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londonbelle
Jul 4th 2008, 08:28 PM
:(

I've had a lot of trouble clinging to my faith lately, mostly because there doesn't seem to be much left. Before my family relocated, a family friend who lives with us (an atheist) gave me atheist literature to read, which I did read, because I was curious what it said. Some of the scientific logic doesn't sway me, but most of what I read made a lot of sense, actually. It scared me some so I put it away for a while, but now, reading more, I find myself more and more convinced. Also, since we've moved, I've made a really good friend out of a girl in my area who is an atheist. Her group of friends are non-Christians and I've become friends with some of them, too. Whenever the subject of religion comes up, they ask me about Christianity. I've tried to answer their questions, but they have really good arguments, so instead of me converting them, they're sort of converting me. I do still believe in God, definitely, but right now the deist approach seems to make more sense to me. I'm not sure I believe in some of the Bible, like various miracles, anymore. I've always loved Jesus, but a friend pointed out to me flaws in the idea of the crucifixion, which I shared on a thread in controversial issues..and she's sort of influenced me to wonder too. I'm struggling. In the past I always tried to believe through my doubts because I feared Hell and also losing Jesus. Now, I'm not even sure Hell is real, and the idea of a personal God is seeming more unlikely the more I discuss it with people. Even my dad can't help me. He believes in God too but he's said he's not sure he's a Christian anymore either. My mum, who is definitely a Christian, isn't here to talk about it.

I just don't know how to handle this. I've tried prayer but I've never experienced prayer working for me when it comes to faith. Prayer has gotten me through difficult times, but I've never felt a connection to God at all, not at all. I still feel empty every time I pray. Then I read stuff, like Dawkins and Hitchens, and their arguments make so much sense. I don't have any ammunition against it. I know not reading that stuff is one option but I guess I don't see a point in clinging to my faith, if my faith is so shaky I need to act like an ostrich and hide my head in the sand whenever questioned, you know?

Please advise me!

th1bill
Jul 4th 2008, 08:57 PM
... The very first thing to do is to begin reading Proverbs and the Psalms. The proverbs for the wisdom of God and the Psalms for the peace of God. Don't bother to ask which ones, begin with verse one of chapter one and read through severral times. Then you need to realign yourself. Your mind is just like a computer. If you load it up with trash, trash is all it can give you in returen.
... Now, if you ever were a Christian, you are a Christian. You might be a Carnal Christian but you are saved. What you are doing is devaluing yourself in a spiritual manor.

Mr King
Jul 4th 2008, 10:07 PM
What are some questions have they asked you about Christianity? What were their counter response to the answers you provided for them?

You're talking about science. Science is about understanding the complications of life and providing you with all kinds of informations but they will never give you the final answer to them. It looks like you're caught up with interest in all these mental discoveries you're learning in your mind from all this science stuff.

The Bible is about having a relationship with the LORD. It's to expose sin and gives you a pathway on how to live your life for God and to do His Will with faith. For you to have salvation with Christ and spend eternity in heaven with the LORD. How to produce fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self-control. How to live in the light in repentance that stands for truth, understanding, honesty, genuineness, integrity and purity.

The dream of God's rule in the hearts and lives of humans could never be realized without being reborn and the spiritual renewal Christ's sacrifice would make possible.

Tell me one thing science has to offer for any of these things. Name one thing athiests has to offer for any of these things. The answer is none.

londonbelle
Jul 4th 2008, 11:21 PM
What are some questions have they asked you about Christianity? What were their counter response to the answers you provided for them?

Things like what other sources pre-dating the Bible back up Biblical claims. I don't know.

They've asked how we know Jesus was divine, and not just someone who was deeply religious or considered themselves blessed, and they've pointed out that the Bible seems to contradict itself on this. Like, the idea of Jesus as the Son of God - they say that if God made us we're all sons or daughters of God, which doesn't mean we're deities. Also, Jesus said the way to God was through him, not that he was God...and if the Bible is unclear on that it's unreliable on everything. I've pointed out passages that say the things Jesus did, which gets them back to the question above.

They've asked if, on a personal level, I have experiences proving God exists. I don't. I've prayed and gone to church and read the Bible, but I have no sense of their being a God connected to me. Some people say when they get saved they feel something like peace or a relationship with God. This, I've never had. I can't offer any answers to this question.

Of course, all the standard arguments too, which are in most of the atheist books.


You're talking about science. Science is about understanding the complications of life and providing you with all kinds of informations but they will never give you the final answer to them. It looks like you're caught up with interest in all these mental discoveries you're learning in your mind from all this science stuff.

Um..I haven't mentioned science as something that has influenced me at all.


Name one thing athiests has to offer for any of these things.

None, I guess. The only answer they provide is that none of those things matter.

moonglow
Jul 5th 2008, 12:55 AM
:(

I've had a lot of trouble clinging to my faith lately, mostly because there doesn't seem to be much left. Before my family relocated, a family friend who lives with us (an atheist) gave me atheist literature to read, which I did read, because I was curious what it said. Some of the scientific logic doesn't sway me, but most of what I read made a lot of sense, actually. It scared me some so I put it away for a while, but now, reading more, I find myself more and more convinced. Also, since we've moved, I've made a really good friend out of a girl in my area who is an atheist. Her group of friends are non-Christians and I've become friends with some of them, too. Whenever the subject of religion comes up, they ask me about Christianity. I've tried to answer their questions, but they have really good arguments, so instead of me converting them, they're sort of converting me. I do still believe in God, definitely, but right now the deist approach seems to make more sense to me. I'm not sure I believe in some of the Bible, like various miracles, anymore. I've always loved Jesus, but a friend pointed out to me flaws in the idea of the crucifixion, which I shared on a thread in controversial issues..and she's sort of influenced me to wonder too. I'm struggling. In the past I always tried to believe through my doubts because I feared Hell and also losing Jesus. Now, I'm not even sure Hell is real, and the idea of a personal God is seeming more unlikely the more I discuss it with people. Even my dad can't help me. He believes in God too but he's said he's not sure he's a Christian anymore either. My mum, who is definitely a Christian, isn't here to talk about it.

I just don't know how to handle this. I've tried prayer but I've never experienced prayer working for me when it comes to faith. Prayer has gotten me through difficult times, but I've never felt a connection to God at all, not at all. I still feel empty every time I pray. Then I read stuff, like Dawkins and Hitchens, and their arguments make so much sense. I don't have any ammunition against it. I know not reading that stuff is one option but I guess I don't see a point in clinging to my faith, if my faith is so shaky I need to act like an ostrich and hide my head in the sand whenever questioned, you know?

Please advise me!

londonbelle...I can't go through and answer everything for you right now..its the 4th of July and I am watching my son swim with his cousins right now...then back to my mom's for fireworks...

The other night God told me to pray for you. Doesn't matter right now if you haven't made that connection to Him or not...if you trust me...you will believe me! I KNOW God is real. As real as my son or my neighbor. He told me to pray for you...I hadn't for awhile...you know I was before and you started SEEING the sin in that guy that you had such a conflict with ...you told me so..you said my prayers and the others praying for you was working!

Anyway I hadn't prayed for you for awhile and God told me too so I did..then I come on here and my heart sunk when I saw this thread. But now I know why He wanted me to pray for you!

We can refute every single claim these atheist make! They only make sense to you because you lack knowledge of the bible, and bible history and ALL the outside evidence that proves the bible! There is tons and tons of it! Plenty to prove the bible is true!

All I can do right now is leave you some links to check out. Don't be afraid to ask ANY question that comes up that you read or your new 'friends' tell you...sorry but what 'friend' makes you lose your faith??????

That is the atheist goal...to cause those that lack bibical knowledge to turn away from God...its a score for them.....and that is no friend at all. You seem SO swayed by what others believe around you..its scary!

Do the studying....before you decide you THINK there is no God..your life depends on it.

http://www.bible-history.com/

http://www.carm.org/

God bless

Thaddaeus
Jul 5th 2008, 01:32 AM
Jesus did say he was God in
Mt 9:2And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.Mt 9:3And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.Mt 9:4And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?Mt 9:5For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?Mt 9:6But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.Mt 9:7And he arose, and departed to his house.

the scribes here knew that only God could forgive sins so by forgiven this man of his sins Jesus was saying that He is God.

