I’m in a strange place: very conservative, but not Christian

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Ronald David Bruno

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The burden of proof is on anyone making a claim that a certain deity exists of any religion. I am not concerned about God, I am concerned about the ‘evidence’ that is being presented by those who make the assertion
Well, I am not going to go through 400 posts to see of anyone else covered this, I would expect someone did.
Since God is invisible, He had to make Himself known in other ways. Since you cannot see the glory of God, His brilliance as the sun and live, He had to shadow Himself behind a cloud or as He did with Moses, the burning bush. You would burn up in His presense. He also sent messengers, angels in human form, also glorious and powerful creatures that appeared to eye witnesses, communicated to them and disappeared, or ascended into heaven. They would bring messages, warnings of things to come - prophecies. These prophecies shared by the individuals (prophets) who received them were tested. If they did not happen exactly as foretold, these prophets would stoned to death. People believed in God because they witnessed miracles and prophecies fulfilled. Most people initially were like you, doubtful and needed some proof.
God chose a nation to guide, use, test and reveal Himself to. They were the text case for humanity. They failed to keep a Law given to them but all along were promised a Messisah, a Savior that would come and make things right.
The proof is in Christ. GOD emptied Himself and became a man. When we look at Christ, we see God. He is the EXACT illumination and expression of God. The book of John reflects His deity. He is our evidence. He came and lived among them. He healed the blind, the deaf, the diseased and brought people back to life who were dead and gave us hope and promise of eternal life IF we believed in Him. Now if you witnessed those miracles and Him, you would believe.
We are given FAITH to believe HIS WORD, THE STORIES AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THAT HE DIED FOR OUR SINS AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY.
You must open your heart and ask like a child _ in humility _ for this gift of faith. No one can come to God unless the Father draws them.
Read John, pray to God and ask for enlightenment and mean it before you do. He will reveal Himslef. It's okay. You can say simply, "God, I don't believe in you, so if you are real, show me!" Faith comes by the WORD. It is supernatural, it penetrates the soul and has the power to change you, give life.
There are books like: "More Than A Carpenter", Evidence that Demands A Verdict", "A Case For Faith", "A Case For Christ", that will help you through the doubts and answer many questions. Lee Strobel was an atheist, award winning investigative journalist and lawyer who sought out to disprove the story of Jesus and on his journey found overwhelming evidence in His favor that ked him to faith in Christ. Now He is a Christian author ("A Case For Faith", "A Case For Christ", etc.)
 

Romanov2488

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If the devil is responsible for division, then why do Christians preach that only they are right and everyone else is wrong?

Why does going to hell even matter if God gave us free will? That means I can be in hell and make a heaven out of it.


Saying that people choose to go to hell is akin to victim blaming. It’s like saying someone chose to get raped by being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and that they should’ve known better. Anything to deflect blame from admitting that really -you- could be the one choosing to believe that others choose to go to hell.
 
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Dropship

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..Even if Jesus came to me personally and told me he is the way and truth, how would I know what he means by it?..
How do you know the devil isn’t deceiving you by claiming that Jesus is the absolute truth?...
You know I’ve talked to many Christians who have admitted that the scariest part about Christianity is that they don’t truly know whether they will go to heaven or not.


1- when Elvis appeared on the scene almost 70 years ago he blew most people's socks off (including mine) because he preached rebellious rock 'n roll and we LURVED him because he showed us we needn't be like our stuffy parents..:)
Jesus preached the same thing and people quickly realised-
"..Jesus saved you from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors" (1 Peter 1:18)
Naturally, the stuffies never liked Elvis and tried to get him banned, but his songs struck a chord in the minds of kids everywhere and he changed the world.
Same with Jesus, the boneheaded priests and their lackeys hated him because he broke their control over the people, but his words struck a chord in ordinary people and that's a bingo, he changed the world! Surely you must like Elvis and Jesus just a little bit?..:)

2- Jesus stands for everything that the devil hates such as goodness and decency and honour, so I very much doubt if they're both singing from the same song sheet..:)

3- Yup, no Christian truly knows if they're saved or not, heck I'm an ex-convict (3 month vigilante rap in 2002 when I went up against a drug cartel) and I went with prostitutes in my younger days, so all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that God will weigh up my good and bad points and cut me some slack on judgement day, but if he doesn't it'll be my own fault and i'll take it like a man..:)

PS- Here's Leicester Prison where I served my time, 23 cons were hung there in the past and it once held the Krays, Mad Frankie Fraser and the Great Train Robbers which gives me bragging rights for life, and when I watch films like 'Alcatraz' , 'Papillon' and 'Shawshank', I sit with a big smug grin on my face thinking "Bin there, dun that"..:)
Leicester_Prison.jpg

