Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church

In Flanders many Roman Catholics did not feel good with the happenings in their Catholic church and asked to be written out of the community. though there is something strange with the ciphers the Church and the state are giving, which are not in accordance with certain organisations who also send request to the church to have the christening of them made unfinished.

In 2011, 1.827 Flemish requested to put a line to their registration.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clearly they are not feeling happy. But do they have an idea what they really would like to have concerning their faith and concerning influences on their way of living?

Many people look for meaning in their lives and struggle to find it, whereas religion offers an answer to the purpose of life and a hope that things will get better. But the last few years in Belgium many people became very disappointed with their faith and with the church to which they belonged, mostly because they were baptised in it. As a so called Catholic country it was common use to have the children baptised at birth. Not many Flemish people are interested in God and the baptism is often just a formality, making part of the tradition, having the feasts marriage, baptism, first communion, second communion and confirmation.

In 2010, there where still 60% of the newborns in Belgium baptized. This number was 40 years ago still above 90%. The rate is strongly dependent on the region in which one lives. The baptism figure is significantly lower in central cities (41.8%) and significantly higher in rural municipalities or urbanized rural municipalities (81.6%). In central cities this figure is also influenced by the relatively high birth rate of the non-indigenous population. But in 2010, only 7% of the Belgian population still went to Mass every week, even though there are figures that speak of only 3%.

Not many go to church and and not many to feel affection for the Pope, which normally as Catholics they should follow. The problem often is that many do not see the difference  between Christians and Catholics and between The Church, a church and a church community. To be a Christian is to “consider the others, show respect for other beliefs, religions, etc., to help people in need, …” Catholicism is often equal to violate certain religious rules (which nobody really succeeds).

Though not many follow that so-called infallible Pope, they still remain Catholic and think there is still very little for to make their Catholic infant baptism undone. Many are also afraid that they would loud chances to be happy when they brake with tradition or by not keeping to those known ‘safety bringers’ as a cross on the wall, a Christoffle in the car, etc.

While it is important to focus on the “good” in our lives, they have ideas of the goodness they can receive from burning candles or doing pilgrimage. Family, relationships, career, sexuality and spiritual psychology are matters where they are afraid of to bring something in out of tradition, because it could become deregulated by it.

Often the people are not so interested in the faith and do think it does not matter. But when there is an interfaith marriage often problems do arise because a lot of things where not thought off before. They are not sensitive to and considerate of their spouse’s feelings and belief. Because they are unable to accommodate to differences between themselves, the marriage will suffer. And this certainly includes differences in religious or spiritual beliefs.

Of course, how critical these differences will be depends upon the religious conviction each of the spouses holds. If the major decisions you make in your marriage have little to do with your religious beliefs, than your marriage won’t be very much affected.

If one or both of them has strong beliefs, however, than these beliefs play a large role in the decisions the couple and their family make in their life, in their values and practices, and how they live their life. Often they did not seriously looked into the matter how they made to live their life befor, their values, their morals.

More than once they are both “lukewarm” in their religious practices, but once married and children coming on the way they become under pressure of the family, to adjust to certain practices of tradition. In such case it could bring a solution if one of them want to consider  converting to the religion of the other. Discussing it logically, rationally, and see if one of the two can convince the other of the benefits of conversion, could bring a solution. If this option makes sense, than the child-rearing concern is taken care of.

If both are attached to their particular faiths, they will need to negotiate. Beginning with an attitude of openness, acceptance and love is than very important. Talking and making no swift decisions are important than.  Each of them should take turns making suggestions on how they would like to raise their children, how they would like to expose them to their respective religions. But both also consider to check their own religion and to make a balance of their faith-life.  It could be interesting considering to note a turning-point in life where both choose to take another route. Both finding a new religion which should be closer to the beliefs and practices of both.

At such a point in your life it is important to look at you faith. Consider how you were introduced to your religion by your family. Was it effective? Did you embrace the choice or was it forced upon you? Did you rebel? How did you eventually decide upon your own spiritual beliefs and how strongly did you integrate them into your life?

Sometimes we need to understand what isn’t working, so that we might transcend it and move forward in our lives. We should try to put the previous traditions aside and search for what we really want and search for what is really important, either to follow people, traditions and organisations, or better to follow God, the creator of heaven and earth.

