October 28, 2020, 01:11:41 pm

Curious

Started by JakeELee, July 11, 2020, 02:49:48 pm

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JakeELee

Hey there,

Interested to know what you get out of following Christianity?

What about other paths or religions that lead to peace - do you think they're valid as well?

JEL

Foadle

I get to have a relationship with the creator of the universe, to grow in His love, and wisdom and so much more.  That is why true Christianity is not a religion but a lifestyle.  God is my friend.

Pete

Hi Jake,

Welcome to the forum!

That's an interesting question. Foadle already talked about the relationship we have with our Creator. I would add to that His grace and His Love. It's amazing to me that God Loves me no matter what I do, and I believe that He desires that we have the same unconditional Love for others. Jesus said that all men would know that we are His disciples because of our Love for one another. Sadly, many professing Christians are a poor representation of that Love. I believe that understanding, accepting and reciprocating God's Love is (or should be) paramount to Christianity.

As to the second part of your question, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "valid". As I'm sure you know, Christians believe, because it is recorded in scripture, that Jesus said He is the Way the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him. This is a core tenet of our beliefs, so no, I do not believe that there is any other way.

Are other belief systems valid paths to "peace"? Well again, I suppose that depends on how we define "peace". Christianity, to me, is not just a path to peace. It is a relationship with our Creator, a blueprint for how to live our lives, for how we treat others, and a hope that I believe only Jesus Christ provides.

The Bible speaks of a peace that passes all understanding. It is my belief that kind of peace is only achievable through Christ. 

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

flaglady

I get the most wonderful, loving and supportive presence of my Lord and His Holy Spirit. And that is a sense of feeling and love that is indescribable. I can feel down in the dumps and depressed yet I know God is with me and always understands what I'm feeling.

JakeELee

Thanks for your replies,

If I understand you correctly then there seems to be a very heavy reliance on "belief" in that the path you've chosen is the correct one. (By that I mean "belief or faith" vs fact or objective reasoning).

Before you came to this belief I'm guessing you might have considered other paths as well? What made you convinced that the Bible's path is then correct?

My thinking is that (for instance) a devout Muslim could say the same things, or maybe a devout Jew, or a devout Wiccan. They might all say that they experience or think they experience the divine presence of their God surely?

Thanks

JEL

Pete

For me, I was born and raised in a Christian family. My mom and dad have been married for 59 years (next month). My parents were very involved in the church, and once I got to my teen years, I also became very involved. My parents modeled the faith and belief that I hold to this day. Not that I agree on every single point, but I saw the way my parents lived out their faith and beliefs. When life's struggles and trials came, they taught me to lean on God.

Throughout my teen years and adult life, I have had many experiences and testimonies of the goodness of God. I strongly believe that He brought me and my beautiful wife, Sarah, together, and we just celebrated 21 years of marriage. We have been blessed with 2 incredible children.

Even when difficult times arise, I know that God is with me. I may not understand everything that happens, but I know that He works all things together for my good, even when I don't deserve it.

So that is why I believe as I do. Knowing my heavenly Father cares for me is incredibly humbling. I know that nothing can separate me from His Love.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Bryan

Other religions can require quite a bit of piety and sacraments in order to receive the peace their god offers.  What I enjoy about Christianity (at the risk of sounding a bit backslidish) is that God loves me... unconditionally... just the way I am.

Now of course I'm to work in step with his Spirit to live a more holy and sanctified life, but God doesn't strike me down when I stray.  In fact, he comes looking for me.

So what do I get out of Christianity?  I get the peace that comes from not having to be perfect all the time or even at all.  I'm perfect because of Christ and my belief in him.  That's real peace.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

JohnDB

Have I investigated other religions?
Yep...

All other religions other than Christianity claim that their God requires something physical/tangible in order to get rewards. (Money, works, and etc)
None of them offer forgiveness for past sins/errors.
Then their writings are highly suspect and incongruent.

But

Christianity has the Bible and God requires only faith and love. (Which will induce works, money and etc...but nothing is required or codified)

The Bible itself is a miracle.
It has 40 authors who wrote 66 books over a span of roughly 2,000+ years...that agree perfectly with each other. When you can't get 2 Christians to agree today on much of anything...we certainly look at theologians past with one squinted eye.

Then the scriptures have internal evidence, historical evidence, anthropological evidence, and geological evidence that point to an accuracy not found in any other writings of that age.

Then the complexity of the writing itself is beyond any author I've ever found. (And the scriptures have 40 different writers)

Then the prophecy accuracy is way past the norm. Even going to the hour or name something/someone would happen 600 years before it happened. That's not exactly something to ignore easily...

