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How an atheist became a Christian

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posted on May, 28 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Thank you for sharing your story.




posted on May, 28 2012 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly
"The real deciding factor had been personal preference; unbelief was a much more comfortable, less demanding, option, and that was my reason for choosing it."

"I finally came to the point of making a decision. Giving up the attempt to work things out on my own, I decided to put my trust in an action of faith, and I made the suggested prayer. I was expecting some kind of tangible spiritual change, but nothing seemed to be happening, so I went to bed."

Madness, absolute madness...


I think what DISRAELI described as his reasons for returning to Christianity makes sense even though it wouldn't have worked for my personality. (I'm not a resolute sort of person that can decide something and stick to that decision.)

I used to think my problem with Christianity was a lack of evidence and if God would just throw me a bone then I could believe in Him. But after experiencing a few things, I realized that everything can be explained away or interpreted any way you want with a little creativity and imagination. So evidence is not a strong foundation for faith in God from my experience.

As an example, a few years ago I had experienced a few strange things and thought I had proof of Christianity. But after a couple of years of struggling as a Christian I gave up again. Ironically it was spiritual experiences that drove me away from Christianity, because they were so confusing and disturbing.

But I suppose everybody is different.
edit on 28-5-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Sorry, but you were probably never atheist... there is no way to move from one position to the next..
To move from being atheist to deist would be the first step, and with that, you would have to prove that there is in fact a god. to move from deism to theism, however, is impossible. You would have to say that not only do you know that their is a god, but also this god cares about you, knows who you are, minds what you do, minds what you eat, what holy days you observe, what bits of your penis you saw off, etc.. there is simply no way to move from one position to the next using any method of rational or scientific thinking. There is much to be proven on your part, which you simply can not prove. And in order to move from atheism to deism and then to theism, it would require lots of evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
edit on 28-5-2012 by TheCelestialHuman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by MagnumOpus
You say you have quite a defense, what were your defense arguements?

That wasn't quite what I said; I think you may be wandering from the point by losing track of where the discussion has been going. You queried my motivation, and I responded by pointing out the strength of my resistance. I was not claiming that I had good arguments; my point was that I was not giving in willingly. We are still discussing my motivation, here.


Well, since you have a "series of treads" on Revelation, then show everyone what you came up with and lets check the contexts and see if you are off into neverland with problems of either translations or metaphor. Toss out a few citations that show how you came to where you are now.

Strictly speaking, since you were the one claiming that Revelation clashed with the organised churches, it was up to you to demonstrate where the clash came. Otherwise, I'm quite entitled to say "I see no clash, so I was never obliged to take notice of it".
However, the work has been done, and you can check it for yourself in the following locations;
For the relation between God and The Son in Revelation, you can look at;
Revelation;Fear Not
Revelation;The new Jerusalem
For the fact that the New Testament doctrine of the Atonement is the backbone of Revelation, you can look at;
Revelation;The Lamb and the Scroll
Revelation;Satan fell from Heaven

If you want a more complete instruction on Revelation, you can study the whole series from the Index thread;
Revelation;Project Complete
If you want to go into the theology of Revelation, please bring it up on the appropriate threads, because this thread is about a faith-experience.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Lazarus Short
 

Thank you for those comments.
Obviously your case was similar, in the sense that it was all about getting you in contact with the right people. It seems that God often works like that.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by MarioOnTheFly
So actually...I red your story and I'm failing to see what prompted you to "switch" beliefs. No burning bush, no heavenly voice from the sky.

I don't claim to fully understand the process myself.
Think of it as an internal "burning bush" instead of an external one.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly
I would argue vehemently that being an Atheist is a considerably harder life to lead... to believe that the universe is governed by chaos and random actions takes courage my friend... to know that after death there is nothing takes courage my friend... and to work things out for one's self takes patience and logic.

You forget that I had already been down that track and thought I was settled in it.
Atheism was the more "comfortable" solution, in the sense that it fitted in with my sense of independance.
Giving that up was decidedly against the grain, which is why, like Paul, I was "kicking against the pricks".
Is changing one''s mind as a result of thought processes stimulated by reading a book any stranger than falling in love at the sight of a face? Less so, I would have thought.


I really didn't understand your thought process in this process... your writing, although acomplished, lacks the detail with which to understand your decision..

1)Even opening posts, on this board, have a character limit.
2) There is a sense in which I don't fully understand the decision myself. I describe it and account for it as best I can...



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by TheCelestialHuman
Sorry, but you were probably never atheist... there is no way to move from one position to the next..

You're the second person on this thread to take up the Strict Calvinist position on this issue.
At least it was the Calvinists who came up with the idea that "The Elect can never fall away from the faith, so if a man falls away from the faith, that proves he was never one of the elect". When did atheists begin thinking of atheism as a kind of religion with an "irresistable grace" mechanism?


