lot of the time, it comes in handy since they can exchange advice and tips. I would feel extremely uncomfortable having the same conversations with anybody else, but since we are so close and we know we're not going to tattle outside the group, I feel it's okay. If my husband had a similar group of friends, I'd be okay with him sharing the same things with them, and I'd hope he would be okay with me doing it with my friends. Of course, I wouldn't say anything he wouldn't want me to say, either, but I like generally being able to talk about anything with my closest friends.
  10. Eating Healthy and Exercising!

    Good luck!!! I can understand the temptation to eat fatty, salty or sugary foods - I've always loved them too and found it really hard to resist buying them. Natural foods can be really tasty too though, if you cook them right. I recommend lentils and brown rice, fish and couscous, and vegetable curries. You can find some great recipes online. I'll admit I've never had weight issues, but what I do struggle with is fitness. I've never been fit. I ran a couple of races when I was a kid, but that's about it. I hate endurance, I hate the feeling of my body being strained, and my little sister has muscles twice as big as mine (she's a rock climber, but still). What's more, all of my current activities can be done sitting down, and I live in a city with excellent public transport, so the motivation to get physically active isn't big. A few months ago, I took up biking. It really happened by accident - I was in the shed one day, saw my bike, and decided to go for a ride. Since then I've been biking pretty much everywhere. I can actually get to town faster on the bike than on the tram, which is great when I can't be bothered to wait at the stop! And somehow, the feeling of working my muscles is a lot nicer when I'm actually going somewhere, when there's sights on either side to distract me, and when the wind is blowing on my face and the wheels are whizzing and I hardly notice that I'm pedaling. The thing is, I live on a hill. It's not a very steep one, but it's steep enough that I can tear down to the bottom, then have to lug myself and my bike back up. It's not fun. Even less motivating is the fact that the tram goes right up to the top. So what I've been doing lately is that every time I go out, I bike down the hill, then take the tram back up. I've biked up the hill a couple of times when the tram was a long way away, but I usually stop halfway for a rest. My goal is to be able to bike all the way up without getting (too) tired. I don't know how long it will take me till I can (I might have to stop taking the tram up first ) but that's what I'm working on at the moment!
  11. I agree with the majority here. I've definitely experienced "hmm, I like that, I definitely want to get to know him more" at first sight, but never love. To me, love is something that grows over time, and while it can be founded on an immediate attraction, it isn't the same thing. It's like friends. There can be an immediate connection, but it takes months and even years for you to be fully comfortable around each other, to trust each other, and to know each other inside and out. You don't meet someone and decide at once that you're best friends. To me, the same goes for love.
  12. Random Thoughts

    Two weeks before classes start, I finally heard back from the university I applied to… and it turns out they forgot to tell me I was accepted -__- Everything's fine. They just forgot to send me the letter. The man I phoned was very kind and said he'd send me my details as soon as possible, but still. Lucky I phoned them or they might've forgotten about me altogether
  13. Ask an Atheist!

    Haha, yes, I figured you'd find all religions equally hard to believe in. I mean, otherwise you wouldn't exactly be an atheist, would you? Interesting that you've found you have a lot in common with Wiccans. I think that since the theology of Wicca is a lot looser than the "religions of the book" (there being no founding texts, no set rules for how to do things), the gap between Wicca and atheism is a lot smaller. Almost all of the Wiccans I know draw their beliefs from actual science and have a very liberal approach to what is divine, and I even used to know a Wiccan atheist. Of course, there are also very religious Wiccans who believe their way is the only way, but in general, apart from the belief vs non-belief thing, it makes sense that Wiccans and atheists would get on pretty well. I've actually been wondering whether to create an "Ask a" thread too, though I don't know how interested people would be? Fair enough! I feel the same way about certain deities too. For example, non-human deities. How would we know that, say, squirrels don't have squirrel Gods too? Maybe they do, but they simply have no interest in us because we're not squirrels. Still, unless they reveal themselves to me (which they probably won't anytime soon), I find it simpler just going about my life as if they didn't exist. So I can definitely understand your position there.
  14. Hey :) So glad to have found this site.

    Welcome, Katy!
  15. Ask an Atheist!

