1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why do you believe in God?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Crappy Tipper, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I'm asking as a serious question. I often have debates of faith with myself when the going gets tough and I have a need to search our some truths.

    Unfortunately I am one of those logical types that needs to see a foundation of truth behind anything before I can believe it.

    I often get told "that's what faith is all about" - not knowing. Ack, that kills me.

    My father is the most amazing spiritual man I've ever met and we have had a lot of discussions about religion and he's directed me for most of my life.

    At times I find myself asking questions that I do not have answers for so I'm asking all of you - do you have faith because you were brought up to do so or can you feel some innate presence that reaffirms your belief system?
     
    Ohiophinphan likes this.
  2. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box


    Thank you for the power of your question. It is honest and direct.

    My answer is........ both. I was brought up in a home and extended family where faith was practiced in regular worship, home devotions, and acts of charity. It was an unmistakenly powerful witness and I can't or won't deny that.

    Yet I have spent a lifetime working through all your questions and more as events occur in my life and in the world around me. To me the only logical answer is God's call in Christ to a better way. A way the world desperately needs to hear and heed. The reality of sin and evil in the world, strangely enough, compell me to believe that there is a higher order, to me God, and a plan for how this maddness can make sense.

    For all these reasons and more I believe in God.

    But beyond rational belief, I have experianced that which to my core, I believe has been a call from God, a claim upon my life, and a desire to strive and lead others in striving for a better way. I do believe I am in a relationship with this one true God.

    Hope this helps.
     
    SCall13, mullingan, calphin and 4 others like this.
  3. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    Thank you for taking the time to response I had given up hope on my post of bringing anything forward.

    If you don't mind I have a follow up.

    I had once read an interesting article about a movement called "scientific creationists" where you can accept the theory of evolution and all of the scientific facts before you but you feel that there was a creator that had a hand in the changes.

    If I recall the order of creation it almost exactly falls into order with what scientists belief.

    here is my twist on this - I remember reading that an eternity is but the blink of an eye to God.

    Could, in your opinion, the word be written in a timespan of days in order for humans to be able to comprehent the immense scope of what happened?
     
  4. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    26,641
    29,465
    113
    Apr 6, 2008
    My definition of God is a unifying force that connects all things, a kind of universal consciousness. I believe in God b/c I have felt that presence that reaffirms my beliefs.

    I was raised catholic (13 years of catholic school) but when I started to question those teachings I found the answers very unsatisfactory. That drove me to question my belief in God. After many years of soul searching and study I concluded that my problem was with religion and not with God.
     
  5. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    So you take your personal relationship with God in lieu of a structured church relationship?

    Do you miss the unity of the social structure of the church, priest etc...?
     
  6. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    26,641
    29,465
    113
    Apr 6, 2008
    Yes, I believe my faith is quite strong and no, I don't miss the church. But I've always been a very strong believer in individual rights and individual thought. I read once, many years ago, that the main difference between religious types and non-religious types is how strongly they value belonging to a group vs. how strongly they value individuality. It had never occurred to me before reading that but it has been consistent with my experiences and observations.
     
  7. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

    99,465
    37,345
    0
    Nov 22, 2007
    inching to 100k posts
    I have Faith in God from a mixture of both the Rational and the Supranatural Hof13, it's odd in a way, the argument FOR a God is much stronger to me then the argument AGAINST God.

    Simon Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangelists" is a very persuasive point of view, devoid of emotions (in a way) Greenleaf clearly lays out the case from Noah to John, I find his logic and reasoning impeccable.

    Then on the other side, there is personal experience, not the "I prayed and got a New Home" type, rather a deep and slow process punctuated by moments of spontaneous enlightenment, to "think God" as in approach situations in a manner that is put forward in Scripture is to gain Knowledge and Understanding, really quite remarkable, and not bad for 25 cents at any Thrift shop.
     
  8. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I've never been one to "need" the church structure but rather the where I choose to pray is my place of prayer type of deal.


