PDA

View Full Version : My own journey as a Christian



ebenz47037
November 4th, 2015, 03:56 PM
As most of you know, I've been with TOL since before my husband passed away in January of 1999. Before Steve died, I considered myself strong in my faith. I wasn't as strong as I thought. I blamed God for Steve dying. He was a 39 year old man who died instantly from a massive stroke. He was part of my reason for living. At his funeral, a lot of people came up to me telling me that God must have a really huge plan for me because, 30 years old, I had gone through so much. All those words did for me was to make me question my faith more and more. I didn't want to believe in a God who would take everything from me just because he "had a plan for my life." I thought about all of that for two years and came on the verge of giving up my Christian faith because of it. Like so many people, I could easily blame my failing faith on what others said or did to me. All they did was make me question more and more why I believed in such a God.

Then, I went to visit my brother. My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children. Except for TOL, I had never heard that before. When I got home from visiting my brother, my dear friends on TOL started telling me the same thing my brother did. The difference was, this time, I chose to pay attention to what they said to me. Within two weeks, I decided to rededicate myself to God and to look at what I was going through as more of a test than as someone I loved being taken away from me.

Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.

chrysostom
November 4th, 2015, 04:06 PM
He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children.

I believe we are all being tested

patrick jane
November 4th, 2015, 04:12 PM
Awesome story Ebenz !!! I have reached a place in my faith in the last few years where I will never again question or doubt in God or my faith. I remember how I felt and thought before that and it wasn't good.

bybee
November 4th, 2015, 04:36 PM
As most of you know, I've been with TOL since before my husband passed away in January of 1999. Before Steve died, I considered myself strong in my faith. I wasn't as strong as I thought. I blamed God for Steve dying. He was a 39 year old man who died instantly from a massive stroke. He was part of my reason for living. At his funeral, a lot of people came up to me telling me that God must have a really huge plan for me because, 30 years old, I had gone through so much. All those words did for me was to make me question my faith more and more. I didn't want to believe in a God who would take everything from me just because he "had a plan for my life." I thought about all of that for two years and came on the verge of giving up my Christian faith because of it. Like so many people, I could easily blame my failing faith on what others said or did to me. All they did was make me question more and more why I believed in such a God.

Then, I went to visit my brother. My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children. Except for TOL, I had never heard that before. When I got home from visiting my brother, my dear friends on TOL started telling me the same thing my brother did. The difference was, this time, I chose to pay attention to what they said to me. Within two weeks, I decided to rededicate myself to God and to look at what I was going through as more of a test than as someone I loved being taken away from me.

Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.

Amen Sister. Well said!

ok doser
November 4th, 2015, 04:40 PM
God bless you nori

and thank you for sharing :thumb:

fzappa13
November 4th, 2015, 04:47 PM
"a faith untried is no faith" - Moi

Keep on keepin' on.

Jamie Gigliotti
November 5th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Thank you for sharing that testimony!

I've faced my own tests and dark nights of the soul, and undoubtedly we can come out with stronger faith.

Sadly some come out losing.

Teaching that trials and flaming arrows are coming help prepare us to find victory with the truth, the way and the life.

Sherman
November 5th, 2015, 02:30 PM
Thank you for sharing. So true that outside influences are not so much responsible for our relationship with God. Blaming others for our lack of faith is a cop out.

alwight
November 5th, 2015, 03:08 PM
Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.It's never been my way to try to dissuade anyone from a belief in a god since I accept the possibility myself, though I don't actually believe in one as such.
What I do question is people who are so sure of a particular and specific deity, as if they know for sure, when clearly (imo) they cannot know.
They may point to ancient scripture as if it were somehow conclusive evidence, they say that the Earth is only a few years old, never mind any scientific evidence, that life was created miraculously as it is today.
I would never question your belief in your God but I may dispute any such above specific claims if you were to make them.

I would suggest that you are someone who can and does rightly doubt your own beliefs, but for me the God of many YECs here on ToL is not worthy of your faith, that your God is much more sophisticated, subtle and worthy than that of a simplistic fundamentalist adherence to an ancient scripture.

chrysostom
November 5th, 2015, 03:12 PM
It's never been my way to try to dissuade anyone from a belief in a god since I accept the possibility myself, though I don't actually believe in one as such.
What I do question is people who are so sure of a particular and specific deity, as if they know for sure, when clearly (imo) they cannot know.
They may point to ancient scripture as if it were somehow conclusive evidence, they say that the Earth is only a few years old, never mind any scientific evidence, that life was created miraculously as it is today.
I would never question your belief in your God but I may dispute any such above specific claims if you were to make them.

