Why are there so many non-believers?

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.
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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#31

Post by Gman » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:43 pm

daywalker1966 wrote:
They tell me to find a church to go to. which one of those would I pick? Frankly I dont know if I'll go again. I dont know what to believe, maybe I dont belong even thinking I'm a Christian. Maybe not. Frankly I have no idea what to believe anymore.
What is the message of Jesus Christ?
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#32

Post by Mariolee » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:57 pm

daywalker1966 wrote:jlay, if I want to be chastised, I have a wife for that. Are you trying to be nice? Wow, I'm impressed. Sorry if I dont have the faith you think I should have, but I've had my reasons over the years. You sound like the guys who tell me that God doesn't answer my prayers because he finds black clothes and symphony metal sinful. Your approach is insulting. You dont know my attitude during my prayers, for that matter you dont know me at all. No, I dont dont expect God to bow to me, and that is an insulting way for you to assume you know my attitude.

You remind me of a mormon minister who came to my house once and loudly told me to get on my knees and repent of my sins. He was walking a few minutes later.

You dont know anything about my level of sincerity, you dont know what I have seen or been through over the last few years. I speak from experience. I never said all religions were the same, but I'm not too impressed at this point. I hate corrective attitudes from strangers. Try learning some tact. That would go a long way for you.

And as far as your phone analogy, if I tried a phone over and over and over and it never worked, I might assume that my opinions of it were wrong, and if others came to me and said "oh I've heard that phone works great" good for them. That doesnt help me much. Yes I do research.

I hope you arent one of these crusaders who try to win souls for Jesus.
I don't know if this is true, but it seems that you are a lot like me in my situation with God. If you're nor, totally disregard this message. :)
But if you are like me, if someone were to ask someone like us of our religion, like a simple straight answer, we'd say we were a Christian. But in our hearts, you still don't really know. You don't know what makes Christianity so special, why should it be the exception out of all the religions of the world? Someone who prays earnestly for a sign, something to show that this wonderful God actually exists, and then waking up the next morning experiencing no sign in your dreams, and for the next few months, nothing out of the ordinary religion wise. Someone that finds it a bit odd and maybe "cultish" that when you ask these questions, they say "Just put ye Faith in the Lord God Almighty, and He will show thee the way of Jesus Christ, the one Messiah, and all who do not believe will be condemned to the depths of hell."

I just wanted to touch on something here, you mentioned that all of the characters of the Bible took place a long time ago just like other mythologies, but Jesus only lived 2000 years ago. At face value, that's a long time, but seeing all this evidence and recordings we have from that time, we know a lot more about Jesus than you may think. You said you did research, so I don't know if you've read this book yet, but I'd recommend "The Case for the Real Jesus" by Lee Strobel for you that provides really good evidence on why the Jesus of the Bible is the real Jesus and and that since He is who He says He is, all of the Bible is true because He says so.

I believe that you can't ask God to appear to you, not even halfway, because then you'd stop learning about Him. Have you ever thought about that? You said that you've been researching because of your shaky Faith with this God. I believe that doubt, as strange and stupid as it sounds, is one of the best ways to learn about God and grow in Him. Some of the most influential theologians out there went through a time of doubt at some point in their lives, that caused them to grow and learn and flourish in Christ. If we started to believe in God only because of a miracle or a prophetic dream, we would stop striving to know Him wouldn't we? If someone were to ask you why you believe in this outrageous concept, you'd say "I saw Him in a dream."
They'd wait a few seconds for more, until you'd say, "And that's about it."

Or, you could keep going on this path of knowing Him with all of your heart, soul, and with all your mind.

Idk, those are just my two cents. Hope that helps...kinda. :p
How do some people mess up a message about "love" and "forgiveness" so much?!

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#33

Post by jlay » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:02 am

Chastised?

Friend, I never insulted you personally like you did in your reply. I've reread my post, and although it is critical of your statements, I find it far from what you are accusing, and far from the outright insults you make towards me. But, hey that is OK. Often times when our misconceptions are challenged we often take it as a personal insult. I assure you it's nothing of the sort. And if you are willing to, I'm very interested in discussing this with you.

I can only base my opinion of your sincerity by what you post. A person's sincerity has absolutly nothing to do with whether their course of action is correct. You can be sincerely wrong. But, please tell me where I questioned your sincerity? I didn't. I questioned your opinion of God, versus who He actually is. I questioned your concept of prayer. And, nothing personal, but based on what you posted, I think I had good reason to do such. So, you may have been sincere when you prayed. I don't know. But, I do know that your concept of God, and your concept of the purpose of prayer is distorted. At least if we are considering the bible as the standard of reference.
You remind me of a mormon minister who came to my house once and loudly told me to get on my knees and repent of my sins.
I haven't said or done anything remotely like that. I'm saying to get the right answers you have to ask the right questions. I sincerely do hope you find the answers.

