General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Doubting my religion?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15715points) October 13th, 2011

**Please don’t be offended by anything I say here. Keep in mind that I’m young and this is the first time I’ve had serious doubt about my beliefs. I’m just trying to figure out where I stand. I don’t need to be lectured here. I’m just looking for some advice from those who may know more than I do about this stuff.**

I grew up in what I would consider a “loosely Christian” household. I was taught about God and Jesus and the Bible, but we never went to church and it was just something I accepted as truth. I was baptized at the age of 16, but I still don’t attend church or anything. Honestly, I’ve never been to a church I’ve wanted to attend more than once.

I’m now 21 and I’m engaged to a guy who I’d also consider “loosely Christian,” but I don’t think he knows enough about it to be as devout as he thinks he is. We’re good people and we try to live our lives the right way, as we see it, but if you ask us to rattle off a verse in the Bible, you’d be SOL.

I know I don’t live as a Christian, and therefore I don’t call myself a Christian. I’ve always just said, “I believe what I believe.” Recently, my mom has become more and more religious, to the point where it annoys me. I don’t tell her that, and I’m scared to tell her or my fiance that I’m doubting my beliefs. I keep telling myself it’s normal to have doubts, as I’m a self-proclaimed realist, but it’s really bothering me.

I don’t know how to even go about resolving this. Some may not think it’s a big deal, but I think it’s important to know what I do and do not believe. Truth be told, I find the majority of Christians to be hypocritical, judgmental people with holier than thou attitudes. I can’t stand be preached at and have certain beliefs shoved down my throat.

I don’t know if I believe in God. I always have, but now that I’m doing some research I’m just not sure. There are just so many contradictions in the Bible, not to mention things I just don’t believe or choose not to live by. I don’t think one should call themselves a Christian if all they’re doing is picking and choosing what to believe in the Bible. It’s ridiculous.

I’m liberal, that’s a given. I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage (or, as I call it, marriage), and I go by the “live and let live” motto. I know you can be liberal AND a Christian, but I don’t really see how. It just goes back to what I said about believing certain things and choosing to ignore other things. Like…stoning your children for straying from the faith, approving of slavery, damning people to hell for the smallest infraction when you, yourself, have committed sins as well. I mean, how can I believe in that?

It’s like I WANT to believe, but I can’t make myself. I just can’t believe it all just because. The whole “having faith” thing with absolutely no proof or logic doesn’t come easy to me. And honestly, I’m terrified that this kind of second guessing could land me in hell, if it exists.

Has anyone had similar thoughts before? If so, how did you resolve it?

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51 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

Fear is a lousy reason to cling to a belief system. Do as you see best; I’d be the last to try to convince you one way or the other. But if all that’s retaining you is fear, then that’s not healthy.

Rarebear's avatar

Sure. I was a theistic Jew, but I realized that the idea of God made no scientific sense. So I resolved it by becoming an atheist. But I’m the same person as I always was, but much happier from a “spiritual” point of view because I know have a worldview that makes sense to me, and is not directed or created by some nonsensical divine intelligence.

Or to put it more differently, my grandfather was an atheist Orthodox Jew. He said that he didn’t believe in God because if there was an omnipotent God, he shouldn’t have allowed the Holocaust to happen. And if he couldn’t prevent the Holocaust from happening, then he’s not an omnipotent God. And lastly, if he was omnipotent and he did nothing, then he wanted nothing do with with Him anyway.

Blondesjon's avatar

No, I’m not.

filmfann's avatar

First, not all Christians are dicks. I know it seems like that sometimes.
I find a lot of them kind of creepy.

Second, slavery is old testament stuff. It applied to the Jews in the Old Testament, not to us.

Third, we all fall short before God. That is what is so amazing about His Grace and forgiveness.

Find yourself a Jeffersonian Bible. It is very short, and only has the words of Jesus, not the miracles he performed. If you accept that He is the son of God, His words are all that is important.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I don’t doubt religion… I know exactly what it is and why it is and in more cases than not, the rules are pretty simple to follow… I doubt people.

