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How do Christians square The Bible with Reality


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Namely, Prayer....

 

Over and over the Bible DOES promise that God WILL answer prayer. WHATEVER is asked for in The Name of Jesus will be given.......

 

Yet the evidence for this is close to zero......

 

So , what gives...........

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It's too painful for some to accept that there is no god - at least not one that has any inkling of communicating with us and/or stopping the inhuman bullshit that goes on in this world.

 

So, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that prayer is useless, they keep at it - hoping and hoping.

 

To answer the originally posted question : xtians do not square reality with the Bible.  

It cannot be done.

They know it.

They cannot except this. 

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     I was taught that god always answers all prayers.  Those answers are: yes, no and maybe later.  You see?  That's 100%.  Jesus, in the garden, basically asked to get free pass but god answered him with a "no" and he still had to get up on that cross.  God knew better (than himself apparently).  So if even jesus can get denied for a greater good so can us measly humans who know much less.  And, of course, we may just be asking at the wrong time so that's why we get a "maybe later" which means if we ask again we can actually get a positive response which is why we should never stop trying (unless it's obvious like we pray for someone's health and they die because it's unlikely we're getting a better response down the road on that one).  Then there's the prayers that just get answered and you know that right away.  Like a good parking spot or something wonderful like that.

 

          mwc

 

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How do Christians square the Bible with Reality? They don't. As far as they are concerned, the supernatural realm is real it's our reality that's an illusion. 

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Whatever good happens, the Deity is rewarding us for our piety. 

 

Whatever bad happens, the Deity is punishing us for our impiety. 

 

Prayer is a variation on the theme. If you don't receive anything for your prayer, the Deity is pissed off at you. 

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The way I did it was to attend Church twice on Sunday and twice more during the week.  I would surround myself only with people who believed and confessed our faith.  I would read the Bible as much as I could and feel guilty that I couldn't read it more.  I would devote as much time in my day to prayer as I could.  And I would try to multi-task so that I could pray while doing almost anything.  I talked myself into believing that I had invisible enemies who were influencing people around me and trying to trick me.

 

That was my way of handling reality.

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On 5/21/2018 at 8:57 PM, Geezer said:

How do Christians square the Bible with Reality? They don't. As far as they are concerned, the supernatural realm is real it's our reality that's an illusion. 

 

You beat me to it.  I was going to say: "They don't.  They square reality with their belief of what the Bible states".

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Agree with Geezer.

 

Take creationists - they square reality with the bible - or their interpretation of the bible. Thus the earth is 6000 years old and evolution doesn't happen. Well micro evolution does, but that macro stuff - blah. It's not science. Can't be observed.

 

Life cannot come from nothing therefore my God. (Repeat this for every religion)

 

As far as prayer - I think they use confirmation bias. When they pray and something good happens they remember, when they pray and nothing happens, its still gonna happen, God is just testing/not answering/doesn't will it at this time and so on.

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 As far as prayer - I think they use confirmation bias. When they pray and something good happens they remember, when they pray and nothing happens, its still gonna happen, God is just testing/not answering/doesn't will it at this time and so on.

 

 

If you pray to a jug of milk it will always answer your prayer.  Sometimes the jug of milk will say "yes", sometimes it will say "no", and sometimes the jug of milk will tell you to "wait".  But the jug of milk always answers your prayer.

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I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

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On 5/24/2018 at 6:27 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

 

I've run into a few who seem to be sincere but they don't want to question anything because, I suspect, they are afraid that their beliefs might be proven wrong.

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Well, the trump card verse that was always hurled my way is James 4:3: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

 

So, when your prayers are not answered, it's because of YOU. Your wrong motives. God, meanwhile, sits back being all perfect and such, shaking his head that such a miserable worm such as you would even ask for anything! :Doh:

 

Oh, I'm sorry. Was I being sarcastic? It may wear off eventually. Or not.  :fdevil: I'm still processing years of shaming and blaming.
 

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On 5/24/2018 at 9:27 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

 

This was true in my case. Sharing my doubts with family members caused a few to evaluate some of their beliefs only they used christian resources exclusively so it just served to make them more sincere. I think it is a matter of sincerity and having some know how when looking for answers. I wouldn't have realized how much information existed about ancient mythology, the origins of the bible, lack of archeological support, etc without college. It's not that I was afraid to look into it, I just had no idea. 