Also, when someone presents an analogy, it doens't mean that all things regarding those two matters are analogous.
I never said all religions were the same
Yes, you very much implied that. You said. "The bible is the same as the other books in that respect." In addition to other comparisons you made about its followers, etc.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#34

Post by Sudsy » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:51 pm

I think it is quite human to want some obvious manifestation in the form of a vision or healing or other type of miracle that cannot be disputed. I know I have made certain requests of God in that area. But then I get to thinking about what Jesus said to Thomas after Thomas demanded some physical proof - John 20:29 - Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

We are especially blessed by exercising our faith in believing and not seeing. And those doubts we have, I think most of us have them, so we need to build up our faith. How ? Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. If you want to build your faith and lesson your fears, your anxieties and your doubts, the answer is spending time with the Lord studying the scriptures and allowing Him to speak in that still small voice within your heart. I don't know of any short cuts to building one's faith.

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#35

Post by daywalker1966 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:06 am

Marioloo, i think your reply shows more understanding of where I am coming from. Too many times people including me base their conclusions on what they see in front of them and the conclusions are wrong. As I began researching years ago I found that people would read the intervention of their God, any god inclouding Buda into their circumstances. For examplea person might become badly ill and pray to some invented stone god, get better and guess what, they now have their god. In my case my family went through homelessness and other circumstances, and not only did prayer seem to backfire but it failed to provide any relief. Finally the backfires got bad enough to where I ceased praying, and then it seemed to make sense. Rely on myself and there was no more question of the outcome, I could solve the given problem or I could not.

I was told pray according to God's will, I was told to be humble and repentant. I did those things in tears.A fewtimes it appeared that answers were coming,then again I turned out dead wrong, painfully wrong. I wont bother with specifics, but to put it simply the more I turned to my faith and lost the more unreal and senseless prayer was. I finally had only one prayer left, to simply know that God existed, not because someone said so, but because he could let me know. Nothing happened and finally I felt cold altogether and the only thing logical to do was accept my empty destiny. Live for today and accept the end tomorrow. I also foundt hat I was far from the only person who thought that way.

Many Christian beliefs are contrary to the bible, and along with that some of the worst people I knew claimed to have the holy spirit as I have mentioned.

At some point I sincerely had no idea what was real or not and had lost all confidence in man to provide answers. If you are going to base your life, and maybe your death, on a belief it should be a right belief, so it seems to me.

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#36

Post by jlay » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:57 am

At some point I sincerely had no idea what was real or not and had lost all confidence in man to provide answers. If you are going to base your life, and maybe your death, on a belief it should be a right belief, so it seems to me.
I couldn't have said it any better.

So where to now? I can't help but think, "hey, this guy is here at a faith based site."
Let's just assume for now that God is not going to appear to you in a burning bush. No bright light or loud voice. How then would God demonstrate to you that He is?
I was told pray according to God's will, I was told to be humble and repentant.
All I can say, is this was wrong advice. If people told you to do this, thinking that this will lead to some angels singing, miraculous manifestation then it was wrong.

I regret that you feel my original post was off target in regards to what you are going through. FWIW, I've been there. I'm not coming to you with some silver spoon in my mouth kind of faith. I too wondered, "where is God," when my Father abandoned us and we were evicted from our home, cars repossesed, etc.
Many Christian beliefs are contrary to the bible, and along with that some of the worst people I knew claimed to have the holy spirit as I have mentioned.
I understand. Some of the dumbest people I know claim to be educated.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#37

Post by Mariolee » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:56 am

daywalker1966 wrote:Marioloo, i think your reply shows more understanding of where I am coming from. Too many times people including me base their conclusions on what they see in front of them and the conclusions are wrong. As I began researching years ago I found that people would read the intervention of their God, any god inclouding Buda into their circumstances. For examplea person might become badly ill and pray to some invented stone god, get better and guess what, they now have their god. In my case my family went through homelessness and other circumstances, and not only did prayer seem to backfire but it failed to provide any relief. Finally the backfires got bad enough to where I ceased praying, and then it seemed to make sense. Rely on myself and there was no more question of the outcome, I could solve the given problem or I could not.

I was told pray according to God's will, I was told to be humble and repentant. I did those things in tears.A fewtimes it appeared that answers were coming,then again I turned out dead wrong, painfully wrong. I wont bother with specifics, but to put it simply the more I turned to my faith and lost the more unreal and senseless prayer was. I finally had only one prayer left, to simply know that God existed, not because someone said so, but because he could let me know. Nothing happened and finally I felt cold altogether and the only thing logical to do was accept my empty destiny. Live for today and accept the end tomorrow. I also foundt hat I was far from the only person who thought that way.