Like opening a letter written to you from a prophet that has been dead for 600 years...that's more than enough to make a believer out of anyone. (Isaiah to Cyrus)


Now I have a relationship with God. It's not like one with a normal person. God is in Heaven...I'm just a guy. But God knows me!
Kinda scary considering what He can do and my general character.
But He still likes me and pays attention to me.
But over the years we have come to an accord...I give him lots of respect...He gives me sarcasm/dry wit and lots of forgiveness.
I can't say that He is getting the better side of the deal.
God has seen me through some impossible situations and actually helped me when I was trying to do things for Him.

So what do I get out of this?

Lots more than you can imagine.
Things I needed that I really didn't know that I did.

YMMV
I wanna die like grandpa, peacefully and in his sleep. Not like the passengers in his car...they were all screaming and panicking.

Foadle

Quote from: JakeELee on July 15, 2020, 03:19:51 pmThanks for your replies,

If I understand you correctly then there seems to be a very heavy reliance on "belief" in that the path you've chosen is the correct one. (By that I mean "belief or faith" vs fact or objective reasoning).

Before you came to this belief I'm guessing you might have considered other paths as well? What made you convinced that the Bible's path is then correct?

My thinking is that (for instance) a devout Muslim could say the same things, or maybe a devout Jew, or a devout Wiccan. They might all say that they experience or think they experience the divine presence of their God surely?

Thanks

JEL
You bring up a couple of things here that I would like to discuss.

The first one is the concept of belief or faith being in opposition to (or as you phrase it "verses") objective reasoning.  Faith without objective reasoning is presumption and not real faith at all.  Faith is simply the superlative of belief.  It is a belief so strong that you know that you know that you know.

Putting it in simplest terms: you know that 1 + 1 = 2.  How did you come to that conclusion.  Yes you may initially have been taught that but you have to know it through experiencing it and seeing it at work in your own life. 

Now how did I come to know that God is really God?  One step along the path was the beginnings of the universe.  You either have a universe that starts with nothing and produces everything (non-theistic); or there was something (or someone) there to begin with that began it all (theistic).  Objective reasoning tells me that the former option is totally illogical.

Evolution will say that there was a big bang, or whatever beginning it chooses (as I know there are others aside form that) but the problem remains why?  Taking the big ban theory: why was there a big bang?  Well gases coming together exploded.  Where did the gases come from?  and it doesn't matter how far back you go the problem remains.  You may move its location, but you still haven't answered the fundamental question of where it came from.  And many of the laws of science itself proves the impossibility of evolution.  If you are truly interested I suggest you read "In Six Days: Why 50 Scientist Choose to Believe in Creation" Ed. John F. Ashton (1999). 

And creation itself is only one area where a non-theistic world view falls apart: why is the universe so perfectly ordered?  And as all things progress in a degeneratively,  how is it possible for anything to progress upwards ever?  Never has a mutation been found that has been a creation of genetic material but rather it is always by loss of it.  Also, how is it that we think, or process information; where do moral codes come from - and worse: what would be the consequences of a world without moral codes?  The list goes on.

If you are really serious about getting an answer to these questions, another book I would highly recommend you read is "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowall & Sean McDowall PHD. (2018)

But to sum up this point I will say that A LOT of objective reasoning has gone into my faith, and my faith could not be sustained if this were not the case.

You also make a very valid point regarding people being convinced about the path they are on.  There are a couple of things that need to be considered here: does the person believe simply because that is what they have been taught to believe and they have never had the nous to investigate for themselves and/or what external forces are put upon them to continue that belief.  The other is affected by the former consideration and that is, how open is the person to changing how they think.

Now personal opinion here that many may not agree with: but to me a person who believes in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit simply because they were taught to do so, never having looked into why they believe this past that point either doesn't really know God or is treading a very precarious path.

Yes I was brought up in a Christian home, but I was in a very religious church that in many regards was very near Jewish though it did believe in Jesus Christ.  I kept the Jewish dietary laws, festivals etc.  What I believe now and live in is quite separated from that - Why?  Because I investigated myself.  I asked myself why I believed in God and a looked at both sides of the coin.  For me, it required a great deal of unsubstantiated "faith" to believe in evolution than it did to believe in God ... but having come to this point which God was the true God.

Anybody can write a book about themselves saying how wonderful they are, and many have, but it doesn't mean that it is true.  In my investigations I had basically come to the conclusions shown in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" before I had even read it.  But this book clarified and expanded proofs that I had already seen for myself.  I was willing to change, and there were areas where I needed to change the way I believed - the evidence was against me.  But the fundamental of God being who He says he is in my investigations has only ever been strengthened not weakened by it.

flaglady

Quote from: JakeELee on July 15, 2020, 03:19:51 pmIf I understand you correctly then there seems to be a very heavy reliance on "belief" in that the path you've chosen is the correct one.

My thinking is that (for instance) a devout Muslim could say the same things, or maybe a devout Jew, or a devout Wiccan. They might all say that they experience or think they experience the divine presence of their God surely?


