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I lack Faith

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Paleophyte, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. Drick

    Drick Member

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    It's not about faith in certain victory, but certain knowledge of a narrow chance of victory.
     
  2. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    What your asking is exactly the reason it is called Faith, because having not seen, yet we believe.

    Here are some verses about Faith.

    But, is it Faith your asking about, or is it Salvation, a Belief in Jesus?

    John 20:29
    Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:
    blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    Rom. 8:24,25
    24) For we are saved by hope:
    but hope that is seen is not hope:
    for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    25) But if we hope for that we see not,
    then do we with patience wait for it.

    Heb. 11:6
    But without faith it is impossible to please him:
    for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
    and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    2Cor. 5:7
    (For we walk by faith, not by sight.

    Heb. 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
    the evidence of things not seen.

    Eph. 2:8
    For by grace are ye saved through faith;
    and that not of yourselves:
    it is the gift of God:
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  3. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    I like your analogy because in your analogy you are powerless to do anything but trust in the pilot ! Some people have Jesus as copilot in their lives, that isn't faith it's a backup plan that has Jesus playing secondary roles. If in your story you had faith in the copilot vs the pilot there generally wouldn't be much effect. Cool analogy I'm glad you wrote this !
     
  4. xianghua

    xianghua Well-Known Member

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    first: i think that we can prove that god exist. you can check my argument here:

    My favorite argument for the existence of God

    this means that we dont need faith to believe, just science.
     
  5. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. It's going to take me a few moments to respond to them all.

    That was my hope. Many perspectives are usually more valuable than a single viewpoint.

    That will work well enough for a Christian but will have obvious limitations for one who lacks faith to begin with.

    I had already realized the limits of an empirical approach here. If that was going to work then I'd likely be the one explaining faith to you.

    I'm an odd duck in that respect. I have a basic survival instinct but other than that I have little worry about death. It's inevitable and likely a great deal more interesting than taxes. I see it as the last great unknown.
     
  6. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Thanks Tracey, but I'm interested in capital "F" Faith rather than small "f" faith. Similar I suspect to the difference between the capital "L" Love of God and my small "l" love of blueberry pie. Blueberry pie should not look to me for salvation.

    I've tried that with no success. If anything it had the opposite effect. Apparently that's not just me, many atheists lost their Faith through reading the Bible.

    I really wasn't expecting "instant enlightenment, just add water and stir". Understanding takes time but I am a patient sort.

    You might want to avoid this analogy as it draws parallels between faith and gullibility that I doubt you want. Lotteries are a tax on people who can't figure out how the lotto companies get their profits.

    As I mentioned to 2PhiloVoid above, this will have obvious limitations for those of us who lack faith.
     
  7. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    I'm afraid you lost me there. Do you have a derivation that shows how faith equates to the speed of light in a vacuum?:scratch:

    Last I checked my nervous system ran on electrochemistry.

    This seems to be addressing small "f" faith. If the pilot was completely undetectable you'd find me very unwilling to fly on your airline.

    There's an old joke that every commercial aircraft has three things in the cockpit: a pilot, a computer and a dog. The pilot is there to reassure the passengers that somebody is flying the plane, the computer is there to fly the plane, and the dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch the computer.

    I'm sorry, but I didn't find your argument terribly compelling. You have some dangling propositions. I wasn't argued out of Faith and doubt that I'll be argued into it.
     
  8. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    I think that you're partly right. On the one hand I really don't expect to find Faith through reason. My understanding is that isn't how most people arrive at it. Even as an atheist, the reasoning comes later.

    On the other hand, for me at least, Faith will need to be something that isn't contrary to reason. For example, I am unlikely to ever have much Faith in young Earth creationism, both because I see it as contrary to reason and because I have known devout Christians who rejected it. It won't be a problem if it defies reason, I usually find that fascinating and need to poke and prod it even more. Just so long as it doesn't try to tell me that up is down and black is white without a decent explanation.
     
