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What do you Believe??? (Religion)


What is your religious affiliation???  

109 members have voted

  1. 1. What does your belief system fall under???

    • Monotheistic
    • Non-Monotheistic
    • Agnostic
    • Athiest
    • I don't know right now
    • I don't care right now

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I know what you're thinking, this is a bad idea.  But I'm going try this anyway and hope we can act like adults here and stay on topic.


The topic of the thread is what do YOU believe, not what someone else does.  If you don't agree with them, just leave them alone, that's not what this is about.  If ya'll start getting nasty, I'll just ask to close to thread, and it will prove that we are incapable of having adult conversations about this topic (which would be a GD shame). 


If you want people to respect you're opinion and beliefs, you absolutely have to respect their's.  It's a private poll, so you if you don't want to explain yourself, you don't have to.  If you do want to talk about it, Please don't be an ***hole about it.



I'm a Christian.  It wasn't shoved down my throat, it's just what I saw first and it made sense to me growing up. 


By the time I was a late teenager I was losing my mind and my faith.  Some people define Hell is the complete and total isolation from God, I felt that for several months after I got expelled.  I felt completely alone and done with what I was doing, to the point that I know that if I didn't turn around I wasn't going to be around.  And that's when I tried again, and I haven't looked back.


I haven't finished the Bible front to back like some people I know that still don't believe it anymore, but I like the premise of the huge chunk I've read so far, and for the most part seems pretty reasonable when you try to keep things in perspective (more new testament, then old testament, but I respect the new covenant idea, so I shouldn't have to explain myself too much here).  I think a lot of people get too wrapped up in what they are not supposed to do versus what they are supposed to do, and it gives Religion a bad name due to the inevitable hypocrisy that comes along with doing that.  That book never hurt anyone, that Church got out of hand almost as soon as it was formally organized.  I'm fully aware that Christianity spread the way that it did after the fall of Rome primarily how violent the Church was in terms of conversion and conformity.  It's hard to take another Christian seriously if they try to beat around the bush on stuff like Joshua conquering the promise land, the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, etc.


I'm also a huge fan of Bible Archaeology, so everytime I go back in there or through my notes and verses, I try to look at it from the standpoint of the parables being intentional, the hyperbole being expected, and everything in there being in there for a reason (some better then others, question is "Why").  For the life of me, I do not understand why people take the Bible word for word when you have to consider the differences in all the languages its been translated through to get to where its at now.  I feel most comfortable with the King James version, and I don't read any version or English translation of the Bible that has the word "tattoo" in it.  The only exception I make is when I'm reading a versus and am having such a hard time understanding of it, I look at a more modern translation to see what I have to look up to better understand it. 


I also believe God was involved in the Big Bang and Evolution on this planet via Intelligent Design.  Some of the calculations of physics are so precise that it just wouldn't shock me if someone was involved with making sure that it all made sense before pushing it out there, even if the singularity was incredibly unstable.  The new pope agrees with me.  He's also tried to steer focus back to tolerance of others and helping the poor, that's one of the big things that keep me wanting to read more.  There are plenty of other god's that have come up in human history that could care less about that, not JC.


And on the after-life thing, I am more focused on using my faith to get from one day to the next, one crisis to the next, and will fully cross my concerns on where I end up before I get there  I already have a good idea on where I'm going based on what I've read, and the expectations to get there don't seem unreasonable to me, either.  I try not admit that I would rather be right and in Heaven then give up faith again and be wrong.  And if there is no God (which I don't believe, but adding this line for completion on the topic), and we're just bags of sal****er with electricity running through us that once that stops we cease to exist, so be it.  I did what I thought was the right thing to do and didn't lose anything by it.


I don't agree with the stance towards non-believers, but that's out of my control.  It's not a deal-breaker for me any relationship in anyway shape or form, I actually appreciate other perspectives on the topic, even if I don't agree with them. I like to believe maybe we'll get lucky and they'll see we're trying to work out our differences and Revelation won't be deemed even necessary.  I don't like when people only hope for that to happen, it just totally feels selfish to me to root for that level of destruction to our civilization for any reason.  In my eye, if Jesus in particular really loves us despite our differences, he won't do that, and that whole section was just the result of someone freaking out from their isolation due to their exile.


Edited by Renegade7
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Nope,. i don't buy any of it. To me they are myths meant to answer questions that folks asked when they didn't understand their world. Organized religion was/is a tool to keep people in line. It comforts the old, scares the young, and in between gives answers to things that don't seem to have answers. All you have to do is have faith that this totally implausible answer IS the answer.

