My personal opinion is that, YES, most Christians believe in God out of fear. And that starts when they are children. When a child is taken to church and told that he/she will burn eternally in the fiery pits of hell unless they follow the rules of the Bible and God's word, that instills fear.
I think believing in God is founded on the simple concept of fear. What are your thoughts?
I would agree, but I would add, that all rules(laws) are followed out of fear of some sort of reprisal. And that applies to all persons, not just those of faith.
I don't follow rules because of fear. I follow rules because I believe in what's right and what's wrong.
If you did something wrong...would you feel guilty? That is a reprisal...And I suppose I should have said...Almost all people.
sure, if I did something wrong I should and would feel guilty. But for me it stops there. I would try not to do that same wrong thing again, but not out of fear. Not out of fear of burning in eternal damnation.
Do you attach the ideas of good and bad to your sense of right and wrong? I mean, when you do wrong and feel guilty, do you feel guilty because you simply made an error (like dropping a glass when you intended to set it on a counter) or do you feel guilty because the wrong you did was a bad thing to do (like harming another without cause) . . . do you count harming another to be wrong because it's not following an agreed upon predetermined course of conduct - or do you think harming another (again, without cause) is bad?
Maybe on some level but I believe more out of faith. Faith that there is a God out there who loves us and forgives us. Faith that He sent His son to die for us so that we wouldn't have to burn in hell. All we have to do is trust and have faith.
You kind of proved my point. God killed his son so you wouldn't have to burn in hell. But, you won't burn in hell as long as you follow all the guidelines. Sounds like fear to me.
Burning in hell is the least scary aspect for me. Eternal separation from God is the aspect of hell that scares me the most. And it's not because I fear hell. It's because I love God and want to be with Him for eternity.
But that's not why I believed in the first place. When I became a believer, I didn't even have a clear sense of what hell was. I didn't fear it. I didn't even really believe in it. I believed in God and His love and Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross.
And it's not about following the rules. It's about responding to God's love. But if you're an atheist, you don't believe in God or His love, so you won't really have a clue what I'm talking about.
So do most Christians believe out of fear? I don't know. It was not the case for me, and I can say if the only reason they believe is so they can get a get out of hell free card, then they are definitely missing the mark as far as what it means to be a true Christ follower.
@workingmom: It's a bit presumptuous of you to say "you don't believe in God or His love, so you won't really have a clue what I'm talking about." I grew up as a Christian, my grandfather was a Baptist minister, I understand about God's love all to well.
I'm glad you don't believe in God out of fear, that makes me happy. I've known a lot of people who fear going to hell, fear God's wrath and fear not pleasing him. Fear is a very real aspect of the Bible and of Christianity.
Why do so many elderly people become very, very religious as they near death? Fear. I live in Florida, so I'm very familiar with elderly people.
Usually, people get wiser as they get older.
Many of those older people's fear is in fact wisdom; something we should all remember.
@brenda: sure, some people do get wiser as they get older, but a lot of them get scared because they are nearing death's door. I live in Florida, I see it every day.
That doesn't make their fear/wisdom any less valid. Death's door is a call to set one's spiritual house in order, to prepare for the afterlife no matter how close it is. God's mercy extends to even those who are at death's door if their hearts are open to Him.
@brenda, and then again, perhaps their fear is invalid. Fear for selfish reasons is ego (the master of this world). If, instead, they "fear" (respect and are humble toward) God, then their "wisdom" is valid. The gate is open to them.
"Fear" is perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, but every word in our languages is imperfect.
Fear of God is not about terror and fleeing. It is about humility under God with respect, love and awe. Big difference, but the way some people talk about it, they don't know this difference.
Perhaps we can "thank" the translators for coloring the meaning with human, mortal terms and attitudes.
If one approaches it from the viewpoint of beauty and wisdom, humility and grace, then there is no difficulty or conflict. A lot of Christians already get this, though they may not be able to verbalize it.
@cooldad, wow! Your granddad was a Baptist minister? That is "cool," in a way.
My maternal grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister and former missionary to Nigeria, Africa.