    May I just say that this thread has been extremely interesting and enlightening so far Several of my friends and family are agnostics or atheists but I've never really thought about what that entails, beyond the fact that they don't believe in any deities, and it's not something we tend to talk about. So it's been very cool to read your posts and get to understand atheism better From what you explained in your first paragraph, I think I do agree with the author there. I would say that if an atheist knows there is no God or Gods, they're just as much an atheist as someone who believes there isn't, but that said, I'm of the opinion that nobody can truly be 100% sure. As for your second paragraph, I would personally add a third choice: "I don't know" or "I abstain from giving an opinion". It's not a position I have personal experience with, so I don't know what it's like and whether people who hold such a view privately do lean on the side of theism or atheism, but I do think it's possible to be neither a theist or an atheist. But again, that's just my opinion based on my admittedly limited experience. Thank you for sharing I guess that means several people I know are spiritual atheists then. Interesting to know. My immediate thought when I read this was: what about a God that simply doesn't take any interest in you? A lot of polytheistic religions, mine included, have the belief that the Gods are just there - superior to us, of course, but still just a part of the world. They might take interest in a specific person, but generally, unless you take interest in them, they're not going to meddle in your life. You could compare it to a random person who lives in your town, who you might see on the bus or at the supermarket from time to time, but who doesn't interact with you because you simply have no interest in each other. Benevolent and cruel aren't the only two personality options for a God. Actually, I could develop this into something I've been wondering about for a while now. What are atheists' views on non-Abrahamic religions? The reason I'm curious is because whenever I hear (or see, or read) an atheist disproving religion, the ideas they are pulling apart are almost always inherent to monotheism, and specifically, Christianity.* I know that atheists who are atheists because of lack of evidence won't change their minds just because the God in question is Zeus rather than YHWH - what I'm interested in is the deconstruction of the religions themselves. For example, atheists often say that Christianity doesn't make sense because of x, y and z (generally related to God being both omniscient and omnipotent, as well as benevolent). So apart from the fact that we believe in fictional invisible people too , is there anything in particular within non-Abrahamic religions that you don't think makes sense? *I'm aware that's because most of these arguments are directed at monotheists, who make up the majority of religious people in the world. Still, maybe I'm weird, but it makes me feel a bit left out. I want my religion to be criticised too! (Okay, I'm kidding. But I'm still curious to hear atheistic opinions on the subject that aren't 2000 years old.)
  16. Ask an Atheist!

    Also, sorry for the late reply but I just wanted to say thanks to Matthew and Steadfast for your answers to my question, I really appreciate them To be honest, I didn't really get the point the author of that article was making (I'm not great at philosophical lingo). From what I understood, he was saying that an atheist can only be an atheist if they're 100% sure no spiritual entities exist, and anybody who is less sure than that shouldn't call themselves an atheist - something I disagree with. But again, I'm not sure if I understood correctly so that's just my general opinion on what constitutes an atheist (and which is probably at least partially misguided since I'm not one myself ).
  17. Ask an Atheist!

    Spiritual atheist? Now you've got me curious! If you don't mind me asking, what does that entail?
  18. Hi! virgin newbie here

    Welcome, Sabrina! Congrats on beating cancer and being the awesome person you are We're glad to have you here!
  19. Ask an Atheist!

