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.

 

I am an imposter in Church

page: 1
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:21 PM
link   
I attend a non denominational church a couple of times per month. They are strictly "bible is literal truth".

I sit there and smile. I listen and participate on occasion. I give a little when the offering comes by. I also find almost everything I hear ridiculous. Not most messages or general idea of Jesus, that I tend to side with or have no problem with, but any of the doom and gloom or you're a born sinner and wrong from the start, I just can't get accept at all. I WANT to be moved, yet it just doesn't happen. I'm often bored and can't wait to leave.

My beliefs have gone from being raised Catholic to despising most everything about religion after studying it's origins and learning how it's been used for truly despicable agendas. Mostly I just don't find the scripture credible or as "proof" of anything whatsoever. That being said, I believe there are "evil" or at least malevolent forces out there, I also know the prayer works and I don't believe in coincidence, whether that's because of "God" or some unknown power I don't know. I just feel most of the religious explanations for things are simply interpreted to suit that particular religion's agenda.

I attend because the man running it is a truly a good man and he gently pressures me to keep showing up. He is one of the most genuine people I know. He's successful, generous, forgiving and everything I wish I was to be honest. Yet I just can't help but wonder how someone of his intelligence doesn't at least question SOME things. It's an absolute 100% iron clad belief that he demonstrates every time I see him.

I do business with him and others in town and feel obligated now to show up now. It doesn't feel wrong being there, but it doesn't feel right either.

I've had things happen in my life where I'm completely convinced of some sort of divine or spiritual intervention or at least "pushes" towards things. A string of far too many to be anything but purposeful. Yet I continue to wonder what that might be, a spiritual "me", Jesus, a collective entity, and any number of splintered thoughts.

For the true believers out there, would it anger you to learn I was among you for these reasons?

Hmm, I guess confession is good for the soul




posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:28 PM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 



Yet I just can't help but wonder how someone of his intelligence doesn't at least question SOME things. It's an absolute 100% iron clad belief that he demonstrates every time I see him.


Dude, ask the man to share with you why he has such strong faith, tell him your doubts and see what he has to say.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:33 PM
link   
I applaud your honesty. There aren't many people out there that would admit that that is what they are thinking. I know many people that go to church for fear, and not for faith.

I am sure if there was a blind, anonymous, vote, that more then 50% would admit, to not really being there for the reasons that maybe 50-100 years people went for.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:33 PM
link   
It would not upset me in the least. The problem with most people is that they think of God in terms of religion and "church" instead of the person He is. Religion is man's attempt to reach God and do something worthy of His attention. But God's attempt to reach mankind was in His Son Jesus. rather than think on things too large to comprehend such as why God would destroy a world for it's hatred and rejection of Him and His divine nature, rather than think on that, may I suggest that you think about your relationship to Him. All that He wants is for you to trust in what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross as payment for sin (which we are all guilty of). Then He asks that you treat others the same way you would like others to treat you. That is what you like about the man you know who is genuine. Learn from him because he a real to you and not just some religious person trying to show a form of piety. Let all the doom and gloom stuff wait for some other day. Take a good look at that man you told us about and find out, even ask him, why is he so different. He'll tell you.





edit on 6-2-2012 by Fromabove because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:39 PM
link   
That was one of the things I hated most about church when I was younger: If you decided not to go, they were all up in your business, wanting to know why you weren't in church and what a sin it was that you weren't there.

The pressure tactics, to me, are a sure sign that whatever they have to offer each Sunday isn't enough for people to keep them coming back. It's too bad you have to do business with them, because if they are anything like the "Christians" I grew up with, they'll blacklist you and no longer do business with you if you stop going to their Sunday meetings.

Maybe the preacher will be open to the idea that you have doubts about taking things in the bible absolutely literally...then again, he may chastise you for your lack of faith and tell you that the devil is causing these thoughts. I would rather be straight-up and honest about my doubts, than be a hypocrite every Sunday because there is a financial component to my attendance.

Either way, good luck to you!



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:39 PM
link   
As a true believer no it doesnt anger me, sure as hell confuses me though.
If you dont believe why waste your time?
Christianity, so the bible says isnt for everyone. Not all people are to become Christians.
I also cant see why a minister would want you in his church if you dont want to be there or believe.
There are hundreds of questions that come to mind but one in particular.
Do you believe you are a sinner?

