I know I should believe


#1

Recently I’ve been thinking about religion and the state of our world.

Let me backtrack: I grew up in a Baptist church but I had no idea what Christianity was and what I was doing in church every Sunday. I guess that contributed to me stop going to church when I left home.

I have always been intrigued by religion and through my Army travels, I was able to learn about all sorts of different ones from the very people that practiced them: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist etc. I even read the Bible from cover to cover a few years back even though I admittedly didn’t really understand it.

Ok, to my question: I believe that the moral code and the way the Bible tells us how to live are great, but I can’t bring myself to believe some of the things Christ did like being born to a virgin mother and feeding 5000 people with 3 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

I believe the Bible does a great job of teaching us how to be better people. How can I bring myself to believe everything else the Bible preaches?


#2

Start by reading some supplemental material. Try Peter Kreeft’s “You can Read the Bible” or C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”


#3

What does that mean, “to be better people”? And how does the Bible teach this? And how does it teach it “better” than other books or philosophies?

Oh, and why would you listen to a book (the Bible), in order to be a better person, that in your view lies about things (virgin birth, miracles)? How can reading lies result in being a better person?

I think your views on these questions are important in helping you proceed.


#4

I think the commandments and certain things Jesus did show us how to be better people. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” was a great lesson. This is all I meant.

“And how does the Bible teach this? And how does it teach it “better” than other books or philosophies?”

That’s an excellent question. I wouldn’t say the Bible does it better, I just found that I can relate to it. I listen to a Christian radio station and like the way they are able to use a verse to help answer a question.

“Oh, and why would you listen to a book (the Bible), in order to be a better person, that in your view lies about things (virgin birth, miracles)? How can reading lies result in being a better person?”

I wouldn’t use the word lie. I have doubts about whether they actually happened, meaning I realize that it’s possible I find my faith.

I’m stating that the lessons the Bible teaches are excellent and even though I’m not a Christian, have found that I appreciate the context. For example, the ten commandments…I try to live by them. I recognize Cardinal Sin and try to stay away from them.


#5

One of the interesting things to note about the faith, is the example we have in the early apostles and saints. Many (most) of them gave their lives for the cause of Christianity. The question you have to ask yourself is this: would they have gone to such lengths, to death, for a lie? It is one thing to live a lie, it is quite another to die for one. If they had just made up all of the miraculous actions of Jesus, there would have been no reason for them to allow themselves to be martyred for the cause, if Jesus really wasn’t who he claimed to be.


#6

While, I understand what you’re saying with this, it could just as easily be applied to other religions. Take, for example, modern-day Islamic suicide bombers, who believe they are dying for their religion. Because they’re willing to die for their beliefs, does that make them true? What about the Cathars? What about the Branch Davidians, etc. etc.

Damooster, you asked:

Ok, to my question: I believe that the moral code and the way the Bible tells us how to live are great, but I can’t bring myself to believe some of the things Christ did like being born to a virgin mother and feeding 5000 people with 3 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

I believe the Bible does a great job of teaching us how to be better people. How can I bring myself to believe everything else the Bible preaches?

Ask yourself first- do you believe in the Divinity of Christ? That’s the fundemental question. If you don’t believe that Christ is God, then he wasn’t teaching people to be better people. He was teaching them to blasphme by allowing others to refer to him as God. He was dismantling the Divinely mandated Mosaic Law. He was telling people that eating His Flesh and His Blood would give them eternal life. Either you think Jesus was God, or you have to think he was a crazy man who led people to blasphemy.

If you do accept that Jesus is God, then all the other “stuff” (virgin birth, feeding the multitude, etc.) should’t require that big a leap. After all, God created “all that is seen and unseen”, why would the Bible miracles be too much for Him?

God bless,
Cari


#7

Here’s the point I was working up to. C.S. Lewis made the argument that the one thing we cannot do is simply say that Jesus was a good person and a good teacher. And yet this is exactly what a lot of people want to reduce Jesus to.

He called his argument the “Lord, Liar or Lunatic” argument, meaning that Jesus’ words and actions can lead only to one of those three conclusions about Him. Jesus did not just teach “good things” and tell us to “be good”. He said that He was God. He said that He could forgive sins. He said that His flesh and blood would give eternal life to the world. He allowed people to call Him “Lord” and “God”. If He wasn’t God, then He was either a Liar or a Lunatic. Would you trust a liar or a lunatic to teach us how to be better people?


#8

I heard a good example from a student in confirmation class tonite: I don’t understand how pushing a button on a man-made appliances generates some invisible microwave radiation that bakes a potato and pops popcorn, and I can’t bring myself to believe in this invisible radiation, even with the evidence of the cooked food. Does this mean microwave is not real? No, it means my understanding on this topic is inadquate and ill-formed, and even possibly that I lack the capacity to understand such concepts, but the objective truth of how microwaves work is still real.


#9

That’s it! Thanks for giving me a source to cite. I knew I wasn’t being original in my post, but couldn’t remember where I’d learned about that line of thought.


#10

The difference is that the apostles knew Christ. My statement was simply meant to give a reason to believe the Bible. It was not meant to be the only reason.


#11

The first question I had to answer again was even if God existed. Ultimately, if you do not believe there is nothing to consider, but if you do believe you have to decide what that god is. One of many, or One? What are we to any god(s)?

I wouldn’t use the word lie. I have doubts about whether they actually happened, meaning I realize that it’s possible I find my faith.

The minute you stop looking for your faith, it will find you.

[quote]John 10: 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are “gods” ’ [d]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
".

Unfortunately we don’t have the benefit of seeing them live as this witness claims. :frowning:
[/quote]

So set the works question aside for the moment, but it is a bold claim to be noted. Research who wrote them, when and why they wrote them, and what was going at the time where they were when they were written.

After you do that for this faith, do it for a few others to compare them. Or do others first then try this one. Truth should remain true throughout the journey. All of that lead me back here where I started from.

I’m stating that the lessons the Bible teaches are excellent and even though I’m not a Christian, have found that I appreciate the context. For example, the ten commandments…I try to live by them. I recognize Cardinal Sin and try to stay away from them.

  1. Be like a father to orphans, and instead of a husband to their mother; you will then be like a son of the Most High, and he will love you more than does your mother.
    Ecclesiasticus or Sirach. 4
    piney.com/DocSirach.html

All you have to do is be honest with yourself.


#12

[quote=damooster]I grew up in a Baptist church but I had no idea what Christianity was and what I was doing in church every Sunday.
[/quote]

There is a poster here called Church Militant. He is an ex-Baptist and very knowledgeable. He can help you. Send him a pm.


#13

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