I would suggest that you are someone who can and does rightly doubt your own beliefs, but for me the God of many YECs here on ToL is not worthy of your faith, that your God is much more sophisticated, subtle and worthy than that of a simplistic fundamentalist adherence to an ancient scripture.

so what kind of God could you or would you believe in?

alwight
November 5th, 2015, 03:16 PM
so what kind of God could you or would you believe in?Oh no, not that one again.:doh:
Out of respect to the OP I'll say no more at this point since it could spoil this thread.

HisServant
November 5th, 2015, 03:17 PM
Learning to be at peace with yourself, others and God can be one of the hardest lessons in life to learn. I'm glad that you have made progress.

chrysostom
November 5th, 2015, 03:38 PM
Oh no, not that one again.:doh:
Out of respect to the OP I'll say no more at this point since it could spoil this thread.

and your comments belittling other's view of God don't?

PureX
November 5th, 2015, 03:44 PM
Fortunately, faith is usually not the issue. Dogma is.

When people have a "crisis of faith", what's usually going on is that the dogma they'd been taught, and maintained blindly for a long time, is proving itself inadequate, or just flat out wrong. They have wittingly or unwittingly accepted ideas about God that reality now countermands, and reality can sometimes be tough to deny. In this case the loss of a good husband.

All that's really required, here, is a change in the accepted dogma, to bring it more in line with our experience of reality.

ebenz47037
November 5th, 2015, 03:50 PM
I would suggest that you are someone who can and does rightly doubt your own beliefs, but for me the God of many YECs here on ToL is not worthy of your faith, that your God is much more sophisticated, subtle and worthy than that of a simplistic fundamentalist adherence to an ancient scripture.

You don't know how wrong you are about me, Al. I consider myself a fundamentalist, YEC (although I don't think the earth is just 6000 years old). Just because I don't often speak of my faith here doesn't mean it's as different as you seem to think it is.

1. I believe that the Bible is the written word of God, given to us through men that He inspired. I also believe that if what we read is not meant to be taken literally, the Bible will tell us so ("It was a vision/dream/etc"). I also believe that a great deal of the Bible is meant to teach us by reading the good and bad examples of men and women in the past.

2. I am a young-earth creationist. My beliefs on that are a little different than most people who claim to be a young-earth creationist. The Bible doesn't tell us how long God took to create the earth or how long it sat without form and void. But, I believe everything that the Bible says about Creation week.

3. I believe in a pre-trib rapture. I won't give my reasons for believing that.

4. I weep at the thought that people I care about will not be enjoying eternal life with God. But, I also realize that God doesn't force us to stay with Him. And, I also realize that, despite people wanting to blame their crisis of faith on the actions and words of people who are Christians, it is no one's responsibility but the one having the crisis of faith if they step away from God.

5. I no longer question my own faith. There is nothing that anyone could say or do to me to make me step away from God. You don't have to like it. You have no power over me or my decision to follow Christ.

alwight
November 5th, 2015, 04:11 PM
You don't know how wrong you are about me, Al. I consider myself a fundamentalist, YEC (although I don't think the earth is just 6000 years old). Just because I don't often speak of my faith here doesn't mean it's as different as you seem to think it is.

1. I believe that the Bible is the written word of God, given to us through men that He inspired. I also believe that if what we read is not meant to be taken literally, the Bible will tell us so ("It was a vision/dream/etc"). I also believe that a great deal of the Bible is meant to teach us by reading the good and bad examples of men and women in the past.

2. I am a young-earth creationist. My beliefs on that are a little different than most people who claim to be a young-earth creationist. The Bible doesn't tell us how long God took to create the earth or how long it sat without form and void. But, I believe everything that the Bible says about Creation week.

3. I believe in a pre-trib rapture. I won't give my reasons for believing that.

4. I weep at the thought that people I care about will not be enjoying eternal life with God. But, I also realize that God doesn't force us to stay with Him. And, I also realize that, despite people wanting to blame their crisis of faith on the actions and words of people who are Christians, it is no one's responsibility but the one having the crisis of faith if they step away from God.

