Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (8871 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 10-21-2018 8:58 AM
252 online now:
PaulK, Percy (Admin), Phat (AdminPhat), RAZD (4 members, 248 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: paradigm of types
Post Volume:
Total: 840,477 Year: 15,300/29,783 Month: 1,244/1,502 Week: 1/241 Day: 1/36 Hour: 1/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
15NextFF
Author Topic:   Why Belief?
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 220 (51174)
08-19-2003 5:02 PM


I have a question for anyone who subscribes to a religion. Most of the responses will probably come from Christians, but Muslims, Jews, Raelians, etc, are welcome to respond as well.

Why do you believe in your religion? I'm not asking for proof that it is true, but I'm curious as to what started you believing, for instance, that the Bible is actually the word of God.

Sure, faith is what sustains the belief. But what was the root of the belief itself?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by A_Christian, posted 08-19-2003 6:40 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 3 by truthlover, posted 08-19-2003 6:44 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 25 by riVeRraT, posted 04-25-2005 8:35 AM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 35 by Hangdawg13, posted 04-26-2005 11:34 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 36 by Firebird, posted 04-27-2005 1:08 AM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 39 by lost-apathy, posted 04-27-2005 8:51 AM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 42 by mick, posted 04-27-2005 3:42 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 80 by jar, posted 05-05-2005 10:17 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 90 by Faith, posted 05-06-2005 12:13 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 94 by Phat, posted 05-06-2005 7:16 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 114 by Specter, posted 05-12-2005 9:39 AM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 119 by Buzsaw, posted 05-12-2005 12:37 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded

  
A_Christian
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 220 (51197)
08-19-2003 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
08-19-2003 5:02 PM


The very fact that I cannot do anything right & the change in
friends who accepted the LORD & a noted difference between
Christians and those of other faiths or of no faith.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dan Carroll, posted 08-19-2003 5:02 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by ::, posted 08-21-2003 1:02 PM A_Christian has not yet responded
 Message 14 by nator, posted 08-24-2003 11:26 AM A_Christian has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 1984 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 3 of 220 (51200)
08-19-2003 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
08-19-2003 5:02 PM


I'll get your discussion going.

I was raised Catholic, then I read Spire Christian comics and Jack Chick tracts at 13 and I tried really hard to ask Jesus into my heart. I laid in bed probably every night for a month trying to figure out how to ask right or believe right or something, but nothing happened. The next day I wouldn't think about God at all, and by the time I did, I was frustrated with myself. So I gave up.

I read New Age stuff until I was about 20 (although it wasn't officially called New Age in the 70's). I believed in spiritual things, but I quit believing in God.

Then at 20 I got a Pentecostal boss who preached to me every day. I argued with him a lot, and I won almost all the arguments. When he had no answer to what I said, he'd laugh and tell me what a good Christian I'd be.

I set out at that point to document all the Bible's contradictions. After reading through the Gospels, however, I really liked Jesus. It was sort of traumatic, though, because he was nothing like the happy-go-lucky, everyone's-a-son-of-God kind of guy that Richard Bach had made him out to be.

I decided at that point that I really couldn't buy the "molecules to man" theory (totally on my own, no creationism influence). I also decided that the apostles (the Gospel writers) weren't lying. They saw something, in my 20-year-old opinion. Even if what they wrote wasn't accurate, they had at least seen something unusual.

(I'm aware that the thoughts in that paragraph could easily be demolished in an argument, even by me, but that was my 20-year-old opinion.)

Then, visiting an Assembly of God church, I was accosted by a Christian being a "good witness." I agreed to talk with him further, and we argued for two hours about whether God would send someone to hell and whether the Bible was the Word of God. I won the arguments so clearly, even he knew it.

After two hours, he said, "It's not hell and the Bible that matter, it's Jesus. Do you believe he's the Son of God."

There was a lot to influence me, including my Catholic upbringing. Reading the Gospels had won me over, and I said yes.

It's hard to describe the intensity of what happened when I said yes. I felt like I walked into a different world. In fact, it felt a whole lot like a very, very good high on pot. I felt that way for about two days, and with a little prayer I could bring that feeling back (less intense) for months afterward.