    I would rather see a factual representation of facts more than a religious cheerleader I don't want the "rah rah" sales pitch I need the basics of why people believe what they do.
     
  9. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    Reading Rafael's answer it is very similar to what mine would be without the church upbringing. I as well felt that presense that more gave me my belief than reaffirmed it. It reaffirmed a few beliefs I have always had growing up.

    I have never been nor do I plan to ever attend a christian service. I do plan on reading the bible as it is an important book in many ways.
     
  10. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I think another thing is how you interpret the bible literally or a book of morals written into a story for the sake of illustrating the point.
     
  11. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Either some of you live on the "left coast" or you have more trouble sleeping than I do!

    Let me try and answer some of the questions and comment on some of the observations. If I miss one that someone would like a specific answer to, please let me know.

    I think an underlying question in a few of the responses regards how might one look at the Bible? For me the Bible is the sole, authoratative norm for the faith and life of the Chucrh and its people. It is a textbook definiton but works very well. I don't think literal understandings work very well since we are so far removed from events. Besides literalism often pushes you to incidentalism where suddenly incidental events take on a greater value than they should.

    I am not sure Hero, how what was called scientific creationism was defined as in your book so I am careful to embrace it too fully but I suppose I would fall into something like that. I think the Genesis accounts are about WHO and WHY things are created and not much about HOW. To ask a text 3,000 plus years old to deal with modern science is to ask it to have made sense only to us and not to the first folks who recieved it. Can't do that.

    As to congregational attendance.

    What is faith about? Is it about you or is it about God? If your understanding is that belief in God is about you then attendance is unecessary. But if you believe that God should be worshipped because God deserves to be worshipped. If it is about publically and regularly joining others in praise, prayer, and fellowship from and with God, then participation in public worship is essential. Many are turned off because they are taught to expect that worship will "give" them something, i.e. good feelings, strength, an "in" with God, etc., and if they either don't get it or feel they don't need/want it they depart.

    In years of experiance and questions that is what seperates folks who regularly attend and those who don't.

    Again, hope this furthers the discussion.
     
  12. vt_dolfan

    vt_dolfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    This is a great discussion. During the last year, I to have been trying to understand my own spiritual beliefs. I was not raised in a religious household, although I did go to Church when I was younger to a Unitarian Church.

    A good friend of mine is studying to become a Pastor. He is strongly aligned with evangelical Baptist beliefs, and believes firmly in the bible, and that it teaches us that Christ died for our sins. And since Christ died for our sins...if you believe in Christ, and only through Christ can one get to heaven, as he is your advocate infront of God. Doing good things...being a good person...those do not get you into heaven..period.

    I had a very hard time with this...and we spent alot of time reading scripture so that I could try and understand what it was that the bible was actually teaching us.

    I tried to believe that this was the way it should be....but it never resonated in the one place it should have, my heart. I just honestly did NOT believe that someone like Mother Theresa who was not an evangelical would not be allowed to go to heaven, and yet someone who had done horrible things in their life, but had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, would, because again...Jesus died for our sins...so that we cannot stand before god with sin. Or that someone who was raised in Iran, who may have never had any chance to even learn about Jesus Christ, have no way of going to heaven.

    To me...there is just a missing of "balance" within the bible...and Christian religion...and its "either" "or" teachings. That one cannot experience God, or Jesus unless they are evangelicals.

    For me..some of the so called Earth based religions were more logical...I guess you could say. That every living thing is connected. Or the possibility that life on Earth may not have even originated on Earth...is it not possible logically speaking, that we are descended from another planet...which does not completley remove God from the equation. Why couldnt he have been their god?

    For me...I just have a hard time with the "we can only be the right ones" belief. Any religion that forces you into a corner...doesnt seem genuine to me...it seems very controlling.

    But...asking these questions and having these discussions are very important.
     
