Do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?
Even some of the greatest minds will admit that although it is highly unlikely that God exists, they still cannot prove that he/she does not exist.
This is what I base the POSSIBILITY of there being a divine creator; that and my hope and faith that there is one.
You'll notice that I never (or rarely) speak in absolutes, because somedays I have faith and others not.
Keep questioning and testing why you still believe the Bible could possibly be 'the word of God'. Read up on Biblical scepticism and explore why so many reject the Bible and religion as untrustworthy. I recommend www.infidels.org as a great resource.
Keep testing every assumption you've held and peeling back the layers of belief you've accumulated or had imposed on you since childhood.
You're on the right path to intellectual enlightenment and freedom.
Sometimes I wonder if Christianity and the concept of Jesus was invented to merely control people.
Don't wonder It was and probably was the best god envision at that particular time in human history, a created god that was devised to have close inter intermingling personal relationship with humanity, some which was good and some which was obviously not not so good,
I'm not sure why you are asking this Jesus question, do you think any of us here are qualified to give you the correct answer?
most here were JWs too. Who better to ask then those who went through the same thing I did?
and who once went through the same mental gymnastics I'm going through right now after experiencing the same thing?
Why would ex-jws know more about Jesus than anyone else like say bible scholars or theologians? Are you wanting the absolute provable facts about the bible character of Jesus (good luck with that) or are you just wanting opinions as to what feels good for each individual?
Unsure: I'm not basing my life on that.
Well that's good!
Unsure: I can only reference my own experiences and being a JW was one of them.
Understood. It's the same for me as with most of us here on this forum.
Unsure: All I'm saying is that my view of a loving God is one who accepts those who may not even believe in them.
Then you're golden. You've nothing to worry about. Problem solved.
Unsure: ... and who once went through the same mental gymnastics I'm going through right now after experiencing the same thing
This is an important point. After losing our religion it is only natural to question our beliefs. I call it the "what the heck do I believe now" stage of the post-cult experience.
It's a process and it takes time and hard work. One of the things about religions is that they provide easy, ready-made answers. Now you have to figure these things out for yourself, including accepting that there are some things for which you may never know the answer.
But don't worry, you'll be fine.
As I've stated, this is a group of like minded individuals who went through the same thing.
Many here also probably read the works of scholars and theologians as they went through what I am going through now and can share what they've learned.
I'm not sure what the objective of your posts are.