The next day, still feeling like I was floating, I promised myself I would never forget what happened when I said Jesus was the Son of God. I still haven't. The Christians got me to become a Christian and to adopt all their silly views and doctrines, which wiped out the great joy I had and the closeness I had felt to God. It took over ten years to be delivered from Christianity and to get back to that wonderful experience with Christ I had had.

My experiences have mostly been like what I described, and I'm sure many would classify them as psychological, but they've been consistent. I picked up certain things along that Christian path that "resonated" with what I felt inside, and I clung to those as true. Eventually, back in 1995, I finally ran into people who felt the same way I did. They didn't always (or even often) think the same way I did, but they "felt" like I did, and so we have always been able to work things out together.

I live with 35 families and about 10 single people who all live somewhat like I've described above. Our life works, and it works incredibly well. It's hard enough to say what I mean by that, that our method of "evangelism" is usually to say, "You have to come and see." When people ask how to join us, we tell them, "When you absolutely can't live away from us, then come live with us."

Anyway, I guess I believe because following that "Spirit" that I received way back in 1982 has been consistent (with the experience of others who have the same "Spirit") and effective.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dan Carroll, posted 08-19-2003 5:02 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 04-16-2005 5:40 AM truthlover has not yet responded

  
:: 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5109 days)
Posts: 423
Joined: 07-23-2003


Message 4 of 220 (51542)
08-21-2003 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by A_Christian
08-19-2003 6:40 PM


That Is Unfortunate
A_Christian writes:

The very fact that I cannot do anything right...


How could you ever hope to do anything right if you begin with this belief? If you believe something is impossible, then for you it may as well be.

A_Christian writes:

the change in friends who accepted the LORD & a noted difference between Christians and those of other faiths or of no faith.


I view reports like this as a type of reaction to post-consumer anxiety. Individuals, anxious to believe that they've made a good decision as opposed to admitting a mistake, are far more likely to report positive results from their decision than to report negative ones, and as a result the statistics will be highly skewed. I could easily cite reports of changed-for-the-better Bah'ais, Muslims, Buddhists, etc... I read recently a scientific study that concluded Buddhists are indeed happier individuals than other religious persons according to comparison of activity in the regions of the brain associated with pleasure and overall contentment.

Long story short, I don't find this "evidence" of yours a compelling indicator of the veracity of your beliefs.

Blessings,

::


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by A_Christian, posted 08-19-2003 6:40 PM A_Christian has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by kevstersmith, posted 08-21-2003 4:57 PM :: has responded

  
kevstersmith
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 220 (51614)
08-21-2003 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ::
08-21-2003 1:02 PM


Re: That Is Unfortunate
I respectfully disagree with your assessment of A_Christian's admission of weakness. Such realization of a person's frailty and or sinfulness is an accurate knowledge of our human condition that God gives those he's called to bring to himself. From my "born again Christian" perspective it is more a curse to not be aware of your condition and miss out on a personal relationship with God himself not to mention the eternal life side of things.

That such brokenness seems unfortunate to you echoes what we see in 1 Corithians 1:18: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Where other religions appear to be beneficial does not surprise me as they are typically works or behavioral based. I think the man made religions probably compliment our fallen nature better than the Christian faith and therefore should be expected to bring more fleshly pleasure and contentment. Although there are certainly plenty of so called "Christians" out there trying to make the Christian faith a series of rules and regulations to live by.

Living by the spirit of the Christian faith, which the NT so often exhorts Christian's to do, runs counter to all that the world teaches. It defies our human fleshly nature and is very much a struggle for most Christian's. It certainly was for me as it led to clinical depression. However, once I got the hang of it, namely living by the power of God instead of myself, I think I've come to enjoy life, albeit a very difficult one, in a way I never thought possible.

I pray someday God moves on your heart to bring you to him as well. Personally, I find him irresistable!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ::, posted 08-21-2003 1:02 PM :: has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by ::, posted 08-21-2003 5:25 PM kevstersmith has responded
 Message 13 by truthlover, posted 08-23-2003 2:23 AM kevstersmith has not yet responded

  
:: 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5109 days)
Posts: 423
Joined: 07-23-2003


Message 6 of 220 (51624)
08-21-2003 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by kevstersmith
08-21-2003 4:57 PM


Re: That Is Unfortunate
Welcome, Kevster! Myself I am also a relatively recent addition to this forum, and it excites me to see some new blood in the Christian camp -- especially another that appears quite capable of expressing his views as clearly and coherently as this your first post.