Many Christian beliefs are contrary to the bible, and along with that some of the worst people I knew claimed to have the holy spirit as I have mentioned.

At some point I sincerely had no idea what was real or not and had lost all confidence in man to provide answers. If you are going to base your life, and maybe your death, on a belief it should be a right belief, so it seems to me.
Glad I could help. I've gone through the same thoughts as you have. Isn't it entirely logical and plausible that man simply made God up by himself as a means to comfort themselves. But such a simply idea looks good on paper, but under scrutiny I realized, it's actually not as bulletproof as one would expect.
On the whole prayer thing, prayer is really crazy to me. Like, I know Jesus says it's the way to talk to God, but what Christians don't realize is, it's not the way to ask stuff from God.

Maybe you asked for something miraculous to happen to show that there was a God. I hate using this cliche'd argument, but the argument of irreducible complexity, of saying that this world is too awesome to be simply made on accident. There's simply too many variables for chance to be part of the equation, which is why you have people like Dawkins and Hawking trying to come up for a reason that we are here. Simply looking outside and seeing the simply beauty of everyday life. Try spending one day doing nothing but walking in the park, sitting under the clouds, taking a hike through the forest. It's amazing, and there's no real reason that it has to be amazing.

And sometimes, God says no to prayers to lead you to a point in your life that you wouldn't have. Like I said before, because God didn't answer you, it made you strive to learn more about Him, making you stronger. But really, I don't know much about your life so I can't judge, but it's simply looking at the bigger picture that shows you that there is a God.

Accepting Jesus as this weird out of the world God and Saviour of something you can't see but supposedly feel called a "soul" , takes Faith. Yes, it takes Faith, but it also takes reasoning to build on that Faith. Jesus said blessed are those who do not see, but still believe, but notice He did not condemn Thomas because he didn't believe. Jesus is understanding, which is the whole point He came to Earth as a human in the first place in my opinion.

Also, that's another thing I want to touch on. How Christianity is different from other religions. I think the main reason Christianity is different is because of Jesus. Jesus is the real gamechanger here, because we actually have proof He existed, we have proof that He rose from the dead, and we have proof that He fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We can't say the same for gods like Zeus, at least, not as far as I know.
How do some people mess up a message about "love" and "forgiveness" so much?!

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#38

Post by daywalker1966 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:56 am

There are also many non believers for other reasons. Take evangelists for example: The wife was thoroughly devoted to a certain set of them who she watches all the timeand she became hotly offended if I said anything negative about these hell fire preachers. I did some reserch on them also and found trails of corruption as long as toilet paper. These people are double talkers, liars and thieves who take the moey from their devotees and pad they pockets living like kings while many of the tithers are dirt poor and struggle to pay their obligatory tithes. I used to be ruled by one of them, a very prominent one with a huge church who himself was involved in public sexual deviance, as was his son who ran his own ministries and was disbarred after yet onother affair with a married woman. I was there for both of those and it disgusted me to no end.

Another example of why people are skeptical of religion, including me: if you have ever heard people say God told them this or that? I heard the words of two people recently who stated that God told them why he had killed two people. One was a doctor who was shot to death, and according to the speaker God had this person shot because now they were serving in heaven. The other was a little boy who was killed by a drunk driver and supposedly the speaker heard from God that this boy was in heaven serving the lord. Give me break! How absurd do you have to be to believe that a loving merciful god would have people slaughtered just to take them to heaven. I dont say God did it, I believe that these people were hearing some voice, but it was no God. My point is that people will believe most anything and they are easily misled, which is why I am skeptical because I will not accept anything at face value. Been there done that. Our former pastor, as did his son, and their successor, claimed they were God's chosen opostles. sure, so God is a dumpster diver. I dont think so. Obviously these people worship a god who is unimaginative when it comes to claiming people for his heavenly service.

Sometimes it can be very hard to cut through the weeds to get to the flowers, knowwhutImean??

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#39

Post by jlay » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:42 am

Another example of why people are skeptical of religion, including me:
Jesus was skeptical of religion.