  9. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    That seems unfortunately circular to me. Need Faith to know Jesus but need Jesus to cut the mustard.

    While I'm certain that works for you the problem is that I'm not the person who had those experiences.

    I thought I'd start with Faith and work my way up.
     
  10. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    I am a Lab Technician at a large factory. I use spectrometers to measure light and determine chemical compositions...

    Atomic Absorption - Is where you find a lamp with the intensity of the element you are trying to analyze. You measure the absorption of light to find the chemical concentration.

    Optical Emissions - You turn the sample you are analyzing into plasma (E/c2) energy. The light goes through mirrors and a prism. It then lands of receptors that measure the emission of light from the sample you are trying to analyze.

    If E = mc2 then we can divide and conclude that...

    Mass (m) = Energy (E/c2)

    And there are three varieties...

    Natural E/c2 - All mass is basically cooled plasma
    Mental E/c2 - Mentally, A mathematical formula, but this has chemical and spiritual properties as well.
    Spiritual E/c2 - E (motivation, warmth, love) / c2 (faith, hope, charity, joy)

    To find the concentration of an element you must turn the mass (m) into plasma energy (E/c2). You then, with your mental E/c2, can analyze the intensity of light to find the concentration of an element. There is also a spiritual light and energy that can be measured in the character.

    "Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." -Teuhard De Chardin

    The spiritual E/c2 is something, though, that can dissipate away...

    When your rank is high in the world, then your vitality and spirit are depleted daily, eventually to become dissipated and not return to the body. When the vitality, spirit, will, and energy are calm, they fill you day by day and make you strong. Therefore the sages keep nurturing their spirit, make their energy gentle, and flow with the way. - Lao-Tzu

    When the spiritual E/c2 is acquired in the inward it is a well of life!

    When people lose their essential nature by following desires, their actions are never correct. Anxiety and lament burn the heart, so sickness builds up. If people can get rid of all these, then they merge with spiritual light. Spiritual light is attainment of the inward. When people attain the inward, their internal organs are calm, their thoughts are even, their eyes and ears are clear, and their bones are strong. They are masterful but not contentious, firm and strong yet never exhausted. They are not excessive in anything, not or they inadequate in anything. - Lao-Tzu
     
  11. xianghua

    xianghua Well-Known Member

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    why you dont think that it's a good argument?
     
  12. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    If E = mc2 then we can divide and conclude that...

    Mass (m) = Energy (E/c2)

    And there are three varieties...

    Natural E/c2 - All mass is basically cooled plasma
    Mental E/c2 - Mentally, A mathematical formula, but this has chemical and spiritual properties as well.
    Spiritual E/c2 - E (motivation, warmth, love) / c2 (faith, hope, charity, joy)

    In the following story we find a man who had gotten his religion in his mental reasoning, and then more powerfully in the heart... Quoting the full testimony of George Clark Rankin...

    "Grandfather was kind to me and considerate of me, yet he was strict with me. I worked along with him in the field when the weather was agreeable and when it was inclement I helped him in his hatter's shop, for the Civil War was in progress and he had returned at odd times to hatmaking. It was my business in the shop to stretch foxskins and coonskins across a wood-horse and with a knife, made for that purpose, pluck the hair from the fur. I despise the odor of foxskins and coonskins to this good day. He had me to walk two miles every Sunday to Dandridge to Church service and Sunday-school, rain or shine, wet or dry, cold or hot; yet he had fat horses standing in his stable. But he was such a blue-stocking Presbyterian that he never allowed a bridle to go on a horse's head on Sunday. The beasts had to have a day of rest. Old Doctor Minnis was the pastor, and he was the dryest and most interminable preacher I ever heard in my life. He would stand motionless and read his sermons from manuscript for one hour and a half at a time and sometimes longer. Grandfather would sit and never take his eyes off of him, except to glance at me to keep me quiet. It was torture to me." - George Clark Rankin

    Then he got it good in the Methodist church in Georgia...

