reply to post by bogomil
This is my reply, my apologies to the OP for not posting it here in the first place:
In my early twenties, my fiancé at the time (didn't work out for reasons unrelated to this thread) asked me why I believed so fervently in my faith.
He also said that my answer couldn't be based on nor related to "because that's how I grew up," or "because that's what I was taught." With
those two exclusions, I couldn't really come up with anything of much significance. Besides, to answer the question of "Why do you believe what you
believe?" with "Because that's what I believe" doesn't really make much sense and it makes even less of an argument.
I grew up "Batholic" (1/2 Catholic- 1/2 Baptist). I also had 3 stepdads over the years, so a smattering of Assembly of God, Methodist, Episcopalian
& Presbyterian can be thrown in there. I’ve witnessed lukewarm faith, no faith, true faith and wacky-nutty-insane-fanatic-silliness faith. Once I
started college I quickly began to do what I now perceive most college kids of any particular faith doing, which is to begin intellectualizing my
faith and attempting to find my place in it, or ultimately out of it.
In so doing, I began to slowly work towards the Eastern religious mindset of Universal faith, "all roads lead to God," the notion that we are all
gods because we are part of God, Gnosticism, Agnosticism, getting legalistic about the actual dates & authorship of Gospels, analyzing hypothesized
details about the life of Christ, His nature and the question of His divinity. Believing that Jesus was the only way seemed too exclusionary and
biased, especially in light of the fact that having been born in 1975, I am part of the "p.c." generation, fostered to keep my opinions as general
and benign, and therefore inoffensive, as possible. In a world that pities the "id" of humanity and is content to focus the development of future
generations simply on the "ego,"----boundaries, rules, restrictions and ultimatums of any nature are considered offensive, frowned upon, even
So many on ATS rail against the NWO and TPTB, while their anti-religious mindset is part of the very thing they despise. The word "sin" has become a
fundamental joke; people don't want to be reminded of their faults. They don't want to deal with the notion of their own humanity. Not in a world
where we have convinced ourselves that we are God. A world where we have been vainly convinced that we are in control of even the weather and the
biological evolution of living things--plant, animal & human alike, just to name a few. When you are God, you can't have any faults. You don't have
the luxury of being able to make mistakes. So, we now define ourselves simply as a "perpetually evolving life-form," which conveniently leaves no
room or reason for "sin" itself to exist.
But we all know that just because we refuse to acknowledge something, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. In a nutshell, true Christianity, as I
define it anyway, is forgiveness. It is admitting that you have been or done wrong, saying you're sorry, letting go of pride and self reliance,
accepting the fact that someone else paid for that mistake, and accepting that undeserved, unearned favor.
Justice is good, and since God is perfect, He is just. I do believe that Karma is a b*tch, that we will surely reap what we sow, and that for every
action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. The only way to go outside the box when it comes to the laws of the Universe is if you are the one
who created that Universe. Our Creator-provided loophole is being able to say we're sorry, have our apology accepted while being offered forgiveness,
and in turn, bringing the incident full circle, thus cancelling it out. The fact is, we are here, we exist, and if you are inclined to believe so, we
were created for an ultimate purpose. For some on ATS, that would be intergalactic experiments or even slavery. I have respectfully considered even
that hypothesis, and have found it lacking and have thrown it into the furnace along with so many other flawed deductions I have pondered.
If you are inclined to believe in conspiracies--- I mean, this is ATS after all, so I'm assuming that most of you at the very least have an open mind
to such, then consider the possibility that we are part of the Ultimate Conspiracy--- your belief in which, has no bearing on it's reality. The
unbelief in which, serving only to make this Ultimate Conspiracy all the more conspiratorial.
A conspiracy to make us believe that our very existence is merely an experiment.
Or that our existence is for no particular reason at all.
A conspiracy to make us believe that we were created from the biological material of galactic demi-gods.
Or that we were not created at all, rather the benign result of some primordial soup having marinated under the most unlikely of conditions with
mankind being its millennially-festered result. Yummy.
Of all the world faiths, Christianity seems to be the one that is the most diametrically opposed to itself.
