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A Confused Believing Agnostic


Ziggy
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Intro - I am new to this web site and would describe myself thus.

Not an EX christian but not a real christian either

 

Maybe i am wondering if there is anyone in the same confused boat as me?

 

My current Christian feelings

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I feel that there is truth in most of what Jesus said about ourselves. ie love one another etc ie a truth not about scientific fact but about how we as humans work.

I don't think we can underestimate this. As humans our normal reaction to being wronged, for instance, is revenge ... but Jesus said that we should turn the other cheek etc.

We had a news story recently in the Uk where a black teenager was killed by two youths in the street in an unprovoked attack. The mother was a Christian and although obviously distraught she actually said she forgave the attackers because to harbour hate etc wrong and just leads to more hate.

Martin luther said something similar did he not?

 

This is a good story because it shows the real 'truth' that Christianity holds for some poeple. These are not evangelists or people afraid of science-fact etc but are those that live a life where their faith makes a diference to them and so makes GOD absolutely real to them.

 

There are many updates on these pages that state religion is the source of many of todays problems and why so many of you are now EX- christian and are having to 'recover' from your experiences. i wonder how many of you would be on this board if your experience of christianity was of the woman in my story above?

 

Anyway My Doubts

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How can there be one true religion. Do Musilms not have the same feeligs and try to pray to GOD. Surely if anyone prays it is to God no matter what reigion they have (if any)?

 

How can everyone who is not a Christian go to hell?

 

Why is there a huge Christian movement in the US that wants to disregard Science and evolution?

 

There is no scientific proof of God. And no proof that he answers prayer either - at least prayers like - please keep me and my own safe (ie Tsunami)

 

and there are many more .. :scratch:

 

 

So what am i ? i have no idea... But this is the crux of any viewpoint on this subject. Anyone who claims to know it all .. will invite trouble People like to be secure either in their belief or their unbelief.. ie they like to know exactly where they stand. But its this need that means you need a a set of rules which becomes a religion.... which segregates people and in the end CAN causes all sorts of social problems.

 

But does this mean that there is no 'truth' in a simple faith like the woman in my story.

Her prayer is not that God will keep her Child safe but that whatever good or bad experiences life gives her that she will have the strength to deal with it in the right way.

 

Anyone else feel like this ?

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I'd be an ex-christian anyway, and an experience like the woman in your story would only reinforce my decision. If the Xian god existed, an all-knowing and all-powerful and all-present god, there would be no suffering. None of this business of "God gave us free will and that's where evil comes from" or "we bring it on ourselves" or whatever - the thought that such a god would allow evil for any reason or allow evil beings to have power over his beloved creation is absolute nonsense, and utterly contrary to any instinctive moral law of justice or mercy.

 

I can see where forgiving wrongdoers can help a person get over a traumatic incident. Holding onto negative things only forbids a person from moving on with their life. But why should she forgive the scum who killed her son? Why? She has all the natural moral justification to hate and loathe the criminals for all time, and well she should. Murder is reprehensible, and anyone who would say "it's ok" after they have a loved one killed has a skewed version of reality. This is rather a perfect example of how Xianity leads people to self-induced brain damage in many cases, and if whole nations tried to live by this nonsense, shamefully bending over and grabbing the ankles and asking for more when the scum of the earth come knocking, we'd be speaking Japanese or German right now. Remember Pearl Harbor? Now, where would America be if they followed the retarded nonsense of turning the other cheek and forgiving every crime without seeking proper and natural retribution? Turning the other cheek is characteristic of a doomsday cult who thought the end of the world was going to happen within their own generation, so why defend oneself?

 

I made another post about what most people think Xianity is (and what I wish it were) versus what it really is. Perhaps this will shed some light on my opinions: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=6248&hl= Respect is one thing; capitulation is another, though. A religion that promotes capitulation is fit only for slaves.

