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Why am I still going on?

Hey folks, HMM here.

I haven’t been active much here. I’ve been super busy in my life and in all honesty that is the reason I’ve returned here.

If anyone has seen my previous posts, they would know that right now I am struggling with the idea of death.

Recently, it’s begun to spiral out of control. I will have moments in the day, not triggered by anything, where I will suddenly freeze up, panic, start to sweat, and feel sick as I feel the world’s smallness and the largness of the universe consume me. The idea that everything will not exist destroys me, and for sometimes up to half an hour I stay, trapped in my mind, freaking out and feeling helpless.

A side effect of this has been a questioning of why I am still here. Why am I still doing what I do? Everything has become dull, less exciting. I smile but it all feels like a facade. I’ve been working hard, but not appreciating the rewards of my earnings. I got into college and I even got extra scholarship money because they were so impressed by my artwork, yet I am unphased. Teachers, my parents, my friends, they all compliment my artwork and my hard work to get ahead in my classes, yet it never feels like enough to make me feel like it’s worthwhile.

Every day I feel time slipping through my fingers like a slick liquid I can’t contain, all beginning to puddle up and show me to my inevitable doom as it grows more and more, and one day will drown me. Every day another night goes by, the clock keeps ticking and I can’t slow it down. Every day I see go by and I know it’s over. I can’t get excited for events I usually look forward to anymore because I know they too, will end.

I have attempted to develop new beliefs about what comes after life to comfort me, but nothing has worked. All I can think about is the solid black wall of empty void that awaits. All that I can come to the conclusion of is the ultimate demise of my body and my consciousness, and that no matter what I tell myself, that is a very possible ending to my life. Even if I somehow manage to “escape”, the heat death of the universe will still consume me one day. Perhaps my knowledge on such subjects has been more of a hindering hand rather than a helping one.

This has been a difficult time for me. Though I know it’s normal for people in my age range to suffer through existential crisis, I feel like I am suffering more than I should be.

I have been considering sending this to my school psychiatrist (of whom I have a very good personal connection with outside of school), but I fear “The Talk” with my parents about what I’m going through. They know I have struggled with depression and anxiety in the past, but I’ve been putting up a facade of doing well. Not to mention that my parents are Christian, and if they figured out that I don’t believe in the Christian fsith any longer, I am afraid of resentment.

I just want help, advice, anything.

Thank you guys in advance. I love you all for helping me through so much, I just need to be pointed in the right direction at the moment. Thank you

-HMM

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Do this.

You need therapy to help you work thru all this.

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Wow! I’m impressed by the depth and scope of the things that you’re concerned about. It sounds like it’s time consuming, almost life consuming.

Thinkers down through the ages have considered these same questions. I’m sorry that instead of it being a wonder and adventure for you, it’s become a burden to you.

I was going to suggest a Psalm for you until I got to the end of your post! I’m not sure it would be well received. I’m sorry that your parents put pressure on you to “be Christian.” Maybe you put some of that pressure on yourself as well to keep the peace. It’s too difficult to try to live one way for your parents, or anyone else for that matter, when your heart’s not in it. I’m a Jesus follower. His way makes sense to me, but it’s taken years to come to that understanding. People who’ve grown up in the church often have pressure put on them to “behave,” to be acceptable. It’s dangerous to "split yourself in two, living one way as a show on the outside, wearing a mask to hide what you’re really thinking/believing on the inside. It’s madness, kinda like you described in your post. At the very least you should be allowed to express your doubts.

I’ve found the beauty of Jesus is that he loves me in my sin sickness just as I am. He’s the Great Physician and because I’m made in his image he knows how to heal my brokenness. I don’t feel compelled to tell you this because the church says I should, but because I’ve fallen in love with who he is.

My heart goes out to you my fellow sojourner. I’m close by if you want to continue the conversation.

When I stated I was not a Christian, it was not me saying that I have some sort of fear or dislike for Christians. I find many of the teachings of the Bible to be good lessons and genuinely good things fo follow, but unfortunately, for the corrupted image of Christianity as it stands now, the battle of death in my head, and statements in the Bible that are said as rules, I cannot accept those things into my life. I also have a much more sophisticated reason for not wanting Christianity in my life, but I will give you those reasons, and also this one:

Last year, my grandmother died. Up until that point, I was Christian. Sure I had my doubts, but at the time I believed Jesus was my savior and that he died on the cross for my sins, and that I would go to heaven.

