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Why do you believe?

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#61
You never knew Him! I don't propose to change you. Having been a Christian for 40 years and being baptized with His Holy Spirit for that same amount of time, less a few weeks.

I read many posts, testimonies, statements and questions on various Christianity forums and find it interesting, well sad, how many people abandon God without ever having known Him at all.

I was brought to knowledge of Jesus outside of any church or denomination. I'd heard things of Him of course as a child and went to Sunday school a few times but other than the Manger and His death on the cross that was it.

I don't want to to make this long though it is. He came and convicted me of my worthless life and I asked for and received His forgiveness. "as for our sins we know them" the Bible says. So true. Jesus forgave me, saved me then some weeks later He baptized me in His Holy Spirit. Then I had the power to overcome, pray and seek His face.

I know that a denomination had a strong hand in your unbelief. I know that the cold, dead, lifeless church services you've attended did nothing to lead you to Him.

Miracles? Yes, He still does those. After 14 childless years of marriage we found that my wife was unable to conceive because she was allergic to my seed. Killed it on contact. Medicine could do nothing. Then I met Him and was baptized in His Holy Spirit as was my wife. He told us He was sending us a son. He told me when she was pregnant. We put our son's name in a baby book and he was born about 8 1/2 months later. He's in his 30's now. So many more things He's done but too many to list.

I hear a cry, a plaintive cry in your words. Your innermost being cries out to know Him. God is very real. Any idiot can look at the creation and know that all this just didn't appear from accident. As a designer of machines etc. for 45 years I recognize the hand of a master designer when I see a thing. Jesus made everything that was made, including you and I.

You should go about to seek the true and the living Jesus, God's first name, and forget religion and denominations. If you will search for Him with all your heart you will find Him. Yes indeed. Do you know that He really does love you? It's true. He does have a way for you.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 30 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Isn't it high time you really hooked up with the true and living God, Jesus the Christ?
 
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#64
But God does serve you. Why did Jesus wash Peter's feet?
We are to serve and love one another as Christ has loved us (John 15:12) This has a lot to do with service of the brethren that is persecuted for the Gospel. You won't find that in the visible church, let alone any service unto the Lord.
 
R

Runner

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#65
Hello everyone, I am a recent christian turned agnostic. (Please don't try to change my view points) but I would like to know why you believe what you believe? I personally let go of Christianity for many reasons, 1. because I am not intrested in following a god that has no business in helping me or trying to make me better, I have prayed,prayed, and prayed some more, but nothing not one speck of help from him. 2. I was happy when I was an unbeliever, and when I because a christian I was sad, depressed, anxiety ridden and ocd ridden all because if christianity, before this I was fine, but these past few months have been the worst of my life and after a year of faith, I am done. I have given up of the god of Christianity. 3. Too many rules, I have been troubled by soany rules in my life that I simply could not live without worrying about of I was sinning and I got sick of it ang gave it up. I still believe there could be a god, but that god is not knowable and not able to understand. I also do not believe in sin or salvation.
I have observed that there are basically four species of religious belief (or non-belief):

1. You "believe" because you have been indoctrinated or brainwashed, often from an early age, by some authority figure - parent, pastor, professor, guru. Reliance is placed on that authority figure. The truth or falsity of the belief is secondary and may never be carefully examined. If the brainwashing occurs at a very early age, it takes root and is near-impossible to completely undo.

2. You "believe" because you have found a landing spot, such as an organization or church, that is appealing, comfortable and/or socially advantageous. The truth or falsity of the belief is secondary and may never be closely examined.

3. You believe because you have had some startling experience - for example, a vision or voice, drug-induced or otherwise, delusional or otherwise - in which you are convinced The Truth was revealed to you. Total reliance is placed on the reliability of that experience.

4. You believe because, on the basis of the totality of your experiences, observations, studies and intuition, you have arrived at your best current understanding of The Truth. The Truth of the belief is primary. Everything on which category 1 and 2 "believers" rely is secondary or irrelevant. If further experiences, observations, studies and intuition require modification of your beliefs, you will modify your beliefs because the goal is always The Truth.