To move from being atheist to deist would be the first step, and with that, you would have to prove that there is in fact a god. to move from deism to theism, however, is impossible. You would have to say that not only do you know that their is a god, but also this god cares about you,

I never said I did any proving. I even remarked that the question of "proof" had become irrelevant.
It was an act of trust, putting one's trust in another person.

edit on 28-5-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

I think you misunderstood me, please reread my post. i never said one could not leave atheism, i said that i takes extraordinary amounts of evidence or faith in your case to change positions. therefore, i am making the assertion that you were probably always christian, because you could not have gone from atheism to theism without any kind of evidence to support theism, and any real atheist would know that.
edit on 28-5-2012 by TheCelestialHuman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by TheCelestialHuman
 

"Real atheist"- there you go again.
I challenge your definition of the term "real atheist", and I challenge your right to deny me the title (retrospectively).
Of course I understand the psychology that lies behind this denial. There is a powerful element of subconscious fear. If an atheist can change from being an atheist, it makes you feel less secure in your atheism. So it is pyschologically necessary for you to deny, at all costs, that I was ever an atheist in the first place.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I grew up in a totally secular home and I had zero contact with any religion and I view Christianity in the same way you probably look at Thor or Zeus as in, its just mythology – basically I never was a christian and so I’m not talking from experience

But I do know some atheist who where Christians and one thing that is clear to me from talking to them is that once the ‘spell’ of Christianity is broken it is gone for good and for one of them to start believing again would be the same as any sane adult suddenly believe in Santa Claus again – I guess it could happen but the story of how and why would have to be astounding

So I think the problem is people are just finding your tale of Christian >Atheist> Christian a bit light on essential details



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

To be an atheist is to have total disbelief in a god. in order for you to go from atheist to theist would require extraordinary evidence, which you simply do not have. An atheist would reason and use scientific thinking to go from one position to the next, which would require evidence. Evidence, that you do not have. Therefore, you were not truly athiest in your thinking, and you were probably always Christian, only doubting your faith at times.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by racasan
 

The answer to your objection is that I was not genuinely, but only nominally, "under the spell" of Christianity during the childhood years. So the question of the "spell" being broken doesn't arise.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by TheCelestialHuman
To be an atheist is to have total disbelief in a god

This is a private definition which you are creating to suit your purposes.
The word is derived by attaching the negative "A" to the word "Theism" (which is derived from THEOS, of course).
A simple conscious rejection of belief in God is enough.
And by what right do you assume that my disbelief was not total? The viewpoint of disbelief was there, and was then replaced by another viewpoint. Like turning a corner and seeing a building for the first time. One moment you cannot see it, the next you can. Your attitude amounts to arguing "If you can see the building now, there cannot have been a time when you did not see it." Your insistence on this point is a little irrational, and I have suggested a psychological explanation of this irrationality.


. in order for you to go from atheist to theist would require extraordinary evidence, which you simply do [b
not have.

No it doesn't. By the definition of the word, it requires only belief in God.
Concise Oxford Dictionary; "Theism; belief in existence of a god supernaturally revealed to man and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures".
You are still in the game of forcing a case by inventing private definitions.

I went from unwillingness to believe in a God, to a willingness to believe that God was there.
In other words, a genuine change from atheism to Christianity.

edit on 28-5-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 06:36 PM
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Hi Disraeli!

Thanks for sharing your story. It's unfortunate that you must face attacks on your personal beliefs as a result, but I'm sure you are probably used to that by now


One thing I noticed about your account, is how during the period of time you called yourself an atheist, you felt that religion or Christianity was a "crutch" for the weak. I've seen this sentiment espoused by atheist friends of mine countless times. While I can see where they are coming from, nothing could be further from the truth (for me personally, at least).

My faith if anything, has made my life more difficult. It is a constant struggle, dealing with sin, accepting salvation, and facing the questions any intelligent person has about the nature of reality and the universe, and weighing it all. As a man who values science greatly, I am constantly reflecting internally on scientific discoveries and the nature of the universe (and by extension, God, and consequently my faith in Him). This is an exhausting process and requires constant vigilance both spiritually and logically. To be an atheist, to me at least, seems a far easier task.

As an atheist, I would have no need to take stock of my actions from a spiritual perspective. Anything I did would be permissive provided it did not endanger anyone else. When I died, I would be but dust. Science would have all the answers, and whatever it couldn't answer, either wouldn't exist or would eventually be explained. To me, this is a desirable life and far easier than the one I have found myself living! That is not to say I condemn atheists in any way, as I am not God and He alone is judge. But from my little perspective over here, it would be a far more comfortable life to live.

I'm sure some will ask: "Well why not live it then?". The answer is this: Because I know it to be untrue. I don't wish to go into detail about how I know that God exists, as it is a very personal story and I know for certain many will not believe it or come to their own conclusions about what happened (I stopped sharing my story years ago for this very reason). But in the end, I know God to be true personally. I can't give the kind of concrete evidence the most ardent skeptics would like, and I freely admit that. I can only say that my family and I have seen things manifested that were WELL beyond anything scientifically explainable, and those experiences have left us with ZERO doubt as to the existence of the spiritual realm, and more specifically, God.

