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Featured Should we Question our Beliefs

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Neuropteron, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Neuropteron

    Neuropteron Member

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    The apostle Paul was well-educated and extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers. His beliefs however created problems for him. It led to him persecuting the congregation of God and devastating it. It required a dramatic intervention by Jesus himself to move Paul to adjust his beliefs.

    By exercising their freedom of religion, earth's 8 billion inhabitants have produced an amazing diversity of beliefs. This leads to the question, should we exercise caution in regards to what we believe ?

    At times belief is dictated by upbringing, peer pressure, majority thinking, emotionalism, or simply because we want to believe it.

    One professor said that even scientists " often fall in love with their own constructions." Their beliefs becloud their critical judgment. Then they may spend a lifetime trying to shore up mistaken beliefs.

    Similar things have happened with religious beliefs where immense contradictions exist. One man has deep faith in God. Another says that the man is only " weaving faith out of moonshine." One maintains that you have an immortal soul that survives death. Another believes that when you die you cease to exist, totally and completely.

    Obviously, conflicting beliefs like these cannot all be true. Is it not the course of wisdom, then, to make sure that what we believe is actually true and not influenced by others or by our own emotions ?

    The Bible explains: Faith is the assured expectation (or evident demonstration) of reality although not yet seen.

    Would you agree that this statement, taken from the Bible, advocates using facts as the basis for our faith ?


    ref: Acts 9:1-6; 26:14;1;Timothy 4:1; 2;Timothy 4:3;4 ;Heb 11:1; 1Timothy 2:4; John 8:32.
     
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  2. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    If we don't question our beliefs, it means we aren't really confident. It's false bravado, regardless if we are for or against something.

    One of the best things that happen to our beliefs is when we meet something we thought impossible or that is in direct contradiction to what we thought. We get a chance to grow and use the old beliefs as fertilizer for the new.
     
  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Sammasambuddha

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    Depends on what you mean by facts.

    It is a fact two and two is four, but if someone believes it is five and it benefits them spiritually, technicaly they are wrong; but, just because its not based on fact (their belief) doesnt mean it isnt benefital or ethically wrong.

    Yet, another fact for christianity, but not fact as in mathematics or gravity, is god exists. So, if this is a fact for christians, then whatever you base your OP on will always be a support to the christian god; making the definition of facts bias to which criteria (bible) those facts are defined.

    Its alright to question your belief if your fact is god exists. Whatever you question is confirmed by scripture and that supports your belief and confirms it...whatever answers you receive, you attribute it to god. Nothing wrong with that.

    But, if you are questioning your belief based on mathematical facts (god does not exist) then I think it would not benefit the christians spiritual growth. It will make him doubt when he can see the facts without it being confirmed by something he is already familar with. If there was no confirmed bias, I think many christians would not take that well.

    So questioning within ones own beliefs help with spiritual growth; its confirmed bias. Nothing wrong with that.

    Questioning outside of your beliefs as if your beliefs are a foundation for universal facts is really missing the point of religion. People have beent trying to prove god is real from discovering noahs arch to NDEs.

    The answer is yes Just keep to the confirmed bias. Unless a christian is open to be wrong, and accepts it, it would probably harm him if he goes out of his comfort zone.
     
  4. Neuropteron

    Neuropteron Member

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    Thank you for your thoughts. I agree, a christian should be open to be wrong. After all the truth is the important factor, not my personal beliefs. If my belief are not in harmony with the truth it is of no benefit.

    All the best
     
  5. lukethethird

    lukethethird Active Member

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    It's a tough one for Christians because faith is considered to be a virtue, leaving only secular beliefs to be open for question. Maybe as long as faith beliefs don't conflict with every day life it is not a problem.
     
  6. rrobs

    rrobs Active Member

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    One thing is sure; denominations are not God's idea. God reveals Himself in the scriptures. He is what He says He is in the scriptures, not subject to man's ideas of who He is. That means that, at best, there can only be one denomination out of the many thousands in existence who rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). The scriptures, and nothing but the scriptures, must be the Christian's only rule of faith and practice.

    1Cor 1:10,

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    Rom 12:16,

    [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
    Phil 2:2,

    Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.
    Phil 3:16,

    Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
    1Pet 3:8,

    Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:​
     
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  7. rrobs

    rrobs Active Member

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    Would you let someone talk you out of the sky being blue? I'd never let anyone talk me out of that, and that would in no way indicate a lack of confidence. Having faith is in fact being confident. If someone is not confident, they don't have faith.

