U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-12-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,378 posts, read 1,471,599 times
Reputation: 1480

Advertisements

As anybody who looks at my postings and profile, you can see that I am an atheist. In coming in contact with more Christians than ever while living in Texas than I ever did in Missouri who feel very strongly about sharing their faith, it has become abudantly clear to me that all of them use the "transformative power of Christ" in their lives to show why belief in Christ as Lord and Savior is true. While most also talk of the Bible, it is the observation that their lives were changed in ways that could only be traced back to their "conversion".

The stories are as varied as the people but contain the themes of good things happening in their lives that they attribute specifically to their becoming Christian..(examples include good jobs,found a wife or husband,found power to give up drinking,etc,etc.) Obviously other not "so good" things have happened to them but they are firmly convinced that without "Christ in their lives" none of the good things would have happened.

Would any Christians like to echo these thoughts or provide feedback? Did anyone see no changes whatsover or things that happened that could easily be explained without anything supernatural going on?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-12-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: USA
15,906 posts, read 8,203,761 times
Reputation: 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan2008 View Post
As anybody who looks at my postings and profile, you can see that I am an atheist. In coming in contact with more Christians than ever while living in Texas than I ever did in Missouri who feel very strongly about sharing their faith, it has become abudantly clear to me that all of them use the "transformative power of Christ" in their lives to show why belief in Christ as Lord and Savior is true. While most also talk of the Bible, it is the observation that their lives were changed in ways that could only be traced back to their "conversion".

The stories are as varied as the people but contain the themes of good things happening in their lives that they attribute specifically to their becoming Christian..(examples include good jobs,found a wife or husband,found power to give up drinking,etc,etc.) Obviously other not "so good" things have happened to them but they are firmly convinced that without "Christ in their lives" none of the good things would have happened.

Would any Christians like to echo these thoughts or provide feedback? Did anyone see no changes whatsover or things that happened that could easily be explained without anything supernatural going on?
I was a life-long Christian, and this was one of the questions that always niggled at me. Not that I didn't see transformation happening in some Christians, as well as in my own life in some areas. But I certainly saw an equal amount of people who did not profess Christianity who underwent transformation and growth in their lives, overcoming many difficulties, addictions, burdens, past experiences, etc.

According to most Christians, that shouldn't have been the case. Christianity supposedly had the corner market on God's Spirit/transformational power. And yet, Christians on the whole, exhibited no more "fruit of the Spirit" (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control) than non-Christians.

Among many other things, this led me to a time of non-belief in God. However, I've come to think that it's not that there is no God, but simply that Christians do not have the corner market on God's Spirit that they think they do. The "Spirit of Christ" is not limited to those who supposedly believe the "correct" doctrines. I believe that that Spirit of Christ/God/Love is available within each person, and one only needs to recognize it and act in accord with it to begin reaping the spiritual benefits.

As far as "special blessings" (spouse, job, whatever) -- I never thought of those things as being specifically provided by God, but simply that those who are in tune with the Spirit within can show more wisdom and insight in being open to and pursuing those things/opportunities that are healthy for them.

My thoughts ... take them or leave them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 10:49 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 1,090,644 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan2008 View Post
As anybody who looks at my postings and profile, you can see that I am an atheist. In coming in contact with more Christians than ever while living in Texas than I ever did in Missouri who feel very strongly about sharing their faith, it has become abudantly clear to me that all of them use the "transformative power of Christ" in their lives to show why belief in Christ as Lord and Savior is true. While most also talk of the Bible, it is the observation that their lives were changed in ways that could only be traced back to their "conversion".

The stories are as varied as the people but contain the themes of good things happening in their lives that they attribute specifically to their becoming Christian..(examples include good jobs,found a wife or husband,found power to give up drinking,etc,etc.) Obviously other not "so good" things have happened to them but they are firmly convinced that without "Christ in their lives" none of the good things would have happened.

Would any Christians like to echo these thoughts or provide feedback? Did anyone see no changes whatsover or things that happened that could easily be explained without anything supernatural going on?
I believe true transformation and thus joy can only be found in the one true faith of our living God Jesus Christ.

JOY - living first for Jesus, then others, then lastly yourself

Jesus
Others
You

Most folk live first for themselves, then maybe others, and more than likely not Jesus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
4,883 posts, read 5,273,665 times
Reputation: 808
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
I was a life-long Christian, and this was one of the questions that always niggled at me. Not that I didn't see transformation happening in some Christians, as well as in my own life in some areas. But I certainly saw an equal amount of people who did not profess Christianity who underwent transformation and growth in their lives, overcoming many difficulties, addictions, burdens, past experiences, etc.

