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5 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

I don't know any Christian who would say that the stuff in the Bible is false. That's kind of the opposite of what a Christian is. They believe the Bible contains the Word of God, contains the miracles He has performed and the accounts of Jesus's sacrifice, etc etc. Most Christians I know would get very very defensive if someone said the Bible is false. Now, not everything in the Bible is *current* in terms of what God wants for us and such, that's why there is a difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. But saying it's false? Never known a Christian who would say that. 

As a Christian myself I would say that this a fair assessment. We DO believe that the Bible not only contains but IS the Word of God.

Therefor, by definition it is NOT false.

 

If that helps?


As @HeatherMarie pointed as for interpretation for a Christian's life today.... well that can vary. At's why we have many, MANY denominations! XD

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I dunno... as an atheist, I obviously don't believe the Bible is, for lack of a better word, true. I do like the stories in it, they're fun to read! So I suppose I appreciate the Bible on a literature level rather than a religious level.

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9 minutes ago, KrazyKarp said:

I dunno... as an atheist, I obviously don't believe the Bible is, for lack of a better word, true. I do like the stories in it, they're fun to read! So I suppose I appreciate the Bible on a literature level rather than a religious level.

Right. Believing it on a religious level? That is a matter of faith. 

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I think faith has different levels, different severities.... (And here I'm going to get into a ramble about stuff I've been thinking about lately...) Like, I hear sooo much about faith, religion is always based on faith. Sometimes I feel like I don't really know what actual faith is. Or at least, I don't know just how much faith I have. I believe there is a God (.... or Goddess). I believe there is some sort of plan for every individual person. I kinda-sorta believe in the whole Jesus thing, him being the Son of God and the Savior and dying on the cross for our sins and all of that... I feel like I *want* to believe that's all true, but maybe I don't have *enough* faith yet? Like, I absolutely love worship songs and certain songs really move me deeply, especially the ones about Jesus dying for us and such, but do I *really* think that actually happened? I'm not sure. 

 

How do you have such faith in something you can't prove? In something that happened so very very long ago that no one alive right now witnessed it? In something that seems so.... So extraordinary, so much *more* then anything any human has ever experienced on this Earth.... I've heard the Bible called the ultimate fantasy book, because the miracles and things that happen seem so out of the realm of possibility. I'm a rather logical person and I often need to see or experience something in order to know it's real.... Such deep faith in God and the Bible is a bit of a foreign concept to me. I honestly don't even know how to do that.

 

(Sorry, this is rambly and maybe I shouldn't even post this, but @JavaTigress's sentence about faith made me start thinking....)

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22 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

I think faith has different levels, different severities.... (And here I'm going to get into a ramble about stuff I've been thinking about lately...) Like, I hear sooo much about faith, religion is always based on faith. Sometimes I feel like I don't really know what actual faith is. Or at least, I don't know just how much faith I have. I believe there is a God (.... or Goddess). I believe there is some sort of plan for every individual person. I kinda-sorta believe in the whole Jesus thing, him being the Son of God and the Savior and dying on the cross for our sins and all of that... I feel like I *want* to believe that's all true, but maybe I don't have *enough* faith yet? Like, I absolutely love worship songs and certain songs really move me deeply, especially the ones about Jesus dying for us and such, but do I *really* think that actually happened? I'm not sure. 

 

How do you have such faith in something you can't prove? In something that happened so very very long ago that no one alive right now witnessed it? In something that seems so.... So extraordinary, so much *more* then anything any human has ever experienced on this Earth.... I've heard the Bible called the ultimate fantasy book, because the miracles and things that happen seem so out of the realm of possibility. I'm a rather logical person and I often need to see or experience something in order to know it's real.... Such deep faith in God and the Bible is a bit of a foreign concept to me. I honestly don't even know how to do that.

 

(Sorry, this is rambly and maybe I shouldn't even post this, but @JavaTigress's sentence about faith made me start thinking....)

 

I think there is a big difference between being unsure/questioning how things could be and denying that any of it is true. I really like expressing it as a faith journey for Christians working through their uncertainty - and we are all on a faith journey as life brings change and we try to make sense of it. I think it is a far healthier position to be contemplating and trying to understand, than to just accept things without thinking about them at all.

 

I've known people who say they are not sure if God exists, yet attend church because "it's a family thing"; because they attend church, they are called Christian. What bothers me much more are the people who insist they are Christians and that hatred and/or violence is an appropriate response to the teachings of God, because that hatred/violence against others is completely against what Jesus taught. At His greatest display of anger, Jesus only turned over tables - He did not assault any individuals.