The Father himself say that Jesus was God

Heb 1:6And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.Heb 1:7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.Heb 1:8But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

there is no misunderstanding in the scripture only the way we look at it. a non beleiver can't possible understand scriptures it is hard enough for us babes in Christ to. we have to allow God to draw us and then allow Him to teach us through His Holy Spirit. you need to put down those books which fight against God and pick up His word, you cannot fight their reasoning becasue you are not gounded in truth yourself . we rely on man's to teach us But wisdom and knowledge and understanding can only come from God.

2 tim 2:15 STUDY TO show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Pr 2:3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;Pr 2:4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;Pr 2:5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.Pr 2:6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.Pr 2:7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

If I told you of a treasure worth millions you would lay everything down and go seek this treasure this is what God is saying here seek His wisdom as if we would a treasure
put them other books down pick up the word of God and seek His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these thing shall be added unto ye. Also i would suggest when you said you have never felt God, find a Church that believes in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. thats how I truly felt Him and His power for the first time of being saved for 30 years. But be careful some Churches believe you must speak tongues as the evident of receiving the Holy Ghost, But you will know even if you don't speak tongues, tongues or not the only evidence but is a evidence. I don't mean to confuse you here .I just don't won't you to be confused if you don't speak tongues with your Baptism of the Holy Spirit. u will feel God if you are one of His. becareful of the friends we choose, if you hang around drunks or druggies guess what will more and likely happen found some good Christians friends

BrckBrln
Jul 5th 2008, 03:28 AM
Since you are reading Dawkins and the like, maybe you should read some Christian Apologists and Philosophers to help you balance things out. People like Cornelius Van Til, Francis Schaeffer, K. Scott Oliphint, Gordon Clark, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, John Frame, and Peter Kreeft. And don't forget the guy in my avatar, Soren Kierkegaard. I'm sure they all have convincing arguments as well.

londonbelle
Jul 5th 2008, 04:17 AM
We can refute every single claim these atheist make! They only make sense to you because you lack knowledge of the bible, and bible history and ALL the outside evidence that proves the bible! There is tons and tons of it! Plenty to prove the bible is true!


I know I need to be better informed. The only books I've read about refuting non-believer arguments are Lee Strobel ones, but Jeordie, and now this girl I'm friends with Eve, both say they can refute anything he says, and they do it. Everybody seems able to prove their arguments and it makes it so hard for me to be sure.


You seem SO swayed by what others believe around you..its scary!

I know. It bothers me too but I just feel like I have nothing to hold onto. Everyone I know seems better able to stand up for their opinions than me, in all areas, not just Christianity. :(


Also i would suggest when you said you have never felt God, find a Church that believes in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. thats how I truly felt Him and His power for the first time of being saved for 30 years. But be careful some Churches believe you must speak tongues as the evident of receiving the Holy Ghost, But you will know even if you don't speak tongues, tongues or not the only evidence but is a evidence. I don't mean to confuse you here .I just don't won't you to be confused if you don't speak tongues with your Baptism of the Holy Spirit. u will feel God if you are one of His.

Thanks, I will look into finding one around here. :)


Since you are reading Dawkins and the like, maybe you should read some Christian Apologists and Philosophers to help you balance things out. People like Cornelius Van Til, Francis Schaeffer, K. Scott Oliphint, Gordon Clark, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, John Frame, and Peter Kreeft. And don't forget the guy in my avatar, Soren Kierkegaard. I'm sure they all have convincing arguments as well.

Ok! I will check these out. :) That's really the kind of stuff I wanted, something that would help me find answers for myself and my friends who are atheists.

coffee cup
Jul 5th 2008, 05:04 AM
I have no doubt at all your a Christian after all a unbeliever would not worry about not being a christian.

Sure athiest stuff makes sence to us Because sinful stuff like that is pleasing to our "self worship" . I can steal that because i dont have it and i am better than that old fat slob that has it any way.
and Timothy Mcvey the athiest who after he was convicted otf the oklahoma bombing said i am a master of my own fate. one last hurah of self worship before He would face the true God after his death sentence



ya know if it was up to us to keep our faith in Jesus not one of us would have it any more.
we cant keep it we can only reject as tim did and others of God keeping it for us.

Do you know how the Fbi can tell a forgery from real money ? they have
people who do nothing but study the real currency.


Thats what God wants you to do , read his word study it and meditate on it .
and then when you read a book of forgery such as your friends athiest book . you can laugh at it because you know what it is Because you studied the real thing.

Gods blessings

moonglow
Jul 5th 2008, 05:20 AM
londonbelle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonglow
We can refute every single claim these atheist make! They only make sense to you because you lack knowledge of the bible, and bible history and ALL the outside evidence that proves the bible! There is tons and tons of it! Plenty to prove the bible is true!
I know I need to be better informed. The only books I've read about refuting non-believer arguments are Lee Strobel ones, but Jeordie, and now this girl I'm friends with Eve, both say they can refute anything he says, and they do it. Everybody seems able to prove their arguments and it makes it so hard for me to be sure. [/quote]

You know what I would do right now until you learn more...is don't even discuss this with them. I mean why are they even bringing it up? its none of their business. Next time they want to discuss this with you, say, no I would rather not...lets talk about (you fill in the blank) if any of them push it...ask them WHY they are so interested in discussing something they don't believe in? You really need to learn to stand up for yourself and set boundaries...I know this is a difficult area for you...but you seem to get around people that push you way past what they should!

Think about this...WHY would they be so interested in discussing Christianity with you...when they don't believe? They will harp on it...won't leave it alone until they are convinced you no longer believe either...that is why. Who cares if you make them mad...YOU need to get mad and tell them to back off!

You are so vunerable it just scares me...

Show some self respect and start telling people to quit it...ok? Work on that...tomorrow I will post more information for you..but you have got to tell us what they are saying that is SO convincing. Most atheist 'proof' doesn't stand up to the real facts..IF you know them! I don't care how convincing she sounds...she IS wrong. And I don't know yet what she said... but that is how sure I am on this because I have discussed and debated atheist for years and so far...none of them has disproved the bible let alone God...there is TOO much evidence for it. Please stop listening to them on this...not until you know enough to know their lies for what they are...ok?

Just don't even discuss it with them.

God bless

londonbelle
Jul 5th 2008, 05:47 AM
I have no doubt at all your a Christian after all a unbeliever would not worry about not being a christian.

Hmm, that makes sense I guess. :)


Sure athiest stuff makes sence to us Because sinful stuff like that is pleasing to our "self worship" .

That's very true. I mean, I don't know any atheists who promote crime really, but I have heard our 'family friend' (his name is Jeordie) comment a lot that people who are Christians deny themselves unnecessarily. Like, by abstinence, by leading a more reserved lifestyle, etc. He thinks I miss out on a lot of fun and even though I've never really felt that way I guess what he says is tempting. He has a very good talent when it comes to being persuasive anyway. :( But yeah, it's really tempting to think about there being no rules, no such thing as sin, stuff like that. I don't really *believe* there isn't sin and what you do doesn't matter...but I kind of want to. And atheist books, like Dawkins and stuff, make it sound so lovely. He's such a persuasive person also.


Do you know how the Fbi can tell a forgery from real money ? they have
people who do nothing but study the real currency.


Thats what God wants you to do , read his word study it and meditate on it .
and then when you read a book of forgery such as your friends athiest book . you can laugh at it because you know what it is Because you studied the real thing

I think this is really right. When I think about it, I haven't read much in defence of Christianity at all. :( I guess I should. Another person recommended some for me that I will look into, and of course reading the Bible more would be smart I'm sure. I just wish I felt more excited about it, instead of like it was a chore.


You know what I would do right now until you learn more...is don't even discuss this with them. I mean why are they even bringing it up? its none of their business. Next time they want to discuss this with you, say, no I would rather not...lets talk about (you fill in the blank) if any of them push it...ask them WHY they are so interested in discussing something they don't believe in? You really need to learn to stand up for yourself and set boundaries...I know this is a difficult area for you...but you seem to get around people that push you way past what they should!