5. I no longer question my own faith. There is nothing that anyone could say or do to me to make me step away from God. You don't have to like it. You have no power over me or my decision to follow Christ.That's fine ebenz just don't complain if I dispute any YEC or fundamentalist claims made if I think that science or reality says something else.
Unlike what Chrys might suggest I have no problem with any Godly faith unless it seems to conflict with reality as it appears to be. I simply don't believe that a real God would be the fundamentalist's version, unless this were all just a grand illusion and deception.

Mocking You
November 5th, 2015, 04:13 PM
Ebenz, thanks for your testimony. It was a blessing to hear your faith has recovered and been strengthened. I lost a brother-in-law to brain cancer when he was 57. Thirty days from diagnosis to death. Faith-numbing experience.

God bless you.

ebenz47037
November 5th, 2015, 04:49 PM
That's fine ebenz just don't complain if I dispute any YEC or fundamentalist claims made if I think that science or reality says something else.
Unlike what Chrys might suggest I have no problem with any Godly faith unless it seems to conflict with reality as it appears to be. I simply don't believe that a real God would be the fundamentalist's version, unless this were all just a grand illusion and deception.

Have you ever seen me complain about what anyone says about YEC or fundamentalist beliefs? :nono:

I don't believe that there is any one religion that has all the answers. I believe that we'll find out the truth when we sit at Christ's feet.

alwight
November 5th, 2015, 05:21 PM
Have you ever seen me complain about what anyone says about YEC or fundamentalist beliefs? :nono:
You're right, no I haven't, but if you want to be known as a fundamentalist then I can imo reasonably dump some such baggage on you.
I don't think you can really expect to be allowed to fudge such explicit claims.


I don't believe that there is any one religion that has all the answers. I believe that we'll find out the truth when we sit at Christ's feet.It could be that none have any real truth imo, but all the more reason to eschew fundamentalism perhaps?

Jamie Gigliotti
November 6th, 2015, 07:59 AM
You're right, no I haven't, but if you want to be known as a fundamentalist then I can imo reasonably dump some such baggage on you.
I don't think you can really expect to be allowed to fudge such explicit claims.

It could be that none have any real truth imo, but all the more reason to eschew fundamentalism perhaps?
You may think our religous/supernatural experiences with God's love and Spirit, which confirm what He says, to be anything other than the truth, but that does not mean that they are not exactly that.

PureX
November 6th, 2015, 08:25 AM
The beliefs don't really matter, in the end, anyway. They're just stuff that we make up because the truth is that we don't know and we don't want to face that truth.

What matters is the faith.

When life hits us in the face with the true depth of our own ignorance, it's not our beliefs that will save us. It's our faith. And if we've confused faith with our beliefs, we may find ourselves in trouble. Because we may lose both.

But if we understand that belief is not faith, and faith is not belief, then we will always have the option of faith to fall back on, even when everything else, including our beliefs, have been shattered.

Faith is fundamental to human life, because we humans are profoundly ignorant. And believing otherwise will not save us from that ignorance when we're tested. Only faith can do that.

bybee
November 6th, 2015, 08:34 AM
The beliefs don't really matter, in the end, anyway. They're just stuff that we make up because the truth is that we don't know and we don't want to face that truth.

What matters is the faith.

When life hits us in the face with the true depth of our own ignorance, it's not our beliefs that will save us. It's our faith. And if we've confused faith with our beliefs, we may find ourselves in trouble. Because we may lose both.

But if we understand that belief is not faith, and faith is not belief, then we will always have the option of faith to fall back on, even when everything else, including our beliefs, have been shattered.

Faith is fundamental to human life, because we humans are profoundly ignorant. And believing otherwise will not save us from that ignorance when we're tested. Only faith can do that.

Do you speak in the "Royal We" or the "editorial we"?
You do not speak for me.
What is Faith if not expressed in belief?
Faith and Practice go together.

PureX
November 6th, 2015, 08:55 AM
What is Faith if not expressed in belief?It is trusting in the unknowable, in spite of our fear, doubt, and ignorance.

bybee
November 6th, 2015, 09:03 AM
It is trusting in the unknowable, in spite of our fear, doubt, and ignorance.