 
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Romanov2488

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1- when Elvis appeared on the scene almost 70 years ago he blew most people's socks off (including mine) because he preached rebellious rock 'n roll and we LURVED him because he showed us we needn't be like our stuffy parents..:)
Jesus preached the same thing and people quickly realised-
"..Jesus saved you from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors" (1 Peter 1:18)
Naturally, the stuffies never liked Elvis and tried to get him banned, but his songs struck a chord in the minds of kids everywhere and he changed the world.
Same with Jesus, the boneheaded priests and their lackeys hated him because he broke their control over the people, but his words struck a chord in ordinary people and that's a bingo, he changed the world! Surely you must like Elvis and Jesus just a little bit?..:)

2- Jesus stands for everything that the devil hates such as goodness and decency and honour, so I very much doubt if they're both singing from the same song sheet..:)

3- Yup, no Christian truly knows if they're saved or not, heck I'm an ex-convict (3 month vigilante rap when I went up against a drug cartel) and I went with prostitutes in my younger days, so all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that God will weigh up my good and bad points and cut me some slack on judgement day, but if he doesn't it'll be my own fault and i'll take it like a man..:)

Here's Leicester Prison where I served my time, 23 cons were hung there in the past and it once held the Krays, Mad Frankie Fraser and the Great Train Robbers which gives me bragging rights for life, and when I watch films like 'Alcatraz' , 'Papillon' and 'Shawshank', I sit with a big smug grin on my face thinking "Bin there, dun that"..:)
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You say if God still sends you to hell, then you’ll take it like a man. You do know that when you accept something, you become free from it right? So by accepting you’re in hell, you are no longer in hell. You see this happen a lot among prisoners who are doing time and accepted it to the point where they no longer feel like prisoners.

If people already live just fine without God, what makes you think they will suddenly suffer in hell where God is also not present?

And God technically does send people to hell because he made the rules, he created hell. God cares so much for you, he even made you a hell in case you don’t accept him, to accommodate you. But even if you had a change of heart in hell, he then would reject it kind of like an ex girlfriend who tells you, “Too late. Should of thought about it earlier.”
 
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Dropship

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You say if God still sends you to hell, then you’ll take it like a man. You do know that when you accept something, you become free from it right? So by accepting you’re in hell, you are no longer in hell. You see this happen a lot among prisoners who are doing time and accepted it to the point where they no longer feel like prisoners.
If people already live just fine without God in their lives, what makes you think they will suddenly suffer in hell where God is also not present?

I'm not sure what you're getting at mate, I just chilled and knuckled down to serving my time without complaining or batting an eye..:)
In fact I was laying on my bunk one morning reading 'Geronimo: Apache Warrior' from the prison library when a guard opened my cell door and said "What's up? Don't you want to leave us?" because I'd clean forgot it was my release day, so I hurriedly packed up and was signed out the main gate.
Drat, I never did get to finish the book (sniffle)

Geronimo.jpg
 

Romanov2488

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I'm not sure what you're getting at mate, I just chilled and knuckled down to serving my time without complaining or batting an eye..:)
In fact I was laying on my bunk one morning reading 'Geronimo: Apache Warrior' from the prison library when a guard opened my cell door and said "What's up? Don't you want to leave us?" because I'd clean forgot it was my release day, so I hurriedly packed up and was signed out the main gate.
Drat, I never did get to finish the book (sniffle)

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What I’m getting at is things only have as much power over you as you allow them to have. I can’t be in hell if I decide to make a heaven out of it because free will, remember?

Just like you doing your time and forgetting about your release date, I too will forget I’m in hell.
 
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Dropship

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What I’m getting at is things only have as much power over you as you allow them to have. I can’t be in hell if I decide to make a heaven out of it because free will, remember?

Hell is a nasty place by all accounts so I don't think many people would regard it as heaven, and unlike Shawshank nobody will ever bust out..:)

shawshank-44.jpg
 

Romanov2488

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Dropship, I think hell was invented by people not knowing how to take responsibility for their happiness. They had nothing better to think about, so they invented the concept of hell. Try telling a prisoner in North Korea who tried escaping that there’s an even worse place and you will get scoffed at. To say that a place called hell exists is to demean all the pain and suffering of others living on this planet today. Do you really think that if someone placed a red hot piece of steel against your skin that you would be worrying about hell in that moment?

Hell is nothing but psychological suffering.
 