All in all, most churches are good places where bad people go to help themselves be good people.
Though it isnt a personal, feelings based thing, it is spiritual.

One thing that would anger God and probably most Christians though would be if you are using your connections to make money, solely as a financial based outlook.
Re John 2:15



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:40 PM
link   
Hi, I liked your post. Well, I could say I am a true believer, but a believer in what I don't know.

Like you, but for a time, I explored Catholicism and really enjoyed it while I did for a couple years. I'd even say it was good for the soul to some degree. But as a wise man once said,


"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic."

I came to the decision that I could not align myself with one religion as it would mean turning my back on all the others while claiming that mine was the "One true God" or whatever. So, I tend to hold the same amount of respect for Islam as I do Christianity.

Generally speaking, religion can serve as guidelines on how life ought to be led. But beyond that, no way will I take what is written in a Bible, or in a Koran as the word of God, because it was written, and rewritten however many times by Man.

With that said, I do think that each of us - when taking our last breaths of life here on Earth - will reach out for that which we cannot see, yet.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:49 PM
link   
Just to be clear on something. A Church organization is not "God". God, is a person. Christians are followers of His Son Jesus. Having doubts is also normal, in fact it is one of the things everyone suffers from. People caught up in the "Church" thing think that the attendance is the thing and it is not. Trust and relationship to God are first. There are many so called churches filled with people who don't even follow the Bible. So try to stay away from people who insist on the " religious" experience.

Back on doubts. Peter doubted. John the baptist doubted. And Thomas doubted. They were all great men of faith. Faith comes from knowing God and knowing God can only come by knowing Jesus. And that can only come by hearing or reading what Jesus said. In the end the decision is yours to make. I cannot judge you, nor should anyone else judge you for your hardships with doubt and why the man you know believes the way he does in trusting his God the way he does. Talk with him about it.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:54 PM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,



For the true believers out there, would it anger you to learn I was among you for these reasons?


I preach on Sundays and wouldn't mind you being there; but, if you attended my services and asked my opinion, I would tell you should try and find a church that you agreed with based on your understanding of the bible or tell you that you probably shouldn't bother attending. You shouldn't feel obliged to go to church to please others. I would also try and explain the bible to you in a manner that is inconsistent with most preachers.

I hate to say it; but, we live in a world that likes to operate like a cookie cutter. Most preachers attend some sort of seminary training and they are all taught the same answers which they then just repeat. This is not limited to seminary schools, it applies to all areas of study like engineering, medicine, whatever. The problem is that if the teacher misunderstood or was taught bad theology then they teach it to others and it becomes self perpetuating. Well, you asked and I gave an answer. Peace.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:13 PM
link   
I think most sense "something" is out there. Defining it is one of the most personal choices you have. Attending church will help expand your scope regardless of the outcome.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,



For the true believers out there, would it anger you to learn I was among you for these reasons?


I preach on Sundays and wouldn't mind you being there; but, if you attended my services and asked my opinion, I would tell you should try and find a church that you agreed with based on your understanding of the bible or tell you that you probably shouldn't bother attending. You shouldn't feel obliged to go to church to please others. I would also try and explain the bible to you in a manner that is inconsistent with most preachers.


I appreciate that. One of the real problems I have is that I don't truly believe that the bible is the word of "God". Factually it was written by people just like you and me at a time very different from today. I understand the practicality of the bible then and now, but I see it as a collection of stories, many of which seem as a control mechanism for a largely ignorant and manipulable audience. Even the most educated believers acknowledge this and look past all it's flaws, but I just can't seem to put my trust in something I know to be so flawed.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:38 PM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,

I wish to be clear, I don't seek to prove to non-believers that they should believe. I am willing to answer questions; but, I don't seek non-believers out. My real issues are with people who claim to be believers and don't bother digging deeper than what they were told.



I appreciate that. One of the real problems I have is that I don't truly believe that the bible is the word of "God". Factually it was written by people just like you and me at a time very different from today. I understand the practicality of the bible then and now, but I see it as a collection of stories, many of which seem as a control mechanism for a largely ignorant and manipulable audience. Even the most educated believers acknowledge this and look past all it's flaws, but I just can't seem to put my trust in something I know to be so flawed.


