It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

To believe or not to believe

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:06 PM
link   
I'm almost 39 (female if that matters). I was raised from birth in a Methodist home. I did Jesus based projects with my mom (and dad) before I started school; little stories from the kids bible were read, we'd craft projects from the kids bible, etc. Prayers every night before bed, sunday school, youth group, vacation bible school every week at a different church in summer, etc. Fondly look back on it all cuz it was parent/child bonding.

I started doubting and questioning things when I was a senior in high school. I asked my minister/youth group leader a few base questions most folk get and was told "A good question - just have faith and believe". That was the end of that.

What gets me is that today, I kind of see myself more as a Polytheist Agnostic: I fully fully believe that it is possible that gods/goddesses/God existed and may exist today, but until I see infallible proof, I'll continue to believe that it's a possibility. Not fact based in stone.

YET my upbringing from my childhood and teens has me scared that by proclaiming myself a Polytheist Agnostic, I'll be in some deep trouble if/when God comes back for us in the second coming.

I don't know what's right and I KNOW it's personal belief. But I kind of want my cake and eat it too. I like to call myself open-minded and willing to believe and respect all beliefs and opinions of others in regards to their religions and anti religions. After all, each person's opinion is theirs to believe in 100% - who am I or anyone else to tell them their opinions are invalid and wrong? I'd not want someone to say mine are, so I respect everyone equally.

My questions are based on things like:

- If God loves everyone, why did he create some to not believe in him or to suffer,etc? I mean, maybe some of us choose to suffer before we're born (a personal take on reincarnation and choosing our lives before being reborn) so that we may teach those in our lives to learn patience and selflessness. Or when children/babies die; maybe they chose that so we may learn to love and lose, and get back up and keep moving forward.

- If there is God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell, and God rewards those who do good and believe in him with Heaven and a forever of happiness, no pain, worries, fears etc. , and if you go against God and do evil, you are punished in Hell, HOW does that work? God and Devil are enemies. You would THINK if one did bad and went against God, the Devil would totally reward em for being on his side instead of Gods; not PUNISH them for not being true to God. O_o

- A side view of the last: if you do good, live a wonderful loving kind, giving life, are honest, respectful, treat others as you want to be treated, etc and believe in God, you go to Heaven. If you are evil, rude, lying, murder, steal, do harm to others, etc., you go suffer in Hell. If you do good, live a wonderful loving kind, giving life, are honest, respectful, treat others as you want to be treated, etc and DON'T believe in God....... you...... what? Go to Hell? Supposedly only believers go to Heaven.
Well that aint fair.


Have Faith, they say. Have faith in what you can't see, touch, nothing.
"But you hear him in your heart". How do you know that isn't just YOU?
"Just have faith that God is there. That love inside, that's HIM." How do you know that's not YOU again?
"He/she has an empty life without God in it" Yet he/she is very happy, loving, warm, kind, generous etc.... So this nullifies as a good wholesome life because God isn't in them? How does that work??? How is that possible?

My Methodist upbringing is cringing as I write the above; "Blashpemer!" It's screaming. "You'll learn and regret when God comes down at the second coming!!! And you'll have no chance to repent."
Yet.....

Yet so much about it makes NO sense. Yet a lot makes sense. I don't know what to believe, and I don't want to...suffer for making the wrong choice. I think it's good to live the best Life you can, but to have religion in it or not? What will cause the most harm in the end? What if there IS a heaven and you know, cuz I'm doubting a lot, I can't go and therefore won't be with my religious loved ones who are there and who WILL be there..... argh.

I believe in reincarnation fully. I can not sit here and think we get one life and then nothing. I can't. That scares me so reincarnation is my tether I cling to. I also know a few of my past lives but that's not what this is about. But yes, I have my own beliefs but goodness, so much from every single religion out there and anti religion makes SO much stinking SENSE to me and do you really have to choose one and that's it? So many religions and anti religions make sense. Which to believe? Mix them up? Take the best from each and utilize them in my own life?

