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TexasFreethinker

Why Do You Remain A Christian?

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In the spirit of understanding (rather than debating), I'd like to ask another question of the Christians who are members or guests of this site.

 

Why are you still a Christian, in spite of the evidence and logic to the contrary that's been presented here?

 

What I'm trying to understand is what maintains your belief - on what basis do you continue to believe?

 

If you take a close look at why you are a believer does it come down to reason, evidence, a gut feeling, do you think you are hearing directly from your god, etc? I think most Christians would have to admit that there are strong reasons to disbelieve, but there must be something that is keeping you on the side of belief. What is that, exactly?

 

I'm hoping for answers more explicit than "I have faith". I'm interested in why you have faith.

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TfT..

 

Good subject, will pin to prevent being chased down threadlist..

 

Would like to see what interested participants have to add.

 

kL

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I'm hoping for answers more explicit than "I have faith".  I'm interested in why you have faith.

 

Good thread!

 

I can't explain why I have faith, but I remain because I am content. Although I can not explain ever detail, to me, it all makes sense. I came here to understand why someone would want to leave, and was shocked at the amount of depth in some of the posts. Although we have come to completely different results, I truly believe everyone here is seeking the truth. Does that answer the question satisfactorily?

 

BtR

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Good thread!

 

I can't explain why I have faith, but I remain because I am content. Although I can not explain ever detail, to me, it all makes sense. I came here to understand why someone would want to leave, and was shocked at the amount of depth in some of the posts. Although we have come to completely different results, I truly believe everyone here is seeking the truth. Does that answer the question satisfactorily?

 

BtR

 

 

Sounds like an honest answer. I like honest :grin:

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Does that answer the question satisfactorily?

Any answer is satisfactory if that's the reason you're still a Christian. I don't think there are any right or wrong answers - I really just wanted to get a sense of what criteria or approach people are using to remain Christian in spite of the material presented on this site.

 

If I understand you correctly, you're saying that you remain a Christian because it makes you feel good - feel content. Is that accurate?

 

And, thank you for answering.

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I'm not going to wait until I can think up a really good answer (which I hope will impress folks) - rather I will just say some things quickly that come to my mind now - in sort of an 'off the cuff' manner.

 

I like to listen (mostly ... though I do read also sometimes) whenever I can, to things that I consider to be worthy of my time, (rather than just re-renting yet another dumbing down movie and/or zoning out in front of another sports show). So, I download MP3 things to listen to (free is sometimes necessary) - and I listen at times like when I am mowing the lawn or driving much distance, etc... (I usually move the MP3 files either to my little IRiver MP3 player - or I burn a CD and listen to it on my CD/MP3 player). I hear various things spoken by various people. Among the content of things that I enjoy listening to the most - is the text of the Bible (New Testament usually) being read by such people as Alexander Scourby (for instance: you can hear him read at Genesis 1 read by Alexander Scourby).

 

I just listened to Genesis 1:2 (while locating the above link) - and I heard this: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters".

 

Often when I am listening to some passage like the gospel of John for instance - I feel like the Spirit of God is moving within who I am.

 

So feelings are one important thing to me, to be sure.

 

Also, it looks to me as if there is a pattern to what happens to me - sometimes while things are in the process of happening and/or when I look back on the circumstances, it seems to me that the events in my life, must be being arranged somehow, by a great intelligence outside (and better than) what I can and do bring to the table. I just don't see how "blind chance" and/or various outside 'normal and natural stimuli' would be likely to have produced (at least based on my own personal evaluation anyway) either who I am today or even the fact that I came into existence at all.

 

Now a lot of what keeps me a Christian, is probably not unique to Christianity, (as far as "feelings" go anyway) - but the doctrinal stuff - like the fact that God chose to suffer in order to be able understand us better and to help us, is something that I also find somehow almost self-authenticating within the Bible. I don't know exactly how to express myself about this, but much of what is taught in the New Testament (from the high-level "big picture" vantage point anyway) just seems (to me) to have the ring of truth in it.

 

...

