Brotherdan, I can see that you are a sincere individual. You are entitled to your thoughts and opinions just like we all are. On that note, I do believe you need to reread your own posts to see that many things that you are saying will be found as insulting and demeaning to many people here. Your post hit a nerve with me as coming across as elitist. We’ve just come out of an organization that is elitist and I’m done with judging people – using the Bible or not. I’m not saying that you are but it did come across that way. The plain statement that there needs to be more of a Christian presence here begs the question of why?(Not that it's a bad thing but neither is it bad that they are not) People have come here because they have been suppressed, repressed, asked to have faith, no – told they MUST have faith, they’ve been put in a box and TOLD what they can and cannot do. They have been judged, mistreated, beaten by words, self-esteem stripped from them. Abused physically and mentally by men who repeatedly say they love them and base their actions on God. People should be accepted for who they are NOT what they represent or believe. People come here to get away from labels and to be accepted for just being them. The conditional love that we have been through is enough for a lifetime.
People grow, they mature, they change their views based on living and seeing and experiencing. It’s an ebb and flow of ideas and beliefs. We have not been allowed to do that! People need to find their own path. I am not against any belief system – we do what we can to survive. We are free to use our thinking abilities. It is NOT what we believe that makes us content or good people – it is what WE DO.
You said: I know, from my experience, that I could not be content knowing that there was nothing beyond myself. And when the Bible says that there is contentment only in knowing God, I believe it. I find GREAT contentment in knowing God.
You don’t want to believe you are alone and thus you look for justification to find that you are not. There is nothing wrong with wanting to believe something and looking for ways to support it. However, many others may feel the same BUT want the evidence of that rather than relying on their own wants or on faith. Just because I want and believe in something does not make it so.
I myself don’t know what to believe right now – I WANT to believe in God and I want to believe that the Bible is God’s word and that we have some other great fantastic life after this. Fact is I don’t know. My wanting it doesn’t make it so. Nobody has all the answers.
The Bible’s authenticity is a whole other topic. The Bible has been used for centuries to abuse and control; especially to control women. I have a real problem with the fact that it is in men’s hands and they say it is from God. They have done a LOT of damage. You would think that seeing all this abuse God would step in and make himself KNOWN to all. He apparently spoke thousands of years ago – why not now?
All scripture is inspired of God . . . inspired as in God communicated it to them OR inspired by their own thoughts of God? Big difference. I wasn’t there to authenticate it. As for prophecy – I’m sure people have a problem with that because WE CANNOT for sure know when books were written. They can and have been tampered with.
Sorry for the long winded post. I know your words are not meant to be cruel. You seem to be a loving and caring individual trying to find your own path and keep your faith in God your own way.
The only way to find truth is to challenge what we already believe. If it’s true it will stand up.