Remember, despite what you want for your children, they will eventually need to make their own choices in the world, and find their own path. This is especially true about the role of religion and spirituality in their lives. Determine ahead of time how you would like your children to be exposed to your respective religions (or even other religions as well). Eventually, they will choose what path is best for them. Give them that space!

As parents, we can point our children in the direction we would like them to go, we can expose them to many different options. Ultimately, it is how we live our lives, how we treat our family members, our friends, strangers, and ourselves, which will guide our children!Our lives are their models, not our words.

We should learn to  “make things happen” and to make choice which can alternate our lives. Knowing how important it is to look at the world and the things which happen and to transpose them to our life. Never stopping questioning. Being interested and curious about yourself and about others. Don’t assume that’s “just the way it is”. Look for the choices behind your results. And to be able to find luck, you have to be able to relativate and to be interested and curious about yourself and about others. Don’t assume that’s “just the way it is”. Look for the choices behind your results. Never stopping to learn. The brain is a muscle just like any other, and it will stagnate if you let it. Make it your rule to learn something new every day. Then use what you learn to make your life better. Nurture what you want to grow. Many many people are (figuratively) wondering where the roses are in their life, yet they spend all their time planting and nourishing weeds. You reap what you sow. That’s just the way it is. there we do have to make the choice which shall bring us more goodness in life.

Very important is not to lie to yourself. Telling lies to yourself is the most harmful form of disrespect. Write out ways in which you are untruthful to yourself, and how to correct it. Never give up on life. Be interested and curious about yourself and about others. Don’t assume that’s “just the way it is”. Look for the choices behind your results.

Don’t waste your time complaining about what you can’t control (weather, other people, economy). Concentrate on what you can control, like who you hug, what you read, how much you laugh, where you go, what you do, what you think about.

And to be able to be in control you have to start with controlling yourself, and knowing which way you want to go, what you want to believe and where you want to go for.

Do you want to live your life just for the now and then are do you want to live your life because you are expecting a reward?

We think you are on the wrong track if your goal is only recognition and a reward at the end of the track.

You only live once, and it is now you have to make it. But you should be aware there could be more. There is an important promise of which you should take account and which could change your life and your future.

It is something which can enable you to “Stand like a Rock” and be sure of your life.

Instead of thinking what other people think start getting to know that it is more important to think what the Creator would think.

A feel-good factor isn’t enough for the long haul through life. You better go and look into yourself and look for the relation you want to have with everything around you and with the maker of that all.

It is first in this world we do have to find the beauty, the love and the genuine kindness. It is here that we do have to work relations. and to make our relationships work we first of all do have to build up the right relationship with the most important person in the universe. And that is the Maker of that universe Himself, who we have to get to know and to love. Without proper love to Him it shall not be so easy to have the proper love to others.

Recognising that Someone is in control is a great help to being content with your situation, whatever it is.

Many people look for meaning in their lives and struggle to find it, whereas religion offers an answer to the purpose of life and a hope that things will get better. Do not wait until tomorrow. Tackle it today. From now on make work of making choice and taking the right decisions.

This is the Burton Christadelphians new logo for their website, specially designed to show the importance we attach to reading the Bible for ourselves, individually and collectively.

Dare to question your ‘current faith’, the denomination to which you belong. Look at your church and compare it with what they do and teach with the Book they are so called following. Have a look at the doctrines at the bottom of this page of the Burton Christadelphians. There you shall the words on which Christ himself based his beliefs and of what he himself told others to  belief. You should question what you want to follow if you want to be called a Christian.

On the mentioned page you shall be able to find Bible quotes. Do not just take them for guaranteed, but dare to look them up in your Bible and compare the printed words with the concordance of your Bible. As our our aim is to follow as closely as possible the teaching and example of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, we do listen to these words written down in the Book of Books, the Bible. Can you see the importance of having Scripture to back up our beliefs?


