I never really thought much about God. I never felt as if I knew Him or anything. I did meet some cool old ladies at church that just seemed so "in love" with Jesus that it made me curious. I wondered why they were always so happy!
Between the ages of 18 and 30, I was quite crazy! I smoked pot, tried a few other drugs, drank beer, goofed off, and in general never thought much about spirituality. Well...I can't say never! My friends and I would sit around in the park at night and discuss God and reality and Pyramid Power and UFOs and mystical feelings and Rock Music. Then I began to become athletic! It was funny, really....because I was never in very good shape my whole life so it was strange to have started riding my Mountain Bike and actually see myself getting in shape! As it turned out, I rode 5000 miles in 2 years! Then something happened!
At Age 32, this girl I knew invited me to church. I thought she was nuts but I took her up on it. Church was weird. People were so darn happy! (It looked almost phony, but it also looked as if it could be real.)
Then....on January 9th, 1993 I met the Holy Spirit. Since that time, I have been aware of GOD or what I believe to be God influencing my life in ways never done before that time. For a couple of years, I went along with the indoctrination of conservative dogmatic ( see Dogma ) and oftentimes ungrounded beliefs of organized religion. It was a Charismatic Non-Denominational Church and it did get a wee bit weird in there at times!
Some days they would be waving prayer hankies around in the air. Some days they would be on the floor in prayer, while some folks spoke in the gibberish of tongues. Sometimes there would be strange Altar Calls where people would get slain in the Spirit and all such ritual and exclusivity which characterizes much of charismatic or fundamentalist Christianity today.
If you watch T.B.N. or Daystar Christian TV, you will see the extreme commercialized version of the type of Christian pablum that I was exposed to. Despite all of that, I still had that unique and personal belief and feeling that God was with me and that there was more to the world around me than the media, the educational system, and everyday interaction and experience with skepticism and folks who questioned organized religion could provide.
When I first came to EvC, I was quite a fundamentalist and a charismatic who never really questioned nor chose to define what it is that I believed. I was quite content to be uninformed and unenlightened as pertaining to the secular world and the scientific method of examining everyday reality. (some will tell you that I am still that way, but I have come a long ways in the last three years! ;) )
Before we go on, it is your turn now, Mr. Amen! Tell me how you grew up to believe the things that you do....give me an idea of your religious upbringing! :)
Edited by Phat, : added features!
Edited by Phat, : No reason given.
"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."--C.S.Lewis * * * * * * * * * * â€œThe world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.â€--General Omar Bradley * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog." -GK Chesterson
I was raised to follow the beliefs of my parents, but I was not fully nurtured into Christianity by my parents.
Do you believe that people are nurtured into Christianity?
When I finally decided to learn more about (George Washington) I indeed found out that not he alone has the same beliefs as I. This was a great discovery for me, thus it also allowed my beliefs to flourish even more within time. It seems I found that History is a key to some religious beliefs.
Interesting. ;) So you say that George Washington was an inspiration for you? How so?
I have a darker side, which I try to help remain hidden from others, but if so I'll explain it later if you'd like to hear about it.
Well....We all have our dark sides, and it may be best not to explain them to each other just yet. They will be evident to others anyway if they become a problem! :)
I stand up for all that is good and right in the eyes of My God!
If I show anger when arguing my side of the argument, ....I do intend to weaken their foolishness and see if it has them running for the hills.
It can be fun to debate other people. I suppose that for me at least, the question in my mind is what I wish to inform them about and whether I feel it necessary to attempt to teach or whether it is better to attempt to learn from my ideological opponents. You may have heard the old saying:
quote: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Sun-tzu--Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)
My next post will be about: My Present.
Sounds good. I have yet to make an official Belief Statement as I am unsure exactly and precisely what I believe, but perhaps this thread will help me articulate.
I still believe in One God...not a bunch of different Gods nor relative gods. To me, there may well be many paths up the mountain, but there is only one entity that you meet at the top no matter which path you take up that Mountain.
We have a lot of time in this thread...so chill and take it slow, as will I.
Its easy to nurture a child into ones own belief, but as I've somewhat explained already, it is indeed "only" that the parents have the right to nurture their children into a community of their own beliefs, though this may only be of my beliefs, wither or not the parents have the right to be the only ones who shall nurture the religious beliefs of their child.
1) Must a person be saved? If so, why? What exactly is it we are saved from?
2) As a young Baptist kid, what is your mission in life according to you? To God? To your parents?
I also want to let you read this email that I got. Let me repost it here for you:
I have a New Year's resolution for you that is challenging, life changing, and one that will not only transform you, but it will impact the world around you as well. In fact, I don't dare you to take this one, I triple dog dare you!
It comes from the Apostle Paul, and it forms the cornerstone of the entire Christian life:
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
In other words (to paraphrase The Police), every breath you take, every move you make, make God look good in your corner of the world.
That's what doing everything to God's 'glory' means. The word 'glory' here refers to the shining presence of Christ - so it means that your choices either let the light of Jesus out, or it hides it in a cloud of sin.
It means that everyone who knows you're a Christian is watching you and forming an opinion about God based on the way you act, because your everyday choices are painting a picture of God that is on display for all the world to see.
A person is only to be saved from a world of confusion, its not a must, well unless your religious belief includes the knowledge of The spiritual Realm,Demonology,and knowing there is a Fiery kingdom, where many are going to be condemned to Eternal Damnation! But! if you or anyone else doesn't believe that.. well then it might not be a top priority to them..
Salvation is not at the top of everyones list, and some folks even believe that salvation is irrelevant. Much of the Christianity I was brought up in emphasized belief as a prerequisite for salvation, whereas the Eastern Orthodox tend to believe in living out the salvation that we all already have through communion with the church.(read that Wiki article on Grace...its quite informative.
I guess the point I want to make is that there are lots of brands of Christianity that I was never exposed to, and its a bit pompous of me to claim that only one brand is the right one. (I do, however, emphasize a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ as a cornerstone for any Christian.)
I never saw your church website. Would you like me to?
God made me the way I am today, I don't believe a person should hide what they believe.
I agree. To be honest, Im not entirely concrete on what it is I do believe...deep down...and what I don't believe.
Jar always tells me to question my beliefs, for it is through questioning that we develop our beliefs.
I do this to some extent, yet I wont let go of dogma and of some beliefs which I feel very strongly about.
I have let go of the idea that the earth is 6000 years old...or thereabouts. I suppose GOD could make it that way regardless of what scientific evidence suggests, but why would an Omnipotant Creator choose to fool us?
Moreover....why is science a bad thing? Is it not the best critical analysis that humans are capable of? Should we toss away our intellects and simply accept belief?
I saw the recent issue that you had with Jar and the comments that were made by all concerned. Ironically, this is on-topic regarding my God and Your God.
Before I start, I want to encourage you to submit to the discipline, even if you think it unfair. The reason is that it will be good for your patience and your ability to deal with emotions. OK?
My next question is this:
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
As Christians, is it wrong for us to challenge human authority that we consider to be autocratic and unfair?
Now may be the perfect time for you to tell me about your "dark side". :)
Finally, I will close with this scripture:
Rev 3:19-20 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Sincerely Yours, Phat ;)
(I have toleave and go to my church group now, but will reply to you before tomorrow. Hang in there and dont let your emotions boil over! )(Tell me about your dark side. :D