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Dad still prays but insists that there is no God. I don't know if he just wants somebody to prove or preach to him and convince him there is a God or what. I always tell him he is free to believe what he wants but that I still believe there is a God and always will. I am not a religious person and don't feel like I am the right person to preach or convince anybody that there is a God. I just know from my own experience that God has played a big part in my life. That is all I can tell my Dad. But he just goes on about how the bible is just a big lie or fairy tale made up by man. I know he is probably upset about our mother's (his wife's) death and that his health is failing where he needs to be cared for 24-7 and that might be a big part of his attitude. But I don't know what more to say other than he has a right to believe what he wants. And I will continue to believe in God and tell him the reasons why.

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I just happen to have uploaded a book on my KiNdle - so you Don't want to go to church any more...written by Jacobsen and Coleman. Haven't read it yet, but it sounds like it might help.
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Please accept my comments as simply coming from a beggar showing others where I found some bread. I don't claim to know it all.
My husband died 3 yrs and 8 months ago after an incredibly long and agonizing cancer battle. Doctors were unable to contain his horrific runaway pain. A nightmare. I adored my husband and when he died, I entered a really dark and airless place. My faith in God was crushed and I couldn't bring myself to believe. Months went by. The dark is no place to live. So I tentatively peeked out............looking for a tiny thread of faith. In the end, I clawed my way back to Jesus - where I found peace.
I now choose hope and love and faith and look forward to being with my wonderful husband again. I know he's cheering me on.

I am on this website because these days.........I care for his mother in my house. She has Alzheimers and has been terribly difficult this whole time. At this point it is impossible to relate to her spiritually but every night beside her bed I pray for peace upon our home and it settles her down. I remind her that I will stay at her side on this part of the journey (limping our way home).
I am comforted to know that through death, our spirits are freed from these tired bodies and minds.
You all know me on this site as a complaining caretaker (because I'm talking from the trenches) . I miss my husband in every corner and wish he was here with me instead of his cantankerous mother but I have no doubt that this is where I am supposed to be.
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It sounds to me that your dad is contemplating the end of his life and is very fearful because he doesn't know what comes after death. He's decided if he doesn't believe in God, then he won't have to fear death. His thinking is backwards. If instead he tries to seek God, he will find that death has no sting. I recommend the book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. He can read and decide. The truth sets people free. It doesn't hurt to question. But what does, is failing to see for yourself.
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I find that my mother has speech problems. I hear her saying things that sound reasonable but that, I sometimes come to find, that she doesn't mean in the way I hear them. It is part of her aging, it seems, that she is having some language problems to say exactly what she means in the way the rest of us need to hear it to understand it.

So, when people wonder if your Dad really means it, he might, but not in the way that you hear it. Some suggest that your mother's passing had an affect on him questioning these things. If he has had any problems expressing himself, I would wait and see how things go before being too concerned.
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Darvid, I think your Dad might be looking for assurance and is in fear of dying deep insid. I too am one whom things should to be proven to believe in them. I remember my Dad saying many years ago. "We come into the world not knowing anything and leave the same way." He also talked of the wonders of the world which makes a person truely think...Hummmm? Where did a seed come from? Man cannot created a seed to grow a tree, which came first the tree or its seeds? Why do the trees shed, plant seeds and regrow, who created that? Who created the beautiful sunsets we see, as he said "only God can create these unexplainable things." If your Dad brings it up again, I would reassure your Dad. Tell him stories of miracles and how you believe there is a God, I think it will give him comfort. Death is so scary, to hope we go someplace and see our lost loved ones has to be comforting. I know I sure hope I see my Dad, he was my best friend in the entire world and I continue to take care of my mom, as he would be so happy and proud of.
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Right on, vstefans. In this life, we will always have "tribulation" which means heartaches, problems, etc. But I also think of that saying "if God brought you to it, God will bring you THROUGH it."

