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Do we KNOW Christianity is true?

I probably missed those posts. But you’re right, it can be more foundational that the way Jesus viewed the world.

It’s very difficult to be different than the world since the educational system is run by the world.
We can come out of the world and separate ourselves unto God. The physical man lives in the world but spiritually we can live in the house of the Lord. The flesh needs food warmth and shelter and for that we go to work to earn the wherewithal and that is all the world can offer. We do not need television, filling our minds with the thoughts and deeds of those for whom Satan is god. We do not need to go to pubs, pop concerts, the cinema with all the violence. We are, or should be, a holy people. The early Church did not have all those distractions, but now we have those we have lost contact with the wonder-working God. No miracles, no nothing except a dead church and a lost people. We need to get back to God and be filled with His Spirit.
 
Ah, yes, the inevitable ad hominem attacks! The good 'ol "Too bad you're not really a Christian - like me."

That's not the subject of this thread. The issue isn't whether Christianity "completely satisfies" me. It's whether I am able to hold a conviction it's true.

You're mixing apples and oranges. A child directly experiences parental love. If a child seeks reassurance from a parent, that's fine. If a child repeatedly does this, I as the parent would begin to question whether my treatment of the child actually looks like love.

Indoctrinating a child into religious belief is a completely different matter. The parent is simply indoctrinating the child into the parent's own convictions. This doesn't mean it's improper - it's perfectly understandable - or the convictions are inevitably false. But it does short-circuit the process of the child's own spiritual quest. I was blessed - truly blessed - to have no parental indoctrination in any direction. I have relatives who were indoctrinated into Mormonism; even though they now think it's nonsense, they can't quite get out of their heads.

OK, that's what the essence of Christianity is for you. I wouldn't disagree. But this is what Christianity means to you because, on some basis and for some reason sufficient to you, you have reached a conviction Christianity is true. You really aren't using the terms "true" and "know" in an epistemic sense. It's an "internal knowing" that carries no weight with anyone but you and fellow Christians. An atheist would say it's all delusion, and a Buddhist or Hindu would say he has the same knowing about the truth of his religion.

You're clearly feeling threatened by what I have said, so let it go.
What is the difference between indoctrination and teaching? Do we indoctrinate our kids to brush their teeth, eat healthy, work diligently? This is a real question, I’m asking.
 
We read God is love and putting words into action we know Jesus expressed that love on the cross, which for me makes him totally trustworthy. If I had my life over again, I would take Him at his word, accept him into my life, totally and unquestionably, the same as when I was a child. It all came from my own Bible study, there was never any indoctrination and I would recommend that course of action to everyone. It ended with me making a total commitment to him.
 
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It breaks my heart. (sad).
Sad and strange at the same time.
How strange that a Christian so burdened by what they feel is God's withholding of "legitimate basis" from them would not then instinctively bring this burden to the Throne of Grace, pleading the merits of Him who controls the movements of the universe ?
Free and open access to God being the greatest privilege a Christian enjoys.
Yet no mention of turning to God with this burden is ever made.
 
Sad and strange at the same time.
How strange that a Christian so burdened by what they feel is God's withholding of "legitimate basis" from them would not then instinctively bring this burden to the Throne of Grace, pleading the merits of Him who controls the movements of the universe ?
Free and open access to God being the greatest privilege a Christian enjoys.
Yet no mention of turning to God with this burden is ever made.
What is wrong with feeling sad for others who seem to be unsure of their faith and turn to philosophers instead?

Did you not read my short testimony in #102? I'm not burdened.
 
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What is the difference between indoctrination and teaching? Do we indoctrinate our kids to brush their teeth, eat healthy, work diligently? This is a real question, I’m asking.
There may be none. Parental "teaching" on fundamental issues such as religion is inevitably indoctrination of a sort because of the influence parents inevitably have on impressionable toddlers. This is true whether the parents are sincere Christians, Mormons, Hindus, Scientologists or atheists.