 

With the basis that God (or Goddess, as gender is not applicable to the one who created it) exists and cares about each one of us, I have to believe God came to earth in human form to show us how to live as intended - clueless otherwise, we can be restored to a right relationship with God because of it. How can I say the One who created =everything= could not have performed miracles? And even if there is a scientific explanation for it, so what? Each miracle was the right thing at just the right time.

 

tl;dr: Hang in there HeatherMarie, you are on the right path with trying to work it out.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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I have... conflicting thoughts, regarding religion. 

 

I personally am what could be called agnostic atheist, as in I don't actually know if there's a higher power or not (and therefore won't confirm it or deny it) but it is my personal believe that there's not. And I think if there was proof that God existed, I could believe in his existence, but not in him.  I'm not comfortable with the possibility of destiny, of our paths being chosen for us, of a higher power able to mess with our life. When I was younger (like 8-9 yo) I attended catechesis. I think I never really believed, even if I asked to be baptized. I thought everyone was like me: that we chose to tell the stories so we'd have something to guide us but that we all knew they were not true. Turns out nop. Some people really believe it happened. I'm okay with that, obviously, but I just... don't believe it happened.

I'm sure many things have an historical basis, but the major things like Moises receiving the word of God, Jesus, etc? That sounds like fantasy to me. I'm just not able to believe these things.

And to be totally honest, I can feel uncomfortable when people speak about it with certainty, because they truly believe it happened. I'm torn between the part of me that says "Everyone believes what they want and you cannot prove anything" and the part that doesn't understand how you can possibly believe these things... Because I don't believe the more "fantasy" bits, I'm unable to see how some people can. I don't know if I explain myself...

 

That's just me. 

There's no proof there's nothing out there neither, and I understand why people find comfort in believing and being part of a community (though you can be part of a community without it having to be religious, tbh). But I have to admit that, as much as I respect personal belief, I have a problem with institutionalized religion. I have no problem with Catholicism, for example, but I don't like the Church (capital C) at all. And I don't mean individual churches with the priests and everything, I mean the Big Church, the Vatican, the whole head of the organization. For me, religion is an personal and deeply intimate thing. You can share it with others if that brings you joy, obviously, and I won't deny convents, monasteries (etc) have done good deeds, but the Institution... yeah, no, I won't say what I think exactly because I fear I might offend some people. But that? I have a big problem with, yes.

Idk. I feel like on an individual level, monotheists religions can be a guide for morality and how to act towards others, to find solace and joy for some, to be a part of something greater than us. I respect that. But on an institutional level, it feels to me it's another tool to control the people and decide for them what's right and what's wrong. That's... not for me, at all. 

 

I cannot speak about other religions/practices though (buddhism, wicca, any and all form of paganism...) because I don't know enough about them. I've always been more inclined towards polytheists religions because they feel more organic to me. I don't know if there's a god for the forests and another for the rivers, and another for the crops, but I do believe in some kind of... balance, on Earth. Mother Nature might not be a conscious being or a goddess, but it is a powerful force we should respect because it's the basis for our survival. I'm really interested in learning about those believes, the ones that bring us closer to the earth and to nature, from where we come from. 

 

(Sorry for my ramble, and sorry if I offended anyone. It's really not my intention. )

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6 hours ago, relaks said:

I have... conflicting thoughts, regarding religion. 

 

I personally am what could be called agnostic atheist, as in I don't actually know if there's a higher power or not (and therefore won't confirm it or deny it) but it is my personal believe that there's not. And I think if there was proof that God existed, I could believe in his existence, but not in him.  I'm not comfortable with the possibility of destiny, of our paths being chosen for us, of a higher power able to mess with our life. When I was younger (like 8-9 yo) I attended catechesis. I think I never really believed, even if I asked to be baptized. I thought everyone was like me: that we chose to tell the stories so we'd have something to guide us but that we all knew they were not true. Turns out nop. Some people really believe it happened. I'm okay with that, obviously, but I just... don't believe it happened.

I'm sure many things have an historical basis, but the major things like Moises receiving the word of God, Jesus, etc? That sounds like fantasy to me. I'm just not able to believe these things.

And to be totally honest, I can feel uncomfortable when people speak about it with certainty, because they truly believe it happened. I'm torn between the part of me that says "Everyone believes what they want and you cannot prove anything" and the part that doesn't understand how you can possibly believe these things... Because I don't believe the more "fantasy" bits, I'm unable to see how some people can. I don't know if I explain myself...

 

That's just me. 