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Dropship

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..Hell is nothing but psychological suffering.

Christians are not immune to suffering but they know how to roll with the punches life throws at them..:)
Ex-bounty hunter Paul got it right- "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want"- (Philippians 4:12)

A sense of humour helps too, for example when the magistrates hit me with that 3-month slammer time my solicitors looked shocked, so to cheer them up I said "It's okay, I'd got nothing planned for the next 3 months anyway"..:)
By contrast, poor Chubby couldn't handle it-

"I don't belong here"
shawshank-hadley2.jpg

 
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Romanov2488

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Christians are not immune to suffering but they know how to roll with the punches life throws at them..:)
Ex-bounty hunter Paul got it right- "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want"- (Philippians 4:12)

A sense of humour helps too, for example when the magistrates hit me with that 3-month slammer time my solicitors looked shocked, so to cheer them up I said "It's okay, I'd got nothing planned for the next 3 months anyway"..:)
By contrast, poor Chubby couldn't handle it-

"I don't belong here"
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Christians are not the only ones who know how to roll with the punches of life. I’ve been doing just fine, I even used to be homeless for a short while literally sleeping under a staircase with nothing but the clothes on my back. Not once did I pray to God during or thanked God after.

I just became a licensed realtor, still never prayed to God during or thanked God after.

7B36E872-38AD-4FE5-A87A-9C4017312D58.jpeg

You know how Christians say to repent before it’s too late? Salesmen use the same tactic when trying to sell you a product. “If you don’t buy this product now, it will be too late. The price will have gone back up, buy it now while you can!” Sense of urgency. Gotta get right with Jesus and the Word or else.

A lot of them say how ever since they accepted Jesus, they feel like a brand new person. Everything from the past doesn’t matter anymore. And I think to myself uhhh, all you did was just let go of your past like I’ve had to do as well. The difference is you need a whole roundabout way and I can just let go at the snap of a finger. Different strokes for different folks. If they’re happy, I’m happy…just don’t think that your method is superior to mine, just different.
 
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GRACE ambassador

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Interesting: man's word: "A little foolishness enough to enjoy life and a little wisdom to avoid the errors, that will do." Compared to:

God's Word:

1Co_1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

1Co_1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

1Co_1:23 "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;"

1Co_1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

1Co_2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1Co_3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."

GRACE And Peace...
 
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Romanov2488

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Interesting: man's word: "A little foolishness enough to enjoy life and a little wisdom to avoid the errors, that will do." Compared to:

God's Word:

1Co_1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

1Co_1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

1Co_1:23 "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;"

1Co_1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

1Co_2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1Co_3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."

GRACE And Peace...

You might find this disappointing but, “God’s word” and my quote are both equally valid, different words…same end goal. Neither one is inferior or superior to the other. I don’t shoot down what Christians read until it gets to their head that what their own scripture is somehow superior to everything else. That’s division right there, the devil at work. If your scripture is causing you to think it’s correct and all else is wrong, you are either 1.) reading the wrong scripture or 2.) misunderstanding what you’re reading by approaching it through ego-“How can I use this scripture to make me feel more right?”

What do all points of view have in common? They’re all points of view. The devil only wants you to see differences through pure comparison, not oneness.

True religion is being relative. Like God, it’s ready to accept all points of view, but not all points of view are ready to accept it. Transcending the duality of ‘me+other’ is real love. And even this statement is relative. My response is purely spontaneous and bound to change. I can only use the word “God” by acknowledging that the meaning of it has been perverted by man.
 
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Dropship

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Christians are not the only ones who know how to roll with the punches of life. I’ve been doing just fine, I even used to be homeless for a short while literally sleeping under a staircase with nothing but the clothes on my back. Not once did I pray to God during or thanked God after...
You know how Christians say to repent before it’s too late?...Sense of urgency. Gotta get right with Jesus and the Word or else.


1- I was homeless too when I got out of jail living rough in a tent in a wood near Cheltenham shivering with a wonky thyroid but not once did I lose my sense of humour, "Oh great" I thought, "I've ended up as Bigfoot"..:)
2- If Christians want to help save you from hell what's wrong with that? Huh they try to be nice..
Personally if somebody ain't interested in Jesus I don't give a rats posterior and just walk away..
"If you hang around with losers you become a loser"- Donald Trump.
They had their chance and are gambling with their lives that there's no hell, right Kid?