Choosing My Own Way
I left his church at about age 9. I fell under the spell of my father's interest in Eastern mysticism and philosophy. Then, at age 12, my father moved us from West Texas to D.C. so he could study Scientology. Later, I did, too. And later still, I turned to Buddhism, studying with Tibetan Buddhist monks in Los Angeles. I even was married to a beautiful Thai woman for awhile, going to the Thai temple every once in awhile. In the late 90's I turned to Judaism and the Kabbalah, then Christianity in a denomination of one.
A New View of Christianity
What I see in Christianity is far different than my grandfather's church. Yes, he preached hellfire and brimstone, and I chaffed under that troublesome yoke.
Exercising Free Will
Did I follow my father out of peer pressure? Not a chance! He would read softly to my politely listening (if not entirely interested) mother, and all three of my brothers and I would soak up the subject at every opportunity. There was truth and wisdom there that we could feel. This was entirely unlike the "dead" spirituality of my grandfather's church.
@lonestar: yes he was, but he was not a good person in any sense. He was a postman, had no education and became the town preacher. He beat my grandmother, my mother, then cheated on my grandmother with a woman on his mail route and had a child. His girlfriend became my new grandmother. He also taught me the word "nigger" and that black people were inferior. But he preached the word of god. I know all religious people aren't like him, but that was one of my early influences.
My parents never scared me into believing when I was a child. They always taught me that God was omnipresent and he was magnificent. I don't believe out of fear, I believe out of true faith. God was a Designer all you have to do is look around. He had a blanket canvas and painted it in many colors, shapes and sizes.
That's good, I'm glad you were taught that way because that's a much better way to be exposed to a religion. But unfortunately, there are millions of people who weren't taught that way.
@cooldad, I understand what you say.
One fellow hubber became an atheist because his Christian dad beat him regularly. Tough love, or merely laziness? All too frequently such violence comes from laziness, impatience and ego.
That's not the true spirit of Christianity. Instead, these so-called "Christians" are instead modern-day Pharisees -- only interested in self-appearances and peer pressure.... "What will the Joneses think of us!?" That's ego talking. That's the root of all evil -- the heart of selfishness.
@lonestar: while I had some bad religious experiences when I was young, that's not why I'm an atheist. I've always understood that there are good and bad religious people just like there are good and bad atheists. My bad experiences did lead me to seek something else and after many years, I became an atheist.
Well, do you beleive that when you die you will just be buried six feet under? That all we have is this life on this Earth, then that's it? What a way to live. I choose to have a faith in God, and know that I will be living even after I die. Do I believe because of fear? Well, maybe I do a little. I dont like heat, and fire..Lol...but I mean I truly beleive that there is a here after, and my life experience with God in my life is more positive because of Him. I never tell my childrent that they will burn in hell if they don't believe in God. I tell my children about what blessings, protection, and Love that God gives us if they choose to beleive. Interesting Hub!
I'm an atheist, but I won't be buried six feet under, I will be cremated and spread into the sea. I love the oceans. "what a way to live", you say. I personally think believing in God and an afterlife is ridiculous, but I'm not here to mock your beliefs. I respect your beliefs even though I disagree. Thank you for agreeing that you do somewhat believe out of fear, that's my question.
But shouldn't you tell your children that they will burn in hell if they don't follow the Bible's principal. If you are going to believe, shouldn't they understand the possible consequences of that belief system? Of course, I'm not talking about saying that to young children, I'm not a sadist.
I would love for you to read some of my hubs about religion, god and atheism, I think you could make some positive contributions.
I also respect your beliefs, but I have experienced all my life, and I dont mean to offend you, but that atheist people are usually cold hearted, and always are mocking the christians. I truly feel that we all have free will to believe, and live the way we choose. I am not trying to change anybody. But I can say that God has been there for me. My question to you is, where to you go, or what practices do you do being an athiest when things go wrong in your life? I have prayer, what do athiest have. I truly do not know. As for my children, I would rather they hear from me that there is of hope and joy in beleiveing in God,. then they grow up and get sucked into a acult type religion that promises them eternity if they shave their heads and hop on one foot, so to speak. They of course do understand that for there to be a heaven, there has to be a hell. This is why God sacrified his son, so that I don't have to go to hell. Did you have a bad experience in Christianity? I'm just curious. I'll take a look at your hubs,
Then you believe in an afterlife? Why else would you care what's done with your body? You'll be dead then.