Also, in my own personal experiences with other self-proclaiming Christians, I don't remember being effected negatively in ways that appeared to be due to their faith in (what I consider to be) important fundamentals of Christianity. At least not so much in ways like I have heard about when I have read many of the ex-testimonies here. Admittedly though, I suppose for the most part, (at least externally), I have mostly appeared to be "towing the lines" that most Christian teachings say is the right way to go.

 

Now that I think about it though - even recently - when I say many things among my Christian family members and/or friends, things that obviously show I no longer feel the same ways about some of the subjects which I didn't use to make big waves about - I still don't feel like they are turning on me, or threatening me in any way.

 

...

Often when I meet some stranger I can sort of feel some type of kinship and then later I learn he or she is a Christian. Like, for instance just the other day I was having a tough time trying to change a tire on our Crown Victoria (we had loaned the floor jack to a neighbor who needed to jack up her riding lawn mower and had not yet put it back in the trunk - so I was trying to use a little poor excuse for a jack, ...etc...) - and a guy stopped and helped me and my daughter out (by supplying his real jack he carries in his pick-up). As he was leaving, he said something like "well, God bless". I could already feel some type of kinship even before he said that - but after wiping some more sweat off my face, I called after him - "Is the God you are referring to - the same one who is the father of Jesus?". Well, (yeah you guessed it!) - my suspicion was once again confirmed! (Hey, I may just write a tract for ole' Chick!) .

 

I will say though - there have been times (like when my family was very young) when a big church van (filled with conservative straight-laced rich looking folks) would pass by us when we needed some help - and some long-haired hippie looking (poor folks like us) would stop what they were doing and help us instead. Interesting though - in the one specific incident I am thinking about - those guys just left us some Jesus-people-type (Chick-like) tract when we asked if we could pay them anything for their help.

 

(Look, I am not trying to lay out some elaborate well-reasoned "apologetic" here - these are just some of the things that quickly popped into my mind).

 

...

 

I really should get back to work now - maybe I'll say some other things later.

 

-Dennis

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If I understand you correctly, you're saying that you remain a Christian because it makes you feel good - feel content. Is that accurate?

Yes, but I would not state it in that way. I'm more able to express "what" I believe then "why." I don't think I've ever been asked this before. I don't view it so much as what makes me "feel good" so much as it seems to be deeper within me than that. My faith is a part of me much like, say, my personality is. Thanks! BtR

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(Look, I am not trying to lay out some elaborate well-reasoned "apologetic" here - these are just some of the things that quickly popped into my mind).

Thanks Dennis.

 

I'm going to attempt to condense what you wrote - it sounds like it comes down to various types of feelings and to reason (seeing patterns in your life, etc.) for you. Is that fair?

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Guest vanesa

Yes why do you remain a Xtian SOIL? I'd love to know why you still contribute to your stinky religion

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Yes why do you remain a Xtian SOIL? I'd love to know why you still contribute to your stinky religion

Hi vanesa,

 

For one thing, I need a hero.

 

There is something about Jesus that I really like.

 

One thing that helps, is because he suffered, and he was not happy about the way this world is (these days). Actually, my favorite verse throughout these last few weeks is located in John chapter 11 where it says "Jesus Wept (v. 35)". The injustice in this world makes me know that I need to weep - however, I am not always a good enough person to weep (for others anyway). But at least I have a hero who is good enough - not only to weep - but also to suffer so others (like myself) won't have a continuing reason to weep (forever).

 

I'm curious, how does your good-smelling alternative world-view explain the subject of weeping?

(Do you think the world, as it is now, is the way it should be?)

 

Here is how I see things, though I weep for the night (as I live on this sin-stained earth), joy comes in the morning (when I enjoy life the way God originally intended me to get to live!) Psalm 30:5

 

I'm not trying to be smart-alecky - I just think (another) one of the reasons I am still a Christian is because Christianity says God is not happy with the suffering that is so rampant here on planet earth (so it's really not all that strange that I don't like it all that much either). Christianity says (if I understand the fundamentals correctly), when God originally created this world there was no reason for weeping - but eventually, the stuff hit the fan (actually, I guess the 'S' word should be "Sin") - and it's been messy ever since. However, I think God decided to help us clean up the mess - and he sent his son to demonstrate what is involved in the process (e.g., obedience, suffering for others, thankfulness for his grace, etc.. I'm guessing some of these may point in the direction I can start).