My mom was always a devout believer, not perfect, but she had a heart for God. Within the last year she has entered the end stages of Alzheimer's and has no idea who God is anymore and sometimes is very frightened about what is happening to her. That is when I remind her, pray over her, tell her again about heaven, sing hymns to her, etc., and she relaxes. Dementia makes so many people mean and nasty but it's the disease moreso than anything else. God is much more faithful than that and will not forsake them because of this because that is not what God is all about. And that is a comfort to ME.
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Bonfire that is a great answer. I think a couple things about this all...I do know there are people who think religion and believing in God should entitle them to a trouble-free life, that bad things don't happen to good people, though in fact in the Christian faith the Bible pretty clearly indicates just the opposite. And, you might take comfort in the story of Solomon, who despite being gifted with wisdom as a ruler, had his heart turned to idols in his old age...yes, they knew about dementia back then though the word was not in the Bible, there is a reference to honoring and caring for your father "though his mind fail him." Surely he did not fall out of favor with God for thinking the wrong things...that's where Vatican II and the Pope are coming from; we are judged on the direction of our hearts rather than the accuracy of our theology or lack thereof. Captain said that pretty well too.

I personally don't totally get the rationale of folks who reject religion and faith because of the arbitrary nature of some religious customs and rituals, or because of the abuse of religion that is all too common. But, you have to respect at least questioning things and not just thoughtlessly buying into whatever you grew up with, instead of growing and learning more about what it really means, so I owe a debt to them, for sure!
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He needs to develop his own relationship with God and work it out with Him. I've gotten more answers from God directly than through organized religion. I'm not knocking organizd religion but I do know that God works with people who have a sincere desire to get answers from Him. It may take awhile or you may get one right away. But it sounds to me that he needs to tell God his own feelings of anger, bitterness, etc. which is okay, God won't be shocked - He already knows. But your dad needs to open his heart to the truth if he really wants the truth. Otherwise, people who rail against God have to work this out.
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I have a cousin whose mother and grandmother were believers; however when the Dad insisted there was no God because his wife was an invalid and he was her sole caregiver for many years; he shot himself in the head after she died and he could not live without her. Now my cousin has trouble believing in anything. The proof of a living God is all around us. Deep in our souls is knowledge of Him. The more we seek, the more enlightened we become. No one can work their way to Him or there would have been no need for Him to sacrifice His only son to reconcile us and He could see us through His pure perfect Son. He gave us free will. He wants none of us to spend eternity separated from His love, but all we have to do is admit we all are sinners and have faith that the blood of Jesus purified us and makes us Holy if we only believe. How could snowflakes each be so perfect and unique without a Creator. Something so complicated as the human body and brain could not just have sprouted without Divine creativity, do you think.
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David, it seems to me that you are handling this appropriately. We can all speculate as to the reasons, and you can too. But it is what it is, at least for now. Continue to be respectful of his views, without altering yours.
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My father died 8 years ago and I know my mother was depressed but she has never set foot in church again. They raised us in a Christian home where we were in church every time the doors were open. Mom taught Sunday School, Training Union and Vacation Bible School as well as being a member of The Women's Missionary Union.

I cannot say that Mom has lost faith in God, I think her depression and the ensuing dementia just took all that away from her. We still say grace at every meal and sometimes I see her with her head down longer as though she is adding more to the prayer. She no longer reads her Bible but I think it is because she either makes no sense of it or because her memory is so short perhaps it makes no sense.

She made a statement one day however that surprised me. She said she was afraid to die. As Christians we were taught that we would go to heaven after death so I was taken back by her statement. All I know is that maybe someday if I live to be as old as her, I may feel afraid to die as well, I just don't know.

