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What do you Believe??? (Religion)


What is your religious affiliation???  

100 members have voted

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

    • Monotheistic
      35
    • Non-Monotheistic
      2
    • Agnostic
      21
    • Athiest
      32
    • I don't know right now
      4
    • I don't care right now
      6


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8 minutes ago, Kosher Ham said:

To me a real loving God...would not ever allow the innocent to suffer. Especially just to prove a point. 

 

I think it's so much bigger than trying to prove a point, or even allowing the innocent to suffer.

 

Another example. my transmission was shot on my Equinox. I just got that car in September... Even with the warranty, still had top drop 1400 to get it fix. I had 300, had to find out how in the world would we come up with another 1100. My Fiancee is in Vegas last week for the Stellar Awards (Basically the Grammy's for Gospel Music. Why they decided that Vegas was the best place for the award show the last five years, I don't know. ). She hits for 1100. I don't think that was a pure coincidence. And it's not like she went there praying to hit for 1100, she usually plays when we go to Vegas. I'm sitting there while she's telling me what happened, and thinking to myself, "Why God?"

Everyone likes to ask that question when something bad happens, but I ask myself that all the time. On the way to pay the rest of the money at the shop, I became so overwhelmed that even though I mess up sometimes, God continues to look out for me.

Again, this form of thinking isn't for everyone. I get it... But I can only go by what's been happening to me and my life the last 18 years. I have no choice but to believe.

 

I know one thing I agree with y'all on though. The church is definitely corrupted with people in "power positions" taking advantage of people for their own personal gain. Those same people be the first ones to cast stones against those that publicly messed up too. Always felt like those are the ones that give Christians a bad name. I'm not trying to judge them bammas, but to take advantage of the very people your supposed to help is just a special kind of evil to me.

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I guess I don’t get the “God was watching over me” when someone has something good happen or when someone cheats death.

 

Why you? A plane crashes with 100 people. 90 die and 10 survive. One person states they don’t know how they survived, but “God must’ve been watching over me.” So why weren’t the other 90 looked over? What did they do to deserve to not survive?

 

like @Kosher Ham I just have a hard time with the picking and choosing thing. 

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Cool thread and answers so far :)

I was baptized Catholic when I was born, baptized as a Christian Baptist when I was a teen, and took my Shahada as a Muslim in my twenties.

Now in my thirties, I have such a deep spiritual connection to LIFE in all shapes and forms that I feel no need for the smaller shapes and forms of religions, while still appreciating and including/honoring the underlying patterns within them.

Life is full of stuff crashing into other stuff, some breaking and simplifying, some joining together and becoming more complex... all the while, the potential for previous patterns and combinations await to be activated again. Death as an absolute doesn't exist, it's just an event where the bonds that hold a particular complex shape disconnect and shift into something else. In fact hardly any absolutes exist, most of them are conceptions created from a human mind that couldn't handle the energetic load of nuance at a particular time and instead created an extreme... It's like the hierarchy of communication - flight/fight - freeze, with nuanced superposition based thought - dualistic thinking - absolutism/extremism. Your capacity for both behavior and thought, conditioned upon your ability to handle the impact of a given stimulus and process it with a given degree of harmony and complexity.

I see the universe as different threads that can mix together and some mixtures can be ****ty and only do so much, while other mixtures are incredible and filled with loads of possibility, via their synergy, cooperation, and connectedness. Humans are a particular mixture of those threads, while still moving in different directions of harmony and potential or conflict and failure, depending upon a particular context. The point being, that both directions are always available, can mix, and superimpose on each other, or break each other down and go to war with each other.

What do I believe in? Universal patterns of motion/life and a universal level of balance that protects the potential for everything, despite the nearly insurmountable degrees of separation that must be dealt with to get there (they only feel insurmountable, because our brain/awareness can only contain so many of the necessary steps).

 

Like how a human orgasm is in a way similar to the creation of light, via the excitation of electrons and release of photons. Two different shapes, with different levels of complexity, acting along the same patterns.

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1 hour ago, pjfootballer said:

I guess I don’t get the “God was watching over me” when someone has something good happen or when someone cheats death.

 

Why you? A plane crashes with 100 people. 90 die and 10 survive. One person states they don’t know how they survived, but “God must’ve been watching over me.” So why weren’t the other 90 looked over? What did they do to deserve to not survive?

 

like @Kosher Ham I just have a hard time with the picking and choosing thing. 

I prefer not to say "God was watching out for me" but rather "God has a greater purpose that saving me must play into." Maybe one of those people invents the cure for cancer? Or has a great-granddaughter that saves a child from being sold into slavery?