  13. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I understand that it's a one way street that the old text isn't made for modern science but modern science does its best to interpet the old text. Everything is easier for me to accept if in my interpretation of Genesis I can find factual basis in science to go along with. The next question is really what can science prove on things they've not seen, experienced or have anything but theory on. I just don't want to use religion as the opioid of the masses and blindly travel a road that I want to understand better.



    That's another good point "right and wrong" religions. My basis is that they are all trying to attain the same basic end and each interpretation may be slightly different.

    Also, I have no doubt that Jesus existed, but I wonder at times - was he just a man? In that era people knew nothing of science and it probably didn't take much for them to interpret the facts as they saw them as miracles.

    Again, I ask that question not trying to denounce religion but better understand.
     
  14. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    As a young boy I went to Church and Sunday School every Sunday. At age ten I was baptized in the Methodist faith. This continued thruout my teen years. When I got out into the world and had the chance to view other faiths it put me on to a path of descovery to where I now stand. I don't put alot of stock in organized religion because of the preaching that if you are not this or that you will not get to Heaven. That just does not sit with my belief that God is all loving and all forgiving. A love and forgiveness that we can't comprehend or understand, we can only take on faith alone.

    Two very personal acts happened to me that, in my mind and heart, prove that there is a God and he is with me always. Both of these happened in my 30's when I was still searching. Since then, when I open my heart God speaks to me, no not in my ear as such but in ways to let me know hes there and cares and wants me to be the best I can be. It happens in hundreds of ways but I always feel better and so loved. Its just the very best and there are no words to describe it.

    I hope this helps and God bless you on your journey.
     
    mullingan and vt_dolfan like this.
  15. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    26,641
    29,465
    113
    Apr 6, 2008
    IMO the bible is full of contradictions and can't possibly be the sole authoritative voice on anything. It was put together by men with personal and political ambitions and is much more the work of man than the word of God.

    As for my belief in God is not so much about me but rather something that I don't believe should be tainted by the opinions of self-interested people. Most churches contain too much judgment of others for my tastes. Too much "think like me or you'll go to hell" stuff. I believe the message of the bible is 'love one another'. All that additional text is people's opinion on how to do that. I also don't believe that a true God would want to be worshipped. A true God would want harmony in the universe and could care less about whether or not he was being praised for it. Much less care about specific rules for how he should be praised. I completely get the importance of being grateful (important to people, not to God) but all the church rules are just political methods used to control people rather than encourage individual thought.

    I've spent time studying many religions and when you get them down to the basics they are all remarkably similar. Many of the stories in the bible itself are remarkably similar to stories from other more ancient cultures. What separates them is the rules the governing bodies have incorporated over time. IMO you find God in those similarities. The differences are the result of Man's influence.
     
    mullingan and DaFish like this.
  16. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    With my personal beliefs coming from my understanding of everything, this question is faulty in the sense that it is always about you. The you being used because that is the way the question was answered. Even if the person in question answers the question, "it is about god", since the only way they can interpret and go forth with that is through themselves, it is still about them. I guess the question would make more sense to me if it was, "Is it about service to me or is it about service to God?" Still that also has the fact that both of them goes through the filter of the one that is called me.
     
  17. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I agree if there were such a massive disparity in who gets in based on the religion they practice the vast majority of the world is on the wrong path and that's hard to accept.


    And so many of the stories that were not included in the bible lend such a different light that completely changes the way the bible would read. The dead sea scrolls as example.

    Some people need that sense of unity and belonging and singing....why is there always so much singing? :D
     
  18. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    I love my church and my Bible.
    To me, the Bible does not contradict itself. I believe it is written by men who God gave the words to. And the Gospels are written by 4 different men, with 4 different backgrounds, so, each view is a little different in some places.(this is true in all books of the Bible)
    I can go to the Bible and find anything I need to help me with problems, inspiration, and spiritual help.
    I go to church to be with, and fellowship with, other Christians. It helps to keep me strong in my faith. And yes, there are problems in every church of one kind or another, but that's where I depend on the Bible to get me through them.
    It's also wonderful to share questions and help each other search for answers.
    We can ask our Pastor anything and he does everything in his power to help us find help and answers.
    It's hard for me to write what I believe, but I hope I made some sense to you.
    Just keep studying, praying etc. and you'll be fine.
    I find a good study Bible and good concordances are wonderful things to have. Search and study, you'll be amazed what you'll discover.
     
    mullingan likes this.
  19. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008

    Thank you for your insights it sounds like it's a wonderful relationship you have with your church & pastor.
     