What I do know now is that there are days that are so difficult and trying that I wish God would take me, just so I can escape!
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Change the subject. You will never win a discussion about religion or politics. God is not vindictive. He wanted your mother to not have any more pain and suffering and that is why she is gone. Your father is suffering now so he will recover in heaven. At least that is what I believe.
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If this is the thorniest issue with which you are dealing, I would say you are pretty lucky! If your dad is healthy and happy, that is all that matters. I think all people who live a good life - regardless of religious beliefs (or lack thereof) will go to heaven - if there is one, of course!
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Ask a Christian how the date for Easter is determined and very few have any clue. It is the first Sunday, after the first full Moon, after the Spring Equinox. Then try asking if they are Pagan.

It takes 3 days after the Winter Solstice for the Sun to make any noticable change in direction. None of these dates have anything whatever to do with Jesus and make no sense in the Southern Hemisphere.
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I am a moron right now. Sorry. I don't understand what you are saying captain. All I know is there is love, for oneself and others.
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My dad was a very religious man all his life. Very involved with the community as well. Now he doesn't say a word about God and don't pray at all.
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It's all right not to believe in an anthropomorphic god, created in man's image. And it's all right to be a spiritual atheist. There are Sources and Forces of the Universe (or if you prefer, a Source and Force of the Universe) that we can only begin to comprehend with the rational mind. It is up to each individual to decide the nature of the Source and Force.
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When we age we lose things -- our friends, family, independence, bodily health, life itself, ebbs away. I see imagery like scarecrows being picked over. I think of the elephants visiting their deceased groups bones. Our elders are maybe "boning up." Perhaps the same goes with our spirituality. I agree with Captain's description of his experience with organized religion. It can be lovely at times (booming organ, altruism and mysticism inspire me) -- but I cannot have patience for its boringly repeated dogma and very church organization. If we humans, the Tool-Worshipping creatures on this earth, are truly from a God, wouldn't that God be more known by deep questioning and quiet, individual striving to break out of liturgical ritual? Religious instruction requires some discipline and children need the narratives and predictable and comforting rituals. But read about some aging artists or scientists who were lucky enough to still have creative voices in their twilight years. They may not be able to speak confidently of or for a Creator, but somewhere are probably more in touch with essences of life and death than we, the Sunday collection-plate fillers, can ever be. Maybe extreme aging or extreme illness are the burnishing of our tarnished but ever-more essential consciousnesses. Maybe our quiet elders seeming to disavow God or who they were, are conserving their energies for their much deeper inner journeys and final senescence. Rgardey and JessieBelle, thank you for my daily Bread.
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mom realized in her old age that ritual wasnt where its at and shed seen too much self ritousness in the church. and the ratio of mental midgets missing the point altogether.
case in point. my sis will let the large dead trees on moms property be wasted before she'll let me keep warm with the wood. thats not only selfish but foolish. but only she knows the true way and im inferior and lost without what shes got. i just cant clarify much better than that. i hooked her up with moms home like id promised. i was made executor 30 years ago for a reason. honesty..
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you have a conscience. it should suffice. forget the do good theatrics and do the real work..
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I'm attempting to understand the first point Captain is attempting to make. Could you clarify?
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i totally understand the social aspect jesse.
lol the pope is so screwed for money hes taking athiests, trying to impress bikers, loves himself a homo , etc. its laughable.
id just advise non believer not to non believe too vehemently lest you put yourself on the same stage as the fanatics who just " know " and know that you know.. none of us know s**t.. ( imo )
i dont know and dont care. im busy living my life as i see fit.
my churchgoing sis lives 5 miles from edna and isnt going to go see her but she'll be front and center for the chicken and pie later. ( funeral )
( mouth - breathers )
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Perhaps your dad would take comfort from a visit by the pastor of his local church. A knowledgeable and seasoned minister might help him with the questions and feelings he is having...If not the pastor, then another spiritual elder. ...or you might try reading to him each day from the Bible. ..If you do not know where to start, there are bible reading guides at Christian book stores.
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Hi, Darvid, I'm sending some prayers (or good thoughts, whatever you want to call them) your way as you struggle with this situation.

