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Christian Raised Skeptic here - Hi

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BlueEdgar, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. BlueEdgar

    BlueEdgar New Member

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    So you can call me Blue. I’m in Grad school and my diversity course got me thinking about my roots and life in the Christian church. It’s been a long struggle for me because at about 12, I always wondered why I never understood what everyone else was talking about in my private Christian school or at 18 in my Christian college.

    Everyone seemed so sure of God and Jesus and I never felt it. And if I did “feel” something, I assumed there was a scientific explanation for it (which usually, looking back, there was). I grew up in the church and in a very typical Christian atmosphere, but it never stuck. I have often been referred to as a ‘doubting Thomas’ by friends. I like science. I don’t believe Christianity and science have to be mutually inclusive, but many do and this has caused issues for me growing up.

    I left and went to a secular university because we moved out of state, but my parents continue to be very conservative Christians (whom I love- we disagree on things for sure) and I have instead studied and deviated from the path in which I was raised. Many reasons are involved here, but I’m interested to get a different perspective from different people.

    My perspectives for the last ten years have been mostly secular, agnostic, or atheistic except for my family. I’m not asking to be convinced, but it’s important to me to understand why people feel the way they do about God.

    I have been in conflict since I was a young girl and frankly I’m just tired of it.

    I claim existential nihilism often.

    Nice to meet you.
     
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  2. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Grounded in His word, anchored in church history. Supporter CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team

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    Welcome to CF Blue!
     
  3. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! Hope you feel comfortable and remember that this is the Internet so it can get messy sometimes.
     
  4. lsume

    lsume Member Supporter

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    Seek and you shall find. That Promise from The Word of God is very real. When you fall, it is a serious thing to fall into The Hands of The Living God. He is very real as are the rest of The Godhead. In your day of visitation, you will know, without any doubt, that it is Christ doing His Works in front of you.
     
  5. Silmarien

    Silmarien No True Scotist

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    Welcome, Blue! :) What do you mean by existential nihilism? (I was kind of forged in the fire of atheistic continental philosophy, so those two words make my ears perk up. ^_^)
     
  6. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is hoping that you enjoy the forums, Blue. Welcome aboard.
     
  7. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    Hello. Welcome.
     
  8. BlueEdgar

    BlueEdgar New Member

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    Messy is often more interesting than pristine and clean.
     
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  9. BlueEdgar

    BlueEdgar New Member

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    I admit I may sound dumb, so forgive me! So I have come to feel (not believe, persay) that life has no true meaning. There is no greater purpose. There is no reason.

    Many of my roots are in Calvinism which digs a deep rabbit hole into Predestination and young me could not, in the days of her most empathetic existence, perceive how a God who supposedly loved his creation could follow such devastating doctrine. Honestly, how he could create us to begin with knowing our fate.

    I say devastating, because it shattered me. It still does. Christianity, as well as other religions and faiths continued to make me ache with sadness until I got drunk one night and realized... wait. What is the point! What is the purpose? If God designed us to glorify him (as I was taught)...rabbit hole. I could go all night on freewill and satan.

    So, as I grew older and saw the hypocrisy in my church and in those I thought knew so much about my ‘faith,’ as well as finally being introduced to the world outside of my own little cubby hole in the world... instead of believing there is no God necessarily, I took on incredibly cynical views and a pessimism often unmatched.

    Eventually I realized that maybe, just maybe. We are just here. I can’t explain how and so I often claim some agnosticism (I can’t explain the Big Bang- I think it’s preposterous. Everything has to have a start somewhere), but I feel, in my heart, the uselessness of my existence.

    No matter the deeds I do or the people I touch, there is always something far worse and someone suffering in a way I cannot aid. There is no point in my existence if you consider this. I am here, as are 6 billion others. If the point is to glorify God, that takes me down another rabbit hole of feeling the pain of serving a God who would allow this world in the first place. If he loved us, and if he knew this was our fate, why would he bother?

    After years of wondering and questioning and growing up in a very religious home and community and seeing no real evidence, it led me to this thought process. I’m not mad about it.

    However, there is existential dread. I want to know and understand why others can be so happy and so fulfilled. I’m not saying I’m not in areas, but when it comes to life in general, I see no point.
     
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  10. lsume

    lsume Member Supporter

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    You are going through the same thing as many. The question is, when will you allow Christ within you. When that happens, you will never forget it. That is just the beginning. Try to be faithful to The Word of God as best you can. In time, you will grow and your soul will be the winner. Bless those that despitefully use you. Love your enemies as you love yourself.
     
  11. lsume

    lsume Member Supporter

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    Nhialism is a selfish hedonistic way to live. I must assume that you have not yet been Truly Born Again. Just keep trying and then in the day of your visitation, you will finally understand a great many things.
     
  12. BlueEdgar

    BlueEdgar New Member

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    I can’t disagree. I rather like being selfish. However, at 6 I was “saved” and again, at 11, I reaffirmed my faith. I “felt” a call in my little Baptist church school and went before them and rededicated myself to God.

    At the time, I felt it was right. I was excited, I felt happiness and a great hunger for all things God and then, just as quickly as I felt it, it was gone. It makes me wonder if I was predestined not to be saved?

    That’s where I hit a serious snag quite often. I was sincere. As sincere as any 6 year old or 11 year old could be. I refused to kiss a boy until I was 19 for fear of hell, yet I never felt God. It was fear I felt- more than anything else.
     
  13. sunshineforJesus

    sunshineforJesus is so in love with God Supporter

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    Hi and welcome here.
     
  14. Silmarien

    Silmarien No True Scotist

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    You don't sound dumb at all! And I dance on the edge of nihilism at times myself, so I think I understand what you're saying.