No I never did, actually. And I spent an awful lot of my younger years being perfectly miserable, convinced I'd been 'infected' by my mother's mental health problems and never really feeling I was 'worth' anything. Then came God into my life and I found a sense of self-worth I had never, ever experienced before.

To be honest, I don't pay much attention to those other 'religions'. This one is plenty enough for me!

flaglady

Quote from: Bryan on July 17, 2020, 02:26:42 pmSo what do I get out of Christianity?  I get the peace that comes from not having to be perfect all the time or even at all.  I'm perfect because of Christ and my belief in him.  That's real peace.
Bryan, that's it in a nutshell! Well said.

jiminpa

July 18, 2020, 11:38:20 am #11 Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 01:17:55 pm by jiminpa
See my next post.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

jiminpa

Fixing a typo:
My pastor says that we should be followers of Jesus, be followers of Christianity, and I agree with that. So, I don't get much from Christianity, but I get everything from the God of the Bible. I get to know the maker of all thing as well as my human limitations will allow.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

JakeELee

Sorry but I am done here :

I posted the following reply about 2 hours ago and yet I see it has been censored which leads me to believe that you people aren't interested in conversation, just confirmation of your beliefs. O well time to move on and leave you all to fantasy :

Thanks for your reply - appreciate the time you took to write it. A lot to discuss and I believe you won't take offence if I offer an alternative :

"Faith without objective reasoning is presumption and not real faith at all.  Faith is simply the superlative of belief.  It is a belief so strong that you know that you know that you know."

Faith is not the superlative of belief. Faith is the reason that people give when they have no objective reason for the belief".

If "faith" can lead you to a belief in Jesus and can also lead a muslim to a sincere belief in Allah then it is no longer objective - it is subjective. Therefore "faith" is no longer a pathway to truth or reason.

We need some other mechanism to determine what is true and what is false.

You ask the question about how did I come to the conclusion that 1 + 1 =2. Because it is demonstrably true. It is not an assertion but is proven. "Faith" in a "God" is not demonstrably proven - it is an assertion. Logical reasoning demonstrates that assertions are meaningless and that the burden of proof is on the one making the assertion.

I am NOT asserting that 1+1=2 : I am able to demonstrate that is it is true.

You bring into the argument that of evolution, and for some reason jump to the big bang and the assertion of the infinite regress - i.e. "I can't think of anything that would have created the universe ergo "God". That is an argument from incredulity and therefore a logical fallicy.

Whilst I agree that the universe deserves and explanation, to jump to "God" is rediculous. Why not Allah, or not Thor, or Imhotep. Yet I presume you are arguing that "I can't think of anything else other than "Yaweh" so therefore He created it all is a case of special pleading - again another logical fallicy.

Then you jump to pointing me to a book "Evidence that demands a verdict" - I have read it, and also read "Further evidence that demands a verdict" a number of times, both of which make assertions that are not backed up by science.

You sum things up by again confusing objective reasoning and faith. As your scripture asserts "Faith is the evidence not seen, the substance of things hoped for". Basic logic says that if you have empirical evidence then you do not need faith.

You are clearly confused about "objective", "subjective" and "faith".

"Faith" can NEVER be "objective" until there is a test for objective faith. The Hindu who claims that he has "faith" that his path is correct is no different from your claim of Christianity.

You have chosen the God that you want to, have agreed to the assertions but until you can demonstrate that those assertions are testable, empirical and investigatble then you are no different from any other faith claim.

Thanks for your reply btw - no offense intended, but I find the basic grasp of logic and reason sincerely disturbing. If your world view is correct then surely Yaweh could have bothered to provide more substantial proof?

Thanks

JEL

Bryan

Quote from: JakeELee on July 18, 2020, 05:37:58 pmSorry but I am done here :

I posted the following reply about 2 hours ago and yet I see it has been censored which leads me to believe that you people aren't interested in conversation, just confirmation of your beliefs. O well time to move on and leave you all to fantasy :

Thanks for your reply - appreciate the time you took to write it. A lot to discuss and I believe you won't take offence if I offer an alternative :

"Faith without objective reasoning is presumption and not real faith at all.  Faith is simply the superlative of belief.  It is a belief so strong that you know that you know that you know."

Faith is not the superlative of belief. Faith is the reason that people give when they have no objective reason for the belief".

If "faith" can lead you to a belief in Jesus and can also lead a muslim to a sincere belief in Allah then it is no longer objective - it is subjective. Therefore "faith" is no longer a pathway to truth or reason.

We need some other mechanism to determine what is true and what is false.

You ask the question about how did I come to the conclusion that 1 + 1 =2. Because it is demonstrably true. It is not an assertion but is proven. "Faith" in a "God" is not demonstrably proven - it is an assertion. Logical reasoning demonstrates that assertions are meaningless and that the burden of proof is on the one making the assertion.

