New, Reluctant Agnostic, hope it's okay to post here

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Johann

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Hello Looking!
Welcome to the family :D


iu
iu


Hugs
:D
Don't feel bad--I'm the poster boy. ;)
Lol!
:rolleyes:
 
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LookingForGod

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Hi... I'm still reading through these posts one per day and letting them roll around in my mind, seeing if there's something in there I need to hear. I got to Angelina's today, and want to answer her offer of help.

That is awesome that you have bibles and that you have been raised in a family who went to church even though it may have been just a social thing. I am thinking that some things have happened to have turned you back to being a skeptic again, as your posts reveal.

If it is helpful, perhaps you could share some of those things and we may be able too bring some light into it. Blessings and Peace!

It's many things. I have a skeptical mind, or maybe just a skeptical habit, now as an adult. I was a believer as a child. I never questioned it; children just believe what trusted people tell them. Maybe that's what was meant by entering the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child.
Anyway, I think that faith died when I was about 12 and realized that my prayers weren't being answered. I went with an almost atheist outlook for about 40 years. Significant?
Then I noticed that my life was unrewarding and the people I was hanging around with were.. not very nice. So I started going to church again, and met a lot more decent people, and kept having flashes of ability to believe, from inspiration in church and from experiences I've had every few years, of an answer coming to me that didn't seem like anything I would have thought of, or... Well, I need to explain this one. From that time I was never 100% atheist any more. I would do things like thank God for a good day even when I wasn't in believer mode. It was and has been a relationship of some kind, as though God really was walking beside me although I couldn't see Him, but I was aware of the possibility. Anyway, if I had a moral dilemma, something that could get me into undeserved trouble if I did what was the most moral thing, I would pray about it and ask God to keep it on my mind if it was something I was supposed to do something about. If it stayed on my mind, I did it. And *the trouble never happened.* It always turned out okay. And I'd think, maybe God really is there.

I could go on about lots of such experiences, the things that have fueled my hopes and my explorations. But the subject here is "what happened to turn me back to being a skeptic." It's not exactly things that happen, for that. If I'm believing, I'm happy, and I don't even question anything; questions don't matter. But one thing I remember that happened: In my Bible reading, I come to Matthew 19:16 and several verses after. It's about the rich young man. He's told to sell everything he owns and give to the poor. I go into despair thinking that I can never have enough faith to do that, that I will always be a fake Christian, and I might as well just hope that there's no God or if there is, He's not very particular.

I've found answers to that:
1. He was talking to the rich young man, not me.
2. He said that with God all things are possible.
3. He said, "If you want to be perfect." I want to be, but I don't think we're told that we MUST be perfect.
4. I'm not rich. I may have enough to get by, or I may not; it may be a squeaker.
5. I don't live a luxurious life; it doesn't even appeal to me.
6. I give as much to the poor as I can give cheerfully, and I think it's written somewhere that that's the amount God wants us to give.
7. Maybe I'll find an answer later in the Bible.
8. If I were sure God was there, I wouldn't care a bit about money, and He knows it.
9. There were a lot of good people in the Bible who had possessions. Giving it all was only mentioned in Matthew, maybe the same story in Mark and I think one other time, about the widow who gave all of her small amount of money. In neither case was everyone told to do this.
10. It's not on my mind all the time, so maybe God doesn't require it of me.
... but sometimes this feels like just making excuses

Anyway, that's a good example of what happens, but I don't think I could even remember all of the things. I think it also just gets chipped away at by dreary things happening. I also just have a skeptical mind, or maybe it's a skeptical habit of rejecting things that I can't prove, although of course the things I can't prove are--just about everything. Anyway, this post is already past long enough.
 
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GRACE ambassador

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...Hi... I'm an odd bird, neither an atheist nor a believer, and I'd rather be a believer...

...I'm still reading through these posts one per day and letting them roll around in my mind, seeing if there's something in there I need to hear. I got to Angelina's today, and want to answer her offer of help.

