Introduction - Any Believers?

by Believer 240 Replies latest jw experiences

  • prologos
    Believer: "Prologos, it can be confusing when we start labeling ourselves and each other – atheist, deist, theist, etc. I really don’t know which definition fits me.--"

    accepting a labeling into a category, can be timesaving, as each belief system has a definition, and a list of personalities that held those convictions; and then,-- rather than at length defining personal beliefs, one can proceed to precise questions like: "-- why as a deist do you believe that the maker is now personally involved in evolving events at all?" --no, because--

  • rebelfighter


    Never a JW, raised a Lutheran and gave up on religion at the age of 50. I now believe very strongly in God or a Supreme Being and I am very spiritual. I cannot say that I believe in all of the Bible.

    I believe that God if he had created Religion he would have created one religion so all of these religions are man made.

    I believe that God wants us all to love one another and live in peace. We should take care of each other and help the less fortunate.

    I know that something much stronger then me has held me up through some mighty tough struggles in my life and he has given me the strength to carry on. We have walked this path together for 65 years and I am not letting go anytime soon.

    Why I believe or what I believe may not be written in a book or have an exact name but it gets me through daily life.

    For me I accept other people's beliefs unless they are harmful to people like the JWS. I have been a life long advocate for children, women and gays.

  • Believer

    Dubstepped, I was apprehensive about posting here and but my experience so far has been rather mild. The scenario you described is the norm. The loudest voices tend dominate, but that isn’t proof that they have convinced anyone. They have only caused believers to be more careful about where and how they share their beliefs.

    I personally don’t mind the questioning. As many people here say, especially atheists, if what one believes is true then it should be able to stand under scrutiny. I believe that and I will do my best to stand. I just wish I had more time to answer each one. It’s questions that helps refine faith and beliefs. Even if loud voices shout, I think the believers who are lurking or reading along may gain something from the interchange. And maybe, just maybe, something will be said to make even the atheist pause.

    The saddest thing to me about atheism is the way the proponents resign themselves to the same destiny as the unreasoning animals. They don’t seem to understand that man is different for a reason. We start as animals, but that is only the beginning of the journey of life. They are choosing to get off the ride before they even get to the first turn.

    But it’s getting late here and I have many things to do. I want to respond to just one or two more comments and then I gotta go. Perhaps I’ll start other threads to continue discussion along this line in future days. If I do, I’ll look forward to your input.

  • Believer

    Giles Gray, “inspired by” doesn’t mean God wrote it. I means God was the inspiration, the muse. That’s all. People may redefine the word, but look it up in any trusted dictionary. Also when you consider the crude and elementary understanding of so many things in the Bible, its pretty clear that an all wise and loving Creator could not have been the actual author. And the Bible doesn't say that God wrote the Bible. A better example of a book written by God would be Jesus. His life was the personification of the word and will of God. And that is actually what the NT says.

    Now, the questions you ask are questions that would be posed by a mind that cannot really know anything. So flighty and philosophical. Like, “How do you know that blue is really blue or just what you have been told to call blue?” It is hard to have a conversation with a mind that thinks like the wind. But let’s do this another day, when you have real questions that can spark an intelligent conversation.

    Good night all.

  • startingover

    Believer, you said: The saddest thing to me about atheism is the way the proponents resign themselves to the same destiny as the unreasoning animals. They don’t seem to understand that man is different for a reason. We start as animals, but that is only the beginning of the journey of life. They are choosing to get off the ride before they even get to the first turn.

    I disagree, man is not different. Humans may be advanced, but in the end they all die just like the animals. Any belief beyond that has never been proved and IMO is just a fantasy. I realize some need that to get through life, but many of us don't. I suggest you have the "god gene". You have that need and will do anything to fulfill it.

  • GrreatTeacher

    "Unreasoning animals?"

    Many, many, many animals can reason, including crows. Mammals, mice, even octopuses can solve problems.

    We are animals, not qualitatively different than many other species, though our brains may be a bit bigger.

    It saddens me when people consider animals as lessor and treat them badly for that reason. A dog on a chain feels depression the same way the human animal does; through neurotransmitters in the brain. They feel distress at losing an offspring the same way we do; through stress and anxiety mediated by hormones. Hormones drive their mating behavior as it does ours.