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There is no scientific proof of God. And no proof that he answers prayer either - at least prayers like - please keep me and my own safe (ie Tsunami)

 

and there are many more .. :scratch:

 

 

So what am i ? i have no idea... But this is the crux of any viewpoint on this subject. Anyone who claims to know it all .. will invite trouble People like to be secure either in their belief or their unbelief.. ie they like to know exactly where they stand. But its this need that means you need a a set of rules which becomes a religion.... which segregates people and in the end CAN causes all sorts of social problems.

 

But does this mean that there is no 'truth' in a simple faith like the woman in my story.

Her prayer is not that God will keep her Child safe but that whatever good or bad experiences life gives her that she will have the strength to deal with it in the right way.

 

Anyone else feel like this ?

Hello Robert:

 

Well, I'm do not exactly feel like this. But I am Christian - though not a literalist. It is possible to be Christian and still recognize the validity (and learn about) other belief systems. Many, many Christians are involved in interfaith learning and discussions. This dimension of Christianity tends to be more open to TRUTH beyond the human capacity to fully understand - and therefore less willing to claim they have a corner on truth. There can be a "TRUTH" that transcends and encumpasses all of humanities belief systems.

 

I don't believe in a Sunday School off in the far reaches of the universe - who would answer some prayers and ignore others. I don't believe in hell - or some people spending all of eternity in pain. God to me is beyond all that - and I do accept that there is chaos in the world as well.

 

Like you - the Sacred in my life (that I call God) is a source of strength and wonder.

 

Does this answer some of your questions?

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Hi Robert, welcome to the site.

 

From my own experiences I think that getting past other peoples definitions of some supposed "truth" is the biggest step. You are correct that the Bible does contain many spiritual truths, but because it has various truisms, does not make it the single authority of it as the Christian church would have it. Humans wrote the Bible, and much of what is in the Bible (not all of course) is an expression of their views of what a spiritual life should follow. The Biblical writers are not the only humans who have spiritual insights. It's just the book that got a larger political backing! :grin:

 

I am an ex-Christian and atheist, yet in one ironic sense I am not. I am a product of a Christian culture. I was exposed to Christian teachings and principles in my own pursuit of "answers" for myself beginning before my 20's. The teaching, "love your neighbor as yourself" is a profound truth of spiritual principle that I feel is a healthy attitude to assume. We are all products of our culture, and Western attitudes come largely through a Christian heritage. So in that sense we are Christians, if not by name.

 

There has been a lengthy conversation between Open_Minded and myself exploring different approaches to spirituality you might find of some benefit to you, him from a non-traditional Christian system of language symbols and understandings, and I from a non-deity based human exploration of human spirituality. There are many pages of earlier discussions in that thread, but to begin where this part of it began, this link should take you there:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&s...ndpost&p=118870

 

I certainly do not claim to have better ideas than anyone else about these things, and completely agree with you about those who do. "Truth" is subjective and spirituality is a personal pursuit that has to work with the sum of who we are. There is no right or wrong to it. The only thing that is “wrong”, I would say is an attitude that we are "right".

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Hello all and thanks for all of these replies (and the welcome to the site!)

I hope i won't confuse any thread by replying to you all at once

 

In order.. WOLFHEART I can see what you are saying but there is difference between defending a country from the likes of Hitler and learning to forgive your neighbor. maybe murder is an extreme example but if everyone takes your stance then you have a mini northern Ireland with is not religious. That is people not willing to forget the past and any wrong doings against them and fighting back and where is the future in that ?

I sort of take your point about the all powerful God not being in control. He is not and actually its Christian to know he is not in control. If you take what Christians believe as truth then the whole piint of Jesus was because GOD was not in control ... the only way to defeat evil was for Christ to die. Anyway that is off track slightly and opens a new bag of worms i don't want to talk about in this discussion!

 

SERENITYNOW (I like the moniker) Thank you for the welcome

I agree with what you have said. Like OPEN MINDED I cannot believe in hell as protrayed in the bible and there is alot i cannot take as read from bible. i know true Christians who do not take Hell that literally.

You seem to be similar to me in that you believe / want to believe in something but have nothing definate to identify that belief with. As you say its easy to be negative of all religions but what i was asking is ...is there ANY truth there that is hidden by the man made rules of all religions? I think there may be ... but what and how do you identify it? Is this your view?