Kevstersmith writes:

I respectfully disagree with your assessment of A_Christian's admission of weakness. Such realization of a person's frailty and or sinfulness is an accurate knowledge of our human condition that God gives those he's called to bring to himself. From my "born again Christian" perspective it is more a curse to not be aware of your condition and miss out on a personal relationship with God himself not to mention the eternal life side of things.


I understand that this is more-or-less fundamental to your worldview, but I think my comment illustrated precisely its detrimental effect on individuals. A person who believes they cannot "do right" will have a more difficult time actually doing right than a person who believes themselves capable.

kevstersmith writes:

That such brokenness seems unfortunate to you echoes what we see in 1 Corithians 1:18: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."


Great propagandist, that Paul. Always skillfully poisoning the well.

kevstersmith writes:

Where other religions appear to be beneficial does not surprise me as they are typically works or behavioral based. I think the man made religions probably compliment our fallen nature better than the Christian faith and therefore should be expected to bring more fleshly pleasure and contentment.


So you concede that other religions have a greater measureable benefit than Christianity? That is what I infer from your statements. If we are comparing evidence, this means that there is greater evidence in favor of non-Christian worldviews by the very criteria that A_Christian put forth. If he(she?) was honest about regarding that evidence, then, s/he would not be Christian.

Kevstersmith writes:

Living by the spirit of the Christian faith, which the NT so often exhorts Christian's to do, runs counter to all that the world teaches. It defies our human fleshly nature and is very much a struggle for most Christian's. It certainly was for me as it led to clinical depression. However, once I got the hang of it, namely living by the power of God instead of myself, I think I've come to enjoy life, albeit a very difficult one, in a way I never thought possible.


How can you say that you enjoy living in this world when you've just spent a paragraph condemning its ways and your own "fleshly nature"?

Kevstersmith writes:

I pray someday God moves on your heart to bring you to him as well.


I thought that happened once. Turned out it was acid reflux.

But seriously, I know that you have the best intentions in making that statement, but you could never convince me that I am as detestful of a creature as the Christian worldview regards me, and in return I wish that you will one day trust yourself enough to confidently assert your own worth and goodness. That, my friend, is true salvation.

Blessings,

::


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by kevstersmith, posted 08-21-2003 4:57 PM kevstersmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by kevstersmith, posted 08-21-2003 6:13 PM :: has not yet responded

  
kevstersmith
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 220 (51645)
08-21-2003 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ::
08-21-2003 5:25 PM


Re: That Is Unfortunate
Yikes! Conversing with you is going to be fun. I'll try to respond to you in more detail tomorrow during lunch. Cheers!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ::, posted 08-21-2003 5:25 PM :: has not yet responded

  
joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 8 of 220 (51653)
08-21-2003 6:51 PM


Why.
I like the quote that is on messenjah's signature, "I believe in christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."-C.S. Lewis

That is exactly the way I feel.

I accepted Christ when I was 9 at a Bible camp way upstate in New York. Then through the years of going to camp, I was given all the answers I have ever needed in life. I learned about Creation. It changed my life, I actually started to love what I believed more then ever.

The speaker was a Creationist from Chicago. He met with Ken Ham, and the person he looked up to the most, Kent Hovind. This guy knew a lot and I ammend him for his work because he showed me the correct path. But Andy (his name) was wrong on a couple points, that I would never find out about until I joined this forum. (If you want to know what the points are just ask.) I intend to go back to that camp, maybe as as a worker, might be a camper and tell Andy his flaws and thank him for his work. Andy used slides to give his information to us. He got most of his work from Kent Hovind's site drdino.com or from meeting him in person (I think.)

From then on I have been searching around just gathering information for both sides of the spectrum. (Evolution and Creation) I found this site just searching around and was amazed at it's size and title (evc). I actually was debating on comedycentral.com (wierd huh?) Some guy was posting insults about creation and I got into a debate. Then I found this site and quickly converted my debating to here. I've learned a lot and I have gained knowledge on a lot of things also.
I believe in God, my religion of Christianity, and Jesus Christ's coming, death, resurrection, and his coming again soon to be, because I love and cherish God for giving me life, that of which I should savor, guiding my every step, and loving me in return eternally.

When you feel his love, you start to love with an incredible difference. When you feel that feeling you know he exists.

