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Old 11-15-2009, 03:29 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
Reputation: 11862

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I am a Christian but sometimes I don't feel like one. I believed in Christ, his deity, salvation through him, and have been baptized, but sometimes it doesn't feel very real to me. It just seems so distant from everyday life. It's more that it's the scientific aspect I have a hard time getting to grips with. Like the fact, no matter what Creationists say, the Bible is scientifically erroneous in parts (I won't go into that). No matter what they say it WAS a common belief the earth was flat, for example. And the idea of a worldwide flood seems hard to believe without any real evidence. Other things like Christ predicting his return within a generation still worry me.

I also struggle to believe in Satan - that God would create an evil buying simply to make life hard for us. Yes, Adam and Eve were supposed to have brought it all on themselves and the rest of the human race, but why (a) allow them to reproduce and just bring more accursed misery into the world, and (b) surely God planned it, or else he is not all-powerful. That brings us to eternal torment. I cannot believe God wills the majority of humanity to eternal torment. I don't buy that we 'choose it.' Many passages of the Bible speak of pre-destination and God choosing his 'elect.' I hardly go out of my way to question God's ways, but it seems so much less wonderful if God only chooses it for a few, while letting others suffer forever.

Another problem I have is prayer. There are occasions when I really do believe in the power and prayer, and a few times when I believe God has answered my prayer. But other times I am filled with doubt, because of the times God has not answered my prayer. I still don't feel I have a proper 'relationship' with him because I don't constantly feel him. It's like I do sometimes, but not otherwise. I do belief sincerely, but that nagging 'what if' sometimes comes up.

Finally, my faith in general is shaky. No matter how much I try to read the Bible, pray etc. (I admit I usually don't do enough of it), it's more a matter of intellectual doubt than wanting to rebel. It's not that I don't want to know God, but that uncertainty - I mean you can never really know can you - added to qualms about God's character. This lack of faith, coupled with not always being that pious, and not doing enough for the 'Kingdom' make me worry about my salvation. I don't want to claim to believe in something I'm not 100% into. I am pretty sure God is out there and he cares for us, yet fear kind of clouds and obscures this. Anyway, I sometimes fear my faith is like someone who is tossed by the waves of the sea, and somehow not real. I feel it's not something I can really help, but something God has to help me with. But sometimes it feels he's not really helping me with it.

Anyway, I just needed to let it all out there, and wondered if there was advice you could give. It doesn't seem right there should be so much fear and doubt. I pray that God will remove the fear and anxiety, but it still continues. I'm trying to trust in him more and not to 'lean on my own understanding'. Sorry if this is rather rambling.

God Bless, John
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:06 AM
 
Location: Germany
1,647 posts, read 1,706,353 times
Reputation: 842
Quote:
That brings us to eternal torment. I cannot believe God wills the majority of humanity to eternal torment. I don't buy that we 'choose it.'
as for this doctrine, there have recently been dozens of threads:

I recommend you to read this:


Whence Eternity?

L. Ray Smith - Exposing Those Who Contradict

http://www.city-data.com/forum/christianity/686334-greek-eis-ton-aioona-what-does.html

Concordant Publishing Concern


and a further opinion on this subject (check out the links there also)

http://www.jewishnotgreek.com/
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: USA
1,244 posts, read 2,820,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Like the fact, no matter what Creationists say, the Bible is scientifically erroneous in parts (I won't go into that). No matter what they say it WAS a common belief the earth was flat, for example.
I don't have a lot of time now because I have to get the family up and ready for church but I just wanted to say first... I'll be praying for you. I think we all go through moments sometimes when we just question a lot of stuff within ourselves, what we believe and we even go through moments when we can feel "not so christian".

In my experience, these are moments that are sometimes called "dry spots" and in those spots we thirst more for Him in our quests for answers and reach out more for the "living waters". I have found He is always faithful and has brought me out from every "dry spot" in my life with a stronger and deeper faith than I ever had going in.

In any case.. I will pray for you, that God will help you find the answers you need to some of those troubling questions you have, be through answers you received in this forum/thread or otherwise... Hopefully you will get a lot of direction in scripture to find answers for those questions...

Now briefly on the part I quoted.. Many use Revelation 7:1 to say the bible claims a flat, square Earth. However, many who have studied this say it refers to the four directions, extremeties.... North/South, East/West... as the four corners of the Earth...

Also, I still have to do more studying on this but here are some scriptures to look at where the bible does in fact claim the Earth as round, circle...

Isaiah 40:21-22
21 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.


Proverbs 8:27
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

Job 26: 7-10
7 He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.
8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds,
Yet the clouds are not broken under it.
9 He covers the face of His throne,
And spreads His cloud over it.
10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
At the boundary of light and darkness
.

Luke 17:34-36 (paints a picture of the time zones, according to culture of when these events often occurred (sleeping, grinding, working field) this scripture shows at Jesus return - evening in one place, morning in another, yet afternoon in another)

34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.


This is all I have time to do right now but hopefully some of it will help. At least on this question/doubt.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 13,649,795 times
Reputation: 14764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I do belief sincerely, but that nagging 'what if' sometimes comes up.
There is nothing wrong with "what ifs". If something is absolute truth, it will stand up to scrutiny.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:00 AM
 
5,403 posts, read 4,656,644 times
Reputation: 1112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I am a Christian but sometimes I don't feel like one. Faith and feelings have nothing in common; the just shall live by faith. I believed in Christ, his deity, salvation through him, and have been baptized, but sometimes it doesn't feel very real to me. It just seems so distant from everyday life. It's more that it's the scientific aspect I have a hard time getting to grips with. Like the fact, no matter what Creationists say, the Bible is scientifically erroneous in parts (I won't go into that). No matter what they say it WAS a common belief the earth was flat, for example. He [God] stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing (Job 26:7) And the idea of a worldwide flood seems hard to believe without any real evidence. Other things like Christ predicting his return within a generation still worry me.

