Certainty of belief

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.

Which best describes you?

I'm absolutely certain Christianity is true
10
100%
I'm quite sure Christianity is true
0
No votes
I think Christianity is true but how can you really be certain?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 10

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Nicki
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Certainty of belief

Postby Nicki » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:41 pm

I know a similar question was asked recently but I wanted to put it in a different way. Feel free to vote anonymously or to comment.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:08 am

I am 100% certain that Christianity is true and I know this based on reasoning, based on personal experience and based on revelation.
To be clear, there was a point in my life that is did not believe it was and, perhaps more telling, did not WANT to believe it was.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby melanie » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:47 am

I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby Nicki » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:10 pm

melanie wrote:I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.


What is it that's made you 100% sure?

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby Nicki » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:57 am

Nicki wrote:
melanie wrote:I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.


What is it that's made you 100% sure?


I should've added that by Christianity I meant the basics of the Gospel, not necessarily all the church tradition and so on.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:32 am

melanie wrote:I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.


Mel, that view about what Constantine did ( or did not do) is so incredibly distorted...
I am surprised you believe, especially considering how long you have been here.
https://www.britannica.com/event/Counci ... ianity-325

Council of Nicaea, (325), the first ecumenical council of the Christian church, meeting in ancient Nicaea (now İznik, Tur.). It was called by the emperor Constantine I, an unbaptized catechumen, or neophyte, who presided over the opening session and took part in the discussions. He hoped a general council of the church would solve the problem created in the Eastern church by Arianism, a heresy first proposed by Arius of Alexandria that affirmed that Christ is not divine but a created being. Pope Sylvester I did not attend the council but was represented by legates.

The council condemned Arius and, with reluctance on the part of some, incorporated the nonscriptural word homoousios (“of one substance”) into a creed (the Nicene Creed) to signify the absolute equality of the Son with the Father. The emperor then exiled Arius, an act that, while manifesting a solidarity of church and state, underscored the importance of secular patronage in ecclesiastical affairs.

The council also attempted but failed to establish a uniform date for Easter. But it issued decrees on many other matters, including the proper method of consecrating bishops, a condemnation of lending money at interest by clerics, and a refusal to allow bishops, priests, and deacons to move from one church to another. Socrates Scholasticus, a 5th-century Byzantine historian, said that the council intended to make a canon enforcing celibacy of the clergy, but it failed to do so when some objected. It also confirmed the primacy of Alexandria and Jerusalem over other sees in their respective areas.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Cou ... onceptions

Misconceptions[edit]
Biblical canon[edit]
Main article: Development of the Christian biblical canon
There is no record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council.[73] The development of the biblical canon took centuries, and was nearly complete (with exceptions known as the Antilegomena, written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed) by the time the Muratorian fragment was written.[74]

In 331, Constantine commissioned fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople, but little else is known (in fact, it is not even certain whether his request was for fifty copies of the entire Old and New Testaments, only the New Testament, or merely the Gospels). Some scholars believe that this request provided motivation for canon lists. In Jerome's Prologue to Judith,[75] he claims that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures", which some have suggested means the Nicene Council did discuss what documents would number among the sacred scriptures, but more likely simply means the Council used Judith in its deliberations on other matters and so it should be considered canonical.

The main source of the idea that the Bible was created at the Council of Nicea seems to be Voltaire, who popularised a story that the canon was determined by placing all the competing books on an altar during the Council and then keeping the ones that did not fall off. The original source of this "fictitious anecdote" is the Synodicon Vetus,[76] a pseudo-historical account of early Church councils from AD 887:[77]

The canonical and apocryphal books it distinguished in the following manner: in the house of God the books were placed down by the holy altar; then the council asked the Lord in prayer that the inspired works be found on top and--as in fact happened--the spurious on the bottom.[78]

Trinity[edit]
The council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. Over a century earlier the term "Trinity" (Τριάς in Greek; trinitas in Latin) was used in the writings of Origen (185–254) and Tertullian (160–220), and a general notion of a "divine three", in some sense, was expressed in the second century writings of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr. In Nicaea, questions regarding the Holy Spirit were left largely unaddressed until after the relationship between the Father and the Son was settled around the year 362.[79] So the doctrine in a more full-fledged form was not formulated until the Council of Constantinople in 360 AD,[80] and a final form formulated in 381 AD, primarily crafted by Gregory of Nyssa.[81]

Constantine[edit]
Main article: Constantine the Great
While Constantine had sought a unified church after the council, he did not force the Homoousian view of Christ's nature on the council (see The role of Constantine).

Constantine did not commission any Bibles at the council itself. He did commission fifty Bibles in 331 for use in the churches of Constantinople, itself still a new city. No historical evidence points to involvement on his part in selecting or omitting books for inclusion in commissioned Bibles.

Despite Constantine's sympathetic interest in the Church, he was not baptized until some 11 or 12 years after the council, putting off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much sin as possible[82] in accordance with the belief that in baptism all sin is forgiven fully and completely.[83]

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby DBowling » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:16 am

Here's why I'm certain that Christianity is true, and why I've put my faith in Jesus Christ.

1. First let's start with the existence of "God". Nature and science provide overwhelming evidence at both the intuitive level as well as the scientific level that some sort of intelligent Creator has to be responsible for structured universe that we live in.

2. Jumping from the existence of "God" to the Christian religion in particular, I follow the logic of the Apostle Paul. Christianity rises or falls on the reality of a single historical event, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. My studies of the Scriptural and extrascriptural historical evidence has proven to me beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was a wise teacher who performed many miracles, that he was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and that he rose from the dead three days after he was executed.
For me, the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus is the entry point into Christianity, and then everything else falls into place from there.

