Faith the size of a mustard seed!
I would love to know how someone has or has found faith in God and why they think their belief is the right one.
I am an agnostic, not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god which means even though I have spent years trying to find out I have not found any answers that could verify the state either way . One of my major thoughts on this subject is if there is “a God”, would he not be spreading the message to all, in whatever language or culture it takes to get it across, therefore would not the same God be worshiped by all who believe in “the God”?
Respectful interaction would be appreciated.
Hi justsilvie, I think a person can have 'faith' without having 'faith in God.' I don't believe my faith is the right one, it's just right for me. In fact, I think believing one's faith is right for all is not faith, it's ideology. What makes you ask the question? Are you wishing you did have faith?
I was raised a Catholic and I found that the people who were teaching me about the religion as I was growing up , were not really living up to my expectations of there being a just and kind deity. It was more a lessons of “do as I say, not as I do” and the when I pointed it out, the answer was my lack of faith and being struck severely with a ruler. I’m not wild about Nuns or the church to this day.
I think you used the right word, I keep running into ideology while searching and that most often makes me back away because it does not meld with what I think it ought to be. My mother has faith there is a God but abhors organized religion and her views probably influenced me.
I am not sure if it is a wish that I had this type of faith, or if I want accept every logical explanation against it. I know there are people I have met, who had faith and there depiction of it made me envy them because they seemed to posses this inner peace that I have not seen in other people.
Ask loving father god to come into the life and show you the way. I am sure he will. Remember this faith is about building and keeping a constant relationship with god daily.
I feel that someone looking for faith can more or less talk to god explaining problems and asking for solutions. Maybe put a little verse that says Oh God Come Into My life somewhere in your home will help too.
Hiya Silvie....long time...
It's refreshing to find someone else that doesn't believe in unprovable fairy tales. The main reason why people believe is simply because that is what they were taught as a child. It's in the top five of human concerns and almost impossible to discount as an adult even if you come to realize you've been had by some very accomplished and dedicated hustlers in your lifetime. The beat goes on Kiddo. as long as we keep believing, they will keep collecting our money and telling us how to have sex in our own bedrooms.
Hi Silvie: I know that the bible was created by man, however, when you read stories such as Job and the fact he never lost his faith no matter how bad things got then was rewarded for his faith; or about the Samaritan woman who gave Jesus a drink of water because it was the right thing to do. I think of these stories and think that you have just got to have faith that there is a higher power out there somewhere.
I believe that Jesus was a man who only preached in the out of doors, never inside a building. He never built a church or temple, he destroyed them. Jesus' only want and his message to the masses were to be kind to each other, do good, treat your neighbors and other as you would want to be treated. When 2 or more people gather in His name He is there. In my mind, there just has to be a higher power out there in the universe. We have to have faith in something. Besides, I just know my sister is an Angel and is looking after me and visits me from time to time.
Every Man is because of Faith, so therefore he needs no other thing but Himself in his quest for Faith.
The Quest begins with himself and ends with himself...
The reason a man has not found Faith is because he has created a blind to hide his very own eyes from seeing.
The Quest for God is a Quest for Faith
The Quest for Faith is the Quest for God
To Find one is to find both and is to find you.
Go to your local grocery store. Buy shovel. Go to your backyard. Spin a coin for where to dig. Dig there. You will find faith.
"I would love to know how someone has or has found faith in God and why they think their belief is the right one."
The bible is the only book that tells us how evil we all really are, just on our own. Even secular history records the atrocities of ancient civilizations, non-biblical ones mind you, which would make even people like Hitler blush. I mean, Hitler was a real bad person, evil and twisted, but to kill that many people in such a short time, you have to be quick and efficient. Some of those ancient cultures did way more gruesome things to people, with torture sessions lasting several years for some people. Who here would want to be thrown into a dungeon, just to be forgotten by the "important people" and left to whatever the jailor has in mind?
This whole planet is a daggone mad-house.