Think about this...WHY would they be so interested in discussing Christianity with you...when they don't believe? They will harp on it...won't leave it alone until they are convinced you no longer believe either...that is why. Who cares if you make them mad...YOU need to get mad and tell them to back off!

I've tried switching the topic or saying I'm not sure about an answer and will research it. Eve and other friends accept this very nicely, and if I say I'm bored of discussing it or getting frustrated they definitely will leave it alone. I think the reason she's so interested is because she only recently became atheist herself. I'm not totally convinced that she's totally convinced atheism is true, anyway. Personally, I think she's angry at her family because they are strict and force her, literally and physically, to church and are actually kind of frightening. She gets so angry about the Christian concept of God that I kind of think she believes in it but doesn't want to. Sometimes I feel that way too, so we get on well. But, anyway, she will usually go along with it if I switch topics. It's more Jeordie who isn't right now. I guess that's his new tactic. All the other stuff, you know about, isn't happening and I'm sure he blames my beliefs for that and thinks if I didn't have these religious hang-ups and guilt I would be happy to be with him, drink, etc like before. I can actually walk into a different room and he'll follow me and challenge me to prove him wrong. Sometimes I can, usually I can't.


but you have got to tell us what they are saying that is SO convincing. Most atheist 'proof' doesn't stand up to the real facts..IF you know them! I don't care how convincing she sounds...she IS wrong. And I don't know yet what she said... but that is how sure I am on this because I have discussed and debated atheist for years and so far...none of them has disproved the bible let alone God...there is TOO much evidence for it. Please stop listening to them on this...not until you know enough to know their lies for what they are...ok?

Basically what I've been struggling with is when they point out that none of them, as well as myself, have never had a personal relationship with God despite going to church and trying. I've believed in God of course, but when you described God as being as real to you as your son, wow, I've never felt that. God to me is kind of like Thomas Jefferson; people can tell me things about him and I can believe he exists, but I don't know him. Sometimes I feel sad about that, a lot actually, but when people push me about it, I do feel kind of like "well, maybe God really isn't there then, huh?" which I know is bad, but that's the truth right now.

A lot of the other things they say aren't convincing by themselves, but they kind of poke holes in my faith and leave it deflated. Like, they've asked me (Jeordie has) how can God be three people; how can Jesus say the way to God is "through" him, and then later say he is God, without being wrong or mad. I don't think Jesus was mad, but people saying things like that...I end up wondering. And I've been asked the usual stuff about how can God be good and all powerful when we still have atrocities, and they call the idea of God having unknown plans a cop-out. I guess they haven't provided conclusive proof, obviously, but more made me question everything I was taught in church and figure out things I'm not ready for.

I agree it's better not to discuss it with them, and that will work with most friends for sure, but Jeordie harps on me about it a lot lately. He keeps tossing out arguments, the last one which basically said if you don't stone disobedient children to death, you don't follow the whole Bible so why follow any of it? :( As soon as I answer, Jeordie informs me I'm relativist and all people are, so absolute theologies have no place in modern society! I can't win. And right now, that's his topic of choice.

Mr King
Jul 5th 2008, 07:02 AM
Of course, all the standard arguments too, which are in most of the atheist books.

When you said, "in most of the atheist books.", are you saying you've read a lot of atheist books? You just need to work on replacing these atheist ideals and thoughts by renewing your mind to think Christ-like.



They've asked how we know Jesus was divine, and not just someone who was deeply religious or considered themselves blessed, and they've pointed out that the Bible seems to contradict itself on this.

Jesus was and is the Son of God. All the miraculous works and deeds He did along with the crucifixion should be enough for you to believe with faith.



I'm not sure I believe in some of the Bible, like various miracles, anymore.

There are people who doesn't believe in anything they can't see, hear, feel or touch. They want miracles that provides solid evidence that they desire.

John 4:48
Jesus said, "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe."

John 20:19-29
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you." And with that He breathed on them and said, "Recieve the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."



I've always loved Jesus, but a friend pointed out to me flaws in the idea of the crucifixion, which I shared on a thread in controversial issues..and she's sort of influenced me to wonder too.


It's disturbing to read that this person is focused on these so called flaws with the crucifixion. This person is completely ignoring why He was being crucified. What and how He dealt with the excruciating crucifixion. He took up the sins of the world and faced total rejection from the world. That's not all, He faced rejection from His Father too. The only thing that's flawed is this person's way of thinking.



Um..I haven't mentioned science as something that has influenced me at all.


Before my family relocated, a family friend who lives with us (an atheist) gave me atheist literature to read, which I did read, because I was curious what it said. Some of the scientific logic doesn't sway me, but most of what I read made a lot of sense, actually. It scared me some so I put it away for a while, but now, reading more, I find myself more and more convinced.

That's when I mentioned you talking about science.



I guess I don't see a point in clinging to my faith, if my faith is so shaky I need to act like an ostrich and hide my head in the sand whenever questioned, you know?



Everybody seems able to prove their arguments and it makes it so hard for me to be sure. Everyone I know seems better able to stand up for their opinions than me, in all areas, not just Christianity.


Let me give you an example; the sports' fans. Listen to the ones who are so informative when they speak about every single play made during a game. Watch how enthusiastic they are when their team is winning or wins the game. That's because they have so much knowledge and understanding for the sports they watch. Because of these things, they are on fire for the games they watch.

That's what you need to work on. Build a foundation, faith, to firmly stand on. Keep reading and working diligently on the Word of God. When you have so much knowledge and insight you'll become enthusiastic and excited. You'll be on fire and preach with fire for the LORD with others.


The only answer they provide is that none of those things matter.

Do they matter to you? :)

Tourist
Jul 5th 2008, 07:10 AM
Hey Londonbelle, just thought i would comment on your quote:
"the last one which basically said if you don't stone disobedient children to death, you don't follow the whole Bible so why follow any of it?"

As I understand, the old testiment is filled with laws given by God to the people to keep them in line.

When Jesus came, however, he replaced those laws, rituals and systems with himself. Notice he often says while teaching things like 'you have heard....but now I tell you." Jesus presents new ways of living, specifically living like Him rather than following rules like stoning children. By dying on the cross, Jesus allowed us to have a direct relationship with God rather than trying to follow rules, because we will never be able to perfectly follow them.

So, the Old Testiment was suitable for one point in the spirituality of Humanity as a whole, but then Jesus came when the time was right and presented us with a new gospel. Matt 5:17 says "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn't come to destroy them, but to fulfill them." He replaces these old laws.

So, we acknowledge that certain laws like stoning sinners are replaced by Jesus' love. We can then follow the whole bible, realzing different systems applied at different times.

I hope that made some sense/helps.

turtledove
Jul 5th 2008, 03:42 PM
Dear londonbelle, since coming to our forum and especially here on Counseling Requests you have posted your concerns and have received much encouragement, scriptures, and suggestions with advice from many not only on this thread but on other threads here on Counseling Requests. I don't know how much else on the rest of the forum as well. Yet, your thread title states: "Please Help: I don't think I'm a Christian anymore."



After reading through and all of the heartfelt replies given to you on this thread this time, I am going to try to simplify by adding a few things to summarize. Please listen and know that with the rest here I only say these things out of love and concern for you.

You need to once and for all decide to follow Christ and not go the way your atheistic friends are trying to get you to take. You are putting yourself in a position where they are getting opportunities and encouragement to influence you in a direction which may sound convincing but in the end will lead you to a very dark and difficult place and far from God.

You must find other friends..Christian ones..who will love and support you. You need Christian fellowship beyond anything we can provide on an Internet forum.

You need to read the bible mainly to get yourself grounded in it. I would suggest reading one of the Gospels all the way through slowly so that you can see what Jesus has done, teaches, and specifically what He has done for you. Those who have chosen to deny Christ, of course, deny the salvation which comes from His death on the cross. They will pose convincing and interesting arguments which deny the power of Christ and the power of the Word of God. Unless, you are prepared to give them the Christian viewpoint and not give in to this..it is better to stay away from such arguments.

May God grant you the grace and strength to make the efforts and changes needed.

praying for you,

wiseoldowl, facilitator

Mr King
Jul 5th 2008, 05:24 PM
I just wish I felt more excited about it, instead of like it was a chore.


