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I Do Not Mean The Least Bit Of Disrespect But...

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by QuestionMark?, Jun 18, 2009.

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  1. QuestionMark?

    QuestionMark? New Member

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    Before Reading this post you must know that I mean NO DISRESPECT. I really don't care what you believe in and I'm tolerant of all faiths as long as they don't intend to harm anyone. I just have questions...
    First of all, let me start off by telling you that I'm agnostic. I come from a Christian family and in this past year I've done some questioning and when I ask people for answers they tell me to read the bible and it just leads to more questions. The biggest question that I have is how can I be absolutely sure that there is a god? If you tell me "It says it in the bible" Then I ask you, How can I be sure that the bible is true? What gives the bible any more veracity than any other religious ancient scriptures. Then there's the statement "Well we all got here some how." Ya but how do we know it was this god that you speak of? I'm really sorry if I offended anyone and I don't mean to "stir things up." I'm just really in need of answers.:confused:
     
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  2. LiturgyInDMinor

    LiturgyInDMinor Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church

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    Get the DVD or get the book: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel...it's a very good starting point and isn't all "religious"...it's very interesting. Mind you the book, if you enjoy reading goes into a lot more details and a lot more questions(some I am sure you are asking, and some I bet you haven't thought of yet) about things than the DVD. They are both good IMHO.
    There is so much to write in answering a question like this so I am not trying to short-change you on the subject. :) Strobel takes the book/dvd as a look back of his search for God as a total 100% aetheist.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  3. JacksLadder

    JacksLadder Guest

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    What I was told by a Chaplian "Yea of course it dose not make logical sense that is why its called Faith" I know it sounds a bit dumb but that made sense to me ;)
     
  4. QuestionMark?

    QuestionMark? New Member

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    I have read that book that book and it really didn't answer my questions.
     
  5. LiturgyInDMinor

    LiturgyInDMinor Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church

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    Have you read The Case for Faith? The followup?

    My honest opinion, and I tell my atheist friends this as well so don't take it the wrong way:

    If you need proof that God actually exists, I can't help you. If you believe in God, and need proof that Jesus Christ is His son I can help you, and if I can peak your interest in that....I can tell you all about Christianity. ;)
    That's what I tell them honestly.



    Thanks for listening.
     
  6. MatthewDiscipleofGod

    MatthewDiscipleofGod Senior Veteran

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    Don't expect to ever have 100% proof for God or the Bible. Faith is required. That being said there are a few things that give the Bible great credit.

    1. Prophecy. There are many specific prophecies that we know where fulfilled after they were written. Prophecies unlike any others.

    2. The Bible is not just one book but many. It is written by many authors. From fisherman to tax collectors. Written over thousands of years and all over the planet. The books that make up the Bible all flow together in agreement.

    3. The history and science of the Bible has shown to be reliable.

    4. People died for their faith and would have known if the ressurection was a scam. They hid until they saw Jesus alive again in front of them. They then proclaimed the resurrection even though it meant prison, torture and death.

    5. We have many old manuscripts and sometimes find old manuscripts at a later time like the Dead Sea Scrolls that prove to us that the Bible we have today is the same as when it was written.

    Books like The New Evidence The Demands A Verdict and several of the Lee Strobel books will give you more detailed information.
     
  7. TimRout

    TimRout Biblicist

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    There are a number of helpful books that might answer some of your questions, but MDOG is ultimately correct. The human capacity for doubt is simply extraordinary. Even the best evidence cannot convince the committed skeptic.

    That said, the Christian faith is not mythological. There are sound rational reasons to believe in the historicity of the resurrection of Christ, for example. But history was never designed to provide absolute certainty. There will always be those who question one's interpretation of the data, or wonder at the reliability of one's sources. So if certainty is your goal, you will fail in your quest.

    But perhaps certainty is the wrong goal to set? After all, we make important decisions every day based on something less than absolute certainty. When I drive my car to work, I logically infer from past experience and statistical probability that the brakes will work when I step on the pedal. Am I absolutely certain the brakes will work? No. But I am perfectly rational in believing they will probably work...and therefore I get in and drive.

    Consider the resurrection of Christ, as formerly mentioned. If one can come to the conclusion, based on the historical data alone, that Jesus of Nazareth probably rose from the dead, then it is hardly irrational to place some weight on that belief. Most agnostics I've met are meticulously rational people; but most also recognize the limitations of the human mind. We can't know everything with absolute certainty, but we can know many things with reasonable certainty.