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I do not doubt the sincerity of anyone's beliefs, but I strongly suspect that if the same people who firmly and sincerely believe in Christianity had been born in rural India rather than the USA, they would just as firmly and sincerely believe in Hinduism (or Islam).  In my view, if God exists, he will treat those people exactly the same as Christians when the time comes to judge their worth.  If salvation can only come to those who were raised in the correct faith, the system is fundamentally unfair - and fundamental unfairness is the anthesis of the alleged perfection of God.  In my view, if you are going to go monothestic and be fair to everyone in the world, you gotta end up with something like Bahai.  

 

I also have specific difficulty with the "Old Testament vs New Testament" God argument put forth by Evangelical Christians.  If God is eternal, all knowing and perfect, then there is no way he could ever have let himself be the raging jerk of the Old Testament.   The Old Testament must be allegorical, because there is no other way to reconcile the behavior of that angry jealous murderous old "god" with the attributes of the One God as discussed by Jesus Christ.  Yes, I know that there are Christian apologetics who try to reconcile that problem away, but their arguments are entirely self-referential.  In other words, these arguments are only going to satisfy you if you desperately want them to be true.  

 

Like several other people, I want to emphasize that I am not trying to make anyone else lose their faith.  I am just explaining some of the thought processes that led me to lose mine.  Frankly, it's God's fault - he made me as a rational being that feels the need to try and reconcile all this stuff.  

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9 minutes ago, Predicto said:

Frankly, it's God's fault - he made me as a rational being that feels the need to try and reconcile all this stuff.  

 

Having observed you for a while, Jesus decided he didn't want you for a sunbeam.

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Two of my GFs were Catholic, one lapsed one practicing. I went to Mass with the one mostly at St. Matthew's in DC. It's the cathedral where JFK's funeral service was held. It's beautiful inside. I was surprised that the hymns were pretty much the same as the Methodist ones. I was there to support my GF. The Sunday 5:30 Mass was known as the Gay Mass.

 

I also appreciate the teachings of Pema Chodran, a Buddhist nun. And of course the Sermon on the Mount.  Guidelines for living in Society.

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I'm Christian, but I don't practice by going to church and preaching fundamentalist principles. One could hardly call me a literalist and I don't keep myself up at night pondering the specifics of the Bible involving history, science and dogma. Instead, I stick to the Gospels and use them as a guide for behavior. My Christian practice involves giving to the poor, treating other people with kindness and honesty, and overall being a good example of my faith. I wouldn't bother with this religion if I thought Christ was a bad role model.

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11 hours ago, Renegade7 said:

 

I get the frustration, but if you don't already know, you can make the argument that's how He rolls in the OT, but not the NT, and neither does JC.  The new covenant changed a lot of what was expected from people.  I'm not trying to stop you from being an Atheist, I'm asking you not to hate the guy over this.

Yeah, I get the whole new covenant thing in the NT. There are a number of problems with it. One of the biggest ones is that it really paints god as the wife beating type. “Look what you’ve made me do! Don’t leave though. I won’t do it again.” The basic premise of either you love and worship me or I send you to eternal misery doesn’t help in that department. If god were a person with the same characteristics as described in the Bible, would you really want to be associated with him? Probably not.

 

I think God is Disappointed in You does the best job I’ve seen of boiling the entire Bible down to its essence so that it’s both simple enough to be understood and succinct enough to be digested pretty much at once. It also has the bonus of being positively hilarious! ??

 

10 hours ago, Zguy28 said:

Do you believe in evil?

I believe in people who either by choice or mental or other illnesses do evil things. “The devil made me do it” doesn’t work for me. This concept is pretty much the core of how I try to live my life. I have one tenet, don’t be a putz. If you’re stealing, killing or raping you’re by definition being a putz. However I think it works better for actions that often adhere to the letter of religious law/dogma but not the spirit. I rather enjoy the idea of having the sole responsibility of being good or bad by virtue of my own individual ethical standards. Not everyone will adhere to this kind of ethical code and for them society has its punishments but a god isn’t necessary for any of it.

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9 hours ago, CrypticVillain said:


@Renegade7, you were always my man. This does nothing more but affirm it for me. I love Christians that are able to asks these types of questions. I have a Christian friend on Facebook that's been posting controversial questions on Facebook and I like seeing civil discussions on the topic between Believers and Non-Believers.


Sorry for the long post, I just really enjoy things like this. Even if I don't actively participate in them, I love hearing different aspects on any topic. Helps me for a better picture.

