Why are some christians so afraid of addressing other possibilities?
Does the truth of your beliefs depend upon having the beliefs? Or do they stand true whether your believe or not?
Whether I believe in something or not depends on the factual validity. But I don't proclaim any religion. I do believe in God though.
Strange contradiction in terms seeing as how "God" has never been proven to be a fact.
Fact = "something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence." All the dictionaries on-line say something similar to this.
Astrophysics, that's a most exciting course of study, Ruth!
True he has not. But that essentially is what faith is. Believing in something with out having factual validity. Yes I have my own faith that God exists. But I have no religion. The science behind biblical teachings are only relevant to its own time.
"Factual Validity?" Just because someone believes something doesn't make it true. No matter what it is. All religions are based on stories that authorities used to use to keep people in line.
"All religions are based on stories that authorities used to use to keep people in line"
Agreed, fortunately RELATIONSHIP with God is not, it's based upon Gods love for humanity, it's man that stuffed it up!
"... having spent a longish period of time in reflection over my life and it´s direction..." is very appropriate for your own life, John, but translating personal to others' lives is not, IMHO
I'm a Christian, I try not to think about other possibilities. The Bible does say depend on God, trust in the Lord. But I know that in the very back of my mind is the same question. There could be other possibilities. Being Human, it's just nature to think that way. God don't hold it against us.
Jonny, what a succinctly beautiful question you asked. Many religionists are fearful of seeing, recognizing, & even acknowledging different religious/spiritual/ethical perspectives because of fear of perhaps unsettling their indoctrinated beliefs. Many religionists believe that way they do because their beliefs were generational & there is an underlying familial pressure to adopt such a belief.
The average religionist is not an independent thinker. H/she believes because h/she is programmed to do so from a negative purview. H/she is exhorted that if h/she does not believe, h/she is lost perhaps damned. Yes, h/she believes not out of logic but out of fear of the disapproval of, even disassociation from family members, friends, associates, religious authority figures, & even God. They are fear to consider other religious or spiritual precepts because they do not wish to be excluded from their particular religious circle. So they insist in their religious beliefs although such beliefs have proven to be totally inconclusive, illogical, even harmful.
Also, they see such beliefs as psychological protection against what they deem to be an ever-changing society. With such religious beliefs, they feel a source of stability, security, & assurance that all is well. If they venture out, they would become psychologically, even psychically unhinged. To them, religion is ALL.
Ok, Shivam, with respect, would you like to expand on that? Is it like something around the corner, out of immediate sight, can be expected to be still there?
Yes Alan there r many things,many secrets that we don't but they do exist,it's not like if we don't know about something then it will not exist
I am not a doubting Thomas. I believe in God. The Bible says without FAITH it is impossible to please Him (GOD).
Why do you need to please anyone? Belief and faith are the same thing. Hope would be another word. You 'hope' that you are right.
I'm always surprised at the ages of some of the people who answer these questions about other religions and only know about Christianity. Any college student has at least one course in comparative religion or philosophy.
I think most people in this country have either grown up with one way of thinking about religion, or have, as adults, only been exposed to one belief system. It's unusual to run into people who have read books outside their own belief system, or who understand other religions, or lack of religion.
When I was in college, I took a philosophy class taught by a former priest, which required us to read portions of many great books, and discuss them in terms of the philosophies they presented. We read things like the Declaration of Independence, the Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, Walden, The Prince, and also some religious books: the Bible, the Koran, Tao Te Ching. It was very difficult for some students to set aside their persona biases against some of these books, and just read them without judgement. When we began discussing the Bible in terms of its philosophy, a lot of Christians left the class, because they couldn't separate their own beliefs from the actual philosophies espoused in what we were assigned to read.
Why limit your question to 'Christians'?
There are far more vociferous forces in the world which will not accept any questioning of their beliefs. LOL
Christians are by far the larger audience here on HubPages. That is why they are singled out. But I have noticed that other religions are rapidly gaining on them.