Churches and organizations are teeming with "believers" in categories 1 and 2. Category 4, not so much. Category 3 believers typically go it alone or start their own cults of category 1 "believers." These distinctions are captured to some extent, although not precisely, in psychologist James Fowler's classic, Stages of Faith, https://www.amazon.com/Stages-Faith-Psychology-Development-Meaning/dp/0060628669. (Fowler was a Christian, although hardly a Bible-thumper.)

To my list in category 4 - experiences, observations, studies and intuition - Christians would add "revelation," meaning God's revelation of Himself through nature, the Bible and other writings, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For someone in category 4, revelation is closely aligned with (and often indistinguishable from) intuition. A believer in category 4 may well have had startling experiences similar to those of someone in category 3, but those experiences are merely included in the totality of the individual's experiences, observations, studies and intuition.

The reasons you give for your unbelief are, to be blunt, extremely shallow and have essentially nothing to do with whether Christianity is The Truth. You are, it appears, a category 2 "believer" (i.e., non-"believer"). If you are serious about the path of Truth, you have a great deal of work ahead of you. As Fowler makes clear, however, the vast majority of people are content to stall in categories 1, 2 or 3 (again, these are my categories, not his) and never move beyond them.

There is a species of category 1 and 2 "believer," commonly found among Christians and Muslims but not exclusively so, who regards mindlessness as a virtue and views experiences, observations, studies and intuition with suspicion. Indeed, all of the intellectual and analytical abilities with which we have been blessed, as well as the fruits of those abilities, are viewed with suspicion. Something like the Bible is given primacy for no particular reason other than that it serves as a useful anchor for this shallow form of "belief." At least you have not fallen into this trap.
 
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#66
to be fair, there are -some- Christian groups who seem to encourage what you term Category 4 believers. The RCC uses Scripture, tradition, philosophy, and available information from all sorts of sources to support their positions. RC Sproul is big on "all truth is God's truth," so to that end, he seems to make fairly heavy use of philosophy and other sources of wisdom to prop up his positions.

Using religion--especially Christianity--as the "opiate of the masses"-- is a time-honored technique. As a Christian, I find it disturbing. One can read about horrible governments in the colonial period of Africa, for instance, using various forms of Christianity as form of social control. In the US, I think the situation may actually be a bit worse...the unholy alliance between segments of the corporate world and some strains of Protestant Christianity has done a great disservice to a lot of people. On the more left-wing/"progressive" end of the spectrum, Sojourners and other groups are using the same Bible many in the GOP use...and they have (somehow) come to the exact opposite conclusions on a number of pressing issues.
 
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#67
Hello everyone, I am a recent christian turned agnostic. (Please don't try to change my view points) but I would like to know why you believe what you believe? I personally let go of Christianity for many reasons, 1. because I am not intrested in following a god that has no business in helping me or trying to make me better, I have prayed,prayed, and prayed some more, but nothing not one speck of help from him. 2. I was happy when I was an unbeliever, and when I because a christian I was sad, depressed, anxiety ridden and ocd ridden all because if christianity, before this I was fine, but these past few months have been the worst of my life and after a year of faith, I am done. I have given up of the god of Christianity. 3. Too many rules, I have been troubled by soany rules in my life that I simply could not live without worrying about of I was sinning and I got sick of it ang gave it up. I still believe there could be a god, but that god is not knowable and not able to understand. I also do not believe in sin or salvation.
Fair enough Brother. May I ask you to clarify one thing first? Do you want to know why I believe? Or do you want to know why I BELIEVE?

Clear enough? :)
 
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#68
Why I believe: It's in scripture and it's the inerrant word of God.

WHY I BELIEVE: Oh my gosh Brother, the Lord has done so much for me, directly in my life through supernatural miracles both minor and major that I have an almost unheard of amount of testimoines. How many do you want to hear? The time He spoke audibly to me? The time He sent a ministering Angel to my garage sale when I was 2 months behind on rent and had eviction papers to buy maybe a grand or slightly more household junk knick-knacks for 2400 dollars from me? The time I was hid in the shadow of the almighty (Psalm 91) while three cruisers were searching for me to arrest me? The time he delivered a pound of fresh gourmet Hawaiian coffee to me when I was out? How many do you want to hear Brother.

I'm nothing special. The least. Our God is very very real. Do you want to know how to get Him to help you like that? Or I'll leave it alone. I know the Lord...a little bit. Jesus is so real and I love Him so much. He Loves me even more than I Love Him. I fail daily. I've been where you're at. Or I'll respect your wishes and leave it alone.
 
