Taking Christianity as an example, if God gave you a 'sign' or a 'feeling' that told you that he exists and that Christianity is the way to go, why did you choose one, out of over 40,000 different other sects of religion out there?
I chose the Penticostal Church because that's where my high school friend went. In another place I lived I chose a Baptist Church because it was highly recommended. I now live in a small Welsh town of 35,000 where there are a large number of small dry chapels full of cobwebs, a freaky weirdo apostolic church, one or two independant outfits, and the Penticostal Church that I left after disagreements with the pastor.
Choice of Church or 'sect' is more likely to be constrained by what is available locally, one's social demographic, and preferred style of service.
Here here, that's why I don't understand this "absolute faith" or "true faith" that I hear about.
If born 100km from where they were born, they would have been an entirely different adherent.
I totally agree. What one believes is very much dependant on the environment one was brought up in. Children born in the Middle East will have Islamic beliefs, and those born in Australian Aborigini tribes will have a animalistic/spirit type belief system.
When the child grows up, they may come to question what they were born into, or they may continue believing and never question. Those that do question will have their beliefs shaped by other environmental factors. Thus we are never really truly free to shape our own ideas because our ideas are shaped by external ideas that we are exposed to.
We are the image we give ourselves, through title, position, rank, strength or power. We have a name, we were born into the title. It is a definite result of ones environment, as a child.
I think the Bible teaches that God chooses us; however, I can tell you why I adhere to Christianity. The Bible has a flawless record of its prophesies coming true. So far, the over 3000 prophesies that have already come true were fighting the probability of 1 chance in 10^1050 of that happening. Also the Bible said thousands of years ago that God stretches space which we have only relatively recently discovered. Also the Bible said earth was round at a time when it was generally believed it was flat. Quantum mechanics says relatively recently that a vacuum has energy and structure, and yet the Bible said thousands of years ago that God created the darkness. Those are just a few of the many reasons I trust the Bible to be God's Word.
As far as prophets are concerned, all cults have them; however, I believe Christianity is the true Faith to follow because Jesus Christ eclipsed all other prophets. No other religion other than Christianity had a prophet Who could heal hundreds of people, raise the dead, and walk on water.
The ancients believed that the heavens were a dome that stretched from horizon to horizon, on the underside of which traversed the moon and sun, with the stars being either holes through which the light of heaven leaked, or were gods. This image satisfies the stretching of the heavens. Note the bible does not say billions of light years across or effectively limitless.
They believed the Earth was a flat disc, which is round which satisfies the statement that the Earth is round. Note the bible does not say spherical.
When the bible says God created the darkness, that's all it says, you cannot interpret that as confirmation of vacuum energy and structure. It would be like saying that because God formed the stars, that's confirmation that the bible says they consist of enormous balls of hydrogen in thermo nuclear reaction.
The point is you cannot read scripture and extrapolate scientific fact that was unknown to the writers. It that were possible, then the wealth of knowledge we have about the universe we have today would ave been known thousands of yeas ago.
I avoided all churches for the first 42 years!
Then I felt a need to see what was on offer, and looked (from afar) at all the local branch offices, eventually deciding that one particular bunch of folk did not look tooo weird when they left the building (I was surveying them from a safe distance in my car)so I decided to see what they were up to.
I came to faith in what was an AoG church, the church had the normal split later when some members wanted to start a homeless feeding project, and others objected (go figure!).
I went with the homeless feeders and we formed a 'free' church (no affiliation to anyone) which I still (ostensibly) belong to as a 'member'.
I joined them as a member because they like order, and as I was in any case already a member of the body of Christ, I 'humoured' them.
As I now live 15,000 miles away from them, I don't attend anymore.
Where I live there are no churches that I would like to visit or join.
I am still a member of the body of Christ, just not affiliated to any group.
There is ONLY one body of Christ, and cunningly, God seems to have hidden His people through the 38,000+ denominations that wanted to disagree with each others doctrines.
Go back in history and find the example of what apostles established church and compare it today. Early church fathers.
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