  20. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    One thing I am learning more and more is the power of a community.
     
    The Rev likes this.
  21. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    My problem with community is that in a lot of instances people in masses tend to act like sheep and just run the same direction without knowing what they are running toward or what they are running from.

    Maybe after I get some more solid footing for my own opinions I can embrace a community in that regard.
     
  22. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    I wish you could visit our church. We're a community, sure, but we're made up of individuals. We have a Bible study on Wed. nights that is wonderful. We debate issues (no fighting), we wear our Pastor out with questions, we bring up any & every thing we can think of. It's a real eye-opener. Finding out that we all have similar problems etc. is in some way comforting. And we do try and help each other spiritually, physically and lovingly.
    We're a very diverse group of people, but we laugh, cry and depend on each other all the time. It's great to me.
    I don't like all the ceremony some churches have, but that's just me. We observe the Lords Supper and try our best to follow and do, what Jesus would have us to do.
    Our Pastor says that singing gets us ready for the message. And sometimes it does, but sometimes some of us are ready for the message right away. (Maybe we need it worse. LOL)
    I'm loving this thread and posts.



    Do you guys pray for the Dolphins? I pray for their wisdom and safety (and yes for a win.)
     
  23. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    My personal belief is that when people look for love from somewhere other than themselves they tend to "act like sheep"

    I am learning that if you have a group of people who love themselves and then bring that love together in a community it is a very beautiful thing. Indivisual accomplishment can increase by a lot when someone is in such a situation.

    I think that the "community" you talk of can be really anything. From AA to religion to weight loss, any group of people who get together with the focus on something outside of themselves to need fufilment can end up in serious problems.
     
    dolphindebby likes this.
  24. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    Very well said. :up:
     
  25. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I don't pray for a win because in my opinion there are bigger things in life that merit my prayer and it seems odd in a sense that praying for my team to win means that the fans of the opposing team must suffer through a loss.

    I wish for a win with all I can, but I stop short of prayer.

    I agree it's a larger issue than people in church settings but at times I've seen it more because of people who are so unsure of belief that they embrace everything 110% trying to force the spiritulity to come where they have doubt and fear.

    I had a conversation once with a person that did not believe in God. He asked me "what if you're wrong". My response was this "If I pray every night and believe and I'm wrong I'll never know the difference - where you do not pray and choose not to believe - if you're wrong there is a lot more on the line".
     
    dolphindebby likes this.
  26. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    I am not one who likes the idea of beliving in god out of fear. Just in case Christians is just not something that feels good to me. I know I do not want to be a person who prayed just in case prayer will get me a reward after I die or at least not punished forever.

    My answer to that as of this moment would be, "It doesn't matter. All that matters to me is that it feels good to believe that I am right"
     
  27. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008

    I just presented him the same question he offered me. - What if you're wrong?

    What's right for every person should not be held against them. I didn't tell him he was wrong for what he felt but that right & wrong was a two sided coin that both of us could be held accountable for.
     
  28. The Rev

    The Rev Totus Tuus Administrator Luxury Box Club Member

    My turn to weigh in... :wink2:

    My God is love and light and there is no darkness in him. I have a very childlike relationship with Him---childlike not childish. I come to him like a son looking for guidance and comfort.

    I may not always understand His plan in my life but I can definitely see His hand in my life. I do doubt his methods for me but like I always say, there is nothing wrong with doubt, it's what you do with that doubt that defines you.

