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Thank God Almighty I Am Free At Last.


Guest Noogatiger
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Guest Noogatiger

Why do you believe what you believe?

Several years ago while still a Christian, and out of town for a training session, I had a business associate ask me a question like that.

 

To tell you the truth I was stumped a little bit, to come up with a good explanation, other than, “I just did”, because I was taught it, I accepted it, and all of my family accepted it, I just had faith in it. Not a very convincing answer, I admit, but I never had any real reason to go any deeper.

 

I simply believed. I believed that what I had been told, and taught, (since I was a small child), and what was preached to me was the absolute truth. Over the years, (I am 49 now), I never really had any reason to delve deep into any hard examination of the Bible, especially with any kind of skeptical eye. There was never any real reason for me to examine just exactly what it was that I believed, why I believed it, and if I should keep on believing it or not. As long as life went reasonably well, with only the normal hardships of work, bills, health issues, and family problems, which could be handled and kept within the scope of my worldview, then I simply stayed the course. I read scriptures, but usually as part of devotions, or guided Bible studies, or in Church or Sunday School, but I never sat down with this book to see for myself if it really was what I was taught that it was.

 

I did question everything else in life however, I was not so trusting of anyone or anything else, except this one area, my faith. I was a "why" person about everything else except my religion. Sure there were times I had questions which were not answered to my satisfaction about the Bible, but I was in the middle of a whole family of believers, and in fact a whole community and city of believers, so I just filed it away under the "hard to understand" and went on, and forgot about it.

 

So what made me finally do it, re-examine everything. Well, it was 5 years of hell on earth, in which almost everything flew right in the face of what I professed to believe. 5 years of wondering what in the hell was going to happen next. Just when I thought I was at the bottom I would look up only to see that truck falling on my head again.

 

I was forced to re-examine what I believed and why, and really answer the question asked of me years earlier by the aforementioned business associate. Real life taught me some hard lessons. I studied the Bible with a completely new worldview. I decided to look at the Bible and see if it were really the absolute truth, as is claimed, instead of, as I had done in the past, look for reasons to still believe that it was the absolute truth. As I told my wife, absolute truth will prove itself, if it is absolutely true, right?

 

When I quit trying to prove to myself that the Bible was the Word of God, and started simply reading the book to see if it could be the so called Word of God, I suddenly saw a large and overwhelming list of problems. There were a lot of things, which I had ignored in the past. I saw that there are lots of errors, contradictions, moral problems, inconsistencies, scientific problems, historical problems, failed prophecies, and things which were supposed to be prophecies that are not really. I had never seen these things before, mostly because I wanted to believe so badly that just to be honest, I ignored them.

 

No other book in the world has spawned as much controversy, different denominations, and different individual interpretations of it. (In fact every reader who reads it has a different interpretation). People still hold to it, and believe it based on arbitrary faith, traditions, family, their upbringing, the majesty of trees and mountains, blue sky, the power of tornadoes, warm fuzzy feelings, or authority figures who tell them what to believe. What proof do we have that this book is, or contains the truth, none, there simply is no proof.

 

Then in the middle of my new awakening I ran across this website:

Questioning; An Examination of Christian Belief

It just helped seal the deal for me.

 

PS. One of the articles on there now is from me, called "Out of Fundamentalism". It is kind of long, so pack a lunch.

 

I am the son of a Fundamentalist Baptist Minister, married to the daughter of a Fundamentalist Baptist Minister. All of my extended family on both sides of the family are all fundamentalist of various denominations, with uncles who are deacons, laymen, Sunday School teachers, etc, so I am dooomed. My wife is the only person who knows of the extent of my agnosticism, and I have brought her along slowly, while she thought I was still a believer, and she admits to all of the Bible problems I have seen. She is NOT going to go as far as I have however, no matter what the evidence, because of family.

 

 

Here is one of my websites:

IHS Ministries

On this site you will want to read "I was Born Again".

 

Then for users of this forum only , because it isn't linked on my page, you can read part II of that story here:

Real World

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Welcome :)

 

I started questioning my Xianity the same way. I just couldn't give a reasonably half-assed answer as to why I believed what I did, and it nagged at me. After a lot of soul-searching and examining of other belief systems, I had to finally admit that I just couldn't swallow the bullshit anymore.

 

I got my start by just believing what I was raised to. I was raised in a cultural Catholic home, which means that Catholicism was just a part of my ethnic identity (I'm primarily Polish-American) and though I was fiercely loyal to it, I didn't get the guilt-tripping or fear-mongering for the most part. It made Xianity easy to live with but hard to drop, so even though I had a relatively stress-free religious life, it took me a long time to allow myself to question and doubt my religion when I finally ran into problems with belief and practice.

 

Good to see you're strong enough to come out of it and see the Wizard of Oz for the bullshit artist he really is. Welcome again :)

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My wife is the only person who knows of the extent of my agnosticism, and I have brought her along slowly, while she thought I was still a believer, and she admits to all of the Bible problems I have seen. She is NOT going to go as far as I have however, no matter what the evidence, because of family.

 

 

Interesting because people are often afraid of becoming Christians because of family aswell. It's a shame to me how families can be such a stumbling block to people making difficult decisions. But anyway .. welcome to the forum .. I hope you find it useful. You'll probably end up even more of an apostate once you spend enough time on here :wicked:

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Noogatiger, thanks for your articulate story. I've been a "why" person about everything in life, including religion. I could never figure out what people meant by "just believe." Or "you have to have faith." You explain very well. Thank you.

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