 

OPENMINDED Your reply was helpful. Not so much in answering questions but by your view of not taking everything so literally - which I don't/can't. If i am with Christians I find myself arguing with them about this literacy. But by the same token i argue with atheists who cannot accept anything that is not scientific. And I am left with something inside that is hard to explain but 'feels' there is more than meets the eye and that we all have a spiritual side which its not good to ignore.

 

To all - maybe if there is a God he is as dissapointed as we are at the state of earths Religions

 

Antlerman Thanks for that link. I'll look into it As I would not say I am atheist we are different, but your approach and logic is good and exactly what I was looking for in this forum

 

BTW - Thats not your real picture is it !?

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Antlerman Thanks for that link. I'll look into it As I would not say I am atheist we are different, but your approach and logic is good and exactly what I was looking for in this forum

 

BTW - Thats not your real picture is it !?

If it were, I would be 18,000 years old! It's an artists rendintion based on fossil remains of the "Flores Hobbit" discovered in Indonesia last year. (The new species of humans only 3 foot tall). I just particularily like his visage. :grin:

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Oh yes I saw a program on them - amazing. Actually it looks a bit like someone I know but we won't go into that :grin:

 

So my next task is to get a suitable picture for my user name .. I'll start to look around

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May I ask a question though OM? Religious texts claim that god/gods speak to them with this information. Do you believe that these were audible instructions or what god spoke to someone in their mind? Either way, why would god not choose to do this for each individual person despite whether or not they were seeking, it/him/they?

 

Please don't think that I'm attacking you, I'm just curious.

 

Hello SerenityNow, don't worry - I don't think you are attacking me :) I really do enjoy these types of discussions. There is so much to learn from each other.

 

Well... yes religious texts do claim that god/gods speak to them with this information. No I do not believe (for instance in the case of the Bible) that God came to Moses on a mountain and dictated the first books of the Bible. I think this is a literalist approach to religion and it is destructive to humanity and the world as a whole.

 

I believe there is inspiration in the Bible. I also believe there is inspiration in the Rig Veda and other sacred texts. Beyond religion, I believe there is inspiration in science, in music, in art, in nature.... do you see where I'm going with this? I believe there is inspiration in life .... but because one feels inspired at one moment in time, does not give one license to claim full knowledge of TRUTH. Actually, in my view, "inspiration" should always be balanced and checked by other points of view. Because it is not always easy to determine true inspiration from one's own wishes.

 

I'm quite sure George Bush feels very "inspired". The problem is he surrounds himself with others who feel "inspired" in the same destructive ways :(

 

One of the reasons I am interested in interfaith studies and dialog is that this can serve as a check on one's own spiritual beliefs. Science also serves as a legitimate check on organized religion - so do those who have walked away from organized religion. Those of us who have elected to stay involved with organized religion but expect more out of it than it typically gives also serve as a check.

 

but what i was asking is ...is there ANY truth there that is hidden by the man made rules of all religions?

 

Robert... you may want to check out the following: http://www.onenessonline.com/

 

It's about the book ONENESS: GREAT PRINCIPLES SHARED BY ALL RELIGIONS. It's a quick easy read. But it does give one an understanding of the underlying unity of the major religions.

 

:wave:

 

Hey there Antlerman :) Good to run into you again ;)

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Hey there Antlerman :) Good to run into you again ;)

Oh yes I'm here. Trust me I've hardly forgotten about our discussions. I'm just going through a processing phase of sorts, like rebuilding the stripe set of the raid array of my brain :grin: I'm coming back to our discussions.... (plus I've been a little busier again).

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Anyone else feel like this ?

 

:)Hi Robert! Welcome! I think you have come to the right place!

 

It seems I floundered into this site thinking I was a "Christian", yet every church or Christian I met... we never had anything near the same beliefs! I felt I didn't fit in anywhere! I came to study other spiritual teachers too, and found they helped clarify my understandings and added enrichment. When I came here, the diversity really helped me! And there are those here of great attitudes to help understand where each of us are in our life! I am so glad/thankful they tolerate me! LOL

 

People here presented mythology, and it was impossibe, IMO, to deny its influence on the Bible. There are people of strong scientific inclinations that were impossible to deny their assertions either! Some people were just able to 'smack me in the face' to get me to see more clearly. hehe Sure, there are a lot of original understandings I kept, but I certainly feel I have evolved.