I trust in the Known, therefore my fear, doubt and ignorance are minor details in my life.
"Be not afraid!"

Nick M
November 6th, 2015, 09:06 AM
The beliefs don't really matter, in the end, anyway. They're just stuff that we make up because the truth is that we don't know and we don't want to face that truth.



And now we get to the bottom of it. This statement from the heathen is word document archive worthy.

alwight
November 6th, 2015, 09:13 AM
You may think our religous/supernatural experiences with God's love and Spirit, which confirm what He says, to be anything other than the truth, but that does not mean that they are not exactly that.I've yet to hear about specific such experiences that would warrant fundamentalism rather than just perhaps a strengthening of faith or belief in God.
I would rather like to experience for myself the claimed evidence that leads to fundamentalism but from my experience such things tend to be labelled as too personal even by non fundamentalist Christians.
However if fundamentalists have somehow experienced "Truth" then why are there different fundamentalists for different religions in different parts or regions of the world? Unless perhaps they are providing their own supposed experiences and simply enthusiastically convincing themselves?

ok doser
November 6th, 2015, 09:13 AM
And now we get to the bottom of it. This statement from the heathen is word document archive worthy.





he's been full of them lately

and full of himself

serpentdove
November 6th, 2015, 10:07 AM
My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children... I think that's right. God has a determined will and a permissive will. Is 61:3

Jamie Gigliotti
November 6th, 2015, 11:06 AM
I've yet to hear about specific such experiences that would warrant fundamentalism rather than just perhaps a strengthening of faith or belief in God.
I would rather like to experience for myself the claimed evidence that leads to fundamentalism but from my experience such things tend to be labelled as too personal even by non fundamentalist Christians.
However if fundamentalists have somehow experienced "Truth" then why are there different fundamentalists for different religions in different parts or regions of the world? Unless perhaps they are providing their own supposed experiences and simply enthusiastically convincing themselves?
So basically you take the foundations of Christianity; the Spiritual war of truth vs. lies; spiritual growth and understanding of God, as reasons to deny it.
You see this reality. It is evidence of its truth.
If you want to see God, see someone filled with Agape love, love that goes beyond the natural ability of man. If you search; you will find it.

aikido7
November 6th, 2015, 11:24 AM
As most of you know, I've been with TOL since before my husband passed away in January of 1999. Before Steve died, I considered myself strong in my faith. I wasn't as strong as I thought. I blamed God for Steve dying. He was a 39 year old man who died instantly from a massive stroke. He was part of my reason for living. At his funeral, a lot of people came up to me telling me that God must have a really huge plan for me because, 30 years old, I had gone through so much. All those words did for me was to make me question my faith more and more. I didn't want to believe in a God who would take everything from me just because he "had a plan for my life." I thought about all of that for two years and came on the verge of giving up my Christian faith because of it. Like so many people, I could easily blame my failing faith on what others said or did to me. All they did was make me question more and more why I believed in such a God.

Then, I went to visit my brother. My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children. Except for TOL, I had never heard that before. When I got home from visiting my brother, my dear friends on TOL started telling me the same thing my brother did. The difference was, this time, I chose to pay attention to what they said to me. Within two weeks, I decided to rededicate myself to God and to look at what I was going through as more of a test than as someone I loved being taken away from me.

Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.The translation of the word “faith” is actually “trust.” This is the first-century definition as Jesus used it.

It has nothing to do with theology or belief.

We have a world of joy and woe. God gave us all free will. He cannot affect us outside the boundaries of the physical laws that have been in operation since the beginning. He does not punish or reward us. He remains within and without us--a constant presence.

glorydaz
November 6th, 2015, 11:29 AM
The translation of the word “faith” is actually “trust.” This is the first-century definition as Jesus used it.

It has nothing to do with theology or belief.

We have a world of joy and woe. God gave us all free will. He cannot affect us outside the boundaries of the physical laws that have been in operation since the beginning. He does not punish or reward us. He remains within and without us--a constant presence.

So your trust is in the god of nature, correct? Is that Father Nature since you use the masculine pronoun?

aikido7
November 6th, 2015, 11:30 AM
Do you speak in the "Royal We" or the "editorial we"?
You do not speak for me.
What is Faith if not expressed in belief?
Faith and Practice go together.It’s too easy to have beliefs. We change them at will several times each day.