    I would suggest that you aim at that goal -- reasonable certainty. And by God's grace, perhaps He will grant you what you truly need...the gift of understanding. In the end, no one is EVER argued into the kingdom. Each new birth is a miracle of God.
     
  8. Llucid

    Llucid Disciple

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    From what I've seen, it really depends on what you want to believe.

    You can start with believing there is no God, that everything around you came from nothing that somehow became something. No one will ever be able to prove to you God exists.

    On the other hand, you can start with believing there is a God, that everything around you came from someone with intent and design. No one will ever be able to prove to you God does not exist.

    People will say that beginning with the belief that there is a God is an assumption, and that we should start with no assumptions. I would quickly point out that believing there is no God is just as much an assumption.

    Whether you start with believing there isn't a God, or that there is, is up to you, and ultimately stems from what you want to believe.
     
  9. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

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    Look at all of the fulfilled Bible prophecies. If that isn't evidence of the Bible's reliability, I don't know what is.
     
  10. Jerrell

    Jerrell Minister of Christ

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    I asked this question myself a few years back. I started to question things and so I went to look for answers. Not only did I look toward the bible, but I looked toward scientific fact. I dont want to delve too much into science but I do want you to think about the simple matter of the begining. Just think about the simple fact that 99.99999999% of all mutations are bad, and that for anything to exist it had to come from somewhere. That very first cell that scientist say mutated, did not just pop out of nowhere, they themselves say that there was a Bigbang, matter all condensed into one little atom.

    But where did it come from?

    Did it always exist?

    Was it always there?

    If it was always there then why explode and create the universe when it did?

    Did it have any begining?

    If anyone can take the leap faith the believe that everything came to be without the existance of God that is more of a leap of faith than to accept that God said "Let there be" and there was.

    I konw that this is not really compelling, I should and could go into more detail but I just wanted to express a small point.
     
  11. JarrodlovesGod

    JarrodlovesGod Regular Member

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    No disrespect taken ;-)

    I guess if its questioning, How can you be sure there ISN'T a God is as relevant of a question as how can you be sure there IS one. EITHER way you have to have a faith in one of them, the belief there is a god or isn't. We all have a choice to believe and have faith in something, whether faith in God, the bible and all that being true, or the above being not true.

    The questions you are asking are BIG questions I know I've asked myself and people over and over and over and its difficult to know either way.
    I guess the only way i know is because I gave its a try and a go and found it to be real, alive and genuine. For me I believe the bible to be truth because when i look at it and weigh it up against my life I find it to be true and relevant and living. When I apply things in scriputes to my life, things happen that i can only account to there being a God who is all knowing and real and powerful and intimate. I dont know if this kinda helps but what im essentially saying is either way you decide to 'put your faith in' (whether the existence of god or not, or the legitimacy of the bible or not), you wont have a concrete 'possession' where u can look at it and say "see look.. now i know". But for me, in putting my faith God and stuff, and finding it real, and true in my life - I can honestly say I KNOW .

    I hope and pray you find that when you put your faith in God, your faith becomes a true knowing and a sort of 'closure' and definite for you.
     
  12. AMR

    AMR Presbyterian (PCA) - Bona Fide Reformed

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    Yes, there are many belief systems, but there is only One True God, the I AM of the Christian bible. We should seek to worship this God according to His revelation to mankind. To worship other beliefs is basically idolatry, forbidden by God. Of all the world’s religions, only Christianity possesses all of the following attributes:

    1. Other religions revolve around their founder’s teachings, rules, regulations, and rituals. Christianity, however, revolves around a Living Person, the risen Jesus Christ.
    2. Christianity is unique because it is based upon historical facts and the revelation of God in the Bible.
    3. Christianity is the only religion that offers the assurance and security of salvation.
    4. Christianity is the only religion that teaches that salvation is a free gift, unmerited by anyone, of God’s grace. There is nothing a person can do to merit salvation, since it is received through faith, apart from works.
    5. Other religions were started because of man’s attempt to search for the supernatural, search for the truth, appease their innate sense of sin and guilt, and find favor with his god. But Christianity is the account of God’s search for mankind. "For the Son of Man has come to see and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10; John 10:10). God’s love for us was the reason He has revealed Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ and by His grace we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9).
    6. Only Christianity reveals God as the Triune God - God as the Father, God as the Son, and God as the Spirit.
    7. Christianity is exclusive in its claims. How is Christianity Exclusive?