 

What makes this site so wonderful, IMO, is that each person is unique and has something special to offer. I'm not saying to take what everyone says at face value, although I do find almost everyone sincere and credible... yet I suggest to go ahead and research some things that you may find astounding to be the truth. My foundations were shaken a bit, but there were some things I just couldn't deny. I, personally feel my foundations are more solid now. That's my .02. :shrug:

 

So Robert, to answer your question, yes I think I understand how you feel. I look forward to joining you in future discussions on these forums. I think you're going to be glad you came! :grin:

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How can there be one true religion.

 

That is the claim of both Christianity and Islam. Both of them cannot be true

 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_plur.htm

 

 

Do Musilms not have the same feeligs and try to pray to GOD. Surely if anyone prays it is to God no matter what reigion they have (if any)?

 

Yes they have the same feelings just as you and me. But remember the God they pray to, is very different than the one you pray to? This is the fallacy of equivocation, which a lot of good hearted people make.

 

How can everyone who is not a Christian go to hell?

 

According to the bible unbelievers(including babies) are gonna go to hell and suffer eternally. Not only that , the Christian God will send them a deception to some of the believers that they are saved.

 

 

 

Why is there a huge Christian movement in the US that wants to disregard Science and evolution?

 

Because it conflicts with their biblical account of Creation. Christianity has opposed Science throughout the centuary. Only 100 years ago, the majority of the christians held the view that the world was flat. Where did they get this idea from? The bible.

 

and there are many more .. :scratch:

 

two fantastic site, which answered most of my question about christianity

 

http://www.geocities.com/b_r_a_d_99(Go through this site first)

 

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/central.html

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I'm not saying to take what everyone says at face value, although I do find almost everyone sincere and credible... yet I suggest to go ahead and research some things that you may find astounding to be the truth. My foundations were shaken a bit, but there were some things I just couldn't deny. I, personally feel my foundations are more solid now. That's my .02. :shrug:

 

That's something most believers never do - it's a credit to you, Amanda, that you actually do read about the history of the bible, consider scientific evidence, and acknowledge mythology that predates the bible. The truth is the truth, whether it confirms our beliefs or challenges them. Ignoring it doesn't make it any less true. :scratch:

 

Not everyone has to become an atheist or rationalist - but denying reality doesn't work either. The Dali Lama once mentioned that if science were to prove undeniably that reincarnation doesn't happen, then he would have to change his beliefs. I think that is an enlightened attitude - the desire for truth is greater than the need for constancy.

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Not everyone has to become an atheist or rationalist - but denying reality doesn't work either. The Dali Lama once mentioned that if science were to prove undeniably that reincarnation doesn't happen, then he would have to change his beliefs. I think that is an enlightened attitude - the desire for truth is greater than the need for constancy.

 

This is SO.... true All Gods Fail...

 

There was a long period in my life where I considered myself a Deist... mostly because of the lack of evidence regarding the historical Jesus. Did he really live... if so... did he die on the cross? What was the resurrection all about????

 

Robert.... questioning will challenge you right to the very core. But it is worth it. It really is, even the pain involved in questioning is worth it, because it makes you search deeper. You will come up with your own answers, and they don't have to fit any particular pattern. In addition, life has taught me that the answers I came up with yesterday, do not have to be the same answers that I accept as valid today, or tomorrow. What is most important is to keep searching and to keep an open mind. :)

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You will come up with your own answers, and they don't have to fit any particular pattern. In addition, life has taught me that the answers I came up with yesterday, do not have to be the same answers that I accept as valid today, or tomorrow. What is most important is to keep searching and to keep an open mind.