    ...Quote...

    After the team had been fed and we had been to supper we put the mules to the wagon, filled it with chairs and we were off to the meeting. When we reached the locality it was about dark and the people were assembling. Their horses and wagons filled up the cleared spaces and the singing was already in progress. My uncle and his family went well up toward the front, but I dropped into a seat well to the rear. It was an old-fashioned Church, ancient in appearance, oblong in shape and unpretentious. It was situated in a grove about one hundred yards from the road. It was lighted with old tallow-dip candles furnished by the neighbors. It was not a prepossessing-looking place, but it was soon crowded and evidently there was a great deal of interest. A cadaverous-looking man stood up in front with a tuning fork and raised and led the songs. There were a few prayers and the minister came in with his saddlebags and entered the pulpit. He was the Rev. W. H. Heath, the circuit rider. His prayer impressed me with his earnestness and there were many amens to it in the audience. I do not remember his text, but it was a typical revival sermon, full of unction and power.

    At its close he invited penitents to the altar and a great many young people flocked to it and bowed for prayer. Many of them became very much affected and they cried out distressingly for mercy. It had a strange effect on me. It made me nervous and I wanted to retire. Directly my uncle came back to me, put his arm around my shoulder and asked me if I did not want to be religious. I told him that I had always had that desire, that mother had brought me up that way, and really I did not know anything else. Then he wanted to know if I had ever professed religion. I hardly understood what he meant and did not answer him. He changed his question and asked me if I had ever been to the altar for prayer, and I answered him in the negative. Then he earnestly besought me to let him take me up to the altar and join the others in being prayed for. It really embarrassed me and I hardly knew what to say to him. He spoke to me of my mother and said that when she was a little girl she went to the altar and that Christ accepted her and she had been a good Christian all these years. That touched me in a tender spot, for mother always did do what was right; and then I was far away from her and wanted to see her. Oh, if she were there to tell me what to do!

    By and by I yielded to his entreaty and he led forward to the altar. The minister took me by the hand and spoke tenderly to me as I knelt at the altar. I had gone more out of sympathy than conviction, and I did not know what to do after I bowed there. The others were praying aloud and now and then one would rise shoutingly happy and make the old building ring with his glad praise. It was a novel experience to me. I did not know what to pray for, neither did I know what to expect if I did pray. I spent the most of the hour wondering why I was there and what it all meant. No one explained anything to me. Once in awhile some good old brother or sister would pass my way, strike me on the back and tell me to look up and believe and the blessing would come. But that was not encouraging to me. In fact, it sounded like nonsense and the noise was distracting me. Even in my crude way of thinking I had an idea that religion was a sensible thing and that people ought to become religious intelligently and without all that hurrah. I presume that my ideas were the result of the Presbyterian training given to me by old grandfather. By and by my knees grew tired and the skin was nearly rubbed off my elbows. I thought the service never would close, and when it did conclude with the benediction I heaved a sigh of relief. That was my first experience at the mourner's bench.

    As we drove home I did not have much to say, but I listened attentively to the conversation between my uncle and his wife. They were greatly impressed with the meeting, and they spoke first of this one and that one who had "come through" and what a change it would make in the community, as many of them were bad boys. As we were putting up the team my uncle spoke very encouragingly to me; he was delighted with the step I had taken and he pleaded with me not to turn back, but to press on until I found the pearl of great price. He knew my mother would be very happy over the start I had made. Before going to sleep I fell into a train of thought, though I was tired and exhausted. I wondered why I had gone to that altar and what I had gained by it. I felt no special conviction and had received no special impression, but then if my mother had started that way there must be something in it, for she always did what was right. I silently lifted my heart to God in prayer for conviction and guidance. I knew how to pray, for I had come up through prayer, but not the mourner's bench sort. So I determined to continue to attend the meeting and keep on going to the altar until I got religion.