I can't speak for anyone else but that was certainly the case for me.
No definitely not. Since God is "LOVE" unconditional love, what is there to fear.
God is my heavenly father,creator,provider,teacher,friend,savior. What is there to fear in this God?
I think most people of sincere faith believe out of a desire for friendship with that which is Supreme.
A "real" christian is goina believe for love not hate.
Hate never brought about anything that was worth keeping. !!
"Hate never brought about anything that was worth keeping."
Agreed, except for sin itself, for if we did not continue to hate sin, we would grow complacent about it. Hate may bring about a change of conscience regarding it. Without recommending it, a lot of people experience real change for the good once they have experienced the pricks of conscience that God provides the sinner, whose sin may be hate itself.
Yes - the bible is full of hatred. How strange that you cling to it so.
Perhaps Evolution Guy, my editing is not up to par with yours. I do not condone sin, nor do I recommend it. This includes the sin of hate.
Perhaps however, to give you the benefit of the doubt, you are referring to the vengeance of the Lord spoken of in the Bible. This is something He reserves as part of His own sovereign jurisdiction.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
“Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.”
2 Nephi 28:16
“Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.”
“Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.”
“And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God.”
Please stop lying at me. You just condoned the sin of hate a few moments ago. I have quoted you to show this.
What a nonsensical religion. Do you even know what you are saying? Because it appears not.
Hating sin is good, but hating is a sin and you don't recommend it except when you do?
me thincs EV gie ought to take some english reedding lesons allredy why dun you, god dunnit?
Odd - I quoted you condoning and recommending hatred. In black and white. Your words. This is why your religion causes so many wars.
Liars for Jesus(TM)
Sorry Evolution Guy, will you forgive me for my blatant condescension, I have not reached seventy times seven times in forgiving your condescension? I am just too tired to continue today with this unimportant squabble; I should have disregarded your argument in an effort to keep my respects for you up. Until next time then … P.S. You have adopted quite a Trade Mark!
No god required to understand one's own conscience.
Hi Timothy. I have a question, because this constant conversation with Christians about sin always keeps me confused. I always think of a line from the movie Witness. The grandfather said to the something like, ' Come down from the mountain and be ye separate.'
I've always thought that was a good way to describe how you should be. Separate your beliefs from the those of the world. Not be Quaker, or anything. But, hold yourself to the standard of your beliefs. I've never quite understood the mainstream Christian thing of expecting everyone to conform. It seems to lack a faith in humanity that should be the cornerstone of faith in God. I mean, doesn't God look for the good in those who believe? I think everyone, if they lived in line with their own conscience and didn't follow, would live a better life.
I would disagree, solely because I don't remember hell being brought up in church when I was a kid. I don't remember my parents ever discussing it. I think the non religious focus too much on the concept.
I think strong belief is like strong disbelief. It's emotional. I don't really understand it, myself. But I don't think the emotion is fear, coming from either side.
I vividly remember hell being brought up in church in almost every sermon at some point. I used to be religious and I'm speaking from my personal experiences. I wasn't always an atheist. I grew up going to church, I graduated from a private religious college. I would think most people who grew up in churches, would remember discussions about hell. But I'm not you and I'm only speaking from what I remember.
Well, I find it difficult to believe that people would take a child to a function once a week that drilled something this foolish into their heads. I do realize there are Pentecostals and what not out there, but they only account for a tiny portion of the figures.
I can't imagine anyone being irrational enough to follow a religion out of fear of hell. It defies reason. I prefer to think they are more intelligent than that.
Isn't that Christianity in a nut shell? All a kid has to do is read a few pages of the Bible and Hell looks inviting.
The Bible certainly isn't a children's book. Heck, even learned scholars can't agree on the meaning of more than half of it. But, I don't remember studying the Bible in church as a child. I do remember tie dying t-shirts. Good times, if I remember.
I don't think Christians are scared, I think of many of them as joiners and followers. People like to belong and most Christian churches are little more than a social club. If hell was the topic of the day in all, there would be a whole lot less of them. Imo.