 

Thanks I agree. Its a strange but liberating stance. Strange meaning unusual - to me anyway

i have had years of frustration at not being able to ask or query many things with Christians because the subject contradicted their core beliefs. Its strange to be comfortable NOT knowing everything and being able to question and hypothesise (sp?) freely without feeling you are being damned.

 

Most people - not Just Christians - like to live within known boundaries - like in a Box.

This gives them security possibly but for me its more like prison.

 

To be able to speak with people like yourself is a great feeling. I am not leaving something but joining something else - ie similar people with similar views.

 

Yes they have the same feelings just as you and me. But remember the God they pray to, is very different than the one you pray to?

 

 

pritishd - Just a point on this Muslims do actually believe the God they believe in is exactly the same God as the christian God. The God is Issac, Jacob etc etc . (This perceived 'unity' falls down with christ being the Son Of God... )

For instance Musilms are Allowed to marry Christians and Jews.. because they have faith in the same God. That seems strange because i think there would be some problems if they did but stricly adhered to their own code but thats another issue

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Thanks I agree. Its a strange but liberating stance. Strange meaning unusual - to me anyway

i have had years of frustration at not being able to ask or query many things with Christians because the subject contradicted their core beliefs. Its strange to be comfortable NOT knowing everything and being able to question and hypothesise (sp?) freely without feeling you are being damned.

 

Precisely how I feel, also. I used to feel as if I would be leaving a nice, safe fortress if I rejected my Roman Catholicism and Xianity in general, leaving behind an age-old structure that remains standing strong despite nearly two thousand years of fighting against the world and human nature. That is sure an appealing idea, especially for a young Xian. A nice, big, safe spiritual fortress where you've got millions of fellow believers and hundreds of years of teaching and philosophy to fall back on in a pinch - who could say no?

 

Well, I did. After a few years of growing doubts, exposure to different viewpoints, daring to weigh the various viewpoints in my own head without letting others influence my thinking, and general disatisfaction with an increasing amount of contradictions and fallacies within my own faith, I said "no" and left that crumbling heap of a "fortress". I realized that standing stubbornly within an unsafe structure could get me hurt, so I was safer on the outside. And that's what the Roman Catholic Church is, just like all other Xian sects, a crumbling and unsafe ruin. Sure, the world outside the "fortress" was dangerous, but the dangers were often misinterpreted by the Church, and I was far more capable than I thought of handling them all by myself. And since I saw all the problems with even the basic foundation of the so-called "rock" I was standing on, evacuating was my only real option.

 

It is indeed strange to know you don't have all the spiritual answers anymore and to feel comfortable with that. It is like looking at unexplored territory within your own mind and soul, and knowing you can examine and chart it freely, without the danger of a mythical pit of eternal fire waiting for you. It certainly feels better than the boogeyman god of the Big Three and his cruel cults. Life on the outside is decidedly an improvement.

 

Out here, you can build your own fortress, and truth makes a better foundation than superstition.

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Wolfheart, Did you have friends and family in the Church - people that you cared about - and did they accept your new views?

 

There is one things that gets me in all this and thats that the people i know (stil know them well) who are Christians are absolutely genuine honest and good people. i have great respect for their integrity in almost all things apart from the areas of faith i have difficulties with. They do not force faith on anyone. The church also allowed a guy to speak one Sunday on the POSSIBILITY of non christians getting the heaven.

A few years back that would never have been allowed and I presume in the US this would be heretic. So i think they are fairty open minded but remain faithful to their core beliefs or at least most of them.

 

My view is that there is many strings holding that church together which are not belief based. Mostly social but also that fact all people like to 'belong' somewhere and feel welcome and wanted. This church gave most people that feeling and so its not just a question of deciding what you believe - for many that would mean deciding if they want give up all the social support that they get from the church which becomes a way of life. In some ways its easier to bury your doubts and carry on in the church becasue the life style suits you

 

Did you have any of those issues?

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They do not force faith on anyone. The church also allowed a guy to speak one Sunday on the POSSIBILITY of non christians getting the heaven.

 

A few years back that would never have been allowed and I presume in the US this would be heretic. So i think they are fairty open minded but remain faithful to their core beliefs or at least most of them.

