₦airaland Forum

Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,186,048 members, 4,766,543 topics. Date: Monday, 18 February 2019 at 11:18 AM

My Journey To Freethinking - Religion (8) - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Religion / My Journey To Freethinking (2274 Views)

My Journey Into heaven / What Is Differene Between Paganism And Atheism/freethinking / My Journey To God Realization (2) (3) (4)

(1) (2) (3) ... (5) (6) (7) (8) (Reply) (Go Down)

Re: My Journey To Freethinking by 9inches(m): 10:12pm On Jan 06
It all started as a quest to know God more (I'm still on that quest).I'd pray to God to reveal himself and for the holy spirit. I started reading the bible more than before. I noticed many cringe- worthy stories but I'd brush them aside because I was taught never to question God. Our Pastors, churches and the Nigerian society at large do not encourage rational questions and thinking.

I started to use the internet more frequently.I discovered Nairaland and started reading as a guest. I'd see posts about Daddy freeze challenging respected "Men of God" on issues they avoid in church. It became clear to me that most of them are thieves. I discovered that the bible was inconsistent and full of errors. I discovered that a lot of books that expose the bible for what it is have been removed to keep people enslaved.I started reading thought- provoking posts on Nairaland. Posts from people like Hardmirror,CAPSLOCKED, Joseph1013, Seun and so on.This forum has helped me in a lot of ways.

I still go to church to please my parents and so as not to arouse suspicion. I see Church these days only as a center for comic relief.

Don't be misled, raptex. Use your brain and follow the truth wherever it leads you. But I'll advise you to ask a lot of questions. In this adventure of truth-seeking, don't even pull/hold back what is in your mind. Infact, when 99% of your questions have been answered but one seems unclear or shady, don't assume it's as good as the 99%. That might just be the one (big) lie that will discredit the whole pack.

Note: you will hear different things from Christians of different denominations which could confuse you the more.
Also, watch out for confirmation bias. You can't afford to lie to yourself.

Ask questions

Listen/pay attention

Ask a follow up.
Re: My Journey To Freethinking by 9inches(m): 11:02pm On Jan 06
I prayed to God to reveal himself many times. I even still do.

How do we know there's a God? Why do we believe in God at all?
That's the foundation for the whole spiritual life. The great theologians and spiritual teachers have used different approaches to this question over the centuries. One of my favorites is the approach that begins with desire. We human beings desire the truth. Our minds seek the truth and we get it sometimes. But no matter how much truth we get out of this world, it's never enough; the mind remains unsatisfied. We seek the good and find it a lot of ways in this world, but no matter how many goods we attain, we’re never really satisfied. We seek justice in all kinds of ways and we achieve it sometimes to a remarkable degree. Think of in our own time, civil rights movement, the end to apartheid, the breakdown of the Soviet Union… all those were wonderful things that were attainment of justice but no matter how much justice we attain, we never have enough.

There's something in us - this desire for the good, the true, the just, that pushes us beyond this world. This approach is called the argument from desire. You can't desire what you don't know. Therefore, if we are desiring something that transcends anything in this world, in some way, we must already know it. Therefore, we do know the truth itself; we do know the good itself; we do know justice itself… and that's who God is!

God is not one of the true things in the world, but God is the truth itself which has seized the mind of any scientist, any philosopher, any seeker after the truth.

God is not one more good thing in the world, but God is goodness itself which has seized anybody when he's living the moral life or seeking the ethically good.

God is not one more just thing in the world, but God is justice itself which has seized the will of the lawyer or the judge or anyone seeking justice.

The Bible talks about the primacy of God. When you're seeking God, the most important to realize is you've already been found by God. Remember the Russian cosmonauts who went up into space and they kind of sarcastically radioed back to earth “well, we're up in the heavens and we haven't found God.” Of course, any biblical person would know he'll never find God that way. Of course not, you don't find God anywhere in the cosmos he's made, but God is the creative source of all that exists in the cosmos. So that's one approach to God beginning with our own deep desire.