My parents - THANK GOD - were neither religious nor non-religious and left me to go my own way. I consider this one of the great blessings of my life. A great deal of all religion - and certainly Christianity in America - is the product of parental indoctrination and social and cultural conditioning. To the extent it produces "Christians," you may think it's wonderful. I think quite the opposite.

Kierkegaard, the great 19th Danish philosopher and theologian, lived in an era when the Danish Lutheran Church was the official state church of Denmark. Everyone was a "Christian." Kierkegaard asked whether it was even possible for an individual to actually become a Christian in such circumstances.
This whole thread saddens me that after five pages of debating about big words that I have to look up in order to even try to understand, just what is the whole purpose of this thread. Are we arguing for true faith or against faith just by how these philosophers through their points of views cloud the minds on the unlearned.

Does any Christian that is indwelled with the Holy Spirit need to even question if Christianity is true or false. If they have to question this then I would say they have no personal relationship with Christ nor have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If I was a new member and either a very young Christian or a non-Christian trying to seek answers about what salvation is all about and read all these posting I would be more confused and probably led to not even wanting to consider being a Christian.

There is no edifying or anything that is uplifting in this thread, but only not so sound arguments seemingly because of what some philosophers have written. IMO this thread is nothing more than Satan unaware wanting to plant doubt in the minds of those who only question their own faith. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Do any of us have to question that!!!

1Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Cor 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Cor 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Cor 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Cor 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Since you feel free to question whether I may "have no personal relationship with Christ nor have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit," perhaps you won't be offended if I question whether you have the intellect to participate on this thread, especially if you have to look up the "big words" that are pretty standard stuff in philosophy and theology. (Perhaps questioning other participants' faith is one of your prerogatives as an Administrator?)

This thread, which at least some others have found interesting and worthwhile, you declare to be "Satan unaware wanting to plant doubt" - whatever that is supposed to mean. (Goodness, are Administrators completely immune to the Terms of Service?)

Your understanding of faith likewise saddens me. I don't go so far as to question whether your understanding might mean you "have no personal relationship with Christ nor have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit." I'm not that arrogant, nor is my understanding of Christianity so one-dimensional that I'm threatened by those who have a different one. Whether anyone "has no personal relationship with Christ nor has received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit" is, it seems to me, strictly up to God..

This is - or should have been- a pretty straightforward thread about a narrow but important topic Epistemology isn't some satanic discipline. It's the very foundation of what it means to claim we "know" something.

The fact is, on ultimate metaphysical issues such as the existence of God and whether Christianity is true, we don't and can't know. When you or I claim we "know," the atheist says "You're delusional" and the Buddhist and Hindu say "Yeah, well, we know too - but what we know is different from what you claim to know." This is because we all simply hold convictions. When we say the truth of Christianity has blossomed inside of us, the Buddhist and Hindu say the same for their religions.

A sane and rational believer of any sort accepts this reality. He lives with his convictions and accepts the epistemological fact he might be wrong. His level of conviction might be 99.9%, but he might be wrong.

Literally every Christian theologian, leader, writer and believer who isn't stuck in perpetual Vacation Bible School accepts the reality of doubt. It's part of what it means to have faith. It isn't something to be afraid of. I have quoted Josh McDowell and an article in Christianity Today. I could fill 100 pages here with similar leaders making the same point throughout history.

Here is an excellent little Orthodox meditation entitled "Doubt is not unbelief": https://www.orthodoxroad.com/doubt-is-not-unbelief/ ("Doubt is not the opposite of faith, but rather the vehicle by which we are challenged to go deeper into the Mystery that is true faith. Nothing keeps we true believers from struggling with uncertainty, for it is this very uncertainty that keeps us from complacency.")

Perhaps you question whether all of these deep Christian leaders and believers "have no personal relationship with Christ nor have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit." Really? Are you that arrogant? Are you that afraid?

Please, be my guest, claim you "know" to an "absolute certainty" the truth of Christianity. Epistemologically, you don't. In reality, you don't. If you witness with this attitude, you will immediately lose credibility with those you hope to convince. You have a high level of conviction, that and no more. As Dorothy Mae has pointed out, in one's Christian walk there is probably no meaningful difference between a "high level of conviction" and the "certainty" you claim.