"Right"
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Romanov2488

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1- I was homeless too when I got out of jail living rough in a tent in a wood near Cheltenham shivering with a wonky thyroid but not once did I lose my sense of humour, "Oh great" I thought, "I've ended up as Bigfoot"..:)
2- If Christians want to help save you from hell what's wrong with that? Huh they try to be nice..
Personally if somebody ain't interested in Jesus I don't give a rats posterior and just walk away..
"If you hang around with losers you become a loser"- Donald Trump.
They had their chance and are gambling with their lives that there's no hell, right Kid?

"Right"
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Trump unfortunately became what he hates most: a loser. He did lose 2020, I don’t buy all the fraud claims. Every losing side claims election fraud just like the democrats did in 2016 claiming Russia was behind it. They recounted votes for him and everything and he still came up short. Sometimes it’s time to call a spade a spade and move on.
 
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Dropship

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Trump unfortunately became what he hates most: a loser. He did lose 2020, I don’t buy all the fraud claims. Every losing side claims election fraud just like the democrats did in 2016 claiming Russia was behind it. They recounted votes for him and everything and he still came up short. Sometimes it’s time to call a spade a spade and move on.

Trump is a billionnaire and LURVED by half of America, so he's hardly a loser, and as a University Economics graduate he'd have made everybody as rich as him if he'd had a second term..:)
He lost because unfortunately the Wokist Pol-correct brigade are currently riding the high tide on this "bank and shoal of time" (Shakesp's Macbeth) in just enough numbers to tip the balance in their boy Biden's favour.
But times will change- "There are tides in the affairs of men" (Shakesp's J. Caesar)
 

Romanov2488

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Trump is a billionnaire and LURVED by half of America, so he's hardly a loser, and as a University Economics graduate he'd have made everybody as rich as him if he'd had a second term..:)
He lost because unfortunately the Wokist Pol-correct brigade are currently riding the high tide on this "bank and shoal of time" (Shakesp's Macbeth) in just enough numbers to tip the balance in their boy Biden's favour.
But times will change- "There are tides in the affairs of men" (Shakesp's J. Caesar)

He lost 2020, doesn’t matter who loves him and who doesn’t and now is on the verge of indictment. Many Christians claim they are all about the objective truth but objectively speaking they don’t won’t admit he is not the 46th president.
 

Dropship

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He lost 2020, doesn’t matter who loves him and who doesn’t and now is on the verge of indictment. Many Christians claim they are all about the objective truth but objectively speaking they don’t won’t admit he is not the 46th president.


The voting public are a funny lot, they went nuts and voted Obama into the White House for two terms, then they came to their senses and put Don in there, but now they've had a relapse and plumped for Sleepy Joe..:)
How about it Norm?

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dhh712

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Why does going to hell even matter if God gave us free will? That means I can be in hell and make a heaven out of it.

What are your plans for doing that?

Saying that people choose to go to hell is akin to victim blaming. It’s like saying someone chose to get raped by being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and that they should’ve known better. Anything to deflect blame from admitting that really -you- could be the one choosing to believe that others choose to go to hell.

Something which I've been thinking about is--why would those who do not believe that God exists, at the least, or at the other end of the spectrum vehemently deny him, want to spend any time with him at all?


Christians are not the only ones who know how to roll with the punches of life. I’ve been doing just fine, I even used to be homeless for a short while literally sleeping under a staircase with nothing but the clothes on my back. Not once did I pray to God during or thanked God after.

I just became a licensed realtor, still never prayed to God during or thanked God after.

You know how Christians say to repent before it’s too late? Salesmen use the same tactic when trying to sell you a product. “If you don’t buy this product now, it will be too late. The price will have gone back up, buy it now while you can!” Sense of urgency. Gotta get right with Jesus and the Word or else.

A lot of them say how ever since they accepted Jesus, they feel like a brand new person. Everything from the past doesn’t matter anymore. And I think to myself uhhh, all you did was just let go of your past like I’ve had to do as well. The difference is you need a whole roundabout way and I can just let go at the snap of a finger. Different strokes for different folks. If they’re happy, I’m happy…just don’t think that your method is superior to mine, just different.

When I read what you wrote it sounds to me like your understanding of the Christian religion is that the point of it is to have a peaceful, happy life and to have happiness after you die.

(I actually do not know how to roll with the punches in life. When my husband died unexpectedly, I know adamantly that I would have taken my own life were it not for Jesus uplifting me and giving me my only purpose in life).
 
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farouk

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What are your plans for doing that?



Something which I've been thinking about is--why would those who do not believe that God exists, at the least, or at the other end of the spectrum vehemently deny him, want to spend any time with him at all?

@dhh712 I think a key to what you say is in Psalm 73.16-17; the holiness of God:

When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
 
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