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The process of coming to believe something

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by dms1972, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How do people come to believe what they believe.

    There is Christian Orthodoxy and the Creeds - but how does one come to hold those beliefs about God, Jesus etc, if one doesn't already hold them, is it just a matter of conformity? Is it a matter of obedience?

    I feel I am forcing myself back to christianity, not being drawn back, because I reached a point where I just felt so indifferent about it all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  2. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    It took a very long time for me. And a lot of it was a bit painful. But probably the greatest single cause was when I stopped being my own Pope.
     
  3. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Christianity or religion? One is a way of life, the other a human institution like all the rest.
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In part because they have no reasonable arguments against it.

    Others believe because the are conforming to accepted norms and still others believe Christianity because they had a spiritual experience.


    May I suggest two things.

    1/ Investigate Jesus's death, burial and resurrection. Can you demonstrate that it is false?

    If you cannot do you believe that it is true?
    2/ check out the christianity explored web site for churches in your area that run this course and either sign up or start attending that church.
     
  5. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe the world is heading in the right direction using the same old methods that have always failed us? That is the definition of insanity. Do you believe there may be an option to this repetitive failed behaviour?
     
  6. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are probably as many different reasons people come to Christ as there are Christians. But I assume you're already Christian, so your question seems to relate more to statements of faith.

    Let's take the Apostles Creed as one example.

    Break it into sections and see if you think each section is correct.

    1. Do you believe in God as creator of heaven and earth?

    2. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son?

    3. Is Christ your Lord?

    4. Do you accept the virgin birth?

    5. Do you accept Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate?

    And so on, until you get to the end.

    If you agree with all of it, what's the problem?
     
  7. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    There is a verse in the Bible
    Romans 1:19
    In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart.
    So we all know of God in our hearts. His invisible qualities are seen in creation. But as humans we can choose to ignore this or believe this. But ignoring God is also a belief. So in some ways we all live by beliefs.

    Its hard to take that step of faith without direct evdience. But thats because in our day and age science has become like a god. People have more faith in science than god. But in some ways the same science is showing that not everything can be understood in material terms.

    In fact science is limited to know and understand anything beyond the physical. So that in itself shows that we cannot rely of science to have all the answers. We just have to be open to other possibilities besides physical ones and understand that sometimes there are non-physical truths as well.
     
  8. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Physical is a ventriloquist's dummy. Non physical truths are the hand and voice that give the dummy life.
     
  9. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    I came to faith mainly through reading the Bible, which is no doubt why I hold to Sola scriptura, meaning scripture alone. I know from my own experience how powerful the word can be, perhaps this is something others don't know of because their experience has been different. Many people come to faith from being raised in it or they heard preaching at a meeting and got saved.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    What could be better than that? Maybe you became disillusioned with people rather than with God. The church and the people inside of it are not God. People will always let you down God won't.

    Church can be good for fellowship and community and for hearing good teaching, but it still comes down to me, the Holy Spirit and my Bible.

    If you are uncertain I say go and read your Bible. Read through the New Testament. Too many people want to claim the Bible is just a book written by men, it's far more than that. All Scripture is God-breathed and alive and active.
     
  10. Tempura

    Tempura Noob Supporter

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    You're going to get many different answers.

    As for me, I had to. I count myself lucky. I was at a point where I thought I had to kill myself, I just couldn't take it anymore. But I prayed instead. Nothing dramatic happened, no sounds, no voices, but things started to get better veeeeery slowly. It took years, and then I could function without constant suffering. But let's not think of just results, if the prayer was answered or not (I believe it was); what happened was a lost human being reaching out to God he didn't even believe in, it was just a vain hope, a little leap of faith with a faith that was already very weak or barely nonexistent. Even if I felt barely any hope, because I was in fact quite hopeless, the need for that hope was far more vast than ever before. But there had to be some faith in me already, of a hidden kind, the kind I wasn't aware of. Of course I knew the name Jesus and some of the stories in the Bible, so I did call for Jesus.