Which is why we are so in need of a God who can save us from even ourselves, but only if we let Him. I mean, God could save you without your "consent", but what would that prove? That God is a tyrant? Even when we're given the option, we still curse God for being a tyrant because of all His silly laws, rules and regulations. It's like we're spoiled little kids wanting to do things our own way, and expect the same rewards as those who have spent their whole lives working to save up for that nice retirement. Who here walks into someone elses' house and demands to be served a lunch and a back massage? That's called disrespect, and if God doesn't want that junk in His house, well I can't say I blame Him. Go ahead, have your cake, but you've been warned of the consequences.
All I'm saying is, you're not as good a person as you think you are. If you're honest with yourself, this makes way more sense: The bible forces us to see ourselves in a new, spiritual light. It is truly creepy to see yourself in the mirror with the lights turned on, so you can see every imperfection, every abominable detail up close and personal.
But that's why it is true... Because the truth hurts, and the truth is humans are not innately good.
But your question was initially about faith.
"I am an agnostic, not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god which means even though I have spent years trying to find out I have not found any answers that could verify the state either way."
... And then you veered off with some nonsense about how you've really really thought about it, and asked, but never got any answers. What if you just really haven't put much thought into it at all? What if you're just lazy?
The bible talks about God as a living God, not some idol of wood or stone carved by human hands, but an entity that we can interact with. God is a "person", a thing which exists that is sentient, has emotions and thoughts. Think it is a coincidence that the bible says we were made in God's "image and likeness", considering emotions and thought in sentient life such as yourself? I'm willing to bet, it isn't just about our outward appearance the bible is talking about.
So if you REALLY want answers, ask God. Sincerely and from the bottom of your heart, ask God questions. It helps if you study the textbook for the course, and no you will not understand it all the first time around. No one is so smart, that they instantly understand every nuance in the bible on the first go-round. I'm still reading it after 15ish years, and I still don't get it all.
Does that mean I'm probably wrong about something? Yeah, but at least I'm trying. That's more than I can say about you, or most people who are "casual observers" with regards to God. That doesn't mean I'm any better than you, though. We're all *trying* to be good people, and failing miserably. I mean, even Hitler honestly thought he was doing the human race a good thing. That doesn't mean he really was.
"Respectful interaction would be appreciated."
If I didn't respect you, I wouldn't tell you the truth. I'd lie to you and tell you that everything is okay. I'd tell you that you're "on the right path" or some other hidden knowledge bull crap. But sin is like cancer, and cancer doesn't get better the longer you ignore it.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way.
No, if you respected us, you'd keep your irrational beliefs to yourself.
That is certainly not showing respect, quite the contrary.
How can you lie to someone if you respect them?
If you're never told how bad you really are, how can you change yourself to become good?
How can you ask for someone's opinion, (on a public forum mind you), and expect to not offend at least one person; or, get offended by one of the responses?
Its like you can do no wrong, or something. Pride comes before the fall...
I really have no idea what you're talking about, please explain your questions?
You said If you're never told how bad you really are, how can you change yourself to become good?
Here you go, I am telling you how bad you are:
People start refusing religion, because of inflammatory declarations such as yours. You are probably a good person, and I truly believe that you try to be respectful, but because your personal experience was marked by tremendous pain, this is the only way you can express yourself. You believe that you are telling the truth. And maybe this was the only way you got out of the pain, through your book. That is fine, and is good for you, but you need to search more. Life and faith is more than a book. You, and your spiritual guide, want to transform the world into an army of zombies ruled by a book, fear, and guilt. Do you really think this is the path? Didn't you hear about Hitler and Stalin? They were pretty good at doing that, and they were convinced they were doing a good thing, as you said. Are you sure you are not in the same boat with them?
And yes, I totally agree with you, we all need to find time to ask God more questions, (including me).
Religion and bible do not necessarily bring faith. Finding faith is a unique and personal experience.
I am absolutely sure I am not in the same boat with Hitler and Stalin, I don't want to kill anyone. I really, really don't.
Faith is simply trust, and you don't find trust, you just do. What do you trust? Who do you trust? You can do whatever you want, but as for me, I trust God.
Now, what pain are you talking about?
Great hub! One of the best sayings I have heard in the past was "I would rather die and find that there was no God than to die and find out there was and be judged by him" and I think I might add or her.
