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I Cannot Make the Leap January 9, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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Many Christians support their beliefs with faith. They say that without faith, they might not believe. And I am left wondering why faith is necessary at all? If God is real, then why do we need faith to believe? Well, for one thing, we cannot actually see God, or can we?

Exodus 33:20
There shall no man see me, and live.

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time.

Exodus 33:11
And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.

Genesis 32:30
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

So, here are four verses that claim we both cannot see God, and that God has been seen. I guess we’ll never know, and to be honest, I have never met a Christian who claims to have actually seen God. So, faith it is then.

But faith is a leap, isn’t it? That’s what we mean when we say “a leap of faith”. It means that we figuratively jump, or “leap” to a belief, despite not actually knowing that the belief is real, or true. And it is this leap that I cannot make, at least not with any honesty.

And why should I? What exactly am I leaping to? A god that is so powerful as to have created the entire universe and everything in it, yet cannot make a simple appearance to me? I don’t understand this. According to Exodus, God can and has been seen. I guess I am supposed to conclude that I am not as important or special as Moses. And frankly, according to Exodus 33:20, no man has seen God and lived! No thanks!

As a person who has been trying to understand what all of the fuss is about, I have yet to be shown a clear method to join the believers club. But the one thing that continues to surface, is that I have to believe with all my heart, and have faith. As much as I might want to believe with all my heart, I simply cannot. I don’t know why, either. I don’t hate God, I don’t hate religion. I’ve spent plenty of time in church and sunday school, so I know a lot of the major stories in the Bible. I know that I will burn in Hell for all eternity if I don’t accept Jesus as my savior. Yet, here I am without the ability to simply believe with all my heart.

Faith is empty when it comes to God. It is a leap to nothing. It is exactly like having faith and believing with all my heart that Santa is real. And I realize that Santa is nothing at all like God, but believers must realize that to me, Santa is exactly like God. Imaginary. And no amount of faith is going to change that. I need something else. Something that Christianity simply has been unable to provide. Evidence.

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Is it Just Faith For You? November 25, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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Are you a Christian who believes that all you need is faith to believe God is real? Is such a “faith only” belief even possible? I mean, does faith mean that you simply don’t need any evidence because you “just know” that God is real? If so, how exactly do you know? What caused you to believe in the first place? What started your belief?

Can faith alone kick off a belief in something? I suppose if you take a fact on pure faith, without checking it out for yourself, then you could live out your entire life with faith in that fact. So yes, it is possible. Do we have faith in gravity? I don’t think so, because we all know very well that if we step off of a tall building, we will indeed fall. We don’t need faith to believe gravity is real, we can see the results clearly. There are no interpretations of falling off of a building either. Everyone falls at the same rate, perfectly. Gravity is a fact.

Belief in God is not so perfect. We are not on the same wavelength of belief when it comes to a specific god. There are almost as many interpretations of God as there are Christians. Many agree on the attributes, but I suspect that each might imagine God a little differently. And how many Christians know that God is real? How do they know, while so many others do not know? Why is there any ambiguity at all? Why is God not as obvious as gravity, to everyone? I suspect it is because there is literally no way to prove Gods existence. Gods existence must remain inside each individual, as there really is no way to “show” God. So faith steps in.

But here’s the rub. If one knows God is real, then what is the purpose of faith? Somehow, God is completely evident to certain people, they know He is real, they feel Him, speak to Him, hear Him, or in some way connect with God, which makes Him real. Faith should not matter in this case. So, either faith is necessary because people don’t have a way to prove God, or faith is not necessary at all because people have undeniable methods to know God is real. Too bad for the millions and millions who simply cannot see or know God.

Faith is a convenient way, in my opinion, of saying that God must be real, but since we cannot prove God is real, we hold on to faith. In this case, the only proof comes when we die. And sadly, it is too late to share this amazing discovery with anyone who is alive. If God created us, and loves us, and wants us to worship Him, then he would make Himself as obvious to each of us as gravity. He can still keep it ambiguous and impossible to explain to each other – because if we shared the obvious proof, it would certainly ruin God – or so I’m told.

Powerful, indeed.

Should Christians Agree With Each Other? October 8, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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It is my personal opinion that there should be one, and only one version of Christianity.  Yet, over and over again, all across the world, we can clearly see very strong disagreement among Christians regarding their beliefs, Biblical texts, and methods of religious practice.  There are certainly differences in Biblical texts, as is evidenced by the very stark disagreement over Genesis.  There are those Christians who read Genesis and take the story very literally, while others take it allegorically, and still others who believe it perfectly matches with current scientific knowledge.  Why is there such disagreement?  And most importantly, why does each unique version claim to be the truth?

As someone who chooses to leave religion to those who believe they need it, I have often wondered why I don’t hear too much infighting among Christians.  As a matter of fact, it seems that a devout Christian is more likely to be concerned about an atheist than someone who practices the Islamic faith.  Perhaps it is considered less problematic for someone to claim a better god, than for someone to claim no god at all – go figure?  I have no proof of this thought, but it has been my experience that this is often the case.  As it turns out, it is most likely due to the fact that a non-believer is viewed as one who has no moral authority.  Apparently those who claimed their love for Allah when they flew the planes into the World Trade Center have higher morals than someone who doesn’t have a god belief.

If a Christian has a certain set of beliefs, and knows their beliefs are correct, they have no choice but to consider other sects as incorrect.  I’m not really sure how they can possibly know they made the right choice, but I can imagine that in the minds of most Christians, as long as they get to heaven, it doesn’t really matter.  With the exception of the most fundamental sects, the details are unimportant, as long as the end result is eternal life with Jesus, or God, depending on ones particular Christian beliefs.  But would there be a benefit to Christianity if they magically started agreeing with each other?  I often wonder how many more believers there would be if this one little detail were ironed out.  If there was one crystal clear version of Christianity, how many more people would be inclined to sign up?  We will never know…