Please do read more about it:

  1. Feel-good Factor?
  2. About Brethren in Christ
  3. About Burton Christadelphians
  4. Christadelphians – Bible Believing People
  5. What’s Wrong with “User Friendly”?
  6. Evangelism takes many forms
  7. How to Feel Good About Yourself
  8. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
  9. Respect Yourself
  10. Icons and crucifixes


also of interest to read:

available until December 2012 on our Multiply sites (and afterwards to look for on our WordPress sites:

  1. Baptized by immersion to Gain membership in the church
  2. June’s Survey – Baptism by immersion: Necessary for salvation?
  3. Belief of the things that God has promised
  4. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  5. Luck
  6. How shall the film of your life be?
  7. Happiness is like manna
  8. Have a real happy day today!
  9. Rest thy delight on Jehovah
  10. Thirst for happiness and meaning


  • The Struggle With Religion (ptl2010.com)
    There is a struggle with religion in today’s church, although this struggle has been going on ever since there have been different denominations in the church. What exactly is religion anyway? What would you say religion means?
    There are many religions out there that claim the label “Christianity”, but are not true to the definition of that label. Some don’t even understand the basic premise of true Christianity, namely the death and resurrection of Christ and that this one act purchased our freedom and eternal life.
    Following Christ means exactly that, follow Christ…not a man.  If my Pastor leaves, I am not going with him because Jesus is right where I am already. Follow Christ, not a denomination. We all have a preference in a church and their particular style of worship and so on, and that is fine. However, are you worshiping Jesus or are you worshiping or following the denomination’s particular way of worship and or ceremony?
  • Suffer the little children to come unto me (guardian.co.uk)
    When might it be in the best interests of a Jewish 10-year-old to be baptised as a Christian? That was the question Judge Platt had to decide at Romford county court in Essex earlier this year. His judgment, released for publication at the end of last week, makes fascinating reading.It involves a couple who were divorced in 2010 after 14 years of marriage. They had two children: a girl who is now nearly 11 and a boy who is nearly six. Both parents are Jewish, as are all four grandparents.
    What made things more complicated was that the father had decided to become a Christian. After the marriage had come to an end but while the couple were still living under the same roof, the father experienced what he described as a meeting with God. “He started attending church each Sunday which naturally excited the interest of his children,” the judge said. “They asked if they could come with him and, with the agreement of the mother, they have been attending church regularly ever since.”
    +But what was the judge to do now? By law, his “paramount consideration” must be the “child’s welfare”. The court has no power to order the girl to baptised. What the judge had to do was to decide whether he should stop the father from taking steps leading towards the child’s baptism, as the mother had asked.

    In the end, the judge was satisfied that the child’s “welfare interests are best served by allowing her to be enrolled in a baptism class and to present herself for baptism into the Christian church as soon as she is ready”. However, the judge ruled that her confirmation into the church should not take place before she is 16, unless the mother agrees.

  • 200 Years Behind the Times (from the BBC website) (sandystrachan.wordpress.com)
    Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has described the Roman Catholic Church as being “200 years behind” the times.
    Catholics lacked confidence in the Church, he said in the interview. “Our culture has grown old, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our religious rites and the vestments we wear are pompous.”Unless the Church adopted a more generous attitude towards divorced persons, it will lose the allegiance of future generations, the cardinal added. The question, he said, is not whether divorced couples can receive holy communion, but how the Church can help complex family situations.And the advice he leaves behind to conquer the tiredness of the Church was a “radical transformation, beginning with the Pope and his bishops”.

    “The child sex scandals oblige us to undertake a journey of transformation,” Cardinal Martini says, referring to the child sex abuse that has rocked the Catholic Church in the past few years.

    He was not afraid, our correspondent adds, to speak his mind on matters that the Vatican sometimes considered taboo, including the use of condoms to fight Aids and the role of women in the Church.

