What is the number one thing that makes you believe in God, and doubt them

SkovandOfMitaze,what a great story of an answer to prayer. And a great question!

There are many things I come back to in moments of doubt, God has done amazing things in my life. But the main thing I come back to is the time when I was a teenager and the Lord healed me of an addiction.

I was raised by beautiful Christian parents, had given my life to Jesus three years earlier, but had fallen into a sexual addiction I was incredibly embarrassed about. I knew God didn’t want me to sin, so I would pray to Him to help me give this thing up.

Months later, I was still struggling with the same sin and was finally undone. I yelled out to Him between tears, “God, I can’t do this! It’s absolutely impossible! If you want me not to do it, you are going to have to fix it!” Right after I yelled this out, I felt this incredible sense that I would never struggle with it again.

Sure enough, I never struggled with it again. The desire for it was completely gone and is gone to this day. That was the moment I really learned I couldn’t fight sin on my own. God wants to help me fight sin and provides the way out.

The thing that has caused me to historically doubt the most was when awful things happened. But it doesn’t rock my faith much at all these days since having a better understanding of His Word. :blush: Solid Bible study in the good times really helps you get through the bad times.

3 Likes

One of the strongest evidences I see is the birth of The Universe itself. I know this gives us the God of Thomas Paine at the very least, but that piece is immediately followed by Christ’s death and resurrection.

One of the strongest sources of my doubt comes from the development of Israelite religion. In fact, I find this to be the strongest argument against Christianity that doesn’t directly confront The Resurrection! While I still believe at heart that the loyal Yahwist was a monolatrist and I understand that some of the biggest names in that field of study are practicing Christians (Mark S. Smith and John Day), sometimes I’ll lie awake at night wondering why God wasn’t more direct with His people and why He allowed the pagan Persians and Greeks to refine their thinking and theology after literal centuries of idolatrous blasphemy? The Zoroastrians especially terrify me; it’s as if they reached the truth before the chosen people, as if it is they who are correct! I guess this could be filed under doubts of Divine Hiddenness.

1 Like

The number one thing is my desire for Jesus to be God incarnate. I wish there were more. Hence the doubt. Either way, His morality is transcendently perfect. And relating to Him and our Father as if they were, I have recently discovered, is still worth it; having someone to be accountably rational to. AA’s greater power.

4 Likes

The problem of natural evil and the contradictions in the Old Testament make me doubt.

2 Likes

It is generally self-evident in my life. My worldview and entire though process is grounded in belief. The world and life makes no sense without it to me. To quote Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” The Gospel is not a truth amongst other truths. It is the Truth by which all other claims are judged. Its the door, not the hinge. The Holy Spirit is presumably important here as well.

Natural evil is a problem.
Half the Bible not actually being true as written and most commonly understood today and by the church throughout history is another.

Like @Klax It’s Jesus. He is the difference. Without the incarnation, without Jesus, I wouldn’t care less about all the theological babble in the Old or New Testament. It would all just be a pile of rubbish to my skeptical scientific mind, just another drop of primitive religious mythology in an ocean of it.

Vinnie

5 Likes

I guess it would depend on exactly what does someone mean by natural evil. Most often by natural evil what I hear about is

  1. Animals killing and being killed.
  2. Things like hurricanes.
  3. Things like cancer.

But to me none of those things are evil because to me evil is the intent to be evil for the sake of being evil. Bad things can happen and that’s the way I typically phrase it because as mentioned in other places language can shape your thinking processes.

It’s sad that animals kill other animals. But it also helps drive natural selection which results the beautiful evolution of everything we have. The world is a better place with carnivores. Cats are my favorite pets and without death these slinkies with claws would not exist. To me it’s a push for evolution which is a creation that keeps on creating.

Hurricanes and other natural disasters are important. The comet that hit earth helping the volcanoes to take out the dinosaurs opened up the doorway for us. When a hurricane comes through it helps to knock done some of the larger trees and opens up new spaces for sunlight to reach down BDO the next generation of plants can pop up. Normally allowing the “mother tree” to send out its help on its “ dying breath” through the fungi to help other plants giving them a good start. As it begins to decompose it becomes a house for many animals and eventually turns into hosts for mushrooms and then composts in place enriching the soul food web with what it needs. Similar things happens because of floods, fires and ice storms. They all help create specific ecological layers.

Anything bad that happens within “natural evil” dims in comparison to the beauty it brings into the world. Especially when considering the hope in our resurrection into a restored world.

3 Likes

I am writing this in front of a wooden table. It is perhaps the most fascinating miracle I have seen. It exists - why do matter/energy exist? Why do living things like trees exist?
It does not prove God but makes Creator a rational alternative, even more rational than claims that everything just popped out of nothing. Nothing is different than void as even void is something that exists.