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On 5/24/2018 at 9:27 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

 

I don't think this is about sincerity or insincerity. Some people don't treat the idea of objective truth that seriously. Lots of others think that some things are just fundamentally beyond their understanding. It's very possible to sincerely believe that Christianity is true, but never bother to fully explore why.

 

Example: I sincerely believe that taking opioids is harmful to your health. I don't know exactly why, but some other people do, and they seem to know what they're talking about. Now this is different from Christianity because I could learn why, and I just haven't bothered to, and also because the people who claim to know have actual credentials. But if I wasn't concerned with either of those things, it wouldn't be that different from why a lot of sincere Christians are such.

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7 hours ago, Eowynesque said:

 

This was true in my case. Sharing my doubts with family members caused a few to evaluate some of their beliefs only they used christian resources exclusively so it just served to make them more sincere. I think it is a matter of sincerity and having some know how when looking for answers. I wouldn't have realized how much information existed about ancient mythology, the origins of the bible, lack of archeological support, etc without college. It's not that I was afraid to look into it, I just had no idea. 

 

Yeah, I'm really glad that, though my mom was a conservative Christian, she never seemed to mind that I read very widely starting at a pretty early age. I got a good perspective on things fairly early on, and realized that the Bible was basically just another mythological system. if I had only been able to read "Church of Christ"-approved material, I would likely have wound up completely different! It is very hard to break free from the brainwashing, I've heard, many times over....

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On May 24, 2018 at 8:27 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

 

That sounds pretty close to a Christian telling us we were never really saved. Intense indoctrination dulls critical thinking skills. People become convinced the Bible is true & the indoctrination convinces them that questioning the Bible is a sin unto death. Religion has built in protection components. Christianity is a cult, some versions more so than others. 

 

Cults are built and survive on fear. The fear is obtained by intense indoctrination and the indoctrination allows them a great deal of control over their subjects. Add the social element and you have a near full proof prison because the inmates don't want to escape.

 

Overcoming all of that is hard and relatively few believers are able to do that. I'm sure many see the flaws, inconsistencies, & contradictions but they are afraid to do anything about it. All salesmen know that the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain. And that is difficult to overcome. 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/23/2018 at 3:18 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

As far as prayer - I think they use confirmation bias. When they pray and something good happens they remember, when they pray and nothing happens, its still gonna happen, God is just testing/not answering/doesn't will it at this time and so on.

 

This drove me nuts to no end. God was never wrong. If he "answered" then it was something he wanted for you. If he didn't, yep --- he said, "no" or "no for now." Of course, why he "answered" frivolous prayers (like a friend of mine praying for a good parking spot) versus not answering "please save my child from dying a horrible death from cancer" is always swept under the cloak of, "his ways our higher than ours, and it's just not for us to know." Mmmmmkay.

 

On 5/24/2018 at 6:27 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I have a suspicion that the more sincere of a believer you are, the more you're likely to eventually realize that there isn't evidence. That's because sincere people actually *do* look for evidence, because they actually *do* think it's true. I think many of the people here were once sincere believers. 

 

It's the ones who were insincere from the start who have the easiest time with the delusion. Deep down inside they always knew it was a lie and they're comfortable with it, and despise anyone who might call them out on it. 

 

I would agree with this in my case, but also what @disillusioned said too about thinking that some things are just fundamentally beyond our understanding. It was because I was such a student of the bible, that I began to see the problems. But it was because I allowed the idea, "there are just some things we're not meant to know" to take root, that I ignored them.

 

On 5/25/2018 at 7:49 PM, older said:

 

I've run into a few who seem to be sincere but they don't want to question anything because, I suspect, they are afraid that their beliefs might be proven wrong.

 

Bingo. Cognitive dissonance was how I stayed in for so long. I got really good at not dealing with any of it.

 

4 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

Intense indoctrination dulls critical thinking skills. People become convinced the Bible is true & the indoctrination convinces them that questioning the Bible is a sin unto death. Religion has built in protection components. Christianity is a cult, some versions more so than others. 

 

Cults are built and survive on fear. The fear is obtained by intense indoctrination and the indoctrination allows them a great deal of control over their subjects. Add the social element and you have a near full proof prison because the inmates don't want to escape.

 

Overcoming all of that is hard and relatively few believers are able to do that. I'm sure many see the flaws, inconsistencies, & contradictions but they are afraid to do anything about it. All salesmen know that the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain. And that is difficult to overcome.