    That's what theism and atheism are all about, in my opinion - belief. Nobody is 100% sure that God(s) exist. Likewise, nobody is 100% sure that God(s) don't exist. The reason I believe is that I've weighed the evidence, science, personal experiences, etc and decided that it is in favour of the Gods' existence, but there is still the possibility, however small I feel it may be, that I might be wrong. As far as I know, for atheists, it's the same - you believe that there is no God, you may even be 99.9% sure of it, but there is always the possibility that there might be. Whether or not you believe, you're still going to have to make that leap of faith (ha ha, bad pun) that your position is the right one. Basically, saying that an atheist should not call themselves an atheist because they believe but don't know God(s) exist is like saying that a religious person should not call themselves religious because they doubt their faith sometimes. Everyone doubts their faith from time to time. What matters is what we think, feel and believe to be right - not what we know. Because really, what do we know? About the universe? About God or Gods, even if we believe? We're so insignificant and imperfect in the overall scheme of things that knowing all the answers is impossible. Expecting people - even atheists - to have them is ridiculous. Okay, back to the topic Now that I'm here, may as well ask a question: A lot of people turn to faith in their darkest times. In those moments, do you ever regret not believing? How do you cope when there's no-one to talk to or to help? I don't expect any real-life experiences as those can be very personal (though if you feel comfortable sharing, feel free to do so) but I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
  20. That almost happened to me too. I told the guy that I wasn't interested, and while we're still friends, I definitely wouldn't consider dating him after that. If someone is willing to cheat on their partner to be with me, they might be willing to cheat on me later on, and that's not a situation I want to put myself into.
  21. Ah, but that's the key. Focus on what you know really well, and you can get by with not having read the rest. I've taken some extremely demanding literature courses too, and I confess that a certain amount of the time, I didn't read the books. For one of my exams, I had to discuss Les Filles du Feu by Gérard de Nerval, which has a lot of romantic elements in it, including an exploration of the opposition between nature and culture. The scene I focused on most was about a festival with Pagan roots, so of course I jumped on the occasion to talk about that, seemed really knowledgeable, and got a good mark To get back to the topic, I've had to read a lot of books that disagreed with my world view or beliefs as well. I still read them, even if they annoyed me. From your description, Steadfast, Fun House doesn't seem that bad at all. If it was chock-full of graphic sex scenes, I'd understand, but if there's only 5 or so and they're not particularly titillating, it makes the people refusing to read them sound a bit childish, in my opinion. Not all sex is pornography. Reading about sex between two consenting adults can even be useful, in that it teaches you the difference between sex for the sake of character development (or emotions, i.e. most sex in real life) and sex for the sake of sex (pornography), and forces you to face the reality that yes, it's a part of life, and you can't be squeamish about it forever.
  22. Hey There, (Hopefully) Future Friends :)

    Welcome! We're happy to have you here
  23. Greetings From Texas

  24. Woman marries Jesus

    Why not. It seems pretty understandable to me that someone would want to consecrate their virginity to their God - the same thing happens in other religions too. I know a Hellenic polytheist (a friend of a friend) who swore her virginity to Artemis, for example. It doesn't seem strange at all that someone who is very devoted to their religion, and whose deity preaches or has a strong connection to virginity, would want to become a consecrated virgin. As for becoming a nun, or part of a religious order, that requires a whole new level of commitment and I understand that some people just don't feel called to it. I guess consecrated virginity is like making a single, personal but important vow to a deity, but not going all the way and becoming part of their priesthood. What I didn't like about the article was the way they presented it like it was weird and unusual. Of course, it's the Daily Mail and if they can sensationalise a story by titling it "Woman marries Jesus" rather than "Woman becomes consecrated virgin in the Catholic Church", they will. It felt like they were trying too hard to make a connection with the "Woman marries Eiffel Tower", "Woman marries Berlin Wall" etc stories.
  25. Favourite Time Period and Why?

    Now this is a question I have to answer! I love prehistory, especially the Neolithic Era. I love how we can trace back the roots of our civilisation to all these small aspects that people adopted for one reason or another, and that we don't even think about now. I love how these people were so much more intelligent and advanced than we give them credit. To me, learning about prehistory is learning about who we are. I love the Late Aegean Bronze Age (16th to 11th century BC), which includes the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Hittites, the Babylonians and early Assyrians, the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and early Phoenicia. This is also the time period of the Trojan War, the earliest inscriptions of the Greek language, and last but not least, the earliest records of the Ancient Greek religion. It's an often overlooked time, but I love it - I love how it was an already advanced civilisation, how it lay the foundations for Classical Greece and Rome, I love it so much that I made it the inspiration for the setting of my novel I love Classical Greece and Rome, the flourishing science, philosophy and politics of the time, the beauty of the languages, and the plurality of values and beliefs that coexisted during the Hellenistic period. I love pre-colonisation America, especially the Incas. I love how they built an entire civilisation on and around the mountains, and how they did everything on foot because their only domesticated animal was the llama. I love how different their culture and worldview was from mine, and I wish we knew more about them. I love the Regency, and the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. I'm fascinated by early photography, 19th century fashion (especially from 1800-1820 and 1865-1890), industrialisation and emigration, the sinking of the Titanic, and how it all came crashing down in 1914. I also love learning about my ancestors who came to New Zealand at that time, and who had to build their own towns from scratch because the English failed to tell them that their street maps were just theoretical. By reading about their conflicts with the Maori, I learn where both parts of my ancestry come from, and how to see both sides of an issue that still exists today. Next up: spot the history nerd