Religion doesn’t hurt people… people hurt people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUZHtZ-uJpY

*Hee Hee, 8 ft tall Bee-Gee Jesus… ROFLMAO!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yes, I’ve had similar thoughts, before. Mine started at a much younger age.. I was a little kid when I started to doubt.
I resolved it by studying a lot of religions, and ultimately decided that I could not deny my atheism. Consider studying the Bible, or other religious texts. I found that the more I learned, the less believable it was. Personally, I just don’t believe, and I felt a lot better once I just let myself not believe. I was raised Catholic, which many people know comes with its fair share of guilt.. so fear and guilt were a big part of it for me when I was growing up. Like you, I wanted to believe. I just didn’t really believe it.

Hibernate's avatar

Feel free to doubt it. Until God approaches you .. well there’s not much you can do. Might not be your time. And remember if you do not find peace as a Christian there’s always another religion out there .. Islam is a beautiful thing if you grow to like it. Anything can go as long as you don’t become an extremist.

Moegitto's avatar

I’ll tell you a small piece of the story that is me. I too, was loosely Christian. What the religion said made sense, but the people that preached it did the exact opposite of what it said to do. So I became a Deist, but then again Deism is a religion based on religion with out the church, which in laymans terms means loosely Christian. Now, I’m an Agnostic Atheist. I as a person don’t believe in religion, but I cannot confirm or deny that there might be a higher being than us.

smilingheart1's avatar

Old Testament was harsh to show the people they couldn’t live by rules and God doesn’t want us to. The New Testament was the birth of GRACE. That is why the New Testament is called the Good News. We mortals find a way to mess up the best of GIFTS. Keep seeking, your answers will come, maybe not all at once, but you are on a journey, that’s what life is.

Rarebear's avatar

If you want to stay a Christian and are worried about losing your faith, I have a lot of Christian friends who read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and got a lot of out of it. Lewis was an atheist and then found Christianity and wrote the book. Also, I know of several prominent skeptic scientists who are also Christians, the most promonent is Frances Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health. He wrote a book called The Language of God that I hear is good. Being neither a Christian nor a theist I haven’t read them, but I have had good friends who read them and got a lot of out of them.

jfos's avatar

Cast doubt upon everything and only accept as true that of which you are absolutely certain. If you find yourself trying to convince yourself of God, that shows that you don’t believe it just on blind faith, which is a good thing.

Why do you want to believe so badly? Is it to fit in and not be treated as an atheist? Is it because you don’t want to take responsibility over your actions, and ascribe everything to a predestined fate handed down by God? Is it just because you’re scared to be wrong and be “damned” in the “afterlife”?

flo's avatar

@livelaughlove21 you can’t let fear dictate your life. I wouldn’t tell you how to force yourself to believe in what obviously makes no sense to you.

Does everyone find the sound of the link @GabrielsLamb posted is not high at all?I put it n high in both on the youtube and the computer’s volume control, but it is almost like it is below medium.

mazingerz88's avatar

Doubted my Catholic religion since I was a kid in a Catholic school. But being a kid, I had no answers of my own to the many questions I had. Like, who was this man nailed to the cross and was he really the son of God? And does that make him God as well? As I aged, all the answers I got were all taken from the Catholic’s holy book, the Bible. It seemed to have worked somehow as I continued to have faith.

But then something else happened, I began doubting the Bible. How it was written, who wrote it and when. It just did not make sense to me until I realized that if I really want to have FAITH and PEACE, you can’t DOUBT. And if you can’t do that, then get out.

And I did. It’s impossible for me to profess faith when I don’t have it. For me, the Bible is a poor substitute for an absentee God. To me, whatever justification one gives about the Bible as proof of God’s existence, I think of that as a personal choice. And I can’t make that choice for myself. And that is the truth that I know I could believe in.