  • How Protestantism Lost Its Mind (theamericanconservative.com)
    The Todd Akin flap, in which the suburban St. Louis congressman revealed a less than adequate grasp of human reproduction, could hardly have been timed better to dramatize the implications an Aug. 7 referendum giving Missouri schoolchildren the right to opt out of science classes on religious grounds. Parents should be free to keep their children out of the public school system entirely, but an a la carte approach to classwork entirely defeats the point of general education.
    Teaching is an exercise of what the Romans, and the Roman Catholic Church, have called magisterium, a kind of authority. It always carries moral overtones, and it’s an explicitly hierarchical concept. Why the more extreme Protestant instinctively rebels against this sort of authority should be obvious enough. And when, as in the case of science education, reflexive anti-clericalism combines with doctrinal objections, the reaction is powerful.
    Protestantism is a matter of degrees, however: between an infallible papacy and the self-ordained soapbox preacher there are many levels. But the intermediary layers that once counteracted America’s more radically Protestant tendencies have lately collapsed. Episcopalians and other old-line, more traditionally “authoritarian” churches no longer provide a common culture for the country. What has changed is not just a question of numbers but also of status. Liturgical Christians once wielded prestige out of proportion to their percentage of the population, even when that percentage was much greater. Protestant radicalization is not only a consequence of evangelicalism’s postwar growth but also an effect of cultural leveling and rebellion against privilege (at least, old sorts of class privilege) throughout the 20th century. A mass-market commercial mentality and left-wing concerns for equality have undercut the status of the old Protestant elites from a secular direction, leaving the purer Protestantism with a greater sense of self-confidence.
    What’s more, the distinction between popular politics and the religious congregation breaks down under the influence of radical Protestantism.
  • Is spirituality the antithesis of religion? (joelmlay.com)
    It is not uncommon – actually it is fashionable these days – to hear people express anti-religion sentiment, saying, “I am spiritual but not religious”, especially when talking to strangers or new acquaintances. (There are some good examples in Match.com). The impetus is the desire to distance oneself from formalities.
  • Why Can’t This Atheist Accept Her Husband’s Loss of Faith? (patheos.com)
    He had “been a Christian” because his family was, too, but when he actually thought about it, he realized it was all just ridiculous.
    Then there’s the birth of their son and the inevitable question of whether they should take him to church (correct answer: No) just so he has a “spiritual base,” even though both parents reject it.
  • Switzerland: Kirchensteuer Probably Deadly Wounded. (mundabor.wordpress.com)
    It is a mystery to me how a person might think he is not a Catholic anymore because he refuses to pay a mafia-like monetary  contribution (truly redolent of the Sicilian pizzo) to the local Church. Still, I do not come from the German-speaking world, where people tend, erm, to be a bit more rigid.Now a Swiss citizen (a true Catholic, but fed up with the local mafia) decided to stop paying the Kirchensteuer and – obviously – remain a Catholic. Unsurprisingly, the local hierarchy was not persuaded baptism and orthodoxy are enough: if you don’t pay the pizzo to us, they said to her, you aren’t Catholic anymore. Kapiert?
    the membership to the Catholic Church is now formally separated from the support to the administrative apparatus through the Kirchensteuer. Therefore, every Swiss Catholic can refuse to pay the pizzo (the same way you and I don’t pay it) in the full knowledge of remaining as much a member of the Church as you and I are.
  • Christian/Catholic Priests Are The Victim Of Those They Molest (truelogic.wordpress.com)
    The Catholic Church, unbelievably, continues to receive money from dumb sheep Christian followers.  These followers apparently think that when they stand before their God on judgement day that he will not ask them; “Why did you continue to support an establishment that had done such great harm to my children?”  Giving money to the Catholic Church is to support child molesters/pedophiles by assisting in the payment of their salary, assisting in defending the priest through money paid to lawyers, money to move these guilty priest from church to church to avoid punishment, paying off victims and others to avoid justice.
  • When Other Christians Become Catholic (doohan.id.au)
    Each year, many adults who have never been baptized become Catholic. In the United States, these adults are outnumbered by baptized Christians of other denominations who seek to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In the minds of many Catholics – indeed, in many parish preparation programs – there is little difference between the two groups. Baptized and catechized Christians are often placed in programs with those who have not been baptized.
    The appropriate rite is that of Reception of Baptised Catholics into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church and not the more commonly utilised Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Although the former might be considered a ‘sub-rite’ of the latter, if only because they are found in the same ritual book, the two rites refer to two distinctive pastoral situations. The confusion of the two, and thus the use of the RCIA for those baptised Christians who are seeking to become Catholic, creates a confusion about their proper status, and thus a confusion within the person seeking to become Catholic. The other contributing factor is a belief that the same preparation process – of weekly meetings, and other activities – can cover the different ‘categories’ of those who are seeking to become Catholic.
  • Living ‘in the middle’, in between and keeping the peace. (1catholicsalmon.com)
    England is a secular country, boasting secular values and ways of life. Living here has brought Faith issues to the fore and continues to do so on a daily basis. Because of this I ‘ve had to make a conscious decision about how I am to live as a Catholic Christian. There’s no room to manoeuvre half-heartedly through the secular mazes I’m confronted with from day-to-day. I’ve had to make my position as a Christian quite clear, and for me there’s no going back on this. It’s too important.

25 thoughts on “Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church

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