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Author Topic:   Between A Rock & A Hard Place
Phat
Member
Posts: 9499
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 1 of 65 (514708)
07-11-2009 10:06 AM



I don't even know what I believe anymore, except that I know that I DO believe that Jesus is alive, was and is Gods character and died for all of our collective sins and imperfections. I have no problems with Jesus or with God. I DO have problems with the Bible being inerrant (without any mistakes, errors, or human goofs) chiefly because it just doesn't make sense to me.

My critics tell me that my brand of Christianity is flawed because it implies that some people are special. Chosen. Set apart from the rest of humanity. They hint at the fact that this idea is actually a doctrine of humans who sought to control others through this belief.

Additionally, I have been told by more than a few educated scientifically minded critical thinkers that the idea of a Young Earth, a Global Flood, and a literal Talking Snake are just too ridiculous to be embraced by any rational thinker. They hint at the idea that I should question the reasons behind believing in a perfect Bible when evidence clearly shows the Bible and the characters contained within are the fodder of a story and not of actual facts.

Of course, they question Jesus divinity as well and I simply will NOT go there.

They have me thinking, though. I DO believe that God expects me to think and to question everything that I am taught, and I DO believe that God won't hold it against me for doing so.

The flip side of this is that I also don't believe them when they go so far as to say that religion is all man-made and that the stories are less than perfect. Like I said, I don't know whether to be on one side, the other side, or no side at all. I just know that I need to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help me sort it all out.

Need I say Faith & Belief?


Replies to this message:
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Admin
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Posts: 12517
From: EvC Forum
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Message 2 of 65 (514723)
07-11-2009 3:15 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Between A Rock & A Hard Place thread in the Faith and Belief forum.
    
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 65 (514731)
07-11-2009 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


Phat writes:

I DO have problems with the Bible being inerrant (without any mistakes, errors, or human goofs) chiefly because it just doesn't make sense to me.


If you don't believe that the Bible is inerrant because it does not make sense to you, why does an admirable being that kills its own son out of anger at someone else make sense to you? What makes belief in Jesus and God more sensible than the Bible?

Phat writes:

Of course, they question Jesus divinity as well and I simply will NOT go there.


Is this because it would outstrip the scope of this thread, or because you want to avoid thinking about it to preserve your faith?

Phat writes:

The flip side of this is that I also don't believe them when they go so far as to say that religion is all man-made and that the stories are less than perfect.


If you question the inerrancy of the Bible yet maintain that the stories presented are not less than perfect, does that mean that you suspect whatever actually happened may not have been perfect? Or is it just a source of cognitive dissonance?

Phat writes:

I just know that I need to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help me sort it all out.


How do you know this?

Edited by Phage0070, : "not"


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 4 of 65 (514733)
07-11-2009 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


What does it benefit
I've been noticing what kind of threads you like and have taken a look at some of the things you write about. In doing that I've noticed a definite pattern. Please try not to take this offensively, but you've been asking redundant questions for over four years and you apparently still don't have the answer you're looking for. This infatuation seems to torment you, like there is a war inside of you between whether or not you want to believe in God and salvation.

You seem conflicted and it's almost like you have to convince yourself to hang on to the last thread of hope.

I don't know if there is a God. There have been definite moments in my life, very infrequent though, that even as a rational man was certain I was touched by the hand of God. Those precious few moments though cannot sustain a relationship. And that's what Jesus likens it to, right? A marriage? Can a marriage survive without communication? It sure as hell seems like he either doesn't exist, doesn't answer prayer, or is just totally indifferent to it.

My question is not so much whether or not God exists. My questions are if there is one, is this anything like what is described in the Bible? How would we know either way? Or forget about knowing, how do you even develop the faith to sustain your belief?

What if he is just the biggest son-of-a-bitch you can think? Or indifferent to your suffering?

If God created everything and made us the way we are, then doesn't that make hmi responsible for the product?

Al Pacino once said in a role as Satan,

"Look, but don't touch... Touch, but don't taste... Taste, but don't swallow!"

That really made an impact on me because it certainly seems unfair to demand these expectations for an absent father who only comes around when you are on the absolute brink of despair. He supposedly gives you something like a strong sexual desire, but then condemns you if you act on the very impulse he imparted! WTF?!?!

I guess then my question to you is, what does this all benefit you? What are you getting out of this deal, where he gets all praise and worship for what exactly? What does he do? That's a serious and honest question. I'm not being rhetorical.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson
This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 5 of 65 (514740)
07-11-2009 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


Well.....
The flip side of this is that I also don't believe them when they go so far as to say that religion is all man-made and that the stories are less than perfect.

Fair enough. But why do you not agree? Weakness of argument? In which case what aspects of the arguments put forwards do you dispute?