It's like anything when you're not naturally talented or gifted with something. You start off being rusty at it. It takes practice and diligent work at first. Eventually it'll become smooth that can lead your journey to be more exciting and joyful. Then you will no longer see it as a chore. The harder the work, the more you'll appreciate it.

You must also know that to complain is a sin. Yes! Complaining is a great sin that God finds very offensive. Complaining feels like a dry, lifeless, joyless and parched experience. Like the wilderness where the jews wondered for 40 years. Here's what God said about the jews' wicked attitude during their journey to the promised land He was providing them.
"The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. Say to them. "As I live," says the Lord, "just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you.""" And then God amplified: "Your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me"

"Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun"

moonglow
Jul 5th 2008, 05:41 PM
Hmm, that makes sense I guess. :)



That's very true. I mean, I don't know any atheists who promote crime really, but I have heard our 'family friend' (his name is Jeordie) comment a lot that people who are Christians deny themselves unnecessarily. Like, by abstinence, by leading a more reserved lifestyle, etc. He thinks I miss out on a lot of fun and even though I've never really felt that way I guess what he says is tempting. He has a very good talent when it comes to being persuasive anyway. :( But yeah, it's really tempting to think about there being no rules, no such thing as sin, stuff like that. I don't really *believe* there isn't sin and what you do doesn't matter...but I kind of want to. And atheist books, like Dawkins and stuff, make it sound so lovely. He's such a persuasive person also.



I think this is really right. When I think about it, I haven't read much in defence of Christianity at all. :( I guess I should. Another person recommended some for me that I will look into, and of course reading the Bible more would be smart I'm sure. I just wish I felt more excited about it, instead of like it was a chore.



I've tried switching the topic or saying I'm not sure about an answer and will research it. Eve and other friends accept this very nicely, and if I say I'm bored of discussing it or getting frustrated they definitely will leave it alone. I think the reason she's so interested is because she only recently became atheist herself. I'm not totally convinced that she's totally convinced atheism is true, anyway. Personally, I think she's angry at her family because they are strict and force her, literally and physically, to church and are actually kind of frightening. She gets so angry about the Christian concept of God that I kind of think she believes in it but doesn't want to. Sometimes I feel that way too, so we get on well. But, anyway, she will usually go along with it if I switch topics. It's more Jeordie who isn't right now. I guess that's his new tactic. All the other stuff, you know about, isn't happening and I'm sure he blames my beliefs for that and thinks if I didn't have these religious hang-ups and guilt I would be happy to be with him, drink, etc like before. I can actually walk into a different room and he'll follow me and challenge me to prove him wrong. Sometimes I can, usually I can't.



Basically what I've been struggling with is when they point out that none of them, as well as myself, have never had a personal relationship with God despite going to church and trying. I've believed in God of course, but when you described God as being as real to you as your son, wow, I've never felt that. God to me is kind of like Thomas Jefferson; people can tell me things about him and I can believe he exists, but I don't know him. Sometimes I feel sad about that, a lot actually, but when people push me about it, I do feel kind of like "well, maybe God really isn't there then, huh?" which I know is bad, but that's the truth right now.

A lot of the other things they say aren't convincing by themselves, but they kind of poke holes in my faith and leave it deflated. Like, they've asked me (Jeordie has) how can God be three people; how can Jesus say the way to God is "through" him, and then later say he is God, without being wrong or mad. I don't think Jesus was mad, but people saying things like that...I end up wondering. And I've been asked the usual stuff about how can God be good and all powerful when we still have atrocities, and they call the idea of God having unknown plans a cop-out. I guess they haven't provided conclusive proof, obviously, but more made me question everything I was taught in church and figure out things I'm not ready for.

I agree it's better not to discuss it with them, and that will work with most friends for sure, but Jeordie harps on me about it a lot lately. He keeps tossing out arguments, the last one which basically said if you don't stone disobedient children to death, you don't follow the whole Bible so why follow any of it? :( As soon as I answer, Jeordie informs me I'm relativist and all people are, so absolute theologies have no place in modern society! I can't win. And right now, that's his topic of choice.

I can't tell you HOW BAD I wish you were close to me so I could come over there and get in Jeordie's face. He IS being a bully! I would like to have you invite him to post on our board if he thinks he is so smart and has all the answers...since he isn't a Christian he would have to post on the Christian answers forum here: http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=39

He can ask anything he wants about our faith and we will answer him.

Please STOP reading these atheist books and other atheist material...ok? I mean it makes NO sense to read this when you simply don't have the knowledge right now to know whether they are right or not...all that is doing is setting you up for failure and the total loss of your faith...then what's going to happen? You'll end up drinking with him...probably having sex...be in a really controlling abusive relationship that will get worse and worse.

Ok lets pretend for a minute you decide their is no such thing as God...so no such thing as sin...you decide sin is only drastic things such as murder, robbing banks, selling drugs...etc...things that can get you put in jail for. Everything else you decide is fine. As I told you before sin always affects the sinner...there are at least 33 different kinds of STD out there...a number of them there is no cure for. I know women in their 20's that had to have a hysterectomy due to cervical cancer they got from a STD...they will never be able to have children of their own. And as many die from it. HPV is a STD and causes cancer in females...the USA now has a vaccine to try to protect these girls from it because the male can be carrying it and never know. There is no physical sign to be able to look and know they have it. More and more teens are having oral sex thinking its not 'really sex' and getting these STD in their throats now....its gruesome. I don't think anyone wants herpes IN their mouth and down their throats. There is no cure for herpes. There is medication to reduce the outbreaks..doesn't totally stop them though. These girls can NEVER kiss anyone again in their life because they could pass it on....image...

Then you decide drinking and partying is ok too...and one day you drive drunk..or the driver is drunk....do you have any idea how many teenagers and young adults die every year from drinking and driving? And not all of them die..many are left crippled or brain damaged...I have worked with brain damaged people before which I think I told you about that too. Both in wheelchairs...unable to feed or dress themselves..or do anything really themselves. Or worse: http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/alcohol/dontdrink.html
NOT EVERYONE HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER DIES! (NOT EVERYONE HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER DIES!)

When you click on that link be ready..its quite shocking. First it shows pictures of a very pretty young lady...before her car was hit by a drunk driver..her car burst into flames. It burnt off her eyelid on one eye...part of her nose..all her hair and eye brows...and her fingers. Image being the one responsible for this if you had been drinking and driving.

My point is...sure sin can be fun...even the bible says sin has its pleasures...but you never know when you are going to pay for those sins...not by God (that comes later), but by real life consequences. Its like playing with a gun loaded with one bullet...and you keep pulling the trigger...never knowing when you can get away with that fun...those sins and when it will all comes crashing down. Don't think this young lady is a one time freak thing that happened either. Many people don't live like she did...most burn to death when their cars catch on fire. Many are severely burned and live though too!

I have told you already in your other thread the Consequences of sin...yet you are still tempted and I understand why. If you were filled with the Holy Spirit you would be able to resist these temptations but I don't think you are and this is why you have not connected with God. I can only pray like wiseowl says, you get serious and go to God, humbling and truly seeking Him! Call out to Him to save you! Only through Christ do we have the means to stand up against temptations. With you being so young and Jeordie being older and constantly on your case (which if I were you...it would really, really make me angry! I think I would be furious at his harping on this all the time...as he is doing it ONLY to get what HE WANTS!) I would be in a rage at this. I couldn't even listen to him...go to the bathroom if you have too...put on headphones...yell at him to knock it off. He is was like this about anything other then your faith...would it make you mad?

Start video taping him with your cellphone or video camera if you have too...to show your mom and dad what he is doing to you. This IS abuse...period. I am just stunned you even listen to him let alone are swayed by him...but I chalk this up to your age and to being gullible. I keep thinking about how I was when I was your age and if I could stand up to this onslaught any better then you are ...and I probably couldn't...not at this age. That is what makes me SO angry with him. He is SO taking advantage of your age and the living situation where you can't get away from him. The thing is as it gets closer to time for you to leave to go to school...where you won't be around him...he is really going to put the pressure on you. Even without the Holy Spirit though..many girls everyday DO stand up for themselves and DO say no...they respect themselves enough to do that. You need too also. Walk out of the house...go for a walk...see if he will bug you on a public street! If your dad is home..go find him and just sit by him...whatever you have to do when he starts this bullying of his.