My grandmother was a huge Christian. Though my grandfather spoke of it more than she did (He is a legal immigrant that came from Mexico in search of a better life, and found Christianity as his answer) she was definitely devout in her faith.

I grew up seeing my grandma every Sunday after church, and I would hang out at her place while my dad hunted if it was in season or spent time elsewhere. She made the most tasty Christmas cookies I have ever had, and she was the definition of a sweet old lady. She had a kind laugh and a warm smile.

Unfortunately, I also grew up to see her get dementia, and to see it worsen. I was the only lucky child in my generation of the family to see my grandma before her dementia kicked in. It was so hard on me, it made me upset. My dad doesn’t show his emotions as much as I do, but I knew he was upset.

On February 13th, she had a stroke. We knew she was in tough shape, but it still shook the family. The next day, on valentines day, she died. This sent me into an emotional frenzy, and it didn’t hit me till hours later.

The funeral was very Christian based, since my grandma was a Christian. I believe that as soon as I lifted my grandmother into her grave, my belief in Christianity was buried with her.

Why would God put my grandma in so much pain and agony? Why must something so cruel happen to a human being, and their fellow human beings? It’s not right. I then began to question the validity of my beliefs, and came to the conclusion that I do not believe in the Christian faith any longer.

I would like to keep talking if you are okay with talking. I doubt that you will be able to change my mind, but I am willing to listen.

I am not about changing your mind, but thank you for the honor of conversation and for being willing to hear me too. I don’t have all the answers to my questions either. I’ve come to the place where I don’t expect to get them.

My heart aches with you in the loss of your Grandma and for the suffering she went through. I’m saddened for the pain you experienced and for how it also shook the foundations of your beliefs. Though the shaking of your beliefs is probably a good thing, while being disconcerting at the same time…

My Mom was a women of great faith too, like your grandma. My mom battled against cancer for seven years, the last two with dementia. Back then I had a hard time acknowledging the dementia. I said things like, “Time’s divided for her now, she lives in the past.” I was fortunate that she recognized me until the end…

I found comfort in these few paragraphs from The Promise is His Presence by Glenna Marshall. The author is talking about her grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease:

“She wasn’t alone in that world of confusion. My grandmother loved Jesus, long and hard. Her money, her time, her affection, her home all were spent as an outpouring of her love for Christ and of His love for her. The Holy Spirit had livened her dead heart by grace through saving faith in Christ. Alzheimer’s could not separate her from the love of Christ. Even in her isolated globe of confusion she was never alone. God did not abandon her in the darkness of dementia, because He always keeps His promise of presence. The Holy Spirit does not depart from the ones he has sealed for an eternal inheritance. My grandmother’s inheritance is God himself; he certainly would not leave her when her mind was incapable of remembering him.”

Do you find that comforting, at least on behalf of your Grandma, even if you don’t agree with it yourself?

I have some other thoughts in response to your questions…They regard God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. Many many books have been written about it…I’ll get back to you again.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of what I wrote. If I’ve responded in a way that it seems to you like I’ve not understood what you said, please let me know.

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Your responses are totally appropriate. Though I am no longer Christian, I don’t seek out things to disprove about the Christian faith, I only seek to point out those who are hypocritical and use the Bible for their own agenda. You, my friend, seem like a good Christian.

My father speaks often of being a good Christian. He says he doesn’t go to church, he over eats, he swears, and he does all of this on a regular basis. Yet God loves him for the soul that exists on the inside of his body, and not the physical body he has now. This doesn’t mean that you pray and you can sin again, but it means that you are forgiven for your sins and you are loved by God.

I do find comfort in that passage. If I’m going to be frank with you, it is hard for me to hear people say that everything in their life has become good because of God, or that they find peace because of God, but it’s become more of an understanding for me, let me continue.

In the context of my non belief, I believe there is no Christian God. My grandmother however, did. And she believed hard. I’m convinced that because my grandmother believed in God, that her suffering was less than it would have been if she was struggling with the same issues I am now. Over time, I have begun to understand that Christianity is not a faith or a religion to some people, but rather a way of life. Sometimes it is the only way of life, or the only thing to hang on to. Christianity has held some of the most broken people together, and even if you don’t believe in anything that the Bible says, you can look and see people who, by sheer willpower, have gone through and toughed through hard situations, all because the Bible gave them meaning, purpose, and a reason to go on.