Faith. I find faith hard to have in any aspect right now. Not just religion or non religion. Just life.

Ever notice how people from the 1950's and back were very religious and now a days no one really is? I see all these signs coming to be from Revelations which also makes me wonder if I'm a fool for not believing fully in God/Religion as a whole. I know Christianity was taken from many religions much older. Should I focus on those instead? What is REAL? Which route do I take? Which do I make my own? I don't want to suffer for not believing, I don't want to be a sheep and follow a herd that ultimately means nothing. I don't want to be the goat left behind if it IS real.

D:

Anyone? Anyone have answers or surmises or opinions? I know I'm not the only one who has felt this way. I love hearing all sides, all ideas, all opinions because they are ALL correct and SOME one or two or all of you may have the pieces I personally need to create my own "I feel good with this choice here'' pillow. If that makes sense.
edit on 27-12-2011 by sarra1833 because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:10 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


The hell thingy, well that is a misinterpretation IMHO, but yea, I have asked myself all these questions,

God is love,

Peace



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:16 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 





Should I focus on those instead? What is REAL? Which route do I take? Which do I make my own?


Take the road less traveled, and you will have to walk it alone. Listen to your inner voice.

Nothing is worse then losing faith.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:22 PM
link   
I can only answer for myself.

Is Jesus for human sacrafice, or against it?

Apparently human sacrafice was a perpetual and growing problem in the ancient world.
A priest/king could sacrafice a child/person to some god(s) or other(s)
make a huge impression on their followers and gain more power.

So God turned the tables.

He gave his son as an offering to man.
Did the rulers of man reciprocate
accept the sacrafice, and grant
more obedience to God? Or
did they call it abomination
and wage war to prove it.

So the conclusion is this. (To me anyway)

Those who gain power through killing are already in hell,
and those who grant mercy are already saved.


David Grouchy
edit on 27-12-2011 by davidgrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:25 PM
link   
Jesus is hope. That's all he is. Read the bible over and over and you'll see that. God is the creator of hope, and also hope itself. That's why you need you faith. Give someone hope and they can gt out of any situation. If you choose to believe in God, that's up to you. He himself teaches to not think of him as a flesh and blood being. I don't believe in God, but we all need hope sometime in our lives. Even if you are down on your knees dying and puking from an unknown disease, the best cure would be hope. Hope that there is somthing better. And for that hope to stay, you need to have faith.

God isn't a flesh and blood being, and you do not need to believe in God(flesh and blood) to go to heaven, according to my interpretation. All you need is hope. Hope that something better awaits you. You can read the bible a thousand times over and see that hope is the basic theme.

Another thing: I'm almost positive somewhere in the bible it says all you need to do is accept Jesus to enter the kingdom of heaven, and it's also stated heaven is within yourself. I'll leave that for you to make up your own decision. No one can force you to legitimately believe in a man named Jesus or a being named Yahweh, but I can give you hope, hope that you go to a paradise when you die, all if I handed you this thick flimsy book.

Remember, I'm not a christian, and you don't have to accept (hope)Christ if you don't want to. It's your choice alone.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:26 PM
link   
The only wrong opinion on anything that is not mutually perceived is that one opinion is more valid that the other opinion.

That opinion creates a violent paradox where by two things of equal weight contend for eternity.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:29 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


Follow the teachings of Christ Jesus and you will be ok.

Christ said that he is the way, the truth and the light. I don't believe "He" is the only way, per se, but I believe his messages are the way to everlasting life.

And remember the biblical cannon tells us that Christ Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. The last time I looked Israel wasn't the whole world soo in lieu of that... that's probably why other cultures didn't know of Jesus because they didn't need him to get to everlasting life, they were already following the messages that Jesus brought to the sheep of Israel.
edit on 27-12-2011 by kimish because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 02:32 PM
link   
I just turned 40 and feel much the same way. Is it a trick or is it the truth. So much of our world is upside down and backwards right now it is very hard to tell...