A lot of the other things they say aren't convincing by themselves, but they kind of poke holes in my faith and leave it deflated. Like, they've asked me (Jeordie has) how can God be three people; how can Jesus say the way to God is "through" him, and then later say he is God, without being wrong or mad. I don't think Jesus was mad, but people saying things like that...I end up wondering. And I've been asked the usual stuff about how can God be good and all powerful when we still have atrocities, and they call the idea of God having unknown plans a cop-out. I guess they haven't provided conclusive proof, obviously, but more made me question everything I was taught in church and figure out things I'm not ready for.

Think of the trinity...three persons in one. Its like an egg...an egg has three parts to it..the shell, the white and the yolk. When we cook and seperate the yolk from the whites, we still call it an egg. All three parts can be used separately...or together. People use egg shells for all sorts of things, including to paint. Each part can be used for something...or be all together. That is how I usually think of God being three parts. Jesus IS God...as He said, my Father and I are one! They are seperate like an egg has seperate parts, but still one. The Holy Spirit is apart of this too. Just like the egg has three parts to it.

We still have bad things in this world because WE, allow it. If you notice its PEOPLE that do these bad things. I don't see God out there holding a gun shooting people down..do you? NO its a person doing it. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden..which was perfect and there was no sin...they let sin into the world. In the garden animals didn't kill and eat each other...people didn't kill each other...no one abused each other...no one followed another person around harassing them about their faith! There were no tornadoes, no earthquakes, no one starving to death. Because people don't care..we have terrible things in this world for sure. One day Jesus will return though and all those bad people will be destroyed...all sin gone...and we will again have that perfect Garden God first created.

God bless

Sjohn1107
Jul 5th 2008, 06:09 PM
I like the points of this thread..but i want to tell you you can't let satan get the better half of you..what you gotta learn is things in the bible are TRUE FACTS..and idc how many people in this world wanna argue with it..biut the bible has been here for centuries and centuries..the truth about the unbelievers is they make their arguments from the bible..they don't want to learn it or try to make any sense of it..cause they are ignorant and spiritualy blind..jesus taught people what the truth was and what they needed to know and left the rest up to them and then later proved them all their assumptions and debates wrong..(which he will again)..but as for the christian part..you will always be a christian if your saved no matter what happens(it's grace that takes away all our failures and sins and grace cant be taken away)but i do advice you to stop reading what the world thinks in those books..and read what god knows in his book...

-god bless-

moonglow
Jul 5th 2008, 11:54 PM
Hey I forgot to answer your question you were confronted with in regards to an old testament law on stoning children. First this wasn't ever about little children that misbehave...if they stoned every child that acted up...there would be no Jews today! This was about older children that knew better...teenagers, young adults I would image that weren't just doing a little back talking ...but doing stuff that these same types of kids do today that lands them in jail! I mean tearing up the house, hitting their parents, stealing from them, cussing at them...and so on. And it was an ongoing problem. These types as you know...usually end up in prison for committing a terrible crime..rape, murder and so on. I am talking about people with no respect for anyone...let alone their parents.

When many of these laws were given the Hebrews had been slaves in Egypt...when they left they went out into the wilderness. There were thousands and thousands of them. Now how would you keep this large group of people under control? with no police...no jails to lock up the trouble makers...they constantly travels and their homes were tents. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years! They had little choice but to be so harsh and put those to death that could hurt all of them...and cause them to die in the desert.

No one stoned little children and we are no longer under those old testament laws either. Jesus fulfilled the laws so we don't have too...we are under His grace now.
Romans 6
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

If you want to know more about this stoning of grown children here is a good link: http://www.natreformassn.org/statesman/03/stndisob.html

When an atheist says we have to follow the whole bible, including these old laws, they don't know what they are talking about...they are showing their lack of knowledge of the bible. The Jews don't even stone anymore! They darn well know we don't either and its just silly to even bring up a law thousands of years old...

God bless

givemegrace
Jul 6th 2008, 12:21 AM
I believe that when someone questions our faith there is a spiritual battle going on, if not there would be no interest. Does that make sense? If there are questions and arguments over Jesus there is something spiritual happening with that person. Satan will always fight to keep the non-believer from seeing the truth. Personally I dont get into an argument, I know that there are many things I will not understand on earth, I just know that with my faith I have hope and without it I am lost. I know God is real because I feel Him in my heart. I would not debate it, I would say to the people arguing the point, God gave us freewill, I chose to believe. If people dont want to hear about the gospel, take those people to God, never stop praying and always believe that God can change them, cos we cant but the fact that they question and argue tells me that something spiritual is happening and Satan will do his best to put doubt and arguments into the non-believers mind. Let God do the work and be the best witness we can, which I know at times can be very difficult.

servantsheart
Jul 6th 2008, 03:33 AM
Hi, You are in a battle for your soul. This is sanatanic warfare and you need to listen and listen now. Many have told you worth while words of wisdom straight from God. It is up to you to make up your mind to either get aboard or sink and drown in the false lies that satan is forcing down your throat.
I have been praying as I read through answer after answer from all the good people here. I know God is telling me to put this on the line and not beat around the bush. You are about to be sucked under and you do risk the loss of eternity by turning from God and not accepting him back into your life and making Him Lord of your life.
The way to fight what is happening is to do what wiseoldowl said, drop your athiest company (they are not friends- your friends are right her praying for your soul). You have to get rid of anything that does not pertain to God...it only take a small window for satan to come through and cause trouble...Clean out your house. ..loose the people around you who are athiest. Throw away any written material that is athiest. Any and all things that are not of God. Clean out your house and clean out your mind at the same time.
You need to tell God you are sorry for having listened to such junk and you need Him to be Lord of your life. Keep confessing your sins and falling on your knees before the great I Am.
You do not talk with any of these athiest people any more. You cry out to God and ask his Son to come into your heart in a whole new way...making you born again.
Father God is seeking after you and wants you to come to his Son. He wants you in heaven with him for eternity. Don't let your mind wonder and question anything that does not pertain to scripture. Beg God to fill you to overflowing with his word inside of you, his wisdom inside of you and his strength inside of you.
Pray for your mind to be bound to everything good and sweet in Jesus.
These athiest people are sent from the dark side...do not answer their phone call, don't answer your door...if they come to your house you stay on your knees calling out, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS. Tell satan to leave you alone...John 14:30 says, he has no right or authority to be any where near you...You claim your right as a child of the most high God...that you are healed by God. That you are of the blood line of David. That Jesus who is of the tribe of the Lion of Judah is alive and well and moving mountains ...your mountains...to keep you under the shadow of the wing of God...read Psalm 91 and 103.
Play only Christian music and praise God morning and night that he has his hand on your shoulder and is working everything out to your good. This is a trial and you are walking through it and about to come out on the other side as a victorious child of the great I AM.
Father God has his hand extended to you and Jesus is lighting your path...this is your moment to have a mind altering change in thinking and to cry out to Jesus to save you...you are loved by God more than you can imagine but will one day know exactly how much...Love is calling you and Jesus say, Welcome home.
Thank you God.

crossnote
Jul 6th 2008, 05:57 AM
For now I would take the advice of those who tell you to surround yourself with christian friends, As it stands you are floating like a wounded whale with sharks smelling the blood.
The atheist will always have you playing on his court i.e. the court of sight. "prove it, prove it" is their mantra. The Christian walks by faith not by sight which means bottom line ...God's Word. The back and forth arguments between atheist and christian pivots on the understanding of this Scripture..
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb 11:3). The atheist cannot cope with that concept and will want to see proof. Why can't we play on our court? The court of 'hearing'. After all Truth comes via hearing, and it is the Truth of God's Word that builds us up in faith. (Who said the eyes are the sole judge in this matter?).
As an example God spoke all things into existence. No one 'saw' that happen but it is revealed to us through the hearing of God's Word. The atheistic evolutionary can 'observe' data til the cows come home but they will always be stuck with the never ending question...'and where did that come from'? That's because there is no ultimate source answers by sole observation of the creation.
Wrapping up, please surround yourself in good biblical teaching and friends and when you eventually want to confront the atheists, confront them with strong christians as well.

turtledove
Jul 6th 2008, 02:24 PM
A reminder to all. I have had to delete some posts on this thread because we don't allow discussion and/ or argument between posters on Counseling Requests. This is so not to derail the thread from focusing on the Original Poster.