    Faith is confidence or trust in something. It is not blindly believing something that can't be understood. We are told to take certain things by faith that we can not understand. But that is not what faith is. We can only have faith in something with which we have come to understand as being understandable and trustworthy. You have faith your friend will pay you back because you've known them to be reliable. You wouldn't have as much faith in a stranger paying you back because you don't know and understand them and how reliable they may or may not be.

    Scripturally, faith is based on what we understand about God. If you know He has healed you, (1 Pet 2:24, notice past tense, "...hath healed") you can have faith that your fever will go away. If you didn't know God healed you, how could you have any faith? Faith is not blindly accepting something that we can't reason or understand. How often are we asked to, "just take it by faith" when you try to have someone explain something like the trinity. That is not what faith is or how it works. You have faith in what you know beyond any doubt to be true. The more you know about God from the scriptures (not necessarily the churches) the more you can have faith in Him and His word.

    Rom 10:17,

    So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Faith, trust, confidence, comes by hearing one thing and one thing only; the word of God. It's not what someone says about the word, but what does the word itself say. Of course that word must be rightly divided.

    2Tim 2:15,

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    The scriptures have to be the sole source for the Christian's rule of faith and practice. The more a Christian knows the scriptures the more faith they will have.
     
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  8. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    That seems to agree with my belief - one cannot have faith apart from knowledge.
     
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  9. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Certainly we should question our beliefs, but I think you are on dodgy ground using the Hebrews 11 definition of faith - that was really about faith in promises - faith in a hoped for future that it was impossible to see and certainly was not not (yet) a fact. Paul argues that it was faith in promises that motivated the men and women of faith that he lists and that's not the same as believing something that is patently false or absurd or that is impossible to verify. It is never possible to verify the future - so faith is the only option there - whether you are trusting in God or the promise symbolized by the dollar bill in your pocket.

    There are no facts on which to base that kind of faith - there are only trends - more often than not, the dollar bill does turn out to be exchangeable for goods to the same (more or less) value and so we can have reasonable faith in that.

    And of course Hebrews 11 lists a number of people whose faith in the promises of God panned out. But I reckon for every one of those there must have been a thousand who found otherwise - obviously the writer of Hebrews wouldn't have listed these.

    Prophecy is an arbitrary and inexact "science" - ask the guy who wrote a book called "88 reasons why the rapture could be in 1988" and the thousands who spent money buying it. Ask William Miller or C.T. Russell. or Sun Myung Moon, or Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Nostradamus or Harold Camping...OK - I'm boring myself listing them - there have been hundreds of false predictions about the Return of Christ, the end of the world, the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven, the rapture...etc. etc. and millions have pinned their hope and faith on them only to be disappointed. Even King David was promised a descendant would sit on the throne of Israel for ever - but there is no descendant of King David on the throne of Israel now.

    So promises don't always pan out - and that's a fact!

    But I suspect the kind of faith you are referring is not that - so Hebrews 11 is not really relevant. The kind of faith I suspect you might mean is really about "trusting our beliefs" - being sure that there is a God and a Jesus and a resurrection of the dead...and all that. And the problem here too is that facts (if there even are any) are few and far between.

    There might be a God - but how can we be sure? His job description has shrunk considerably since the Bible was written - he is no longer required to propel the sun across the sky, paint rainbows on it or hang stars in it - he doesn't need to make mountains smoke or cause the earth to shake...he doesn't even need to make plants grow any more - the soil, the earth and the sky all function quite well by themselves.

    Even the demons are sitting around twiddling their thumbs now that they don't need to cause epilepsy or speech impediments and the like.

    The earth has turned out to very much older than God would have liked it to be and the massive variety of living organisms that inhabit it got here all by themselves.

    There's really not much left for God to do in the natural world - so he is pretty much limited to the realms of the supernatural - and about that, there are no facts to be had - leastwise not scientifically verifiable ones that one would reasonably (emphasis on reasonably) trust.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear".

    There is surely less reasonable justification for believing in the existence of God now than there were in Jefferson's time. And so for the most part, it seems to me, we (people) have diverged into two camps - both of which find no genuine reason to believe - but one rejects belief on the basis of reason, the other fears to disbelieve.
     
  10. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    I started with faith [not yet having proof], and after some time God granted experiences, which made my faith stronger and God revealed even more of Himself.
     
  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Sammasambuddha

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    Have you questioned your faith before?

    If so, what did you learn?

    If not, why not?
     
  12. rrobs

    rrobs Active Member

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    Have I ever questioned the sky being blue? Nope. I know it is and that is why I have faith it is in fact blue. Faith comes by knowledge, trust, and dependability. You have faith your longtime friend will pay you back because you know him. You would probably have little faith in a stranger because you don't know them. Faith is not blind. I know the churches tell you to, "take it by faith" when propounding something they can't explain, e. g. the trinity. That is not scriptural faith. I have faith in the scriptures because I have seen them to be rock solid and dependable. So, to answer your question, no, I've never questioned my faith in the scriptures nor the color of the sky.
     