Judi's avatar

__Disclaimer: I don’t talk about my faith unless specifically asked. I will ignore any evangelical atheist who tries to argue with me about the validity of faith. Don’t even bother reading my answer if you are looking for a fight.__

In this day and age it is hard being a liberal Christian. (Believe me I KNOW!!) One suggestion I have for you is to not go through with this marriage until you have some resolution about this. You really need to feel like you can trust your husband with your doubts and fears.
I would also suggest that you start studying. There ARE Churches where you can feel safe in your liberal beliefs. I would suggest you check out the Congregational Church, the Lutheran Church, (ELCA, not LCMS or Wisconsin Synod,) the Friends Church, (Quakers) The Methodist Church, or the Episcopal Church. There are probably more, but these came to mind when you told us your specific values. They all have a newcommer class that will help you understand what they believe and why. You will also get an idea of the people and see if their values match with yours.
I would also encourage you to pray about this. One thing I know, is that if you are truly and prayerfully seeking the truth, you will find it.

tko7800's avatar

Been there myself. I used to be “loosely Catholic” and so desperately wanted to believe in something. I think why I wanted to believe was the idea of a heaven where I could reunite with my dad and my pets and everyone else I have ever loved. However, what I came to realize is just because you really want something to be true does not make it so. The funny thing is once I came to the acceptance there is no god or heaven it made me appreciate life much more than I ever did before. I mean if this is all there really is, shouldn’t we make the most of it? I guess my only real advice is to read as much as possible from both sides and try to draw your own conclusions as objectively as you can. A couple of Christian books have been mentioned earlier, I would suggest “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins for the atheist viewpoint. Like you, it was quite ironically the Bible that was a major factor in me doubting my beliefs. The more I read, the more I was disgusted and the more obvious it was to me it had to have been written by man.

Jeruba's avatar

Do you feel that you need or want religious practice to be a part of your life?
Do you feel that you need or want faith in some divine being to be a factor in your way of life?
Do you feel that it is important to have a religious point of view that is the same as your fiance’s?
Do you feel that something important would be missing if you did not experience a confident belief in God and have a sense of his will in your life?

There are many ways of practicing spirituality without a set of specified beliefs or prescribed dogma that you must accept. If you know what it is that you want or are looking for, you can find a spiritual practice that suits your needs, with or without a religious component.

dabbler's avatar

I think it’s useful to separate the politics and doctrine of your any church from what your faith actually means to you personally. There are probably some outstanding philosophical cornerstones in your faith so keep ‘em.
Christ is tolerant of all types and wants us to be too. No need to let modern politics tell you otherwise.

Linda_Owl's avatar

A great many of us started out exactly as you described & a lot of us were involved in church attendance, but we began to find that the Bible was full of cruelty & intolerance & murder instigated by an extremely jealous & vindictive “God”. Many of us tried for a very long time to try to find something in religion that was real enough to hold on to, but reality & logic just would not allow it. You do not have to ‘believe’ in a “God” in order to be a good person – being a good person is its own reward. The only thing I have kept out of all of my Bible reading is the “Golden Rule” – treating everyone as I want to be treated & you do not have to believe in God to treat others with respect & kindness & compassion.

bkcunningham's avatar

I will tell you what I have told my daughter and stepdaughter in the past year regarding different situations in their lives. Find a church you and your husband like. Attend Bible study. Make friends. You might be surprised how many others have feelings like yours. What will it hurt?

ETpro's avatar

Sounds like you are realizing that in fact you are an agnostic. I am as well. And I applaud your willingness to question what you find no evidence to support. There are real reasons one might have a religious conviction, but the fact you were born in a home that believed this or that is a flawed reason. Most of those born in Muslim households never give that faith a thought. THey accept is as truth because the luck of the draw had them born in a Muslim households. Same for Orthodox Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus. Come on. What’s wrong with using your own head and thinking for yourself. The Christians and the Jews and the Muslims and Mormons and Buddhists and Hindus and Jains can’t possibly all be right. Since they all claim exclusive truth, only one of them can possibly be right. And my own opinion is they are likely all wrong.

Humans have claimed allegiance many thousands of different, competing and mutually exclusive gods throughout history and before history began. Now there may be a creator who triggered the big bang, and there may not. I have no way of guessing. I do realize, though, that if there is a creator powerful enough to have brought this entire, mysterious universe into being, that creator could let me know whom and how I need to worship. And I can observe that things happen because of cause and effect. When I hold up a bowling ball and let go of it, I don’t even have to wonder if divine intervention will cause it to fly into orbit instead of fall to the ground. The universe operates by rules, not by miracles.