 

Not in all of the U.S. Our church holds interfaith speakers and discussions on a fairly regular basis. It's mostly the denomination, certainly the conservative/fundamentalist denominations would consider the practice heretical.

 

But, like your situation, this is pretty new territory. It wouldn't have happened in our congregation a few years back, either. But the funny thing is, I've had elderly people come up to me and say that when they were my age they were working on interdenominational understanding and discussions. Some feel that this is the next logical step in the ecumenical movement :)

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I haven't told a heck of a lot of people yet. To be honest, religious talk doesn't come up much with most people I know IRL and online is almost the same story. I have too much going on in my life right that I want to have pan out first before I break the news. It'll come when it comes. Being a Deist, for me making a big to-do about my religious views is not a requisite of my beliefs. It's not like I have a disease that everyone should know about asap. That's one of the best things about a freethinking path - you don't have to make a big deal over religion anymore.

 

Most people I know are Xians, and most of them are Catholics. But relatively few people are overly religious and don't usually live their faith more than weekly Mass attendance or referring to Xian definitions of spirtuality and so forth. So, for me, I am lucky enough to not have to contend with a devoutly faithful community that could give me static about having different views than theirs. And many of them are more open-minded than they realize their Churches allow. Like my folks, who are all for euthanasia and abortion and birth control, for example. These hot-button issues are non-issues to them, and I don't have to contend with a heck of a lot.

 

My only problem is that Xianity is viewed as a simple faith in a good god who came to earth in the form of a man and gave us some good basic morality to live by. That is how Xianity is viewed by most folks I know, my parents included, and they don't understand Xianity for what it is. Hence, coming out against it would be the typical uphill battle, and I am not in the mood for that right now, plus given my father's age and unstable health, I'd rather not upset him. I hate living a lie and seeming to appear as a good church-goer, but if a harmless lie makes a nice old man happy, then so be it. No one on this miserable rock is fit to be my judge, so I don't have to worry about answering to anyone anymore than I do about some imaginary boogeyman.

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Wolfheart - in your situation you are probably right. But I sense a degree of bitterness there (forgive me i am wrong. Just your phrase - this miserable rock :grin: ) and that s not a good thing to carry with you if you can at all help it. I suppose these forums are a type of therapy.

 

I still go to church and they have started a discussion group outside of the church where they pick a subject too thorny for a sunday service and get a speaker along. Quite brave of them really i suppose and ceratinly honest. So becasue they have this element that is TRYING to face these issues i still go. But at the same time I feel bad becasue of deep rooted doubts about any one religion being the sole truth

 

Open Minded - thanks for that.

In the Uk the news on Religion is either fundamentalist US Christians or fundamentist Islam terrorists

Its good to hear that there are honest folk trying to face difficult issues in the US

 

What denomiation are you ?

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Open Minded - thanks for that.

 

In the Uk the news on Religion is either fundamentalist US Christians or fundamentist Islam terrorists

Its good to hear that there are honest folk trying to face difficult issues in the US

 

What denomiation are you ?

 

I attend an (ELCA) Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It's pretty mainstream Lutheran. Last year the national convention voted on ordaining openly gay/lesbian pastors and blessing same sex unions. The resolutions didn't pass, but in time they probably will.

 

The congregation I belong to is more liberal than most ELCA congregations. Most ELCA congregations do not regularly invite guests from other faith traditions - although some are starting to have annual learning days called "Your Neighbor's Faith". This is a big step forward - but it's not nearly big enough for the problems our country and world are facing today.

 

It does seem as if America is being overrun right now by the literalists. But, honestly most people I know have a more open view of "salvation" than is being portrayed in the press. (Note: I don't believe in hell at all... I don't look at "salvation" as something we get because Jesus had to appease god on a cross.)

 

At any rate - for another view of it all you may want to look at the following article.http://www.beliefnet.com/story/173/story_17348_1.html

 

America is pretty diverse as far as beliefs... at least that's my opinion. But, I haven't been hit by the literalist/fundamentalists beliefs that so many people on this board have. So, they may have an entirely different perception than I do.

