Alternative Christian Awakenings

MattWolf said:
As far as my initial "awakening" I would have to say it was when my childhood dog died as I slept, and his spirit/soul/whatever visited me to say goodbye in a very powerful dream.

i had this happen too, except it was not a dream.:) :) :)
I have really enjoyed reading all the threads here and would like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences. Hopefully some of you may find something interesting in my experience towards an alternative, yet Christian philosophy.

When I was a child I was obsessed with God. I was most likely the top student in our weekly religion instruction classes at school, and took a serious interest in the life of Christ. I used to often ask my mother questions about God (much to her despair I suspect) and she always did her best to answer my questions diplomatically. She was Anglican Christian in her background but didn't attend church. I can remember telling my mother, when I was about 8 that when I grew up I would become a nun.

When I was about 13, I made a friend around my age, who attended a pentacostal church and she invited me to come along. For the next 3 years I threw myself into the *born again* Christian doctrine with glee. I loved going to church and spent all my spare time talking about Jesus and the Christian faith with anyone that would listen to me. For someone so young I was very active within the church itself. I was an active force within young christian community, constantly organising bible study meetings, concerts and outtings. I felt incredibly blessed and could constantly see the work of God in eveything. I had found my place spiritually. I left home at 14 to work fulltime and to live with a group of other Christian girls.

Suddenly my Christian world collapsed when I was about 16. In the space of one week, a combination of events occurred. I lost my job and therefore no longer had money to cover rent and travel costs. I was also accused of doing something *wrong* which I hadn't done. One of my best christian friends, and a large group of others suddenly turned against me based on the lies of the *pastor's daughter* who apparently was incapable of being liar, due to the good fortune of being who she was.

I can only say that I crashed fairly hard, but not too hard. I was lucky to not get involved with substance abuse or the *wrong* sort of people. I moved back home and fell into a many month depression where I wouldn't leave my room and it was only the threat from my mother, of being sent to a psychiatrist, that made me get out and start living my life again.. During this time, I had taken a distinct dislike towards Christians, but not of the Christian faith itself. I still loved God and felt that the teachings of Jesus were invaluable.. but I hated Christians, and didn't want to be referred to as a Christian.

For many years after this I set about to explore religion generally and various other spiritual paths. Particularly however I studied the bible critically, looking at it in it's original greek and hebrew, and it's origins in making. Where I had blindly followed as a Christian before, I now questioned the bible and it's history and it is here that my beliefs differ greatly to the general Christian perspective.

My dislike of Christians eventually resolved itself. :eek: When I was 19 my mother died and 2 days later on Christmas day, a catholic priest turned up at my house. He offered to assist me financially, despite my insistance (at the time) that I was not Christian and never would be. He offered to pay the cost of my mother's funeral and help clear any debts she had. I refused this offer. I think he could see my dislike of him, although I was polite. After some discussion with him, he explained that he was there to assist me in any way he could, and that I didn't have to be a catholic to receive assistance. I think he felt sorry for me, as my little sister and I were now without family. I still refused help. Overall though, I was impressed at what I could see was geniune interest in our well-being. Some weeks later a counselor was sent to me on his behalf.

I guess my awakening towards the alternative Christian beliefs was gradual. I can not even be certain that I do in fact have an alternative Christian belief. I do know that some sort of God force exists though. At one very dark point in my life I demanded that God prove itself to me. And it did, most surprisingly, in what I felt was a fairly spectacular way.

Although a part of me is comfortable in what I now percieve as the Godforce, and my interpretations of the messages of Jesus, a part of me still searches. I am full of faith and hope, but so desparately want to see an end to human suffering.

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Interesting Ratanya. Sometimes we are taken out of the battle so to speak, in order to prevent damage to our soul. ;)


I've read many of the posts here and find all very interesting. Much of it is touching as well and it reminded me that I need to be humble.

I am a Christian myself, of no denomination. I'm a loner, which I prefer to be. Except I have a Irish Catholic boyfriend whom I'm going to marry. My God has given him to me, I have found, to teach me about patience, humility, tolerance, empathy and kindness. Since I met him, I've been an overflowing fountain of love. And I thank God for giving me this man who has taught me so much about love and unconditional love.

I have been influenced by both Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, but I am always loyal to God and on my guard for anything that may contradict His Word. I realise that my mortal humanity cannot comprehend God fully. The sheer substance of my brain is simply incapable of it.

I have not much to say except that God has taught me to pray for my enemies, to have compassion, and to empathise with the wounded. And when I'm going to Dublin in half a year to study, I will look for a little boy who sleeps on the street. God has put this on my mind and I cannot have peace untill I do something for this boy. It's simple, not great and wonderous like those who build whole hospitals for sick people in Africa or those who can heal diseases with a touch. Some are capable of great works, some only do one thing.

Also, I am willing to live as ascetic a life as I can in order to distance myself from earthly pleasures and take care of things God has in store for me. I will live a simple life, with little possessions, and trust that God will lead the way.
And I know that He will because if you have faith, anything is possible.

If this is alternative Christianity or not, I don't know, but at least now I have given my testimony. :)
Not alternative anything Ghaniel, I hear a beautiful expression of spirituality.

If we had but one writing from Jesus's hand, I believe it would be similar in essence to yours.