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Taking the Leap of Faith....When to Believe?

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posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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Good afternoon, my fellow members!

On this cold Sunday, I wish to ask a simple question. But before I simply throw it out there for you to ponder and respond, let me provide a bit of info about my stance on religion(s).

I am an agnostic. I am open to the possibility that god exists and I am open to the idea that god does not exist. Either way, I remain open-minded and feel that its pointless to claim or believe in absolutes when there is no evidence to suggest either outcome.

That being said, I am fascinated by the "story" the bible tells and its historical relevance and the teachings of Jesus. Believer or not, his teachings were one of peace, love, forgiveness and fellowship. It does not take much to agree that Jesus' teachings were in a way "universal".

But I find it hard to take the step to becoming a follower of Christ or becoming religious, per say.

So my question is this: When did you know when you were a follower? Did you have to make a leap of faith in to giving your heart and mind to your faith? Was there an "event" that took place or was it common sense conclusion?

I look forward to the variety of answers this should produce and I would love to get some responses from many different faiths.

Thanks for reading,

SS




posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


It seems like you've found the distinction between agreeing and believing. Christians "believe" in Jesus but you seem to simply "agree" with him.

I don't see why a person couldn't look at his teachings as philosophy much like a person would view Lao Tzu and his Taoist teachings. Maybe there's a different name for that, like a "Christist" or a "Jesus Philosopher", etc.

As far as when you make that leap of faith or belief, that's something that only you will feel compelled to do in your heart, no matter the deity that calls you. Nobody can tell you when or if you should make that jump.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


This is an answer from a non dualist that believe all the teachers Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and Nanak is from the same source and that you are from that source also.

Had a spiritual experience that activated the 2 highest chakras (or at least I think of them as chakras for this seem to be the best explanation to my experience) in me so I could feel spiritual energy flowing from above my head.

The physical feeling is like having a cap on the head but sometimes it shifts like there are invisible fingers massaging the top of the head. There was also a push on the middle of the forehead. After this continuous experience i started to see the 11:11 phenomena that I later read others are also experiencing where you see patterns of numbers when you unconsciously look at the clock. That is like seeing the cat glitch in the matrix movie.

Still think faith is thing that is not needed. Seek and you shall find proof not faith. But then what I perceive as my view of "what is" is a thing to be questioned at every point I get new information/experience.

I have a lot of theories about how it can be but I will not be certain until I experience it.

So sorry. I do not know what happens after death but my theory right now is that I am a spirit playing a mmorpg with a conscious that is temporary in a body that is temporary. Sometimes the player (real me) tells the conscious me (temporary) things that the conscious me do not know.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Thanks for the response, Cuervo.

Let me ask, what compelled you to practice or "believe" in witchcraft?



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by LittleByLittle
 




Seek and you shall find proof not faith.


The word "proof" is very subjective, is it not? What I would consider proof would not be the same for the next man.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


I had a very similar situation to you, I still consider myself agnostic but I have found peace and a better way to live my life from The Buddha.

Buddhism does not require you to believe in a god (The Buddha was a man, nothing more), however they never say there is no God and there are plenty atheists and agnostics amongst our ranks.

I find the Buddha and Christ to be very similar people, in fact, my sect of Buddhism (Triratna) show their appreciation to the wise and enlightened man Jesus every Christmas.

Read on the eightfold path, the four noble truths and the precepts of Buddhism (only the first 5 precepts are for the laymen, ignore the rest). I don't want to be that guy who pushes my faith onto others, nor do I want to ever say that "my belief is better than yours" but it is something where you will have to change your life very little and you will find a place to practice a deep level of spirituality that I noticed very quickly changed my attitude to life.

I find that a set way to worship whatever/whoever "God" is seems illogical, an all powerful being will know that you have done good on His/Her/It's world and will look favourably upon you (unless of course God is inherently evil, then your screwed!)

Metta ~



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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LittleByLittle
reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


Had a spiritual experience that activated the 2 highest chakras (or at least I think of them as chakras for this seem to be the best explanation to my experience) in me so I could feel spiritual energy flowing from above my head.

The physical feeling is like having a cap on the head but sometimes it shifts like there are invisible fingers massaging the top of the head. There was also a push on the middle of the forehead. After this continuous experience i started to see the 11:11 phenomena that I later read others are also experiencing where you see patterns of numbers when you unconsciously look at the clock. That is like seeing the cat glitch in the matrix movie.


When I go into deep levels of meditation I get this same sensation. The way I feel it though is I take "following the breath" to a deeper level, I follow my breath into my lung, then into my blood and I can feel the oxygenated blood reach my brain, then it's like a door bursts open and clarity and peace sweep over me, it's an amazing sensation and partly why I idolise the Buddha is because his teachings led me to this finding.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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sheepslayer247
reply to post by Cuervo
 


Thanks for the response, Cuervo.

Let me ask, what compelled you to practice or "believe" in witchcraft?