What matters to me is faith--as Jesus used the word. It has nothing to do with belief. It actually means trust.

alwight
November 6th, 2015, 12:53 PM
So basically you take the foundations of Christianity; the Spiritual war of truth vs. lies; spiritual growth and understanding of God, as reasons to deny it.
You see this reality. It is evidence of its truth.
If you want to see God, see someone filled with Agape love, love that goes beyond the natural ability of man. If you search; you will find it.As I tied to explain if people have an innate belief then I really have no problem with that, it's only when claims of "truth" or perhaps absolute "Truth" are presumed as knowledge. I simply don't believe that such absolute knowledge is knowable.

Jamie Gigliotti
November 6th, 2015, 01:26 PM
As I tied to explain if people have an innate belief then I really have no problem with that, it's only when claims of "truth" or perhaps absolute "Truth" are presumed as knowledge. I simply don't believe that such absolute knowledge is knowable.
If your emotional need for love was fulfilled, if your shame for your moral failures was taken away, if your hopelessness was turned to hope, if your anxiety was turned to peace, by Jesus and His Spirit would you then be convinced He is the way, the truth and the life just as He said He was?

alwight
November 6th, 2015, 01:38 PM
If your emotional need for love was fulfilled, if your shame for your moral failures was taken away, if your hopelessness was turned to hope, if your anxiety was turned to peace, by Jesus and His Spirit would you then be convinced He is the way, the truth and the life just as He said He was?
Drugs will take away pain and anxiety but only create a delusion not truth. Perhaps some people are content with a delusion?

Jamie Gigliotti
November 6th, 2015, 01:49 PM
Drugs will take away pain and anxiety but only create a delusion not truth. Perhaps some people are content with a delusion?

Not taking drugs... You didn't answer.

PureX
November 6th, 2015, 02:22 PM
Drugs will take away pain and anxiety but only create a delusion not truth. Perhaps some people are content with a delusion?It's all delusion, Buddy. What you and I call "reality" is an imaginary conceptual landscape that we create in our minds, complete with personalities, and moralities, and histories and that comfortable sense that we know 'what's going on'.

It's true that some of our delusional realities are more bizarre and disconnected from our actual experiences than others, but in the end they're all "delusions". And they're all intended to create the illusion for ourselves that we know what's going on, and so need not live in fear.

Try and keep this in mind, if you can, because it's important to the subject at hand, and to your mental health in general.

(And the same goes for us all.)

alwight
November 6th, 2015, 03:03 PM
It's all delusion, Buddy. What you and I call "reality" is an imaginary conceptual landscape that we create in our minds, complete with personalities, and moralities, and histories and that comfortable sense that we know 'what's going on'.

It's true that some of our delusional realities are more bizarre and disconnected from our actual experiences than others, but in the end they're all "delusions". And they're all intended to create the illusion for ourselves that we know what's going on, and so need not live in fear.

Try and keep this in mind, if you can, because it's important to the subject at hand, and to your mental health in general.

(And the same goes for us all.)If we are just brains in vats then so be it, I can't really help that.

alwight
November 6th, 2015, 03:06 PM
Not taking drugs... You didn't answer.I did answer, religion is the opium of the people, according to Karl Marx anyway.

PureX
November 6th, 2015, 06:52 PM
If we are just brains in vats then so be it, I can't really help that.That's not at all what I said. What I said was that our conceptions of reality are not real. They are, in fact, "delusions". They are elaborate conceptual inventions intended to help us pretend that we know what's going on. When we actually know very little.

Angel4Truth
November 6th, 2015, 07:11 PM
As most of you know, I've been with TOL since before my husband passed away in January of 1999. Before Steve died, I considered myself strong in my faith. I wasn't as strong as I thought. I blamed God for Steve dying. He was a 39 year old man who died instantly from a massive stroke. He was part of my reason for living. At his funeral, a lot of people came up to me telling me that God must have a really huge plan for me because, 30 years old, I had gone through so much. All those words did for me was to make me question my faith more and more. I didn't want to believe in a God who would take everything from me just because he "had a plan for my life." I thought about all of that for two years and came on the verge of giving up my Christian faith because of it. Like so many people, I could easily blame my failing faith on what others said or did to me. All they did was make me question more and more why I believed in such a God.