So the chances seem pretty good that all of the thousands of different gods man has invented were invented to control other men, not through some divine revelation. And if there is a god, she apparently doesn’t care whether we know it or not.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you don’t know any of the Bible – in any kind of detail – then you don’t really have any kind of “belief”, do you? I mean, you could imagine what God and Jesus should do and say and be like, but if you don’t know what the Bible says about them, then it’s just @livelaughlove21-ity – not Christianity.

Though it goes against everything I already do know (and discard) about the Bible, I think you should read the damn thing, go to Sunday school or get some other kind of instruction on it before you decide whether you believe or not – and what you actually do believe in, if you’re going that route.

ETpro's avatar

@CWOTUS I second that. While I have discarded my Christian faith inherited from my own childhood and not from any serious consideration of evidence, the Bible is a great work of literature. I have read it through multiple times. There is a great deal about morality to be learned from it, and knowing what it actually says will show you that the theology put forward by many who claim to believe it is the word of God is completely un-Biblical.

CWOTUS's avatar

Damn. Now I’m re-questioning my beliefs.

ETpro's avatar

@CWOTUS See? God works in mysterious ways. :-)

CWOTUS's avatar

Good. That fixed me right up. Atheism confirmed.

Prosb's avatar

Questioning the religion I was born into ultimately led to atheism for me, but you could go in any direction from here, if you decide to move at all. You may want to look into other faiths you might be more comfortable with, or perhaps eventually opt for becoming agnostic. Being unsure is one of the scariest, and greatest parts of life. Don’t let fear of it be what holds you back.

digitalimpression's avatar

The bible outlines a plethora of situations in which even those who saw Jesus’ miracles directly began to doubt after time. It is human nature to take the easy way out and not believe. It is harder to believe because to believe means to have faith.

It is hard to have faith if you are not willing to have it.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

I have a sneaking suspicion that you know in your heart what is right here.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@flo *It states how it was recorded low there isn’t much you can do about it except for max volume and it’s a shame because it’s funny as hell too

ETpro's avatar

@digitalimpression And how do you know that the Bible is right and the Koran is not? Or the Upanishads are not? Or the Book of Mormon is not? Do you not think that people raised in homes where those religious texts ruled supreme have faith that what is in their heart is right and what’s in yours yours is all wrong? Your argument is dogmatic, not logical.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Oh, sure, because being a non-believer is so much easier than being a believer.~
I feel like the guilt of religion must be very hard to shake, because, @digitalimpression, I suspect you have no idea how malicious your words come across. Insinuating that the OP giving up her faith would mean taking the easy way out is just rotten. Also, you’ll note, that they OP stated they want to believe.

harple's avatar

I had a very church-based upbrining (I went to church pretty much every sunday from birth to leaving home at 18). As a young adult, responsible for myself, I spent a further few years attending church infrequently, reducing to only attending when I visited family, then to practically never going. (I realise your question is not about going to church, it’s just key to my story here.) This all coincided with my own feelings and belief on religion (yes, religion, not God). I have always been brought up to think for myself, and to question why I think what I think. (I was never forced to church when I was a child, I just never said no at that time.)

Various elements of religion leave a bad taste in my mouth that I just can’t get rid of, no matter how I try. But then I remember that religion as we know it is man-made, and not necessarily how God would have decided. (Please don’t argue with that, because there are so many different religions and if you argue that ONE is right, you will automatically be snubbing the others.)

Do I believe in God now? Yes, I think so… because it’s too hard for me to not believe in something beyond this life. Do I follow a specific religious way of life? No, I just can’t reconcile myself to any one way. BUT, I live my life in a way that I would be happy to be answerable for, and that’s based on my morals, which have a strong basis in, heck, most relgious teachings.

(A friend once explained to me why, having been studying Buddhism, he chose to not become one. It made a lot of sense to me. He said, when you fully indoctrinate yourself, you then read from only one book. He didn’t want to limit himself to just one set of teaching.)

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AdamF's avatar

@livelaughlove21 “The whole “having faith” thing with absolutely no proof or logic doesn’t come easy to me.”

It shouldn’t. Because it doesn’t make any sense if you want your beliefs about the universe to match reality.