The witchcraft aspect is more like a vehicle for me to revere and honor the deities that called me. As far as a knowing, it is the imminence and constant presence of that other side which allows me to have "faith".

For me, "faith" isn't really accurate as I don't require it any more than I require faith to believe in the internet or abstract concepts like the whether or not music exists. It's there; I can see, taste, touch, smell, and hear the denizens that I work with.

As we've discussed, witchcraft is a tool that allows a person to practice a religion in honor of any deity(s) and especially comes in handy when following pantheons that have been otherwise wiped out by persecution or by disenfranchised followers of gods that are still mainstream, like Christianity (yep, Christian witches).

This is why I say it's okay for you to agree with Jesus and let any sort of relationship sprout from there if you want it. If all else fails, ask for it. The biggest block I see people encounter when approaching spirituality or religion is that they don't ask for it. Just ask. Not people or the church but the divine. You will be guided where you need to go even if that place is to remain an agnostic. Agnostics have it pretty sweet, by the way. They don't have to commit, hate, nor defend anything yet can participate in nearly every religious debate. Don't feel like you are missing something if that's where you are meant to be. This life might be your "exploratory semester" in college before you pick you major.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 





So my question is this: When did you know when you were a follower? Did you have to make a leap of faith in to giving your heart and mind to your faith? Was there an "event" that took place or was it common sense conclusion?


I found faith in myself after all other faiths were unable to sustain it, or I no longer found use for them. I knew I became a follower of myself around this time. It was a leap of faith, indeed, to have faith and trust in my own faculties, reasonings and creativity, but it offered a sense of freedom I could find no where else. Now even atheism or agnosticism have no use as denominations.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 



I am an agnostic. I am open to the possibility that god exists and I am open to the idea that god does not exist. Either way, I remain open-minded and feel that its pointless to claim or believe in absolutes when there is no evidence to suggest either outcome.

Although I am open to the possibility of a creator(s)/entity. I claim atheism because I will give no entity the title or prominence of god/divine/deity, or what have you. Being the source/creator does not qualify one for worship.


That being said, I am fascinated by the "story" the bible tells and its historical relevance and the teachings of Jesus. Believer or not, his teachings were one of peace, love, forgiveness and fellowship. It does not take much to agree that Jesus' teachings were in a way "universal".

If one believes the words in the bible attributed to Christ, are indeed his words, then one must also realize his mission was not one of peace, and he was quite adamant that everything was his way, or the highway.
Matthew 10

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[e] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

John 8

24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.

John 2

15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.

John 4

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Nevertheless, these things do not negate those teachings that were "universal". My point is that many do not read ALL of what Christ taught and said, or at the very least they gloss over much.


So my question is this: When did you know when you were a follower? Did you have to make a leap of faith in to giving your heart and mind to your faith? Was there an "event" that took place or was it common sense conclusion?

I think in order to answer this question, we must first agree, or at least understand what we each mean by faith. To me, everyone lives their life by faith. Faith is a devout trust in someone, or something you are willing take action to further or defend. We all have faith in something or someone. Whether that be your mother, father, friend, your employer to pay you weekly, science, and so on.

To answer the question though. I was young, and convinced myself certain events were the result of God's intervention in my life. Strongly enough, that I was willing to place my trust in the reality of those events. It certainly wasn't a common sense conclusion.
edit on 12/29/2013 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


Apparently there are some conservative right wing followers of their messiah Rush, that think the Bible doesn't really reflect the true message of the Christ.

So they have decided to "correct" the good book to their liking.



www.alternet.org...

www.huffingtonpost.com...

Seems in keeping in the spirit of the KJV because I believe that rewriting was inspired by priest kings and not truly inspired by God. They left out a bunch or really cool stuff.

Sheepslayer, perhaps the conservative version will instill a little faith.


I have faith that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag carrying a cross.......as Sinclair Lewis said.
edit on 29-12-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:00 PM
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sheepslayer247
reply to post by LittleByLittle
 




Seek and you shall find proof not faith.


The word "proof" is very subjective, is it not? What I would consider proof would not be the same for the next man.


I agree with you that it is subjective. But if you go thru life being taught reality is something and suddenly experience things like intention creating telepathy or Reiki where you literally can change what people experience when you are with intention (like a prayer) making them feel like energy flow thru their body. I have put a person once to sleep with this when she had a headache and I have a person I do this one that do not feel anything at all when I push energy into her even if my fingers are tingling. And I am a complete beginner at Reiki. I am impressed with the three others I met. I am a little bit like the hermit kinda personality. Very introvert.

The differences in what people experience seem to share more similarities that differences. I have met several empath but cannot do it myself since my body can't let go of the sensations in my body. Also I have been able to with intention send information to a person that they tell me but it is not very useful from my point of view except as a party trick since I cannot read anything at all in others. Probably for the best since I like people around me to have privacy.
edit on 29-12-2013 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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iRoyalty

LittleByLittle
reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


Had a spiritual experience that activated the 2 highest chakras (or at least I think of them as chakras for this seem to be the best explanation to my experience) in me so I could feel spiritual energy flowing from above my head.