    Early the next morning I was up and in a serious frame of mind. I went with the other hands to the cottonfield and at noon I slipped off in the barn and prayed. But the more I thought of the way those young people were moved in the meeting and with what glad hearts they had shouted their praises to God the more it puzzled and confused me. I could not feel the conviction that they had and my heart did not feel melted and tender. I was callous and unmoved in feeling and my distress on account of sin was nothing like theirs. I did not understand my own state of mind and heart. It troubled me, for by this time I really wanted to have an experience like theirs.

    When evening came I was ready for Church service and was glad to go. It required no urging. Another large crowd was present and the preacher was as earnest as ever. I did not give much heed to the sermon. In fact, I do not recall a word of it. I was anxious for him to conclude and give me a chance to go to the altar. I had gotten it into my head that there was some real virtue in the mourner's bench; and when the time came I was one of the first to prostrate myself before the altar in prayer. Many others did likewise. Two or three good people at intervals knelt by me and spoke encouragingly to me, but they did not help me. Their talks were mere exhortations to earnestness and faith, but there was no explanation of faith, neither was there any light thrown upon my mind and heart. I wrought myself up into tears and cries for help, but the whole situation was dark and I hardly knew why I cried, or what was the trouble with me. Now and then others would arise from the altar in an ecstasy of joy, but there was no joy for me. When the service closed I was discouraged and felt that maybe I was too hardhearted and the good Spirit could do nothing for me.

    After we went home I tossed on the bed before going to sleep and wondered why God did not do for me what he had done for mother and what he was doing in that meeting for those young people at the altar. I could not understand it. But I resolved to keep on trying, and so dropped off to sleep. The next day I had about the same experience and at night saw no change in my condition. And so for several nights I repeated the same distressing experience. The meeting took on such interest that a day service was adopted along with the night exercises, and we attended that also. And one morning while I bowed at the altar in a very disturbed state of mind Brother Tyson, a good local preacher and the father of Rev. J. F. Tyson, now of the Central Conference, sat down by me and, putting his hand on my shoulder, said to me: "Now I want you to sit up awhile and let's talk this matter over quietly. I am sure that you are in earnest, for you have been coming to this altar night after night for several days. I want to ask you a few simple questions." And the following questions were asked and answered:

    "My son, do you not love God?"

    "I cannot remember when I did not love him."

    "Do you believe on his Son, Jesus Christ?"

    "I have always believed on Christ. My mother taught me that from my earliest recollection."

    "Do you accept him as your Savior?"

    "I certainly do, and have always done so."

    "Can you think of any sin that is between you and the Savior?"

    "No, sir; for I have never committed any bad sins."

    "Do you love everybody?"

    "Well, I love nearly everybody, but I have no ill-will toward any one. An old man did me a wrong not long ago and I acted ugly toward him, but I do not care to injure him."

    "Can you forgive him?"

    "Yes, if he wanted me to."

    "But, down in your heart, can you wish him well?"

    "Yes, sir; I can do that."

    "Well, now let me say to you that if you love God, if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and if you love your fellowmen and intend by God's help to lead a religious life, that's all there is to religion. In fact, that is all I know about it."

    Then he repeated several passages of Scriptures to me proving his assertions. I thought a moment and said to him: "But I do not feel like these young people who have been getting religion night after night. I cannot get happy like them. I do not feel like shouting."

    The good man looked at me and smiled and said: "Ah, that's your trouble. You have been trying to feel like them. Now you are not them; you are yourself. You have your own quiet disposition and you are not turned like them. They are excitable and blustery like they are. They give way to their feelings. That's all right, but feeling is not religion. Religion is faith and life. If you have violent feeling with it, all good and well, but if you have faith and not much feeling, why the feeling will take care of itself. To love God and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, turning away from all sin, and living a godly life, is the substance of true religion."

    That was new to me, yet it had been my state of mind from childhood. For I remembered that away back in my early life, when the old preacher held services in my grandmother's house one day and opened the door of the Church, I went forward and gave him my hand. He was to receive me into full membership at the end of six months' probation, but he let it pass out of his mind and failed to attend to it.

