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Want to believe in God but can't


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 8th November 2017, 12:21 AM   #286
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I'm currently reading through Daniel and John, and I'm always surprised at how different things look when you read and entire book from start to finish. Instead of picking a parable from the NT or a story from the OT, reading a book from start to finish offers an entirely different perspective. Some of the stuff is just downright weird. John is a weird gospel as it is, but reading it from start to finish has been even weirder. A lot of this stuff is more palatable when you pick and choose a certain story of verse, which is obviously why people tend to do so.

I read Exodus last summer, and, now, reading Joshua, I'm more and more aware of the fact that the Israelites were not exactly monotheistic. It looks more like they believed in many gods and thought Yahweh was the best god.
Some of it is the idea of various types of literature. Most scholars believe John was written to supplement the synoptic gospels. John also appears to have been written so that various stories can be shared among early believers in isolation. One thing about the first century church is most Christians were poor, paper (papyri) was hard to come by, and they were under persecution. Much like us today, they may have had access to one or two passages from John to study from and use in their services. The earliest manuscript we have is actually a piece of papyri from the gospel of John (P52). After you read John, I recommend reading the letter of Polycarp. Polycarp was the disciple of John. The story of his martyrdom is crazy. It's almost like the Gospel of John is like the Tulmed...provides information to expand on baseline information provided in the Torah lol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp

You identified an important feature of the OT. The temptation to revert to polytheism and to be like the other nations. One of the central themes of the the Torah is that the Israelites constantly broke the first commandment, mingled with the other nations, and adopted their downfalls (in one of the the most extreme examples, the worship of Baal and child sacrifice), and yet God redeemed them. You can also trace the genealogy of Christ in Joshua. Jesus was related to Rahab the harlot.
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Old 11th November 2017, 2:52 AM   #287
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I recently heard someone describe his faith as half of his brain is atheist, and half of his brain believes in God. I feel like that describes me pretty well. There is a part of my brain that says all of this religions business is complete nonsense and another part that thinks this world is just too weird to have come into existence by accident and with no clear purpose.
Are you by chance a Gemini?

In a way, this is actually a blessing (though you might interpret it as a type of internal strife).

You have the ability to see life from two totally opposite lenses. In your case, its not just abstract, you can actually experience it. To me, this gives you a great advantage in your profession as you are able to empathize with people in different mental spaces. My guess is you are able to do this in other ways beyond this topic...it's just with this particular topic you may have not yet found a balance between the two (yet ).

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Old 12th November 2017, 5:23 PM   #288
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Are you by chance a Gemini?

In a way, this is actually a blessing (though you might interpret it as a type of internal strife).

You have the ability to see life from two totally opposite lenses. In your case, its not just abstract, you can actually experience it. To me, this gives you a great advantage in your profession as you are able to empathize with people in different mental spaces. My guess is you are able to do this in other ways beyond this topic...it's just with this particular topic you may have not yet found a balance between the two (yet ).
I'm actually a Sagittarius. The bolded is interesting; I've never thought of it that way before, but it definitely resonates with me. I'm trying to find a balance and stop fighting either side.
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Old 14th November 2017, 2:18 AM   #289
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I'm actually a Sagittarius. The bolded is interesting; I've never thought of it that way before, but it definitely resonates with me. I'm trying to find a balance and stop fighting either side.
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haha that's funny. I was kidding about horoscope, but I do think you have a lot of unique gifts! I also think you are on an honest spiritual quest, and no one can ask for more than that. I hope you find the answer you seek!!
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Old 14th November 2017, 3:18 PM   #290
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haha that's funny. I was kidding about horoscope, but I do think you have a lot of unique gifts! I also think you are on an honest spiritual quest, and no one can ask for more than that. I hope you find the answer you seek!!
Me too, but I'm coming around to the idea that it's more about making peace with what I don't know.

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Old 14th November 2017, 5:59 PM   #291
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BC, here's a link to an excellent bible-based, literal translation, non-denominational site https://gracethrufaith.com/. The doctrine includes OSAS - Once Saved, Always Saved. All that is needed to be saved is to believe that Jesus died for our sins.

The site has an excellent question and answer section, 800 pages of questions and answers and the pastor who runs it will personally answer your own questions as well. He explains things very well and simply.

I think if you really take a deep dive into reading and understanding the Bible, your thirst for knowledge of it will increase.

If you've been down that road already, you'll just need to at least continue to be open-minded, open-hearted and patient and see if you feel called at some point. You are on the right path, at least, by thinking and questioning and exploring, etc. I think God will put what you need on your heart and things will become clear for you in due time. Wanting to believe is a good first step.
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Old 16th November 2017, 6:10 AM   #292
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Me too, but I'm coming around to the idea that it's more about making peace with what I don't know.
That's definitely part of it for me! I pray a lot for clarity and discernment and guidance. I don't always get the understanding part (although the guidance always seems to come through). I still struggle with the frustration that comes from being confused and not understanding. But it helps when I look at it as an opportunity to develop my faith - kinda like building muscle, the more you work it the better the results. I just hand it all over to God and let Him be in the driver's seat, and trust that He'll work it out for our good and His glory: "Dear Lord, help me get through this day. Guide my steps. Please don't leave me." Then I just head into the fray and do the best I can. It always ends up being not NEARLY as bad as I thought it would be. And I learned a little something from it.
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