According to most Christians, that shouldn't have been the case. Christianity supposedly had the corner market on God's Spirit/transformational power. And yet, Christians on the whole, exhibited no more "fruit of the Spirit" (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control) than non-Christians.

Among many other things, this led me to a time of non-belief in God. However, I've come to think that it's not that there is no God, but simply that Christians do not have the corner market on God's Spirit that they think they do. The "Spirit of Christ" is not limited to those who supposedly believe the "correct" doctrines. I believe that that Spirit of Christ/God/Love is available within each person, and one only needs to recognize it and act in accord with it to begin reaping the spiritual benefits.

As far as "special blessings" (spouse, job, whatever) -- I never thought of those things as being specifically provided by God, but simply that those who are in tune with the Spirit within can show more wisdom and insight in being open to and pursuing those things/opportunities that are healthy for them.

My thoughts ... take them or leave them.
AWESOME post Pleroo...and almost the exact steps I have taken. What Christians fail to understand is that they are not supposed to be living for Jesus (whatever that actually means)...but they are supposed to be following the path he laid out for us to follow. He taught us specific things that we are to do which will lead us into the Kingdom of God and then enable us to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES. There are way too many who completely ignore the path for easy "Believeism".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,378 posts, read 1,471,599 times
Reputation: 1480
As Pleroo has mentioned, I also have seen people's lives change in very positive ways where there was seemingly no intervention by "supernatural means",at least none that they said,as I knew the people personally. One of my close friends outlook on himself changed when he met a woman who showed him some things about himself from a different perspective that changed his thinking and his approach in some ways to life and relationships. I'm happy that she is in his life as a good friend and believe that she continues to be a good influence on him. I have also met people who have stopped alcohol abuse because they saw the destructiveness of their actions on themselves and others and used willpower and a determination to not engage in drinking. I'm not saying that willpower alone can help all, but merely pointing out that change can come about from various reasons and factors.

I also just met a self proclaimed Christian the other day who thinks that you cannot stop alcohol abuse without God via the 12 steps and the "higher power" stuff. I pointed out that people do that all the time and that God is not required in all cases to accomplish this. Needless to say he said that was NOT possible without God. I also recently terminated an 8 year friendship with a Christian woman because of her revelation to me that I will NEVER be a success in life financially,personally or otherwise without God and Jesus in my life. In other words I will meet with failure until I come to God.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Florida
63,294 posts, read 34,485,629 times
Reputation: 10554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
I was a life-long Christian, and this was one of the questions that always niggled at me. Not that I didn't see transformation happening in some Christians, as well as in my own life in some areas. But I certainly saw an equal amount of people who did not profess Christianity who underwent transformation and growth in their lives, overcoming many difficulties, addictions, burdens, past experiences, etc.

According to most Christians, that shouldn't have been the case. Christianity supposedly had the corner market on God's Spirit/transformational power.
What??? According to most Christians?? Not true. It is amazing I read these kinds of comments here on daily bases, yet never, ever experience them in real life. I guess some people just have a problem with Christians, so they come here to make all kinds of weird claims about them. Go figure...

Last edited by Finn_Jarber; 09-12-2011 at 01:49 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 01:38 PM
 
1,473 posts, read 1,068,362 times
Reputation: 375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan2008 View Post
As Pleroo has mentioned, I also have seen people's lives change in very positive ways where there was seemingly no intervention by "supernatural means",at least none that they said,as I knew the people personally. One of my close friends outlook on himself changed when he met a woman who showed him some things about himself from a different perspective that changed his thinking and his approach in some ways to life and relationships. I'm happy that she is in his life as a good friend and believe that she continues to be a good influence on him. I have also met people who have stopped alcohol abuse because they saw the destructiveness of their actions on themselves and others and used willpower and a determination to not engage in drinking. I'm not saying that willpower alone can help all, but merely pointing out that change can come about from various reasons and factors.

I also just met a self proclaimed Christian the other day who thinks that you cannot stop alcohol abuse without God via the 12 steps and the "higher power" stuff. I pointed out that people do that all the time and that God is not required in all cases to accomplish this. Needless to say he said that was NOT possible without God. I also recently terminated an 8 year friendship with a Christian woman because of her revelation to me that I will NEVER be a success in life financially,personally or otherwise without God and Jesus in my life. In other words I will meet with failure until I come to God.
Your friend thinks you won't succeed financially without God?! Thats just just nuts. Thats like mixing the old protestant work ethic with a more extreme version of Joel Osteen and creating some kind of almost cultic-like Christian doctrine that has little or nothing to do with the bible. Whether you succeed personally might be up for debate though if you consider the afterlife and perhaps how you deal with the fear of dying as you age, but aside from that I don't think any Christian can make a very good case that not having God in your life always leads to failure in ALL aspects of your personal life.