 

Also, whether or not most Americans have more open beliefs than what is commonly portrayed, still does not address the underlying damage that literalism can do to an individual and to a culture. What is frightening to me is that the literalists are in charge now, and their beliefs are having a dramatic impact on the world and on our country :(

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Yes they have the same feelings just as you and me. But remember the God they pray to, is very different than the one you pray to?

 

pritishd - Just a point on this Muslims do actually believe the God they believe in is exactly the same God as the christian God. The God is Issac, Jacob etc etc . (This perceived 'unity' falls down with christ being the Son Of God... )

 

That is what they claim. They want to latch on to Judaism to claim validity to their religion. In reality they(Christianity and Islam) are a cult of Judaism, because theology of NT and Islam differ so much from the OT.

 

A good example is the commandment of keeping the Sabbath

 

1)In Judaism(OT), the followers are meant to keep SATURDAY as the holy day(Sabbath)

2)In Christianity, the keeping of Sabbath is not so important, never the less Christians observe Sunday as the Saturday

3)In Islam, friday is the Sabbath day.

 

If the God of all three are the same, then he cannot give 3 contradictory statement about which is the Sabbath Day.

 

Have you read the OT?Please study it if you haven't and you will notice the huge difference in theology of three major religion

 

 

For instance Musilms are Allowed to marry Christians and Jews.. because they have faith in the same God.

 

And if you study a bit more about this, you will be amazed to find that only Males have this privledge. How convenient?

 

Males are allowed to marry because they know they will expand there Gene Pool/Tribe by doing so.

 

Males who want to marry muslim girls must convert to Islam first.

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Wolfheart - in your situation you are probably right. But I sense a degree of bitterness there (forgive me i am wrong. Just your phrase - this miserable rock :grin: ) and that s not a good thing to carry with you if you can at all help it. I suppose these forums are a type of therapy.

 

I still go to church and they have started a discussion group outside of the church where they pick a subject too thorny for a sunday service and get a speaker along. Quite brave of them really i suppose and ceratinly honest. So becasue they have this element that is TRYING to face these issues i still go. But at the same time I feel bad becasue of deep rooted doubts about any one religion being the sole truth

 

Haha, no real bitterness, Robert, just some extra vinegar in my response. In reality, I do love life and like this "miserable rock", but I had to vent a wee bit yesterday. All in good fun.

 

Forums like these are great therapy. A great place to vent, get the venom out, and stretch your mind and learn to think rationally about an irrational subject. This is by far the best non-xian forum I've been on. The board at Dynamic Deism is good, too, but not nearly as active as this one. It seems to always be hopping, and there's a lot to discuss. It gives folks a good place to exercise their non-xian thinking, vent a bit, and enjoy themselves discussing things from a more comfortable perspective.

 

You'll find your own way in time. It must feel very awkward indeed going to a church and not beliving in the concept of a "one true faith". But in time, you'll learn to adapt and perhaps you'll find yourself elsewhere. So long as you follow your own mind and heart, you won't go wrong.

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Intro - I am new to this web site and would describe myself thus.

Not an EX christian but not a real christian either

 

Maybe i am wondering if there is anyone in the same confused boat as me?

 

My current Christian feelings

==================

I feel that there is truth in most of what Jesus said about ourselves. ie love one another etc ie a truth not about scientific fact but about how we as humans work.

I don't think we can underestimate this. As humans our normal reaction to being wronged, for instance, is revenge ... but Jesus said that we should turn the other cheek etc.

We had a news story recently in the Uk where a black teenager was killed by two youths in the street in an unprovoked attack. The mother was a Christian and although obviously distraught she actually said she forgave the attackers because to harbour hate etc wrong and just leads to more hate.

Martin luther said something similar did he not?

 

This is a good story because it shows the real 'truth' that Christianity holds for some poeple. These are not evangelists or people afraid of science-fact etc but are those that live a life where their faith makes a diference to them and so makes GOD absolutely real to them.

 

There are many updates on these pages that state religion is the source of many of todays problems and why so many of you are now EX- christian and are having to 'recover' from your experiences. i wonder how many of you would be on this board if your experience of christianity was of the woman in my story above?

