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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Faye. Offline
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Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 5th 2012, 10:07 PM

So, I went to Church yesterday evening and, to cut to the chase, the whole sermon was about sexuality, and how God ‘made’ us to have male-female relationships, how husband-wife relationships are most important and how they reflect God’s plan and other types of relationships are ‘worldly distortions’ of this ideal etc etc etc… So basically a whole anti-gay preach, with a good splashing of no sex before marriage. Let’s just say I have A LOT of issues with everything that was said and have decided not to go back to that church (which is kind of sad, as I have been going there for over a year). Anyway, I don’t want to start another ‘Christians vs Gay People’ thread as that topic has been done to death. (I think everyone should just agree to disagree :P) But this whole scenario got me thinking.

How do people decide what to believe? Out of all of my friends and acquaintances I am the only person I know who has changed their mind about faith from the way they were brought up. All my religious friends have been brought up being religious and haven’t changed, same thing for my atheist/agnostic friends. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that God exists, from my own experiences and things that have happened to me. But beyond that it is very hard to decide what to believe. When you go to a church service (or similar), you pretty much sit there and are told what to believe and how certain bits of text should be interpreted. A vicar might say ‘we are Christians and we believe in the trinity’ but they don’t ever say ‘but there are lots of other people who are Christians, and read the same bible but don’t believe in the trinity’. And with the hundreds of topics covered in the Bible this problem can crop up quite a lot!

Another problem I find that leads on from this is that how can anyone hold a belief, and not think it is the ‘right’ belief and that everyone else should hold this same belief? Surely you then end up thinking that your belief is ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than other peoples? And this goes for any belief about anything whatsoever. I find the idea that there is only one sets of thoughts/actions that lead to God very narrow-minded but equally, if all paths lead to God, then what’s the point in picking any particularly path and following it fervently? Ultimately, however important my beliefs are too me, for everyone else it doesn’t matter at all.

All in all, I am very confused! Any thoughts/opinions/disagreements would be most appreciated


Feel free to PM me

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think its forever
-Carl Sagan




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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 5th 2012, 11:32 PM

I was technically raised agnostic, but I still struggled with some of these questions. I decided what to believe based on the values that my parents taught me and what felt "right" and what made sense to me. For example, I don't think discrimination is right no matter what the reasoning is so I rejected religons that discriminated against people. I now have a hodge-podge of beliefs that I hold that don't fit into any one religion, but they are beliefs and values that I can live with. I do not go to church because I don't fit a religion so I would have a hard time finding and feeling comfortable in church service of any single faith.

Maybe deep down, we probably all think that our belief is the right belief, but I know that my beliefs work best for me and if others disagree that's okay. As long as they don't convert me or disrespect me. We all have the right to believe as we choose, it feels like sometimes people forget that.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 6th 2012, 04:22 AM

First of all Im Christian and my church does not believe in the Trinity....the Trinity really doesnt make since but anyways moving on. I think it sucks when the same person is up at the stand preaching every Sunday at church, I never liked that, thankfully I found a church that doesnt do that. Homosexuality and Christianity is a very interesting subject and hard to discuss with people. When I was 16 I had a very hard time even figuring out what my church even believed concerning the matter, the only things that I heard were from people outside the church telling me what my church believes....makes since right? haha so I was confused so what I did was I asked someone who I trusted and who I thought would have the right answer...we had a huge discussion about it and told me what the church believed and I understood but see here is the thing....what I remember most and I think the most important part, just as we were finishing up our discussion he looked me dead in the eye and said "Dont take my word for it, pray about it yourself to see whats true" So to answer you question about deciding what to believe, you need to pray and ask God what to believe and whats true. He will tell you, you will know in your heart. And no you are not the only one who has changed there faith from what they were brought up with, well I didnt grow up with any sort of church then I joined a church when I was 16....my beliefs became very different then my families, so no, you are not the only one And to address the part about thinking that something is "right" I dont think its about being right its about truth, there is truth out there ans truth is not relative. I just encourage you to seek after truth. PM me with any questions you may have.
   
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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 6th 2012, 11:05 AM

When I was a kid, my parents raised me to be christian. I prayed every night, I read the bible and I went to church. But heres the thing, it didn't feel right, it just felt like something I was doing to please my parents. Therefore, I stopped and called myself an atheist, but that didn't feel right either.

I ended up searching, looking at different beliefs and religions and ended up forming a set and beliefs and values that I hold dear. although I don't pray to a god or attend a church, I do consider it to be, in the loosest form of the term, a religion.

so, really religion isn't something you decide, more something you find, either by looking like I did, or by acciedent, what matters is that it is right for you.

On the other topic. I try to keep an open mind. I don't think that what I believe is better than all others, and I won't preach it to people who believe something different. I will however, hold my own if someone starts telling me that I am wrong


Women are women, regardless of sex,
and men are men, in the same respects.

You can be both, or a mix of the two,
or you can be neither, if that's what suits you.

But people are people, whatever their parts,
because what really matters, is inside of our hearts.

*Some poem I found on the internet*
   
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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 6th 2012, 02:45 PM

I was raised agnostic and decided Paganism was the right belief for me in my later teen years.

I think it’s difficult for those who are forced by their parents from a young age to participate in a particular religion (whatever it may be) when we are taught to be individuals and stand up for what we believe. It’s very conflicting. And I think it can cause a lot of problems within families when they are not flexible on the religion issue. At the end of the day you know what you believe and what makes you happy and what you think is right. And until you are living on your own there is not going to be too much you can do about that. I know there are churches out there that accept all sexualities. They are few and far between, but they are out there and that might be something you would look into when you are on your own. Or you may want to leave the church all together and that is OK too.