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#69
For me. The greatest self revelation of a Creator is the creation It brought into being. The idea that the light like energy of creation became alive and sentient, not only alive but self aware and acquired the ability to wonder. The wonder isn't that creation took six days or 14 billion years. The wonder is that it happened at all.

That is why I believe in God whom I call Hayah Hovah Yihyeh
 
R

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#70
to be fair, there are -some- Christian groups who seem to encourage what you term Category 4 believers. The RCC uses Scripture, tradition, philosophy, and available information from all sorts of sources to support their positions. RC Sproul is big on "all truth is God's truth," so to that end, he seems to make fairly heavy use of philosophy and other sources of wisdom to prop up his positions.
I agree that an environment like the RCC or Orthodox Church makes it easier for someone to become a category 4 believer because, as you say, they are not as Bible-bound as (for example) the evangelical churches. As you say, they are much more open to an "informed Christianity" that draws from a variety of information sources. As I've said, if I were going to attend church again, it would probably be the Orthodox - but, alas, there isn't one within 250 miles of my home. I still think it comes down to the individual. You are either content, for whatever reason, to buy into "someone else's" belief system or you are determined to find the belief system that your own experiences, observations, studies and intuition tell you is the Truth (or at least the closest you are going to get to it in this lifetime). I, for example, managed to become the founder, pastor, congregation and janitor of the one-member Church of What Runner Believes while operating within Campus Crusade and the Southern Baptist church. Neither CCC nor the SBC was the kind of environment that particularly encouraged that sort of individualism, but I simply realized that if I remained I would be pretending to believe at least some doctrines that weren't true to my experiences, observations, studies and intuition.

the unholy alliance between segments of the corporate world and some strains of Protestant Christianity has done a great disservice to a lot of people. On the more left-wing/"progressive" end of the spectrum, Sojourners and other groups are using the same Bible many in the GOP use...and they have (somehow) come to the exact opposite conclusions on a number of pressing issues.
Which is why I think it's essential not to become caught up in any of it and rely instead on my own informed, prayerful understanding, even if this means I don't tidily fit within any of the "Christian" boxes. (If forced to leap into a box, it would certainly be the Sojourners' box before it would be the "unholy alliance" box.)
 

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#71
Just thought you should all know that the OP, Logan Phipps, has not been online since the day he started this thread.
 
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#72
That's OK. We'll just encourage ourselves in the Lord! These evil workers throw firebombs then run away. I predict that the Lord has a stop sign for him in his way that he'll not be able to refuse. Whike he has life there's hope for him.
 

Garion

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#73
Truthfully? I believe because I don't want to go to hell.

If I get into Heaven that's just gravy
 

Garion

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#76
I don't fear him I fear hell.

I respect God and His advice so I try to prove it everyday,some life experiences cause me to dislike Him.

I figure that at least I'm honest with Him about it.

There are many many "christians" that profess to love God yet they don't even respect Him or His advice.

They live as racists,fornicators,greed mongers etc...... I try to not do that and I think that He respects me for that.
 

Garion

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#77
I don't fear him I fear hell.

I respect God and His advice so I try to prove it everyday,some life experiences cause me to dislike Him.

I figure that at least I'm honest with Him about it.

There are many many "christians" that profess to love God yet they don't even respect Him or His advice.

They live as racists,fornicators,greed mongers etc...... I try to not do that and I think that He respects me for that.
 

for_his_glory

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#78
That's no reason to believe in my opinion. You should choose to believe and follow God because you love Him, not because you fear Him.
That's the reason I believed back in 1973 because I didn't want to go to hell. That was my first step forward that brought me to the relationship I now have with Christ.
 

Garion

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#79
I've heard people say that you must be a "God fearing Christian" that's the strangest thing that I ever heard.

I don't think that He wants us to fear or love Him, I think that He want's us to understand Him.

Through understanding the real world practicality of His advice we will respect Him for that advice.
 

Garion

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#80
You can honestly say that you love someone that let's a child be born just to starve to death? ... I can't but at least I'm honest about it.

I definitely respect Him and His advice because I see the real world practicality of His advice, I really believe that this is all that He asks.
 
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