Life Religion

GOD…Do you believe? Part 1: My Search for Enlightenment


For most of my life, I struggled with Christianity and religion.  I grew up in a family that rarely went to church.  We never talked about it, never went to church, and never prayed before a meal.  I never had an opinion on it until I was 18 and in the Marine Corps.  I witnessed my fellow Marines happy and talking with them, they attributed it to GOD.  I figured so many people could not be wrong.

I started my quest for enlightenment.  In the process, I visited many churches, many denominations—Methodist, Baptist, Protestant, Catholic, Lutheran, and others.  I met many people in all those churches.  All of them seemed nice at church.  They would introduce me to other people.  Before long, I shook many hands and made some friends.  Being the observant type, I noticed how they acted in church and when they were at home or out with friends.  A lot of them supposedly live their life by the bible but actually, they live by their interpretation of the bible, when it is convenient, or not at all.  In my opinion, if you say you live by the bible then you are a Saint and commended for doing so.  However, as I pointed out previously the majority of people that I have met did not.  They went to church for forgiveness of their sins but then they went right back out and commit the same sins repeatedly.  If you were living by the bible then you strived to improve yourself not to commit the same sins.

I had to keep in mind that I did not meet all of the people in the congregations so I based my findings on a subset of them.  In my conclusion, it seemed that people that called themselves “very religious” that go to church every Sunday and practice their faith were mostly hypocrites.  After meeting all of them, it put a sour feeling within me.

I know I know…you’re going to say that we are not all like that.  That may be true and I commend you who are devoted to your religion.  Unfortunately, I have failed to see that.  I can honestly say that I have met only a handful of people that have wholeheartedly committed their lives to their GOD.  Some have said you cannot judge a mass by a few but I found that I could get a consensus from my findings.  Many people will defend their religion and try to get me to go to their church but I have done all that.  I had to find what is right for me.  The ferocious conflict continued inside my heart.

All that being said they all had one thing in common.  I felt that my heart and soul did not belong there.  I thought not everyone fits into the conventional religious denominations.  It’s time I tried something else.  My quest continued.


12 thoughts on “GOD…Do you believe? Part 1: My Search for Enlightenment

  1. Indira

    In my opinion, religion is all about love, compassion, compatibility, friendship and honesty. One need not go to temple, church for showing they are religious. Going there is not bad either .

  2. renxkyoko

    I hope you find what you’re searching for. I was born Catholic. I didn’t have to choose. Although I ‘m a practicing Catholic, I question some of the Church’s teachings… in fact I question some of the stuff I read in the Bible. But I feel in my heart , if I really need to belong to an organized religion, I’d prefer to be a catholic. catholicism is horizontal. We have been taught that no matter how many times you go to church and pray and adore the Lord, they mean nothing if you don’t treat well those who have less in life . ( Note: catholic charities) The Church hierarchy had done horrible things, in the past (Inquisition) and current ( pedophile priests ) , but they have done more good than bad. But that’s just me.

    1. Frank

      In all my research and searching, there is one thing that I have and that is a respect for all religions. I may not agree with them but I do respect the teachings. Thanks for the comment. Take care and have a wonderful day!

  3. Anupadin

    Hi Frank, it looks as though you are on the same path I was a few years back. Keep trying, you would not believe the exhilaration you feel when you find the right faith for you.

    @Hari, you have it to a tee. It is about changing your heart, your mind, and the way you interact with other sentient beings, not just about going through the motions or asking for forgiveness more often.

    Namaste my friends ~ Anupadin

    1. Frank

      Thanks for the feedback and your thoughts.

  4. heartflow2013

    Wonderful observations! Looking forward to part 2 (and three, and four?) 😉

  5. Hari Qhuang

    I am not a Christian but I can totally understand how you feel.
    As a Buddhist, I have seen many people I know decided to be more religious by being a vegetarian or visiting the temple more often. By doing so, they hoped to have clearer mind, more peaceful life and all the other good and holy things.
    Well, the thing is, they did not change themselves much besides their diets and praying schedule. They are still rude, arrogant and all the other things they used to be.
    What is chanting a thousand sutras for, if you use the same mouth to hurt other people? What is becoming a vegetarian for, if it is only so that you can criticize other people for not being one?

    1. heartflow2013

      Excellently expressed, Hari! Thank you! ☼ tomas 🙂

    2. Frank

      My sentiments exactly!!! Being more religious is more than just changing your schedule, it is a lifestyle change. Thanks for the commment.

  6. thehappyhugger

    I have similar feelings. I look forward to part two.

  7. kybedard

    Couldnt have said it better

  8. risinghawk

    “so many people could not be wrong.” Oh yes they could! In truth, NO ONE can be “right.” It’s all about your personal experience and perspective. Whatever “God” may be, I am certain that this power does not conform to religious dogma, but takes one by the hand and leads to the path that is most appropriate.

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