This should have been read before posting in this section. Counseling Requests has its own guidelines to which you are asked to comply or else don't post here and post in threads in sections where you can enter into discussion.

http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=116929

Please try to comply with sensitivity here. This will help all focus on the needs of the original poster. I don't want to close this thread because the OP has been getting such good replies. Reply to her only or don't reply at all. Keep discussion and arguments off of this thread. If you are baited into an argument don't reply to it. We will try to catch it sooner or later and give warning to the one who is arguing. Hope we don't have to do that and we can stay on track on this thread.

Thanks. facilitator.

tango
Jul 6th 2008, 03:11 PM
And atheist books, like Dawkins and stuff, make it sound so lovely. He's such a persuasive person also.


I flicked through The God Delusion before coming back to God, and to be honest I found the arguments so weak they just didn't stand up to examination.

A lot of what Dawkins seemed to be doing was to construct what's known as a straw-man argument. Basically what he did was to take something that was a simplified distortion of Christianity, knock it down and then claim he had knocked down Christianity. That has as much validity as me building a life-size cardboard cut-out of Mike Tyson, kicking it over and then proclaiming that I can defeat Tyson in the ring (but, needless to say, never actually facing the man in person)



I think this is really right. When I think about it, I haven't read much in defence of Christianity at all. :( I guess I should. Another person recommended some for me that I will look into, and of course reading the Bible more would be smart I'm sure. I just wish I felt more excited about it, instead of like it was a chore.

If you spend more time reading your Bible and drawing closer to God it will make more sense to you. Before you read spend a few moments in prayer asking God to open your eyes. It also helps to have a specific plan for reading - either a daily devotional or a specific book at a time to read through. Otherwise it's very easy to pick up the Bible, open it somewhere, find that somewhere very dry and end up just putting the Bible down again.



I've tried switching the topic or saying I'm not sure about an answer and will research it. Eve and other friends accept this very nicely, and if I say I'm bored of discussing it or getting frustrated they definitely will leave it alone. I think the reason she's so interested is because she only recently became atheist herself. I'm not totally convinced that she's totally convinced atheism is true, anyway. Personally, I think she's angry at her family because they are strict and force her, literally and physically, to church and are actually kind of frightening. She gets so angry about the Christian concept of God that I kind of think she believes in it but doesn't want to. Sometimes I feel that way too, so we get on well. But, anyway, she will usually go along with it if I switch topics. It's more Jeordie who isn't right now. I guess that's his new tactic. All the other stuff, you know about, isn't happening and I'm sure he blames my beliefs for that and thinks if I didn't have these religious hang-ups and guilt I would be happy to be with him, drink, etc like before. I can actually walk into a different room and he'll follow me and challenge me to prove him wrong. Sometimes I can, usually I can't.

I really have to ask what kind of friends insist on hounding you over a topic you've made it clear you don't want to talk about. Perhaps it would help to turn the tables on them and ask them why they have such a vested interest in making you unhappy, whenever they keep hounding you over something simply throw it right back in their faces.



Basically what I've been struggling with is when they point out that none of them, as well as myself, have never had a personal relationship with God despite going to church and trying. I've believed in God of course, but when you described God as being as real to you as your son, wow, I've never felt that. God to me is kind of like Thomas Jefferson; people can tell me things about him and I can believe he exists, but I don't know him. Sometimes I feel sad about that, a lot actually, but when people push me about it, I do feel kind of like "well, maybe God really isn't there then, huh?" which I know is bad, but that's the truth right now.

I keep coming back to the need for you to spend more time with God, and maybe less time with these "friends". Take some time out every day to pray, to spend time alone with God. Ask him to draw close to you, to reveal himself to you. Once you've experienced God in a personal way I don't doubt for a minute you'll be better equipped to handle more of these questions.



A lot of the other things they say aren't convincing by themselves, but they kind of poke holes in my faith and leave it deflated. Like, they've asked me (Jeordie has) how can God be three people; how can Jesus say the way to God is "through" him, and then later say he is God, without being wrong or mad. I don't think Jesus was mad, but people saying things like that...I end up wondering. And I've been asked the usual stuff about how can God be good and all powerful when we still have atrocities, and they call the idea of God having unknown plans a cop-out. I guess they haven't provided conclusive proof, obviously, but more made me question everything I was taught in church and figure out things I'm not ready for.

Atrocities are always a favourite, how can God love us if he lets us harm one another. Does the fact that you and Jeordie have these disagreements mean your respective parents don't love you? If you and he came to physical blows would that mean your parents didn't love you? God gave us freedom to choose because he wants us to choose to love him. Love isn't love unless there is a free choice to not love.

If God were to step in and prevent what we call the worst atrocities and disasters, where do we draw the line? It's easy to see why we might want God to intervene in somewhere like Darfur or Zimbabwe, but as soon as those horrendous situations were resolved we'd be crying out for God to intervene in a lesser situation, then a situation lesser still, and before long we'd be asking "How can a loving God allow people to stub their toes?" or some such.



I agree it's better not to discuss it with them, and that will work with most friends for sure, but Jeordie harps on me about it a lot lately. He keeps tossing out arguments, the last one which basically said if you don't stone disobedient children to death, you don't follow the whole Bible so why follow any of it? :( As soon as I answer, Jeordie informs me I'm relativist and all people are, so absolute theologies have no place in modern society! I can't win. And right now, that's his topic of choice.
So should we assume that since Jeordie probably breaks a law once in a while (maybe he had a drink before he was 21, maybe he breaks the odd speed limit or fails to come to a complete halt at a stop sign) that he's happy to go out raping and killing people? After all, if he isn't keeping to the entire law why keep any of it, right?

A lot of people like this relativist argument. As soon as you insist that there can be no absolute right and wrong you immediately give license to the Hitlers and Stalins of the world to do what they will - how can we possibly say what Hitler did was wrong unless we introduce an absolute concept of what "wrong" is? Unfortunately if we reject the idea of having an absolute sense of what is "right" and "wrong" we can't then turn around and ask why God allows "wrong" things to happen.

The thing is, it's easy to go round and round with logical arguments and counter-arguments. From your posts it seems pretty clear that this Jeordie guy isn't remotely interested in your well-being and has a vested interest in getting you to go against what you believe in. If he won't leave you alone can you ask your father to have a word with him - even if your father has issues with his own faith I would hope his desire to protect you would encourage him to tell Jeordie to back off and leave you alone.

peacebringer
Jul 6th 2008, 11:37 PM
Dear London belle.
First of all let me state that God loves you. Beyond measure. If you haven't grasped that, pray for God to show you his love.

The enemy will seek to tear you down and send you down a path of questions and doubts. The debates you get into are not because of anyone being interested in your point of view, they are looking to tear down yours. They are sure in their own mind.

It is helpful to find information to grow in your ability to interact with these people. Any good introduction to logic textbook should help you deal with the logical arguements.
Folks that are good sources of apologetics are Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell.
Greg Boyd is also helpful but comes from a different view of GOd.

A straight out logical arguement against the likes of Dawkins Is irrational athiest which can be downloaded. Do a search on Vox day.
However even if you had all knowledge and perfect skills at debating you would still struggle.

Listen to me on this point also, prescious child. It is okay to have doubts. It is okay to question. But be assured that Jesus loves you. You are in a hard place because you don't see or feel any tangible evidence of the relationship. You are simply walking in faith. But walking and surrendering to Jesus when you have nothing tangible to base your faith on, is blessed.

Let me finish by stating that the key is seeking first the Kingdom of God. Not our own wants or desires but submitting to what God desires and walking that way. Maybe turning from relationships is in order, maybe not. That is between you and God. Spend time in God's word. Spend time in fellowship with other believers. Seek first the Kingdom of God.

daughter
Jul 7th 2008, 10:46 AM
Hey LondonBelle...

I have been wondering how to answer this, and I just don't know.