It's many things. I have a skeptical mind, or maybe just a skeptical habit, now as an adult. I was a believer as a child. I never questioned it; children just believe what trusted people tell them. Maybe that's what was meant by entering the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child.
Anyway, I think that faith died when I was about 12 and realized that my prayers weren't being answered...
Precious friend, A Very Warm Welcome to the Board.

I know what you mean about skepticism, as I too question Many of the sermons
that I hear. But, thanks to one great rule since I met The LORD JESUS CHRIST,
take notes, go home, and study Scriptures prayerfully and Carefully, to find out
if "what I heard was The Truth." (And now I have several Bible study Rules.)

My own "childhood faith/belief" in the "one true religion" was certainly shattered by
the abuse of them and my family; I ran from them both when I was 14. When in the
military, I tried to return to that religion, but there was no spiritual help, even though
I "knew about and believed in God."

Then when I was 27, I had the greatest day of my life ever - heard The True
Gospel
over the telephone, meeting The Precious Saviour, Who Gave me,
a worthless sinner, Eternal Life.

Precious friend, you say you "would rather be a believer," instead of agnostic, so
my question to you would be: Do you believe that you are, with all the world, a
sinner who "deserves Eternal Condemnation According to God's Justice"?:

"For all have sinned, and come short of The Glory Of God"
(Romans_3:23)
+
"For the wages of sin Is Death..." (Romans_6:23)
+
"This Is The Second Death. And whosoever was not found
Written In The Book Of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
(Revelation_20:14-15)
If so, you have repented, agreeing With God on this truth. Then it is but a simple
step to His Eternal Life = believe, in your heart, The Precious Gospel Of The
Grace Of God:

"For I delivered unto you first of all That which I
also received, how That Christ Died for our sins
According To The Scriptures; And that He was buried,
and That He Rose again the third day According To The
Scriptures" (1 Corinthians_15:3-4)
If any questions, let me know.

GRACE And Peace to you, Precious friend.
 

Angelina

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Hi... I'm still reading through these posts one per day and letting them roll around in my mind, seeing if there's something in there I need to hear. I got to Angelina's today, and want to answer her offer of help.



It's many things. I have a skeptical mind, or maybe just a skeptical habit, now as an adult. I was a believer as a child. I never questioned it; children just believe what trusted people tell them. Maybe that's what was meant by entering the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child.
Anyway, I think that faith died when I was about 12 and realized that my prayers weren't being answered. I went with an almost atheist outlook for about 40 years. Significant?
Then I noticed that my life was unrewarding and the people I was hanging around with were.. not very nice. So I started going to church again, and met a lot more decent people, and kept having flashes of ability to believe, from inspiration in church and from experiences I've had every few years, of an answer coming to me that didn't seem like anything I would have thought of, or... Well, I need to explain this one. From that time I was never 100% atheist any more. I would do things like thank God for a good day even when I wasn't in believer mode. It was and has been a relationship of some kind, as though God really was walking beside me although I couldn't see Him, but I was aware of the possibility. Anyway, if I had a moral dilemma, something that could get me into undeserved trouble if I did what was the most moral thing, I would pray about it and ask God to keep it on my mind if it was something I was supposed to do something about. If it stayed on my mind, I did it. And *the trouble never happened.* It always turned out okay. And I'd think, maybe God really is there.

I could go on about lots of such experiences, the things that have fueled my hopes and my explorations. But the subject here is "what happened to turn me back to being a skeptic." It's not exactly things that happen, for that. If I'm believing, I'm happy, and I don't even question anything; questions don't matter. But one thing I remember that happened: In my Bible reading, I come to Matthew 19:16 and several verses after. It's about the rich young man. He's told to sell everything he owns and give to the poor. I go into despair thinking that I can never have enough faith to do that, that I will always be a fake Christian, and I might as well just hope that there's no God or if there is, He's not very particular.