According to Sun Tzu in The Art of War, “All war is based on deception.” With the ultimate deception being through infiltration. When you bypass
an enemy’s front-line, you are able to destabilize and confuse, thus destroying your enemy from within. Add to that, diversionary and classic ruse
de guerre tactics, and you quickly begin to have an advantage over your enemy. In my experience, most of the individuals who are so opposed to and
even offended by religion typically only hold that regard towards the Christian faiths. And more often than not, if I’m given the opportunity to get
to know them, their resentment, and at times even disgust, against Christianity as a whole is the result of their observation of a Christian, or
certain group of Christians. Now whether said Christian or group of Christians were actively endeavoring to live out the true tenets of Christianity
per Christ, or mere infiltrators, who’s sole goal of confusion or diversion happened to meet with success in that particular instance, we may never
know. Also worth quoting from Sun Tzu in this regard is that, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the
strategy out of which victory is evolved.” So if we can’t necessarily see our enemy, what is one to do?
You will know them by their rotten fruit.
All human beings make mistakes, therefore what all non-believers should realize is that you will know true Christians by their good fruit.
One unequivocal thing I have learned so far, is that you will either believe or you won't, you do or you don't. Some simply don't want to, and God,
the Creator of everything seen and unseen, respects their choice. How many people in your life actually offer you any respect whatsoever? Who are we
to receive the honor of respect from the God of all gods? We are His special, unique treasure. So much so, that He created us in His image.
Personally, I consider that makes us pretty f*ckin' special. Since Universal law tells me there is an equal but opposite reaction, then I can only
deduce that there is a force, that in the simplest terms, deems humanity extremely UN-special indeed. A force that is hell-bent (ha ha) on our
self-destruction, and for all intents and purposes, the destruction of the very image itself that we are created in.
Multi-tasking on an existential level.
Another unequivocal thing i have learned is that it is pointless to argue these points with anyone that never had any intention of entertaining the
reality of them in the first place. One of the textbook complaints of non-belivers is that the Bible seems contradictory and the perception of "The
Old Testament God VS. The New Testament God." You'll find no argument against this from me. I wrestle with my relationship with God daily because I
seek the Truth. His Truth. The Truth is, God wants a relationship with us more than we could ever want a relationship with Him, or anyone else for
that matter. Hell, that's the reason we exist in the first damn place, remember?? Anyway, you can't have a relationship with someone until you start
to get to know them. The more you get to know them, the more significant the relationship. Those whom are most important to you in your life, are
those whom you know the best, and whom best know you. Typically, these relationships have had their ups and downs and have taken a considerable amount
of work because your desire to have a relationship with these people was totally worth everything you've been through with them. Once you really
start to get to know someone, you start to learn how they think. Decisions that they make, in which at one time before you really got to know them,
would have condemned or at the very least, disagreed with, you now have an understanding of how they see their decisions as justified. You may still
disagree, but you do so with an understanding perspective.
Our judgment is based on perception.
God's judgment is based on perfection.
God wants a relationship with us, thus by that very definition, it is something that must be worked at. And for those whose desire to have a
relationship with Him, like any other relationship, the understanding of His person will be gradual and progressive.
I am college educated in World Religions, their impact on culture, history, blah blah blah and basically, what I'm trying to say is, I ain't no
dummy and the decision i have arrived at regarding my faith is truly an informed, well researched, thought out and resolute choice, and for all
intents and purposes, I consider myself a Christian.
A Christian can be defined as:
For all intents and purposes, "We" are "You."
However, “We” have asked for and believe that “We” are forgiven.
After all, it’s free and it is available to anyone.
Collectively, we are all His by design, but ultimately "We" are His by personal choice.
"We" are to strive to represent Christ, but sometimes "We" don't.
Sometimes “We,” in our effort to be the hands, eyes, ears, voice---the "body" of Christ, fail miserably, incurring the scorn, ridicule and
judgment of others, including other “We’s”.
One thing I say often, is that to most, perception is reality, and for many of us, that reality will turn out to be an illusion. Only once it’s all
said and done, will any of us know those of whom were very, very right and those of whom were very, very wrong.
So in the meantime, I will do my best to wash more feet.