And this basic fact, that we normally apply everyday of our lives (i.e. that evidence and reason helps filter the untruths from the truths), isn’t somehow less applicable when it comes to religion…but more applicable. Because it’s so much more important to be right about the ideas that influence our worldviews and perceptions of the nature of the universe than it is to be right about the small ideas that don’t really matter.

In short, lack of evidence isn’t a reason to believe, it’s a reason to disbelieve. So, the relevant question isn’t “Why don’t you have faith?”, but “Why would you?”

“And honestly, I’m terrified that this kind of second guessing could land me in hell, if it exists.”

You may as well worry about being reincarnated as a walrus.

As sure as you can discard the existence of any imaginary idea, you can discard the existence of hell. It’s a ludicrously stupid concept, and the world will be a far better place when it’s dumped in the dustbin of history.

Good luck and keep questioning!

disgustedwithlawenforcement's avatar

I, like you, do not attend church but I do believe that there is a God or some supreme being that created the universe. When I was a child, my parents saw to it that I attended church every Sunday but things began happening in my life that showed that they chose to believe what they wanted to in the Bible. Reading the Bible is confusing as so much of it is in parables and is not real clear as to its meaning. At this time in my life, I chose to believe there is a God, not attend church but not fault others who do attend, not bend to pressures that I am unfaithful if I don’t attend church, and live my life helping others and trying to treat others as I would like to be treated. You will find that there are many periods in which you will find yourself on the “wrong end of the stick” because of this belief but just keep on doing what you are doing. I don’t believe that a building (church) has anything to do with what God wants us to do in life. I believe that God intends for each of us to believe in our own way. Just get comfortable with what you want to do and do not listen to the people trying to pressure you into one type of religion.

Qingu's avatar

@livelaughlove21, I would like to make a couple of points.

1. You can admire the moral philosophy of Jesus without being a Christian. Jesus is one of many great moral philosophers (although I’d argue he also said some pretty stupid and terrible things too). That’s not what “Christianity” is, though. Christianity means you believe Jesus rose from the dead to save your soul from the judgment from the ancient Hebrew god Yahweh.

2. People who dismiss the Bible’s advocacy of slavery, misogyny and genocide are, I think, being dishonest. First of all, Paul explicitly says slavery is okay (1 Timothy 6:1). Secondly, Jesus explicitly says that he has not come to abolish these laws, but to fulfill them—and that you should still follow the OT laws so you can be called “greatest” in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17). Paul says the law is “holy, just, and good.” Do you think enslaving people, treating women as property, and committing genocide against unbelievers is “holy, just, and good” and that you should teach others to follow such laws? No? Then you fundamentally disagree with what the New Testament says about the law.

3. You say you’re waffling because you’re still afraid of going to hell. Are you afraid of going to Muslim hell? Because there are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world who believe in a religion that says that Christians will go to hell. Are you afraid of Scientology “hell”? There are thousands of Scientologists who say Christians (and Muslims too) will suffer if they don’t believe in their cult. Christianity is not the only religion that promises a “stick” to unbelievers; it’s not even the most popular anymore (there are more practicing Muslims than Christians).

4. It doesn’t sound like you’ve ever really believed in Yahweh, the god of the Bible. Most people grow up with a vague notion of belief in a vague cosmic god, sort of like the Force from Star Wars. That’s not Yahweh. Yahweh is the god who created humans from clay (exactly like many other ancient Mesopotamian deities) and threw Adam and Eve out of a magic garden because they “sinned” by disobeying him; he’s the guy who gave Moses a set of laws that condone and command slavery, rape, and genocide. Yahweh is the god who says that we should all be in awe of the wisdom of his laws (Deuteronomy 4:2) and if we don’t follow every one of his laws he will inflict us with boils and blindness, sell us into slavery, cause foreigners to rape our wives, force us to eat the flesh of our children, and “take delight in our ruin and destruction” (Deuteronomy 28). He’s the god who, according to the New Testament, had a son—who is, incidentally himself—who he had to sacrifice, to himself, in order to save humanity from his judgment, a judgment that is inevitable to begin with because humanity is incapable of following his orders perfectly, because of an evil force “imputed” onto the descendents of Adam and Eve, brought into existence when they ate a magic fruit at the behest of a talking snake.