I've found answers to that:
1. He was talking to the rich young man, not me.
2. He said that with God all things are possible.
3. He said, "If you want to be perfect." I want to be, but I don't think we're told that we MUST be perfect.
4. I'm not rich. I may have enough to get by, or I may not; it may be a squeaker.
5. I don't live a luxurious life; it doesn't even appeal to me.
6. I give as much to the poor as I can give cheerfully, and I think it's written somewhere that that's the amount God wants us to give.
7. Maybe I'll find an answer later in the Bible.
8. If I were sure God was there, I wouldn't care a bit about money, and He knows it.
9. There were a lot of good people in the Bible who had possessions. Giving it all was only mentioned in Matthew, maybe the same story in Mark and I think one other time, about the widow who gave all of her small amount of money. In neither case was everyone told to do this.
10. It's not on my mind all the time, so maybe God doesn't require it of me.
... but sometimes this feels like just making excuses

Anyway, that's a good example of what happens, but I don't think I could even remember all of the things. I think it also just gets chipped away at by dreary things happening. I also just have a skeptical mind, or maybe it's a skeptical habit of rejecting things that I can't prove, although of course the things I can't prove are--just about everything. Anyway, this post is already past long enough.
I understand how difficult this passage may seem, even his disciples questioned their own positions, based on the sacrifices they had already made in following Jesus. What I can understand here is that the rich young man followed the law with it's regulations and requirements. Following the law however, does not garantee salvation or eternal life. That is why Jesus came into the world. So that through the sacrifice of himself, mankind would then able to be saved and have eternal life by believing in him and receiving him as their Lord and savior. Something that his disciples had already done. The law was bought in so that people were able to understand how utterly sinful man's sins were The bible tells us that those who follow the law ought to live according to the law. Meaning that if they fail in one part of the law, they fail on the whole law. This young man failed on a part of the law, something that Jesus pointed out. Perhaps Jesus had revelation that this young man had a love for money which the bible says is the root of all evil. I personally don't believe that these passages were about wealth but more about this young man's heart... JM2c xox
 

LookingForGod

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Similarly, it occurred to me that the wealthy young man was not following the commandment to love his neighbor as himself. If people around him were hungry or homeless, and he was hanging on to wealth, he failed in that.
However, the Bible says Jesus loved him.
Maybe he loved him somewhat in the way that we love a small child who brings us a bouquet of wilted weeds. :)
ETA Not that I think I do much better. Maybe I'll bring fresher weeds in time.
 

LookingForGod

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James 1:5-8...
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.." (ESV)

From this, it seems that there's no point in asking for faith.
However, a person might still be given it in some other way. From reading the Bible, in my case, even though it sometimes brings me sadness, in quotes like this, in others that seem to say I'm not one of the elect, in the difficult one about giving all your money (although it doesn't say that everyone should).
Even with the James passage: Maybe there's enough in knowing that you want to be a Christian and staying with it; that's not double minded or unstable. Another translation has an alternate to "doubting" as "a divided mind."
It could even be about just asking for wisdom, not about asking for faith, which might be given, and then you could ask for wisdom.

Sudden thought: I haven't seen anything that suggests that *your* prayers wouldn't help. So--Please?

As I said, this is not all fun. I don't say that it should be.
 
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Lambano

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From this, it seems that there's no point in asking for faith.
Ask anyway, doubts and all. There’s a certain logic to that. It takes a measure of trust to step out in faith, in spite of having honest doubts.

There’s another place where a desperate father told Jesus, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Jesus granted him that request. God is like that.
 
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Aunty Jane

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Sorry if this is too long, but I am a teacher and details are important.....

From this, it seems that there's no point in asking for faith.
Of course we can ask for faith....but it doesn’t drop into our lap like a package from heaven.
God is looking for those willing to put in the effort to get to know him and to find out why he put us here. That takes time. Faith is like a wall...you build it, one brick at a time. ;)

However, a person might still be given it in some other way. From reading the Bible, in my case, even though it sometimes brings me sadness, in quotes like this, in others that seem to say I'm not one of the elect, in the difficult one about giving all your money (although it doesn't say that everyone should).
In the scriptures, there is always balance....when you read something you initially interpret as negative, you find other scriptures that balance it out. Not being one of the elect is inconsequential. God chooses his elect to rule with Christ in heaven....those not of the elect will enjoy their rulership over this whole earth....the best government we humans have ever had. We will serve God, wherever he wants us to be. It’s not a competition. Wherever we find ourselves in the future, one thing is certain....we will LOVE it. :)