Then, I went to visit my brother. My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children. Except for TOL, I had never heard that before. When I got home from visiting my brother, my dear friends on TOL started telling me the same thing my brother did. The difference was, this time, I chose to pay attention to what they said to me. Within two weeks, I decided to rededicate myself to God and to look at what I was going through as more of a test than as someone I loved being taken away from me.

Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.

Beautiful testimony, you are a very strong woman and praise the Lord for putting people into your path to help you in that devastating time of need.

When my son was murdered, in my flesh it was tempting to blame Him, too. It would have been really easy in all the grief but I know that God is not who made the one who murdered him, choose to do so.

You are so right that people and events can cause us to question what we think and believe but the ultimate responsibility for seeking out the truth of a matter, is ours.

God bless you so much for sharing that.

Jamie Gigliotti
November 6th, 2015, 08:36 PM
I did answer, religion is the opium of the people, according to Karl Marx anyway.

And the placebo of religion does nothing but personally knowing God and His love can cure humanity.

alwight
November 7th, 2015, 04:55 AM
That's not at all what I said. What I said was that our conceptions of reality are not real. They are, in fact, "delusions". They are elaborate conceptual inventions intended to help us pretend that we know what's going on. When we actually know very little.So how can we actually know anything with a certainty? Some people seem to think they know well enough for a religious fundamentalist zealotry?

PureX
November 7th, 2015, 08:26 AM
So how can we actually know anything with a certainty? Some people seem to think they know well enough for a religious fundamentalist zealotry?We can't. And we don't. But some people are SO FRIGHTENED of being wrong, that they turn their delusions of reality into an imagined absolute, and then defend it by any means and at any cost. They become dangerous zealots.

It's not the delusions, themselves, that pose the problem. It's the zealot's inordinate fear, and their extreme reactions because of it. They will do anything to anyone to maintain their delusions of righteousness. Even fly airplanes into buildings full of people.

The antidote to all this zealotry is humility, and faith (as opposed to a blind and absolute belief in our delusions, religious or otherwise). But I don't know how we can get these people to let go of their absolute beliefs and humble themselves when they are so panic-stricken by the idea of being wrong, or of not knowing what's going on, regarding everything. It's clear that confronting them head on doesn't work. But what would?

I don't know.

bybee
November 7th, 2015, 08:33 AM
We can't. And we don't. But some people are SO FRIGHTENED of being wrong, that they turn their delusions of reality into an imagined absolute, and then defend it by any means and at any cost. They become dangerous zealots.

It's not the delusions, themselves, that pose the problem. It's the zealot's inordinate fear, and their extreme reactions because of it. They will do anything to anyone to maintain their delusions of righteousness. Even fly airplanes into buildings full of people.

The antidote to all this zealotry is humility, and faith (as opposed to a blind and absolute belief in our delusions, religious or otherwise). But I don't know how we can get these people to let go of their absolute beliefs and humble themselves when they are so panic-stricken by the idea of being wrong, or of not knowing what's going on, regarding everything. It's clear that confronting them head on doesn't work. But what would?

I don't know.

Head on confrontations do not work BECAUSE there is a presumption on each side of righteousness.
:luigi::luigi:
To walk humbly with one's God is to put outcomes in the hand of God whilst seeking peace with one's neighbor.
To walk humbly with one's God most assuredly hasn't room for the presumption of judgment.
Yet we must be careful in our words, the deeds of our hands and the way of our feet.

PureX
November 7th, 2015, 09:02 AM
Head on confrontations do not work BECAUSE there is a presumption on each side of righteousness.
:luigi::luigi:
To walk humbly with one's God is to put outcomes in the hand of God whilst seeking peace with one's neighbor.
To walk humbly with one's God most assuredly hasn't room for the presumption of judgment.
Yet we must be careful in our words, the deeds of our hands and the way of our feet.It's an almost impossible task.

We need to be honest, and yet honestly, we are far from perfect, ourselves. So we WILL screw up just by being who we are. It's inevitable. And yet without that authenticity, we have little to offer anyone, really.