Having said what I said, if you wish to look at the history of the bible you might find there is much more to it then just about any book. I would recommend that you read "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" if you are interested; but, if you choose not too that is okay as it is an individual decision and I happen to like my free will. As far as it being a collection of stories, you need to understand how it came about. The New Testament was primarily a series of letters written to people who knew the author and were alive at the time of the events. They were all written long before the printing press and had to be hand copied and delivered to the churches at a time when there was no postal service. These letters didn't just appear and get adopted by others. The individual churches began sharing these letters amongst each other and eventually, when it was safe to do so, they got together and put together what we think of as the New Testament; but, each church had to attest to how they received the letters or they were not included.

If you read the first three chapters of Revelations it begins with the fact that it was included in letters to seven churches. The author states who he is and proves he knows what is going on in each of the churches by mentioning names and specific things going on in those churches. The existing copies that we have that were distributed to different churches show less than 1% variation and 99% of those are meaningless variations. It wasn't the age of mass media or the internet, when you received a letter and it was a big deal, the person who brought it to you was also someone you knew or knew of. A different time when personal connections were how we communicated. Peace.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 07:44 AM
link   
I'm also unconvinced when it comes to the bible being the "word of God", it just isn't. You can say it is and claim the people (many unknown) were inspired to write parts but facts are facts. I agree it has it's merits though.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 07:58 AM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 



He's successful, generous, forgiving and everything I wish I was to be honest.


Why? ;-)


Yet I just can't help but wonder how someone of his intelligence doesn't at least question SOME things. It's an absolute 100% iron clad belief that he demonstrates every time I see him.


I've got an old friend who used to work in a nuclear power plant, he's retired now. A very smart man who introduced me to the world of physics as I had never thought of it at a relatively young age. He also has the firm belief you talk about. I don't attend the church even though I'm asked. Something weird happened a couple of months ago, that got me thinking:

I was researching a specific part of history and I had encountered a lot of information that was new to me...I wanted to share this information with my old friend. So one day I thought about how I could share my findings with him, I couldn't figure out the right way to start sharing the information - as I have tremendous respect for this man and did not want to step on his toes out of said respect. Sceptical of everything including God, I posed a simple question to the Almighty. I asked how I could find a way to share this information with a man I have so much respect for without him being offended because the timeline of the history was in conflict with my friends beliefs.

So a day goes by and I visit some family...after an hour or so the doorbell rang and sure enough, there was my friend. In his hand a bunch of printed papers...

get this; someone else had also researched the same history I had researched, had put it in a neat folder and had shared it with my friend and my friend wanted to share it with my relatives. Completely out of the blue, my friend didn't know I was at my relatives house he didn't know I was researching said history.

Makes ya think.

Edit:

I posted this because your friend reminds me of mine, also, were I to go sit in a church I would be as humored as you because so many clueless people fill up churches.
edit on 7-2-2012 by InfoKartel because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 09:49 AM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 


The bible mentions nothing about you needing to go to church. Jesus did not force his word upon anyone but those who wanted to listen. Most churchs ive been to dont even read much of the bible anyway. The pastors just make there own sermons. Also if anyone calls you a sinner for not attending church think about that for a moment. For who are they to judge you? They are not God and they never will be. The only thing it seems to be doing is just pushing you further away from the lord which to me, seems to be the gravest sin of all.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by InfoKartel
reply to post by Paschar0
 



He's successful, generous, forgiving and everything I wish I was to be honest.


Why? ;-)


Yet I just can't help but wonder how someone of his intelligence doesn't at least question SOME things. It's an absolute 100% iron clad belief that he demonstrates every time I see him.


I've got an old friend who used to work in a nuclear power plant, he's retired now. A very smart man who introduced me to the world of physics as I had never thought of it at a relatively young age. He also has the firm belief you talk about. I don't attend the church even though I'm asked. Something weird happened a couple of months ago, that got me thinking:

I was researching a specific part of history and I had encountered a lot of information that was new to me...I wanted to share this information with my old friend. So one day I thought about how I could share my findings with him, I couldn't figure out the right way to start sharing the information - as I have tremendous respect for this man and did not want to step on his toes out of said respect. Sceptical of everything including God, I posed a simple question to the Almighty. I asked how I could find a way to share this information with a man I have so much respect for without him being offended because the timeline of the history was in conflict with my friends beliefs.

So a day goes by and I visit some family...after an hour or so the doorbell rang and sure enough, there was my friend. In his hand a bunch of printed papers...

get this; someone else had also researched the same history I had researched, had put it in a neat folder and had shared it with my friend and my friend wanted to share it with my relatives. Completely out of the blue, my friend didn't know I was at my relatives house he didn't know I was researching said history.