Or is it simply refusal to contemplate that you may be wrong?

Like I said, I don't know whether to be on one side, the other side, or no side at all. I just know that I need to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help me sort it all out.

Well that seems like quite a lot of "knowing" to me...........

If praying is a road only to your own beliefs then how is praying going to do anything other than re-inforce your already held beliefs by confirming them?


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Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 929 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 6 of 65 (514741)
07-11-2009 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


What to Believe
quote:
I don't even know what I believe anymore, except that I know that I DO believe that Jesus is alive, was and is Gods character and died for all of our collective sins and imperfections. I have no problems with Jesus or with God.
You do know what you believe. You've pieced together what you believe from the Christian dogma and traditions you've encountered. You've kept what's comfortable for you.

quote:
I DO have problems with the Bible being inerrant (without any mistakes, errors, or human goofs) chiefly because it just doesn't make sense to me.
What doesn't make sense?

quote:
My critics tell me that my brand of Christianity is flawed because it implies that some people are special. Chosen. Set apart from the rest of humanity. They hint at the fact that this idea is actually a doctrine of humans who sought to control others through this belief.
Judaism was for a chosen set of people. Christianity also presents that those who believe are a chosen people. This concept isn't new. Most tribes thought they were chosen people. That's why they had their own gods. Christianity is a religion that tries to control.

quote:
Additionally, I have been told by more than a few educated scientifically minded critical thinkers that the idea of a Young Earth, a Global Flood, and a literal Talking Snake are just too ridiculous to be embraced by any rational thinker. They hint at the idea that I should question the reasons behind believing in a perfect Bible when evidence clearly shows the Bible and the characters contained within are the fodder of a story and not of actual facts.
Why the need for all or nothing? Why must it be perfect or totally flawed?

The problem is putting unreasonable expectations on ancient writings.
Do you read a current poem and look for facts?
Do you listen to a song and listen for facts?
Do you read fiction looking for facts?

Books and movies based on real events employ creative license to make the story interesting. The ancients are were no different. They had purposes for their writings. What is based on fact and what is creative license is very difficult to discern 2000 years later. That's why we try to discern what the writer's purpose for writing and what the respective writers were trying to tell their audience. We weren't the audience. We weren't meant to understand idioms, slang, humor, etc. of their time.

quote:
The flip side of this is that I also don't believe them when they go so far as to say that religion is all man-made and that the stories are less than perfect. Like I said, I don't know whether to be on one side, the other side, or no side at all. I just know that I need to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to help me sort it all out.
Religion is man-made. You're expecting perfection (a manmade notion) 2000 years later from writings that may have been "perfect" for the audience.

Jay Leno's jokes are for the current audience, not 2000 years in the future.
Red Skelton's jokes were for his time. Anyone listening to his radio show today will not understand the jokes concerning the pop culture or the political issues of the time. Trust me, I've listened to them.

Understand that everything changes with time. Even God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 07-11-2009 10:06 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 2401 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 7 of 65 (514756)
07-12-2009 2:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


Hi Phat,

Phat writes:

I have no problems with Jesus or with God. I DO have problems with the Bible being inerrant (without any mistakes, errors, or human goofs) chiefly because it just doesn't make sense to me.

The bible is written in such a way that you need Gods Spirit in order to understand it. Remember that even Jesus apostles did not understand it initially. Jesus told them that he would "send a helper to be with them always" This helper was the holy spirit that was poured out at Pentecost. When they received this helper then understanding of the things Jesus had taught them came to them and they began preaching.

So ask for Gods help. Ask for holy spirit. 'Ask and you shall receive'

Phat writes:

My critics tell me that my brand of Christianity is flawed because it implies that some people are special. Chosen. Set apart from the rest of humanity. They hint at the fact that this idea is actually a doctrine of humans who sought to control others through this belief.

Christianity isnt about 'special people'
Christianity is about 'YOUR' relationship with God. This is something that every single person on earth can have if they want it. It doesnt make us special if we have it, but it does put us in line for everlasting life.

So i dont believe that Christianity is about controlling us. Its really about us controlling our own destiny. We are not forced to be christians. We can walk away at any time. God does not force anyone to follow him and he accepts everyone who does.

No one is special, we are all special to God.

Phat writes:

Additionally, I have been told by more than a few educated scientifically minded critical thinkers that the idea of a Young Earth, a Global Flood, and a literal Talking Snake are just too ridiculous to be embraced by any rational thinker. They hint at the idea that I should question the reasons behind believing in a perfect Bible when evidence clearly shows the Bible and the characters contained within are the fodder of a story and not of actual facts.