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 03:05 PM
link   
A lot of my favorite highly respected posters posted in here, which touches me deeply



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 03:28 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


Hi Sarra, that is a whole lot of questions. First take a deep breath
Not gonna tell you what to do or anything. Just gonna advise you to talk to a lot of people and read a lot. Take your time with everything. The guilt is something the churches instill in people so you never leave. A really good source if you've never looked into it before are near death accounts. I think that would ease your mind a bit about the guilt. Man makes a lot of rules about religion which in the end don't have much of anything to do with God or Goddess or Great Spirit or however you define God. Even Christian near death accounts will say that.

Allow yourself time to look into various religions. Follow your heart. I wish you the best on your journey



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 05:08 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 



- If there is God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell, and God rewards those who do good and believe in him with Heaven and a forever of happiness, no pain, worries, fears etc. , and if you go against God and do evil, you are punished in Hell, HOW does that work? God and Devil are enemies. You would THINK if one did bad and went against God, the Devil would totally reward em for being on his side instead of Gods; not PUNISH them for not being true to God. O_o


Put a few things into perspective before you walk away from the edge. Sometimes we just need to look over the edge and see what's there. Remember that the Bible is a mystery and it is written in symbolic allegory and parable. By paradox, the allegories actually happened in history. God creates the history, the characters and the overall picture of what is happening. What should that tell us? We are not walking as much as we are walked. Again, God allows paradox. The story is fixed, yet we have free will to shape our unique part. Imagine God as the composer and you as the musician. You have no control over the symphony or your part, but you do have the ability to preform with precision or simply not show up to the performance. We all choose a different path.

Most people are bothered by divine justice. How can God allow Hell? Jesus had a simple answer to this. You must be born again. We are baptized into the water of reality. This is material life. We can also be born into the spirit when we are ready. When are we ready? When we find love for God. All unions happen because of love. The earth is a womb and we are developing in it. Our rebirth in the spirit happens after the moment of conception. It might be better stated the moment of perception. John 3 can explain this to you if you have the key to seeing clearly. Baptism is the water. The water is to cleanse your soul by fire. The fire represents the trials of your life. Why? Pride is the answer.

In the Garden, God placed a flaming sword to protect the tree of life. When mankind 'took' the fruit of knowledge, they cause a debt. God meant for us to receive the fruit as a gift. We 'took' the fruit. As a consequence, we elevated our self over God. This is pride. The flaming sword is the consuming fire of God's work to develop our faith by experience. Remember, the entire Bible is a symbol of what it represents. All symbols in the Bible point another place.

Examples:

The temple is your body. The temple implements (tools) used in sacrifice are your hands, eyes, ears, feet and so on. The tools are used with water to cleanse the temple. Are you starting to see the OT clearly yet? We sacrifice by our life lived in the water and use the tools we have in the process, just like the priests in the early days of Israel. They were our model.

Baptism is the symbol of the water and our immersion into reality. Jesus said that we must be born again. In other words, there is no choice. We develop over a period of time. At some point, we either turn it all over to God or harden our hearts against Him. The choice is always ours and God places us in various situations over the course of our lives to point the way. The soul cannot die, but lives on. We choose our destiny by giving or taking.

Read other parts of my threads to see other aspects. Feel free to send a private note if you need questions answered in any way. I'm more than happy to spend time helping you see clearly.


edit on 27-12-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 05:25 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


You must have some kind of faith in the concept of reward and punishment and you seem to be tossing and turning over it. The biggest reason people don't want to accept that people are good and evil is because they deny the concept of personal accountability. They don't want to be accountable for their actions and by believing that, they have to justify it by saying it was not fair for God to be good and not make everyone good.

The thing is this, the evil in this world is because it is in the heart of man to be evil. God gave us the right to be good or evil, whichever way we choose to go, but we must accept the consequences of our actions. People blame God when children are born sick, but they don't question when a bad person gets sick. They are ok with certain circumstances that makes them feel comfortable. They believe the bad deserve what they get, but without God, what determines that person was bad enough to deserve punishment?

