Introduction - Any Believers?

by Believer 240 Replies latest jw experiences

  • David_Jay

    Maybe I should explain what I don’t believe in.

    I don’t believe that religion of any kind holds all the answers, neither on an individual or worldwide basis. But I don’t believe that just because something is a “religion” somehow automatically disqualifies it from being something good.

    I don’t believe that living one’s life according to an ancient text, as if it was the basis for all truth, is logical. To me the Bible is the Word of God, but it’s not an exhaustive font.

    I don’t believe that atheism or agnosticism have no value. On the contrary, I know the world will be a lot better if we listen more than we speak, if we use a little more logic than blind zeal, and if we apply more critical analysis than credulity. I don’t think we can put faith, hope, and trust on the side (how can we have faith in one another if we do?), but neither do I believe that such or any other real virtues are the exclusive property of religion.

    I don’t think that the Judeo-Christian model of religion is superior, though I am a Jew. I don’t think that it is somehow more valuable, more “right” than Islam or Buddhism. But I also know there is a significant difference between the Catholic nun who spends her days bringing medicine and food to people in slums regardless if they ever convert and the Jehovah’s Witness who spreads false doctrine while judging all who do not accept his pamphlets as worthy of death in an imminent Armageddon.

    I don’t believe religion is supposed to give you all the answers.

    I don’t believe religion makes you better than a person who chooses not to be religious.

    I also don’t believe that having faith that a mountain will move and waiting for God to move it is what Jesus had in mind when he said “faith can move mountains.” If you don’t get up and attempt to move the mountain itself, then you don’t really have the faith that God will help you move it.

    And lastly I don’t believe in “believing” in God. Having a “mental concept” that God exists and fighting any doubt from coming in to challenge my ability to hold on to this conviction of the mind is a waste of precious time, mine and God’s.

    If I really believe there is a God, and I mean in a real way that makes that “belief” really mean something, I shouldn’t have to preach it or advertise it or print it up on a flashy website or well-illustrated book. Real things don’t need such trappings.

    My “belief” will be visible in how I don’t judge others. It will show in how I spend my time to be part of the solution, not one who complains there is a problem.

    It will be apparent in how I am more interested in you and what you cherish and in supporting you when you are down and need my help than converting you to my way of thinking. It will shine through in how I leave my precious beliefs and what I feel comfortable behind to fight outside my comfort zone for something that is right and important for you because you are more friend or neighbor.

    And my belief in God should never make you feel like I think you have to change whatever you are or whatever you believe in order to be happy. It should build you up in whatever you believe (or choose not to believe in).

    And lastly, it doesn’t have to be based in things that have “proof.” I can’t always prove that I have love in my heart, but I can show it. Some will likely judge my convictions as blind credulity, and that is their right, but they should never be able to say I leave them without proof by my actions, by what I do.

    God is not what we believe in or don’t believe in. It’s less important to argue about such things if we can’t keep from hating one another or killing one another or seeing ourselves as “us” and building up walls to separate us from “them.” If we don’t get along with what and who we can see, it’s a little illogical to argue and debate about something or someone we can’t.

    I can say that I believe this and that all day long, debate it with you until I am breathless even. But it really define me. What I am and what I do with my life defines me, not the creed I chisel into some lifeless stone.

  • cofty
    So if you are a ex-JW believer, like me, would you be willing to start a conversation about why you believe in God in spite of what the organization did to you? And in spite of the ridicule that might come? - Believer

    Hi believer welcome to the forum.

    If you get any ridicule for believing in god let me be the first to stand up for you. I was a born-in JW and then an evangelical christian for almost a decade after I left the cult. I have since rejected a faith-based worldview for one based on evidence. As a result I no longer believe in anything supernatural.

    I do frequently challenge faith and theism in particular. I think that all ideas should be held up to scrutiny, however I never ridicule people for their beliefs. It is important to separate ideas that do not deserve protection, from the people who hold those beliefs.

    Like you I used to think that the natural world provided evidence of a loving creator. During the last 10 years or so I have actually read a lot of the scientific evidence for evolution and was embarrassed to see how little I actually knew about the thing I used to criticise. I would encourage you to do the same.