You know what I think? I think you are under a direct spiritual assault, and are being attacked on all fronts. This Geordie guy, and your friends... why pay attention to them, when they so obviously hate you? Do you realise that it's not normal or friendly to sit and tear into someone, make them miserable and confused? Do they do this to their buddhist or wiccan friends? (Assuming they have any.) Why is your faith the one they attack?

Because it's true.

I can't say what you should do about your "friends", (who I consider abusive by the way) but when your "friends" behave like that, have a quick thought to yourself, and wonder... why would they want to destroy your faith? Who do they serve when they attack you?

Pray, read your Bible, call out to God to help you. I'm so angry and sad that you are being put through this, and I'm praying that God will sift you and restore you, as He has done His saints at least since Peter.

Sold Out
Jul 7th 2008, 03:51 PM
Do you know how the Fbi can tell a forgery from real money ? they have
people who do nothing but study the real currency.


Thats what God wants you to do , read his word study it and meditate on it .
and then when you read a book of forgery such as your friends athiest book . you can laugh at it because you know what it is Because you studied the real thing.

Gods blessings

I LOVE THIS! What a great point. I'm totally stealing this from you! j/k

Mr King
Jul 7th 2008, 09:18 PM
I've always loved Jesus, but a friend pointed out to me flaws in the idea of the crucifixion, which I shared on a thread in controversial issues..and she's sort of influenced me to wonder too.

It's disturbing that this person is focused on these so called flaws instead of focusing on His purpose being on the Cross. Focus on His purpose being on the Cross. Focus on what He went through and how He dealt with the excruciating crucifixion. He died on the Cross carrying the sins of the world and faced total rejection from the world and His Father. The only thing that's flawed is this person's thinking.



I'm not sure I believe in some of the Bible, like various miracles, anymore.

John 4:48
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

John 20:19-31
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe."

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it in My side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His name."



He thinks I miss out on a lot of fun and even though I've never really felt that way I guess what he says is tempting. But yeah, it's really tempting to think about there being no rules, no such thing as sin, stuff like that. I don't really *believe* there isn't sin and what you do doesn't matter...but I kind of want to.



It's more Jeordie who isn't right now. I guess that's his new tactic. All the other stuff, you know about, isn't happening and I'm sure he blames my beliefs for that and thinks if I didn't have these religious hang-ups and guilt I would be happy to be with him, drink, etc like before. I can actually walk into a different room and he'll follow me and challenge me to prove him wrong. Sometimes I can, usually I can't.

Let me tell you about lust. Lust is something that gives you momentarily pleasures but they are never truly satisfaction pleasures. Love is a true pleasure that lasts forever.

There is a continuous battle on earth among all human beings over what habits will dominate them. The world is full of numerous desires which can be divided into two main parts: Godly desires and ungodly desires. There is a constant battle going on, satan is tenaciously seeking to take control of the soul of as many people as possible, he wants to rule and dominate man. The strategy he uses is to get into and influence virtually everything available on the face of the earth. Even though most things look unharmful, underlying them is a dangerous scheme of satan to take over the soul of man.

Lust is defined as having an eager, passionate, and especially inordinate or sinful desire for the gratification of sexual appetite or of covetousness.

Sexual lust is sin, it robs man of a passionate love for God. Your heart is made to either love God or other things, you cannot do both wholeheartedly. God wants you to have an intimate relationship with Him. He has given His only Son so that you would realise how wholly committed He is to you, and therefore invites you to give Him all of your heart.

Lust is not of God
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:15,16

The Outcome of Lust
Lust chokes the word of God of its power and ability to bring forth the victories God wants for all His children. Lust will promote defeat and God's anger. Lust makes the word of God unfruitful. Lust will starve a peron's life of success.

Lust wars against the soul, it seeks to bring your soul into submission, so that you become a slave to it, a person can get to the place where sexual lust becomes his/her master. Such a person will shun every consequence to fullfill the lust.

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust which against the soul. 1Peter 2:11

God wants you for Himself, He wants you totally sold out to Him, while the evil one wants to have you to himself and seeks to do this through sexual lust, he keeps deceiving and deceiving, replaying and emphasising wrong desires through everything around you so as to hold you captive.

Satan is the father and source of all evil desires. He is doomed, hell is his portion and final judgement. He is trying very hard to lure as many people as possible through sexual lust to come with him into eternal destruction.



A lot of the other things they say aren't convincing by themselves, but they kind of poke holes in my faith and leave it deflated.


I'll give you an example. Look at God's laws. They are perfect and flawless. They are simple and easy to understand and to obey.

One day these lawmakers who were really lawbreakers came up and spoke on one of the laws saying surely we believe in this law but it didn't specifically mention this. So they excuse themselves by adding to the law.

Then another day, some other people comes up and spoke of the law saying surely we believe in the law but it didn't specifically mention that. So they excuse themselves to get around the law. This also gives the lawmakers an excuse to add more to the law.

Now the day comes when the society is corrupted and people ask why. It was because of their cleaverness and greed against these laws and not their faith and wisdom for the laws that brought forth all these additional man-made laws that was filled with flaws and excuses. So God's laws were no longer obeyed nor enforced which brought forth corruption, confusion and lawlessness.

1 Jn 1:5-10 (Phi)
Here then is the message which we heard from Him and now proclaim to you: GOD IS LIGHT and no shadow of darkness can exist in Him. Consequently, if we were to say that we enjoyed fellowship with Him and still went on living in darkness, we should be both telling and living a lie. But if we really are living in the light in which He eternally exists, then we have true fellowship with each other, and the blood which His Son Jesus shed for us keeps us clean from all sin. If we refuse to admit that we are sinners, then we live in a world of illusion, and truth becomes a stranger to us. But if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find Him reliable and just; He forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil. For if we say "we have not sinned," we are making Him a liar and cut ourselves off from what He has to say to us.

From what I've read it looks like these people you speak of live in a world of illusion and the truth is a stranger to them.

Another scripture to keep in mind.

John 3:19-21 (Phi)
"This is the judgment: that light has entered the world, and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But everyone who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God."



I've had a lot of trouble clinging to my faith lately, mostly because there doesn't seem to be much left.



I just don't know how to handle this. I don't have any ammunition against it. I know not reading that stuff is one option but I guess I don't see a point in clinging to my faith, if my faith is so shaky I need to act like an ostrich and hide my head in the sand whenever questioned, you know?

Jesus said, "Therefore everyone who hears these Words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Keep studying diligently on the Word of God. Talk with believers who you can have true fellowship and to grow with on your spiritual journey. You need to build a strong foundation to stand firmly on which is faith. The more knowledge and insight you have, the stronger your faith becomes and the closer relationship you'll have with the Lord.

Let me give you an example; sports fans. Look at many of them. Especially the ones you hear who speaks very informative about every single play made during a game. Watch how enthusiastic they are when their team wins or winning the game. Because they have so much knowledge and insight for the sports, they have so much fire and show great enthusiasm for the games they watch.

When you gain so much knowledge and insight on God's Word, you'll become one of those who gets very excited and enthusiastic with the Lord. You'll be on fire for the Lord when you preach the truth with others.

Keep this in mind. Don't go from your feelings/thoughts to your mind which goes to the heart then the soul and finally to God. Start with God, God's Word, which works to your soul, to your heart then your mind, your feelings/thoughts and finally your social context.

cdo
Jul 7th 2008, 11:25 PM
Hello,
Please get away from that EVIL BOOK!!!!!!
Satan uses all kinds of different DEVICES to tempt us,to get us away from GOD'S TRUTH!!!Thats his job:JESUS SAID:Take heed and not be DECIEVED.Get yourself back into :pray:"THE WORD of GOD" Fill your heart with the MERCY and GRACE of GOD!!!!! REPENT and have faith.God has not
left you,HE said HE never would forsake us.But, by your post ,
you speak like your defeated.You are a VICTOR not a VICTIM,,,,NOT SO!!! Be strong in The LORD:pp
Read The TRUTH; Speak The TRUTH;Believe The TRUTH!!!
I pray blessing's on you
:)cdo:)

Scubadude
Jul 8th 2008, 12:20 AM
Sounds like you are feeling lonely, and finding these friends want to understand and accept you, regardless of how well you can articulate your faith or not. If you haven't found friendship like that in church, maybe this is a gift from God. Everyone needs friends. Not all friends agree on everything.

londonbelle
Jul 8th 2008, 01:34 AM
Just wanted to update that things are going a little better. One of my friends agreed to go with me to church next Sunday. She's an atheist or at least agnostic but she's nice about it. She comes from a Christian home. She isn't one of those people who has to be right all the time, or who asks me a lot of questions when I say I'm uncomfortable. Maybe that's because she's been here before, at this part of life where I am. I actually got Jeordie to agree to go too, after a really big row. I said he could ask the pastor whatever he wanted and such. I don't think he will though. I realise, he doesn't want to know about Christianity. He just hates it and wants me out of it. But, whatever, he's agreed to go to the church, probably because he likes the friend of mine that is going (whole other story there) and he hasn't brought up stuff about atheism lately.

