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To believe or not to believe? That is my question.

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posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:00 PM
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Ok guys and gals I'm going to do something I have not done in a very very long time, and that is suspend all that I have learned, all which has influenced me in my adult life and let any believers of any faith or religion (not try to convince me of their beliefs) help me with some problems that I have been having.

First off I have to tell you all a little about my past.

I was raised in the Bible Belt, however I was not raised Protestant or Baptist (which are the most common sects of Christianity there) I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for all that do not know who they are they are "Mormons". My childhood was fairly decent, I had a loving family and I loving church community, my family had problems which eventually culminated in my parents divorce. Despite these events my family remained active in the church. When I was 16 my mother left the church after finding out about Joseph Smith being a fraud, something I refused to believe. About a year later I read the Da Vinci code and Holy Blood Holy Grail, both these books (albeit I discovered later in life are based on hoaxes) changed my outlook on religion and the inaccuracies in the Bible.

I started doing more research and found a plethora of inaccuracies, forgeries and misinterpretations within my own faith and the Christian faith in whole. This in conjunction with some problems I was having with the elders in my ward was the trigger of my loss of faith.

Ever since that time I have explored, and explored for meaning in life. I have become what I guess one could call an agnostic/atheist. From the age of 18 to now I have discovered SO many things that have changed my life for the better especially esoteric mysticism which taught me about the removal of hate and ego and the embracing of compassion, love and the seeking of truth.

However lately...I have felt something very strange. I have a feeling that something is missing. I want to say I have had this feeling before, and others might describe it as the feeling that they get when they feel the Holy Spirit. A very warm feeling, the feeling you get when something very good has happened or will happen. I don't know what it is, hell it could be my own imagination. But I have also thought a lot about God lately, I dont know if I believe in God at least not the god depicted in the bible. God comes off to me in that book as a tyrant.

And this is the part where I question all of faiths (the Abrahamic faiths especially). To quote Bill Hicks

"The message of Christianity is that eternal suffering awaits all those who question Gods infinite love."

That is what it looks like to me too! If God exists why would he harbor jealousy, anger and hate for the choices of the beings that he created whom he gave free will to. We have a brain which has the ability of solving complex problems and storing vast quantities of information, yet we are basically told in the bible to "trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding" which means that all our knowledge is nothing and the simple faith in God is all that is needed. The Bible also multiple times makes it sound as though knowledge is inherently evil which I kind of can see however it seems to imply that the seeking of knowledge in general other than of God is a sin. And the jealousy aspect of God fascinates me, if God was of infinite love and compassion then he would not even care about being worshiped, I certainly wouldn't. If man can appear to be more transcendent then the Biblical accounts of God then how is that God a transcendent being? I refuse to worship a god of oppression and hate, but I do regardless of faith worship Love and I would love to believe that the God that many believe in is that God of love, but from what I have seen of seen in the bible and from preachers around the world I see only hate and fear.

So I guess some may say I am dealing now with a crisis of (cant believe I am saying this) faith. Any advice, comments, suggestions are all welcome thank you for reading this.

And remember all Peace, Love, Tolerance, and Compassion




posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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I don't understand whats wrong...

You seem to be concerned about your faith yet you say things like...


And remember all Peace, Love, Tolerance, and Compassion


It seems to me that you already understand, and comming from a mormon house hold, i'd imagine you show love to all...

So whats the issue here?




posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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I think the fundamental question you must ask yourself, (especially if you consider "truth" of great importantance) is "what is the REASON to believe". I, personally, put my REASON to believe before my WANT to believe.

I think what we have to appreciate now is current knowledge, and investigation into the unknown.

Back in ancient times, before we had a global network of knowledge, many people believed that geological events; earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods and volcanoes erupting were "punishment" from "GOD".

We now have a greater knowledge. Although, i feel we should always be humble as to what we currently understand about reality and/or the universe. Scientists can't tell you the "truth" beyond the big bang, they can theorise, and use mathematics to try and explain. Of course, we can't prove the theory true with demonstratable evidence.

I feel it's always wise to take the Agnostic route, however much of a virtue you find "faith" to be. Because you are agnostic in regards to the universe, i find that you should therefore be Atheistic towards all religion and defintions of "GOD" without proof of such extraordinary claims.

Some feel that the above position causes a human to be "nihilistic", to not care, to not understand the concepts of "love" or even a relative understanding of "right" and "wrong"....

I object to that, humans (with the exception of some anomolies) are empathic beings. We wouldn't have got this far if we were all about the killing and the evil.


I hope that clarifies my position, but helps you on your journey also.

P.S. Notice i don't say that God can NEVER be proven, only that (so far) GOD has not been proven, so i don't see any reason to belive. (The burden of proof relies on the person making the positive claim)

I keep an open-mind and i'm happy to renounce my Atheist given the reason.

Peace
edit on 29/4/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 



I think my problem is that I am afraid. I am afraid of being wrong...my worst fear in the world is that I will die and end up in front of the gates of the ultra right evangelical Christian God where I will be cast down into the pit with all others who loved but did nor accept the word of God.