What makes me believe in Jesus, Father and the Holy Spirit is my experiences in the relationship with Him, especially the answers to prayers. As a young and very active believer, I got many practical answers to prayers and saw how the prayers of others were answered. I guess I had very little understanding but the faith of a child and God was merciful and showed that He cared. One or two answers could have been just good luck but the combination of all was too much to be just good luck.
In some cases I felt like He would have given advice and even argued with Him because the advice seemed so impossible. I was also very ashamed after doing what was told because the advices were perfectly correct. Maybe these were learning practices that I would learn to trust Him.

Later, after I became inactive and maybe did not desperately need help, rapid answers to prayers became rare. I had to go through some difficult periods and the apparent lack of answers made me doubt whether I had just misunderstood the previous experiences. I made errors because I did not understand and I questioned God for these - I would have selected another way if He had told me to do so but He seemed to be far away and quiet. This and the suffering I saw in the life of others made me doubt whether He truly exist.

Now that is history and my faith has renewed. I do not understand the reasons why God allowed all this and I feel that I understand almost nothing about God’s grand plans. Yet, I believe.

4 Likes

Hi,

I’ve been struggling much with this lately and would appreciate any advice you can give. Some of the reasons I’ve come not to put my full faith behind the Gospels include:
*Genealogy differences between Matthew and Luke

  • the description of the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem doesn’t make sense in its historical context of how censuses were run nor having any records of it.
    *the simple disagreement in the number of angels/men at the tomb between the Gospels.
    *there are more I can’t recall at the moment.

I would also love to have good answers for atheists like this: https://youtu.be/YMufkaxs2Go

Thanks,
Mike

1 Like

Nothing really. Lost my faith months ago. Not really a reason to believe something exists out there. But then again nkt a good reason not to. So im in the middle

1 Like

Mike. I don’t need any atheist to make me doubt. There is nothing they can say. Just as no apologetic works, no counter-apologetic does. I doubt for my own reasons. I want to believe that Jesus is the best case God incarnate. Who wouldn’t? For your sake I’ll watch and respond. But I bet the apologetics are useless, desperate, arrogant empty claims. We’ll see.

1 Like

One of the reasons for differences is that the gospels are the work of journalism. It’s someone, or “someones”going out and interviewing people. They are writing up a report based off of what they’ve heard being told. If you hired three people to all individually go out and record an event then each one would be different. May focus on different things.

Let’s say the event is the fictional radio drama that struck fear into a town xo convinced an alien invasion was happening such as with Orson Wells 1938 “ war of the worlds”. One person is writing a story to present to a horror magazine company. One is writing up an article to submit to Facebook staff on how technology can affect a nation and the last one was presenting a paper to a college on the subconscious fear of immigrants by conservative America through the lens of how quickly they swallowed an alien invasion. Different reports would include different info and be presented in a different way.

1 Like

Groan. Six minutes in. It’s worse than I thought. 8 minutes. Mr. Red Pen B. Pathetic. I mean really, really 4th rate. But Paulogia is just shooting fish in a barrel. 12 mins. in. I mean, so what? 19 mins. If I was a defendant in court I’d really, really want Paulogia as my defence attorney. Especially if I was guilty.

It is just so easy to cast rational, forensic doubt on the gospel accounts, i.e. the Marcan account, it doesn’t interest me. Because of the magnitude of the claim and the human frailty but not impossibility of the account. Even if it was all natural. The account, shorn of supernatural truth, but not supernatural claims, works. It still works. Even if there is no God it works. I can make it work. With goodwill. Even if it is completely manufactured decades after the alleged events, it still works : ) As a belief story. Especially as the Church was up and running and thriving over the entire eastern Mediterranean as far as and including Rome. Before the gospels. Something vastly significant happened in Jewish culture, transforming it, subverting it, in the background, decades before the gospels and Acts were written. How do we know that? The seven consensual letters of Paul. Who at the very least had had a nervous breakdown from trying to stop it. Deal with that. The gospel(s) and Acts are entirely secondary to it. What explains the Church? Paulogia doesn’t. Unless he gets better. Does he? I doubt it. He’s up there with OJ’s lawyer, Johnnie Lee Cochran Jr., tho’, no doubt. And everyone knows OJ or his boy did it.

2 Likes

Hi Mike, it looks like you are new to the forum and it sounds like your questions are sincere. It may be worth starting a new thread for your questions, as they may get a bit lost in here and I think your questions require serious consideration.

I had a quick look at the video you posted, but don’t have time to really look into it at the moment. I’m going to be pretty flat out for the next few hours, but will try to get on and see what I can do to help you with your questions regarding the gospel accounts. The questions you have asked are some that I have had in the past, too.

2 Likes

Welcome to the forum, Mike @Mike_Grygus
I can understand your questions. To me, they come about because of some concepts about Biblical inerrancy that I have found wanting. The gospels were written 35-50 years later, and all are from the collective memory of stories handed down orally for years, with perhaps some written sources that no longer exist. The only one that is relatively certain to be eye witness is John, and it is unabashedly theological. Geneologies are discussed elsewhere, but their meaning is to link Jesus with the House of David, not be an exact rendering of his ancestors. Ultimately, we have to look for the spiritual message in scripture, and not treat them as a historical document, even though they may contain history. Think of it as a Chik Fil ‘A sandwich. It has chicken in it, but it is not a chicken.