    One thing I'd caution against is being too caught up in what you feel, since it's very easy to get carried away by an emotional response. I'm of a pessimistic nature as well, and I can really turn on the Augustinianism and run away with it these days. And there is good reason to, but at the same time, the world is not utterly terrible. We can insist upon viewing it as irredeemable if we so desire, but I really do think we just lock ourselves into our own personal hell by insisting that our darkest imaginings must be reality. This type of despair and cynicism can easily turn into a trap.

    What exposure do you have to religious thought outside of Calvinism? If you haven't read it yet, one book I would really recommend is Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, since it's probably the most powerful exploration of these themes that I've ever encountered.
     
  15. lsume

    lsume Member Supporter

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    I simply paraphrased an older saying by saying “whomever Is forgiven much has much love whereas people who have had little forgiven have little love” or something close to that. Would you want to live for eternity, needs be free of sin and always walking in the way.
     
  16. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    Blue, welcome to CF. I suggest that you try to find out the meaning of Almighty God's two most profound words, "I AM." Countless questions will be answered. You'll have to do it for yourself.
     
  17. lsume

    lsume Member Supporter

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    Stay celibate as much as possible. The Word of God is quick and powerfull. Don’t give up or give in. Keeping yourself until marriage is wise council. Simply read The Word of God daily and then pray to God The Father for understanding the great mysteries in God’s Word. You won’t be disappointed. However, should you abandoned The Word of obedience and have Truly been born again beforehand. You can expect the Wird found in Romans 6. I found it to be not the case for you. You will have a great desire for The Spritual rebirth. Please read and pray alone considering the potential aftermath of what you might have done in your past.
     
  18. zelosravioli

    zelosravioli Believer Supporter

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    Welcome Blue. Being a skeptic has served me very well!
    First, I knew something had created me, my wife, my children, my dog... all this.
    Yet, I was 'skeptical' that 'natural selection' caused, or 'created' all this amazing stuff we see..
    And I was skeptical of humans, I was skeptical of trusting in humans. I was skeptical of politicians and salesmen. I was skeptical of religion and all its rituals and pageantry. I was skeptical of pastors and priests, and the whole institutional church organization.

    I researched the roots and reasons behind all these things, and my skepticism prevailed, so much of 'everything' was, and is, baloney. Yet, there is a bit of truth in all the baloney, and that is how it is. Don't give up, because there are many things that are true (obviously, right) - it just seems truth continually gets mixed up with everything else, and that makes the truth hard to find - that is unless you collect and establish some elementary truths, and always stand on your foundations.

    My reason to believe there is a GOD, is this: the world and all its biology is super super amazing. So for all this to be here, there has to be a super intelligent, and super powerful, omniscient, and thinking being to have caused, purposed, and created all this.

    Darwinists say that 'survival of the fittest' explains why we have such highly complex biological forms and species on Earth. The ability of biology to adapt to their surroundings, is what Darwinists call evolution.

    But Darwinism does not explain 'away' a designer. Survival of the fittest is thought to mean you don't need a designer, but 'survival' of the fittest is true of things that are designed too - of course. Good products last a longer time than those that aren't designed well, the fastest and or best engineered car wins the race...etc etc.

    Modern technology shows that products are built to adapt, adjust, and modify themselves to best suit or survive their surroundings. Machines do this now, automatic controls that adjust themselves, changing temperature, color, speed, function, change shape, etc. not to mention robots .. 'adaptation' and that 'the strong survive' is something engineered and created things do - it is not an argument against 'created' things (as some seem to think).

    To have design means there must be a designer. This applies to everything we know. This is such a truth, it is so obvious. But even if we all were 'born' with music players and cell phones in our ears and hands, as part of our bodies, Darwinists would still argue that these things just evolved there, through 'natural selection'...

    Of all the 'religions' its seems only 'the God' of Judaism is the one who is described as being Omniscient, (all knowing), all powerful, all able etc. All the 'gods' of the other religions come off sounding very anthropomorphic, with 'human' like lives, characteristics and behavior. In fact the Hebrew God argues that man is sinful, and untrustworthy, and with that I can agree. The Hebrew god seems to know us better than we know ourselves. So I think to myself, this may be the God who 'fits the description'. Which other God is described this way, all knowing, all powerful, perfect, unlike man? - A God 'would have to be all these things' to have created earth and the Universe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  19. zelosravioli

    zelosravioli Believer Supporter

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    There are many wonderful people in churches, and some that aren’t. I think institutionalized churches are a good argument why many lose faith. Some 'christians' give each other a reason to leave or lose faith, but scripture warned us that men will fail us, that seems to hold true.

    I go to home bible groups, I love our worship together, we have some great fellowship and good times together. I love many of my many dear Christian friends, I love many people - it doesn’t matter if they are religious or not - but I needn’t trust in man or religious institutions, neither does my faith rest in them. God is the Creator, I trust that completely. After all He created my dog, my wife, my children, strawberries, coffee, chocolate, ears, noses, hearts…….
     
  20. jchaudoir36

    jchaudoir36 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Love One Another ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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    Welcome to the forum, Blue! :wave:

    This is what I believe holds true... a quote from Mother Theresa: "I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?"

    The Lord marvels at the way we smile, the way we correct our errors and bring forth positivity to our community, to our environment, to ourselves. Remember a 'smile' uses less effort than does it take to make a 'frown.' God wants us to pray. But not just pray ...be specific ...put a lot of your caring heart into that prayer. Anything that has brought a smile to you has also brought you peace.

    Try to refrain from being a cynic. Rather, look at the world around you and be thankful for those that bring a smile to your face and those faces that you have brought a smile to. Treasure that and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel ...not a tunnel at the end of the light.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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