There is no need to feel ‘inadequate’ because God knows us better than we know ourselves.
Take the scripture in James for example. He said ‘lacking in wisdom’, not faith. Why do we need wisdom first? Because wisdom is the application of knowledge....if we apply knowledge correctly, we will gain much, but if we misapply it, it can cause harm to ourselves and others. God teaches us his wisdom...how can we go wrong?......by trying to implement our own. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Did Jesus really say to give “all our money”? No he didn’t. Again it’s about balance.....Paul explained by saying...
“So now, also complete what you started to do, so that your readiness to act may be completed according to the means you have available. 12 For if the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have. 13 For I do not want to make it easy for others, but difficult for you; 14 but that by means of an equalizing, your surplus at the present time might offset their need, so that their surplus might also offset your deficiency, that there may be an equalizing. 15 Just as it is written: “The person with much did not have too much, and the person with little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:11-15)

Do you see the balance there? It’s really about sharing with those in need. Jesus never asked his followers to be extreme in anything. We just need to keep our balance and not go overboard either way.

Even with the James passage: Maybe there's enough in knowing that you want to be a Christian and staying with it; that's not double minded or unstable. Another translation has an alternate to "doubting" as "a divided mind."
It could even be about just asking for wisdom, not about asking for faith, which might be given, and then you could ask for wisdom.
Yes....that’s it. Wisdom must come first or we will not know how to apply what we learn and nothing will feel right. The truth should “set us free”, not bind us up in shackles of fear or guilt.

Sudden thought: I haven't seen anything that suggests that *your* prayers wouldn't help. So--Please?
I already did that....it’s what I always do when I see those genuinely seeking the truth. God knows who is willing to learn even inconvenient things. It isn’t that he makes them inconvenient, but that the world often does. Jesus told us to expect opposition, so when it comes and people start to put pressure on you, just think about what they did to Jesus. (Read John 15:18-21)

As I said, this is not all fun. I don't say that it should be.
If it was all fun, something would be wrong....the devil will never let it be fun. If we are not having problems, either internally or externally, we should start looking elsewhere. It’s how we manage the problems and how we see God directing us. If he is with us, we will know it.

Don’t give up.....
 

lforrest

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I've found answers to that:
1. He was talking to the rich young man, not me.
2. He said that with God all things are possible.
3. He said, "If you want to be perfect." I want to be, but I don't think we're told that we MUST be perfect.
4. I'm not rich. I may have enough to get by, or I may not; it may be a squeaker.
5. I don't live a luxurious life; it doesn't even appeal to me.
6. I give as much to the poor as I can give cheerfully, and I think it's written somewhere that that's the amount God wants us to give.
7. Maybe I'll find an answer later in the Bible.
8. If I were sure God was there, I wouldn't care a bit about money, and He knows it.
9. There were a lot of good people in the Bible who had possessions. Giving it all was only mentioned in Matthew, maybe the same story in Mark and I think one other time, about the widow who gave all of her small amount of money. In neither case was everyone told to do this.
10. It's not on my mind all the time, so maybe God doesn't require it of me.
... but sometimes this feels like just making excuses

I agree with your theory this was a command specifically to the rich young man. I believe there is always a requirement to put God first in our hearts. If something is given a higher status in our hearts it is an idol that needs to be knocked down. We may be personally convicted to give up something, in which case we must obey the leading of the Holy Spirit to do so.

I have the impression you are like God's friend Moses. He said "If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."

Believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to deliver us from the bondage of sin and death and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide you through the wilderness. Or stay in Egypt, that is what it means to count the cost.
 

quietthinker

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Sorry if this is too long, but I am a teacher and details are important.....


