A Genuine Cry for Help

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A Genuine Cry for Help

#1  Postby Passer » Nov 18, 2010 11:32 am

I’m not being a drama queen, I have very serious issues. I’ll say right off that I’ve already seen a doctor who has already referred me to see a psychologist. But I can’t see how anyone can help me for reasons I’ll go through below.

This is a long post but I beg whoever is reading this right now, in all sincerity to read it all. I really truly need to talk to someone, I need your help. Seriously. Please stay with me here.

I haven’t had internet access for the last week or so I’ve not been able to talk to anyone with knowledge and perhaps the same experiences I’m going through. Basically I’ve been having the most terrible time of it. Honestly.

It all started when I realised that, whilst hell is just the grave (Gehenna), I found out that the lake of fire is another place where people can spend an eternity in agonising fire. And this is terrifying me. The reasons why are as follows.

For about 1 maybe 2 years leading up to all this, I’d had serious doubts over my faith, and at two points I almost admitted to being agnostic. Once I almost admitted I was atheist.

I have to tell you, I have been diagnosed with suffering from acute anxiety problems, and whilst I have not been diagnosed with it, I am sure I have O.C.D and/or ADHD. I am not kidding.

Over the last week I started to develop a sickening fear because I believe I’ve blasphemed the Holy Ghost. I’ve also got this tendency to think things I shouldn’t. If for example you said to me, don’t think of ‘banana chocolate’ because you’ll die, I’d think about it for no reason other than it would have terrible consequences - for me. I never do this to harm others; it’s always to cause me some type of mental anguish.

This is why I think I may also have O.C.D and or A.D.H.D. This I stress does not manifest physically like when some people cut themselves. I don’t do that. It’s almost like I am my own worst enemy and that I hate myself. I can’t think of any other reason for the self mental abuse. It may even be a form of mental tirrets (that’s where people can’t help shouting out obscenities at inopportune moments). You might think this next statement is crazy but trust me when I say that I really don’t think it comes from Christianity. Although the fear and guilt comes with it, I think I may have always been like this to some extent.

Anyway (sorry it’s this is so long but I’m trying to explain exactly what I am going through), this is how it went:

[Stage 1] I find out there is an eternal lake of fire torment for sinners. Quite how I missed this after 20 years I’ll never know. Some say it’s eternal fire, some say it’s just annihilation, some say it's just figurative. I’ve researched it heavily and I think it’s annihilation. But being not sure, the fear gnaws at me.

[2] Because I find out there’s a type of hell after all, I remember being told there was one ‘unforgiveable sin; and that was blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

[3] Because I find out what it is…and how terrible this would be if someone did it…you can guess what happened next. My mind started becoming agitated and after a while I ‘think’ I mocked the Spirit and I deliberately felt anger toward it. Reason being for the anger, when I started thinking ‘Hey, the entire bible may not be for real don’t forget’, I immediately felt a surge of ‘fight back’. Like when you have been trapped and you are suddenly free, you just want to fight. I really don’t think I had control over the emotion.

Just before I fall asleep, I even see (not every time) visions of flames, and I’ve even in my dream state heard, or ‘experienced’ would be a better term, the words ‘Destined for hell’. I see flames, fire, it's terrible, really terrible.

But the worst thing is this, that everyone else, atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, murderers etc, they can all earn forgiveness because they can repent. Whereas I cannot. So I imagine myself spending an eternity alone in fire. That comes across as a bit selfish, and I apologise.

Imagine not even being able to commit suicide because you think you’ll only hasten the worst case scenario. Have to stress though, I haven’t literally thought about it, but I did begin to understand why some people would take their own lives. I stress, I won’t do this. I have a wonderful wife and three amazing children who I love more than anything. I’m just trying to get over the utter feelings of terror, despair and hopelessness I feel. I’ve even cried about it a few times.

There does seem to be a glimmer of hope though. As I said, for the last year, maybe 2, I’ve been having major faith issues. But here’s the trouble, I don’t know if:

[a] I believe the bible but I’m forcing myself not to (is that even possible?) because then all my troubles go away

[b] I don’t believe but I’m terrified of being wrong about suffering eternal fire

I really genuinely do not know. Man do I obsess.

So what I am doing is watching a lot of good respectable quality science videos on you tube. This settles me down a bit, as it makes me believe the bible is not and cannot be true.

So this is where I am right now. I am watching Qualiasoup, Thunderf00t, Edward Current, thethinkingatheist.com, exchristian.net, this forum etc. I’ve also read the God Delusion and Godless by Dan Barker. I have watched Hitchens and have his book to read God is not Great. Also going to re read Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus.

And that’s all I’m doing.

