If I define "believing" (or "faith") as a kind of basic trust which makes life (or existence, or being, as you like) worth living in spite of everything, I do "believe". What I "believe" I cannot name -- not even "God," unless in a metaphorical way which doesn't make me a "believer" by common standards. In another sense, I believe that faith can and does survive belief in "God" (or any other particular belief).
Do you still believe?
I believe more than ever, its nice to not deal with that cult anymore.
Chimene:Not sure what you want to hear, given that the thread was directed at those who no longer believe
I'm an eclectic Christian. I worship out of a spontaneous reaction towards the one I interact with, however in JamesThomas-style, that's closer than a breath, rather than aloof and/or distant and "apart"
I would concur with the comment that someone recently quoted to me from a book about Eastern Orthodox Christian Mysticism: "God cannot be talked about but must be experienced".
I believe that can be experienced by a mind that's enlightened on passages of scripture, but doesn't necessarily come through from a straight and scientific reading. So many seem to read things looking for facts, rather than experiencing that which is behind the text.
Daystar:Would that make you a Deist?
I try not to get stuck in beliefs but rather entertain ideas...any and all ideas. That maybe we are all gods in the making and the challenges and trials we face are tools for our growth.
Maybe we are all parts of god put into a physical realm to experience a life not possible in the world of spirit.
Maybe humankind is one consciousness that is slowly evolving and we each have a special purpose or role and we find it when we follow our hearts.
I had a conversation with a woman the other day who had a near death experience when she was 9 years old. She was in a car accident, had a severe head injury and remembers leaving her body. "Like a genie out of a bottle" was how she described it. She was looking down at her body and it felt totally foreign to her, she suddenly felt much older than 9 years. She went on and on about it (I'll spare all the details) but it had such an effect on her. She is totally fearless and lives large. You can feel her confidence and conviction that there is something grand waiting for us on the other side.
Whatever the answers are I don't think we're supposed to fully know--it could cause us to miss out on the beautiful life right in front of us.
I try to apply Jesus statement of "surrendering our souls to save it" In other words don't worry about your salvation, have complete trust in the intelligence that Created you and live fully.
I DO believe in God.
If anything good I can say about JW Cult, that will be this: They poited me to EVIDENCE about God. What is the evidence ? The UNIVERSE. The limitless space and galaxies, the beauty and HARMONY of the creations point to INTELLIGENT Mind, and I have no doubt about that. Just THINK about our Milky Way Galaxy, or our Solar Sytem, how PRECISE It is. Planets in space. Our day and night cycle. You wake up, and there it IS ! A beautiful blue sky, warm orange Sun, fresh breeze of aromatic air with the scents of different flowers. Is It not wonderful ? And then the laughter of a child, the kiss of a loved one, the warm touch of a loving hand... The wonderful feeling of love...
Where it come form ? For me to be to love and to be loved is a beautiful thing.
I'm with much of what you said LittleToe. I think anything written is merely an attempt to explain the explainable. God can truly only be experienced...we all have a different concept of god in some way. When we can entertain others' ideas of god and not see them as right or wrong we can marvel at the unlimited variety of ways god can be revealed--or even not.
Works for me, bro. Judgmentalism is a barrier to every kind of good...
I did at first because what other christian religions taught was so different than what I had always been told they taught. But I still had questions like where did the Bible really come from and how did we get it. I started doing research, right here on jwd. Some of the older research threads are great and then I started digging on the internet and getting books that were recommended. Now I believe more in me and what I can do than in a divine being. Though sometimes I miss the days when I was part of a church, it was nice to belong, but still be able to choose to leave. I pretty much research myself out of any christian faith, and am now trying to figure out where to go from here.
BTW LittleToe, I listened to your talk the other day ...WOW that was amazing. I truly admire your courage and love. Thanks for the inspiration!
So many seem to read things looking for facts, rather than experiencing that which is behind the text.
Thanks Little Toe, that was exactly what I wanted to hear.