This thread became controversial only because those with your understanding of faith felt threatened and angered when there was no reason for them to do so. The very fact they felt threatened and became angry is rather a strong indication their "certainty" isn't quite as certain as they claim. God isn't threatened or angered by honest questioning and doubt. If Christianity is true, it should be open to honest questioning and doubt even by believers.

You removed one of my posts here that seemed pretty innocuous to me for "making derogatory remarks about another member." You then proceeded to question whether I have a personal relationship with Christ or have experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You characterized the thread I started as Satanic. Let's see if you have the courage and honesty to face yourself.
 
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Sad and strange at the same time.
How strange that a Christian so burdened by what they feel is God's withholding of "legitimate basis" from them would not then instinctively bring this burden to the Throne of Grace, pleading the merits of Him who controls the movements of the universe ?
Free and open access to God being the greatest privilege a Christian enjoys.
Yet no mention of turning to God with this burden is ever made.
Interesting point. Go to God with your doubts about God….How can He answer that is assuring? If it’s subjective feelings, won’t that be wobbly?

When I was a child I asked God to prove to me He is there. He did. But I cannot tell you exactly what He did. I’ve forgotten and was only a child. It was over a long period of time.

But At one point many years later I was really angry at God and told Him I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him any more. But it never occurred to me He wasn’t there.
 
Interesting point. Go to God with your doubts about God….How can He answer that is assuring? If it’s subjective feelings, won’t that be wobbly?

When I was a child I asked God to prove to me He is there. He did. But I cannot tell you exactly what He did. I’ve forgotten and was only a child. It was over a long period of time.

But At one point many years later I was really angry at God and told Him I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him any more. But it never occurred to me He wasn’t there.
Dorthy Mae: Runner has never said he has doubts about God, only in his " Christain beliefs":

"I never claim more for my Christian beliefs than I rationally can." (Runner)
After prayerfully bringing doubts to God, it is often times God's method to answer prayer through a petitioner's contact with other Christians .

However I don't believe God could manage to get a message thru with Runner's particular circle of friends.
Notice how out of the entire company of his Christian friends there was not a one of them with anything to offer him after his voicing doubts on his many, many " Christian Beliefs " other than:

" I keep being told I say things that don't sound very Christian." ( Runner)

Thats all his Christian friends got !
lol!
"you don't sound very Christian"
No attempts at reasoning over the details, no harkening to other connected biblical passages that help a person " get it "
Just a cold stark , " you don't sound very Christian" and that's it !
Some friends, huh ?
Wouldn't you know runner's circle of Christian friends just coincidently happens to be the most cold hearted, unloving, unresponsive collection of Christians ever assembled.
Thus the set up for the thread's theme begins with a refresher course in the narrow minded, cold hearted nature of all his Christian friends
Red flags all over the place from the get go in this thread.
Is this how ALL your Christian friends would respond to you if you expressed an honest doubt about a Christian precept while talking with them ?
I attend a group bible study/discussion among friends on a regular basis and doubts and questions on certain components of Christianity come up in every one of them.
If anyone ever responded to an honest questioning doubt in our group, with a " you don't sound very christian" they would most assuredly be invited , not to come back.
 
Dorthy Mae: Runner has never said he has doubts about God, only in his " Christain beliefs":
I never questioned his doubts or cast aspersions on his questions. I thought we were discussing in an impersonal sense.

The part I was sorry about was the very the idea that we can personally never be certain. That doubts are normal and should be accepted. I would counsel a believer to doubt their doubts, although the intellectual questions I asked and got satisfactory answer myself.
"I never claim more for my Christian beliefs than I rationally can." (Runner)
After prayerfully bringing doubts to God, it is often times God's method to answer prayer through a petitioner's contact with other Christians .
Seems reasonable.
However I don't believe God could manage to get a message thru with Runner's particular circle of friends.
Notice how out of the entire company of his Christian friends there was not a one of them with anything to offer him after his voicing doubts on his many, many " Christian Beliefs " other than:

" I keep being told I say things that don't sound very Christian." ( Runner)

Thats all his Christian friends got !
lol!
Our educational system doesn’t teach people to think, just learn and repeat. If you start repeating the wrong sentence, that sounds like the wrong group.

