How has Christianity improved your life?


#1

Apologists typically argue that what they believe is true, but I think this may be misguided. Being true is useful, but it’s not the end all of apologetics, probably never so eloquently argued as in Pascal’s wager. There are many examples of things we can know are objectively untrue, but still provide benefit if they’re believed.

I teach a subject unique in the existence of its associated anxiety syndrome.

Students often tell me, “I’m not good at this.” This happens much more often to those in my field than to our peers.

Casting free of objective truth, I tell them that they are smart, knowing that for some, by pushing back against their lack of confidence, it can become true, and even if that never happens, the confidence that’s inspired can improve their lives and the community where they interact.

I’m an ex-Christian, and, short of the proof of Thomas — Jesus walking through my wall and asking me to put my hand in his side —that part of my life is over. I have other beliefs that make the world make more sense to me now, and I’m not interested in a trade that doesn’t get me something better.

But I still like Christians.

But maybe not as much today as before the last election. The political environment in the U.S. today has 80 percent of evangelicals supporting a president who daily offends basic moral principles, like not engaging in false boasts, or behaving vindictively toward one’s opponents, or stirring up racial disharmony, or harming the poor.

So I thought I’d open a thread to anyone interested in restoring my faith in Christianity, as a religion. I’d like to hear how Christianity has been good for you.


#2

The Church has always been a promoter of culture. I’ve seen that in my own life. I’ve visited nine countries and have studied five languages (I’m good at like two of them, sort of). I’ve read lots of fascinating things and heard lots of beautiful music and seen lots of the priceless treasures of history. And I owe all that to attending a Catholic college, a Catholic seminary, and then having been ordained a priest. When I met the Holy Father a few years ago, and when I said Mass in the Holy Sepulchre, all I could think was that I’m just some kid from a small town in the South, but here I am doing things I’d never have dreamed of. So from a purely humanistic and cultural and experiential standpoint, I owe a lot to my faith. If we were to talk about what it’s done for me more deeply as a person, I could go on for days.

-Fr ACEGC

Feel free to PM me if ever you’d like to talk about anything.


#3

With Christ I can do all things— without Christ I can do nothing. I am a Daughter of God and unless I realize that and live like that I will be “spinning my wheels”.


#4

I wouldn’t say Pascal’s wager poorly argues the truth of Christianity rather that it presupposes a troubled mind of an individual as to what to decide. But I see your point.

As for what Christianity has done in my life, I undoubtedly say that it’s shown me how to properly respond to situations and better myself as a person while still viewing myself in a positive light.

I’ve grown a better love for others, while I won’t say that all non-believers are without love, in my personal experience while I was a lukewarm Christian (I didn’t actually have too much faith I just said I was a part of the identity) I was very quick to place myself above all kinds of things, including in matters that wouldn’t involve a big sacrifice to do for another (Like helping my family with cleaning for instance). Forgiveness of others really helps with relationships and having a lot of patience and justification for others (even if they’re an inconvenience to me I find that it is better to forgive them if they ask for it and try to understand their situation) and learning how to do so, is a monstrous Iesson in my life.

The lives of Saints of all kinds and constant learning from the different aspects of the Faith is always amazing to experience. There’s so much to learn and even though I learned a lot it seems like the vastness of how I can improve is endless.

I developed a better attitude and, in truth, meaning in my own life.

Knowing humanity has a certain directed end, it honestly feels liberating to be able to better follow this end rather than be diverted from things like laziness or a small grudge against others. Not to say I still don’t get diverted, I still have much to improve on. But the more I improve the more of a liberation I experience.

And when the rough times hit, cause its definitely not always happy-go-lucky. It can be extremely rough at times either in my life or in the world as a whole (especially in light of the times of the Church right now). The biggest difference is hope.

There’s so much I’m not sure if I can adequately describe it all. I feel inadequate already giving a general rough overview of my experience in a comment.


#5

Since becoming a Christian I have been able to appreciate why I should forgive others.

For example, often people make huge erroneous assumptions about your actions or behaviour and I find I can forgive that because after all the assumptions they make are products of their hearts, they attribute motives according to their own selves. When you realise the fragility of the human psyche you can forgive more easily.

Yesterday I moved a plant pot and about a hundred wood lice ran in all directions. They were happy under that pot and it was their home. An observer may have assumed I didn’t like wood lice but actually I was just moving the pot. When I realised what I’d done I replaced the pot and gave them back their home but I’d don’t suppose it’ll be quite the same again for them. Sometimes these upsets happen.


#6

My point is that Pascal didn’t try to prove his God, and still created a powerful, if faulty, apologetic.

