I decided to do…

I decided to do a fairly in depth bible study today and sadly, i ran out of time. Somehow, in this study, the mention of Greek philosophers sort of discovering monotheism came up in a commentary and my brain started to wonder. If there is a God, why don’t more people acknowledge Him? I grew up Christian, and the more I live, the more I study, the more I cling to this as a heritage. I also know several people who once were “Christian” but have chosen a different path for various reasons. And sadly, twitter, with it’s 140 character cap isn’t the venue for said discussion. One friend asked if I had G+ but I don’t. (too many people circling me and not enough time to weed them out) If i did, that would be a perfect place for this topic! But since I don’t, i’m asking you, the interwebs to comment. If you once claimed to be a Christian, but no longer do, why the change? Conversely, if you are a Christian, but have had a crisis (or crises) of faith (and thought about, or even walked away) why’d you stay Christian?

Please be respectful in your comments. Disagreeing is ok, but trolling is not. If your comment comes across as disrespectful, I may remove it. If i liked the forums, i’d post there, but i kinda hate the trolling :-/ so…. DISCUSS!


About Karen

What's there to say really? I pretend I have two left feet because I hate the attention, but at the same time, i love to make people laugh, even if it's by being a klutz. I am an enigma, even to myself, and I'm full of irrelevant paradigms. I barely even know what I just wrote! View all posts by Karen

5 responses to “I decided to do…

  • Kimmi

    For me it’s just all about Faith. You have to really believe in something you can’t prove. It’s something that you have to want to keep or need to keep in your life. Without faith, none of it makes sense. You start looking at the old testament in a different way and it’s hard to reconcile all the contradictions in it. But if you have faith, then you resign yourself to find a message because you know God has given this message to someone and they wrote it down and it survive unchanged for thousands of years.

    Faith comes from within and when you have lost faith you try to make sense of the world in another way. Without faith, being a Christian becomes meaningless no matter how many people preach at you or how good of a person you are. It’s not easy to keep the Faith as well.

    Hope that helps.

  • elmaquino

    Paul wrote:

    “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

    So basically, in life, our faith will be tested for authenticity. But when we confirm that God is THE viable anchor in life, we can stick with Him through anything. If we just crumbled under any kind of pressure, we would basically be saying that we don’t really have faith in His ability to keep us grounded.

    To Kimmi’s point, I would agree that faith keeps a person grounded. But faith doesn’t come from within us, it comes from God. HE’S the one we have faith in, so faith is external, not internal.

    Also, you don’t keep faith because you WANT to believe it. You keep faith because you actually BELIEVE in God and the factuality of His word, the bible. You realize the existence of a supernatural force (acknowledging God, like the author said) and you explore it further in search for a higher truth. Eventually, Christ is what you get to. (You had the benefit of growing up in a Christian home, where Jesus was already identified. But if you just go with what they said because they said it, you’re really living a lie because YOU don’t know why YOU have based your life on a God whom you’re not sure of.)

    I would also disagree about contradictions in the OT since that would mean a contradictory God, which we do not have; but I’ve already taken enough of your space. πŸ™‚


    • tanzenmitgott

      I thought that passage was written by James? Granted, I’ve forgotten a lot of who wrote what etc. And whether it was James or Paul, the fact remains that God uses trials for His glory. I love reading any passage that reminds me that God uses brokenness and imperfection.

      I am actually getting to a point in my life that I actually want to read various epistles to help me grow in Him. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • reneev

    So here is the story of how I went from Christian to atheist.

    I was raised in the church. Every Sunday and Wednesday and church choir and many church activities. Said my prayers every night and grace before every meal. I was baptized at the age of 11 which was old for my church. At the age of 12, all the stories I had been told over and over started to not make sense. Why did God do miracles before and not anymore? How can some little girl across the other side of the world go to hell even if she’s never heard of God? How can someone who loves us let so many bad things happen? The answer to that all the time was when you are having a hard time, God is testing you but when you are having a good time, God is blessing you. At 12, I thought that wasn’t right.

    I went to church regularly from 12 to 18. It all seemed a little nutty to me and my first thought was, the Bible could be wrong. It was written by man who isn’t perfect by far. People always said the Bible was written by God through man but I thought that didn’t make sense either. From 12 to 18, I took the good parts of religion and tried to ignore the bad and the parts that didn’t make sense.

    When I went away to college, I stopped going to church but still called myself a Christian. I took classes, educated myself about religion and started to form my own opinions. I then called myself a deist. I couldn’t believe that a world so perfect and organized couldn’t have a creator somewhere.