  13. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Sammasambuddha

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    Questioning your faith is different than doubt or searching for something you know is true. For example, a lot of us think the earth is round. We draw it as round and thats pretty much our perception.

    Here is the earth: terrain_0.jpg
    Datums | Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping

    Also, the real color of the sun is white What Is The Real Color Of The Sun? It's Not Yellow! not yellow

    That is why scientist as a whole do, question what we already know to learn new things about the world. It doesn negate what we already know, it just means we dont take things as seen. We go deeper.

    Same as god and any other religion. Actually, in spirituality, it should be a life long questioning our faith because that is how we grow to learn new things. We dont take things for granted.

    In your case, questioning your faith may help you learn more about it instead of accepting whats written or said as truth. There is so much more than what meets the eye. Thats how people in general get indoctrinated in one truth because they feel uncomfortable going out of their confort zone to discover other things about the world spiritually.

    That doesnt negate what you know is true. It just means you are taking it a step further.

    Take scripture Matthew 13:20-21 Having fertile soul is much more than belief. Its maturity but you cant get that far when you push back thorns that are natural in any soil you plant.

    James 1:2-4 Its alright to question or test your faith. The sun is yellow and orange from just looking at it. Instead of taking it for granted (and the sky) go it deeper.

    It helps with spiritual growth.

    I had a friend I told this to and she said it would make her doubt her faith to question it outside of her comfort zone. Maybe other adults dont want to admit it; but, that doesnt mean its wrong it just means some people cant do it.
     
  14. rrobs

    rrobs Active Member

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    The devil said to Eve, "Did God say.....?" He knew darn well what God said. He just said that to get her to doubt, and look where that went! He did the same thing with Jesus, who fortunately didn't fall for it. In any case, I've been in this long enough to get past that. Doubting what one already knows to be true is not required to learn more. All you have to do is keep your mind in the scriptures. God will teach you plenty of good stuff.
     
  15. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    You don't have "faith" that the sky is blue. You see it as blue, and thus believe it is blue because you saw it. But of course, this begs the philosophical question of what colors are and if they are objective, which makes this a bad example.
     
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  16. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Sammasambuddha

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    Questioning your faith isnt the same as doubt. It means being open and critical of what you believe is true as not to take it for granted. Its learning about what you believe instead of taking it at face value. Its part of the spiritual journey.

    The devil has nothing to do with it.
     
    #16 Unveiled Artist, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  17. Neuropteron

    Neuropteron Member

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    ........

    I appriciate your comment.
    You might be interested in the fact that this prophesy was fulfilled.

    Jesus Christ, son of David, was both the legal and the natural heir to the throne of David. (Mt 1:1,\~17; Lu 3:23-31)
    The prophecy you mention was fulfilled when Jesus became King in heaven and the nation of natural jews was given to a spiritual Israel.
     
  18. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    When?
     
  19. Patrick Miron

    Patrick Miron Patrick4Jesus

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    Man exist in this Created world for a precise reason.

    Certainly one should endeavor to find that "pearl of a great price"; That TRUTH which can only be singular.

    What I choose to think, or your choose to think is subjective; but there is, there must be an absolute truth for every defined issue. ...WHY and even HOW we exist is the path true inner peace.

    This TRUTH is knowable by all; logic and a an objective search for the veracity of our Being is a mystery that is solvable. One must look first outward than inward to discover it.
    Certainly to seek the Objective TRUTH {defined as singular per defined issue} of Why we are and WHY we are as we ARE Gen 1:26-27 ; 2:6-7; ought ti be life's primary purpose. Isaiah 43: 7 &21 ... Mt. 13: 45-46 ought to be life's most ardent quest.

    That it is imagined by countless numbers who choose to seek their OWN truths; and hence circumnavigate Objective Truth, is a profoundly sad reality.

    I personally especially liked your references to 1 Timothy 2:4 &John 8:32... Many assume in error believing that they have found it.

    May God guide our Life's paths.
    Patrick
     
  20. rrobs

    rrobs Active Member

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    The devil has everything to do with it.

    2Cor 4:4,

    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    He's the one who keeps us from learning the truth. You may not believe that verse, but that is what it says. I chose to believe it. Others choose to believe something of their own imagination.

    Once you know the truth, you know it. Questioning comes from not knowing. I don't learn about what I believe, I believe what I learn.
     
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