Since Christianity is most prevalent here and the religion to which i have most been exposed, my opinions stem from that.


Life sucks. It's hard. Bad things happen all the time. It gives comfort to believe that there is some sort of benevolent master plan to answer the unanswerable. Why did this baby have to die? Why are kids murdered? Why did this terrible catastrophe happen? Well, God has a plan, and you just have to trust it.  What is it? Well, that isn't for us to know, but everything that happens is part of it. So take comfort that your child died of cancer at the age of 4. God has a plan.

This I cannot accept. there is no reason behind it, no logic, no thought, And the faithful would say that that's right, that is because we don't / can't know the plan.

Again, i can't accept that. 

In the past a largely ignorant and barbaric population was given morals, and something of an education via religion. As a group people don't respond to "do this because it is the right thing to do." Human beings by and large don't give a **** what the right thing to do is, because the less we know, the more we are guided by instinct, and instinct leads animals to do things that are violent or otherwise anti-social in the name of survival. In the animal world, even social animals are social only in small groups and for the most part, VERY anti-social to outsiders. As are we. Territorial, and wary of those outside our clan (country, town, race, gender,, any number of ways to split the community. Right now in the world, most conflicts are occurring over religious differences. Clan vs Clan. )

Like most animals, to learn something big on a species-wide scale, we must be threatened. Threats force behavior change and are one of the primary reasons for any evolution. But threatening humans? Good luck. They've already seen it...  as we climbed down from the trees and spread out across the earth humans saw death and horrors like being hunted, captured and eaten by other animals, all manner of hardship. As we began to band together for protection and became 'civilized' we brought war after war.. human history is extremely violent, and we are very creative in the ways we can inflict horror onto others,, often for no other reason than to do it., or to steal, or to conquer..  so as far as threats go, what can you threaten ancient humans with that they aren't already experiencing?

well, you need something that no one understands, and can't be proven in any way..  like, what happens after you die?

Now you can control people. Behave, and you get a reward that answers the most frightening and unknowable question of all. You live in the most wonderful paradise forever, surrounded by all those you love who passed before you.
Conversely, if you don't get in line, you go to a place that is the worst thing that can be imagined. Now in those days, what was more frightening than fire? Fire destroyed everything, could not be contained. It killed horribly, and those who survived could look like monsters to the eyes that saw their scars. It was used as a weapon but also occurred naturally without warning. 
So hell is the most frightening thing, forever. (If we invented hell now, i don't know that it would be so elemental. we've conquered fire, we've conquered cold.)
No matter what the overall impression may be, as written, Hell can be interpreted to be the worst thing any person can imagine. 

So this threat starts to civilize people, get them to behave somewhat, brings about morality.  Then of course it is abused, and that is a whole other kettle of fish. 


the whole thing seems very predictable, completely implausible. So, I don't buy it. Life is  a natural phenomenon, where that 'spark of life' comes from, I don't know. But, "I don't know" does not mean there must be a God. It just means we haven't learned it yet. 


Human beings have a desperate need to "mean something". As above, Life sucks.. it is hard to find purpose in many things that happen. To be meaningless, for none of it to be anything at all on a grand scale,, it's hard to comprehend. Your life and my life are a speck, a flash of an instant, on a little dot of rock and water that is inconsequential. that is hard for people to swallow. Vanity says we MUST mean something somewhere.. LIFE itself must mean something..  and in a way it does, but only to ourselves. But people need deeper meaning, because the thought of this life this entirety of being just IS and nothing else.. it's too much o bear. I MUST mean something. I am SO IMPORTANT to myself, that i must have importance beyond myself. (Think of life before you were born. It didn't exist for you. Literal oblivion. You only know it through stories. Now that you are alive, the thought of returning to that oblivion is VERY hard to accept. Life will go on, and you will miss it. In fact "YOU" won't exist at all. So we invent a soul, which is all of that which makes us an individual in a nice little package... and it won't have to go back to that oblivion. Very comforting. We no longer have to be frightened of non-existence.

 Religion provides that for them. We're only children, after all, and because we don't understand the answers to life's great question "Why are we here".. we take faith and gain solace in the belief that the powerful being who guides all DOES have the answer. 


I have to go to work.. may add on later.


Edited by Bang
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I was raised as a Methodist, and came to be atheist in 11th grade. I raised my daughter without religion but told her she could explore if she wanted. She didn't. 