The thing is, when I walk away from all this, it gives me time to percolate all the information swimming around in my head. And if I’m to be honest, the bible does seem to be nothing but myth and legend. Sometimes it seems so obvious that it’s created by man and not a god. But if I believe that (and as said, at the time it does seem obvious), why does the thought of deliberately blaspheiming the Spirit terrify me? That doesn’t seem logical. The very thought of living my life without God seems to very very strange, weird, surreal. And I never really went that much to church over the last 20 years. I’ve read the bible all through 2 or 3 times, and I guess God is never really far from my thinking. I’ve also prayed every night and day for the last 10 or so years. Still, it feels alien to not have God in my day to day life. It would be like losing a part of me.

I don’t know if anyone can offer any advice, I’ve even been to the doctor and they have put me on the waiting list to see a psychologist.

I also have a few questions:

[1] How, when and by whom was the N.T compiled?

[2] Do males have one rib less than women (forgive my ignorance, but I actually heard this in an attempt to prove the cration myth had some credence in it)?

[3] Is it right to compare God and the bible to the Greek gods? The events of the bible occur in an historical time frame with locations we can verify and people we can say with much certainty existed. Can other religions like the Greek one claim this?

[4] Is the Sumerian religion with Enki and Enlil etc older than the O.T?

[5] What about the Egyptian one?

[6] Did the Jews expect their Messiah to be the actual ‘son' of God?

[7] The geneologies of Jesus in the gospels are thorough and look authentic. These geneologies seem to be strong evidence that the ‘man’ Jesus existed. And apparently the discrepencies have been comfortably explained by bible scholars. If this is true, shouldh’t we just accept that someone called Jesus did exist? This is telling because the Jews expected a messiah to come. And wasn’t the New Testament written about 350 years after the Old Testament? Not sure why but this seems like a realistic timeframe to me. And if someone called Jesus existed, then he might have been the Son of God prophesised to come.

[8] This may sound crazy, but my friend keeps talking about fruit flies in an attempt to disprove evolution. Being a complete beginner to evolution I have no idea what he’s on about, but it’s something to do with how they evolve, even devolve if left in a certain environment. Do you have any idea?

[9] Which so called copy cat saviour actually lived before Jesus? I think Apolloniua lived around 2 A.D, if he actually lived at all.

[10] What gets me is, if the bible is not true, how come it has grown over thousands of years with numerous different authors? I doesn’t add up. The Israelites have followed Yahweh for millennia. Carefully recorded events and geneologies as well. I can’t help thinking no other religion has done this. This takes some real dedication if it is all made up. The question has to be, why the bother?

[11] Similarly with Jesus. He very probably existed, and when he came on the scene, he taught things the Jews didn’t like. To me this smacks of truth because it’s what you would not expect. A bit like the 'woman at the tomb first' line of reasoning.

[12] Counted as one of the biggest proofs, what about the prophecy that the Jews would re-enter their lands in the last days? Then in 1947 (o 48 I think), the state of Israel was officially their s again. There is even some math about 1,260 days prophecy (something to do with Daniel and the date 687 BC?) proving this. How is that explained away?

[13] Has the initial appearance of self replicating molecules been explained?

These questions may sound like an attack on atheist points of view but they aren't. These are just questions I find reinforce my belief in Chritianity,

Finally…

I just want to say I have always enjoyed my time here, and I feel I have gotten to know some characters here just by their text. I totally respect you all, and I’ll never ever forget the roasting Occam’s Laser handed me when I first entered the Richard Dawkins website prior to it closing down. Like I say, I still have the laser marks on my behind.

I realise this is heavy stuff, I apologise. And I’m sorry it’s so long, but it’s because I’ve had over a week to think about all this and it’s all just accumulated. Please do not feel bad if you can’t offer any advice. Feel free to type anything here or you can pm me or email me (pending@sky.com) if you want. I really do not mind and would appreciate it immensely.

Has anyone gone through anything similar?
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#2  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 18, 2010 11:43 am

There's too much here.

First, and all else is dependent on the answer to this, what makes you even think you have a soul? That's what it's all about, you know. People often think, because they are sapient, they are somehow different than any other living thing, and because we are sapient, we can actually ponder the crappiness of someday dying. So, people have come up with this idea of something that is still "us", but that will live on after we die.

Well, once you've established that, then you've got to figure out what this "soul" is going to be doing for all of eternity, don't you? Now you see where the ideas of heaven, hell, fire, etc, come into play.

Forget about the other shit for now. Prove to yourself that you actually have some sort of soul that will survive your own death. Once you've come up with a way to demonstrate that, tell everyone else. The Nobel committee would surely be interested in that, among other committees, because you will have figured out a way to prove what no one has been able to prove since men have existed and have been wondering about such things.