    Then in the past three years, I realized that I didn’t believe in god. If there was a god who truly loved us or even just wanted to create something wonderful, why would he create all the BS in the world and all the hurt and horribleness. I realized that that’s just how life is. For some people everything falls into place and they have a near perfect life. For others, their life is full of crap and they never get a break. That’s life. Once you are gone, you are gone. You get one opportunity to do things in your life and you do them for you. Not for your parents, your friends, or some god that supposedly lives in the sky (snarky, I know. I apologize. It’s just one piece of snark!)

    Plus I feel in my heart that’s the right decision. I don’t feel any god around me and I’m happier as an atheist than I ever was as a Christian. I was always questioning and wondering and unhappy as a Christian. Now that I no longer am one, I feel that I am home and I can truly enjoy my life without worry of disappointing somebody I’ve never even met. I can do the right thing without religion. A lot of people can.

    I wish I could believe. I wish I could be like my mom and pray for prayers that are never answered and lean on god when I’m sad. But I can’t. I feel like what I know cannot be unknown. For me, the right choice is atheism. It’s not the choice for everybody by far. Life would be boring if it was πŸ™‚

  • Tim

    First of all, thanks for putting this topic up here. Was hoping for more of a forum to see what everyone else thought, and this seems perfect!

    Now then, I was taught from a young age to search for religion and to keep searching for it. My parents made that decision shortly after my sister and I simultaneously were thrown out of church for different reasons. As such, we were never much of a church-going family…and so I would go with my friends to their church masses. There were slight differences in the message, but it was mostly the same to me. Unfortunately, the one common thread (moreso than even Christ) in each church that I saw: greed.

    It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea of tithing, but I did find myself somewhat bothered by how often each denomination asked for money. Especially during sermons, and at the expense of other topics. There were a couple sermons I saw that entirely focused on donating money to the church and how you’d get extra rewards later. This agreed with almost nothing I’d been taught about Christianity and how Christ lived.

    Additionally, I could never get behind the idea of “it is not ours to question” that a lot of religious leaders tried to teach. Jesus seemed to want to ensure everyone was aware of what was happening in the world. Telling people not to question something and not to think seems more a control mechanism and less what Jesus himself would’ve said IMHO.

    Plus, it also bothered me that there were no modern day prophets. It seemed that the Bible hit a point where Jesus has several prophets and apostles and then…nothing. Seemed odd that no one would show up for almost 2000 years IMHO. That being said, I did still believe in God and Christ…but not his supposed messengers.

    A large part of what made me question my view in Christ came from a book I read. The title sadly escapes me, but I’ll see if I can find it if you’re curious. The book talked at length about some of Jesus’ teachings and what they meant at the time. Things like “Turn the other cheek” which today means forgiveness, but at the time involved making the next hit hurt far less. Or “…whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” which today speaks of peace, but very easily could land a soldier in hot water at the time. Even the act of praying itself gave power to the people which had at the time belonged only to a select few. This made me see Christ not as the son of God, but as a rebel. Not that he wasn’t right or a great man, but it became harder for me to see him as the only son after thinking on that.

    Since then, I’ve sort of wavered back and forth. Most things I see in this world seem to convince me of and simultaneously refute the existence of God. Probably the largest example of this for me has been with my mother’s illness (MSA) and subsequent death. There were many times that a medicine would come through at just the right time or that things would just seem to line up to perfectly for there to be no plan. Not just large things either…anything big or small seemed to hit right when it was either the best or worst time for it. Such a plan can really only be possible with a God, even if it’s not directly His work. And since her death, I’ve definitely felt like her presence has been with me and taken me through some of my hardest times. Again, this wouldn’t be possible without the existence of a soul, which would hint at God.

    But then I find myself thinking of her condition, how long she fought it off, and what all it did to her. I don’t feel that it’s too much of an over-exaggeration to say that she basically decomposed within her own body. It’s not that I can’t see a loving God allowing that to happen, but it’s definitely hard to see it. Especially when you add in that she lived with it for 15+ years. Which in turn makes me think about other people in this world. So many people in this world tend to die not as regular people, but in agony. Not quick deaths, but slow and painful ones, often due to a new disease…which would also come from God, I’d imagine.

    And then I start thinking about God’s role in this universe…and wonder what his purpose would be? Is he here to raise a universe? If so, why would he care about one specific species when there are so many others?

    And then I hear my old Philosophy of Religion teacher talking to me again, stating that “before we ask whether God truly exists, it’s worth examining whether God would even really care about us or not.”

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