I kind of want someone to explain to me how true Christianity works in a world where religion is beyond corrupt and is a political tool more than it is a path to truth.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


The Bible is a book, which was written by people and re-written, and re-written, and prior to all that, it had been verbal stories told and retold. Obviously, there are going to be some serious flaws in any book whose contents have been handled that way.

So do not base your faith or lack of it on the Bible taken literally in its entirety. You have to kill off part of your brain to do that if you are a thinking person, as some of it directly contradicts itself. And, its unnecessary.

www.biblegateway.com...


16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.


Within each of us is the "spirit of truth." Trying to dogmatically follow the Bible or any religious text written by man can cause trouble, but when you run across the portions that are true, and that you need as guidance, you will feel it.

Dont be religious or spiritual by memorizing things with the mind only, let your heart read them too, and pay attention to that feeling you mentioned. What is true rings true in the heart.

Good luck.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


Just be a good person, Treat humans (and animals) with kindness, and respect (within reason) Doesn't matter which God you adorn, there is only one God (if you believe in one God that is), how could humans be expected to know what dogma best suites the God (if it exists)

I'm sure on judgement day, if he/she/it is truly Merciful, he/she/it will not condemn you to a life of eternal suffering. (if God exists, and so does Hell)
edit on 29/4/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by Openeye
reply to post by Akragon
 



I think my problem is that I am afraid. I am afraid of being wrong...my worst fear in the world is that I will die and end up in front of the gates of the ultra right evangelical Christian God where I will be cast down into the pit with all others who loved but did nor accept the word of God.

I kind of want someone to explain to me how true Christianity works in a world where religion is beyond corrupt and is a political tool more than it is a path to truth.


i see, thats a lot of peoples issue so you're not alone


What do you want to know? I can't help you understand christianity but i can answer your fears.

As you know religion tend to be a "believe us or you're going to hell" ideal, teaching based on fear... They usually miss the actual message being taught in the bible. Regardless of which belief you pick, everyone without exception returns home when they die. Its not about who you believe or which book you chose to read, its whats inside of you that counts.

As i've said before, i don't know anything of the mormon book, but whatever it is that makes them treat each other the way they do, is amazing. If you read the bible for knowledge of the spirit then read about jesus... he was the truth, the way.

If you show love to everyone and everything you need not worry about what comes next... So honestly, whats the problem?




posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Your words are very wise sir. I guess there is a lot of truth in that saying "its not the destination, its the journey".



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by Openeye

I kind of want someone to explain to me how true Christianity works in a world where religion is beyond corrupt and is a political tool more than it is a path to truth.


Get yourself a red letter version of the New Testament, and focus on what JESUS says. Not Paul. Obviously the Ten Commandments matter to him, as he says in the Sermon on the Mount he did not come to do away with the Law, but to "fulfill" it, which, when you look both at the way the original word was used, AND in context, (by what Jesus then goes on to do, elaborate and make the laws more demanding) means that he is elaborating the law so that IF you follow his advice, you will be on the right path.

www.biblestudytools.com...

I think you will find that focusing on what Jesus says is not weird and contradictory. I think you will find it sets pretty easy with the spirit of truth. In your case, you just need to try to push aside what other people taught you about what he said, and just read the words with an open heart and let the spirit of truth guide you. Look at it with eyes that see, and ears that hear. Ignore the training you got if you can.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by Openeye
I think my problem is that I am afraid. I am afraid of being wrong...my worst fear in the world is that I will die and end up in front of the gates of the ultra right evangelical Christian God where I will be cast down into the pit with all others who loved but did nor accept the word of God.




That's the problem with religion man... it preys on fear.
Just be a good person, treat people well and know yourself... and all will be well.


You don't need any scripture or any rules to tell you how to live your life, all the answers are within you.





posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Well said my friend




posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 05:27 PM
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Thank you all so much for your comments. I am very glad to see there are some people in the world who peer through the black and white to gaze upon the gray.

My prayers go out to all of you, keep on riding the spiral everyone



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


Just live life bro, without fear...

Love all, and you'll be at peace




posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by Openeye
 



I refuse to worship a god of oppression and hate, but I do regardless of faith worship Love and I would love to believe that the God that many believe in is that God of love


For the first 30 years of my life, I was an atheist, but I always had a deep belief in Love, even when I was very young. I dedicated my whole future to understanding Love, knowing the essence of Love, learning how to Love, yet all within an atheist perspective. Then at the age of 30, I encountered the mystic path I now travel, and I realized that what I was seeking all along was God, because God IS Love. When I thought I had no belief or faith in God, I actually had a deep abiding longing for God when I held Love in the highest esteem.

So what I am saying is, as long as you have faith in Love, you are not god-less, and sooner or later what you seek the most will reveal itself to you.



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 12:15 AM
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Marcus Aurelius:

‘Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.’



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 04:56 AM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


It's a simple answer (with a question): Do you care if what you believe reflects reality?