 

Anyway My Doubts

=============

How can there be one true religion. Do Musilms not have the same feeligs and try to pray to GOD. Surely if anyone prays it is to God no matter what reigion they have (if any)?

 

How can everyone who is not a Christian go to hell?

 

Why is there a huge Christian movement in the US that wants to disregard Science and evolution?

 

There is no scientific proof of God. And no proof that he answers prayer either - at least prayers like - please keep me and my own safe (ie Tsunami)

 

and there are many more .. :scratch:

 

 

So what am i ? i have no idea... But this is the crux of any viewpoint on this subject. Anyone who claims to know it all .. will invite trouble People like to be secure either in their belief or their unbelief.. ie they like to know exactly where they stand. But its this need that means you need a a set of rules which becomes a religion.... which segregates people and in the end CAN causes all sorts of social problems.

 

But does this mean that there is no 'truth' in a simple faith like the woman in my story.

Her prayer is not that God will keep her Child safe but that whatever good or bad experiences life gives her that she will have the strength to deal with it in the right way.

 

Anyone else feel like this ?

 

 

I think doubt is something that is healthy for all Christians. It drives them to discover the reasons for their faith and develop better understanding as to how God works. As to your question on exclusivity, every religion holds to this concept as you have stated. If there is truth in the world, then not all could be correct in every aspect. I believe there is truth in many of the world religions but the question is then, which one is the best map of the territory. some maps correspond to the territory better than others. I would recommend the book Finding Faith by Brian McClaren as a really good source for this discussion.

 

You may want to look up the position on inclusivism for your question of people outside of Christianity and their eternal destiny. This topic is debated within Christianity and I hold to the inclusivist position so I believe there will be people outside of Christianity who realize their need for forgiveness by God and act in a way in expectation of the grace of God. I can make some recommendations on that topic as well.

 

There are no scientific proofs for God's existence because science holds to a dominant position called methodological naturalism. This prevents any kind of explanation for phenomena outside of the closed naturalistic system. Science as it currently is held prevents God from ever entering the debate. I think Intelligent Design is a good inference to God as the best explanation for aspects of the world which natural selection cannot explain. I would recommend the video Unlocking the Mysteries of Life as a source to get an idea of what ID is saying. This site shows a free preview.

http://www.illustramedia.com/umolpreview.htm

 

Scientists have actually done studies that prove empirically the power of prayer. It can be found in specific studies of test cases in hospitals. I can share those with you if you're interested.

 

Overall, I think there are ways to explore these issues without having to fear a loss of faith. You are just discovering better reasons for belief which is what we all should seek out.

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There are no scientific proofs for God's existence because science holds to a dominant position called methodological naturalism. This prevents any kind of explanation for phenomena outside of the closed naturalistic system. Science as it currently is held prevents God from ever entering the debate. I think Intelligent Design is a good inference to God as the best explanation for aspects of the world which natural selection cannot explain. I would recommend the video Unlocking the Mysteries of Life as a source to get an idea of what ID is saying. This site shows a free preview.

http://www.illustramedia.com/umolpreview.htm

I'm gonna make this really simple for you... Science holds to testablity. Science also holds to falsifiablity.

God, by his very nature, cannot be tested or falsified. That, and that alone is why there is no scientific proof for God. It's also why anything that is other than natural is not scientific...

 

If you don't understand this, then you don't understand science.

Scientists have actually done studies that prove empirically the power of prayer. It can be found in specific studies of test cases in hospitals. I can share those with you if you're interested.

Do so... and they will be proven false.

 

There are studies that have shown that prayer has no effect at all. And these were "double blind" studies... the most accurate type.

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Scientists have actually done studies that prove empirically the power of prayer. It can be found in specific studies of test cases in hospitals. I can share those with you if you're interested.

And recently there was a study that disproved the effects of prayer, in the sense of remote and blind test, but when it came to laying-hands-on it had positive effects, but it didn't matter which religion or faith it was. I remember reading two articles about this.

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