    It is easy to look at the world through Disney glasses and forget that although it is awesome, predation, parasites, starvation, exposure and disease has been the lot of every beautiful creature that has ever lived for all the millions of years before humans even made their first appearance.

    By the way I see "TheLiberator" has offered to engage you in a PM conversation. Be aware that he is promoting a theology that by his own admission is 99% Watchtower. Proceed with caution.

    If you scroll to the bottom of this OP you will find links to the first 38 threads in a series presenting the evidence for evolution...

  • tor1500

    Hi Believer,

    I'm not an xJW as of yet. I'm so happy to see you on this forum. You mirror my thoughts. I still believe in God/Jesus. I know ttatt. How I manage to keep my faith is I see all that God had created, and how he has been in my life all along even if I didn't know it...I'm a newbie...The TRUTH IS MAN MADE like all forms of worship.

    I agree with you. Most folks on here are so angry at the org., that they are angry at God. Let's be real. or better yet, let me say this. Don't know who on here is black, white, or any other color. But if you do your research, Slavery was upheld by the masters using the bible to keep slaves under their the time blacks couldn't read so what did they know. So what am I saying...The bible in the wrong hands can be dangerous. When leave our relationship to God with people/man, well, all you going to get is man's interpretation. Are most people here angry with the org./God or themselves for letting someone take care of how they should worship. How many on here thought they belonged to God's org. & really was that the bait that made them stay in, did they feel above others that were not witnesses, did they shun folks, did they think too much of themselves and now they have discovered that the org., wasn't telling them the truth.

    When I started studying, I would read the bible then listen to them...saw many things did not line up with the bible. For instance Michael being Jesus, where in Hebrews it's says, "To what angel did God say you are my son" I think that's how it I continued to study I saw many things they were wrong about, but I pressed on. Man can even direct his own step. No matter where you go to worship, it won't be the truth...The Truth is in the Bible, whether you like it or not. Most folks don't like it because they see themselves & don't want to admit it.

    To all that read this forum...DON'T PUT YOUR FAITH IN MAN. He'll lead you astray every single time.

    I choose to believe, I'm not saying my faith won't be tested & won't get weak from time to time, but my belief in God is 4ever.

    Folks that believe in evolution, let's, let them have it...but just think, how did evolution play a part in our feelings our emotions...nope can't get emotions from a big bang...ok let's say we come from why haven't we met anyone who just became a human (someone walking around naked & saying...Hey, I just evolved from being a Monkey, what's this human thing about (LOL....why are monkey's still monkey's...

    Folks have free will to believe what they want...I choose to believe in God/Jesus no matter what the org. says, changes, etc. They are only men...

    I think many on this site are bitter...& maybe they have a right to be bitter...some folks here have had some bad things done to them thru the org., but let's be honest is was man, not was man using the bible to do what they want. Not what God said.

    I think many who were in the org. let someone else do the thinking for them. It's an easy way to worship, let them spoon feed you & you just swallow. It's just like life, no one can live it for you.

    I love reading the bible and learning of others faith in time of trouble and they have life lessons.

    Like you I don't have blind faith...I can read & when the org. says something that doesn't line up with the bible...I say...they will have to answer for that when they are judged. I know what God has said & I'm sticking to it...

    I'm not sure how long I will remain in the org. I'm ok, because I know it's not God's org. As I've said all over this forum, I take what I need & spit out the rest.

    We can't be so hard on those who don't believe in God anymore because of the org. One day we hope & pray that they'll come back to God & it doesn't have to be in the org.

    Believer I have so much to say...this is the first time I've found someone on this site that still believes and not bitter with God, even though you aren't in the org. any more. You have put a smile on my face...


  • humblepotato

    I am currently a believer.

    I see "evidence" of a creator... but not proof.

    But I also see "evidence" of evolution... but not proof. (Evolution in itself DOES exist, but the idea that life sprang from a common ancestor and evolved into what we know today, without the help of a so-called creator, is what I'm talking about. Lot's of evidence... it's not just undeniable proof. It's all to easy for me to say "God did it.")

    It just takes a lot of reading, studying, critical thinking, and pondering. But like you... I just can't imagine that this life is all there is. Even if the "afterlife" is a fairy tale... it currently brings me comfort.