Makes ya think.

Edit:

I posted this because your friend reminds me of mine, also, were I to go sit in a church I would be as humored as you because so many clueless people fill up churches.
edit on 7-2-2012 by InfoKartel because: (no reason given)


That is interesting isn't it. It's those very types of things that keep me interested. I really believe there's a spiritual world, I just can't help but think religions have it mostly wrong, maybe honest attempts to interpret things, but wrong none the less. A lot of people tend to be all or nothing, either atheists or thumpers. I tend to believe whatever's out there doesn't really care or require anything from you. We're here for other reasons, maybe for some worship and fellowship within it are a true calling, but I don't think it's mine.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:34 PM
link   

Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,

I wish to be clear, I don't seek to prove to non-believers that they should believe. I am willing to answer questions; but, I don't seek non-believers out. My real issues are with people who claim to be believers and don't bother digging deeper than what they were told.



I appreciate that. One of the real problems I have is that I don't truly believe that the bible is the word of "God". Factually it was written by people just like you and me at a time very different from today. I understand the practicality of the bible then and now, but I see it as a collection of stories, many of which seem as a control mechanism for a largely ignorant and manipulable audience. Even the most educated believers acknowledge this and look past all it's flaws, but I just can't seem to put my trust in something I know to be so flawed.


Having said what I said, if you wish to look at the history of the bible you might find there is much more to it then just about any book. I would recommend that you read "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" if you are interested; but, if you choose not too that is okay as it is an individual decision and I happen to like my free will. As far as it being a collection of stories, you need to understand how it came about. The New Testament was primarily a series of letters written to people who knew the author and were alive at the time of the events. They were all written long before the printing press and had to be hand copied and delivered to the churches at a time when there was no postal service. These letters didn't just appear and get adopted by others. The individual churches began sharing these letters amongst each other and eventually, when it was safe to do so, they got together and put together what we think of as the New Testament; but, each church had to attest to how they received the letters or they were not included.

If you read the first three chapters of Revelations it begins with the fact that it was included in letters to seven churches. The author states who he is and proves he knows what is going on in each of the churches by mentioning names and specific things going on in those churches. The existing copies that we have that were distributed to different churches show less than 1% variation and 99% of those are meaningless variations. It wasn't the age of mass media or the internet, when you received a letter and it was a big deal, the person who brought it to you was also someone you knew or knew of. A different time when personal connections were how we communicated. Peace.


You seem very sincere and somewhat knowledgeable and I respect that. I'll try to explain how my mind sees these arguments. It's sort of like if someone were to plunk down a pile of books from academics and scholars explaining how the world was flat. Well spoken moving speakers could go on and on and cite from their own beliefs along with these books and it wouldn't matter because you know it isn't accurate. Arguably, we don't have that level of evidence here but I think you get what I mean.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:52 PM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 


I'm not really religious and I have been to church before, I can sympathize with your feelings towards it. I always assumed about half the people there probably weren't all that devout or whatnot. Though I don't assume just because someone goes to church it means they are a good person, I'm sure there are plenty of good people regardless. The act of going to church and being there doesn't actually do anything I don't think, people try to get people to attend because they believe it is a good thing most of time. People have asked me even knowing I don't subscribe to what they are selling, I go because it seems like the proper thing to do. I don't try to debate with people in church about religion, I just keep quiet let it be done, even though I feel like raising my hand every two minutes.

It's more about being formal than religious to some I guess, god is so intertwined in society its almost forceful.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 05:48 PM
link   
reply to post by Paschar0
 


Dear Paschar0,



Arguably, we don't have that level of evidence here but I think you get what I mean.


I will stick by my original answer, if you don't believe then you shouldn't feel that you need to attend services. If you choose to attend, it shouldn't offend anyone and certainly wouldn't offend me. As to why people believe, there are as many answers as there are people and only you know what answers you have and may or may not be seeking. Peace and I hope you enjoy your journey through life.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 08:15 PM
link   

I just keep quiet let it be done, even though I feel like raising my hand every two minutes.

It's more about being formal than religious to some I guess, god is so intertwined in society its almost forceful.


Same here. Probably a wise move if I don't ask too many questions either, I notice one question is fine, two questions you see the wrinkle start in the brow and after three you start to see a little



new topics

top topics



 
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join