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For those in secular recovery...were you ever once religious?

Old 06-30-2009, 06:16 AM
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For those in secular recovery...were you ever once religious?

For me, i know that i reject a Christian based recovery, or using God as a person because of my religious upbringing. But i wondered if there are many here that can identify with this.

As a child and a teenager i was a Jehovah's Witness. Because of my experience with this any mention of God rings alarm bells.

I think i have looked at secular recovery for this reason and wondered what the experience of others are here.

Paul
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:38 AM
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I was. I was quite religious when I first discovered the internet. I'm still spiritual and do believe in God, but I don't believe God makes us quit drinking or is even all that involved in day-to-day life. I believe God loves us and wants us to be happy and live fulfilling lives, but whether or not we do isn't up to God, it's up to us. It's kind of complicated, the way I think. Oh well, what else is new.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:30 AM
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I was and still am a Christian. My religious background plays a huge roll in my life but like suki I do not believe that my sobriety is Gods responsibility.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bugsworth View Post
I was and still am a Christian. My religious background plays a huge roll in my life but like suki I do not believe that my sobriety is Gods responsibility.
Hmmm. This is kind of funny Bugsworth, considering our different approaches and viewpoints on recovery. I am not a Christian, never was. But I also do not believe that my sobriety is God's responsibility. It is entirely my own responsibility, just like my drinking was.

Just found this interesting.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:48 AM
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I used to be very religious.
But I no longer can say that I can accept the doctrines in total of any of the world's religions.
I borrow wisdom from here and there, and the major world religions have many of the most basic precepts in common.
I am a huge admirer of the Dalai Llama, who does not teach religion to the world, but instead teaches compassion and moral principles and ethics which are applicable to any and all with or without any given religious beliefs.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:54 AM
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It just goes to show you how many different paths there are to sobriety Keith. I do not believe in a human malleable God...hence my inability to subscribe to any program that promotes this view. I am happy to read that you believe your sobriety is your responsibility however you might achieve it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:30 AM
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I left the church and dogmatic religion as soon as my neocortex began the biochemical process of developing and the neurons stareted firing. Being on an alcoholic temperament, I went from religious to atheist not assuming any middle ground. Over the years I drifted from athesist to classical agnosticism, to agnostic Buddhism. No belief saved me from my drunken self except my drunken self opting to commit suicide for the sake of my sober me.

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”
Albert Einstein
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:39 AM
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I was raised Catholic and as a child and teenager, it worked really well with my strong feelings of self-loathing Going through the confirmation process at 15 was when my mind just rebelled against the conflict between the Catholic worldview and a more evidence-based reality. By the end of confirmation I identified as agnostic, or "spiritual but not religious". Then in college I took a lot of science and started seeing my "spiritual but not religious" thing as having a God of the gaps. By the time I got through organic chem I was atheist. After several months in AA I consider myself "atheist but spiritual". Make sense? Dunno! lol
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:41 AM
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I have never been a religious person, in fact it would be somewhat fair to say I'm anti-religion. I used to think that this meant that I didn't/couldn't believe in god, but my thinking is changing on that subject.

I believe a man named Jesus once walked this earth, but I do not believe he was the physical son of God. From everything I can tell, he was a pretty rightous dude, but I think he would be embarassed by many of the things that have been and continue to be done in his name. The same could be said about the Prophet Mohamad or, for that matter, any number of other historical religious figures. Men have twisted and distorted the words of these people to suit their own wants, needs, and desires over the centuries since they walked the earth. Most of what is know of them was passed down through stories from generation to generation for years before even being recorded in the written word and has been re-written countless times since then. It's hard to know what truly was their "real" message as so much has been lost. I certainly have a hard time following a set of rules to live my life by based on this sliver of knowledge we have about these people.

As far as god in my life....I'm really coming around to believing in something. There are just too many coincidents that have happened, especially recently to not believe in anything. If there is a God, he clearly has given us "free will", and that is how I view my addiction. I can pray for strength, but it is only me who can stop myself from taking that drink or drug. He can neither force me to take it or stop me from putting it down. That said, others derive a great deal of power through prayer. I say, whatever works, works. If prayer helps you stay sober, pray away, but understand that prayer alone will not stop you from using. That power/responsibility still rests in our hands.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:55 AM
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I came to be a christian in my early twenties and was really immersed in all that implies. After about 3 years of going to church 3 times a week...it dawned on me that I didnt believe anymore what the church was teaching people. So I gradually drifted away as I came to my own ideas as to life, meaning, and what not. Since then I have often considered myself spiritual...but of course when I was drinking I wasnt able to really practice anything...even a coherent line of thought for that matter. Since becoming sober I have started learning some about Stoicism....which at least so far rings pretty true to me. I guess I do believe that there is something(someone?) out there that is a governing force but I am inclined to think it is simply mother nature. I also lean towards Buddhism some...... So yes I was religous at one time but I have found a mish mash balance now of different ideas about life.....
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:24 AM
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I was raised Catholic but not in a very strict sense of the word.

Until I went to aa I never actually thought about anything spiritual at all, if you had asked me if I believed in god I would have shrugged.