That's a very good point. "church ain't nuthin' but a fashion show," Ice Cube once said.
It's strange to me that a book full of such confusion is followed by so many. Interesting.
Tell me why there are people who walk around with some ball player's number on their shirt and pay an exorbitant amount of money for the shirt so they can do it. Why bar room brawls break out during a game. Why cliques form. People are joiners.
Heck, my husband was at a convention when some Nascar driver died and he said the seminars that day were empty. People were in their rooms crying. Jeezopete. Where's the sense in that?
Explain the logic in all of the above and you'll have humanity in a nutshell. Religion falls within our desire to belong to something bigger than our own little island.
@emile: more good points. Personally, I believe most people are inherently selfish, stupid and ignorant of real life. Just watch a "reality" show.
Don't get me started on Nascar and sports. I grew up as an athlete, I'm very familiar with people wanting to belong to a group. I enjoy sports, but I understand it's just entertainment and if I ever cried over a sports figure, shoot me in the mouth and bury me.
I think its Christians that taught themselves to fear. Christians and Muslims seem to be scared to death of punishment.(at least the devout ones) Most dont though. And i think even fewer Jews are afraid of god then that.
The church would look at fear as the thing as respect
Where normally fear is not respect, but simply fear itself, as in fear of the unknowns. A phobia that is bad for your health or controls your actions,it's created in a over ego group for the feeling of power, not the same as respect normally.
I think fear is a great motivation for atheists too. Many cannot face the prospect of an eternal existence among Christians.
Wow, I've never heard that one before. Interesting thought. I'm a non-angry atheist. I'm happy that there are millions of people who think differently than I do. Life would be boring if we all believed the same thing. I'm interested in learning how people arrive at their belief systems.
I think it is out of fear to a degree, or it depends on the person who's believing,I also believe it is such a money making busines that I thought of starting one myself. I do believe there is something greater than us, one day I will find out but until then I'll just believe.
'Fear is wisdom'. The only times I have ever heard that concept was in war movies.
Proverbs 9: 10:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding."
There. Now you've heard it from the word of God.
How many thousands of years ago was that written? Did God pen that himself or just whisper it into someone's ear? Sorry, but I view the Bible as just a work of fiction. It has some great stories, but mostly fiction.
And what exactly does that mean? To gain wisdom one must fear the Lord? Interesting. I guess that answers my question, at least Christians should believe out of fear.
@Cooldad. Try this. Replace the word "fear" with "humility."
If a scientist thinks he "knows it all" and attempts to "study" something, he will likely miss out because he blinds himself with his own arrogance. He has forgotten the original intent of skepticism -- restraint! (humility)
No one learns unless they are humble in the face of that learning. Arrogance only gets in the way -- effectively saying, "You can't teach me anything."
Haven't you ever seen a kid who was too big for their britches? "You can't teach me nuthin!" (Oh, really?)
You see. All this time, the answer to "biblical fear" was simple, but because people like you already "knew it all," you didn't look for the true meaning. That's arrogance. Now, don't you just feel the ego rebelling against being called "arrogant?" That! Ego! That's the true enemy, here. Not you, not me, not religion or science. Ego is the source of all trouble and evil. For ego is the opposite of humility.
Humility is the "fear" that one must cultivate in order to learn anything ... anything! Calculus, astrophysics, how to tie your shoes,... anything.
Hope this helps. If you get this one point, then the adventure of discovery really can begin.
@lonestar: I don't know of any scientists who think they "know it all", I think that's a huge generalization without foundation. Scientists are scientists because they want to continually learn more than they know.
I write about ego and its negative affects all the time. I very much agree that ego is a huge problem.
I understand that I know very little in the grand scheme of the universe, that's why I try to learn as much and as often as I can. If I was presented with credible evidence to support God being real, I would believe. But that hasn't happened yet.
And Brenda, such understanding only comes after humility. Any other attitude only gets in the way. This applies to scientists in science as well as a child learning their multiplication tables.
Humility under God allows for the true self (the child of God, within) to awaken. Then, knowledge of all is possible. This is the method of "asking" so that you may "receive."
@Cooldad, did you base your conclusion on a survey, or on "gut feeling?"