    But it is VERY interesting to listen to all the different view points. Even if you don't agree with what is being said, it might intrigue you enough to do some research on said disagreement and form your own opinion.

    Welcome, by the way!

  • startingover

    Just curious Believer, were you a convert or a born-in JW?

  • cofty
    Most folks on here are so angry at the org., that they are angry at God ... I think many on this site are bitter... - Tor

    That has absolutely nothing at all to do with the reason I don't believe in god. It is a comforting thought for believers that others reject god for irrational reasons but it isn't true.

    Many of us ex-believers have an exceptional knowledge of the christian faith and of the bible. I lived as a born-again christian for almost a decade in total sincerity. I was led to a rational worldview by the evidence. The difference between us is that you know one side of the story and some of us know both.

    ok let's say we come from why haven't we met anyone who just became a human (someone walking around naked & saying...Hey, I just evolved from being a Monkey, what's this human thing about (LOL....why are monkey's still monkey's...

    It is only possible to say something like this and imagine you have raised some kind of objection by starting from a position of total ignorance of the facts.

    Please share which books that present the scientific case of evolution you have read.

  • DJS


    So you've waited this long to post such nonsense, huh? You clearly haven't been paying any attention to what and who atheists are. I know a lot of atheists, and none of them became atheists because they are angry at god or anyone else. They did so because, like me, they evaluated the evidence over many years. All of the atheists I know are some of the most rational, even tempered people I know.

    My own atheism is typical. It was a decades long journey spent studying, researching, evaluating and meditating. My lack of belief in god at no time was fueled by anger or any other emotion.

    The reality of it all is that our planet has been slammed into on many occasions by very large rocks, resulting in the end of life for many species, global climate change and a start over for the life that remained. Experts suggest that it is only a matter of time before that occurs again. If the rock is big enough, none of us will survive.

  • Believer

    Crazy Guy, I agree with you that we have a big problem with our ideas of God. Some think of God as a great genie in the sky who must bow to our every wish, or either as a great warrior who will terrorize any who dare to disagree with him. Not just some believers, but also atheists, because when atheists try to ridicule God, they ridicule those silly ideas about God. I think if we were more thoughtful of what God must really be like, we’d come up with better concepts.

    Azor, I don’t mind critiques. Really it’s the critiques I’ve read that made me really think and caused me to abandon some ideas I used to have about God that really don’t stand up to the evidence. I just wish the critiques can be shared with mutual respect rather than with ridicule.

    KateWild, thanks for the offer. I don’t presently have any questions about “ chemistry and enantiomers” (whatever that is), but if I someday do, I will certainly ask you!

    David Jay, I personally think your beliefs are healthy. There is no reason why a believer in God has to abandon reason, evidence, facts, discretion, or the common graces of mutual respect and service of one another. I think if more believers used the faculties God gave us, there would be a lot more unity in the world.

    Coffy, I see your point. I could see how looking at the realities of the natural world could cause us to question whether there is a loving, wise Creator. I’ve come to appreciate that there are other intervening factors that help explain the existence of predators, parasites, etc. And as for evolution, I don’t see why evolution proves there is no God. Why couldn’t God use evolution as the way he chooses to create things in the physical world? I’d imagine the creation of spiritual things would be instantaneously, but probably not physical things.

    Whew! I need a break!

  • cofty
    And as for evolution, I don’t see why evolution proves there is no God.

    You are absolutely correct, it doesn't.

    Why couldn’t God use evolution as the way he chooses to create things in the physical world?

    That is the position of a few well respected scientists. However the proviso is that we can't resort to complexity as an argument against evolution and we can't exclude humans from the process. We evolved from non-human ancestors over millions of years.

    I’d imagine the creation of spiritual things would be instantaneously, but probably not physical things.

    Not sure what you mean by "spiritual things"?

  • LisaRose

    Hello Believer, although I am not a believer, I am supportive of those who still believe. I just wanted to clarify that it was not the Watchtower or things that happened to me in the organization that made lose my faith in God. Rather it was that being forced to confront my faith in the Watchtower started a process of questioning things, and that process eventually led to me questioning my belief in God, although it was many years later.

    A small point, but one that is important to me.

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