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What Made You Believe?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by JustGeorge, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    Conversion(for lack of a better term) stories have always kind of fascinated me. In my library going years(seems so long ago), I was often drawn to books that told the story of a person adopting a religion(and sometimes a culture) that they weren't raised with. It was interesting to hear of the unique experiences, and sometimes challenges, each person faced.

    So, how'd you get here? For those of you that chose a belief you weren't raised with, what was it that made you believe the way you do, or choose the religious path you've chosen? Was it a scripture, an experience, exposure to another person, or something else?

    (Please note: I'm asking why you believe your path, not disbelieve another.)
     
    #1 JustGeorge, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  2. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus retired astronomer

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    After decades of studying the universe it just got to the point that the only way it all made sense to me is if there was a creative intelligence behind it all.
     
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  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    After having big experiences with my loved ones after their deaths, I pretty much stayed with the family-oriented religious practices. Grief kinda opens a spiritual door. I guess there's many ways to come to different levels of spiritual awakening. I haven't reached that big level but more like little doorways to there. I'd say spiritual wise, I'd say animist would be the closest term. Religion, though, I do wish I had a community oriented religion. Why I believe? Experiences.
     
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  4. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Great question....sorry if this breaks your conditions but the reasons for my current path have a lot to do with why I abandoned my former one. :(

    I was raised as a "Christian"...or so I thought. But as I got older some glaring anomalies began to come to my attention. The church I was raised in was very hypocritical....they would spout off things that Jesus said, but in real life they did the opposite.

    An an example....Jesus said that we had to "love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us" (Matthew 5:43-44)....what did my church do? They supported the military in their bloodshed and even prayed for victory over their enemies. That meant killing their enemies and approving of the methods. They salved the consciences of those who participated in that bloodshed and basically told them that Jesus approved because it was a "just war" situation. I have yet to see any "just war" approved of by Jesus.

    Another thing I had difficulty with was infant baptism and how people would go through the motions of the whole ceremony and they knew that it was just for show. And besides which fact that there are no infant baptisms in the Bible. One had to be able to learn about Jesus Christ and choose of their own free will to become a disciple....no infant can do that....and no one can become a "Christian" by sprinkling water on a baby.

    Another thing that bothered me was the stories in the Bible of Jesus sending his disciples out to preach about God's Kingdom....and when I thought about the Lord's Prayer, ("thy kingdom come") which I prayed in church every week, I realized that it was just words repeated parrot fashion, and that no one had ever explained to me what I was praying for. When I asked what God's Kingdom was, I got a variety of opinions but nothing from the Bible.

    I saw no one preaching unless it was to the converted....and in their own building.....and clearly Jesus did not intend his disciples to preach to one another. When was that command of Jesus ever obeyed in my church I wondered? (Matthew 28:19-20; Matthew 24:14)

    So in my late teens, early twenties, my disgust with the church was more than I could stomach, so I left. I toyed with other denominations but found them all pretty much the same, just under different banners. I tried the Mormons, Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) but still felt out of place. It was very frustrating so I then sought the truth in science....hoping that evolution might give me a different slant on things......but it simply proved to me how amazingly everything was designed.....so I knew that the Designer was out there somewhere, but I didn't know where else to look.

    Then there was a knock at my door.....more "church" people I thought....but I was wrong. They were nothing to do with the "church people" and they had all the answers I was looking for straight from the Bible. They had no involvement in politics or bloodshed......they did not baptize infants, and they did what Jesus commanded them to do.....they were taking the "good news of God's Kingdom" out to the world. I finally found out what I had been praying for all my life. I now know what God's Kingdom is...how it "comes" and why its "good news"! :)

    That is my conversion journey....
     
    #4 Deeje, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  5. Gargovic Malkav

    Gargovic Malkav Active Member

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    I worship and believe in the One I see as the Source of Everything as a result of experience and faith. Label me as you see fit.
    Grew up in an atheist/agnostic household in a mainly atheist/agnostic environment.
    Grew tired of the boastful talk of some of the atheists and envied the patience, kindness, and self-control the few religious people I knew exhibited(who weren't at all like the stereotypes such atheists depicted).
    I knew this was because of their faith.

    So one day I decided to study the Bible.
    I tried really hard to look at the texts I imagine a believer would.
    This planted the seed of faith in me.
    It took a while to truly believe in God though.
    For a period of time, I saw God only as a concept;
    A placebo of sorts, but I saw the benefits.
    I gave this placebo a try.
    Eventually this got so serious that God became real for me.
    Because it made me see a dimension that didn't exist to me before.
    Because of this, it feels like foolishness and deceit if I would deny His existence,
    Since I think I know better now.
     
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  6. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    Having studied other paths(and I'm assuming other scriptures), what made you decide the Bible was the one you believed?
     
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The Bible was a book I always admired because it not only recorded the good things that people did, but also the bad things and contrasted them. All the Bible characters were flawed in some way and very human. God did not demand perfection from them because their flaws were not their fault. He had great admiration for those who tried their best in spite of their imperfections to do his will.

    Any religion that accepted idols or images made me cringe. I have a natural abhorrence of them. Especially is this so when the Bible forbade the making of images used in worship. No one knows what Jesus or Mary or anyone else looked like, so it is impossible to make an image of them. That would be like someone showing a picture of some random woman and claiming that it was their mother. :rolleyes:

    Then there were the images connected to Hinduism.....gross half human half animal creatures. I found them repulsive. Buddhism also relied on statues of Buddha in various poses....and the prayer wheels I found to be a bizarre concept as well. Is that what God wanted? I believed that he was intelligent and wanted us to be intelligent as well. That is why he gave us a brain and endowed us with his moral attributes. We were to act as his representatives here taking care of all that he had made, the way he would have.

    The Bible for me...once I had actually studied it (without "church" doctrinal input getting in the way) I found that it told a vastly different story to what I had been raised to believe. I was actually stunned to find out that Jesus himself foretold the falling away from the truth that he had established, and that what I had witnessed in my former religion was exactly that.

    Bible prophesy also was amazing to me. Things written thousands of years ago, we are seeing fulfillment of today.
    All of the prophesies fulfilled by Jesus alone are too numerous to be coincidental.

    Understanding that God had a purpose in putting humans on this planet, and that their role here was to continue forever....means that we were not created to ever go to heaven. God designed us for life on earth and the earth was designed to be a wonderful experience for us, constantly learning new things about creation...constantly seeing new species emerge. Finding out all the hidden secrets that he placed here for us to discover.

    I am soooo looking forward to the future because I see that what God started here in the beginning, will still go ahead, once we have learned how to drive our free will without harm to others.
     
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