The very term 'singled out' indicates people's bullying natures. 'Cos, you know, they won't like behead you or nothing.
lol I love selective political correctness
Terrex - which forces? I know about Islam; what other religions don't tolerate questioning?
It's interesting that you use the term "so afraid" instead of reluctant as the latter allows for possibilities other than fear. Rather ironic.
Some things are self evident, and anyone who is spiritually awakened knows that there are spiritual forces at work in the world and in our lives.
For those unawakened, blind faith may suffice, or science may satisfy their questions about why we are even here in the first place.
Having started life with no belief system, I have then been privileged to travel extensively and study other religionists, both Christian and other religions.
My awakening spiritually was mostly influenced by the, lets say, dark side of spirituality, and for some years I plied/played with spiritual forces that enabled me to become both rich, and relatively powerful in the world.
But essentially when one becomes aware that spiritual forces do hold a sway over your life, then the obvious question is to identify who is the MOST powerful spiritual force available to us.
Study of comparative outcomes allows one to recognise that if there are malevolent spiritual forces, then equally there should be benevolent spiritual forces.
Once that is established, the awakened person chooses which source they wish to utilise.
Yeshua, who found me 22 years ago and showed me His power, instructs us to assist non believers in how to regain their spiritual understanding, and only permits us to do benevolent acts towards others.
Self interest needs to be expelled, the interests of others must take precedence, and (for instance) spending valuable family time to answer this question is made in order that unawakened spirits may just glean a desire to search for their spirituality.
Ultimately some folk will never awaken to their true spiritual being, we are spiritual beings, eternal in nature, deciding by our actions, thoughts, deeds and choices, where we wish to spend our spiritual eternity.
This life is made as it is to guide us to an awakening, and if required force awakening on us.
The next few months could be very interesting spiritually, the grey areas are receding quickly, and each one of us alive will need to decide whether our trust is in a higher spiritual force (and the correct one) or in the world system.
Seeing what the world system has led us to, my choice is to look to the Highest Power for my eternal security.
If I were to be wrong, I would never know it!
"the interests of OTHERS must take precedence." Hmmm... "for MY eternal security." So your beliefs are for your own sake. You are ultimately trying to save yourself. That is the result you're trying to achieve.
John, fair enough that you feel you are spiritually awakened and that perhaps others are not. But my question is not in reference to that.... just please, if you can, answer the question.
Ruth, I am speaking pragmatically i.e. : dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories. Our eternal security (with God) comes only from believing in Yeshua.
John, I respect that you have those personal beliefs, but this thread is not intended to be about evangelism. Please be respectful of this.
Alan, not evangelism, just stating what I have found, but I will duck out if that makes it easier to control the thread.... funny, the questions seem to have taken over from the forum!
My Question was sparked by an experience in London on Sunday (yesterday).
I walked to Speakers' Corner at Marble Arch. There were many christians of various church groups. Many followers of Islam. Many people trying to put over their points of view, their attempts at evangelism and conversion. Lots of loud arguments going on.
I went along with the intention of joining in a discussion (, err, let's be truthful, an argument!) just for the fun of it.
But I got serious. All these people were "pushing" and mostly shouting their stuff. Most were not actually listening, with the aim of learning something new about the opinions of others.
So, instead, I shut up; didn't say a thing to anyone, just absorbed it and walked away.
My opinion is, as most of you know, that there is no God, no Heaven, no Hell, no Afterlife. So, really, I had nothing that anyone there would have been willing to accept.
My Question, you see, grew out of that experience. It's a genuine question, hoping to encourage anyone, of any persuasion, to look deeper at your belief(s), your faith, your religion. If it is strong and well founded, you will find your own answers will probably make it stronger still. If you are in doubt at all, then it (your answer for your self) might open doors and provide you with much food for thought and a new chapter in your life.
All in favour of people " If you are in doubt at all" examining their beliefs, how else will we learn what is truth?