There's no proof there's nothing out there neither, and I understand why people find comfort in believing and being part of a community (though you can be part of a community without it having to be religious, tbh). But I have to admit that, as much as I respect personal belief, I have a problem with institutionalized religion. I have no problem with Catholicism, for example, but I don't like the Church (capital C) at all. And I don't mean individual churches with the priests and everything, I mean the Big Church, the Vatican, the whole head of the organization. For me, religion is an personal and deeply intimate thing. You can share it with others if that brings you joy, obviously, and I won't deny convents, monasteries (etc) have done good deeds, but the Institution... yeah, no, I won't say what I think exactly because I fear I might offend some people. But that? I have a big problem with, yes.

Idk. I feel like on an individual level, monotheists religions can be a guide for morality and how to act towards others, to find solace and joy for some, to be a part of something greater than us. I respect that. But on an institutional level, it feels to me it's another tool to control the people and decide for them what's right and what's wrong. That's... not for me, at all. 

 

I cannot speak about other religions/practices though (buddhism, wicca, any and all form of paganism...) because I don't know enough about them. I've always been more inclined towards polytheists religions because they feel more organic to me. I don't know if there's a god for the forests and another for the rivers, and another for the crops, but I do believe in some kind of... balance, on Earth. Mother Nature might not be a conscious being or a goddess, but it is a powerful force we should respect because it's the basis for our survival. I'm really interested in learning about those believes, the ones that bring us closer to the earth and to nature, from where we come from. 

 

(Sorry for my ramble, and sorry if I offended anyone. It's really not my intention. )

IF I may humbly submit... some of the BIG C church things you talk about ( in the past particularly...) NOT even all Christians like/agree with . Again that is one of the OTHER reasons there are denominations.... and protestants as opposed to Catholics.

 

As for what @HeatherMarie... I can feel the struggle you are having with it reading your post. IF It helps, even those who consider them selves to be believers struggle with the subject of faith some times ( IE, for example ... I consider myself a Christian in that I BELIEVE in the things you mention ( Jesus' death for sin and resurection and all of that...) as my way to heaven. THAT said... I don't always feel like I have the faith in God that I SHOULD have... and of course I KNOW that the Bible teaches that without faith it isn't possible to please God...) Faith, I think , is a daily CHOICE as much as anything.  SO what you are feeling isn't UNUSUAL at all I would say. 

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8 hours ago, relaks said:

I have... conflicting thoughts, regarding religion. 

Thank you for sharing your perspective. I am responding to parts of your post as much to sort out my thinking as anything else. I like that you think through the different points from your own situation, as we are all different.

 

Quote

I personally am what could be called agnostic atheist, as in I don't actually know if there's a higher power or not (and therefore won't confirm it or deny it) but it is my personal believe that there's not. And I think if there was proof that God existed, I could believe in his existence, but not in him.

I get that people want proof of God. By scientific method, I do not think we will ever be able to "prove" it in this world; there is no place where the null hypothesis can be shown because God is omnipresent. Best I can come up with along scientific lines is that our spiritual yearning indicates there must be God much as our hunger indicates there must be food. Alternatively, we can see evidence of action by the Holy Spirit, but scientists will debunk that as observations being too biased.

 

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 I'm not comfortable with the possibility of destiny, of our paths being chosen for us, of a higher power able to mess with our life.

I believe God created us with free will and a need for interdependence. Free will means we make our own choices, and in this world we are learning the ramifications of our choices (and the choices of others) on ourselves, on others, and on society as a whole. I think we are destined for greater things much as a student learning the alphabet, then words, sentences, and grammar may be destined to write stories or plays. We have been given gifts and talents; it is our choice how we develop them and to what we apply them. I think God wants us to develop into full persons with healthy souls.

 

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I understand why people find comfort in believing and being part of a community (though you can be part of a community without it having to be religious, tbh).

I also believe that our spiritual development is not nearly as strong when kept to self rather than developed with others' input. Just as our choices have impact far beyond us and we can learn a great deal from others about possible ramifications, I think there is great spiritual insight and growth to be gained by discussions and experiences with others in faith. Furthermore, why should we hide our insights from others who are seeking them?

 

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 For me, religion is an personal and deeply intimate thing. You can share it with others if that brings you joy, obviously, and I won't deny convents, monasteries (etc) have done good deeds, but the Institution... yeah, no

I get that institutions can be a PITA. When leadership goes in a bad direction, the entire body goes down that bad path with them. However, institutions often have many greater resources for digging into our questions, and a much greater support base. They should be encouraging people to figure out how best to have a healthy relationship with God through seeking answers that are consistent with their scriptures; I do not know of any religion whose writings do not advocate peace/love/harmony between people. 