 

THIS ^^^^ is the perfect explanation of my experience. Especially the part about not wanting to escape. The longer I was in, the more I stood to lose by leaving. That, and being told the only unforgivable sin was unbelief. What a mind job.

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6 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

That sounds pretty close to a Christian telling us we were never really saved. Intense indoctrination dulls critical thinking skills. People become convinced the Bible is true & the indoctrination convinces them that questioning the Bible is a sin unto death. Religion has built in protection components. Christianity is a cult, some versions more so than others. 

 

Cults are built and survive on fear. The fear is obtained by intense indoctrination and the indoctrination allows them a great deal of control over their subjects. Add the social element and you have a near full proof prison because the inmates don't want to escape.

 

Overcoming all of that is hard and relatively few believers are able to do that. I'm sure many see the flaws, inconsistencies, & contradictions but they are afraid to do anything about it. All salesmen know that the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain. And that is difficult to overcome. 

 

 

 

 

 

 ^^^^^^^^^^

Best explanation yet. This one should be inscribed on a bronze plaque somewhere.

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5 hours ago, Riven said:

The longer I was in, the more I stood to lose by leaving. That, and being told the only unforgivable sin was unbelief. What a mind job.

 

It always seems that way. Or as if you're coming up on the end of something. When in reality it's just the beginning of entirely new adventure, possibly an entirely new set of friends and everything else. All that resistance, being all for naught...

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21 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

It always seems that way. Or as if you're coming up on the end of something. When in reality it's just the beginning of entirely new adventure, possibly an entirely new set of friends and everything else. All that resistance, being all for naught...

 

So true. Fear can be paralyzing. At least for me it was. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 12:06 PM, Geezer said:

 

That sounds pretty close to a Christian telling us we were never really saved. Intense indoctrination dulls critical thinking skills. People become convinced the Bible is true & the indoctrination convinces them that questioning the Bible is a sin unto death. Religion has built in protection components. Christianity is a cult, some versions more so than others. 

 

Cults are built and survive on fear. The fear is obtained by intense indoctrination and the indoctrination allows them a great deal of control over their subjects. Add the social element and you have a near full proof prison because the inmates don't want to escape.

 

Overcoming all of that is hard and relatively few believers are able to do that. I'm sure many see the flaws, inconsistencies, & contradictions but they are afraid to do anything about it. All salesmen know that the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain. And that is difficult to overcome. 

 

 

 

 

 

All I can add to that is that I'm proud of my thought crimes!

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The answer to this is simple.  A Christian might be logically consistent in all areas of life.  However, there is always that mental compartment that shields their faith from any form of scrutiny.  In the case of prayer, it isn't about logic, it's about wrapping oneself in a blanket of false hope.  Despite events transpiring exactly as they would regardless of prayer being uttered or not, a Christian's confirmation bias might interpret that outcome as answered prayer regardless.  

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On 6/1/2018 at 11:06 AM, Geezer said:

Cults are built and survive on fear. The fear is obtained by intense indoctrination and the indoctrination allows them a great deal of control over their subjects. Add the social element and you have a near full proof prison because the inmates don't want to escape.

 

That's a great way of putting it. 

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10 hours ago, RealityCheck said:

The answer to this is simple.  A Christian might be logically consistent in all areas of life.  However, there is always that mental compartment that shields their faith from any form of scrutiny.  In the case of prayer, it isn't about logic, it's about wrapping oneself in a blanket of false hope.  Despite events transpiring exactly as they would regardless of prayer being uttered or not, a Christian's confirmation bias might interpret that outcome as answered prayer regardless.  

 

You know, this is interesting, and I've been giving it a lot of thought. I think most Christians just want to feel that God is accessible and responsive. They (and I include myself in this before I left), just want to have a "God of their own making" that is caring and involved. However, once I became too good a student of the Bible, I realized that position didn't square with the reality of scripture. I had to exist in a kind of spiritual tension that could not be resolved. And for a long time I did not want to resolve it.

 

I think alongside that blanket of false hope, exists that very real (and far too scary) idea that we are not really protected by some kind of invisible force; one that rewards for being good, and takes away for being bad. The idea that the universe, and by extension, this planet can be random, or the idea of no divine justice for the inequities and inequalities that exist, is terrifying for most to look at. I honestly believe that it's harder to walk the road I'm on, than the road of faith in God. (Although, they see it as the opposite for completely different reasons!)

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