2 Likes

Hey Mike! I watched a good chunk of this video. Thanks for sharing.

As a reasonable sounding person, I assume during the pandemic you have heard a lot of faulty credentialed scientists and doctors talking about how vaccines cause all these deadly side-effects. Apparently VAERS deaths are all caused by the vaccines, you’re going to become magnetic if you get the vaccine, and the list goes on. It’s probably obvious to you, as a person who thinks reasonably and scientifically, why most of these scientists and doctors are wrong.

As a Christian who knows the Bible fairly well, it seems pretty obvious that Paulogia didn’t really know his Bible very well during his apparent time as a Christian. It’s pretty obvious he is saying quite a lot of nonsense. Though, if you don’t know your Bible and ancient Jewish culture very well you could very easily consider what he is saying to be compelling.

I would definitely suggest watching the video by Mike Winger that Paulogia was critiquing. The evidence he provides in his video is actually very compelling. If you understand how incredibly dedicated to the law the religious leaders were at the time of Jesus’ life on earth, the fact that their Torah commanded them not to leave a corpse hanging on a cross overnight, but to bury it (or the land would be defiled) is pretty much evidence enough for me that there would have most certainly been plenty of crucified bodies buried within Israel at the time. They were ridiculously pious at keeping every letter of their law. Mike Winger goes into more of the details.

I really respect Mike Winger, he does a pretty good job of keeping balanced on Christian issues and coming to some very respectable conclusions. I have never watched this video before, though, but I’m glad I just did because my confidence in the burial of Christ just went up a whole lot!

2 Likes

Great question, one I have had in the past. Hopefully this can help.

Generally if there are a few separate accounts and they have differences, it is not considered a reason to believe there is some sort of disagreement. Different people simply remember events in different ways.

For example:

I have a birthday party. After the party, I am talking to my friend and recall, “I had a great birthday party today. We had a big chocolate cake. My friends Rachel, Sally and Bob were celebrating with me.”

My friend Rachel recalls, “I really enjoyed my friend’s birthday party! We had vanilla cupcakes and I was able to see Bob, Paul and Mike.”

Is there a disagreement here? Was it a big chocolate cake or was it vanilla cupcakes? And were the guests named Rachel, Sally and Bob, or were they named Bob, Paul and Mike?

In actual fact, the full story is:

At my birthday party there was a big chocolate cake, vanilla cupcakes, and a fruit platter. There were a total of 20 guests, five of whom were Rachel, Bob, Paul, Sally and Mike.

There is no disagreement here, it is simply being told from two different perspectives and not every detail was included in each.

Hope this helps with that particular question you have.

1 Like

Hello @Mike_Grygus ! I’m someone who really appreciates the questions that Paulogia and other deconverted YouTubers pose, because I have had the same questions and doubts at some point or other, and I struggled with them because I didn’t feel like church was a safe place to bring them, when it should be THE place to discuss them. In my experience, church is where you bury those questions and do what it takes to fit the status quo. And therefore question and suffer alone. However, it’s problematic for the church to neglect the issues we actually face if we only see atheists addressing those questions, biblically, scientifically, or whatever they are regarding God and truth. God is thankfully not like us, He’s not afraid of our questions and doesn’t lose power if we have doubts and questions. Being honest with the questions and carrying them with this perspective gives me peace and I’ve found that what is communicated in the Bible as all the richer for it. For a start, when these questions are asked, I think, “Why do I have faith then? Who or what is it actually in?” What the Word says is that faith is by grace, not proof through apologetics or my righteousness, it can only be this gift from God. I can’t make myself believe but I want to believe, and I think there’s a reason why I want to believe and for me it’s about Jesus Christ. I thought my faith was founded on the right things, but it wasn’t actually founded on what the Word says it is. Only faith in Jesus Christ by grace from God. That’s kind of how questioning brings me to what the Word actually communicates. For me, BioLogos has been an excellent resource for addressing questions all over the sciences and theology.

A couple of quotes I like that I consider for questions I have for God in general and not just science:
(Our favorite quotes are often disproven so feel free to fact check me if these were incorrectly stated.)

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
-Werner Heisenberg

“Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him.”
-Louis Pasteur

7 Likes

Read the Book of Job or Lamentations

1 Like

This is sad. I do not think that the unwillingness to face questions is caused by doctrinal issues. It is a problem that stems from the attitudes, feelings and vulnerable ego of the local leaders and other influential persons - mainly fear. A fear that something may not hold if someone tries to shake the building. A fear that other members might start to question the teachings of the leaders and be lead away from the path the leaders think is correct. A lack of faith and trust in God and/or a feeling that their leadership or worldview is somehow threatened.

2 Likes

Yes, it is sad, and I agree with you. Thankfully, it’s not the only experience to be had among the church.

2 Likes

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.