 

Jesus is my hero - and I really need one - cause not even I make a good enough role model to myself satisfied.

 

 

-Dennis

 

(outside of Jesus -- like the Rolling Stones said it so well -- "I can't get no Satisfaction"

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Gandhi is a better jesus than jesus. Why not gandhi as a hero? Or Socrates? Plenty of men throughout history that are excellent heros. What does jesus have that Socrates or Gandhi doesn't have SOIL?

 

Super Powers?

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Gandhi is a better jesus than jesus. Why not gandhi as a hero? Or Socrates? Plenty of men throughout history that are excellent heros. What does jesus have that Socrates or Gandhi doesn't have SOIL?

 

Super Powers?

 

Nah. Gandhi was a racist, he hated blacks, so I don't know if that's a good choice either.

 

I think Dogmatic here is good enough to be the hero. Yay for Dogmatic!

 

:wave:

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Nah. Gandhi was a racist, he hated blacks, so I don't know if that's a good choice either.

 

I think Dogmatic here is good enough to be the hero. Yay for Dogmatic!

 

:wave:

 

I know about Gandhi and what you say is debateable. Hate is pehaps the wrong word for Gandhi. Part of his problem was his religious belefs ( karma).

 

The bible promotes racism. Even jesus acted in a racists fashion against the gentile woman that begged for healing and was at first told to get in the back of the bus. And don't forget that jesus IS god and the O.T. can be used against jesus if we try to say jesus was god. Gandhi was flesh and blood but was still a better jesus than jesus.

 

The men that I use as an example still stand they are at least better than SOILS jesus.

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I know about Gandhi and what you say is debateable. Hate is pehaps the wrong word for Gandhi. Part of his problem was his religious belefs ( karma). The bible promotes racism. Even jesus acted in a racists fashion against the gentile woman that begged for healing and was at first told to get in the back of the bus. And don't forget that jesus IS god and the O.T. can be used against jesus if we try to say jesus was god. Gandhi was flesh and blood but was still a better jesus than jesus.

 

The men that I use as an example still stand they are at least beter than SOILS jesus.

Ah, I see your point.

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There are no sacred cows. All knowlege is good. If anyone disagrees wih me, that Gandhi is a better jesus than jesus, I have no fear of being shown as a fool as it will not be the first or last time. A new thread in the debate section or a friendly PM will be fine with me if any want to compare Gandhi with jesus and see who's the better man at LOVE, JUSTICE, and More deserving of the title "Prince of PEACE."

 

Compare jesus the man OR jesus the godman/god to Gandhi. Personaly I would choose jesus the man....a hard choice for a Christian eh?

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Tim,

 

Here's the passage I thought of first when I read your question (then I forgot it before I wrote that first post), now I remember it again - following the posts about Ghandi (in comparison) :

 

John 6:66-69 :

 

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

 

I guess I sort of feel like Peter felt.

 

......

 

dogmatically_challenged,

 

I don't know all that much about Ghandi - but I doubt he demonstrated any proof regarding the possibility of life after death (in a form with the same "spirit"- so others could recognize him as being the same person). My ideal hero - needs to provide hope that death is no longer the final enemy of humanity. Some of the things which lead me to believe there is in fact a resurrection of the dead, were demonstrated by the empty tomb where Jesus' dead body was laid, and Jesus' post death physical appearances. Jesus is more foremost - in my book - verses Ghandi and/or any others because he suffered as each of us humans must suffer - and he was raised from death - as he said any human can be raised, (though a voluntary identification with his representation).

 

-Dennis

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So your reason given is not only a Non Sequiter but is argument to ignorance based on desire.

 

If that is your reason...death, then perhaps you should put your bible in the fiction section of your bookshelf, because belief based on ignorance is like building your house upon the sand, but Science is more in line with building on a solid foundation. Science has the real verifiable miracles.