Christians aren’t taught why we believe as we do. I’ve actually heard “turn off your mind” from leaders.
"you don't sound very Christian"
No attempts at reasoning over the details, no harkening to other connected biblical passages that help a person " get it "
Just a cold stark , " you don't sound very Christian" and that's it !
Some friends, huh ?
Wouldn't you know runner's circle of Christian friends just coincidently happens to be the most cold hearted, unloving, unresponsive collection of Christians ever assembled.
Thus the set up for the thread's theme begins with a refresher course in the narrow minded, cold hearted nature of all his Christian friends
Red flags all over the place from the get go in this thread.
Is this how ALL your Christian friends would respond to you if you expressed an honest doubt about a Christian precept while talking with them ?
I attend a group bible study/discussion among friends on a regular basis and doubts and questions on certain components of Christianity come up in every one of them.
If anyone ever responded to an honest questioning doubt in our group, with a " you don't sound very christian" they would most assuredly be invited , not to come back.
You have an unusually good group.
 
If one is wanting to know if Christianity is true, one has to start with believing there is a God and He rewards those who honestly seek Him (with finding Him.)

One can examine the claims and life of Christ. Did He live his teaching and how did it turn out for others? One can read the teachings of Christ and see what kind of works that would be if one lived them out.

One can also examine the other major faiths such as Islam and Hinduism/Buddhism. What are the teachings and how is it for others who live them out. This cannot be done in western nations who bask under the freedom and respect for life Christianity brought. If possible, it’s best to travel to countries where those faiths are lived out.

The evidence for Christianity is overwhelming, that is, that the teachings of Christ come from a good God, the One True God, are overwhelming. Upon examine the other options and examining the fruit of Christ’s teaching, one can know that one has the truth.

The only hitch in the whole proceedings is finding truth is that there’s a catch, and it’s huge. Finding the truth about the claims of Christ then require personal commitment and surrender. It’s not like finding the truth about physical phenomena. It’s not merely intellectual. It’s as personal as it gets. The sin of the seeker suddenly plays a role. And the honest seeker senses this might be the outcome. The dishonest one does too but then must stop short of discovery lest their personal failings be exposed.
 
So this thread- a philosophical approach to examining why folks believe what they do with respect to Christianity is considered unorthodox here and the thread is moved to an unorthodox subforum, while the "Freemasonary" thread is considered orthodox "Christian Discussion" and not moved. https://christianforums.net/threads/freemasonry.91468/post-1684684

I have no affection toward or affinity with freemasonary-- but if that's what is considered Christian Discussion while this thread is not, then I'm out. Discussing Josh McDowell and Alvin Plantinga-- unorthodox! Discussing Freemasonary- Orthodox!

nuff said.

Referring to a member with tongue firmly in cheek as 'often wrong, but never in doubt' --Violation! -Remove the post!
Staff Referring to that same member as 'rude and ignorant' -- no problem there.

Inconsistency like this will kill your site stovebolts

Good luck.
 
"I attend a group bible study/discussion among friends on a regular basis and doubts and questions on certain components of Christianity come up in every one of them.
If anyone ever responded to an honest questioning doubt in our group, with a " you don't sound very christian" they would most assuredly be invited , not to come back." ( Consecrated Life)
You have an unusually good group.
Not by accident Dorothy Mae.
I know that I have always sought out the company of folks who are much more inclined to patiently remain interested and reasoning with someone expressing an honest doubt, providing guidance where they feel they can be helpful.
Which for me I have never had a hard time doing as they have always seemed to be in much greater supply than
the disturbers Runner runs with whose first & only instinct is to reach for the , " you don't sound very christian" club and start bashing people over the head with it .
Very baffling to me why Runner would purposely seek out people so lacking in self composure, sympathy, spiritual poise and patience as his go to circle of friends to hopefully be helpful in illuminating aspects of legitimate basis that his grasp of may very well be less secure than he thinks.
" Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus " ( Philippians 2:5 )
 
