And by the way . ...
I WANT TO believe the Bible. I really do. I'm not looking for any and every technicality to get out of following "the Good Shepherd". I don't feel SO BURNED by the JWs that I've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
I really want to believe it. I have prayed about it, read all kinds of church history, history of the bible (both PRO and CON), and read tons of contemporary Christian leaders writings. I want to have that kind of faith.
But I find it hard to believe that God doesn't want me to "think". If there is a God, I believe he gave us our powers of reason and ability to learn and deduce and be logical for a reason.
It would seem incompatible that God would allow faith to override reason and simple logic, because it would be so easy for Satan (if there is a Satan) to make evil seem like truth. It requires logic and reason to find the truth of a matter, and faith does nothing but get in the way of it (much of the time).
Sure, there is a place for faith. As an example: If you are a football player, you could have faith that your football team can overcome the other, better, team. But if you are a local city league team and you are playing an NFL team, no amount of faith in the world is going help you to overcome that pro team. Sorry but it ain't gonna happen. Logic and reason has to step in at a certain point and override your faith.
With many Christians (and JWs), that is simply too much to handle. For this reason I believe that religion in general (including Christianity) seems to be a sort of therapy for people that can't accept responsibility for their own actions. It is therapy personified. "Turning your life over" to something means not having to figure things our for yourself. I don't think that is necessarily a negative - just like some people need medication to take the stress of life of, others need religion, and others have learned that the secret of life is that there really is no secret.
Now I'm rambling ... but I just wanted the Christians on this thread that tend to look down their noses at the ones that have honest questions about Christianity to know that there are people on here that GENUINELY WANT TO BELIEVE the bible and pray for it.