    The more similar a mammal is to us, the more similar the body functions. Fight, flight, or freeze reactions just like us. Ever been so scared your hair stood up on the back of your head? That's how animals feel when they face a threat and the hair stand up on their back.

    Our bodies work the same basic way. We are mammals, and yes we can think and reason, but so do other so-called "lessor" animals. We are excellent predators, but we're certainly not at the top of the food chain. Bears, crocodiles, big cats (mountain lions) are all OUR predators and make us their prey often enough.

    There's humility involved when you realize that we're just an animal, no better or worse than all the others. We feel emotions and so do they. We're social animals and need people just as social animals need to be around others of their species.

    When we treat them badly or as less than us, it only makes us look less than.

  • startingover

    Thanks for that GrreatTeacher! I agree with everything you said.

    Believer, can you give me a search phrase to all those books you speak of? I haven't been able to find anything but things I would consider biased.

  • GrreatTeacher

    You're welcome, starting over.

    I get upset when, first, people think they are not animals, and second that they think they are better or superior to all the other animals.

    God said to keep all the animals under subjection? Nope. Men decided to justify their doing of that when they wrote the scriptures and created god.

    God is made in man's image.

  • OutsiderLookingIn

    Welcome! To answer your question, I'm a believer. I believe in God and Jesus. I can also agree that most of the major life principles are common to all religions. I've never been a JW so some may say I just maintained what I've known my whole life and to be sure, I was always aware of the Christian basics. But when it's in your heart, it's something altogether different and that was only within the last few years. I can't explain it more than something just clicks.

    No, being a believer does not mean checking your brain at the door and the fact that people absolve personal responsibility or action in the name of religion is just silly. I'm always reminded of the parable of the servants given a certain amount of talents. What God has given us, we should use to its fullest potential, not sit idly by and literally bury our talent til the day he returns. That's the exact opposite of what God would have us do. Believing is not about having all the answers or thinking "I've arrived". I know I don't and I know I haven't. It doesn't mean a plastic smile or that you're always happy. Pain and loss are very real parts of life. It doesn't mean disrespecting or thinking less of people because they think differently; we all have our paths to take. It's surrender, and in doing that, the wisdom of the Bible clicks for me more and more. I'm more conscious of how I interact with people; it's not about judging others as much as it's about being the best person I can be in Christ. I guess that's the long answer

    p.s. it may not be a popular sentiment (then again, neither is being a believer on this site lol), but I feel no need to shy away from the OT completely. Part of the difficulty is the huge cultural divide; we just don't get it nor do we have to in the modern world. I used to avoid the OT as well, thinking God was scary and mean. But what He really is is sovereign. He can do as He pleases. God is loving, but He can also be angry and brokenhearted. As humans, we aren't one-dimensional. We have a full range of emotions; why would we expect less of God? When after all, we were created in His image. There are also tremendous acts of mercy and justice in the Old Testament and it wasn't just limited to Israel. And in the final act, we won't be judged for what happened to us but for what we did. That's my take on it.

  • 2+2=5

    Hi Believer.

    I have read through this entire thread and I have no idea what exactly you believe, who you perceive to be God or why or what exactly you believe this God is. It's all become vague and incoherent to myself. Talking about the truth in scripture whilst discarding the bible and something about belief coming from the soul..... I can't follow it. I will try and sharpen up though because it sounds like a fascinating conversation.

    I was believer when I first lurked here. I was eager to contribute to the debate but I noticed something as I read through the countless pages of different threads. If I wanted to have a meaningful contribution to the conversation, I needed to increase my knowledge and understanding. So that I did.

    As my understanding increased, I became very aware of my ignorance. I didn't know shit. But that's fine, I live by this now, and it serves me well. I don't know shit.

    It's easy for those who cherish and gain great comfort from their religious beliefs to get scared away from this place. Those believers usually don't offer any logical or coherent explanations, do not present any evidence but instead refer to some internal 'knowing' or some other untestable form of evidence that exists with them or inside them or something, yada yada ....... basically they don't know shit, get offended and leave.

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