3. Finally there is my personal experience. There are a number of situations in my life that simply cannot be explained other than outside intervention by God. In our family when one of these situations occurs we refer to them as a "God thing".

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby Philip » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:13 am

Melanie: Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.


The above statement reflects a serious misconception of Constantine's role and what actually transpired at the 325 A.D. Council of Nicea he called - his role was merely to call the meeting of Bishops under his authority, as well as brought authority of law per any of the decisions. The canon wasn't even discussed at Constatine's called Council of Nicea!

Per Wikipedia:

"There is NO record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council."[73]

"The main source of the idea that the Bible was created at the Council of Nicea seems to be Voltaire, who popularised a story that the canon was determined by placing all the competing books on an altar during the Council and then keeping the ones that did not fall off. The original source of this "fictitious anecdote" is the Synodicon Vetus,[76] a pseudo-historical account of early Church councils from AD 887." [77]

"The council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. "

And the canon was not affirmed until A.D. 397, at Carthage. Also, even at Carthage, today's 66-book canon was not DICTATED, but a very strict list of criteria was applied in affirming books that had already long been affirmed by Christians who had been using and accepting key books - most of them before even Constantine's time.

I posted yesterday a detailed understanding as to how the canon was affirmed, and why some books were affirmed and why others weren't, as well as the criteria applied to each in the affirmation process: http://discussions.godandscience.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=42102&p=228201#p228201

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby melanie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:15 am

Nicki wrote:
melanie wrote:I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.


What is it that's made you 100% sure?

That's both a very easy question to answer Nicki but also quite complex when I think of how best to explain.
I've told my kids over the years 'I don't know much about much but one thing I know for certain is God is real and he loves us'. I have always had a deep knowing in my spirit. I won't pretend for a second that that has made me a good steward because it hasn't. I spent some years pretty peeved off at God, I've seen and lived through some pretty tough times and I've struggled with a tendency to over indulge in certain vices but through it all I've never questioned whether God is real.
I've questioned His love, His ways and His plan, I've cried and I've cursed and pretended like He was not my always present Father but on a very deep, personal level my faith is the centre and cornerstone of who I am.
It is interwoven into the fabric of my being.
I'm a pretty intellectual person and there are many reasons for faith based around solid reasoning. Many people have been brought closer to God through intellectual thought, that is the nature of this very board and I think in so many ways that is the best way to represent faith to a non believing, fact driven world. But as interested as I am in the intellectual argument it's not my reason for certainty.
I think often that faith without thought is dangerous. Religious upbringing and ingrained faith based on fear can be an all consuming belief system. If you tell someone often enough that hellish brimfirey hell awaits them if they turn away or stop believing then that fear will keep them believing in a way but not in a deeply spiritual sense because fear really only weakens the spirit. So even though I was raised in a Christian environment, I always questioned the status quo, was kicked out of religion class at school and was frowned upon for questioning as I got older so a religious background is not my reason for certainty.
The truth is and it's uncomfortable admitting that my certainty is due to personal revelation. It's almost embarrassing to admit that I have experienced some really life changing, profound situations dating back to childhood so for me it comes quite naturally to believe in a realm outside of what we know. It's uncomfortable because well it's a bit out there and wacky and its embarrassing because I'm about the most least deserving person to have experienced it.
But that is why I'm certain because tied into my life experience there have been some extraordinary and deeply personal and special moments that have made me aware of an existence that lives beyond the physical and once that is experienced it just changes your entire worldview.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby melanie » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:45 am

I really feel the need to clarify that every persons walk is different and whilst admitting to experiencing personal conviction that in no way makes my convictions any more validated than anyone else. Or better said, whilst I admit to my faith being based on personal revelation it starts and stops with that as far as my certainty. My personal reflections on many topics are nothing more than my own perception. I am just as prone to misjudgement and error and I'm acutely aware of that.
The only certainty I have is God is real and He loves us.
All branches of thought and theology is not a certainty on my part but a constant stream of questioning and reasoning that is changing and evolving.
I am quite humble in putting forward that I don't know much about much but I'm passionate about finding out more and being open and willing enough to do so.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby Nicki » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:38 am

melanie wrote:
Nicki wrote:
melanie wrote:I am 100% sure Jesus is true and God exists.
I don't have certainty in Christianity as defined by the modern tenets of the faith. At some point the basic principle of believing in Christ and He's redemption for mankind was lost in the jargon of churchianity.
Someone, namely Constantine met with a few blokes, held a council and decided how Christianity would be defined and from that the Church positioned themselves there on.
I am a devoted follower of Jesus not a follower of religion or church hierarchy.
So I need option 4...... I'm absolutely certain Jesus is true but not so sure of the religion that's attached to Him.


What is it that's made you 100% sure?

That's both a very easy question to answer Nicki but also quite complex when I think of how best to explain...


Thanks for that y>:D< I'd quite like to have had more personal revelation - it's inconclusive whether that which I may have had was actually genuine.

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Re: Certainty of belief

Postby JediMasterAaron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:53 am

The reason I am 100% certain Christianity is true is because I know Jesus really existed. The Bible's most important claim is that Jesus rose from the dead, and all the evidence points to the fact that he did indeed rise from the dead. So in my mind, if Jesus existed, was crucified and rose from the dead, and he claimed to be God himself, then God exists. While I doubt that would convince any serious skeptic, it seems pretty logical to me. As far as personal revelation, I've had two experiences that I would put under that category. I've had/have my struggles, but by the grace of God I'm still kicking.


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