Right now, I am struggling with the lack of purpose. My Christian faith fed that to me, but now I do not have that hand to eat from. I am left without answers to questions that I want so badly to be solved. Do I have a soul? What is a soul? Are we here for a reason, or are we just advanced apes dancing around on a dying rock? Questions like these leave me hopeless and empty, where, often I feel Christian faith, even though I would be ignorant to my own beliefs, would help me find comfort in thoughts like those.

I have an interesting food for thought question for you; if immorality medicine came about in your lifetime, would you take it? Assume that this immortality treatment made you go to age 25 permanently. You are not unkillable, but you are more resistant to diseases and physical bodily damage.

Would you desire to be immortal, even if the rapture occurred? Do you believe it would be a sin to 3xtend human life? It is something I am hoping for, because as of right now, I am not ready to die after another 50 or so years. I want to live hundreds of years.

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind reply.

I grew up in the church. I did have an understanding of the salvation story at a young age, but like many others didn’t really understand that the same Jesus that offers salvation is the same one who walks through this life with me as my Helper. So I’ve struggled most of my life feeling “not good enough.” I would try so hard to be good and burn out. Then I would intentionally be bad, sometimes very bad, and I couldn’t live that life either. It’s been a very hard journey for me. I have lived years as a hypocrite, playing the role to whatever group of people I was with. It’s still a process, but I have come to better understand the Grace way.

I think true Christianity is a relationship with a Person not a framework to live my life within. It sounds like you lost that when you stopped following the Christian lifestyle. It makes sense that you would have questions about who you are and what you’re doing here. Precepts you once used to define yourself and your purpose are no longer valid for you. Feeling hopeless and empty seems reasonable to me.

It also sounds like you may see some hypocrisy in your Dad’s life. That’s a hard one. Because we’re all looking for authentic life. And we know when it’s not happening in our own or the lives of others (though sometimes we can be fooled for awhile). We want people, especially Christians, to be humble and acknowledge when they’ve blown it, though usually we get defensiveness and blame shifting, with some self-righteousness mixed in…

I really like your question about immortality. You probably know that as a Christian I believe that my life will go on, even after I die. I see this life as another womb, so to speak, getting me ready to be rebirthed into eternity. I don’t think extending human life is a sin though. I think we do it now already with medicine. I think there are good reasons to not want to move on from this life, even in the midst of the chaos and confusion of it, there is a measure of order and peace and beauty and love… and the alternative is unknown. The unknown can be scary…

Have you ever read or watched Tuck Everlasting?

A few thoughts about purpose:
A Christian would say my purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. So I can do that if I’m cleaning a toilet or working for a Fortune 500 company (I’ve done both). I don’t have to be fraught with anxiety or fear failure because no matter what I’m doing I’m doing it for God. I encourage you to be the best person you can be no matter what you’re doing. I think it will give you a sense of fulfillment. Let what you’re doing at the moment (if it’s not against the law😉) be your purpose.

What do you think about this quote by C.S. Lewis?
"If I feel in myself desires which nothing in the world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Take care~

Tuck everlasting sounds familiar, though I can’t put my finger on it.

Right now, I make scary Halloween props/masks/decor. To break it down for you, what I do right now is the following: sculpt, make a mold, pour latex into the mold and pull out a blank casting, then I paint that casting. From there I go shopping at goodwill to find clothes to match whatever creature I’ve just made. Here is an example of a zombie I did recently.

Through our thoughtful conversations, I’ve had to question weather there is a higher being or not. It is easy to imagine that we are all monkeys dancing on a dying rock, but for some reason that doesn’t seem good enough. Do we really exist just by pure chance? Why do we exist if it is just to die? Simply to carry on a species? And for what?

I don’t see myself returning to religion, but perhaps I can make my own beliefs based around things I find true from certain religions.

In my personal opinion, and you will not agree with this, but it is my opinion: I believe that, if there is a higher force, it is not one of the entities that humans have described in their time of writing about religion. Instead it is a entity that exists beyond human comprehnsion, and the stories that came from different parts of religion all source from this one entity, but changed the meaning as the stories were told over and over and over again, and people fought over what was right. Stories have been told since humans had the capacity to communicate. I am convinced that if a higher power was to exist, that they would have shown themselves to humanity long ago, and their existence was only told through word of mouth.