My attitude is I won't interfere with other's beliefs of I am left alone. That includes what I want to do with my body and who I love.


Religion is too involved in other people's private lives and they call it morality. I probably follow Jesus'tenants more than the so-called Christians. 

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I fall somewhere between deist and non-fundamentalist Christian humanist. I was raised in a genuinely pious well-educated household, so I was encouraged to believe - but without the hostility to science or critical thought that seems pervasive in some religious homes. 

Being both religious and a history geek, I began studying Hebrew (with the intention of eventually learning Greek as well, but I never got around to it) and reading everything I could get my hands on as far as archaeology, history, textual criticism, and contemporaneous cultures.


It doesn't take long to realize that many of the interpretations Christians are taught based off of English translations don't really hold up to scrutiny, and many beliefs of the A.D. era didn't exist in earlier periods of the Bible. For example, I was always taught that the snake in the garden of Eden was the devil, but there was no devil in Israelite religion. It is simply a talking snake - nowhere in Genesis is there any passage equating it with an evil supernatural rival, and all ancient near-eastern religions blamed snakes for robbing mankind of immortality. Likewise, satan is not a name - it simply means adversary or opponent. In the case of the parable of Job, which Christians use to "prove" the existence of an earlier belief in a devil, the satan or opponent is simply a fictional depiction of a prosecutor in a court.

Beliefs in an afterlife and final judgment or a devil are conspicuously absent in pre-exilic biblical texts. It is only after exposure to Zoroastrianism that such creeds begin to seep in.  The only Old Testament book that proclaims the immortality of the soul is Daniel, which was written in the middle of the second century B.C. (making it the last book written to be included in the non-Apocryphal OT canon).

Edited by Riggo-toni
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I am a Christian, a Southern Baptist church elder to be exact. An elder is basically a pastor who doesn't get paid. :)


Grew up in a nominal Methodist home, no bible study, occasional spurts of church attendance. When a friend of mine died at 27, the testimony of his friends, their prayers, and finally hearing the gospel that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead, to make redemption and forgiveness of sins possible, was good news indeed. The fact that it was by grace, not my effort, made it great news. Now I live my life in response to that grace, according to the Scriptural teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.


Even though I am an Evangelical, I am somewhat of an outlier with regards to many issues such as politics and gun control. I'm more of Russell Moore type of person and also a 5 point Calvinist. This puts me at odds with the folks who support Trump etc.

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Long story short is I don't really believe in anything and i'm not sure that I should. I also don't have the patience to sit and wonder. If God did exist as they explained it to me as a child, I would think he would want his messengers to be above reproach. But instead we have liars, con-men and thieves giving us the "word". 


I don't have the patience to make sense of that when the only ruling factor is the almighty dollar and I don't have enough to those to even be free yet. 


Sometimes the most simple answer is the correct one. 

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5 hours ago, LD0506 said:

The thing that really struck me from the OP was you can't say sal****er??

I think its because of the word tw@t, I thought I spelled something wrong, too.  



As for denominations, I feel like I don't need to pick one.  My experience with non-denominational churches has been mixed to say the least, and its a big reason I rarely go to church anymore.  I always expect to hear something I don't agree with and better context to something that I do, comes with the territory, I guess.  I'm curious about Methodist, but again, unless someone proves to me otherwise, I'm not going to make picking one a priority.  My father grew up Baptist and my mother Episcopalian, but neither really brought that up until my late teens.

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27 minutes ago, Renegade7 said:

I think its because of the word tw@t, I thought I spelled something wrong, too.  



As for denominations, I feel like I don't need to pick one.  My experience with non-denominational churches has been mixed to say the least, and its a big reason I rarely go to church anymore.  I always expect to hear something I don't agree with and better context to something that I do, comes with the territory, I guess.  I'm curious about Methodist, but again, unless someone proves to me otherwise, I'm not going to make picking one a priority.  My father grew up Baptist and my mother Episcopalian, but neither really brought that up until my late teens.

If you are ever in the Southern MD area, you're welcome to come visit us at Leonardtown Baptist Church. Denominations serve to bring order to things and for people of like beliefs to be in larger community. In the case of Southern Baptists like me, the local church is autonomous, but the churches share a common set of values.

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I was raised Catholic, but even at a younger age, due to my interest in space and nature, I always had doubts. Then as I got older, and saw how even people within the church behaved, it had a profound impact on me.