Well, if you care about your beliefs reflecting reality, then you can't really care about what you wish or want to be true. You can't care about anything else but the evidence. Does the evidence show that any deity exists?

Nope.

Problem solved. It's merely a matter of accepting the fact that there isn't any evidence and admitting that there is a possibility that you're wrong.

It's up to you whether or not you care about your beliefs reflecting reality.



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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Sounds like your learn yourself through spiritual side and still feel it is not enough, something is missing.
If you believe in god even a bit but not sure , so you should use your spiritual approach to pray to god to show you the truth in all important aspect.

But it would be better if you keep yourself neutral, just praying to god whoever god is, the real god or gods or goddess and keep your spiritual journey continue. Keep open your mind and be patient and wait. The possibility are there is a god or not. If there is and you pray to god without addressing god with some believe, so possibility that god will show you the truth.

But if there is no good, at least you can enjoy your spiritual journey and feel comfort, waiting for not too long, only as long as you live.



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by Openeye
 


Beloved Openeye, religiosity is the death of the soul, faith is the anchor of the soul, love is the light of life, and life is God: for in him all things exist. Religion incites fear, and fear is the power of death: he that incites fear lives by fear, and fear becomes his death. You are alive, and have found a treasure, which only you know of: do not be swayed; enjoy the dance, and do not fear the result: for you must perform the dance to enjoy the glory; the music is pleasant, it is life.

All things became by Life, a phenomena that cannot be perceived through natural human senses, and thus it is commonly debated, qualified and quantified, without yet coming to the full understanding it: thus the many misconceptions. You were created with great intelligence; but that intelligence is for a higher ordination that transcends the natural world: you are still being fashioned for this greater dimension, and you are simply refining your intelligence in your exercises/creativity, in preparation for that transcendent glory: and the phenomena of that glory is the phenomena of his being, hence it might seem veiled, because you cannot now percieve it.

He that is making you is above all things: for in him all things exist; he needs nothing from you: for he knows in time you will glorify him, even as a glorious creature brings glory to its creator. He is light, and light is glorified in that which it manifests; he cannot be quantified, being illimitable, nor qaulified: for no one can know him yet, untill they have been perfected into his glory. He is without a name, in that there was no one before him to give him a name: though man refers to him as God; and man has crowned many gods out of ignorance.

He is the pure Energy/Spirit in whose light all things are glorified, without which nothing can be glorified, yet whom no creature knows as yet to glorify. His very essence permeates love: for in that he is above all things, love became by him; and love is the light of life: therefore you can only see his true light through love.

You are at a point now where you are seeking more of that which you just found; it will gradually permeate your being. I have a lot more to tell you, but this thread is not big enough for it; go to waterofshiloh.com... and be nourished. And if you seek further communication, you can reach me at waterofShiloh@aol.com.

Peace be with you!!!
edit on 30-4-2011 by Olise because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-4-2011 by Olise because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Originally posted by Openeye

I kind of want someone to explain to me how true Christianity works in a world where religion is beyond corrupt and is a political tool more than it is a path to truth.


Get yourself a red letter version of the New Testament, and focus on what JESUS says. Not Paul. Obviously the Ten Commandments matter to him, as he says in the Sermon on the Mount he did not come to do away with the Law, but to "fulfill" it, which, when you look both at the way the original word was used, AND in context, (by what Jesus then goes on to do, elaborate and make the laws more demanding) means that he is elaborating the law so that IF you follow his advice, you will be on the right path.

www.biblestudytools.com...

I think you will find that focusing on what Jesus says is not weird and contradictory. I think you will find it sets pretty easy with the spirit of truth. In your case, you just need to try to push aside what other people taught you about what he said, and just read the words with an open heart and let the spirit of truth guide you. Look at it with eyes that see, and ears that hear. Ignore the training you got if you can.




You obviously don't understand Paul, in the definitive book on Christian doctrine, Romans, Paul says that we no longer follow by the letter of the law, but follow the law by the Spirit of God. You have to remember when Jesus was speaking on the Mount of Olives He was still under the first covenant. Jesus didn't give the new covenant until the last supper with the apostles.

Paul also goes on to demonstrate that Abraham was saved in Genesis 15 before the law, and even before circumcision in Genesis 17. People were always justified by faith in God and not the law. Because no man can perfectly keep the law, to fail in one part is to fail all of it.

Think of the Law as a link of chains, if you're hanging from the chains and 1 link breaks you're still gonna fall whether it be the first link or the last one. Lastly, in your "Red Letter" Bible I'm sure you've seen that in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 are seven letters from Jesus to the churches in Asia minor (Turkey), the first on, Ephesus was Paul's church and Jesus commends them for having pure, true doctrine, but they had lost their first love. (Jesus wants devotion more than perfect doctrine.)

Lastly, Peter calls Paul "a beloved brother", and says all the things Paul wrote "in all his epistles", while hard to understand... is true. And Peter finishes by calling Paul's epistles "scripture".

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." ~ 2 Peter 3:15-16



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 



edit on 7/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



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