If souls exist, other possibilities may be considered. If souls do not exist, it's all utterly and totally irrelevant.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#3  Postby trubble76 » Nov 18, 2010 11:43 am

Wow, you need to relax. The two most significant possibilities for you are;
1) christianity -or any of the simlar religions- is correct. God exists and is both forgiving and loving.
2) atheism is correct. God most likely doesn't exist.

Either way, live as decent a life as you can, don't be nasty to people, help others when you can, and you wil be okay.

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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#4  Postby babel » Nov 18, 2010 11:45 am

Well, that was quite the story. I read through it. I cannot say I have experienced the same, as I never have been religious and so the holey spirit doesn't scare me. (I mocked him too, so in case you're right, I'll be joining you in the firey whirlpool)

Over the last week I started to develop a sickening fear because I believe I’ve blasphemed the Holy Ghost. I’ve also got this tendency to think things I shouldn’t. If for example you said to me, don’t think of ‘banana chocolate’ because you’ll die, I’d think about it for no reason other than it would have terrible consequences - for me. I never do this to harm others; it’s always to cause me some type of mental anguish.

I think this goes for a lot of people. Don't think of a blue square! It's something of a reflex to imagine it. At least, I have that too. The big difference between both of us seems to be I feel no guilt about what i think or imagine. Why would you?

About your questions: there are others here more qualified to answer them, sorry about that.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#5  Postby nunnington » Nov 18, 2010 11:46 am

passer

I would say that you need to stop reading about religion and theology and atheism. Can't you do something else entirely? Just let go of all this stuff.

Yes, I would strongly recommend seeing a therapist or counsellor. This stuff is probably not about religion at all, but something deeper and older.

I'm not sure where you live, but in the UK you can get therapy for about £60 a session, so if can afford it, I would try it. It worked for me.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#6  Postby Passer » Nov 18, 2010 11:58 am

Thank you all very much for your replies

I am looking at seeing a therapist and paying for one privately.

Good point about the soul, but I envision the lake of fire as a place where your physical body just somehow keeps on burning and burning.

My trouble is that I jsut cant stop thinking about bad stuff, I really obssess about it all.

Just being here chatting with you all makes it all feel a bit silly really.

And I wholeheartedly agree that my fear of this may be to do with something deeper and more ingrained.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#7  Postby nunnington » Nov 18, 2010 12:04 pm

passer

I think a lot of people who suffer from strong anxiety find relief in doing physical things, e.g. walking, gardening, pop music, cooking.

I know that it's very difficult if your mind is full of various thoughts, but you can distract yourself by doing something non-intellectual. Stop reading all the books about religion, as they will make you feel worse.

A friend of mine was compiling a book about dreams, and he started to feel absolutely terrible, and the solution was to ration himself, and not OD on it.

The other thing is to go out and have fun with other people.

Just an added point: most of the spiritual traditions emphasize hard physical work as part of their practice, and there is a good reason for this, that if you just focus on the 'spiritual', it will drive you crazy. Thus most monasteries etc. spend a lot of time growing food, or other physical labour. It is grounding.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#8  Postby trubble76 » Nov 18, 2010 12:10 pm

Passer wrote:Thank you all very much for your replies

I am looking at seeing a therapist and paying for one privately.

Good point about the soul, but I envision the lake of fire as a place where your physical body just somehow keeps on burning and burning.

My trouble is that I jsut cant stop thinking about bad stuff, I really obssess about it all.

Just being here chatting with you all makes it all feel a bit silly really.

And I wholeheartedly agree that my fear of this may be to do with something deeper and more ingrained.


The entire reason why this sort of threat has persisted is because of it's effectiveness. Many of the testimonies from ex-theists indicate this primal fear of firey and etenal punishment is the hardest part of their religion to free themselves from.
It is nonsense, but deeply ingrained nonsense. Do you think your god would prefer people to be nice for the sense of well-being it gives, or because you were so afraid of punishment you would do anything? Evil tyrant or forgiving father?
Would he want you to live a life filled with terror and guilt, or light and happiness?
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#9  Postby Goldenmane » Nov 18, 2010 12:20 pm

Passer wrote:Good point about the soul, but I envision the lake of fire as a place where your physical body just somehow keeps on burning and burning.


That doesn't happen, buddy.

Can't happen. You die, the corpse rots (or is burned), you cease to be at death. There is no way for you to experience your corpse being burned over and over again for eternity.

Go light a match, then light it again once the fucking thing's been burnt. Then light it again. And again...

Doesn't fucking happen.

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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#10  Postby Paul G » Nov 18, 2010 12:25 pm

Stop reading about religion. Seriously.

I took a break from it all recently as I was having a few problems and my anxiety levels have decreased dramatically. It's easier said than done, but constantly obsessing over it isn't going to help, it will just make things worse.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#11  Postby DoctorE » Nov 18, 2010 12:28 pm

Look on the bright side, you will meet us all in hell; Good times ;)
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#12  Postby paarsurrey » Nov 18, 2010 12:54 pm

Passer wrote:I also have a few questions:

[1] How, when and by whom was the N.T compiled?