I grew up in a fundamentalist home and have lots of questions regarding whether God exists. My parents and most of my family attend church, but I do not. However, I do not believe church attendance has anything to do with one's personal belief in God, nor is church attendance necessary for one's salvation.

I doubt you or anyone would be able to convince your dad that God exists, but he must have believed in God sometime in his life. I just know the Bible says the debt of our sins was paid through the blood of the Lamb. Maybe when your dad starts in about believing there is no God, you could just say "I love you, Dad" and change the subject.

If yourself are dealing with questions about what will happen to your father after his death, I would contact someone from your church or temple and ask for some support for yourself. Peace and good wishes.
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Tell him you respect the courage it took to admit that he does not believe in God. Most of religion is absolute garbage designed to manipulate the masses. I blame Christian TV for corrupting my mother's mind before she began to hallucinate.
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Capn, I agree, especially for the large churches. They are more like businesses than churches. I never find God there. I find God when I'm outside in the evenings and mornings, and when I need comfort for what is going on in my life. I find God in all the animals around me, in the trees, the wind and the stars. And the moonlight can be awe inspiring.

I take my mother to church on Sunday, but it is more a social event, instead of a spiritual one. God to me seems to have left the building.
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my mom taught sunday school for 40 years but in her last years hardly ever brought up the subject of god. i think her belief just changed to exclude all the ritual that church going amounts to. if i were god the sunday rituals would annoy me. . the real work is out in the community.
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I don't know if this will help or add anything. Dad raised us in a Christian home, although not always a role model. My mother died of cancer. My father lived alone in his home for 7 years. He and I resumed going to church after mom died. My regular visits with him became concerning as he was no longer believing. Didn't want to continue going to church with me. We had to move him into ASL. His last year of life was spent with a woman (a friend) in the ASL who was very outspoken about her faith and fundamental. He was never a fundamentalist. However, I had the pleasure of attending a couple of the ASL's church services with him and sharing communion.

Regarding your father, darvid57, is it correct to think his mind may not be processing as well. You are taking the correct approach, in my opinion. Was he a WWII Vet? The Greatest Generation.
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My mom suffers from depression. One major episode effected her belief system... not just her belief in God, but basic things we accept. I remember her asking me, "how do we know that men have been to the moon? How can mail get from here to there? After she got through that period of time, her mind started putting things together again, but she has never been quite the same. She was always a woman of strong faith. When dad died a few months ago, she questioned her belief in God once more. Waiting for bible promises to be fulfilled in her behalf is too much to bear. Parting from the love of her life has made her ask, what does she really believe. Will she really be reunited with him again? As humans we get through some major events, sickness, and the death of a loved one by placing our cares in God's hands. When that hope is missing, where can we turn? For mom, contact with friends and family is key. We try to be upbuilding and positive regardless of moms current beliefs. Isolation can be devastating, A simple car ride, fresh air and sunshine can do wonders to lift her mood and even bring her faith forward. We never argue about her faith or judge her. All reasoning humans question God's power in such times. Sometimes mom wants to talk about her beliefs and other times not. I go with her pace. Sometimes she will surprise me with a prayer. God has always been an important part of her life and my father held on to his faith to the very end, so I suppose it will continue to be a touchstone.
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If he used to believe in God, but not now, but is still praying, what Higher Power is he praying to?

My guess says between the loss of his wife, your mother, his life partner, as well as his own aging infirmaties - now facing "alone", that he's despondent, depressed. I have an old family friend who has quoted her mother's aging, later in a SNF, and resorting back to her Spanish language saying "Why is God doing this to me?" - as to how that all powerful, all loving, all knowing God can turn a wonderful life into a miserable aloneness of aging. It sounds to me like your father needs to get involved in senior center contact & events - and depending what State he is in (at least in my state, Calif., we have a telephonic senior center without walls, for seniors that are shut-ins. I've seen it bring depressed, blind, home-bound seniors back to exuberant happiness.
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