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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
*CatchingStars* Offline
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Is he real - January 5th 2015, 07:02 AM

I grew up knowing God. I was told to pray for help or for someone to be helped. But when it come down to it I guess I'm not to sure about it all. I have prayed my whole life for the strength and courage to get though whatevee obstacle was thrown my way. I was born different, I look different, and I feel differnt from what most people do. I work at a church and here I am losing my faith in something I believed in since I was just a kid. I've struggled with death and honestly I probably should be dead considering all I have done. And people say that God gave me the second chance. So is that meaning I didn't fight to live or my body is in good health that I fought. God gets the credit for saving people and giving ideas. But I grew up learning being gay was wrong but here I also sit not caring whom I date. Or the fact that we must obey and when we don't we must pray. I don't have problems with commitment. It's just why won't God help me like I've heard he has done for so many people. Where is This amazing God people talk about. I lost my faith and I don't know if i want. Back




Life is too

Short to spend

It at war with

Yourself.

Iím catching stars in the sky because I am fixing the soul within me. May it be from the heart a girl broke years ago or my soul simply repairing itself as it was shattered on my walk on this earth. May the stardust fill those cracks within my soul making me brand new, but never forgetting who I once was.


   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Is he real - January 5th 2015, 02:02 PM

*Disclaimer: I'm an atheist (mostly)*

I don't really believe that God exists, though mostly because I find that I am uncomfortable with the idea of one person holding so much power over everyone in the world. But also because of the fact that there are so many religions that conflict and contradict each other, which leads to the question of which one is right or if any of them are right.

I'm neutral on the possibility of there being a power that has some sort of control over the world, but I do not believe that it comes in the form of a sort of person.

Lol sorry this is quite the biased answer
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Re: Is he real - January 5th 2015, 10:34 PM

*Disclaimer: I'm not an atheist* (Sorry, couldn't resist I'm Catholic, for the record)

First off, what you're going through is no different to what nearly every single person on the planet with a belief system of any sort goes through when faced with adversity. We question our beliefs, our outlook on life and everything else to see if they stand up to scrutiny or whether they need to be replaced with something that does. It's perfectly normal and in itself nothing to be concerned about. I'm not saying that you are, necessarily, but it's worth pointing out.

On the question of whether God is real...well, that really is the million dollar question, isn't it? And I'm afraid there isn't a simple yes-no answer. (If there was, this part of the site would get very quiet very quickly!) You'll get a range of responses to that, with ones like Kyra's on one end of the spectrum and ones like mine on the other. Either one of us could be right; equally, we could both be wrong. What matters most is that you take the time to consider it for yourself, think about what it is that makes you believe or doubt, and come to a conclusion based on your own rationale. Much as I might be expected to advocate belief in God being a Catholic, I'm also of the view that God prefers us to believe in Him for what He actually is - which isn't, necessarily, what's represented by current human thought about him. What follows is perhaps food for thought to help you determine whether or not God exists, and whether or not you want to believe in Him:
  • There seems to be this perception that God will fly in like Superman to save us from harm if we pray enough. I don't buy this. God isn't Superman. (Likewise, Superman isn't God no matter how much you like DC Comics...) We aren't promised an easy ride - far from it. What we are promised is a reason for hope, for finding the strength to keep going. Which leads on to...
  • You query whether people talking about God "giving you a second chance" means you didn't want to live enough or that you're fighting an otherwise healthy life. I don't believe that to be true at all. Likewise, I don't believe it's true to say that God should (or does) get all the credit for when things go right. Granted, as the ultimate creator and sustainer of all things in the Universe (or Multiverse, depending on how true that part of theoretical physics is) God does take the credit eventually. But where good things are done, it's in tandem with people. Same goes for asking why God doesn't help you. It may well be that in all the moments where in spite of everything you kept going, that was God helping you. To quote Bruce Almighty (I know, but bear with me), "Parting your soup is not a miracle, Bruce. It's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs and still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle." You could, if you so wished, view you keeping going in the same light.
  • You take issue with people in your church saying being gay is wrong. It is entirely conceivable that what they are saying and how the Almighty feels on the subject are not the same. You only need to look at how many different religions, and denominations within religions, there are to realise there are quite a few potential standpoints to take when it comes to the divine.
As I said, the above is merely food for thought and I wouldn't claim any particular strength to any of the above. If all it does is prompt further thought, then that's mission accomplished. Ultimately, your beliefs about God are a personal thing so you need to figure them out for yourself. All I would say is consider all the possibilities. People of both religious and non-religious backgrounds can sometimes be very blinkered, and more's the pity for it.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
RIP Nick
   
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Re: Is he real - January 6th 2015, 07:04 PM

Well, I only began the process of conversion to Christianity less than a week ago, so I'm unsure whether my counsel will be of any help at all, but I'll try.

God, as far as I can ascertain, cannot be proven. The legitimacy of the Bible can be proven to some extent (I recommend the book Why I Believe by D. James Kennedy, if you need some reassurance on that point). It comes down to whether or not you're willing to put forth the effort to maintain your faith.

Faith isn't the belief in things right in front of your nose - it doesn't take any effort to believe in the tangible. God and Christ are intangible. They cannot be logically proven to anyone, which is why Christianity - like all religions - is based solidly on faith. We have nothing else beyond the evidence in the Bible, and if you don't believe in God, you don't believe in that, either. You have to decide whether you want to be a Christian or not. If God continues to be an important figure in your mind, but you've forgotten how to trust Him in your heart, you simply have to cling to what little bit of faith you have left, and work to maintain and grow it.