I think that there is a spirituality in many who lead them to a believe in a supreme being whom many call by many different names. That can be because of how we are raised but there is a common thread among both eastern and western religions and that is a belief in a supreme deity and documents inspired by that deity - the Hebrew Bible called the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an - and conflicts come from later interpretations of those documents.
We have some things to consider in a search for faith and decisions to be made, such as how valid the claims are of those who claim to have died and met God and returned but we also have the writings over the years as well such as those of Einstein who after studying for a lifetime, concluded that there is indeed a God.
I believe the greatest obstacle to faith may well be established religion as opposed to spirituality and a one on one relationship with a God and the best path to faith is fellowship with those who worship in a way you feel comfortable around. An example of what I mean might be the wealth of the Vatican as opposed to a church using any wealth it has to provide food and shelter to those who need that. I went to many churches of different denominations before I found the one that helped my faith rather than their income and so now I am more spiritual than I am religious.
To best find faith is to surround yourself with those who have that faith and show that in their day to day lives as for example in those of talk of their love of God and do things to honor him as opposed to those who attend church on Sunday and are monsters the rest of the week. All of the worst Mafia leaders were also the ones with the most times in the confessional booth who made the most contributions to the church.
Al, your replies are always interesting and very welcome. I think I really did coin the phrase. “Jesus protect me from your followers”, because I have often met people who are just like my Catholic School teachers “do as I say, not as I do” people.
Funny you brought up Einstein because I am a great fan and he often spoke of himself as an agnostic. Do you know where the claim he believed in God came from?
I enjoy your Hubs and look forward to what you are thinking and posting!! There is a good link which talks about scientists who believed in God - http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic … faith.html - and while Einstein talked about not believing in a personal God he also made comments such as "God does not roll dice" and about believing in the God of Spinoza.
To understand the view of Einstein regarding God and religion, I think this link does a better job.
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quo … stein.html
One mistake many make is to take one quote from someone and embrace that without looking at other thoughts by the same person which are contradictory, and I think this applies to Einstein as well as many others.
Yes, Einstein stated that those who claim he believes in a god are spreading lies. Here is his quote from the first page of that link you provided.
"“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."
There are many things quoted about Einstein related to God but he believed in Spinoza's God which is different than the God of many religions and really a religion in itself, as I believe he stated at some point in all his writings.
Spinoza's god was nature, and not a religion. Please stop propagating nonsense about Einsteins religious beliefs.
Of course his God was nature, among other aspects of science, as I stated when I said that he believed in Spinoza's god, and I posted the one link to show his thoughts on that but he was far too complicated, as are many others, to put a name on his thinking, whether that be religious, atheist, agnostic, or what have you. Putting a name to anything restricts it to what that name symbolizes and often the name demands further exploration to fully understand it as for example in the term Personal God as opposed to creative God, Vengeful God, and so on.
Einstein talked about the reasons he did not believe in a personal God, all good reasons, and we can not pin him down as being religious, atheist, agnostic or anything else unless we understand his thinking about the subject.
Einstein made it clear religions are nothing but childish beliefs, that was his thinking about the subject.
Too simplistic! He did say that but he said many other things that defined his beliefs
Why do you keep persisting in wanting to propagate false claims about Einstein? He held no religious beliefs and understood religions are childish. That's it.
It is clear that we will never agree on this so there is nothing to be gained by rehashing the same arguments over and over, but I will give you the words of Einstein himself regarding religion:
"Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
Yes, I can see you are relentless in your zealotry to propagate false claims about Einstein. How very sad you feel compelled to be so dishonest.
You two will never agree, and that's the beauty of it. I just wanted to point out, religion is just a social institution to which believers affiliate. You can be religious and have no faith at all. You can be anti-religion and have faith. The institution has the role, (or it should have), to instigate the desire to search faith, and to understand God. I think Einstein was a believer, but not a follower. His view about God was different from the religion's view. But religions are man made, hence limited to our average understanding as humanity.
I label myself agnostic, but I have faith. As bizarre as that may sound. I believe strongly in the fact reality proves that, if God exists, God plays no favorites and has no use for religion. We can't know whether there is a God, or not, but if there is one he obviously has faith in us to find our own way. I find that comforting.