I know the Methodists say "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good". God is good, mankind is not. Babies are born sick, that is part of the human condition and it might not be fair but at the same time, we are not perfect creatures and sickness is part of us. Actions begin in the heart, and those actions have far reaching consequences that reach into many generations. God might not punish an individual for the actions of their ancestors, but their ancestor's actions are what causes problems. But the Bible also says that He can end the problems that plague generations, but it comes from an individual making the decision to not allow it to affect them.

Here is God speaking to Cain about the murder of Abel what caused it..

Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.


It is up to us whether sin is going to lie at our door. Either we will rule over it or it rules over us. That is the ultimate free will given to man that God respects. But consequences of actions, that is what people do not want to accept.



posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 08:40 PM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


Hello! I can only offer my own path. A lot of my technical questions and "proof" to me that the scriptures came from God Himself is the work done by Dr. Ivan Panin who discovered the heptadic structures underlining the text itself. What he discovered is impossible for a human mind to duplicate, let alone for 66 authors to conspire together to fabricate considering they lived thousands of years apart and oftentimes never met the other Biblical authors.

You have to remember two things, just because someone doesn't know the answer or if their answer is terrible doesn't mean that there are no answers. If the first 20 ppl you ask have no idea the 21st person may know.



posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 08:56 AM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 


From your description it sounds like I have the same issues - although I tend more towards atheism. Here is what I have been thinking for myself: "to believe or not to believe" is not a good question, because we can't choose what we believe. I see it as a feedback loop where belief forms action, action causes result, result shapes belief. Also I know that I believe contradictory ideas at the same time, sometimes one belief comes to the front and shapes an action and sometimes another belief comes to the front.

So I just accept that I'm probably always going to believe in Christianity a little bit, but I also accept that I can't believe in Christianity the way others do unless some unexpected results move me in that direction. If Christianity is true, it must be very different from what they preach in most churches.



posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 09:22 AM
link   

Originally posted by cloudyday
reply to post by sarra1833
 


If Christianity is true, it must be very different from what they preach in most churches.


And that is the heart of the matter, what to believe about Christianity. Yes, I will fully agree that over time, people within Christianity have changed the message because it suits their leadership. The message of Christianity began within Judaism, but split during the sacking of Jerusalem and when the Jews were forced to leave.

I have studied Christianity for a long time, and can tell you that when people are placed in positions of power, they can turn people away from truth just to get people to follow them. When a Christian tells me that a certain church father said a certain thing, I look into that church father's life to understand the motivation for saying it.

These are some Sayings of the Early Church Fathers

This is one of those fathers sayings

John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the "greatest" of church fathers; known as "The Golden Mouthed." A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses. The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition."…"I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.


And the words of Martin Luther

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians. Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing. Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught. Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more...


Those men may have had a long lasting influence on Christians, and it is sad Christians believed them. But in studying the scriptures I have discovered several things that most Christians do not want to see are there. You know how Christians always talk about Caiaphas the High Priest who conspired to crucify Jesus? Let me explain to you just exactly what the man said, so there could be no confusion and placing blame any more.


John 11:47Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.


Caiaphas knew why Jesus came, and understood his role in the will of God, because it was not only for the saving of Israel, but all nations where the children of God are. When he said "let this man's blood be on our heads, and our children's heads", he was saying exactly what Christians say "I am covered by the blood of the Lamb". That is not blood guilt, it is acceptance, and preachers have denied that Caiaphas had to do what he did because he was the man chosen by God to do it. Caiaphas knew it, and I think he should be respected, because his words are exactly what Christians say today, cover me by the blood of the Lamb. He was a believer, but as God chooses people to do good things, He also chooses people to do the not so pleasant things. Caiaphas was one of those second, there is no blood guilt toward the Jews.

edit on 12/28/2011 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 09:52 AM
link   
reply to post by WarminIndy
 



I hate the Jews for the same reason.


Really??? Sorry church father dude, but can you refer me to the verse or series of verses that lead you to believe hatred is a gift or fruit of the Holy Spirit??


1 John 3:15 " Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."



posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 10:00 AM
link   

Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by WarminIndy
 



I hate the Jews for the same reason.