You oversimplify. Personally, I think most any group is motivated by carrot and stick, not just the stick. Communism tried just the stick, but that resulted in apathy, not motivation. And they couldn't do pure "stick," either. They prized and highly rewarded their brightest and best, but that approach didn't filter all the way down, so the lowly workers were not inspired to do anything more than the minimum required.
But even the carrot and stick misses out on one important element -- ego.
If a Christian grows up in a family of Christians, then the desire to be seen in a good light (ego) compels them to believe as others do. Not a pretty picture.
Much of the biblical "fear" may merely refer to "respect" and "humility." Not what we normally think of as "fear."
The only way to reach one's spiritual half and to awaken that half is through humility. This might be compared to "fear" of God. This is not the type of emotion where one flees in terror. This brand of "fear" is compatible with love and awe, but also respect and humility. To look at it merely as the "fear" we humans traditionally think of, greatly oversimplifies the true meaning.
And yes, Homo sapiens bodies did pen the Bible, but those bodies were controlled by enlightened spiritual beings (at least some of them), guided by the Almighty.
And @cooldad, you'd be surprised at the non-fiction contained in this book (the Bible). But if you've already judged it, then, like a bad scientist, you won't look any further. Such a know-it-all attitude is not what science or any other quest for answers is about. You win kudos for asking your recent flurry of compelling questions. But are you really trying to learn, or are you merely creating a forum for ranting an idée fixe?
@lonestar: i don't have a conclusion. I posed a question based on what I thought. My perception, my opinion and what my personal experiences have led me to believe about fear and religion.
See, the "guided by the almighty" part is what I don't believe and what can't be proven or explained. I'm not surprised at the non-fiction aspects of the Bible, actually many of the stories are abhorrent and disgraceful to me.
I've never pretended to know more than anyone else, never, that's not who I am. I pose simple questions and people reply how they want. Then when I continue to question, the answers are generally the same; biblical quotes and spiritual nonsense and very little in the way of real substance. Just faith.
Of course Christians believe out of fear and any single one of them that says different, isn't being honest.
They fear their "spirit" needs to be saved. They realize they are only human and don't really deserve to be saved, but fear not being saved more.
Ironically, making them gullible.
I have to disagree with you on this one, and I am being honest.
Cags, is it possible that you do not know the motives of everyone's heart? I believed and responded to God's great love for me .. no fear was in me the day I finally understood that God so loved me and that He was the one who created me (and all of his creation) for a purpose ... I had always wondered how this intricate world was designed. I felt there had to be a creator and if there was and the creator was good .. He would not just create me and then throw me on this earth-place to fend for myself. I fell on the ground as a teenager and prayed ... saying .. God if you are real please show me how I can know you. God answered that prayer within a year. My girlfriend's dad sat down with me, he opened up God's word and explained that this was no ordinary book .. but it was God breathed and His message to mankind. That night I learned that God was real, eternal and YES he had created me. I gave my life to Him that day and to this day I marvel at His unconditional love for me.
We've talked before dear man .. I have felt you have been kind to me. Just felt I needed to speak up here and take issue with your statement about honesty..
Never said I did. I do know the basis for behind being honest and true to self, because I live it day to day.
This is intellectually dishonest. Purpose is created by the individual and cannot ever be granted or given. Why? Because, then you are not guiding yourself. And, if you're not guiding yourself, then you're not being honest with yourself about understanding your own life.
but Cags did you not say "Of course Christians believe out of fear and any single one of them that says different, isn't being honest." You said ANY SINGLE ONE .. You did say that.
Interesting. Intellectually dishonest? That would be true if there were no God who created mankind. If there were no God than yes I would then be the sole god of my own life. In my searching I yearned to know what life was about. We are born .. we do the best we can and then weu die .. Intellectually I knew there had to be more. I believe that the God of the Universe... the creator of all mankind has a plan and a destiny for each of those he created. He was faithful to answer me in my pursuit of Him and show me that he is not a cuss word but a Holy God deserving of my devotion..
I know this discussion could turn into a debate - but knowing that our bottom line belief is the foundation for both of us .. debate is futile. I respect your right to believe as you do and to voice it too.
And you can prove this not using anything from a religious book, right?