It was while I was attempting the steps that I began to question everything, I read just about everything I could find and examined my thoughts and beliefs at well as I could.

After a lot of time and thought boom I became an atheist

It is a shame that aa won't work for me but I am grateful that it gave me a chance to find the view of life that I find most comfortable and am able to live with.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:25 AM
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Plus I now have an abiding interest in Evolutionary biology which makes me happy too.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:24 AM
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I was raised Presbyterian....went to college...finally realized I was a lesbian...continued to believe...and then...


...I questioned everything.

Everything. Even my religion...the one thing I was afraid to question.

I sought out tons of information on my own...


...and I became an atheist.

The end.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:17 PM
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I was raised Catholic, Catholic school through 10th grade but when I got married at 19 I joined husband's church, the Church of Christ and got very involved for the 5 years that my marriage lasted--when we split up the church 'blackballed me' and I was told I was unwelcome. I swore I'd never go to church again. I didn't return to church until my 2nd husband left me and then only sporadically because I was most always hungover on Sunday mornings. I always maintained my faith in God, and I've always prayed and believe in the power of prayer. I had an extreme spritual awakening in August 2007, I should have died, I took enough pills to kill someone twice my size but 36+ hours later I woke up and called 911, I later saw my body laying in the ER and I "asked" this "big strong man" next to me "will they pump her stomach" and he said "no it's too late for that". I survived, and I came to realize that God had a hand in that. It was and is up to me to not drink, however, I have been given this chance at life by God and I'm not going to f**k it up. I continue to pray and read the bible but more as a historical piece of literature. I'm not much of a church goer but I do go occassionally either inter-denominational churches or there is a Lutheran church real close to my house that I like too.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:37 PM
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I think it's interesting that there is a mix on this board. I'm somewhat surprised that there are some Christians here, who prefer a secular recovery. I can understand why though, i guess it's more about doing it for yourself than relying on God.

I have always thought that those who choose secular recovery have rejected a Christian God, i shall have to change my opinion.

Paul
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:03 PM
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Mom was a methodist, dad was raised a quaker and become an athiest, both my brothers are aitheists, I attended methodist confirmation classes and couldn't reconcile with church doctrine. I searched for god every where imaginable and totally believed in him....like alley, i worked the steps and at the end of the journey faced the question in the big book...either god is everything or god is nothing....my answer is nothing....so after 2.5 years sober in AA i became an aithiest. For me i have found that the AA program and 12 steps still work for me, although it does take a little more work for me to get to the essence and forget the words, and trappings.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:12 PM
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I was brought up to believe in God. But we never went to church or practiced religion. I knew the very basics of this religion. But as I learned more and more of it. And that has been mostly in the past 2 yrs of my attempted recovery. The more I learn. The more I dont get it. The more I dont connect or agree with it. I am the only one not baptised in my family.

I dont see things and feel things in that light. So I have found a more Karma type spiritual way of things. And just recently too. I am so enlightened by it and it really does give me a whole new meaning to spirituality. I am not religious and never will be. But spirituality is vital to me.

Good luck.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:04 PM
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I was raised Southern Baptist and went to church 3 times a week until I was 17, the time of my fathers death. I was convinced at an early age to seek salvation or else: damnation and to burn eternally in hell.

So yea, the whole G*d deal totally triggers old wounds. Wounds of feeling deceived, manipulated and brainwashed. For a long time after I left the church I was a very vocal strong atheist. Imagine my horrific shock when I sought recovery for the first time and was introduced into the 12-steps.

Thanks to a Zen practice and being here at SC I have mellowed quite a bit .
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:14 PM
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I have never been uber religious. My parents didn't attend church, nor was any religion talked about in my house.

I have been to churches of several types, taken a few classes and read lots of books in exploration.

I have buried too many, too young to not at least hold out some hope that we are more than food for the worms.

Now and then, I think I get "signs" and/or "messages"

Now and then, I feel like something is pulling me, or pushing me, or helping me along.

Sometimes I call it "The Universe", sometimes I call it God. Sometimes, when things are just a bit to much for me, I surrender to "It", and just ride the wave.

I like to believe in Karma, or what goes around comes around, or in divine justice. I live my life in a way that my karma should be good, and maybe, just maybe I will meet my loved ones again "on the flip side".
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:38 PM
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Dad was raised Presbyterian, mom was sorta Methodist, I guess. She went to a patchwork of churches because her dad was in the Air Force. I was raised Quaker, spent a long time trying to force myself to see God. For a while it sort of worked, and I said I was Christian. After I studied in Russia I was intensely interested in the Orthodox brand of Christianity for several years. But I didn't feel very comfortable with Christianity at any point. I quit going to church (not a popular choice in my house, it's just what we did on Sunday mornings). I took some anthropology and science classes and started to think that was much more comfortable, something I could see and agree with. I went back to school as a geology major a few years later and once I took biology and historical geology that was it. I can no longer accept that there is a god or gods. I won't say there isn't, because I don't see the evidence of that either, but the day I stopped trying to believe something I just don't was a great day in my life. I was liberated from the monumental effort to believe something I have no evidence for.
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