Of course we can ask for faith....but it doesn’t drop into our lap like a package from heaven.
God is looking for those willing to put in the effort to get to know him and to find out why he put us here. That takes time. Faith is like a wall...you build it, one brick at a time. ;)


In the scriptures, there is always balance....when you read something you initially interpret as negative, you find other scriptures that balance it out. Not being one of the elect is inconsequential. God chooses his elect to rule with Christ in heaven....those not of the elect will enjoy their rulership over this whole earth....the best government we humans have ever had. We will serve God, wherever he wants us to be. It’s not a competition. Wherever we find ourselves in the future, one thing is certain....we will LOVE it. :)

There is no need to feel ‘inadequate’ because God knows us better than we know ourselves.
Take the scripture in James for example. He said ‘lacking in wisdom’, not faith. Why do we need wisdom first? Because wisdom is the application of knowledge....if we apply knowledge correctly, we will gain much, but if we misapply it, it can cause harm to ourselves and others. God teaches us his wisdom...how can we go wrong?......by trying to implement our own. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Did Jesus really say to give “all our money”? No he didn’t. Again it’s about balance.....Paul explained by saying...
“So now, also complete what you started to do, so that your readiness to act may be completed according to the means you have available. 12 For if the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have. 13 For I do not want to make it easy for others, but difficult for you; 14 but that by means of an equalizing, your surplus at the present time might offset their need, so that their surplus might also offset your deficiency, that there may be an equalizing. 15 Just as it is written: “The person with much did not have too much, and the person with little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:11-15)

Do you see the balance there? It’s really about sharing with those in need. Jesus never asked his followers to be extreme in anything. We just need to keep our balance and not go overboard either way.


Yes....that’s it. Wisdom must come first or we will not know how to apply what we learn and nothing will feel right. The truth should “set us free”, not bind us up in shackles of fear or guilt.


I already did that....it’s what I always do when I see those genuinely seeking the truth. God knows who is willing to learn even inconvenient things. It isn’t that he makes them inconvenient, but that the world often does. Jesus told us to expect opposition, so when it comes and people start to put pressure on you, just think about what they did to Jesus. (Read John 15:18-21)


If it was all fun, something would be wrong....the devil will never let it be fun. If we are not having problems, either internally or externally, we should start looking elsewhere. It’s how we manage the problems and how we see God directing us. If he is with us, we will know it.

Don’t give up.....
If I wanted an introduction to Jesus, where would I look?
You've submitted enough religious information to fill a truck .....but where's the man?
 

Cassandra

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Hi... I'm still reading through these posts one per day and letting them roll around in my mind, seeing if there's something in there I need to hear. I got to Angelina's today, and want to answer her offer of help.



It's many things. I have a skeptical mind, or maybe just a skeptical habit, now as an adult. I was a believer as a child. I never questioned it; children just believe what trusted people tell them. Maybe that's what was meant by entering the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child.
Anyway, I think that faith died when I was about 12 and realized that my prayers weren't being answered. I went with an almost atheist outlook for about 40 years. Significant?
Then I noticed that my life was unrewarding and the people I was hanging around with were.. not very nice. So I started going to church again, and met a lot more decent people, and kept having flashes of ability to believe, from inspiration in church and from experiences I've had every few years, of an answer coming to me that didn't seem like anything I would have thought of, or... Well, I need to explain this one. From that time I was never 100% atheist any more. I would do things like thank God for a good day even when I wasn't in believer mode. It was and has been a relationship of some kind, as though God really was walking beside me although I couldn't see Him, but I was aware of the possibility. Anyway, if I had a moral dilemma, something that could get me into undeserved trouble if I did what was the most moral thing, I would pray about it and ask God to keep it on my mind if it was something I was supposed to do something about. If it stayed on my mind, I did it. And *the trouble never happened.* It always turned out okay. And I'd think, maybe God really is there.

I could go on about lots of such experiences, the things that have fueled my hopes and my explorations. But the subject here is "what happened to turn me back to being a skeptic." It's not exactly things that happen, for that. If I'm believing, I'm happy, and I don't even question anything; questions don't matter. But one thing I remember that happened: In my Bible reading, I come to Matthew 19:16 and several verses after. It's about the rich young man. He's told to sell everything he owns and give to the poor. I go into despair thinking that I can never have enough faith to do that, that I will always be a fake Christian, and I might as well just hope that there's no God or if there is, He's not very particular.