As a semi-fundamentalist (who sadly, often makes fun of radical fundamentalists ;p ) I might say that following the teachings of Jesus would lead to a perfect world if everyone were to do it, most predominantly following the Second greatest commandment of love your neightbor as yourself, which Paul actually suggests may fulfil the entire law. Also, believing in a Higher power makes it easier for one to forgive themselves for past wrongs when they know a supreme being will forgive them and not condemn them as other might. For those some people who have no parents or have not had much love in their lives, their believe in God can often sustain them. For many minds, the "power of positive thinking" may not be enough especially if their on their death bed seeing visions of the afterlife they can't explain.

Have I ever seen a transformation of someone from accepting Christ that I couldn't explain any other way? not sure one that one... I've seen such radical paradigm shifts that seemed nearly impossible given the situations, but "nearly" might be the key word there. Have I ever seen witnessed a miracle first hand? Not sure on that one either since I can't count out coincidence, but I have known many people who say that have and a few of them are as skeptical as I am when it comes to Miracles.

In the End, both sides can make an almost infinite number of excuses as to why they believe what they believe and this includes athiests as well. When you take a position that cannot be proven without direct physical evidence on a grandscale (for example: Jesus appearing in the sky with evenyone supernaturally knowing who it is and causing the earth to shake or suddenly everyone being healed in Jesus' name in all cases), it is only by faith that one achieves this. The only position one can take without faith and/or without the perfect evidence is Agnosticism. I would say I'm a Christian by faith, and mostly an agnostic by absolutely knowable evidence.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Location: NY
9,072 posts, read 15,088,694 times
Reputation: 11520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
I was a life-long Christian, and this was one of the questions that always niggled at me. Not that I didn't see transformation happening in some Christians, as well as in my own life in some areas. But I certainly saw an equal amount of people who did not profess Christianity who underwent transformation and growth in their lives, overcoming many difficulties, addictions, burdens, past experiences, etc.

According to most Christians, that shouldn't have been the case. Christianity supposedly had the corner market on God's Spirit/transformational power. And yet, Christians on the whole, exhibited no more "fruit of the Spirit" (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control) than non-Christians.

Among many other things, this led me to a time of non-belief in God. However, I've come to think that it's not that there is no God, but simply that Christians do not have the corner market on God's Spirit that they think they do. The "Spirit of Christ" is not limited to those who supposedly believe the "correct" doctrines. I believe that that Spirit of Christ/God/Love is available within each person, and one only needs to recognize it and act in accord with it to begin reaping the spiritual benefits.

As far as "special blessings" (spouse, job, whatever) -- I never thought of those things as being specifically provided by God, but simply that those who are in tune with the Spirit within can show more wisdom and insight in being open to and pursuing those things/opportunities that are healthy for them.

My thoughts ... take them or leave them.
Very interesting post! I have had struggles with some of this too.

I am a Christian who feels that God's hand has led to a lot of blessings in my life. I too have noticed a lot of blessings in lives of those around me who are adament that Christ was not the Son of God. However, I certainly cannot ignore the blessings in their lives either.

I think you are right that people can receive blessings from God by being in tune with the Spirit. I believe God loves all his people and will bestow them all with blessings.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: USA
15,906 posts, read 8,203,761 times
Reputation: 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn_Jarber View Post
What??? According to most Christians?? Not true. It is amazing I read these kinds of comments here on daily bases, yet never, ever experience them in real life. I guess some people just have a problem with Christians, so they come here to make all kinds of weird claims about them. Go figure...
If you agree that the Spirit of God/Christ is within all and not exlclusive to professing Christians, you fall outside the norm. Go figure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Florida
63,294 posts, read 34,485,629 times
Reputation: 10554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
If you agree that the Spirit of God/Christ is within all and not exlclusive to professing Christians, you fall outside the norm. Go figure.
No, I am not talking about new age slogans. I was referring to your comment which I quoted (yes, really). You said "According to most Christians, that shouldn't have been the case. Christianity supposedly had the corner market on God's Spirit/transformational power". It is another weird statement designed to shine a strange light on Christians. I have never met a Christian who thinks unbelievers can't break addictions, or succeed etc, so maybe you should not claim that most Christians feel that way. Please stop.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top