Here's a second approach and it comes from Pope [Benedict XVI] who wrote a great book in 1968 called introduction to Christianity. In that book, he formulates this argument and what I like about it is it shows the link between religion and science because very often those two are seen as enemies. He says “no, at their depth, religion and science come together.” Here's why: what does every scientist assume? Whether you're a physicist, a chemist, biologist, psychologist… whatever you are, you assume that ‘being’ is intelligible. That means that the world can be known. Even the name ‘psychology’ designates ‘logos’ (word). The scientist goes out to meet a world that's imbued with meaning.

Well how do you explain that? How do you explain the universality of the meaningfulness of the world? Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) said it's because it has been thought into being. In other words, the world is not just dumbly there. Rather, the world is filled with ‘logos’; it's filled with reason, which is why when we understand the truth, we say we “re”-cognize” it. He says, “right, you ‘re’-cognize it” (you think it again) because it's already been thought into being by God... So, he argues from the objective intelligibility of the world to the existence of a great intelligence which has thought the world into being.

Here's a third approach the philosophers and theologians have used. it's called the argument from contingency. It's a fancy way of saying that the world as we know it exists but doesn't have to exist. You and I are here but we don't have to be here; there's nothing necessary about our being. It's true the world as we know it is fleeting (it's passing). Therefore, we have to go outside the world to God. God who does exist through himself and who therefore grounds and creates the whole of the world that we know.
Re: My Journey To Freethinking by MuttleyLaff: 5:56am On Jan 07
"Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe.
They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.
They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4
Re: My Journey To Freethinking by Freh(m): 6:49am On Jan 07

Hi. I'm a Christian and I typically don't comment on threads like this because I believe that it is each person's right and responsibility to choose what to believe. I try to limit myself to answering questions about the Bible regardless who may be asking. You haven't asked one here so this comment is a little bit unnatural for me but I figured that since you said the above, you might have some use for input from me.

First thing to say here is that the Bible is clear that Christianity is a war path. I have gone on record here as saying that it is not for the faint-hearted. To begin, choosing to entrust your eternal fate to somebody else, while ridiculously easy in practice, is actually very hard in decision because human beings by nature are most confident in things that they do themselves.

But everyone knows that we are all rebels against God and that there will definitely be something terrible to pay for our rebellion. And everybody knows that God is impossible to appease by our puny efforts. These things are intuitive. It only takes people determined to ignore conscience to succeed at treating these things as untrue.

Now, this is why we need God's Own Help. Because we have no other way of finding or making peace with Him.

But remember that human beings tend to self-reliance. So, the fact that we need God's Help does not mean that we would take it when we are offered it. It would still take swallowing our pride to accept help that comes from outside our own selves.

That is the stumbling block to Faith. Faith always means trusting something that we cannot control. Of course, no one can truly get away from faith. We all believe in something and rely on something for our eternal safety even if that thing is something we made up. But when we make things up, we tend to feel more comfortable trusting them. The problem is that the lies we create immediately put us under the control of powers that we do not control either and which will only bring us to harm in the end.

But God's Help cannot be made up. It can only be accepted or rejected. That is exactly why Christianity is so hard for human beings. Your input is only to accept and obey. Your initiative and creativity is neither required nor desired. There is, of course a sense in which our initiative and creativity has a role in the Christian Faith but it is always as a response of obedience rather than one of arrogance. For example, a believer who does not possess the gift of celibacy is wise to get married but it is up to them to decide who to marry. This is where they are responsible to think through their choice and respond in a way unique to them.

Otherwise, we bring nothing to the Christian Faith at all. Our natural intelligence is neither wanted nor required. Our natural strength and influence are also neither wanted nor required. These things have no value to the Faith and are apt to oppose it. See the example of Cain and Abel.

So, the Christian Faith calls for true humility. It demands that human beings acknowledge their total dependence on God, nothing less than that is acceptable.

Having said all this, it is true that what passes for the Christian Faith in many quarters is anything but. There are many out there who claim to be expert witnesses to the Faith who do very little to actually witness to it.

It is also true that the Bible is hard to understand. Even the existing translations of it and manuscripts etc have some errors in them that trip people up.

But these things are all tests of Faith for everyone. Trust cannot be trust if it is not demonstrated in the absence of "helping evidence". That is, it is pointless to ask somebody to trust you if they can see and understand everything that is going on. Then it wouldn't be trust at all. It would be confirmed, certain knowledge.