 

Appreciate that, fam, you've always been good people's in my book as well.

 

will smith handshake GIF

 

8 hours ago, Kosher Ham said:

To me a real loving God...would not ever allow the innocent to suffer. Especially just to prove a point. 

 

Sometimes I wish he would be more involved, too, but if God made the world perfect, what would be the point of trying to get to Heaven or even making an Earth for us to live on? I don't like what he did with Job, but that's not always why he's involved or staying out of things.

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8 hours ago, pjfootballer said:

 What did they do to deserve to not survive?

 

like @Kosher Ham I just have a hard time with the picking and choosing thing. 

To piggy back off what I said to Kosh, I don't believe God is involved in every good or bad thing that happens to people, even if someone believes that.  So it's not that they deserve to die and some deserve to live, that's just our brains trying to make sense of things that are seemingly outside of our control.  

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6 hours ago, Zguy28 said:

I prefer not to say "God was watching out for me" but rather "God has a greater purpose that saving me must play into." Maybe one of those people invents the cure for cancer? Or has a great-granddaughter that saves a child from being sold into slavery?

 

I see your point, but that’s picking and choosing who is worth saving and who isn’t. That’s not a just and fair god.

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4 hours ago, Predicto said:

I also have specific difficulty with the "Old Testament vs New Testament" God argument put forth by Evangelical Christians.  If God is eternal, all knowing and perfect, then there is no way he could ever have let himself be the raging jerk of the Old Testament.   The Old Testament must be allegorical, because there is no other way to reconcile the behavior of that angry jealous murderous old "god" with the attributes of the One God as discussed by Jesus Christ.  Yes, I know that there are Christian apologetics who try to reconcile that problem away, but their arguments are entirely self-referential.  In other words, these arguments are only going to satisfy you if you desperately want them to be true.  

 

I'm actually glad you brought this up.  We're going off what people wrote with the understanding that it was multiple writers and many of the legends were told by word for generations before they were ever wrote down (I'm thinking telephone here).  I believe both the OT and NT are written in the context of the times they were in, as OT seemed desparate to get everyone in check and NT/New Covenant was Him acknowledging that he went too far at times.  

 

I didn't like the Jealous God thing, either, and with him acknowledging he made a mistake with us by trying to drown 99% of us at the same time, He's not perfect, can't be. Context though: many people believe that legend came from the explosion in size of the Black Sea and what it did to the civilizations in the area at the time. 

 

But you know what, he wasn't all bad in OT, and I'm fine with the idea of him turning a new leaf in NT.  NT is basically a different religion with the OT added for context.

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1 hour ago, The Sisko said:

Yeah, I get the whole new covenant thing in the NT. There are a number of problems with it. One of the biggest ones is that it really paints god as the wife beating type. “Look what you’ve made me do! Don’t leave though. I won’t do it again.” The basic premise of either you love and worship me or I send you to eternal misery doesn’t help in that department. If god were a person with the same characteristics as described in the Bible, would you really want to be associated with him? Probably not.

 

I think God is Disappointed in You does the best job I’ve seen of boiling the entire Bible down to its essence so that it’s both simple enough to be understood and succinct enough to be digested pretty much at once. It also has the bonus of being positively hilarious! ??

 

Having experience with domestic violence in my own family, that's not a fair comparison at all, imo.  I really don't want to get into you with that in here, send me a PM if you still disagree.

 

I've mentioned before I don't agree with the stance towards non-believers, but Him and JC were way more respectful and tolerant of people's differences in NT then even some people today that claim to follow their teachings (I don't think they get enough credit for that, but they should).  God knew he went too far in OT, that's why he made a New Covenant, and like I said, I'm fine with that because I like that he's not perfect and not demanding that we are anymore, either (it's completely unrealistic). I have a big problem with half the planet going to hell for disagreeing with his existence. That's really hard to defend, and I'm still trying to make sense of that, hoping some how that's not true.

 

My co-worker is letting me borrow his copy of "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman.  The cover of the book you mentioned looks hilarious, but I'm weary of trying to condense interpretations like that.  Is it with historical context, or is it just cracking jokes at the content as though it was being treated literally word for word?

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Excellent book. I love me some Bart Ehrman. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all his books.

 

God is Disappointed In You is a really hilarious book. It’s probably closer to your second view of it. However, even though the stories of the Biblical text are related in humorous fashion, the author made a real effort to hold true to the actual text. No historical context, but that wasn’t the purpose. It’s more of a humorous RSV rather than much actual cracking of jokes.