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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 6th 2012, 10:50 PM

I was raised Christian and became an atheist at around 16 (after going through a year or so of much stronger Christian belief than I'd had before that - perhaps ironically, it was learning more about the beliefs that made me stop holding them). I think people hold the beliefs they're taught until they're taught to believe that we should question our beliefs, at which point they throw out the ones that aren't compatible with their world view and adopt new ones they hear about that are. Rarely do people form truly original beliefs, just examine ones they hear about and absorb the ones that fit them while dismissing the ones that don't.


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Smile Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 7th 2012, 10:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faye. View Post
So, I went to Church yesterday evening and, to cut to the chase, the whole sermon was about sexuality, and how God ‘made’ us to have male-female relationships, how husband-wife relationships are most important and how they reflect God’s plan and other types of relationships are ‘worldly distortions’ of this ideal etc etc etc… So basically a whole anti-gay preach, with a good splashing of no sex before marriage. Let’s just say I have A LOT of issues with everything that was said and have decided not to go back to that church (which is kind of sad, as I have been going there for over a year). Anyway, I don’t want to start another ‘Christians vs Gay People’ thread as that topic has been done to death. (I think everyone should just agree to disagree :P) But this whole scenario got me thinking.

How do people decide what to believe? Out of all of my friends and acquaintances I am the only person I know who has changed their mind about faith from the way they were brought up. All my religious friends have been brought up being religious and haven’t changed, same thing for my atheist/agnostic friends. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that God exists, from my own experiences and things that have happened to me. But beyond that it is very hard to decide what to believe. When you go to a church service (or similar), you pretty much sit there and are told what to believe and how certain bits of text should be interpreted. A vicar might say ‘we are Christians and we believe in the trinity’ but they don’t ever say ‘but there are lots of other people who are Christians, and read the same bible but don’t believe in the trinity’. And with the hundreds of topics covered in the Bible this problem can crop up quite a lot!

Another problem I find that leads on from this is that how can anyone hold a belief, and not think it is the ‘right’ belief and that everyone else should hold this same belief? Surely you then end up thinking that your belief is ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than other peoples? And this goes for any belief about anything whatsoever. I find the idea that there is only one sets of thoughts/actions that lead to God very narrow-minded but equally, if all paths lead to God, then what’s the point in picking any particularly path and following it fervently? Ultimately, however important my beliefs are too me, for everyone else it doesn’t matter at all.

All in all, I am very confused! Any thoughts/opinions/disagreements would be most appreciated
Well, I'd like to ask you what church you went to?

-I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here.-

See, the reason that some religions, organizations, ect don't believe in same-sex marriages is because that's what is outlined for us in the bible. It clearly says 'Any man who lies with another man will not enter into God's kingdom.'
So obviously, to be in a same-sex relationship would be 'unnatural' to God's purpose.
Also, we are made to be attracted to the opposite sex for the same reason. Who did God create? A man, and a Woman. Not a man and a man. Or a woman and a woman. Same-sex couples cannot have children unless otherwise adopted. And what did God tell Adam and Eve to do? 'Fill the earth and subdue it.'
How was one, back then in that time, supposed to have a child if they were with someone of the same sex? That would not be fulfilling God's purpose to 'Fill the earth.'

Same applies today. Same laws, same morals, same standards as found, in the Bible. God's word. And for someone to be in a same-sex marriage or relationship to say 'Oh, we're Christian, we know our bible,' would be wrong, because if they knew their bible, they would know everything I just said and would not be leading that life-style, unless of course they believed the Bible was irrelevant for today which would still be a hypocritical attitude.

Just some food for thought.
Now, with all that said, I do not hate or judge someone who is Bi, gay, or transsexual. I simply disagree with their life-style, who am I to judge? Again, not trying to step on anyone's toes. :3

It's not hard to understand the Bible. You just have to read and meditate on it. Anyways. If you have any more questions, I'd be glad to answer any.



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I'm crying underwater so you don't hear the sound."


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I'll burn your name into my throat.
I'll be the fire that'll catch you.
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Re: Thoughts on Holding Beliefs? - November 9th 2012, 08:17 AM

Honestly, I decide what I believe through what I feel. If you have a good connection with God, he will speak to you. I believe in same sex marriage and no premarital sex. However, I don't believe that if you don't do either, you'll go to Hell. I believe that if you're gay and accept Jesus into your heart, you're still saved. Because we all sin, and God sees lying the same as being gay. And so, if a Christian can lie and go to heaven, then so can a gay person. TBH, I think the main issue with Christians and Gays, it's that unlike any other sin, being gay is the one sin that people parade around. You don't see liars going around saying 'I'm a liar and proud of it!' or opposing a religion as a whole, because it goes against their nature. Really, the fight comes from ignorance from both parts.

I know the Bible speaks against gay relationships, but that was in the Old Testament. This was before the New Testament, where God sent Jesus to include everyone. Before Jesus, the only people who were included in heaven, were the Jews. The gentiles then were included with Jesus. Before the New Testament, the Bible spoke of sins such as having a beard or mixing fabrics together. There's a lot of things that are no longer relevant but are there for the purpose of us knowing how much God has forgiven and done for us.


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