Faith, however, is the point of human history. The whole reason we are here is to decide whether we will trust God no matter what or whether we believe that we are, can do and know better than Him. The latter choice is rebellion. We were all born with a natural bent to it. But we can choose to change that inclination and decide that God is trustworthy and that even when we don't fully understand everything, He can be trusted.

That choice is made possible and easy for us with the witness of the world around us and with our own conscience. These two things are why despite the effect of atheistic arguments on this platform, you can still say what I quoted in your post here. Any honest person knows that God exists and that He is unassailable. Any honest person knows that there are such things as good and evil and that we are evil by nature. These are witnesses to the existence of a righteous, just and holy God Whom we could never defeat in a million lifetimes of rebellion.

But how can we believe that Jesus Christ is the way to make peace with this God against Whom we have rebelled? The answer to that is the very Bible itself.

For all the attacks of the enemy on the Bible, its truth still shines clearly through unassailable. It does not matter what translation you pick up, you will see that the Truth refuses to be overwhelmed by the wicked agenda of men who tamper with It. I have seen this personally. But you don't need to take my word for it.

There are human beings however who are hardened in rebellion against God who will not accept any olive branches from Him. So, even the very truth of the Bible is unacceptable to them and whatever may seem like a blemish or an inaccuracy of some sort gives them more excuse to grow more arrogant in their rebellion.

It is possible to resist God and His Truth while we live in this world, remember. It is possible to continue in rebellion against Him and resist the Bible and blame God for all manner of things in an obstinate refusal to hear His Own Side of things. So, I would discourage you from thinking that that possibility ought not to exist. This life is a test for everybody.

But this life will end. Then God will have His Way. Rebellion will not continue indefinitely. God's Character will not be impugned by evil men forever. The Bible will not be smeared and abused forever. These things will definitely come to an end. Then, God will have His Way. And nobody will be able to escape His Justice.

As I have said, it is possible to deny these things in this life. It is possible to arrogantly oppose God while we live. It is possible to call the Bible on the carpet and pretend some kind of mental and intellectual superiority over it in this life. So, the fact that you see that people can do it and that you yourself may be able to do it and get away with it for now should not convince you that there will be nothing to pay for all that. There will literally be hell to pay for it.

Please forgive me for intruding if I have. Your journey is yours and so are your choices. But I considered that perhaps you may be willing to ask yourself if you really know what the Christian Faith is and why you are choosing to abandon it. Perhaps, you are still willing to really get to know Who God is. Or perhaps you are now committed to creating a God of your own choosing to give yourself some false comfort in the things you prefer to do. I do not know. But in the off-chance that it may be the former, I have made this comment. I would be very pleased to help you further if you want it. Otherwise, I wish you well in your journey.
The problem is that the people you're talking to don't see the God you see. So if you say things like we've all rebelled against God it makes no sense or even things like sin.
Re: My Journey To Freethinking by Freh(m): 7:04am On Jan 07
So let me pop a few questions

If man has a spirit where did it come from?

Assuming you would say 'God'

Is that Spirit created separate from God or did he take of his own life force and Spirit to put in man?

If we are all 'cut from the same rock' as a scripture in Isaiah says and we all have the 'Spirit of God' in us to be alive on earth, were is the distinction between spirit of God in every man and Holy Spirit.
Where does God end and where do we begin?
Hoping this would strike a cord in someone. Note to self the answers can be found in the Bible and are glaringly apparent.
Re: My Journey To Freethinking by Ihedinobi3: 6:28pm On Jan 08

The problem is that the people you're talking to don't see the God you see. So if you say things like we've all rebelled against God it makes no sense or even things like sin.
They are not the only readers on Nairaland.

1 Like 1 Share

(1) (2) (3) ... (5) (6) (7) (8) (Reply)

Evolutionary Theory And Creation Theory / I No Longer Go To Church If I'm Skint (no Money), Can't Stand The Pressure! / Why We Want Yahweh To Make An Amputee Limb Grow (a Counter Thread)

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2019 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 148
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.