Really??? Sorry church father dude, but can you refer me to the verse or series of verses that lead you to believe hatred is a gift or fruit of the Holy Spirit??


1 John 3:15 " Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."


Yes, yes, yes. When you hate, you have committed murder already.



posted on Dec, 28 2011 @ 10:23 AM
link   
reply to post by sarra1833
 



I started doubting and questioning things when I was a senior in high school. I asked my minister/youth group leader a few base questions most folk get and was told "A good question - just have faith and believe". That was the end of that.


I got that too, in answer to pertinent questions regarding the material being talked about at the time. I also got the old, "go home and read your Bible, all answers are in there."
Like you, I grew tired of asking, and went to find out for myself. Now the Fundies tell me that if one doesn't have "the Holy Spirit to interpret the word of God," then it is the Devil that tells me what to think. See, you cannot just read the Bible, you have to be something else before it will tell you what God wants you to know. So, I guess it is not only God's word, it is also the Devil's word too, if you look at it that way.

From a psychological standpoint, I think you know how that sounds.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 06:05 AM
link   

Originally posted by sarra1833


- If God loves everyone...


He most certainly does not. That would render him UNJUST. How can he be just and yet love a criminal the same way he loves a doer of good?




- If there is God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell, and God rewards those who do good and believe in him with Heaven and a forever of happiness, no pain, worries, fears etc. , and if you go against God and do evil, you are punished in Hell, HOW does that work? God and Devil are enemies. You would THINK if one did bad and went against God, the Devil would totally reward em for being on his side instead of Gods; not PUNISH them for not being true to God. O_o


It is not the devil that punishes you, it is God. The devil is only a deceiver, he attempts to get you away from the Path of God.
Yet, he will end up in hell, and when you ask for help from him, he will ATTEST that he only deceived you and he cannot help you. You are both in it together.



- If you do good, live a wonderful loving kind, giving life, are honest, respectful, treat others as you want to be treated, etc and DON'T believe in God....... you...... what? Go to Hell? Supposedly only believers go to Heaven.
Well that aint fair.


Is it? Remember, I said God is just. He gave you two paths - you can choose this world or the other world. Which is it gonna be?
If you consciously choose this world, then you are GIVING UP your right to the other world, by your OWN FREE WILL.
He said he will give you EVERYTHING you want in this world, if you ask for it. But then you forfeit the other world. It's justice.




Have Faith, they say. Have faith in what you can't see, touch, nothing.
"But you hear him in your heart". How do you know that isn't just YOU?


Yes, the CHRISTIANS say that. Blind faith.

But God COMMANDS you to think, ponder, research the SIGNS of God - which will PROVE that He exists. Not blind faith. Faith PROVEN by His Signs.


We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that This (Quran) is the truth. - 41:53



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 06:38 AM
link   
Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business.

Become a christian Deist.

As a deist you still believe in god

As a Christian Deist. you still believe in Jesus.

Human beings are "free agents in a free world." A "free agent" is someone who has authority and ability to choose his/her actions and who may make mistakes. A "free world" is one which ordinarily operates as it is designed to operate but failures and accidents may occur.

What you free yourself from is the chains of the morons that are the membership of many churches and there trying to hold power over you.

www.positivedeism.com...
www.positivedeism.com...


A Deist's Psalm

I see traveling with me towards the setting sun.I see their faces, calm and serene,Fixed on the future, not glancing behind,Confident, yet just a touch of doubt, To keep the arrogance at bay. Earnest, respectful faces.My path bends, but never turns back.Ever forward it leads to a destination I know.No longing have I, no rush to finish.Nor is there dread. March on we must. Nature requires.In this, life's journey, we wish for a long road.The journey, not the goal, we always long for more.So brief, so warm, so sweet. So short and then so long.Behind me ruins, rubble of a house that could not stand.Shaken by reason, it crumbled before my eyes.Though it may shelter millions of souls.My own finds no comfort there. No home. ...



new topics

top topics



 
2

log in

join