    A. The God of Christianity is claimed to be the only true God (Jeremiah 10:10; Jude 25).

    B. The Bible is claimed to be the Word of God and the only true revelation from God (Isaiah 8:20; Revelation 22:18-19; 2 Timothy 3:16).

    Investigation by even the most skeptical will also reveal that there exists NO SINGLE SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY that has been shown to prove error, factually or doctrinally, in the Bible. There is lots of speculation and hypotheses, but not a single verifiable fact.

    As a simple experiment, try turning your objective intellect towards the argument that no book, comprising 66 “mini-books”, written over a period of 1500 years by 40 vastly different authors, possessing an outstanding literary internal consistency and coherency, could be written by man alone. Add to that the survival of the book’s ancient manuscripts, numbering in the tens of thousands, over thousands of years and yet these manuscripts remain over 98% textually pure. How this possible, when compared to all the other ancient writings are so few in number? For instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain all books of the Old Testament, except Esther, and have been dated to before the time of Christ. Now consider Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars. Only ten copies written about 1,000 years after the event are in existence. In comparison, there are over 24,000+ New Testament manuscripts, the earliest one dating to within 24 years after Christ. How can we objectively and rationally explain this book, the Bible, especially in light of the claims I have made above?

    An honest study of biblical prophecies that have come true will compellingly show the divine authorship of the Bible. Furthermore, archeology confirms (or in some cases supports) accounts in the biblical record. No other presumed holy book comes close to the Bible in the amount of evidence supporting its divine authorship.

    C. No other religion claims that the one, true, God came down to earth and walked among us as did Jesus Christ.

    D. The Biblical way of Salvation is the only way of salvation. There is no other way (John 3:36). No matter how good, religious or sincere a person may be, unless he or she has faith in the work of Jesus Christ they will not be saved. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

    E. Jesus Christ claims to be the only way to God, the only way of salvation and the only way to eternal life in heaven (John 3:16-17). Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).

    From the above, it should be evident that there is something very different about Christianity. There is a reason for this difference, too. Think about it.

    AMR
     
  13. sealacamp

    sealacamp Well-Known Member

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    No man can answer any of your questions completely to your satisfaction. So for question one that is not how can you be sure there is a god rather it is how can you be sure beyond all doubt that there is not a God as described in the bible who revealed Himself in Christ the word and creator of all that is.

    Sealacamp
     
  14. Mrs Butterworth

    Mrs Butterworth Member

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    Wow, what logical arguments for the existence of God. I am impressed. Though I love a good logical argument, there is another side to this question that transcends the logical arguments like the one's presented in the previous posts.

    First of all let me tell you a little of my background so that you can understand my perspective. I grew up in a family of devout Atheists, most of whom were scientists.

    Given this background I grew up knowing almost nothing about the Bible, God or Christian religion. What I did learn about the Christian religion, (and almost all religions for that matter) was that they were evil because religion causes people to do bad things to one another. Given this background you would think that I wouldn't know anything about God and would be an athiest like my parents, but I actually don't recall a time when I didn't belive in God. In the absence of anyone or any organization claiming to believe in God and to be the possessers of the ultimate truth, but yet behaving like they believe otherwise, all I that I had to go on was what in my heart I knew to be true. I had a deepl intuitive knowledge that God existed, and without anyone to destroy this intuitive knowledge, it flurished.

    I remember talking to God like I would talk to anyone else; the existence of God was a fact to me. I just had no idea that Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) and God had anything to do with one another.

    Anyway, this belief fostered for many years until I was about 11 years old or so. When I hit jr high school I hated it. The girls were so mean and I was also learning how psychologically screwed up my parents were. I got mad at God and began to rebel against what I knew to be true. Ironically, at the same time I began to earnistly seek God and really question weather he existed. What was happening was that circumstances were forcing me to grow out of my simple childlike faith; I needed a God who could prove himself to be true amongst all the difficult things I was dealing with.