    If you know the story of the Prodigal Son in the Bible, then you can identify with the way I feel about my God. Sometimes I am the older son who needs to forgive and am asked by Him to forgive and sometimes I am the younger son who needs forgiveness and is welcomed back into His house no mater what I do.

    Like I said before, it is very simplistic and childlike, but it works for me. :yes:
     
    vt_dolfan and dolphindebby like this.
  29. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008

    Do you feel that you can make errors in life but still come back with full grace?

    I don't want to turn a blind eye to doubt or to have faith without an understanding of why I have it.
     
  30. The Rev

    The Rev Totus Tuus Administrator Luxury Box Club Member

    I think it is a double edged sword. My God will always forgive me. That is the ultimate sacrifice that was the cross. But it is like he told the woman caught in Prostitution. He will forgive us but we should try to sin no more.
    We are human but we should try not to keep on repeating the same sins.
     
    dolphindebby likes this.
  31. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008
    I can understand that we cannot be fully forgiven if we know full well taht we intent to repeat the same sins over and over again or at a minimum not make an effort to change them going forward.

    Another thing I came to understand that there are personal believes that change the severity and nature of sins. If a person honestly and with faith believes they are not doing wrong is it still a sin?

    Isn't it true though that you can be an otherwise miserable person your entire life then find acceptance on your death bed and have it all washed away? (not a strategy, just seems like a loophole for some)
     
  32. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

    34,225
    24,525
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    The story of that woman is one of the few bible stories I heard. From the guy telling the story he thought it was to the point where Jesus never actually condemned her so he didn't forgive her. He just loved her and told her to try to sin no more.

    Just curious what do you think about a situation where god does not actually forgive because god does not go through the step to first condem?
     
  33. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    Rev, you said it so much better than I could. You and ohio are such good men, it's a pleasure to call you guys friends.
    I feel like you. I am His child and I thank Him every day for His love, blessings, forgiveness and for being my "best friend".
     
    The Rev likes this.
  34. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    I pray about anything and mostly everything. I doubt God really cares about football that much, but He loves me and I'm not afraid to ask Him for anything, that's in His will. As I told the Rev, He's my best friend and I talk to Him about everything, no matter how big or how small it may seem to some one else.
    He's my personal Lord and Saviour, just like He offers to be to every one else that seeks Him out.
     
  35. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008


    I didn't mean it was wrong to do so - it just isn't right for me.
     
  36. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    I know that. It's so hard to type feelings, isn't it?
    I keep trying, but I get my thoughts all jumbled up while trying to type. :wink2:
     
  37. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    5,867
    2,682
    0
    Aug 23, 2008


    jumbled up is the story of my existence.

    This has been a good thread.
     
  38. vt_dolfan

    vt_dolfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Rev and Debby,

    I am interested in your feelings about salvation, and who can receive it? What concerns me most about some religions, is the tendency to be inclusive, as I pointed out with the most conservative protestant religions, and the Southern Baptist Church.

    Why is it necessary to believe that one way, is the only way? Thats been the single biggest obstacle in keeping me from becoming a "Christian" because if I dont honestly believe in my heart that God would judge like this....then I would only be lying to him ,and myself by calling myself a Christian.

    In some ways...I really like what the Unitarian Church has to offer...it appeals to me because it allows me to have and share in community...and explore many different beliefs. But Im told that doing so will lead me to damnation, for myself and my family. That scares me...the what if they are right...question. But in my heart...I believe God. whomever that is...be it man or woman...because I believe strongly that there needs to be a balance, would look upon me for how I lived my life, did I show love, and compassion, and humility, and also the acceptance that I AM A SINNER.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
  39. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

    14,752
    4,873
    0
    Nov 26, 2007
    GA
    Yes it has. I have really enjoyed it.
    I love it when The Rev & Ohio get on here. Their so knowledgeable and understanding about things.
     
  40. vt_dolfan

    vt_dolfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    I think its wonderful to be able to talk about such powerful and meanigful things, without feeling shameful, embarrased, or un educated.

    I thank all of you for this.

    Bryan
     

Share This Page