I still struggle with the concept of not existing any longer. I hope I do not offend you, because it’s not my intention, but I cannot find a better way to phrase it. Ignorant bliss seems better than accepting a cold hard dark wall of nothing. I am not saying you are ignorant, but it is more in terms of my understanding of my beliefs. Think of it this way; I can tell myself I believe there is an afterlife, but there exists a chance in which there isn’t. I cannot ignore this chance without solid proof or reasoning. Therfore I consider other beliefs with caution because I would think of myself as ignorant to that idea. Does that make sense? Again, I am not calling you ignorant or unwise. It is just a way for me to describe how I think and feel for my own beliefs and thoughts.

I have another question for you friend. What do you consider to be Hell? Do you consider it to be fire and brimstone, or do you consider it to be a more personal level of torture. I myself believe that hell is reserved for only the most evil human beings, and I like to think that in the Christian religion, it is more about a limbo than hell. People who do not know about God do not deserve to go to hell. How is it fair that somebody who can’t comprehend God (someone with mental disabilities) will go to hell?

I think that instead of hell, people who do not accept Jesus into their lives go into a sort of limbo. They exist in a version of our world, but instead it’s filled with more violent versions of sins (more crime, more inhumane actions, more sadness) but also includes never ending joys that Christians are told not to partake in.

I do not believe in Christianity, but that is my concept of hell. I’m curious about yours.

Eager to hear back from you friend.

-HMM

You, my friend, are an artist! Is it just a hobby or are you selling your masks? I would think there is much demand for them especially in October!

You ask some tough questions. I like the conversation! Thank you for the honor of it and the time you’re putting into it. I can not give you definite answers. I would say that I do not know certainly, but have come to know confidently. That’s the best I’ve got at this point in my life.

I think having the ability to ask the question, “Are we all monkeys dancing on a dying rock?” answers the question that we are not. Where would the question even come from if there was no possibility of the answer being that there is more? Where would that question come from if we were here by chance alone? How could we evolve from a primordial soup to have a purpose? Have you heard the example of putting all the pieces of a watch into a clothes dryer and have it come out put together and telling the correct time. They say it’s possible, but its not going to happen. Did you know that the eye cannot evolve? For an eye to be an eye so that we can see to
many things have to happen at once. They say it’s possible, but I don’t think that it did.

I think there is some merit to figuring out what you believe, and how that will influence how you live your life. It’s wearying to always have to sort out how to act. Though there are many religions to pick and choose from, and I would agree that you can find some truth in all of them, you know…I’m following the Jesus way. Do you know of another religion where you do not have to work to be loved and accepted in the eyes of the god?

Your comment is of interest to me, “I am convinced that if a higher power was to exist that they would have shown themselves to humanity long ago…” Jesus claims to have done that, and claims that he’ll do it again.

I am not offended by your thoughts or the possibility that I may be living in “blissful ignorance,” though it will not be blissful if I am persecuted or die one day for my belief in Jesus! There’s a verse in the Bible that warns of the possibility. I do not accept that I am following blindly. But no one can know for certain, this is where faith (the evidence of the unseen) comes in for me. I take what I read and learn from others, and I choose to agree, with my whole being (mind, will, emotions, and spirit) that the gospel makes sense. I cannot say I know for certain, but I know with confidence. It is enough for me.

Do I believe in hell? I guess that depends on your definition of hell, which you gave me, which does sound like a continuation of this life, but just after death, a continuation off the good and the bad, just better and worse than here.
I think Hell is the absence of God, though I think he will have authority over it. I don’t think it’ll be a party centered around the Satan. The torture and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, I think, will come from the eternal realization of the loss of all that your heart has always longed for. What does my heart long for? Being known and loved for who I am in my inner most being and being cared for in a way that I want to be the best that I can be for the lover of my soul.

Your questions make me think. I know books and books and books have been written about these things. Thanks for reading my few thoughts.
Hope to hear from you again~

Hey again,

I’m intrigued by your response. The concept of the human consciousness to think of our purpose meaning we have a purpose is a good thought. It is amazing how intelligent we are as beings. Human consciousness is something that I do not think can go away. To be unconscious does not necessarily mean that you are not there, but rather you are in a temporary sleep. Maybe the same logic can be applied to death. We are not gone, but instead we wake up elsewhere. It is a pleasant thought.