All the more reason that we all need to maintain an environment of forgiveness and mercy. And empathy, if we can.

chrysostom
November 7th, 2015, 09:08 AM
And yet without that authenticity, we have little to offer anyone, really.

it will be done through your neighbor
if
God needs to talk to you

PureX
November 7th, 2015, 09:20 AM
it will be done through your neighbor
if
God needs to talk to youFor me, the essence of Christianity is relating to God through each other. It's why I tend to harp so often against people confusing their religion with their God. In doing that, they end up using their religion to cut their fellow humans out of the relationship. In fact, that's often WHY they do it. And to me, this is fundamentally unChristian!

chrysostom
November 7th, 2015, 09:21 AM
For me, the essence of Christianity is relating to God through each other. It's why I tend to harp so often against people confusing their religion with their God. In doing that, they end up using their religion to cut their fellow humans out of the relationship. In fact, that's often WHY they do it. And to me, this is fundamentally unChristian!

without religion you would be still worshiping that stone

PureX
November 7th, 2015, 10:14 AM
without religion you would be still worshiping that stoneWhen did I ever worship stones? :chuckle:

Eric h
November 7th, 2015, 12:08 PM
So how can we actually know anything with a certainty? Some people seem to think they know well enough for a religious fundamentalist zealotry?

Either, at least One God created the universe and life, or there is no god.

The creation of the universe is history, there cannot be a possible or maybe god.

Totton Linnet
November 8th, 2015, 06:26 AM
As most of you know, I've been with TOL since before my husband passed away in January of 1999. Before Steve died, I considered myself strong in my faith. I wasn't as strong as I thought. I blamed God for Steve dying. He was a 39 year old man who died instantly from a massive stroke. He was part of my reason for living. At his funeral, a lot of people came up to me telling me that God must have a really huge plan for me because, 30 years old, I had gone through so much. All those words did for me was to make me question my faith more and more. I didn't want to believe in a God who would take everything from me just because he "had a plan for my life." I thought about all of that for two years and came on the verge of giving up my Christian faith because of it. Like so many people, I could easily blame my failing faith on what others said or did to me. All they did was make me question more and more why I believed in such a God.

Then, I went to visit my brother. My brother was a youth pastor at the time. He told me that I needed to open my eyes and realize that God doesn't cause everything to happen. But, He will use everything that happens to test and/or strengthen His children. Except for TOL, I had never heard that before. When I got home from visiting my brother, my dear friends on TOL started telling me the same thing my brother did. The difference was, this time, I chose to pay attention to what they said to me. Within two weeks, I decided to rededicate myself to God and to look at what I was going through as more of a test than as someone I loved being taken away from me.

Now, sixteen (almost seventeen) years later, I can honestly say that my faith in God is stronger than it ever has been. I have come to realize that what my brother told me was true. I have also come to realize that my faith is my own. No one can cause me to stumble or fall by what they say or do to me. Some people can cause me to question my faith. But, what I do after that is my responsibility. And, I cannot with all honesty blame others for the things I choose to do with my life.

Thank you for your testimony, your witness....your life.

Totton Linnet
November 8th, 2015, 06:31 AM
I tripped merrily to the waters, I thought to dabble me toes therein.

God picked me up and chucked me in the deep end, I thought I would drown, everyone said "she's gunna drown"

But I did not drown, I learned to swim, I love the Lord more each day.

alwight
November 8th, 2015, 07:51 AM
Either, at least One God created the universe and life, or there is no god.

The creation of the universe is history, there cannot be a possible or maybe god.So what do you actually know from that deduction?

Eric h
November 9th, 2015, 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by Eric h
Either, at least One God created the universe and life, or there is no god.

The creation of the universe is history, there cannot be a possible or maybe god.


So what do you actually know from that deduction?

God is not an academic exercise that you debate endlessly about, there is the need to do something.

fzappa13
November 10th, 2015, 11:21 AM
Nori,

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

chrysostom
November 10th, 2015, 11:23 AM
God is not an academic exercise that you debate endlessly about, there is the need to do something.

he does this just to get a positive rep

Ktoyou
November 10th, 2015, 11:31 AM
What does this have to do with her spiritual journey?

chrysostom
November 10th, 2015, 11:41 AM
What does this have to do with her spiritual journey?

giving positive reps is part of mine