If anyone is not SURE, they have no eternal security to speak of, or rely upon, best to deal with that, fast!
The big difference between christian and buddhist understanding, surely, is the former depending upon "external security" and the latter looking to "Inner Awareness" for an honest appreciation of all life.
I agree with you, jonnycomelately, people who call themselves Christians, don't like being contradicted and can get really angry (un-christian) when confronted.
So why do they think they need to believe in a God anyway? What good do they think it will do?
Ultimately, with everything in life, the reason we do things is because there's some gain in it for ourselves. That's not a bad thing. It's self-preservation.
No matter what it is - whether we're buying something, going somewhere, doing something...even having children - it's all about "What's in it for me?"
So why do people feel they need to please this so-called God? What's the real reason?
To gain eternal life.
That is what they believe is in it for them. If there was no reward at the end of it all, there would be no point in any of it.
It's not about living a 'good' life, pleasing god, doing unto others, etc. It's all about the end reward. All "christians" are promised eternal life.
And they'll never know if it's true or not till it's too late.
What I don't understand is why anyone would want to live for ever and ever. What's the point?
I don't have anything against Christians. Not at all.
I do however, have a distaste for hypocrites who always say they are Christians or that they believe in God, and then act the complete opposite way. They never (or very rarely) go to church and never live by the rules of the Bible. They don't act like Christ at all.
And if anyone believes that by living one particular way (Biblically) during their entire life will make them magically come back to life and live forever and ever, well, that's up to them.
Just don't be a hypocrite. Either do it or don't.
Either way, the only thing we are ALL guaranteed in life, is death.
Ruth, it's not just belief in god, but the black and white restrictions that people put around their god. So petty you could have no allegence to "Him" or "Her,"
"they'll never know if it's true or not till it's too late."
Actually, that statement is only valid for atheists or agnostics, if believers are wrong, they will never know..... on the other hand!
And is it really worth while worrying about it? This life is a maximum normal of 100 years long. "Live it for God's sake" might be a good motto for believers. You will be a long time dead and past worrying.
Yes, it's worth taking into consideration, if one is wrong, you may be a long time (eternity) considering.
Don't worry John. I am 100% comfortable to take that dead-cert chance!
Then you are a fortunate man Alan, I only need look at Gods creation to know something bigger is involved.
We are like ants, trying to describe an elephant, the only way to 'see' the elephant, is to explore it fully.
Oh, John, please don't suppose I negate the idea of "something bigger involved." That does not have to imply there is anything of consciousness for me or my "soul" after death.
Hi Alan. You have asked a really interesting question but let me share a fact with you. The problem you pose actually exists in every religion. The degree might vary but the existence of this predicament is omnipresent. The main reason is actually very simple. Beliefs play the most important role in the formation of a person's attitude. And attitude precedes reaction. Now the formation of beliefs majorly takes place during a person's childhood. If during his childhood, a person is exposed to the study of multiple belief systems, he would be very open to the discussions of other possibilities, otherwise not so much.
Let me give you an example. Suppose a father is holding his 3 year old son in his arms and in front of them is a painting of Lord Shiva. Now suppose the father points at the image and says, 'Look son, that's an image of God.' From then on whenever someone mentions God the image that will pop up in the child's mind will be that of Lord Shiva and the child will have problems in believing that there can be a different image of God too.
Thanks gaurav. There are those who are content to hold that image of Lord Shiva as a personal inspiration.... and those who would not feel comfortable unless everyone holds the same vision...true?
I get into discussions with people of different faiths. I find it interesting that mankind has had a sense of good and evil spirits as long as there has been man. Even tribes in South America with no contact with the outside world once contacted have shared stories of good and evil spirits. I can't imagine not believing there is not an afterlife. It makes no sense to me. Why are we here? Science deals with the physical world and religion deals with the spiritual world. Why would a Christian seek other possibilities? If they are comfortable with what they know and believe there is no reason to move on to something else. I don't think it's fear. I think it's being comfortable with what you believe and feel is right.
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