I have also come to terms with the fact that as I age, life will feel like it is tiring. I am young, and I have so much I want to do. But after you do those things when you’re in your late 20’s, late 30’s, it becomes a question of “what now?”. Sometimes it is easy to forget how most older people are okay with accepting death because they have been alive for so long. Perhaps it is more scary to me because I am young and feel that my life being taken away would be meaningless to my existence.

By the way, the “blissful ignorance” comment was not supposed to be an insult. I hope it did not come off that way. I just couldn’t figure out a better way to word it. Let us both hope that our beliefs do not become demonized in government or society to the point of punishment.

Another interesting thought popped into my head today. I am familiar with the creation theory of Christianity, and as I study human anatomy and as I sculpt, it is easy to see the saying of God sculpting us from clay and other natural materials. To think that our bones fit our organs perfectly, that our muscles work without fail, is amazing. The human body is so sophisticated and its skeleton is a work of art. The beauty of a man-made machine can not compare with the beauty of flesh and blood. The complicated shapes of animal and human forms alike are interesting to me just because they all look like artwork. A human skull, despite its macabre definition by first glance, is a fine art piece by itself. The shape that it has, the sharp edges and smooth contrasts are all things that are amazing.

I think one of the ultimate tests of religion will be what happens if we confirm the existence of extra terrestrial life. What then? What do you think? In a universe that supposedly exists for infinity, do you think we are alone?

-HMM

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Hey you!

I didn’t take the “blissful ignorance” comment as an insult at all. I believe with confidence, not certainty, so there are times when I have to say, “Help my unbelief.”

I have not come to terms with the fact that as I age life becomes tiring! I do become physically tired the older I get though. But I’m enjoying adventure and desire for life as I age. I agree that the question is still there to be answered, “What now?” I think every stage of life, except infancy, asks that question. I’ve been asking that question a lot the past few years. I’m at a new stage in my life and I’m having to figure out wise ways to use the time that I have now. I think I tried to explain myself in another note, that I think my purpose in life is to live it well regardless of what I’m doing. It’s been a challenge for me in every stage of life. The more I live in the light of who God is and who I am in Him I find more freedom from fear and failure, real or perceived. I believe that I’m loved in the midst of it all, so I’m OK with not knowing exactly what to do. I’m just trying to live well day by day.

It makes my heart ache for you that you don’t have an anchor to hold onto right now. In a way, I think it’s a good thing, even though it can be disorienting. I’m wondering if you didn’t meet the real Jesus during your time in Christianity, maybe someday you’ll find each other. That’s the adventurous part of life! And you’re making your way. There’ll always be ups and downs. Something about our human nature doesn’t want the downs. Do you agree?

I’m not really OK with accepting death either! But I have come to terms with the fact that death will come for me, that my physical body will give up at some point. But like you mentioned, I don’t think we ever end, we just don’t know exactly what ‘the next’ will be like.

I most definitely believe that there are other beings. I don’t think there are other civilizations out there separate from the Creator. There are spiritual being that interact with humans, angels and demons and other celestial beings.

Someone I dearly love has de-converted, has left Christianity. She thinks that the God of the Bible is capricious at best, but more likely mean. Do you think that the current culture ascribes goodness to the Satan and badness to God?

I’ll be away over the weekend, so I’ll check back Monday.

I reread what I wrote and I am definitely coming from my Christian pov. Does that bother you? I’m not sure how to answer otherwise…

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Your Christian POV does not bother me. It’s insightful, actually.

I think that in today’s society, especially in America, good things are written by Christianity. Very often I see people tell teens that are acting unruly that they need to go to church, and that our generation is unholy.

Now, I often see a lot of confusion about Satan and Satanism in the society today. When someone says Satanism, many Christians are led to think of praising and worshipping the goat headed demon Baphomet, or something of that nature.

Satanism is nothing like that. Satanism is along the same lines as atheism, but instead is more focused on the actual force against Christianity.

It is not “we worship the devil and sacrifice babies”, but more of “this religion feels oppressive so we will use signs, symbols, and language that actively oppose the religion because we think it is bad” hence the name “Satanism”

Because I don’t believe in God, I also don’t believe in Satan. I don’t think anyone actually praises Satan, and if they do, good for them I guess.