------------------
"As by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? The number of intermediate links between all living and extinct species must have been inconceivably great!" (emphasis added) -- Charles Darwin


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Dan Carroll, posted 08-22-2003 4:05 PM joshua221 has not yet responded

  
:: 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5109 days)
Posts: 423
Joined: 07-23-2003


Message 9 of 220 (51655)
08-21-2003 6:57 PM


A Question for Dan Carroll and a Comment for Kevstersmith
Dan--

I fear that my posts may have distracted the focus of your thread, and being that I interjected so early I may have deterred other believers from responding to your opening post. Would you prefer that I desist?

Kevster--

In light of my comments above, if you wish to continue this discussion, perhaps you should start a new thread. You can feel free to post again with some material which demonstrates rationale behind your beliefs because that would be in keeping with the intent of this thread, but unless Dan Carroll gives me leave to challenge your beliefs some more, I will not respond. If he does not give me leave, and if you would still like a response from me, please start a new thread. It's up to you.

Blessings,

::

[This message has been edited by ::, 08-21-2003]


Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by kevstersmith, posted 08-22-2003 3:02 PM :: has not yet responded

  
kevstersmith
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 220 (51864)
08-22-2003 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by ::
08-21-2003 6:57 PM


Re: A Question for Dan Carroll and a Comment for Kevstersmith
Having not heard from Dan I'll start a new thread for good measure as we are detracting a bit from Dan's initial question. I'll call it "Self Defeating Attitude or Empowering Humilty"

I look forward to your response.

Ciao

{Added link - Adminnemooseus}

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 08-22-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by ::, posted 08-21-2003 6:57 PM :: has not yet responded

  
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 220 (51879)
08-22-2003 4:03 PM


Um... yeah. I got in that argument with Rrhain about smoking, and I forgot all about this thread.

::sheepish::

Since you guys already started the other thread though, might as well keep this one going!


  
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 220 (51880)
08-22-2003 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by joshua221
08-21-2003 6:51 PM


Re: Why.
quote:
I accepted Christ when I was 9 at a Bible camp way upstate in New York.

Ut! Hold up a sec.

This sentence is really what I'm asking about. The way you see the world now that you have your faith is interesting as well, but I'm really trying to understand when/why people take that first jump.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by joshua221, posted 08-21-2003 6:51 PM joshua221 has not yet responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 1984 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 13 of 220 (51951)
08-23-2003 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by kevstersmith
08-21-2003 4:57 PM


Re: That Is Unfortunate
Where other religions appear to be beneficial does not surprise me as they are typically works or behavioral based. I think the man made religions probably compliment our fallen nature better than the Christian faith and therefore should be expected to bring more fleshly pleasure and contentment.

According to Jesus, the way to find out whether a preacher is telling you the truth is by his fruit. When I combine what you just said with the post you were responding to, I hear what ae heard. I hear you saying that other religions have better fruit than Christians, by your definition of what a Christian is.

Therefore, according to Christ, it would be better to listen to the Buddhists than you.

Perhaps you might want to change your opinion or consider what conclusion that opinion leads to.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by kevstersmith, posted 08-21-2003 4:57 PM kevstersmith has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 94 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 14 of 220 (52035)
08-24-2003 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by A_Christian
08-19-2003 6:40 PM


quote:
The very fact that I cannot do anything right & the change in
friends who accepted the LORD & a noted difference between
Christians and those of other faiths or of no faith.

Funny, part of the reason I stopped believing was because I didn't like how all the Christians I knew treated other people and each other so poorly.

Mostly, I became much happier and less judgemental of myself and others when I stopped being a believer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by A_Christian, posted 08-19-2003 6:40 PM A_Christian has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Mammuthus, posted 08-25-2003 4:32 AM nator has not yet responded
 Message 16 by crashfrog, posted 08-25-2003 5:35 PM nator has responded
 Message 23 by riVeRraT, posted 04-25-2005 8:19 AM nator has responded

    
Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 4400 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 15 of 220 (52101)
08-25-2003 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by nator
08-24-2003 11:26 AM


That's funny...I had the same experience.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by nator, posted 08-24-2003 11:26 AM nator has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by riVeRraT, posted 04-25-2005 2:27 PM Mammuthus has responded

  
1
23456
...
15NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2018