 

I personally also think religions are more legitimate when inclusive, not exclusive. We are all children of God, and loved by God whether or not we seek a closer relationship with our Creator. Those who claim to know for sure the hierarchy after death and treat people demeaningly or with hate/violence according to it in this life are pretty bogus in my eyes. None of us has the omniscience of God, nor can we truly understand how anyone else got where they are without walking in their shoes.

 

On a side note, if we want to respond to a crisis anywhere around the globe, the global network already in place by some major religious institutions makes it very cost effective.

 

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I've always been more inclined towards polytheists religions because they feel more organic to me.

I do not get polytheism. To me, there is one source of everything in the universe. To worship anything else is to be worshipping something less.

 

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I'm really interested in learning about those

I actually am as well, for a variety of reasons. I like to understand others' perspectives for better communication with them.  I also like to mull the different ideas/outlooks around in my mind, to understand why it does or does not work for me.

 

 

@JavaTigress: Well stated!

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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19 hours ago, Awdz Bodkins said:

 

I think there is a big difference between being unsure/questioning how things could be and denying that any of it is true. I really like expressing it as a faith journey for Christians working through their uncertainty - and we are all on a faith journey as life brings change and we try to make sense of it. I think it is a far healthier position to be contemplating and trying to understand, than to just accept things without thinking about them at all.

 

I've known people who say they are not sure if God exists, yet attend church because "it's a family thing"; because they attend church, they are called Christian. What bothers me much more are the people who insist they are Christians and that hatred and/or violence is an appropriate response to the teachings of God, because that hatred/violence against others is completely against what Jesus taught. At His greatest display of anger, Jesus only turned over tables - He did not assault any individuals.

 

With the basis that God (or Goddess, as gender is not applicable to the one who created it) exists and cares about each one of us, I have to believe God came to earth in human form to show us how to live as intended - clueless otherwise, we can be restored to a right relationship with God because of it. How can I say the One who created =everything= could not have performed miracles? And even if there is a scientific explanation for it, so what? Each miracle was the right thing at just the right time.

 

tl;dr: Hang in there HeatherMarie, you are on the right path with trying to work it out.

Actually You sum it up pretty well, too. 

 

NOT sure how precisely I missed this post before when addressing HeatherMarie's, but... I really like the image you used of it as a journey.... and I would add that it isn't always an EASY journey.

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My own beliefs are somewhere between Gnosticism and agnostic spiritualism. Basically "not sure what's out there but I think there's something"

 

Edited by AislinnSi

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The Bible has funny & interesting stories, my fave is the Revelation because a seven headed dragon with ten horns sounds quite like a super interesting hydra.

 

But for me its nothing more than that, as i believe we simply are our own gods and influence another and the world to our likes, which is not always right but someone else can change it with thier will and power, animals are the same, tho with less power, it doesnt change thier place besides us as we are the same.

 

Each to thier own believes, or none i guess.

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To put it simply, I am a pantheistic pagan. I see a common thread of truth woven throughout all religions. I believe in all gods and all pantheons, and I believe they are all united by a single power - call it the Supreme Being, magic, the Force, or what you will. I believe in destiny and free will, life and death, darkness and light. I believe in angels, demons, fairies, higher beings, the afterlife, eternal life, and different dimensions. I believe the human mind, though well-intentioned, is too fond of greed and too primitive to realize that it understands only a fraction of the secrets the universe holds. I believe in love, goodwill, and the ageless beauty of the soul. I believe in everything. Because of this, I am able to make friends with people of all creeds, even atheists.

 

I also believe that the power of nature should not be taken lightly, as it governs all living things.

 

I am a born witch, or whatever you'd like to call someone who can activate their sixth sense. ESP runs in my family. I am an empath, or clairsentient, and I can see some things before they happen, with enough accuracy as to be noteworthy. That's probably why everything I just wrote sounds perfectly sane to me. But everyone is different, and I respect that. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

Edited by Sesshomaru

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My birth father was Germanic Jewish, then turned atheist as he got addicted to drugs and alcohol, and my mom is Roman Catholic so growing up was, different. But I was never forced on way or another. I was allowed to chose. I think there is some sort of higher power and after life, and whatever you want to call it, I respect that. I don't really call myself Jewish or Catholic. We really don't know what happens after we die and it's natural for us as humans to seek comfort in religion. I do. And it's okay not to fit in a group like I do. Be you with your beliefs.

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