You are, but choose not to accept it.
What life is about? I wondered the same thing when I was younger. Then, I search, researched, gain knowledge and experience, then discerned wisdom, which gave me the answer.
It wasn't intellect that lead you to think that. It was emotion.
Divinity, like spirituality, was a fantasy sold to the gullible for control by others.
Really? Or did you attribute what you don't know or understanding to something else, just to make yourself feel comfortable?
You would be wrong. It's nothing to do with belief. Common sense says that beliefs are to not to be solidified, simply because life is ever changing. Therefore, it stands to reason that beliefs are also ever changing and anyone who chooses to not change their beliefs, doesn't understand their own life.
I have no belief whatsoever with regards to a god existing. It's too irrational and makes absolutely no sense with the knowledge available to humankind at this present point in time.
If I thought the Bible was a religious book - nope couldn't prove it. I believe the Bible is God breathed, His very words and is true.
You assume much and judge much Cagsil. You do not know me yet you tell me that my decision was emotional.
I agree with you that life is ever-changing but God never changes.
Apart from 'a religious book' I observed the fingerprints of a creator everywhere in our universe .. it was creation that caused me to question, with my mind, how it all happened and led me to seach for the mastermind behind it all.
I did not grow up in a Christian home and had never read the Bible - so it was not a 'religious book' that brainwashed me or caused me to seek truth. It was Creation!
I find it hard to believe an intellect can look at creation, with all of it's intricacies, and NOT believe there is a creator. I mean just look at the complexities of life. Does one think that something so finite as an Amoeba, living cells/organisms just happened? How can a person come to such an irrational conclusion?
Romans 1:20 20 "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."
Can I prove this to you .. once again - nope -only God can prove this to those who seek Him.
You believe the bible isn't a religious book? Oh wow! This conversation is now over. That means, you refuse to accept human definition for the book. That alone speaks volumes about your state of mind.
Nothing in my post was an assumption.
You're right, I did. And, I don't need to know anything about you judge your actions, which is my right. If you don't think I have the right to judge your actions, then try making other humans believe that as well and please don't ever break a law.
Okay, I'll agree. Your god cannot change, because it doesn't exist, except in your mind.
You started out with a bad assumption to begin with. Where did you get your assumption from? Just in case I lost you...who said anything had to create the Universe?
Oh, so you're saying that you have attributed the Universe and everything in it, to something you have no possibility of ever understanding? WOW!
Really? You do realize that wisdom is greater than intellect?
That depends on what you mean by "Life"? Are you talking about Earth? The Universe? The Human Body? Do try to be a little more specific.
It didn't just happen. It's actually a part of a process.
Sorry, no irrational conclusion here.
I see you bring scripture to the conversation. So much for a rational discussion.
Conjecture, solely based on a book that is purely steeped in mysticism. Good job.
I meant to include the word 'merely' or 'just' a religious book. You said "I see you bring scripture to the conversations, so much for a rational discussion." I believe the scripture is truth - you believe the scripture is irrational. There can be no understanding when our belief's are so opposite but there can always be respect. Having said that I accept and respect your freedom to voice your beliefs.
I was hoping that this conversation would not lead to insults . but you have gone there, so I have to agree with you that this conversation is now over.
Please quit trying to claim things I say as a belief or something I believe. Secondly, truth is universal. It's not subject to you individual perception or interpretation.
There cannot be understanding between two people, when one is irrational and the other is rational. I've not told you what my beliefs are and to be honest, they are not your business.
Again, quit calling what I am saying as a belief. It's not.
And, where did I insult you? What exactly were you offended by? I'm curious.
Not true. Christians don't "fear" that their spirits need to be saved. They know it. Any honest person will admit that they're not perfect and that if they've lived for more than a few years on this rock, they've done bad things that have consequences and can damage relationships. Christians believe out of hope for reconciliation, not fear of retribution.
I f were honestly a christian then like the rest, we all know christian believe in hell. Your most important choose in life is you must obey or go to Hell. Then we have most christian that do believe, most people will go to hell, including christians.
Now tell me, is any of these Christian fearless of anything?
Do most of these Christians obey fearing God, as it's written to do so?
I learned to how jump my motorcycle, even though I feared crashing the thing.