Juvenal’s Better Bet

Pascal’s fatal presupposition was his assumption of a God more like Pascal, favorably disposed toward a future with all of humanity that’s willing to gather together, rather than a God more like myself, less apt to suffer the gullible gladly in my presence.

If God exists, then …

In the evident face of Divine Hiddenness, believing would be cause for eternal damnation, or worse, angry tweets and mob-shaming on social media.

Disbelieving would be sufficient for eternal salvation, which, to be honest, could still be hell, depending on his other personality quirks.

If God doesn’t exist, then …

Believing would be cause for angry tweets and mob-shaming on social media.

Disbelieving would improve social discourse as Alex Jones et alia, under pressure from an audience of critical thinkers, froth their way into obscurity.

QED


#7

I don’t see how it could be faulty if it’s not even supposed to prove anything.

Do you have any shred of reason to believe this assertion is true?

Again these are assertions that require any small hint of evidence and are not on the same level of assertion on Pascal’s pro side of the wager.

Not the same level or comparable to the statement that is asserted on what happens after death. Ontop of this there are significantly more aspects to life than tweets and being hounded by Alex Jones types.


#8

Also note, by “evangelicals” they usually mean American protestantism. Which is not necessarily what this board represents.


#9

It spurs me on every day to be more loving, kind and gentle.

I would have likely checked out by now because of the enormity of my physical/mental suffering if I did not have the faith that my suffering is redemptive.


#10

A slow-witted, frothing diatribe from a Christian to someone wanting to see the good in Christianity miscarries the spirit of the thread?

Everyone else was thinking that, too.

To be even more clear, I get paid decent coin to answer questions from confused students posed respectfully. I don’t and won’t answer rude questions for free.

But thanks for your thoughts.


#11

I’m not a praying man, and don’t believe there’s much value in sending good thoughts, but please accept my sympathy and best wishes for a peaceful resolution of all of your troubles.


#12

As an engineering student, I did an undergraduate course in Early Medieval Art. Yes, there was a woman involved in that decision. As advertised by my young lady, it centered around the Catholic church, the principle patron of the arts in Europe at the time, and its cathedrals. I’ve since visited most of those cathedrals.

The pictures I studied in college utterly failed to do them justice.

Thank you for a splendid reply.


#13

I remember some fool - saying to me, ’ I’ve seen how Christians secretly behave -hypocrites -
I’m staying the way I am. True to myself "

I immediately said, " I’ve seen the way the world behaves. I’d rather Christianity "

Christianity - has eliminated sins - and has brought incredible enlightenment on all aspects of love.

I heard a quote today - from a female saint - not sure who -
but she said - I’d rather be dead than unfaithful to Jesus ( something along those lines )
I thought that was wonderful.


#14

Catholicism gave me the ability to say “no”. Christianity gave me a reason to hope. These two remedied large deficits in my character. :upside_down_face: They also made me happier.

I am not a big consumer of resources for my locale by nature and upbringing, but my religion has definitely helped keep me that way. It has inspired me to give back to the community in a number of ways. I am relatively accepting of others and Christianity has encouraged this in me over many years.

I think your average person would like me less without my interest in Jesus.


#15

I apologize if it sounded rude. I honestly didn’t mean to come off that way.

Respectfully, I genuinely and simply didn’t see how it could be faulty.


#16

God is in my life. I have a chance at salvation and not damnation
I have an opportunity to allow God to shine through me and help others.
I am a servant of God


#17

From a purely objective view, I now have a clear direction in life instead of bring lost and directionless. My life goal derives for a set of belief, which I do not have to second guess anymore.

When I did not believe, my life philosophy was unclear, doubtful and subjected to being questioned. With God as my guide and Lord, I don’t have to second guess anymore. In other word, now I find my resting place and goal.


#18

Greetings, Juvenal,

I see many of the bases I thought of have been covered already so I’ll keep this brief. I won’t say Christianity has improved my life, but expanded on it. I can’t credit religion for my being honest, compassionate, or merciful. I was raised to adopt those tenets of living and had no grounding in any sort of church life growing up. What I can give credit for is humility and the ability to forgive, which I still have great trouble with. I have found the best reading, for me, is the sayings of the desert fathers, the early Christian monks of the 3rd to 5th centuries.

I can well understand your viewpoint as far as being an ex-Christian, as I went through that myself about 15 years ago. After examining other possibilities and schools of thought, I drifted back to the Christian faith and, in more recent years, an embrace of Catholicism. Aside from giving me a much broader understanding of history and the human experience, it is just plain fun. Best to you, my friend.


#19

If your mind is “made up”, I don’t see the purpose of this post :woman_shrugging:


#20

Just to clarify for our original poster, Christianity does not claim to eliminate sins. Christianity claims to forgive sins and give us strength to overcome sins.


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