    As I sat there that morning listening to the earnest exhortation of the good man my tears ceased, my distress left me, light broke in upon my mind, my heart grew joyous, and before I knew just what I was doing I was going all around shaking hands with everybody, and my confusion and darkness disappeared and a great burden rolled off my spirit. I felt exactly like I did when I was a little boy around my mother's knee when she told of Jesus and God and Heaven. It made my heart thrill then, and the same old experience returned to me in that old country Church that beautiful September morning down in old North Georgia.

    As we returned home the sun shone brighter, the birds sang sweeter and the autumn-time looked richer than ever before. My heart was light and my spirit buoyant. I had anchored my soul in the haven of rest, and there was not a ripple upon the current of my joy. That night there was no service and after supper I walked out under the great old pine trees and held communion with God. I thought of mother, and home, and Heaven.

    I at once gave my name to the preacher for membership in the Church, and the following Sunday morning, along with many others, he received me into full membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. It was one of the most delightful days in my recollection. It was the third Sunday in September, 1866, and those Church vows became a living principle in my heart and life. During these forty-five long years, with their alternations of sunshine and shadow, daylight and darkness, success and failure, rejoicing and weeping, fears within and fightings without, I have never ceased to thank God for that autumnal day in the long ago when my name was registered in the Lamb's Book of Life.

    .../Quote...
     
  13. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, my point was that if you embrace faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, it may lead to you having those same experiences as well. Like I was saying, my faith can first. The experiences came afterwards, and reinforced it.
     
  14. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Well with all of your reasoning, you should understand.
    Faith is Believing, and Believing is Salvation.

    First, Faith isn't something which can be quantified.

    To make simple, the only thing you need to understand about Faith is.
    A persons Faith only relates to Jesus and what He accomplished on the Cross.

    Heb. 11:6
    Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    That's it in a nutshell, if your seeking anything other than a relationship with Jesus, then you seeking the wrong thing.
     
  15. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    I don't want to go into the details in this thread but you've grossly oversimplified the argument and failed to support your point. The TL;DR version is that you have two points that you think provides a scientific proof for God. That's either worthy of a few Nobel Prizes or just plain wrong.
     
  16. xianghua

    xianghua Well-Known Member

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    ley me ask you this: do you agree that a robot that is very similar to human and has a self replicating system is evidence for design?
     
  17. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    I said that I don't want to get into the details in this thread. Crossing your threads is bad netiquette.
     
  18. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid We're on our way, we're making it ----- BIG TIME! Supporter

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    Yes, I very much agree that multiple perspectives are helpful in ascertaining the nature of the Christian faith.

    Again, part of your finding any cogency in the Christian faith will be in your being open to the possibility that, if God exists, He cares about your belief and is willing to orchestrate things in your life and/or mind that will eventuate in faith. But, if you're ONLY happy with poking, prodding and generally experiencing the results of variables that you control, then any faith you might find will probably be a long time in coming, and I say that with a slice of humor. :cool: One thing you might ask yourself is: are any of your present beliefs about the nature of science or the nature of reality challengeable?

    Probably so...

    I'd like to suggest to you that perhaps you have little concern over death because either a) something in your brain is different than most people, or b) you have an unusually high emotional attachment to your presuppositions about the extended future. Again, just a suggestion; and maybe it's one you'll want to mull over as you have time to do. :rolleyes:

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  19. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Faith to me isnt necessarily about mountain moving miracles, but is about walking by faith not sight. This means we look at the hidden things of heaven that we cannot see, but not the things in this world that we can see. 2 Corinthians 4:18
     
  20. Paleophyte

    Paleophyte New Member

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    Heck yes. Reality is so odd that my beliefs about it have to change. Science is a useful tool that has its applications and limitations.

    I can vouch for option (a) but doubt (b). What makes death interesting is that we know nothing about it.
     
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