I am going to try to start reading the Bible more regularly. I need to get a better one than I have first, because this one doesn't have the OT and my other copy is still at our old house. But when I do I'll read it.

moonglow
Jul 8th 2008, 02:51 PM
Just wanted to update that things are going a little better. One of my friends agreed to go with me to church next Sunday. She's an atheist or at least agnostic but she's nice about it. She comes from a Christian home. She isn't one of those people who has to be right all the time, or who asks me a lot of questions when I say I'm uncomfortable. Maybe that's because she's been here before, at this part of life where I am. I actually got Jeordie to agree to go too, after a really big row. I said he could ask the pastor whatever he wanted and such. I don't think he will though. I realise, he doesn't want to know about Christianity. He just hates it and wants me out of it. But, whatever, he's agreed to go to the church, probably because he likes the friend of mine that is going (whole other story there) and he hasn't brought up stuff about atheism lately.

I am going to try to start reading the Bible more regularly. I need to get a better one than I have first, because this one doesn't have the OT and my other copy is still at our old house. But when I do I'll read it.

wow...that is great news! :pp I have been praying for you!!!!!!!!!!

let us know how it goes...

God bless

Mr King
Jul 8th 2008, 06:56 PM
I am going to try to start reading the Bible more regularly. I need to get a better one than I have first, because this one doesn't have the OT and my other copy is still at our old house. But when I do I'll read it.

I am glad to hear that you will try to start reading the Bible more regularly. This is wonderful news!



I actually got Jeordie to agree to go too, after a really big row. I said he could ask the pastor whatever he wanted and such. I don't think he will though. I realise, he doesn't want to know about Christianity. He just hates it and wants me out of it.

This could be why Jeordie doesn't want to know so he speaks against Christianity.

John 3:19-21 (Phi)
"This is the judgment: that light has entered the world, and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But everyone who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God."



But, whatever, he's agreed to go to the church, probably because he likes the friend of mine that is going.

That's great that he agreed to go to Church. I would encourage all three of you to ask questions and hope that the answers will spark a light inside of yourselves to see the truth.

chal
Jul 8th 2008, 08:11 PM
Everyone I know seems better able to stand up for their opinions than me, in all areas, not just Christianity. :(


chal> This sentence jumped off the page to me. Especially the "not just Christianity," part.

I'm sure that you are not wrong about every single opinion you have, right? The law of averages if nothing else would make that extremely improbable, if not impossible.

So if this is happening to you on issues that you know you are right about as well, then your lack of ability to stand up for your opinions is not a valid reason to lose your faith. IOW, just because you can't stand up for your opinions doesn't equal them being wrong.

Scubadude
Jul 8th 2008, 08:13 PM
One of my friends agreed to go with me to church next Sunday. She's an atheist or at least agnostic but she's nice about it. She comes from a Christian home. She isn't one of those people who has to be right all the time, or who asks me a lot of questions when I say I'm uncomfortable. Maybe that's because she's been here before, at this part of life where I am. I actually got Jeordie to agree to go too, after a really big row. I said he could ask the pastor whatever he wanted and such. I don't think he will though. I realise, he doesn't want to know about Christianity. He just hates it and wants me out of it. But, whatever, he's agreed to go to the church, probably because he likes the friend of mine that is going (whole other story there) and he hasn't brought up stuff about atheism lately.


That's wonderful! That sounds like you have found some real friends. A friend won't always agree with you, but they will be willing to be a part of your life.

I wouldn't be to worried about Jeordie. Some guys are afraid to admit they don't have the important questions figured out, and put up a big front. Sounds to me like the Lord has pricked his heart because of you, and he is fighting God, but directing it at you. Just give him space. The Lord will deal with him.

peacebringer
Jul 9th 2008, 04:46 PM
Okay felt led to share this with you. Pray for these people. Spend time every day beseeching the Lord to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the Gospel. No matter if you had all the best arguementation (such as Vod Day's Irrational Athiest) none is enough to turn a heart or mind. Only the Holy Spirit can prompt a heart to repent. Ask God to minister to them with the Holy SPirit and give you the words and actions to draw them unto Him.

YahwehIsGod
Jul 10th 2008, 10:48 PM
I've tried prayer but I've never experienced prayer working for me when it comes to faith. Prayer has gotten me through difficult times, but I've never felt a connection to God at all, not at all. I still feel empty every time I pray.


I've prayed and gone to church and read the Bible, but I have no sense of their being a God connected to me. Some people say when they get saved they feel something like peace or a relationship with God. This, I've never had. I can't offer any answers to this question.

londonbelle,

I'm going to be straight with you here because I love you and because I know exactly what you're going through right now -- because that was me some 3-4 weeks ago. From everything that I have read from you in this thread, there is no guarantee whatsoever that you are, or ever have been, a Christian. Your words do not reflect someone who truly knows Christ.

I realize almost everybody in this thread has tried to encourage you by giving you links to Christian apologists, counseling you to pray more, read your Bible more, etc. But I'm here to tell you that if you do not know Christ, NONE of that stuff will be of any good to you. Please don't be angry with me for telling you these things; I do so only because I know that without Christ you will NEVER have victory over your doubts, you will NEVER have that close relationship with God that you so desire, and if, heaven forbid, you die in a condition outside of Christ, you will go to hell.

Prior to June 14th of this year I was in your position. I *thought* I was a Christian, but I constantly had doubts. I had no connection with God whatsoever, and reading the Bible and praying was something that I always had to force myself to do. I was sad, miserable, and living in sin. I didn't know Christ at all, and more importantly, he didn't know me.

Then on the morning of the 14th of June I watched a video on YouTube that changed my life. It was the pure, unrestrained, no-nonsense message of the Gospel, and by the time I had watched the entire thing I become certain that not only was I not a Christian, but I needed to repent and come to Christ immediately. The Holy Spirit really worked on me, and that morning I finally become truly born again. What's even more amazing was that over the next few days I examined myself through the Scriptures (1st John), and finally I came to have assurance of my salvation.

Reading the Bible no longer felt like such a chore anymore. Prayer became something I actually looked forward to, and I quickly began to really feel that connection with God. I do still struggle with certain sins in my life, but not nearly to the degree that I used to, and through prayer and continual reading of the word, I have hope of overcoming those sins and living a more Christ-like life. I have a peace that I've never experienced before.

Londonbelle, I don't know what the Lord has in store for your life, but I do know that if God wasn't working on you to some degree you wouldn't be seeking the answers you're seeking. With that in mind, please click on the link at the end of my post and watch the video. It just may change your life.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=G7X24_vOWwU

I'll be praying for you, londonbelle.

In Christ,

Joel

Jesusinmyheart
Jul 12th 2008, 11:52 AM
Londonbelle,

To be blunt, you have a decicion to make. Do you want to know and be sure and safe? If so, then run straight to the Word of God and read, and read and ask God for wisdom and understanding.

Continuing the debates and reading atheist literature will not help you find an answer as none of that is the truth. If you want truth, go and read the Word from beginning to end and do not stop, until you know you're beginning to see the light.
Prayers alone will not work, you need to arm yourself with knowledge of the truth.

Ask and you shall receive, and God will provide you with understanding as you read His Word, you just have to be receptive.

Now this is simple advice, but it will work. All you need to do is make a decision which way you want to go.

I'll leave you with a verse and prayers:

Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Remember we will certainly fall with those whom we chose to surround ourselves with. Look at Adam and Eve, they fell because they listened to the serpent.

Much love,
Tanja