"I attend a group bible study/discussion among friends on a regular basis and doubts and questions on certain components of Christianity come up in every one of them.
If anyone ever responded to an honest questioning doubt in our group, with a " you don't sound very christian" they would most assuredly be invited , not to come back." ( Consecrated Life)

Not by accident Dorothy Mae.
I know that I have always sought out the company of folks who are much more inclined to patiently remain interested and reasoning with someone expressing an honest doubt, providing guidance where they feel they can be helpful.
Which for me I have never had a hard time doing as they have always seemed to be in much greater supply than
the disturbers Runner runs with whose first & only instinct is to reach for the , " you don't sound very christian" club and start bashing people over the head with it .
Very baffling to me why Runner would purposely seek out people so lacking in self composure, sympathy, spiritual poise and patience as his go to circle of friends to hopefully be helpful in illuminating aspects of legitimate basis that his grasp of may very well be less secure than he thinks.
" Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus " ( Philippians 2:5 )
The people you meet with are hard to find.
 
They are out there.
Sorry for your experience.
It sounds as though you do not get much, if any, spiritual refreshment from the people in the church you attend ?
None at all. The church has become a social club with a few “help others” goals, goals that secular clubs have as well. The small groups meet to pray for each other’s needs and discuss questions given to them by the preacher. Some of the questions will be “does this make you feel?” Other questions we are not allowed to ask. So I’ve encountered this “we don’t ask those questions here” christians.
 
None at all. The church has become a social club with a few “help others” goals, goals that secular clubs have as well. The small groups meet to pray for each other’s needs and discuss questions given to them by the preacher. Some of the questions will be “does this make you feel?” Other questions we are not allowed to ask. So I’ve encountered this “we don’t ask those questions here” christians.
May experience in past times as well.
You'll notice I mentioned that I had " sought out " the brethren that I currently enjoy the company .
This after feeling the Spirit of Christ departing the church I once called home.
God Bless you in your pilgrimage .
 
May experience in past times as well.
You'll notice I mentioned that I had " sought out " the brethren that I currently enjoy the company .
This after feeling the Spirit of Christ departing the church I once called home.
God Bless you in your pilgrimage .
I felt the Holy Spirit has departed from the church myself, at least a measure and the anointing that was on the sermons is clearly gone.
 
So this thread- a philosophical approach to examining why folks believe what they do with respect to Christianity is considered unorthodox here and the thread is moved to an unorthodox subforum, while the "Freemasonary" thread is considered orthodox "Christian Discussion" and not moved. https://christianforums.net/threads/freemasonry.91468/post-1684684

I have no affection toward or affinity with freemasonary-- but if that's what is considered Christian Discussion while this thread is not, then I'm out. Discussing Josh McDowell and Alvin Plantinga-- unorthodox! Discussing Freemasonary- Orthodox!

nuff said.

Referring to a member with tongue firmly in cheek as 'often wrong, but never in doubt' --Violation! -Remove the post!
Staff Referring to that same member as 'rude and ignorant' -- no problem there.

Inconsistency like this will kill your site stovebolts

Good luck.
I'm actually going to respond, Mister E, because you could scarcely have said it better. What this site wants - or thinks it wants - is some sort of permanent Vacation Bible School. When the Old Guard departed - including me - that stated goal of stovebolts was a kinder, gentler, lets-all-just-get-along brand of Christianity. Alas, that doesn't exist outside of Vacation Bible School and probably not even there. The site became so boring that it dwindled to nothing. Mindless Christianity isn't appealing to anyone but the mindless. It reduces what could be an interesting - and, yes, even edifying - site in lowest-common-denominator Christianity. And the lowest common denominator of Christianity is closer to a mental illness than a faith. It's a faith - if it's that at all - based largely on fear.
 
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