When my parents divorced, church was part of the package. Stayed with my mom, bad stuff happened, I questioned why, and as the years went on, I pretty much deduced that there is nothing but Mankind, and the totally unpredictable, beautiful and horrid things it is capable of, along with the planet it inhabits


As an adult though, I've come to maybe acknowledge God as a loose interpretation, across all religions. I definitely think there were and are amazing things that happen in this world, that people do not have an answer for, and so they document it in a way that helps them process it.


I also believe  that "out there," there is so much that we do not know (yet), and that truth has always been stranger than fiction. So I guess the best I can offer, is that there isn't a definitive No, and a definitive yes for me.


What I DO know, is that even nowadays, in a more enlightened (I truly try my best to believe we really are, despite evidence to the contrary) version of humanity, the power of persuasion or even hypnosis  (sometimes aided by drugs, or some other plant based substance) still has a firm grip on us, like it did then.


Where we have not changed all that much, is our desperate yearning to understand the world around us, where we fit in it, and why. And in that desperation, we become ignorant to reality, opening ourselves up to manipulation, in whatever form strikes our fancy.


So I can tell you that I am the son of X, or come from Z, or Y may happen if you don't do W, and you will believe it, because you want to.


But at the end of the day, we do not have a firm grip on the universe, nor do we have any real evidence that there is some sentient, omnipresent force that holds our universe together. So I have become more agnistic, though I sometimes feel like it is pointless, and due to external situations, my willingness to be open minded occasionally takes a nosedive


I do hope that one day, there may be a bridge between both institutions,  but we may all be extinct before ever find that bridge (If it exists).

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I believe, but over the years and as I have gotten older, I question a lot of things a lot more and at times, if one heard my responses might assume I was an atheist.  I grew up going to a Southern Baptist church, not one that was super "hellfire and brimstone", more like a mild version of that.  I went all the time from when I was a baby through high school (when I wasn't working on Sundays).  


Moved to Charlotte for college and can probably count the number of times I have set foot in a church on both hands after our wedding.  I understand those that don't believe, that's fine with me, my sister-in-law is an atheist and one of the best people I've gotten to know.  We raise our daughter to believe and have taught her ourselves.  When she stays with my parents, they take her to church back home.  I wish that we had gone to church more often and taken her, that I feel we failed her on.  Living one's life based on the principles of church and raising a child with those same morals/principles I've always believed was a good thing, even if one was atheist.


One thing I cannot stand is when someone tries to shove religion down my throat or anyone's for that matter.  The same with taking the Bible literally or twisting what it says to fit one's agenda.  The biggest question I have is, out of all the plethora of religions out there over the entire world, which one is right?  They can't all be right, so, is there really any one higher power out there?  


And when you add in science and logic, it seems to favor there not being one supreme being.  So, I get why some people don't believe, just like I understand those that do.

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In honor of Opening day being this week:


"Well, I believe in the soul, the ****, the ****, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days." Crash Davis



Edited by MarkB452
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1 hour ago, Mr. Sinister said:



LeBron is a GOD. You lost him and ....this is what we get. 


Serious note. Great thread and interesting to see how folks feel. 

I agree with so much of what many of you are saying and at the same time understand why I am one that is agnostic. 

Morals are taught from stories and tales also, not just the bible. 

Moral behavior should be a given, not a religious thing. 

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Great answers, ya'll, thank you for staying classy.  I'm still at work, so I'll come back later, but I wanted to share this as I can see the argument for our minds being dot connecting machines even if there's no dots, and we naturally do that to try to make sense of everything (for better or for worse):




In regards to one religion being more popular then the other, I really do believe (not saying anyone in here) that a lot of people just don't understand that the God in all the Abrahamic religions is the same God.  That's half the planet's population right there. 


I've met some very well moraled individuals that were atheist, so ya, you can grow up respectful without religion being involved at all.  There's still a lot of solid wisdom in the Bible that can apply even if one is not a believer.  I'm still absorbing the comment I've seen made that our society is starting to break down because so many of us don't care about the idea of going to Hell anymore.  I'd say we were way worse in the way we treated each other back when Religion was more dominant and we were throwing around names like Heretic, but I can see the argument for their being a little truth to people saying that.  I'd just need to think about it more, because we're becoming more secular and civilized as a whole at the same time, and there's a lot that's going into that.

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Well since you asked: (and this isn't a smart-aleck answer),


I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church, (note the lowercase "c")
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


I wiil tell you that nowhere in there does it mention us judging someone based on what they look like, who they love, etc. and if someone tells you otherwise, they're selling what I ain't buying.

Edited by First Colony
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