Does that whole thing make sense? I’d be happy to explain more.

I agree, humans flock to the ups of life rather than the downs. I watched an interesting documentary talking about the eventual point in time in which humans and the metaverse (no, not the one Facebook has right now) will be one. We will attach our brains to computers, and we will be able to do whatever we want in a digital world, and it will feel very real.

Humans, naturally, will want a perfect world. The problem with that is, humans will get bored. There is nothing to fix, nothing interesting that happens when everything is perfect.

The theory is, eventually, we’d naturally end up living life like we do right now because it’s the perfect balance of bad and good.

Did you find this interesting? I know I will never live to see the day of my mind being hooked up to a computer, but I think it’s interesting.

Happy Monday (if you’re reading this on Monday)

-HMM

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I have not forgotten you! I had a busy weekend and just crashed yesterday!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I’m interested in knowing your thoughts about “good and evil.” If there is no God or no Satan where do you think “good and evil” come from, or do you not think of anything as “good or evil?” If you think it comes from within people, how do you think it came about?

My very limited knowledge is that there is The Church of Satan and it’s members worship Satan much as Christians worship Jesus. I also understand that there is the occult, the secret, non public worship of Satan that wields spiritual power for nefarious reasons. These are very different entities, but may have places that overlap, intentionally or unintentionally.

I think that the idea and possibility of a metaverse is frightening. It sounds like the eventual outcome would be mind control, a worldwide cult. I do think we’re already part way, maybe half way there, maybe even more than half way. We’re already very tied to our devices. And I think its becoming increasingly difficult to reason for ourselves. Logic is no longer something taught in school or at home. It’s wouldn’t be so much of a problem, I guess, if those running the programs had our best interests at heart, but I don’t think that’s the case. But we shall see.

I’ve been thinking about that word “perfect.” In the creation story Adam and Eve couldn’t get it perfect with the figs leaves. And until Jesus, the Bible claims no one was able to live a perfect human life in relationship with God the way humans were meant to. I have this standard of perfection that I’ve created, but it’s not attainable for me, and it may be not enough or too much for the next person. If there is perfect, I think it comes from outside me, from God and is something to be received. I do know it’s something that lurks in the back of my mind wanting to be attained, an all satisfying relationship. I don’t really think that’ll ever come from the proposed metaverse. Seems like there may be a God copy cat…

We, as humans, don’t know any other way to live than we do. We live within the tension of good and bad like you said, keeps us from getting bored. But Christianity does give the possibility, though we can’t comprehend it, of living in another way. Does this mean there won’t be challenges? I think heaven will be full of creativity and challenges and sense of accomplishment under the tutelage and goodness of God. But without the presence of evil within or influencing form without.

When you were in Christianity did you have an understanding of the God of the Bible as being triune, three in one and one in three?

Hope you are well~

Hoping your well, you’re on my mind this morning ~

Hello friend,
You have gone silent. I hope that you are well.

Your very first question, “Why am I still going on?” came to mind today. Life can be so very difficult, sometimes so that going on seems insurmountable. Take courage!

Please, if you don’t want to interact with me anymore, I’m not offended, just let me know, but don’t let that keep you from finding other care here at Heart Support if you want it.

Take good care of you~

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I apologize. I have been quite busy in these last weeks and things have been stressful. I have slightly fallen back on my work and I’ve needed to catch up. I am currently struggling with the iconic “senioritis” where I don’t want to do anything because the year is so close to its end.

I believe that good and evil are not inherited at birth, but rather exist as an element of their environment. I took a semester of criminology, and I learned a lot about how people that grow up in certain conditions become evil people. Take Hitler, for example. Possibly the most evil man that has existed in the last 200 years. I believe he was not born evil- I believe he was born just like every other person was born. But after failing his dream career in art, he became angry and looked for someone to be angry at (Primarily Jewish people) and became brainwashed after WWI with alt right extremist German government propaganda. However, I do not believe that in the existence of space and time, if we just removed hitler from existence, that evil in itself would have never festered. I believe that things so evil as Hitler exist for a reason. There is no justifying what Hitler did. Humanity mourns and shakes their fists at that man and his henchmen of evildoers. Yet, we came together. Talked about it. We all could nod our heads and agree that Hitler was an evil that was rightfully in the worst-case scenario in his end days. He paid for his behavior because things like that are to teach the human race that evil and good exist.