One thing is sure Jesus did not compile the NT; it were perhaps the sinful "disciples" who did it with the collaboration of cunning Paul and the sinful Church, without having any express and lawful authority from Jesus .
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#13  Postby Owdhat » Nov 18, 2010 1:03 pm

You'll be dead so don't worry about it - jump in and enjoy the swim.

Seriously its all shit, think about your relation ship with your real friends in the here and now, thats what matters.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#14  Postby paarsurrey » Nov 18, 2010 1:05 pm

Owdhat wrote:You'll be dead so don't worry about it - jump in and enjoy the swim.



If you don't know how to swim; then please don't jumb.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#15  Postby borealis » Nov 18, 2010 1:11 pm

Passer wrote:
My trouble is that I jsut cant stop thinking about bad stuff, I really obssess about it all.


Passer, I don't know you or your history, but this sounds like multidimensional problem. I don't think it's all about religion, I think religion is just small part of the problem; something your anxiety is currently culminated in. If religion would have never been part of your life, there could be something else now that you'd be objecting your anxiety.
The problem with obsessive thoughts and manners is that they don't always obey rationality very well. Even if we could promise you that there's no such thing as lake of fire, that probably wouldn't be successfull alone. You need therapy, possibly medication. I don't have any wise words for you, so I'll just stick with this virtual comfort:
Image

EDIT: I can answer at least one of your questions. There's absolutely no difference in number of ribs between male and female. Both have 24 ribs. Some individuals might have one pair more or less, but it has nothing to do with sex.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#16  Postby Passer » Nov 18, 2010 1:12 pm

I understand, I will do as you say.

But I have one more worry. When I drop off, I keep getting these vivid images. But one really worried me because in my mind's eye I heard or saw (difficult to really tell) the words 'Wings of healing'. I looked it up and it was this verse:

(Mal 4:2) But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

That shook me, but I think I can explain it. Over the last week or so I came across the verse before it which was this:

(Mal 4:1) "For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

And I remember reading the one after it as well, verse 3. My point is, it was probably buried deep in my mind.

But now I'm scared of hearing words, specific words like 'Mark you are going to hell!'.

Sorry guys, I know I'm pouring all this all over the place but I have been off line for over a week and I have so much to get off my chest.

I'll settle down soon enough hopefully.

What do you know about the subconscious mind?
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#17  Postby babel » Nov 18, 2010 1:14 pm

Passer wrote:What do you know about the subconscious mind?

I know mine is naughty. :naughty2:
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#18  Postby Passer » Nov 18, 2010 1:14 pm

borealis wrote:
Passer wrote:
My trouble is that I jsut cant stop thinking about bad stuff, I really obssess about it all.


Passer, I don't know you or your history, but this sounds like multidimensional problem. I don't think it's all about religion, I think religion is just small part of the problem; something your anxiety is currently culminated in. If religion would have never been part of your life, there could be something else now that you'd be objecting your anxiety.
The problem with obsessive thoughts and manners is that they don't always obey rationality very well. Even if we could promise you that there's no such thing as lake of fire, that probably wouldn't be successfull alone. You need therapy, possible medication. I don't have any have any wise words for you, so I'll just stick with this virtual comfort:
Image

This, 100%
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#19  Postby Passer » Nov 18, 2010 1:18 pm

It's cruel mental torture. To think words on a page written about 90 AD, in a book that only got approval by men around 370 AD is causing me so much mental anguish.

Why do I still say a silent prayer to God when I receieve food? Or why do I still offer silent prayers?

It scares me and I feel like I'm being disloyal when I don't pray in the night and mornings anymore.

I came here to test my faith, to find the truth if indeed it be here. I think I found it, but it really is very scary indeed.
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Re: A Genuine Cry for Help

#20  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Nov 18, 2010 1:25 pm

Passer, i reckon hell is for these people:

Image

They are the ones responsible for the modern day concepts of eternal torture. Idiots make concepts (like this) up for the sole reason of scaring more people into their cults. If i were to tell you, if you don't believe in Zeus your going to be frozen on the planet of bunny rabbits for eternity you wouldn't believe me. So ignore them too :D

People with brain cells should be more focused on reality, we only have 80 years to experience this place:

Image

At the end of it, you can sit there and say 'I got the chance to experience this, and i made the most of it'. This universe only has about 5 billion years left in it, so i can't see how an afterlife (good or bad) could work out anyway.

Screw thinking about it. An All-Knowing God would reward you for making the most of the experience he'd given you anyway. Rather than protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers like the 'hell crew', just enjoy life, because thats exactly what they don't want you to be doing! Religions just want to ruin it for everybody :yuk:
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