Does any of that make sense to you? It didn’t make any sense to me either, and that’s why I started calling myself an atheist.

digitalimpression's avatar

@ETpro and @ANef_is_Enuf I apologize but I’m not here to argue with you.. simply to provide an opinion which in all fairness might make perfect sense to the OP. I’ll leave that for the OP to decide.. not you guys.. no offense. =)

Qingu's avatar

@digitalimpression, you don’t have to argue of course… but the fact that you are unable or unwilling to defend your opinion on this matter is pretty telling.

LostInParadise's avatar

Abandoning religion is not an easy decision. Religion can be very comforting. You are assured that everything that happens is for the best and that if you follow the rules you will live forever in eternal bliss. In exchange for this you have to set aside all the doubts that you have in addition to the reasons for doubt given here. I am an atheist but I do not proselytize. You are going to have to decide on your own. If you do turn away from religion, you will find a large number of fellow non-believers here on Fluther.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Thanks so much for all of the responses!

I think this is just going to be a process. I’m going to continue doing research and thinking on this until I figure out what I do and do not believe.

I think that those of you said it was fear holding me back hit the nail on the head. The fear of hell, no matter what hell, shouldn’t be my reason to ascribe to a religion. And yeah, I think I’m a little hesitant to be labeled as an atheist, only because I don’t think I am. But I don’t think I’m a Christian either. In fact, I’m pretty certain I’m not.

Other than the fear of hell, the fear of what those close to me will think is also holding me back. I live in the Bible Belt, and pretty much everyone I know is religious, with only a few exceptions. And I don’t think many of them would accept this easily. I think that if I even told my mother I was simply having doubts, she’d lecture me on how that in itself is a sin.

That’s the part that it’ll be hard to overcome. I think my fiance will accept me either way, in the way I’ll accept him no matter what he believes. Religion was never a part of our relationship, so I don’t think that would or should change anything. But how could I keep something like that from my family? Or his? Dealing with that will be the hardest part for me. But what others think of me can’t be a reason to ascribe to a religion either.

I think I do believe in God, or at least a higher power, but I just can’t devote myself to the Bible. I’ll just have to get over the fact that my beliefs probably don’t have a label. I’m just me and I believe what I believe and I’m just going to figure it out as I go along.

reijinni's avatar

Read this version of the Bible and consult a Unitarian church. I’ve chose that particular denomination because of their acceptance of various viewpoints.

flo's avatar

@GabrielsLamb Point me to where it states it was recorded low if you will.

George Carlin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwNow966px4

Nullo's avatar

Like anything else, you must practice your faith if you want to keep it. I suggest that you consult a pastor – one grounded in the Faith, who accepts the whole entire Bible. The UCC has kinda gone off the rails, see. Ask him to explain the parts that you don’t grok. Proper Christians don’t cherry-pick the Bible – doing so invalidates the whole thing. There is an answer to every question.

I would say that you really can’t be a modern liberal and be a healthy Christian.

Like…stoning your children for straying from the faith

An Old Covenant practice – it underscores the seriousness of the business, and those who turn from God are flinging themselves into Hell anyway. Irrelevant outside of pre-Christ Israel, which God was molding into the foundation for everything else. Also underscores the value of grace.

approving of slavery

Strictly speaking, not condemning slavery, rather directing holders to treat their slaves well. (The practice of kidnapping and enslaving is condemned, see Exodus 21:16 and 1 Timothy 1:8–10). In the case of ancient Israel, indentured servitude over a period of years was used to settle debts – in essence, working off your debt while learning to better manage your estate.

Damning people to hell for the smallest infraction when you, yourself, have committed sins as well.
That’s called hypocrisy, and they are not supposed to do that. In any case, Man does not have the authority to actively damn people to Hell.

I mean, how can I believe in that?
You don’t. You believe in God.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu The general attitude of the Bible re: slavery is that there are more important things – like the health of your soul – to worry about. It might be that you lack the proper contextual perspective – that slaves were both a common Ancient World occurrence and in many cases, not too poorly off.

Judi's avatar

You CAN be a modern Christian and a healthy liberal. You just have to follow Jesus example. Don’t align yourself with the pharasees or the zealots, don’t concern yourself with what ROME is doing, and worry about what YOU are doing.
Sorry, but as a Christian, who errs on the side of LOVE inseaad of hate, I find that statement very offensive.