    Even though I still believed that religion was evil I tried to read the Bible, but unfortunatly I had difficulty understanding it. It was a KJV Bible, I wasn't even a teenager yet, and growing up as an athiest, I didn't know the definition of words like "sin" or "salvation" (it's not like my folks used these words a lot). I remember switching through the tv channels and seeing Tammy Fae Baker groveling for money and getting completly out of control with emotion. I quickly switched the channel because though I wasn't %100 sure about who God was, I knew that what I was seeing was not of God (that is the evidence of God in someone). I remember listining to a religious radio station and being shocked that other people could have such an intense relationship with God, that he actually messed inother peopleslives like they said he did, (remember that I grew up amongst Athiests, I had never seen or heard of faith in other people like I was hearing on the radio).

    About a month later a friend of mine invited me to what they called "the annex". With little explanation as to where I was going or what exactly I was going to do once there, I went because my friends were going and I had little else to do. Had I known that "the Annex" was actually the annex to a church that was down the street and (conviently) out of sight, I wouldn't have gone. Remember that I still believed that religion was evil and churches were horrible places to be. Also, fortunatly for me, this annex didn't look like a church, it looked more like a broken down garage, so naturally I thought it was safe.

    Anyway, when I went in the preacher was talking about the narrow road that goes to heaven and the wide road that goes to hell. I remember talking to God and saying "well I havent been that bad, I guess I am on that narrow road to be with you." that's when I heard an audible voice that said in the most loving and gentle way "NO." I knew that this was the voice of God, So I said in my head "well how do I get there?"

    Well that's when the prescence sort of lifted off of me and I was actually able to pay attention to what the preacher was saying. He was preacing about the way to heaven. I believed asked God to forgive my sins. That was 27 years ago, since then my relationship with God has grown. It has matured into what it is today.

    I could go on about this but that would detract from the point that I want to make with this specific story which is this: Some people believe that one must perform some sort of sacrificium intellectus in order to believe in God. They must sacrifice their intellect for the sake of faith. I say that in order for one not to believe in God they must sacrifice their intuition. Though there are pleanty of people who will help you to do this latter thing, many of whom are in the Christian church, you must learn to listen to that thing deep down inside a person that intuitively knows God, and seeks a relationship with him. The thing that testifies to, and makes people want to believe that there is an ultimate truth.

    Stop relying on other people to show you the way, pray to God yourself and ask him to reveal himself to you. Be patient, for when the student is ready (in a position to listen) there is the teacher. Read the Bible for yourself and ask God to explain it to you.

    If I had relied on logcal arguments I can assure you that I would be an Athiest right now. I am a very skeptical, logical person. I can pick out the flaws in any good argument and disprove it, or at least leave considerable room for doubt. For me, Lee Strobel is an amiture. Though I have an intense personal relationship with God, things still happen to cause me to doubt God, even, believe it or not (an illogically so), his existence. I am a natrual skeptic. Over these doubts, I have allowed my intuition, the thing that somehow knows that God is who he says he is to speak, testifying as to his existence. This is not faith, it is an ability to listen.
     
  15. 007Michael

    007Michael Newbie

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    www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=eLWm_123lZU
     
  16. Highland Watchman

    Highland Watchman Keeping watch from my ebony tower

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    My story is similar to Mrs. Butterworth - I was not raised in the church. My father being a police officer who had run-ins with "Christians", and the examples that I saw all around me did not give me the best example or reason to believe - if these people were truly of God, then their lives would reflect it. (Which yes, it is by faith, and not by works... but there will be many who on that day, even though they say "Lord! Lord!", they will be turned away, and Jesus will say "I never knew you!" So-called faith without works is dead, empty, meaningless.)

    At the same time, I intuitively knew that there was a god somewhere - as well as the deep inner knowledge and sense that there was more to life/existence/etc. than the hell that was Jr. high and high school, there was also the almost undeniable witness of the natural world. Granted, the atheist would say that the natural world denies the existence of God, but if you think about just how complex the inter-relationships of everything are - the fact that if one part of an ecosystem is removed, or one alien species is introduced, the entire system is thrown out of whack, or how life is even possible, especially life as complex as ours... I would say in considering that alone, there has to be some guiding force behind it.

    Also, how I became a Christ Follower was not through friends or family bringing me to church, or anything like that, but a series of encounters with God that are undeniable to my mind. My first time going to church (at 18, which was also among my first positive encounters with Christians) was about a month and a half AFTER declaring my allegiance officially. I won't go into any further details regarding that here, but PM me if you want the whole story.