The physical feeling is like having a cap on the head but sometimes it shifts like there are invisible fingers massaging the top of the head. There was also a push on the middle of the forehead. After this continuous experience i started to see the 11:11 phenomena that I later read others are also experiencing where you see patterns of numbers when you unconsciously look at the clock. That is like seeing the cat glitch in the matrix movie.


When I go into deep levels of meditation I get this same sensation. The way I feel it though is I take "following the breath" to a deeper level, I follow my breath into my lung, then into my blood and I can feel the oxygenated blood reach my brain, then it's like a door bursts open and clarity and peace sweep over me, it's an amazing sensation and partly why I idolise the Buddha is because his teachings led me to this finding.


Nice
.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Interesting info Klass. I suppose the scriptures you mentioned leave one to decide how they interpret the bible before they make any sort of decisions on whether or not to "believe" it.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:36 PM
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sheepslayer247
reply to post by Klassified
 


Interesting info Klass. I suppose the scriptures you mentioned leave one to decide how they interpret the bible before they make any sort of decisions on whether or not to "believe" it.


Yes.

Personally, I see the bible as a combination of history and mythology first and foremost. But also as a gnostic/esoteric text. Especially the new testament. As one who came out of fundamentalism, I would certainly discourage any literalist view of the bible. :-)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


I don't subscribe to any organized religion per say anymore though I've been ordained etc...

The point of belief occurred around the same time I decided to live closer to what I saw as what I really believed and acted accordingly...

I guess In short reply I choose to serve the higher power I could comtemplate knowing it was much more than that by its nature and my experiences,it's not an easy way but fulfilling in its own way(wright).

I think most folks in time realize they are at least attached to a larger framework, what that looks like to each individual varies greatly, and the weight of interaction is what it is regardless of intention....or conviction...


Cheers, nice post!



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by LittleByLittle
 


I have similar beliefs. My "leap of faith" happened while i was serving in the military. The power of life and death, the power of choice if you will, sent chills up my spine. We as humans are capable of such atrocities, yet we are capable of such mercy and love, and every other color in between. here is what i believe in a nutshell.

I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of man, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am God.

Brothers and sisters, I implore you to take heed to these words, shake yourselves free of the fetters of this crude matter called flesh. The corporeal is finite and imperfect, the mind can and will conquer the physical, only if you free your mind can you attain perfection.

It IS within you and without you, all together yet separate. Remember, there is no truth, yet there is. All are a part of the same consciousness. EVERYTHING is sacred, every form of life. To kill or pervert one life is to kill or pervert a part of yourself.

Observe Descartes' experiment to support "I think, therefore I am." He was able to separate his mind from his corporeal self, yet was unable to imagine no consciousness or no mind, bc to do so you would simply cease to exist.

This was a profound revelation to Descartes, and to the western world. Now these concepts were not new. many other eastern philosophers realized this.

Brothers and sisters, I beg you to ask yourself these questions based upon your perception of truth. 1)Where does your truth derive it's authority. 2)How does your truth a/effect all life.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Try Unitarian.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by sheepslayer247
 

Did you have to make a leap of faith in to giving your heart and mind to your faith?

It does take a leap of faith.
You have to accept Jesus' admonition to be willing to take up your cross.
That means that you are willing to give up your life for what you believe in,
which takes a serious belief that Jesus will afterwards raise you from the dead.
If you lack that confidence, then you can never be a true believer.



posted on Dec, 30 2013 @ 07:24 PM
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I think that we've had this discussion a few times, my friend, and I'm glad that you're still seeking


For me, one who was not "raised a Christian", my breakthrough came about as a result of my study of science, when it started to bug me that I knew a lot of "hows", but not many "whys", and science really didn't seem interested in "whys". After some studying, I realized that the whys were largely consigned to philosophy and theology, because those were the fields that had the tools to explore those questions, while science largely does not.

So, after some exploration of those fields, my conclusion was that the biggest "why" -- why there is something, rather than nothing, when the odds of there being nothing, rather than something, are effectively infinitely likely -- was best answered by there being some source, some initial cause, and that put me squarely in a camp of agreement with Klassified, though I was a deist, and he is not (though I've always felt that his atheist position, rather than declaring himself a deist, was more of a philosophical or "political" one than anything else, but we've not had that conversation, so I don't know.)

Anyhoo, once I had resigned myself to there be a creator of some sort, I traveled down a variety of paths and studied a number of faiths, before settling on Christianity as being the most relevant to me, personally, while recognizing that there are other paths, and those seem to lead people to where they need to be, so I've never really been critical of practicers of other religions, except when they misrepresent orthodox Christianity. Ultimately, it's about doing God's Will, and I think you can do that, knowingly or not, whether you're a Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon, Hindu or atheist.

I have also had a number of personal experiences that I can only equate to madness, or to the existence of some force that has best been described to me as the Christian God, and I'm going with the latter, rather than the former.

Now go read that copy of Mere Christianity I gave you last summer



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