But, this begs the question, “what if Hitler did not achieve any sort of government power?”. I believe that something just as wicked would have existed in his place. Perhaps not in that time, but in a time before or after. This links in with my alternate reality theory. There are infinite realities in which someone makes a slightly different choice than themselves in this universe. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the joke about a time traveler kicking a rock or moving a chair, and then JFK’s assassin missing his shot. This joke has some leverage, because even the smallest decision could have the upmost results. It brings me comfort to know that there are realities in which I chose wrong, or things went worse for me, because I did not make those choices and I am in good standing.

My Satanism comment was probably a bit rash. Yes, the church of Satan exists, yes, evil cults exist, but Satanism in its most generic form exists to pick at Christianity’s hypocrisy and the way that it is taught. I am not saying the Bible and pure faith is hypocritical, rather that the people who throw the Bible belt on their children and other people close to them are in fact hypocritical.

I’ve been doing lots of research into the satanic panic that occurred in the 80’s. Things were changing, teenagers were not as involved in church as their parents were, the economy was struggling and so was the political climate. The satanic panic brought about, in a way, “ironic” satanic music and art. This art and music was not designed to worship satan, but rather to confuse and rebel against Christians who they felt had been forcing their religion upon them. Many albums and song names in the metal and rock genre had Hell/Satan themes because people during the satanic panic called these bands satanic, so they rode with it. Does that make sense?

When I was in my Christian faith, I was raised under a Lutheran teaching. I am not sure how that influences my branch of Christianity, but I believed that 3 entities existed: God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. They are one in each other yet exist on different planes.

I apologize for the scare, I’ve been meaning to get back to you, but as previously mentioned, I’ve been running through some hurdles. I hope you are not offended, and I would like to continue our conversations : )

-HMM

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Glad to know your silence was only a case of “senioritis.” I have it too.

Thanks for responding. And I’ll get back to you again, but I’ve a pretty busy week this coming week. Your thoughts are provoking and I want to give them a respectable amount of time to consider.

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It’s taken me longer to get back to you than I thought it would. I hope that work is going well for you and that you’ve moved through the “senioritis.” I think I have spring fever now!

I’ve thought some about what you wrote. There was a time when I did not think humanity had a sinful nature. I thought we were born basically good and then corrupted by our environment, as you say, I take that to mean family of origin, upbringing, social influences, etc. I now understand that to not be the Biblical point of view. My personal experience with my son, when he was 6 months old also changed my mind! Although, to your point, he had had six months of environmental influences. But from then on I was aware that no one ever has taught kids to sin! And when they do something wrong, they will do everything they can to deny it, even if there is no fear of punishment, somewhat reminiscent of the Adam and Eve story and then covering themselves with fog leaves.

I’ve also been thinking about free will choice. Did Hitler have the free will to choose between good and evil, or would someone else have done great evil if he hadn’t, as you suggested. Were his choices completely free will choices or was there another force at work? And if there was, did Hitler put himself in bondage to it, so that his choices were really his own even if he was influenced. I don’t have to take responsibility for my actions if it’s not my fault, if I can blame it on environmental influences. I can’t accept that. There are some people that have been viciousness hurt at some.point in their lives and they respond by helping those who have been hurt in the same way. Then there are others that have been well cared for that basically loose it! Though I would never argue that our environment does not influence us to some exptent. I think the idea of total depravity, meaning that every area of our lives has some measure of sinfulness (could be ever so small) or disobedience to the will of God makes more sense to me now. We love in a culture where we are constantly trying to tell ourselves we’re good enough and, I think most people will eventually admit that they know it’s not so. We know deep down that we don’t quite measure up. I remind my self often that I don’t measure up, but I’m loved irregardless.

I liked your thoughts about infinite possibilities, also the pebble in the pond anology. I do understand the God of the Bible being big enough to deal with all of the possibilities so that makes sense to me. And with all the choices I’ve made, both good and not good I’m thankful they are overseen by someone who has my best at heart. I don’t feel left to the whims of the unseen, but have faith in the personal relationship that Jesus offers.