God gets the credit for saving people that's what he does. As for ideas, I don't think that every idea comes from God - otherwise, how would there be sin, if we couldn't think beyond what thoughts God put inside our heads? The Bible states (somewhere, I'm not certain where) that we are given free choice, whether to sin or to follow his Laws. If we have free choice, that means God gave us the ability to think of our own accord - and that's something to be thankful for: Our ability to think. If we were merely body and had no spirit, no mind, we'd be driven entirely by animal instinct. We'd be nothing more than drones, passing through temporary life and going through pointless motions that we barely thought about. But, we aren't. God gives us the freedom to be free thinkers.

You say you look differently and feel differently than others do? Well, that's just your individuality. Without differences between each other, no one could learn from one another. Life would be a banal thing - and again, we'd be drones. Be proud of being different! It makes you who you are.

Now, as for whether being gay is an abomination or not, that's between you and God. If I were you, I'd do independent research on the subject, and see what I turned up. If you decide to stick with Christianity for a while, I recommend the Bible as your research source.

As for obeying God's law, that's simple: You just do. For all that He's done, that's all he's asked in return. And the laws aren't difficult to follow. They don't ask anything beyond the sphere of morality and faith. We all sin. None of us can become perfect, because perfection is too much to ask of anyone. I know, because my religion before I sought God encouraged pursuing perfection - and not even guilt hurts as much as the pain of falling short of the perfection those gods asked for. Christ didn't come to make us feel guilty for our sins: He came to give us an opportunity to be forgiven, to mend our ways so that we could go on to live peaceful lives, without pushing ourselves to be as perfect as He was - because there's absolutely no way any of us could be.

What sins you commit, you simply ask forgiveness for and make a sincere effort not to repeat it again - and you don't have to feel guilty if you're not breaking the Law all the time.

God is amazing. But, as my grandfather always said: "The Lord helps those who helps themselves." In order to give God an opportunity to help you through life's difficulties, you have to make an effort yourself. God isn't there to give us anything and everything we want - if He did, we'd all be a bunch of spoiled children. God sets difficulties in our lives so that we can work through them and learn lessons for ourselves. Difficulties in life? They're God's math workbooks. They suck, no one wants to do them. But Christ is our teacher: He stands at the front of the room, He tells us how to work through the problem, then He leaves it to us to do it. But we're never on our own, because Christ is lingering over us the entire time, wincing every time we miscount and calling us to his desk when we get a really, really bad grade. At His desk, we explain how we messed up our problem, then we return to our desks, and are presented with the same situation to go through again.

Point being? God and Jesus offer their help in the form of support and in the form of the Bible, which is basically all the examples and directions God gave us to follow along with. When you truly need God or Jesus, when you come to something you're helpless to overcome - and I mean, you literally cannot overcome - they'll help you. Until then, all these little things? They're just life on Earth and learning God's algebra.

Now. I think I've written enough. But I hope I've helped you in some way. And, if I haven't, well, godspeed to your own searching.


ANNA
ENTJ, HERMIT, AUTHOR.
"The most notorious ill-fortune must, in the end, yield to the untiring courage of philosophy - as the most stubborn city to the ceaseless vigilance of the enemy." - Edgar Allan Poe

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Re: Is he real - January 7th 2015, 03:42 AM

I consider myself a Christian, but I have been struggling with my faith for about two years now. It's simply the fact that I've worked so hard to obtain and maintain friendships with the people I love most, and I find it effing hilarious how those are the people God "chooses to take away" from me.
All I know is, for two days last year, I considered myself an Agnostic/Atheist. I have never felt so alone in this world. It was like all of my burdens and sins were suddenly dumped on top of me, and I was the one solely responsible for them. Which I am, of course, but with a God like ours, there is always forgiveness from our sins.

But I always thought it all seemed a bit self-serving. Creating a whole world, just to punish those who didn't worship Him?? Arrogant much, am I right?

What you might want to try is something I've been working on lately. I've decided to temporarily forget the whole religion aspect of this all. You don't need to follow a religion in order to worship and have a relationship with God.
And that's exactly what I'm doing. The Christian religion does have some flaws, so for the moment, I am specifically working on my relationship with God.

You mentioned that you feel like God gets all the credit for any ideas or good things, and that we have to obey and pray. The part where you asked "why won't he help you too?" Yeah, I've thought that many times myself.
But here's the way I look at it.

I see this now as...sort of a friendship. With friends, you do things for each other. You help each other out. But you don't look at it like a trade. And you don't really focus more on "who gets what"...you just help each other. It's like a natural instinct, almost.
With friends, sometimes you piss each other off, and sometimes one friend might accidentally offend another.

I feel like this is sort of like a relationship with God. You shouldn't really focus on what you have to do for him. Just...talk to him. Pray. Tell him your struggles with your faith, and ask him for help. Isn't "ask and you shall receive" one of the Bible's messages?
He'll return the favor. He will help you out. Maybe this is a test of your faith. And believe me, he will PUSH YOU to your breaking point, just to see if you lose your faith and trust in him.

I'm sorry I suck at explaining this. Like I said, I'm going through this too, so my thoughts are just as scattered as yours.

All I know for sure is this: Never, ever lose your faith. At the very least, keep it in your grasp. Because faith is a horrible thing to lose. Once you lose it for good, it is extremely hard to get back. It's like convincing yourself that Santa Claus still exists, even if you already know your parents are the ones putting gifts under the tree.

But with God, there's no proof of his existence, but there's no proof that he doesn't exist either. I honestly think it's something you have to feel. You have to connect. Just talk to him as you would anyone else. This is about a relationship with him, and not anything else. Not for now.

Like I said, I wish I could help you out more.
Good luck with this.


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