    But I can't pretend that I was well-read, I can't pretend that I had been in any way obedient, I can't pretend I was theologically sound in any way, and I can't pretend that I was convinced about any of it. All I know is I was desperate and I needed God, nothing else would do anymore.

    Everything else came later. Faith, and believing in God, is truly a process. I can't tell you how many times I've questioned or changed the ways I look at certain parts of the Bible, and I can't know all the times and ways my faith was molded. We can't escape change and growth as people in general. Sometimes I've felt like my faith and subsequent theology has been swept under my feet, but in the end that was just another thing for me to surrender to God. I've needed all of that, but I also need to remember that even if I change, even if I have to look at some things in a different light than before, God doesn't change. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever". Nowadays I'm comfortable with letting God have His mysterious side. I don't have to know everything, and I can't. Love is more important that knowledge, and it would really be a shame to give someone as dumb as me more knowledge than I can handle anyway.

    Sometimes faith for me is a choice more than anything else. I'm still kind of broken, and my feelings are against me. Fear and anxiety, with some bouts of depression, they're there. There are times when I don't feel anything, there are times when I feel the absolute worst things. But I can choose to put my hope in Christ nonetheless. My inner turmoils aside, I've chosen to believe that He will not change, and I can choose to place my hope in Him and His name no matter what I'm feeling. There is a lot of peace in that for me.

    When it comes to conformity, I don't know. I'm almost a hermit so I don't really go to church, but even when I was younger, atheism seemed to be far more prevalent. So for me it wasn't about fitting in. I've gotten some good fellowship on this site though, as well as hellfire and judgement. When I was very lost in every sense of the word, there were a few very patient and caring people who kind of "took me in" on this site. They displayed the love of Christ, and none of them were looking at it as an excuse to force their theology on me (although they did have their own, and of course I wouldn't have wanted for them to pretend otherwise). There was no purity test, there was just love. Those brothers and sisters built me up. Thanks Ron, Gerry and Vic.

    I still suck at obedience, so it's probably better I won't even touch that subject.

    But as I think about the whole thing, the actual heart of the matter hasn't changed. Over the years I've read more, I've seen more viewpoints, I've associated with some Christians a bit more, I know some more about Christian history, I've changed my views on certain matters many times. But I'm still just a child who needs his God, his Father, and who needs hope. I choose to have that hope in Christ, and I can trust He knows how to teach me to love better, and for His will to happen no matter how lost I can get. Oh, about trust. I trust a little bit better. It's definitely not as vain or aimless hope as it was in the beginning, even if at times I might feel hopeless or lost, but I've learned to trust more. That He knows who He is, and He knows how to handle His will and His kingdom.

    I have no idea if I managed to answer your question by the way. God bless you anyway brother.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  11. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I guess there's no passing this test! Supporter

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    As far as I can tell, the most basic reason people come to believe what they believe is they they listen to other people who already have those beliefs. Sounds overly simple, I know. :cool:
     
  12. chad kincham

    chad kincham Well-Known Member

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    That’s an easy question to answer concerning Christianity and our faith, Romans 10:17 says faith comes from hearing the word of God. So salvation of faith comes from hearing the word of God.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  13. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    The bible calls it the blind leading the blind. Institutional religion calls it tradition and authourity. Those of the Kingdom call it God's truth, the rock/foundation His church is built upon.
     
  14. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid I guess there's no passing this test! Supporter

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    Granted, but I don't think that is what dms what asking about in the OP. And my response was given to indicate that 'belief' doesn't come by fiat magic.
     
  15. Nova2216

    Nova2216 If truth is discounted then lies become normal.

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    Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;... Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand

    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.


    Above is how it begins. Every thought and action needs to come from the word of God.
    (1Peter 4:11) (Heb.5:9) (Acts 10:33-35)


    If I can help let me know.
     
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