I am NOT asserting that 1+1=2 : I am able to demonstrate that is it is true.

You bring into the argument that of evolution, and for some reason jump to the big bang and the assertion of the infinite regress - i.e. "I can't think of anything that would have created the universe ergo "God". That is an argument from incredulity and therefore a logical fallicy.

Whilst I agree that the universe deserves and explanation, to jump to "God" is rediculous. Why not Allah, or not Thor, or Imhotep. Yet I presume you are arguing that "I can't think of anything else other than "Yaweh" so therefore He created it all is a case of special pleading - again another logical fallicy.

Then you jump to pointing me to a book "Evidence that demands a verdict" - I have read it, and also read "Further evidence that demands a verdict" a number of times, both of which make assertions that are not backed up by science.

You sum things up by again confusing objective reasoning and faith. As your scripture asserts "Faith is the evidence not seen, the substance of things hoped for". Basic logic says that if you have empirical evidence then you do not need faith.

You are clearly confused about "objective", "subjective" and "faith".

"Faith" can NEVER be "objective" until there is a test for objective faith. The Hindu who claims that he has "faith" that his path is correct is no different from your claim of Christianity.

You have chosen the God that you want to, have agreed to the assertions but until you can demonstrate that those assertions are testable, empirical and investigatble then you are no different from any other faith claim.

Thanks for your reply btw - no offense intended, but I find the basic grasp of logic and reason sincerely disturbing. If your world view is correct then surely Yaweh could have bothered to provide more substantial proof?

Thanks

JEL

Has it ever occurred to you theres a reason its called faith?  "Substance of things hoped for, evidence of what isnt seen."  It wouldnt be faith if you had every waking detail laid out for you.  Id encourage you to stay.  Just find a different/better way to express yourself.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete

Just a quick comment;

Nothing was removed or censored here. I have no idea what may have happened to your post, but I am the only person that has the ability to edit or remove posts, and I can assure you that I did not. 

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JakeELee

Quote from: Bryan on July 18, 2020, 06:27:23 pmHas it ever occurred to you theres a reason its called faith?  "Substance of things hoped for, evidence of what isnt seen."  It wouldnt be faith if you had every waking detail laid out for you.  Id encourage you to stay.  Just find a different/better way to express yourself.

Of course! - It's called "faith" because there is no evidence. If there were evidence then there would be no need for faith? You have confirmed from your scripture that faith is "evidence" of "things not seen" i.e. nothing,

And with respect I have come to THIS forum for answers so to tell me that I need to find a different or better way to express myself is at best a cheap shot - I sincerely hope that this is not your standard answer when faced with different views......good luck with "street evangelism" :P

So what would what would preclude someone from another faith of claiming that they had the absolute truth? Reason and argument please, not appeals to absolute authority or assertions - thanks :)

Or am I missing something?

@Pete thanks for your reply - my post did genuinely disappear and it appeared to have been removed...thanks for clarifying.

JEL

Pete

Quote from: JakeELee on July 18, 2020, 06:55:02 pmSo what would what would preclude someone from another faith of claiming that they had the absolute truth?

Nothing.

Everyone believes what they believe is correct, otherwise, they wouldn't believe it. ;)

You are correct that there is no irrefutable, empirical evidence that our beliefs are the absolute truth. There cannot be, by the very definition of the word "faith".

That doesn't mean there is no evidence. While I know that correlation does not equate to causation, I have, as scripture says, tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I can't prove that to you, and I won't even try.

Generally speaking, I'm a facts and figures guy, so all of your arguments make logical sense to me. But that all pales in comparison to the Love, grace and mercy that I've experienced.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JakeELee

Quote from: Pete on July 18, 2020, 08:06:52 pmNothing.

Everyone believes what they believe is correct, otherwise, they wouldn't believe it. ;)

You are correct that there is no irrefutable, empirical evidence that our beliefs are the absolute truth. There cannot be, by the very definition of the word "faith".

That doesn't mean there is no evidence. While I know that correlation does not equate to causation, I have, as scripture says, tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I can't prove that to you, and I won't even try.

Generally speaking, I'm a facts and figures guy, so all of your arguments make logical sense to me. But that all pales in comparison to the Love, grace and mercy that I've experienced.

O0

Thanks Pete I appreciate your reply,

How do experience those things?

Did you have to believe first and then the feelings came?

Thanks

JEL

Pete

Each experience is unique. Sometimes experience follows belief, sometimes belief follows experience. 

The feeling of God's unconditional Love for me is one of those things where it's hard to tell what came first. Knowing and understanding that there is nothing I can do to separate me from His Love is a knowledge that lead me to an experience, a feeling as you said, that God Loves me because He is Love. Not because I earned it. In fact, when I deserve it the least, that is when I experience it the most. 

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."