Social Anxiety Forum - View Single Post - I think I'm losing my faith
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 08:31 PM
Recipe For Disaster
SAS Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Michigan
Gender: Male
Age: 36
Posts: 3,255
Originally Posted by ingsoc3125 View Post
Just a bit of a preamble: As the title of this thread suggests, this is about a crisis of faith I'm currently experiencing. I don't want to exclude anyone from the conversation at all, but I'd prefer that anyone who feels led to comment be someone who has personally experienced doubts in their faith and can share their stories on that.

I've been a Christian all of my life. Missing church on Sunday or Wednesday growing up was extremely rare. I was very active in youth group, as well as the Baptist Collegiate Ministry in all four years of college. But now that I've graduated things are starting to change.

I live at home and still attend church with my parents, but over these past few months God has started to feel far away. You might ask, "Well, have you been spending time with God (i.e. reading your Bible) or praying about it?" The Bible reading, not much; prayer once and a while. I guess one might say that the lack of both of those things is the root of my problem. Well, here's what's troubling me: I feel like when we spend a lot of time studying the Bible or prayer, we end up deceiving ourselves and become convinced that we feel the presence of a higher power that isn't really there. I go into church with as open of a mind as I can muster up, but when I try to make myself sing during worship services or listen to a service, I just don't feel anything. When I try to pray I feel like I'm talking to the wall.

Any stories you have of struggles with faith would be great. I want to believe in a loving, higher power and that there's something better for us after this life, but it's gotten so hard to do that.
You're just going through what's normal to go through on the spiritual path. The pleasant spiritual feelings you get whilst in church or in prayer are called consolation and God gives them to help lead us to Him, but at times he also withdraws them in order to ween us from our dependence on them because the spiritual life is not about attaining pleasant emotions.

You need to gain a deeper understanding of what the spiritual life is all about. Then when something like what you are going through happens, you will remember reading about it somewhere and realize its actually a normal part of the journey and then it can actually increase your faith instead of decreasing it will serve as a sort of sign post.

The following books you may find helpful:

Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross (this would by my first recommendation)
Diary of St. Faustina
Self Abandonment to Divine Providence by Fr. J.P. Caussade
The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila.

It doesn't surprise me that you attended Baptist ministry. The Baptist denomination tends to ignore these nuances of the spiritual life and downplay the importance of the saints. I've heard their music and worship services criticized for being overly emotional and so it only makes sense that now that you are struggling to feel the emotions, your faith is weakening.
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