I've found answers to that:
1. He was talking to the rich young man, not me.
2. He said that with God all things are possible.
3. He said, "If you want to be perfect." I want to be, but I don't think we're told that we MUST be perfect.
4. I'm not rich. I may have enough to get by, or I may not; it may be a squeaker.
5. I don't live a luxurious life; it doesn't even appeal to me.
6. I give as much to the poor as I can give cheerfully, and I think it's written somewhere that that's the amount God wants us to give.
7. Maybe I'll find an answer later in the Bible.
8. If I were sure God was there, I wouldn't care a bit about money, and He knows it.
9. There were a lot of good people in the Bible who had possessions. Giving it all was only mentioned in Matthew, maybe the same story in Mark and I think one other time, about the widow who gave all of her small amount of money. In neither case was everyone told to do this.
10. It's not on my mind all the time, so maybe God doesn't require it of me.
... but sometimes this feels like just making excuses

Anyway, that's a good example of what happens, but I don't think I could even remember all of the things. I think it also just gets chipped away at by dreary things happening. I also just have a skeptical mind, or maybe it's a skeptical habit of rejecting things that I can't prove, although of course the things I can't prove are--just about everything. Anyway, this post is already past long enough.

Hello!! I love, love,love how you have dissected the story of the rich young ruler and applied it to your circumstance.

This is exactly what you should do. You will come to know and have faith in God through the reading of His Word. It is a process--it is a daily walk.

I thought I read upthread and couldn't find it later, that you have feelings of inadequacy. i know those feelings. I always feel as if i disappoint Him.
But I keep on reading.. Don't let anyone take away your relationship. It will grow.

This doesn't belong to anyone but you and God. He knows what you are doing, and that is the wonderful part. It appears to me that you and He have now in a Student teacher relationship as well--a function of the Holy Spirit. He helps you understand and apply., and that is what you are doing.

Take a chapter a day, and go through it like you do--He works with you if you will stay with it. The staying is the important part. The Bible is so full of life!!! And He has SO many things He wants to teach you!!!!! Stay in the Word!!!! Eat that Book!

I am so excited for you!!!!

monsters-inc-boo.gif
 

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Edit: There are two similar threads because I posted in the wrong place and it got moved here. :) The smilie is to say that I understand why.

Hi... I'm an odd bird, neither an atheist nor a believer, and I'd rather be a believer.

I don't know if I'm supposed to post here, not being a Christian. I will understand if this post is removed. But I'd like to talk to some Christians who can accept a person like me. I've had lots of sermons, though. :) I just want some person-to-person honest, low-key talk.

There are details down in the non-religious forum, which by the way I think is a very nice and understanding thing for a board like this to have, so I have hopes of some useful conversation.
Odd bird you be here for a reason be known only to yourself. Many people come in and out of our lives upon that journey. Do continue to search and seek
 

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Odd bird you be here for a reason be known only to yourself. Many people come in and out of our lives upon that journey. Do continue to search and seek
Precious friend, A Very Warm Welcome To the Board.

Please Be Very RICHLY Encouraged And Edified In
The LORD JESUS CHRIST, And His Word Of Truth, Rightly
Divided
.

GRACE, Peace, And JOY...
 
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Gottservant

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Oct 19, 2022
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Greensborough
Faith
Christian
Country
Australia
The frustrating thing about new believers, is that it never occurs to them, that if God is all they've got, an answer for their faith is what they need most!

People without faith come along, and they say "here is an answer for my faith, take that", but they've never checked with God, if their answer is the right one.

Look at me, I'm saying the same thing, but God alone says "In My Time I will humble you; in My Grace I will welcome you" - God is the complete package, you need to trust Him!
 

Johann

Well-Known Member
Apr 2, 2022
4,354
1,882
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Durban South Africa Morningside
Faith
Christian
Country
South Africa
The frustrating thing about new believers, is that it never occurs to them, that if God is all they've got, an answer for their faith is what they need most!

People without faith come along, and they say "here is an answer for my faith, take that", but they've never checked with God, if their answer is the right one.

Look at me, I'm saying the same thing, but God alone says "In My Time I will humble you; in My Grace I will welcome you" - God is the complete package, you need to trust Him!
Jesus is the only answer, sealed with the Holy Spirit, and there is nothing frustrating re new believers.
J.