    Now, as to whether or not Christianity or the Bible can be trusted... I do agree with those above that faith is important - but we must also remember that Christianity has only been around for about 2000 years. It is also not the only story of God's attempted relationship with humanity, lest we forget our Jewish brothers and sisters, who have been in relationship with the LORD for longer than us. However, these are reasons that seem to work:

    1. Historical - there is historical evidence that do support the claims made by the Bible. There was a man named Jesus, the son of Joseph (actually, it would have been pronounced Yeshua, but that's a side-note), from Nazareth in the Galilee province, who was condemned to death by crucifixion by the Romans. There are also accounts during the early centuries of the movement, not just from Christians; also from the imperial powers, that attest to the curiosity, confusion, and even anger, caused by this movement. We also know that this movement started as a messianic/apocalyptic Jewish movement, which quickly spread into the Gentile world - and it went from being a laughed-at and persecuted minority to the most powerful (not to mention most numerous) religion in the world today, with about 70% of those being in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

    2. In considering the teachings and prophecy found in Scripture (and by prophecy, I mean speaking for God, not foretelling the future like some fortune teller), the ideologies presented there, while often running counter to how we do things in the world, actually make a lot of sense. Give food to the hungry? Defend the widow and the orphan? Love your enemy (as opposed to hurting and killing them)? Forgive all debts every 7 years, and do not steal or covet each others' property? Treat one another as image-bearers of God? Care for the earth, and don't treat it like our own personal waste-basket? Be honest and have integrity? Makes a lot of sense to me.

    3. Logical - while others may be better with this part than I am, I find myself amazed at how the Christian church not only got off the ground, but has continued despite wide-spread persecution in many places. How is it that a bunch of fishermen, farmers and prostitutes from a backwater part of the Roman empire, who were forced into hiding when their master and leader was killed (which happened a lot - and when it happened with most other messianic/apocalyptic figures, the followers usually disbanded), suddenly turn into a major missionary force, emboldened by accounts of the resurrection? (This is not even including the accounts of miracles that happened at that time, or that continued historically throughout church history - sorry, not a cessationist... :p). And how is it in China, when all of the missionaries were forced to leave and all churches were forced to shut down at the risk of imprisonment or death, that the church shot from barely 10,000 including missionaries to over 100,000 native Chinese Christians in maybe 50 years? There is definitely something going on here that we may not be as familiar with in our spiritually-sanitized Western consciousness (at least not in our own day - history indicates otherwise...)

    Sorry for the lengthy explanation. I hope what was said here could be of some assistance to you in your search.
     
  17. Mrs Butterworth

    Mrs Butterworth Member

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    A beautiful and well worded post Mr Watchman.

    BTW Mr Religion, I would like to compliment you on your post as well. It was very straight forward and well worded.
     
  18. RevAngel

    RevAngel New Member

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    Everything created has a creator.
    The Big bang thoery or any other theory explaining the begining of time works around a circle that end at the same point.
    In the begining God created...
    There is no way for life to come from dead matter.
    Only living things produce the living.
    Plus consider that things in space should not be standing in one position if God did not hold every thing together. You see space is a vacuum. Things in motion , in a vacuum, stay in motion because there is nothing to stop objects for moving. The Big Bang theory (simplified) states that an explosion caused the universe. If you think about it there is no way order comes from disorder.
     
  19. TestedNTriedNTrue

    TestedNTriedNTrue Newbie

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    This question here is why, as a KJV-Believing Fundamental Baptist, I have such an issue with all these Bible Versions.

    It all started back in the beginning:

    "Yea, hath God said," - Gen 3:1

    Salvation is obtained one way... Through Faith:

    and in case any unbeliever tried to muddle that, by injecting works into the picture... Paul added:


    There is only one way to Heaven, it is by believing by Faith that Jesus Christ was raised from the Dead.

    This comes by Faith which happens when the need for Salvation is revealed by the Holy Ghost. (sorry folks, I do not use Politically correct terms like "Holy Spirit")

    The Only way to Heaven is by Jesus Christ and accepting him as your personal Saviour and Lord. Anything else is modernistic nonsense.

    and...

    Blessings,

    -Pat
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Highland Watchman,

    Thank you for your lovely testimony to salvation through Christ. You wrote:
    The Christian statistics for China are much higher now.

    In this report, “Sons of Heaven,” it states:
    Imagine that! There are more Christians in China than its 74 million Communist members. God is gracious in causing such an explosion of Christian witness, especially through the house churches.
    However, where there is such growth, there also are reports of an increase in false teaching in these churches. See HERE.
     
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