I ike that idea! And I do not think it sounds bizzare and understand it.
I was struck by something Emile stated, that God "has no use for religion" because I think that may be true of many established religions, or at least their representatives on earth.
For example, Jesus taught that a rich man can not get into heaven which I think was true at that time when some placed riches above anything else but not as much today when some of the richest earn those riches by their own efforts and often do great things with the money they make. Pauley Perette, from NCIS, talks about being glad to make the money she does for example because it allows her to help the 30 some charities she supports.
On the other hand, there are groups like the Vatican city which is richer than a good many nations and yet I have not yet heard of a charitable contribution from them although individual priests or parishes may be charitable for all I know.
I think God has given us what we need as a people to make our lives better, whether the knowledge to find some cure to a disease or the ability to think and find solutions to other problems but is is not the fault of God if we fail to use those things.
Prayers to God may help in some cases, as in one case I saw where there was no other explanation for a boy's recovery from cancer after the medical experts had given up and sent him home to die but we have all heard of cases where someone died in spite of prayers and to try to understand that is to demand life rather than be thankful for the life we were given no matter the length of time.
I am reminded somehow of the man who prayed to God constantly that he would win a lottery without ever having bought a ticket and the warning that God helps those who help themselves.
This thread has become an interesting conversation.
I have read quite a bit about people who recover from a terminal illness after medication ceased to work, some through prayer, and some using their mind. For Instance a young boy dying from Leukemia wound up cured, he played a game of Asteroids in his mind and the shot down the bad cells. In this case the medical community could not come up with a feasible argument other than the body’s ability to heal itself.
I have wondered if the Faith itself affects our mind and will and therefore we can see a result for the things we pray for.
I think that faith may play a large part in stories such as that, Justsivia, because I also heard of a case of a woman with cancer taking a shower and imagining the water washing the cancer from her body and the cancer was gone. Certainly faith is a state of mind based upon what we believe but we are who and what we are based upon our beliefs as well as our conduct because of those beliefs.
There is something beyond this lifetime as we see from cases like those who died on an operating table and yet came back and repeated conversation which took place while the person was dead and there is now a book about cases such as this where those who died repeat basically the same story in spite of not knowing each other and no way to agree on one story.
I watched an autopsy being performed on a young lady on Youtube at one time and watching that, it came to me that there was no person in that body, so where did she go? We can try to figure that out, and why we can stare at the back of the head at a person in a theater and they will know that, or feel someone looking at us, but it comes down to having faith that there is something beyond our deaths and accept that rather than trying to find an answer we may never be able to find.
Just a state of mind, the problem is that we don't have access to that state of mind, (or at least that's true for me), all the time, most of the times because we are caught up with doing "more important things", like make more money to buy a nicer car. Then, when we need and want faith, we realize it's there for us to use it. It was there all the time. Faith can be found after terminal illness, after accident, but can be found through reasoning, if searched enough, and through love if one is given enough. But love is the easiest of all ways.
"How does someone find faith?"
Desperation. When all other hope is lost. When one realizes just how screwed up this reality is and refuses to accept it.
What saddens me is that those who have experienced formal religion have had bad experiences. That is a shame. I have taught the Catholic religion for many, many years and have never aspired to demean anyone or their understanding of who God is. Faith isn't something we do. It is what God does for us and in us. If you feel a little nudge, it is because God wishes you to know Him better. Faith is a life-long process and certainly not something that we will perfect in this life. We need to think of ourselves as instruments and God, the Perfect Instrumentalist, works through us, inspires us, supports us, encourages us, and above all, loves us unconditionally.
Some have said that we cannot know God, but indeed we can. We know what He is not: evil, unloving, uncaring, unjust, unlikable, etc. Take it to what we can then say He is: Perfect, All-Loving, All-Knowing, All-Caring, All-Just. If He personifies everything that is Good, Right, and Just, and Love, then there shouldn't be any room to doubt.
