The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Feeling Vulnerable

So I’ve been on this forum for the past 6 months or so and have really gotten a lot out of reading what you all have posted. Lately I’ve been feeling quite vulnerable with life and my pursuit of finding my way to God so I think its a good a time as any to give some of my story and why I’ve been a bit deflated.

So Im a 21 year old male attending university in Brisbane, Australia. Im in my fourth year studying exercise and nutrition sciences and I really see myself delving into something with health (physiotherapy or para-medicine) after this degree is over. I don’t see myself as very smart, and I do have to work quite hard to get a mediocre outcome. This is slowly changing as I’ve found a lot of passion in areas such as anatomy and therefore work much harder.

I grew up in a Catholic household which really shaped who I have become over the years. I can honestly say that without that background I would not be where I am today in regards to my desire to find Truth. Within Catholicism I saw a lot of problems in doctrine and so that really drove me to change my beliefs and in turn, get closer to God. When I first went to university I sort of got inducted into an evangelical circle and started attending their church (I didn’t realise it was an evangelical group until almost 2 years later as evangelicals are sneaky like that). I met a lot of my good friends there and do consider it a good thing that I was part of the group (like with Catholicism, I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my desire for Truth if it weren’t for that).

Last year I decided that I no longer believe in Hell so that was a very big turning point in my faith and I really started to question other big Christian doctrines because of it. As I got further into this weird situation of exploring Truth and keeping my relationships with Christian friends, it has been really hard to find a good group of people (not to mention trying to find a girlfriend) who have similar views as I do. I feel like Im constantly just lying to my Christian friends as to not look like a heretic or a nutter. It is very hard to actually discuss things within the church as people aren’t open to ideas and viewpoints - I’ve recently realised how legalistic it really is. As a side note - In my theology Im exploring a more Hebraic perspective as I believe it holds better to scrutiny. I’m finding more and more that the beliefs I used to hold so close to my heart are just being removed. I feel like as I constantly try and find who I am as a person and what my beliefs are, I get further away from whatever it is.

One of the main reasons for why I’ve been upset lately has been because of my pursuit to try and find a partner. At the age of 21 I’ve never had a girlfriend so it has been a bit demoralising for me. I thought that I would go for a nice, good looking Christian girl and that would be that. But as I get further into Theology, I feel like I would just be lying to whomever Im with. As a result, Im really not sure what I want anymore. I would however like to share my life and find a deep relationship with someone. I very recently started to venture in online dating due to my circumstances but Im scared of whether I should date a non-christian or not and what that would really look like in my day to day life. I don’t expect there to be anyone who’s deep into theology, but I do want someone who would be interested in learning about God. I realise that in the grand scheme of things I am quite young and there’s plenty of time but I just feel like God has really turned my world upside down and I’m not sure what to do.

Would be great to get some advice on the matter.

Thanks for the help

First of all, we should all be honored by your trust in us. You have a beautiful heart and you deserve happiness.

One of the images Paul the Apostles provided I think might be relevant is that of an anchor. We have this hope as an anchor for our soul. I too am exploring alternatives to traditional doctrines. But I have certain anchors that I will never change. Not everything needs to be questioned or revised. Only those things which contradict Gods love and holiness project in our life.

As far as feeling like your lying I understand. Sometimes being a Universalist in an Evangelical world is like being a man without a country. Your not lying though. You are keeping peace. And that can be a fine line. At the leading of the Holy Spirit I have shared my views with people in the church I pastor one on one and some have been liberated and overjoyed. One, who in fact is a seasoned missionary cautioned me that it could split the church and I must be very careful.

However in your case I have to believe Gods Word is still true. Its not good for man to be alone, He has made a partner suitable for who you are. Not only for who you are but who God has envisioned you to become. She will support you and challenge you and help you find the right changes as well as come back from the wrong ones. But until you are an open book about who you are you will never know who she is.
The woman who is right for you will be honored to know your true faith. Thats how you know you have found her.
Trust God, pray for guidance and wisdom, and be courageous about who you are. History was not changed by those who hid themselves but by those who set the candle on a lamp stand.

Hope theres some encouragement you can use in there somewhere.

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The key is to start hanging out. Like I joined Meet-Up. And they have groups for singles, languages, spirituality, etc. So if I wanted to meet females…I would go to any singles events. I’m “hanging out”. If I find folks I like, I’ll contact them - for one on one. I’m not sure, if this exists - in the land down under. But I’m sure, they would have similar groups. Perhaps your local library, can help you out?

I’m 30 and haven’t had a girlfriend in years. A lot of my difficulty in finding one is based on the fact that I don’t want kids. Most Christian women do want kids, and so right off the bat I’m looking in a pretty small ‘sea’ of potential wives. I feel your pain. Some days I worry that I’m going to always be sad and lonely.

Not to invalidate or make light, but being married doesn’t necessarily negate those two experiences… The best relationships, I my opinion, are platonic. I no longer believe that man and women were supposed to be best of friends + sex. I am sure it is possible, but I believe sex to actually cause problems and entitlement in marriage more often than not.

Thanks everyone for the reply’s - I really appreciate your input :slight_smile:
I will keep on with my pathway to find Truth in life, and so maybe part of that is really exploring who I am and how that relates to relationships. I have been trying to hang out with more people lately so Im putting in the effort but it is quite a tough task nonetheless.

@qaz I do have to say that after reading your posts on your crisis of faith, I really vibed with you and what you were saying. Thanks for being open.

I am grateful that I can share my thoughts In this community and get advice from you all :blush:

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As someone else said, you have an open and honest heart. Continue cultivating that, don’t be frightened away from it.

I may not be able to answer all your questions as a Deist, not a Christian, but I share your skepticism about a belief in hell, especially an eternal hell. Reformatory I could see, but not eternal.

I also sympathize with you, I myself have been undergoing a period of soul searching and constant thinking, analyzing, and re-evaluating my worldview. It’s not uncommon at our age, I’m 22.

At a certain point, sometimes we just have to let go and trust that all we can’t figure out now will be made clear eventually, whether in this life or the next. I figure if our understanding is running up against some hard limits right now, there may be a good reason for it.

I’ve also never had a girlfriend myself, although not for lack of trying. I also feel like my partner choices are limited, I need someone whose mind isn’t consumed by dogma but also someone who’s open to the concepts of God and spirituality, and of pursuing meaning in life. It’s very hard to find that on Tinder. I wouldn’t count on the idea that God made a partner specifically for you, plenty of people never marry and the world population numbers don’t support the idea of someone for everyone. Those are just the hard facts. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are still literally billions of women out there, and millions of them are single and in your general age group. The likelihood that you’ll find someone is high.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that you’re not alone in these struggles.

Read everything you can, pick up some hobbies, further develop your worldview, take up some kind of fitness routine like barbell strength training for your physical and mental well-being (which may, consequently, help you with the ladies).

Best of luck.

Nice to meet you Spartan,
Very true that not many people our age are soul searching which is a bit unfortunate - I guess that’s just how it goes. It’s encouraging that you’re in the same position though so good luck with everything.

Out of curiosity, do you have any type of religious background?

Not really, my dad is also sort of a Deist and my mom is a New Age type who calls herself a recovering Catholic. And I’m talking South American Latin Catholic so I understand where she’s coming from.

Ah okay thats pretty interesting.
Cheers!