 

(If you learn of Gandhi you might find that I do not have certain information, also my understanding of the bible may be flawed. You will never know who is better, Gandhi or your jesus.)

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...

If that is your reason...death, then perhaps you should put your bible in the fiction section of your bookshelf, because belief based on ignorance is like building your house upon the sand, but Science is more in line with building on a solid foundation. Science has the real verifiable miracles.

(underlined emphasis I have added)

 

I have always thought, if the scientific method can verify a supposed miracle - then the thing being verified, is not worthy of being called a "miracle".

 

Victory over death is one of many things which places Jesus at the top of my "eligible for hero status" list.

 

If the only things I know are those which can be demonstrated by the scientific method, then I would consider myself even more ignorant than I already am. For instance - I know I love, and I know I am loved - but I'm not so sure I could always use the scientific method to prove either.

 

-Dennis

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- but I doubt he demonstrated any proof regarding the possibility of life after death

 

Why is that so important... why can't I remember my life before birth. Have I been conscious only a few years out of the 14 billion year life of this universe. What about parrallel universes... did I incarnate in some way elsewhere. Are we forever conscious in one form or another for eternity. What are the benefits of preserving a consciousness or life experience beyond this life time. Are you sure you are not really living a form of hell in this physical world. Is there really a comfort scale for spirits going from hot to cold... or pain to bliss..... :HaHa:

 

My bet is that christianity is a bandaid for esoterical insecurities. :close: .... ignorance is bliss :HaHa:

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I have always thought, if the scientific method can verify a supposed miracle - then the thing being verified, is not worthy of being called a "miracle".

 

Depends on your definition of miracle. I believe we make our own miracles. Only through our own actions can humans hope to improve the lives of other humans. We can't sit around on our butts and wait for god to do it.

 

My bet is that christianity is a bandaid for esoterical insecurities.

 

Agree entirely.

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(underlined emphasis I have added)

 

I have always thought, if the scientific method can verify a supposed miracle - then the thing being verified, is not worthy of being called a "miracle".

 

Victory over death is one of many things which places Jesus at the top of my "eligible for hero status" list. 

 

If the only things I know are those which can be demonstrated by the scientific method, then I would consider myself even more ignorant than I already am.   For instance - I know I love, and I know I am loved - but I'm not so sure I could always use the scientific method to prove either.

 

-Dennis

 

Again Non Sequiter and argument to ignorance based soley on desire.

 

Knowing that you love is an axiom. And knowing that you are loved is done by inference. Here you are using reason which is more than argument to ignorance based on desire ( Belief in after life). You do not know if there is an afterlife SOIL.

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...

... You will never know who is better, Gandhi or your jesus.)

I think if the position I hold turns out to be correct, then someday I will likely know.

 

-Dennis

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I think if the position I hold turns out to be correct, then someday I will likely know.

 

-Dennis

 

Agreed. But still a dodge.

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Victory over death is one of many things which places Jesus at the top of my "eligible for hero status" list. 

 

If the only things I know are those which can be demonstrated by the scientific method, then I would consider myself even more ignorant than I already am. For instance - I know I love, and I know I am loved - but I'm not so sure I could always use the scientific method to prove either.

 

-Dennis

Miracles are a funny thing. If I could get someone to perform a miracle repeatedly everywhere he went, and whoever he met, wouldn’t the miracle lose its status as a “miracle”? Just a thought, I’m not twisting anyone of you either way.

 

A miracle that can be repeated, is no longer a miracle.

 

 

Why is that so important... why can't I remember my life before birth. Have I been conscious only a few years out of the 14 billion year life of this universe. What about parrallel universes... did I incarnate in some way elsewhere. Are we forever conscious in one form or another for eternity. What are the benefits of preserving a consciousness or life experience beyond this life time. Are you sure you are not really living a form of hell in this physical world. Is there really a comfort scale for spirits going from hot to cold... or pain to bliss.....  :HaHa:

The possibility exists, but is not necessary to life.

 

My bet is that christianity is a bandaid for esoterical insecurities.  :close: .... ignorance is bliss  :HaHa:

Agree.

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The emphasis SOIL puts on miracles is nonsensicle.

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