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Choosing Christianity (after a long research of other religions)

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by nojnoj, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. nojnoj

    nojnoj Behold the nine-bladed sword

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    Has anyone become a Christian after spending many years researching other religions? Or perhaps after living and working in a variety of different religious environments? In other words, someone who has been an extensive "seeker" who finally decided on some form of Christianity.

    It would be interesting to hear them compare and contrast their perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of Christianity with non-Christian religions, especially non-Abrahamic religions, e.g. Dharmic/Eastern ones.
     
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  2. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    You want to talk with Ephraimanesti and Hamaschiagape
     
  3. ephraimanesti

    ephraimanesti Senior Veteran

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    MY DEAR FRIEND,

    i guess i sorta qualify as one who has spent a fair amount of time seeking the ultimate Spiritual Truth in all the wrong places. i rejected Christianity in my early teens and turned instead to the trinity of the 60's--Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll. It took me about 25 years to escape this trap.

    One thing led to another--all bad--and eventually i came to the realization that "better living through chemistry" was a myth, and what i needed to do--thanks to some input from 12-Step Programs--was seek out a higher power and a reason to live. So i began, 1 by 1 to go through all the major and most of the minor religions planet earth had to offer. i spent varying lengths of time in the different belief systems according to my experiences and my guesstimate of how much truth each contained and how well it "worked" for me.

    In the beginning i rejected Christianity--again--due to past experiences with "Jesus Freaks." Eventually, however, as one-by-one i reached the limits of other belief systems, i began to reconsider my previous negative critique of Christianity and was drawn to focus on the person of Jesus Christ. i read the Gospels over and over picturing Jesus--who He was, what He was about, what He taught, and how He lived. Gradually it dawned on me that He was indeed Who He claimed to be and that He WAS the ultimate Truth i had been seeking for most of my life.

    Comparisons? i dearly loved Buddhism and was in some degree of awe as to how well it "worked" for me. i also admired Buddha as a teacher and as one who sacrificed everything in his search for the Truth. i loved chanting and i loved meditation--some pretty weird stuff happened for me--but it still fell short of the ultimate in my eyes--probably because i never lost belief in a god being creator and controller of the universe and Buddha, of course, held that the existence or nonexistence of God was irrelevant to his belief system.

    So, towards the end of my wanderings, i added Taoism to Buddhism--as i guess many others have also--and found great joy in the synthesis of the two, but i still hungered for a personal relationship with THE definitive manifestation of God.

    To put an end to an overly long story, i was wandering through Barnes and Noble one day when, by "accident" ;), i came across a book entitled Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk (a Priest-Monk of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church) Damascene and, thinking the book was about Taoism, i bought it--and devoured it--and found God through it. "WE CALL HIM THE ONE, FOR HE ALONE IS WHOLLY SIMPLE AND WITHOUT PARTS. YET HE TRANSCENDS THE ANTINOMY OF THE ONE AND THE MANY, BEING NOT LIMITED TO ANY CONCEPTS, EVEN THE CONCEPT OF THE ONE. HE IS NEITHER ONE NOR UNITY, NEITHER MANY NOR MULTIPLICITY."

    AMEN!

    :bow:ABBA'S FOOL,
    ephraim
     
  4. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was raised in Catholicism, fell into Atheism during which time I read up on quite a few things (Hinduism, Buddhism, Rastafari, Mormonism, Islam etc) and eventually found myself in Orthodox Christianity.

    What would you like to know?
     
  5. AlexBP

    AlexBP Newbie

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    On a less personal level, you should look into the writing of G. K. Chesterton. He was an English Catholic who lived about a hundred years ago and wrote forcefully on many topics including religion. Before converting, however, he was, in his own words "a Pagan by age fifteen and an agnostic by age twenty". His most famous work is Orthodoxy, a short spiritual autobiography about his journey to Christianity. But if you're not in the mood for an entire book, here are some bite-sized chunks:
    Buddhism and Christianity
    On Mormonism
    Christian Science
    Islam
     
  6. nojnoj

    nojnoj Behold the nine-bladed sword

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    @ephraimanesti:
    Thanks very much for your story - you've had quite a spiritual life history! I shall check out the "Christ The Eternal Tao" book - thanks.

    @AlexBP:
    Thanks for the GK Chesterton mention, and those websites - I'll check up on those too.

    @E.C.:
    Another interesting path ending in Orthodoxy - intriguing.
    I'm actually just about to go "off the grid" for a few weeks, so if I may, I'll answer your question when I come back.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    :wave:
     
  7. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Did you investigate the Baha'i Faith, and if so, what is your impression of it?