Faith requires us to leave our safe-haven of security and to see the beauty and love not only within ourselves, but also within each other. Formal religion should be the vehicle to assist those wishing to further their understanding of who God is and not be unloving in any capacity. And, since God wants all of us to know Him, He gives us Divine Inspiration and Teachings so that we won't walk in darkness but are truly His Children of the Light. Best Regards--Deb
I got my share of questions and search, quite the opposite way. I got raised in a communist country, where the party would come into schools and preach us against God and faith. My father was a convinced atheist and my mom is a christian orthodox. As a teenager I didn't have a strong opinion but I liked to fight with mom about her faith, I still remember those days. I found faith before my dad did, and yes he did found faith eventually.
As I grew up I realized that there is something else besides flesh and the fatidic grave. After many adventures and much search, (yoga, tai-chi, etc), I now believe that if you search, and if you ask for something, you will be given.
As for finding faith... I would say faith is a state of mind, is not believing blindly in what others say, or in a book, (but it could include strong beliefs). Many times, believers are close to extremism, and how do you recognize one? A kind and loving soul would never become extremist. Always remember that Jesus preached love. HIS church was a community and not a building.
Faith is something I always had. It for me is something within me from childhood up to my current age 61. Faith in the Gods that Western Religions speak about I do not. I am not one who would follow a human-like God. Revenge and sending people to hell just makes no sense to me. Forcing people to believe in your god is ungodlike to me. The traits of Christianity is below what I would believe a God to be. I though am a human and why would my opinion matter? Well just makes no sense to me to believe like they do. Their practices have nothing to do with uncondiitonal love. Why should humans learn it when their god subjects people to hell. Free choice to believe or not is not free choice. It still boils down do it my way or forever damnation.
My faith is in a higher power that has not been filter through human mind to create a god like figure. My faith comes from real experiences. I have seen IT in work and it seeks to not convert me or anyone. We all travel a road where life offers us challenges, and during those challenges I never walked alone, though at times I felt that I did. The Cosmic Power I follow loves you and does set up conditions such as the poor will go to heaven and the rich will be damn. The Christians will go to heaven and the rest wont. The Jews are the chosen. We are all chosen and children of this Cosmic Power. Some call it Great Spirit.
Everyone spiritual path and religion has had difficulties, yet in each group there are people who grow spiritually and offer the 'light'. They embrace all and do not try to convert. They do not worry about going to heaven or if their neighbor is. They know G-d is love. They also do not worry about people who do not believe in anything. Why would they/we? It does not matter to us. We do not preach, but we do live unconditional love. Our faith is real and it grows from within and is shared by our actions with others. It is not others actions or a human--like god who gives us faith.
We all have faith, it is built into our very being. We have faith that we will wake up tomorrow, that our car will start, that we are loved, so many things that is common every day faith. If I did not have my faith I doubt that I could gotten through the storms of life. I do believe in God and I know that I can share my sorrows with Him, my joys, my deepest desires of my heart. Just knowing He is a whisper away gives me strength to carry on. My faith is deep and has grown since I was a little girl. Many things that have happened to me in my life I dealt with alone in human terms, but I always knew that My Father was there and is my constant Companion. I just know in my heart of hearts that God teaches and guides me and my faith continually strengthens. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
There are so many heartfelt and interesting replies to this thread. Thank so much for answering many of my questions.
Dorian’s last post really was a roundup for me in a few simple sentences.
“Religion is just a social institution to which believers affiliate. You can be religious and have no faith at all. You can be anti-religion and have faith. The institution has the role, (or it should have), to instigate the desire to search faith, and to understand God.
I think I would add here that religion is a state of mind as well as a philosophy. The three questions regarding philosophy apply:
is it Complete, is it correct, and is it coherent but faith also can be a part of one's philosophy since we have no way of telling if what we have faith in is complete, correct or coherent.and having faith then becomes our philosophy in life.
Philosophy really is a search for truth and we can hold faith to be our answer in life or we can chose to not search beyond a certain point and make a stand where we defend whatever we believe to be true, whether that is that there is no God or that he or she is Christian, Mormon, or any other of the segments which worship a God or Gods.
What we experience in life can lead us to faith or away from it depending upon what we see and believe just as a gardener might see a rose as a flower or as a weed depending upon his experiences and where it is growing.
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