I don’t think there’s a good answer in the here and now for hypocrisy. Jesus came for the sin sick. Why some receive that and go on the live very changed lives for Christ, and some say they receive forgiveness and go on to commit atrocities, I cannot fully explain. But I do think there is an eternal life after this one. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord, so he will right all the wrongs. So sin is taken out of the way of relationship with God by Jesus, or I can choose not to have a relationship with my Creator if I don’t want it. I can go my own way. I think that is the definition of sin.

Anyway, I know we have different ways of thinking and I’m starting to feel preachy!

I’m reading Delighting in the Trinity by Micheal Reeves. That was the thought behind my question of you understanding of the Trinity.

There was a bit of satanic panic in a neighboring community this past week. A parent wants to start an after school club of The Church of Satan. I hadn’t heard that phrase before though I remember the breaking of albums etc back in the 80’s.

Your thoughts again are welcome.
Take care~

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Hello again, friend

I thought about your commentary on free will and I am thrown back to my Gothic Literature class. In the Victorian era, the church was the word and the only word. Society bent to the will of the church. However, many authors thought that the church was wrong. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a story that was made to rebel against the ideology of the church at that time, because the teaching was that God had already made pre determined futures for us. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde explores evils that man did not admit to doing, because at that time people had a facade of good but a secret of evil. The story says we have free will because good and evil exists, and it’s what we do in that choice, that balance, that dictates our future. Not God or a higher power.

Fun fact, a lot of murders and other crimes occurred at that time because since people were convinced that their future was predetermined, they’d do anything because it didn’t matter in the end.

I’ve thought about what I believe in. If I’m going to be honest, my belief has been shook. I don’t know if I believe in a higher power of any kind, or if truly we live to reproduce and die. It’s been draining me so badly. I’m going to graduate from high-school in the next two months, and then it’s onto college. The world keeps spinning, clocks keep ticking, and it won’t stop. It drives me crazy. I’m getting closer and closer to my grave and I can’t stop to breathe and have control. I feel like I’m turning on a carousel and it won’t stop going, even after I’ve puked up my lunch, and it’s only going faster.

I encourage you just for a moment to imagine a world without the Christian faith. A world where you did not believe what you believe. If we knew with 100 percent certainty that death was the last step, and then darkness, how would you react? For me, I refuse to accept it. I refuse to accept death, and I know all it does is make my situation worse. I hope for life extention technology, so we do not die of age. I hope for better medical advances so we do not die of disease. Yet, despite those things, at some point I will die. We will not exist. I cannot fathom it. I cannot. I don’t know what to do. I can’t ever accept a belief because the intrusive thought of nothingness after death haunts me. I am lost. I am so young yet I am in the mindset of an old man at his deathbed.

Friend, I apologize for my poor mood and struggling. And perhaps it is not something you want to hear. If so, I am sorry. I am struggling with things greater than the assignment I have to submit tomorrow, and it is a battle that I cannot seem to win.

I look forward to your response, and perhaps some comfort.

-HMM

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Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the best descriptions of the human condition in my opinion. You might agree since you brought it up. Paul in Romans 7 (from the Bible) two millennia ago wrote something similar: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my body. What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death?

I am sorry that you live with such angst. You have written similarly before. The world, the flesh and the devil are formidable foes, ones I do not think are conquerable by humanity, though we try our best.

Over the Easter weekend I was thinking about the same question you asked! What if the was no John 3:16? For me, I would have no hope. I have surely tried over the course of my life to fill up the emptiness of my heart with both good and bad things. Nothing has ever satisfied, at least not for long. If I follow the thought to it’s end, I would have no reason to live. I would go on living and loving as best I could, but would find no other purpose in it except for selfishness or to encourage the selfishness in those I love. The turning in on myself, the lifelong self focus would do me in. I’d have no way of rescuing myself or finding satisfying answers from within myself. It would be, I believe utter loneliness, even in the midst of those I love. There would be no point to living, other than for the moment. And for me, that’s never been enough.

I am so proud of you making your way through school, getting ready to graduate, planning to go to college, all in the midst of the mind freak you are living in. I hope that at the very least you will come to enjoy the adventure of life, even as you live with your unanswered questions. One caution, if you don’t mind, would be to take care with the way you live. Like Jekyll and Hyde each choice will move you in one direction or another and have rippling effects like the pebble into the pond. I want all the best for you!

I am honored by your honesty, and hope you find some comfort in the friendship we have here.

CA~

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