I learned how troubleshoot 600 VAC circuits, even though I feared getting shocked (real bad).
I learned about the nature (ethos) of God, even though I STILL fear dying in my sins.
I put forward the notion that a true (and sincere) belief is "a study in comprehension", in that it is really a verb, not a noun; also, that one's belief is either ever-expanding, or ever-contracting, in that once one is "familiar" with unfathomable lies, one tends to seek out the truth, which is a never-ending process, leading to greater and greater things.
Inquisitive people, no doubt, have an inherent interest in their own salvation - salvation from all the confounded evil that is craftily placed (ironically) adjunct to the truth. As one finds a morsel of truth, it is delicious to them, and they naturally seek out more, unless they have resolved to forever satiate their minds with the opposite. Hopefully then, one's "study in comprehension" will direct them to learn more of the truth, instead of more of what is off-the-mark.
If I was a General, and knew that one plan ended in defeat, I would not familiarize myself further with its details. If I esteemed to be a proficient woodworker, I would not pursue the study of electricity, nor would I study Darwinism to understand Creationism, even though I “fear” neither the concept of Darwinism nor Creationism, except to say that one would be a waste of time as far as my salvation is concerned.
There are forums like this all over the internet. Always someone out there that has to "debate" religion or what people choose to believe in.
Gah, cooldad is too adept at drawing people into his miry questions. So here's my take. I started off clueless about religion for the most part because I declined to embrace a Baptist faith that was prevalent in the house I grew up in. I didn't grow to hate it, I just had no interest in it when I was young. It bored me.
As I discovered more about nature, from being outdoors, my mind started to ask questions. This was all designed too well for it to be chance, thinks I. I read Franklin, Emerson, Thoreau. I find God accidentally, basically - through just examining His world and Word - something that Baptist church, with its windy and formal sermons, could never achieve. It came not from fear, but from understanding, cooldad.
And an old wise man once told me that less than 10% of atheists choose God as death approaches. He said they had already closed their ears off from hearing God, and would be too stubborn for those beliefs to be changed by something as small as fear of going into a sure nothingness.
Condescending drivel. You understand nothing if you think nature must have come from majik.
So - you do not understand - therefore there is a god. Which god did you decide dunnit?
@dungeonraider: your profile name paints an interesting picture of you in my mind, it involves basements, parent's house, sweat pants, cheetos and web cams (sorry, couldn't resist)
Miry is a great word and I plan on using it more often, thanks for that. I'm glad that your religion is not based on fear, that's wonderful. But, many people are guided by fear. Ah, you are the irreducible complexity type, well done for that. It's such a fancy replacement for faith.
You should read my hubs sometime, I welcome your comments, you may be able to add some fun to my page.
Oh no, an Evolutionist! Someone spray the room! Talk about condescening...
Will do. Its a debate worth having, no doubt. (If I had web cams I'd have original pictures in my hubs...jeez)
Its sad that people use hell to frighten children. God as I know him is love. Unconditional love.
I grew up Catholic and I think the Catholics have a firm grasp on religion. I don't understand faiths where small children are threatened with hell.
If the New Testament is to be believed then God stands there with out stretched arms ready to accept anyone. John 3 - 16 is in the Bible and means what it says. It is not open to interpretation.
Most people believe because they were born in family of believers ..Fear sets in afterwards ...but yes those who dig deeper can't leave religion because of fear and it is not just about christianity ,fear in inherent tool of most religions...
Welll, Cooldad, do you drive on the right side of the road out of fear? Fear is a good thing.
When I was growing up, there was a fundamental belief that said you should fear God and fear him out of what he would do if the precepts of the bible were ignored. That was bad teaching and is philosophically in direct contradiction to the heart of God. We don't serve or shouldn't serve God out of the fear of what he can do, but the truth is that fear is more like a reverence for who God is and should be to us. In the 70's, fear was used as a reason to get people to come to church. Think, even now, when something happens, when war breaks out or a natural disaster takes place, the fear of it all turns people to God -a ridiculous notion. If there are Christians that are serving out of fear, they are serving out of a false notion and an improper notion. IJS ...
Maybe this has something to do with it?
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13
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