I've thought about starting a thread about my experiences under another account so as to share them anonymously, and still may do so eventually. In the mean time, thanks for your testimony! Star and flag for you, sir
edit on 28-5-2012 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)
edit on 28-5-2012 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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My wife has a story of the like.

She came from a very ceribral family, her father an upstanding professor of biology (to put it in common words) and her mother was dismissive of all religious ideology. Her family was ignorant, almost spiteful towards the idea of a God.

Then she met me. I was a Christian all my life, albeit a very poor living one for the majority of my adolecence... anyway...She had experienced longing for a Savior, she knew it. I showed her Jesus and his Love, the life of purpose, serving God, and not self.

Now she has Joy, Peace, all that.

From atheism to Christianity.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 

Yes, I got used to them while working my way through Revelation. Harmless, really.
Thank you for those comments.
This sub-forum is supposed to be one for "sharing your faith-experiences", so maybe that's a better approach than the sterile controversial one.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by IronArm
 

Thank you for that contribution.
I'm glad you were able to help your wife.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by PerfectAnomoly

Originally posted by Lazarus Short
Thank you for that testimony, Disraeli! I was also an atheist for about ten years, under the influence of Ayn Rand. When I was 24, I began to pursue a career in medical technology. Well the career turned out to be just a series of jobs, and I'm lately retired from it, but it did get me in contact with a fellow student who invited me to a creation vs evolution debate, an instructor who told me about Old Testament history, and a co-worker who introduced me to a group of Christians whose religion made a difference in their lives. I've been a follower of Jesus since about 1977.
edit on 28-5-2012 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah


Lazrus... I for one would be very interested in what was presented at the "creation vs evolution debate" that made you decide the way you did? Must have been important information? Care to share?

Also, while I'm here, religion has a positive effect on nearly every single religious person I know.... but it also severely blunts their overall understanding of the universe and what we see around us.... I would find it very difficult to live a life with so much wonder and intrigue all aorund me, while simultaneously being told I am not worthy to understand it, let alone question it....

PA.


Perhaps I should have gone into more detail. I attended the debate as a confident atheist, but was impressed that the creationist kept up with the evolutionist. The debate itself did present me with some new ideas, but that was 35-odd years ago, so I don't remember any specifics. It was rather like the fellow who was teaching me urinalysis, but spent most of his time putting the Old Testament "on the map" for me - I was presented with a whole "universe next door." When I began to meet Christians who were so different from the pew-warmers I had known growing up, or so I had thought of them, I began to see that it could make a difference. My world seemed so sterile, and theirs was so alive. Fact piled on top of fact, but a commitment to "Jesus" was something I held back from for a long time. In time it did happen, and at my baptism, my father testified that he he prayed for me for years, but got no results until he got his own life square with God. That was just when things began to happen in my own life.

Two things have happened in my life that make my faith unshakable. First, I discovered the mathematical codes underlying the text of the Bible, also known as the heptadic codes (not ELS codes). These were found to some extent in centuries past, but they were elaborated in their fullness by Ivan Panin, who produced a numerical Bible running (so I am told, it's a rare book and I've never seen it) to thousands of pages. The things to remember are that the Bible is a single, unified document from one end to the other, and that the codes are too complex to have been written by a merely human intelligence. Second, God has spoken directly to me when I was awake and conscious - you just don't forget that.

As to the blunting of understanding, I don't buy it. I stand before the universe in wonder, and don't think that my religion limits me in any way. Good research is being in both the creationist camp and the evolutionist camp, and many prominent scientists have been, and are, Christians. We have, after all, an eternity to study and learn...



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by MagnumOpus

Originally posted by Lazarus Short
Thank you for that testimony, Disraeli! I was also an atheist for about ten years, under the influence of Ayn Rand. When I was 24, I began to pursue a career in medical technology. Well the career turned out to be just a series of jobs, and I'm lately retired from it, but it did get me in contact with a fellow student who invited me to a creation vs evolution debate, an instructor who told me about Old Testament history, and a co-worker who introduced me to a group of Christians whose religion made a difference in their lives. I've been a follower of Jesus since about 1977.
edit on 28-5-2012 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah


These days one has to define if you like Jesus, The Man, or Jesus, the god theme.

It makes a lot of difference in the world which version of Jesus.


I have a hard time following your post, but I'm talking about Jesus/Yeshua the God, the man, the God/man. To have the authority He had (and has), He must have been part of the Godhead, and to redeem us humans, He must have come in the flesh, for the Law states that only a kinsman can redeem you. Knowing that I am an Israelite, I see Jesus as my kinsman/redeemer/God.

To elaborate a bit, I don't buy the Jehovah's Witness stance of Him being merely a prophet, nor the Gnostic stance of Him being only a spirit. The Bible states that we will be like Him - now how's that for making a lot of difference???





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