Non believers tend to say that. But I agree that you should question religious beliefs. The best way to do this is to compare the religious belief with the bible. Find out what the original words actually meant when they were written, study study study and Pray for guidance. And if you find a difference between the two, trust the bible first and foremost because that is where Gods truths are to be found.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


(1)
Message 8 of 65 (514765)
07-12-2009 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peg
07-12-2009 2:52 AM


The bible is written in such a way that you need Gods Spirit in order to understand it.

Strangely enough all cults claim the same esoteric promises; the select few with the illusion of having insider knowledge while the masses are lost.

So ask for Gods help. Ask for holy spirit. 'Ask and you shall receive'

That's just it though, Peg. He's been asking for a long time and he's received next to nothing. If you examine what he's writing and read between the lines, he's searching for validation for his beliefs. As he said himself, he doesn't know what to believe anymore.

Christianity is about 'YOUR' relationship with God.

What relationship? Seems terribly one-sided.

trust the bible first and foremost because that is where Gods truths are to be found.

Isn't that circular? And which parts, since some clearly contradict others?


"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 07-12-2009 2:52 AM Peg has responded

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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 9 of 65 (514766)
07-12-2009 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by purpledawn
07-11-2009 7:15 PM


Re: What to Believe
Why the need for all or nothing? Why must it be perfect or totally flawed?

It's not his fault. That's how the bible presents itself. The New Testament claimed infallibility for the NT and the OT. As Peg said, it all goes back to the bible. If anything is wrong in it, then the all the pieces come crashing to the ground.

He is probably accutely aware of this problem. This is why ICR has to deny refuting evidence and come up with off-the-wall theories to sustain a ridiculous literal interpretation.

They could avoid all that if they simply realized that 70% of the bible is an historical chronicling of the Hebrew people and 30% is poetry and symbolism.


"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson
This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 929 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 10 of 65 (514769)
07-12-2009 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Hyroglyphx
07-12-2009 11:16 AM


Re: What to Believe
quote:
It's not his fault. That's how the bible presents itself. The New Testament claimed infallibility for the NT and the OT. As Peg said, it all goes back to the bible. If anything is wrong in it, then the all the pieces come crashing to the ground.
The Bible doesn't present itself. It simply contains various writings collected over may centuries.

Which author or authors claim that the other writings within the Bible are infallible?
Which author or authors claim the idea of all or nothing?
Which author or authors claim the other writings must be viewed as absolutely perfect or absolutely flawed?

The only pieces that come tumbling down are man made dogma and tradition. If the writings in the Bible don't support a current religious teaching, who is really wrong? The writer or the current teacher? I would say the current teacher is wrong.

quote:
They could avoid all that if they simply realized that 70% of the bible is an historical chronicling of the Hebrew people and 30% is poetry and symbolism.
As I said, the writings weren't written for our time. They were written for a specific audience and a specific time.

Edited by purpledawn, : Added thoughts.


This message is a reply to:
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themasterdebator
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 65 (514785)
07-12-2009 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by purpledawn
07-12-2009 12:33 PM


Re: What to Believe
As I said, the writings weren't written for our time. They were written for a specific audience and a specific time.

So then God did not intend the Bible for all people? Only a specific audience and a specific time?


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5512
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 12 of 65 (514786)
07-12-2009 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by purpledawn
07-12-2009 12:33 PM


Re: What to Believe
The only pieces that come tumbling down are man made dogma and tradition. If the writings in the Bible don't support a current religious teaching, who is really wrong? The writer or the current teacher? I would say the current teacher is wrong.

So are you saying that the bible itself doesn't teach the doctrine of infallibility, but dogma does?


"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1115 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 13 of 65 (514787)
07-12-2009 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Hyroglyphx
07-12-2009 7:23 PM


Re: What to Believe
So are you saying that the bible itself doesn't teach the doctrine of infallibility, but dogma does?

I'm sure she is, as it is trivially true. The Bible is a collection of works, the most recent of which completed some considerable time before redaction. How could the Bible itself claim infallibility when none of its components contain any knowledge of its own existence???


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 5905
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 14 of 65 (514790)
07-12-2009 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by cavediver
07-12-2009 7:46 PM


Re: What to Believe
How could the Bible itself claim infallibility when none of its components contain any knowledge of its own existence???

And when some major claims, such as a global flood in historic times--ca. 4350 years ago--are demonstrably false?

Edited by Coyote, : Add question mark at the end


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 5625
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 15 of 65 (514791)
07-12-2009 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
07-11-2009 10:06 AM


Re-I don't know
Hi Phat,

Phat writes:

I don't even know what I believe anymore, except that I know that I DO believe that Jesus is alive, was and is Gods character and died for all of our collective sins and imperfections.

Phat you know what you believe.

You are just not willing to accept it.

Phat as Jesus told Nicodumus ye must be born again.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
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