    Peace, :)

    Bruce
     
  8. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Eh... I did a little bit, but from what little I did it seemed a bit far-fetched to lump Abraham, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad and the Bab all into one faith. Or in other words a bit too universalistic and in some ways impractical.
     
  9. Delphiki

    Delphiki Well-Known Member

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    What did you find practical about Christianity?
     
  10. Livindesert

    Livindesert Well-Known Member

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    I was the other way around :) I was wondering why people saw the need to split them all up. ;)
     
  11. peaceful soul

    peaceful soul Senior Veteran

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    Because they were never together.
     
  12. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    But perhaps they were? It's not as if they're completely opposed to each other. At least with Jesus and Buddha they'd probably at least tolerate each other, as opposed to Jesus and Socrates, if the link I could show was any indication. It's quite amusing, just look up Jesus meets Socrates and I think you'll find it
     
  13. Livindesert

    Livindesert Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting to look at them in that way. Call me a universalist but like the quote from the movie Gandhi "I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you."
     
  14. bloomer

    bloomer Member

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    Why would any one need a religion in the first place? what can a religion do for you that you can not do for yourself?
     
  15. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    That depends. In terms of theology and practice with Protestantism: not a bit; with Catholicism: eh... a bit, but not enough; with Orthodoxy: more than I'd found elsewhere.

    The problem is that a majority of people have the view that Christianity is limited to either Catholicism or the chaos found within Protestant denominations without considering Eastern Christianity. Both Catholicism and Protestantism can be inconsistent with their theology and practices as seen in history, yet with Orthodoxy that is not the case. Besides, Catholicism and Protestantism lack a true spiritual life. That was part of the reason why Hinduism and Buddhism appealed to me at one point: they weren't a mere set a "believe this, read that and all is well" instead they are "live this way", but lacked organization.

    When I actually looked into Orthodox Christianity, I found organization and a spiritual life richer than what any other Christian group could hope for. I found answers that were actual answers instead of "Read your Bible and you'll find out" or "Listen to the pope and you'll find out". Instead I found answers to things like why there are monasteries, why Orthodox churches have icons of saints, why there are saints, and how one who is a beggar is equal to a bishop in spite of the obvious difference in status.

    Basically I found more answers than I had before and answers that made sense other than "because Pastor Bob said so".
     
  16. yusufevans

    yusufevans Member

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    There are many ways up the mountain to God:thumbsup:
     
  17. yusufevans

    yusufevans Member

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    Here's the link to a PDF file with the convo on it.

    http://www.jameshartforcongress.com/prometheus/SocratesVsJesus.pdf

    Quite amusing actually, especially when Socrates questions Jesus on that if God was just, merciful and peaceful, why didn't he just pardon Satan instead of locking him away in a place of torment and pain.
     
  18. Livindesert

    Livindesert Well-Known Member

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    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama
    Rama Rama Hare Hare :pray:

    I am suppose to be getting with another Baha'i sometime this week to read and discuss the Bhagavad Gita. I can't wait as my knowledge of Lord Krishna is very lacking.
     
  19. yusufevans

    yusufevans Member

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    www.krishna.com is a good place to start. Hope this helps somewhat. :wave:
     
  20. Mess

    Mess Newbie

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    Let me aks you this then, if there are a million ways to God would the Son of God have to die on the Cross? Considering there are a million ways to God according to you, I'm guessing you will say there was no reason he would have to die on the Cross. Then remains the question why would He die for us if He didn't have to? The Bible says He did it voluntarily. If He chose to Lay down His life for our sins when He didn't have to, that would make it the most senseless, idiotic act in the history of the world. Yet study His actions and you will see that Jesus didn't do anything stupid in His entire life. He was sinless, and always did everything perfect. Why would he He lead the only perfect life in the history of mankind, and then pull the bonehead move of the millennium, unless it is just as He said that He is the only way to get to heaven?

    Not all religions can be correct, just note the many differences in outlooks on things. Christianity stands a part in two simple things. These are truly the most basic things that Christianity offers. One is a relationship with God, there is no other Religion in this world that can offer you that. And eternal security. All other religions in this world can't gaurantee you anything, yet Christianity says you are certain you will be saved once you put your faith in Christ. All other religions say you just have to wait and see. How can all religions be correct if the one says there is heaven and hell, the other says reincarnation etc. How can they all be correct when attonement of sins are completely different? How can they all be correct when they have different creation stories? How can they all be correct when they have different guidelines? You see there are so many differences, that it can't all be correct, God never changes even by your logic. So why then 5million completely different sets of rules according to your logic? No universalism is completely flawed beyond words.
     
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