Blondesjon's avatar

example of what the majority of modern christians are really like. ^^

shame on you all for buying into the political/media portrayal.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, according to the Old Testament, you can legally beat your slave to the same extent that Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him.

Sounds about in line with modern American conceptions of slavery (circia 1800s). Plus many white slaveowners made the exact same argument you are currently making. You always do seem to find yourself in good intellectual company in these discussions, Nullo.

Also, “in the case of Israel” indentured servitude was used to settle debts… for Israeli slaves. The Hebrews still could buy foreign slaves (Lev 25:45) and own them for life, and pass them down to their kids. You could also enslave people you conquer and rape your slave-women provided you give them some time to mourn their dead husbands first. But of course, that behavior was also common in the ancient world, so I guess it’s okay with you.

mattbrowne's avatar

Life is a journey. The minds of people who entertain doubts are normal and healthy and wonderful. The problem are people who never change their mind. Who are absolutely sure.

I think it’s great that you are engaging in this kind of self-reflection @livelaughlove21. Just don’t expect any final answers. The journey will go on.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Nullo It all just sounds like excuses to me.

I don’t think it’s God or Jesus I don’t believe in…it’s the Bible. I believe that, like I said, you’re probably not a Christian if you don’t believe the whole Bible, which is why I don’t proclaim to be a Christian. I believe that a lot of it…and I mean A LOT (Noah and his ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, Jonah in the belly of a whale, and of course the lovely snake and fruit metaphor in Genesis) are just symbolism. I don’t believe that most of it ever happened like it says it did. It’s a great book with some great messages and I’m sure there’s a lot of truth in it too, but it’s not something I’ll be devoting my life to.

I’m no good Christian, and I’ve in no way found definitive answers and I could be dead wrong, but that holds true for everyone. Like @mattbrowne said, life is a journey, and it’ll go on from here. I’m not going to force myself to believe in something that I truly don’t believe in.

God did not write the Bible and neither did Jesus, so I think that it’s okay that I trust in God, but don’t live my life according to the Bible. If there is a God, I think he’d be a forgiving and merciful God, which is probably why the judgmental hypocritical people I referred to bother me so much.

That reminds me of a great quote from Showtime’s Queer as Folk (hence the harsh terminology), when one of the boys was attempting to “see the light” and convert to heterosexuality. And I believe it more now than ever.

“I think God appreciates it even more. Because he created you in his image. At least that’s what I was always taught. And since God is love and God doesn’t make mistakes, then you must be exactly the way he wants you to be. And that goes for every person, every planet, every mountain, every grain of sand, every song, every tear… and every faggot. We’re all his, Emmett. He loves us all.”

Oh, and @blondesjon, I didn’t get my portrayal of a lot of Christians (note that I never generalized that statement to all Christians, by the way) from the media. I got it from life. I live with these people every single day and they’re everywhere. I know that there ware wonderful Christians out there, and my grandmother is one of them. She’s an amazing person and a devout follower of God and believer of the Bible, but that doesn’t mean she’s the majority. But regardless, what I think of those particular Christians doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with my doubts. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. I have many.

flo's avatar

@livelaughlove21 why are you sure there is heaven and hell? I’m just curious. That is the crux of the matter, right? Added: I mean for you.

plethora's avatar

@Nullo gives you a very sensible Biblical answer. No one says you have to believe, although I do and just about at the time in my life that you are at. Find a pastor and a church, but if it just doesnt fit you, try another.

john65pennington's avatar

My answer is short and no preaching.

I was in a gunfight in 1966. There is no way I should have survived. I asked God for help and I am positive he sent guardian angels as my backup. Shots whizzed by my ears like sting bees. I was not injured after 32 minutes of shooting at each other. Made a believer out of me.

I think each person has to beleive what they believe. I am glad you were baptised. I have been at least twice. I am not a church goer, but my daily prayer is always said. God has blessed me so many times.

Have you ever wondered how the trees, the birds and water arrived on earth?

A Superior Being had to be involved.

Hope this was helpful for you.

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