 

Regarding the domestic violence thing, I wasn’t trying to make light of the issue but to point out how I see the actions and explanations attributed to god. We can certainly differ on that though.

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On 3/26/2018 at 5:59 PM, Renegade7 said:

.  It's interesting because I remember him telling me he was atheist, I asked him why he felt that way, then I told him he was agnostic and recommended looking up the difference.  

On a side note atheists generally don't get that agnostics are very different from them. 

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I use to believe the Christian typical stuff. I think there might be some good..God.. if you want to call it that? but the Christian bible is a completely made up bunch of stories borrowed from other religions. No one is going to any hell when they die.

Religion was invented for further subservient  control of man/men.

 

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On 3/26/2018 at 4:01 PM, TheDoyler23 said:

I was raised Catholic but punched out in high school. I was already not on board from an early age. When I was little, I’d question something and get a pat on the head. When I was older, I got a lot of “because that’s how it is.” That wasn’t good enough. 

 

New Pope is cool, though. I like that guy. 

lol at kissing an old guys ring. Religion is the first mafia

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21 hours ago, Zguy28 said:

People are sinful, yes even in the church, which is called by the Lord to be holy. Yet we are still prone to sinful acts. It damages the witness of the church most assuredly. Thank God He knows this and in His grace made a way for forgiveness to those who forsake sin and trust in Him.

 

Jesus said this:

Matthew 7:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

A good book on the general topic of suffering is "How Long O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil" by DA Carson.

 

thats all religion is for.. to make people feel guilty. Telling me i'm just born into sin out of no where is ridiculous. I gotta take the blame for a dumb ass, eating a piece of fruit, 3000 or what ever years later? lol it makes no sense at all now, since i dont use faith and belief as an excuse. Its just another fabricated construct. an all knowing creator loves me but.... suffer till you die.

  an all knowing creator who lives outside time and space created a finite world to make everyone feel guilty in because he loves us....?

belief is a pointless/meaningless word. You can believe anything you want and it wont make it true at all anytime. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, pjfootballer said:

 

I see your point, but that’s picking and choosing who is worth saving and who isn’t. That’s not a just and fair god.

God is just, that's why all need grace. Because otherwise, all will receive justice, for all have broken God's laws.That is what necessitated Jesus Christ going to the cross. God's love is not some mushy thing, its agape (sacrificial), similar to somebody jumping on a grenade for his friend. Except infinitely more, because it wasn't just physical death suffered by Jesus, it was all the wrath against all the wickedness and sin of all people, ever. It's rooted in the Old Testament Passover and Yom Kippur which prefigure the cross and its proved by His rising from the dead after three days and appearing to many, including 500 people at once.


 

16 hours ago, Predicto said:

I also have specific difficulty with the "Old Testament vs New Testament" God argument put forth by Evangelical Christians.  If God is eternal, all knowing and perfect, then there is no way he could ever have let himself be the raging jerk of the Old Testament.   The Old Testament must be allegorical, because there is no other way to reconcile the behavior of that angry jealous murderous old "god" with the attributes of the One God as discussed by Jesus Christ.  Yes, I know that there are Christian apologetics who try to reconcile that problem away, but their arguments are entirely self-referential.  In other words, these arguments are only going to satisfy you if you desperately want them to be true. 

I don't know many Evangelicals who believe the OT God and NT God are different. I certainly don't.

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2 hours ago, thinwhiteduke said:

 

thats all religion is for.. to make people feel guilty. Telling me i'm just born into sin out of no where is ridiculous. I gotta take the blame for a dumb ass, eating a piece of fruit, 3000 or what ever years later? lol it makes no sense at all now, since i dont use faith and belief as an excuse. Its just another fabricated construct. an all knowing creator loves me but.... suffer till you die.

  an all knowing creator who lives outside time and space created a finite world to make everyone feel guilty in because he loves us....?

belief is a pointless/meaningless word. You can believe anything you want and it wont make it true at all anytime. 

 

 

 

I get where you're coming from, but this is a thread about what YOU believe, not going after what others believe.  The thread will fall apart if we start attacking each other, so please stop quoting people in here if that's how you're going to address their stances.  He recommended a book on the topic of suffering, why not just check that out and get back to us?

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28 minutes ago, Zguy28 said:

I don't know many Evangelicals who believe the OT God and NT God are different. I certainly don't.

For clarification, are you saying you don't feel God toned it down in the NT compared to OT?  If you can explain what you mean by that, I'd appreciate it, because he made a new covenant and changed his demands and expectations from us (at least that's the way I took it and others have explained to me).

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