I also struggle to believe in Satan - that God would create an evil buying simply to make life hard for us. Yes, Adam and Eve were supposed to have brought it all on themselves and the rest of the human race, but why (a) allow them to reproduce and just bring more accursed misery into the world, and (b) surely God planned it, or else he is not all-powerful. Not true at all. God always intended for Adam & Eve to live holy; but, they chose sin instead. God has given man dominion over the earth; and, we reap what we sow. That brings us to eternal torment. I cannot believe God wills the majority of humanity to eternal torment. I don't buy that we 'choose it.' Many passages of the Bible speak of pre-destination and God choosing his 'elect.' I hardly go out of my way to question God's ways, but it seems so much less wonderful if God only chooses it for a few, while letting others suffer forever. We either voluntarily serve God, or walk our on paths like satan; it's a free choice. Salvation for mankind was predestined, but we must chose to receive it. ==> And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)

Another problem I have is prayer. There are occasions when I really do believe in the power and prayer, and a few times when I believe God has answered my prayer. But other times I am filled with doubt, because of the times God has not answered my prayer. I still don't feel I have a proper 'relationship' with him because I don't constantly feel him. It's like I do sometimes, but not otherwise. I do belief sincerely, but that nagging 'what if' sometimes comes up. It's the devil trying to rob you; we live by faith not feelings. ==> The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Finally, my faith in general is shaky. No matter how much I try to read the Bible, pray etc. (I admit I usually don't do enough of it) This is a problem. We must live in the Word , it's more a matter of intellectual doubt than wanting to rebel. It's not that I don't want to know God, but that uncertainty - I mean you can never really know can you - added to qualms about God's character. This lack of faith, coupled with not always being that pious, and not doing enough for the 'Kingdom' make me worry about my salvation. I don't want to claim to believe in something I'm not 100% into. I am pretty sure God is out there and he cares for us, yet fear kind of clouds and obscures this. Anyway, I sometimes fear my faith is like someone who is tossed by the waves of the sea, and somehow not real. I feel it's not something I can really help, but something God has to help me with. But sometimes it feels he's not really helping me with it.

Anyway, I just needed to let it all out there, and wondered if there was advice you could give. It doesn't seem right there should be so much fear and doubt. I pray that God will remove the fear and anxiety, but it still continues. I'm trying to trust in him more and not to 'lean on my own understanding'. Sorry if this is rather rambling.

God Bless, John
Hi John - I replied in red above.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:03 AM
 
5,403 posts, read 4,656,644 times
Reputation: 1112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mari4him View Post

Job 26: 7-10
7 He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.
8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds,
Yet the clouds are not broken under it.
9 He covers the face of His throne,
And spreads His cloud over it.
10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
At the boundary of light and darkness
.
Amen! Glory to God in the highest!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: East Coast
30,116 posts, read 19,958,111 times
Reputation: 2104
And peace on earth and good will towards ALL men
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:27 AM
 
5,403 posts, read 4,656,644 times
Reputation: 1112
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcamps View Post
And peace on earth and good will towards ALL men
Amen! Whosoever will, let him come!

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)


Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 3:20-22)
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,142 posts, read 2,450,869 times
Reputation: 1138
I think we all feel like that as Christians. I have my doubts as well. Sometimes I think what if I'm wrong and there is no God? What if I die and I don't go to Heaven? And why doesn't God answer my prayers if he knows my heart and knows that I really desire whatever I'm praying about?

But something I heard once helped me a lot. God is a father to us and oftentimes, fathers do things for their children that they don't understand. Like taking a child to the doctors for a shot. It's painful and to a child, has no purpose. But the father knows that in the long run, that child will be protected from the illness.

That is kind of simplistic, but it helps me a lot when I feel like God is not listening to me or that my life has taken a bad turn.

If you think it would help, read about faith and doubt. There are many good books out there about it. Try seeking out someone at church or another Christian to talk with about how you feel.

Take care and remember, you are not alone!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:49 AM
 
303 posts, read 485,756 times
Reputation: 58
Trimac20 I really appreciate your honesty so much.I have personally have struggled with and through alot of these issues myself and am still grappling with a couple of them.
But I will tell you honestly that I dont grapple with them like I use to because I have really come to see and understand that as Paul says

" for now we see through a glass darkly "

and also that

" light shined into darkness and darkness percieved it not "

The darkness is very very real and in a very strange way the darkness afirms the light.
Lets face it the world we live in is totally dark and corrupt both politically and spiritually.
That we can see for sure each and every day just by sticking our head out the door or turning on the TV or computer
And for me this totally affirms the spiritual truths, conditions and insights God has given us through His messages to us
I can only recommend that all the things you just layed out above dont be afraid to take them straight to Jesus and lay them at His feet
In time you will start to understand in depth " That Gods ways are not our ways "
and that we have to walk by faith not by sight simply because we are all completely blind without Him and so is the secular world of science and politics.
Do they have any answers that can truly satisfy your soul...
No they dont not even one...
None of us understands the big picture perfectly or completely but God does reveal things slowly and faithfully to those that seek His face.
So dont stop seeking His face no matter how powerful the doubts become
and dont let go of your own true intentions or satan rob you of them through veiled doubts.
Be true to God in your heart even with your doubts and He will slowly but surely shed more light on them and grant you peace amidst this storm called life
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