It seems to me that you have the discernment to spot the charlatan. I would thank the living God, that He was granted you wisdom. Use this same wisdom to seek His face and discern His Word.
The wife was thoroughly devoted to a certain set of them who she watches all the timeand she became hotly offended if I said anything negative about these hell fire preachers. I did some reserch on them also and found trails of corruption as long as toilet paper. These people are double talkers, liars and thieves who take the moey from their devotees and pad they pockets living like kings while many of the tithers are dirt poor and struggle to pay their obligatory tithes. I used to be ruled by one of them, a very prominent one with a huge church who himself was involved in public sexual deviance, as was his son who ran his own ministries and was disbarred after yet onother affair with a married woman. I was there for both of those and it disgusted me to no end.
I'm going to share something with you and it may rub you the wrong way. Let me start by asking the question. Can you say without queston that you are the spiritual leader in your home?
God has an order to the way things are to be in the home. Read Ephesians 5. What happens when this order is not followed? Wives will look other places if there is no spiritual leadership from the husband. And often they will fall in with these deceivers who tickle their ears. If you were, 'ruled' as you say, by one, then why should you expect differently from your wife. I see a great opportunity for you now.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#40

Post by daywalker1966 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:47 pm

To make a long explanation very short, when the wife and me got together we had long discussions on how to raise the kids, since she had two and I managed to add another later, and it was an attempt on my part to run a home as I was supposed to. Ever the period of years, I tried going to church, I tried spending evenings with them studying the bible among other books, I taught them for years, an uphill battle against the I dont wannas. The problem began when she challenged my authority at every turn. I put limits on their music, television and rules of conduct and she threw them all out the window, standing agains me when I tried to discipline the kids, telling them I was on a power trip and had mental problems. she broke down my authority at every turn and made me into a buffoon. I was advised by friends of mine to dump her. She dumped me twice and sadly she came back. It was hell. I was tired of being called a mental case, tired of being struck in the face by my step child and tired of having the police called,only to find no evidenceof wrong doing on my part and being turned loose.

Eventually my middle child told me to my face that I could tell her whatever, she would do as she pleased. The step daughter paid the price for ignoring me, spending years homeless with a worthless husband, playing with drugs and sex and doing it all. When I went to work nights some years ago mom camped out in the bedroom and ceased all the devotionals, and turned the kids loose all hours of the day and night with television, phones, texting, etc. I finally gave up and abandoned parenting to keep my own sanity. The kids are nearly gone to college and I live my own life. Now I dont get screamed at, I dont get hit, and they suffer from their own actions. I prayed through most of it till I gave up on that also. The wife has said we have one more child to raise in the "next life". If there is a next life I told her after 18 years of rebellion she can raise her other child alone, without me. I did the best I could and all I did was pay the price till I could not take it anymore. It's sad when your family leaves for an event and you cherish every hour alone.

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#41

Post by TallMan » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:06 pm

Many of the "believers" are nominal believers, like the devils (James 2:19)
Ther do not adhere to, cling to, rely on what Jesus actually said (John 7:37-39, 14:12, Mark 16:15-20; Acts 2:4, 39; then 1 Cor 14 details what Jesus wants in Church meetings, the orderly operation of his gifts & ministries).

Many/most apparent "seekers" are really just looking for a church that suits them, they are still setting the agenda, they havn't surrendered at all, they still believe in their own ways.

I was like that until I realised I just needed to make room for God to so what he says - give me his Spirit then let Him show me daily what it's all about - if you don't have revelation from God, you don't really know!

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#42

Post by Mariolee » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:56 am

daywalker1966 wrote:To make a long explanation very short, when the wife and me got together we had long discussions on how to raise the kids, since she had two and I managed to add another later, and it was an attempt on my part to run a home as I was supposed to. Ever the period of years, I tried going to church, I tried spending evenings with them studying the bible among other books, I taught them for years, an uphill battle against the I dont wannas. The problem began when she challenged my authority at every turn. I put limits on their music, television and rules of conduct and she threw them all out the window, standing agains me when I tried to discipline the kids, telling them I was on a power trip and had mental problems. she broke down my authority at every turn and made me into a buffoon. I was advised by friends of mine to dump her. She dumped me twice and sadly she came back. It was hell. I was tired of being called a mental case, tired of being struck in the face by my step child and tired of having the police called,only to find no evidenceof wrong doing on my part and being turned loose.

Eventually my middle child told me to my face that I could tell her whatever, she would do as she pleased. The step daughter paid the price for ignoring me, spending years homeless with a worthless husband, playing with drugs and sex and doing it all. When I went to work nights some years ago mom camped out in the bedroom and ceased all the devotionals, and turned the kids loose all hours of the day and night with television, phones, texting, etc. I finally gave up and abandoned parenting to keep my own sanity. The kids are nearly gone to college and I live my own life. Now I dont get screamed at, I dont get hit, and they suffer from their own actions. I prayed through most of it till I gave up on that also. The wife has said we have one more child to raise in the "next life". If there is a next life I told her after 18 years of rebellion she can raise her other child alone, without me. I did the best I could and all I did was pay the price till I could not take it anymore. It's sad when your family leaves for an event and you cherish every hour alone.
I hate to say this, but it's not your fault. Sounds like a good thing, right? But sometimes, when it IS our fault, it's way easier to fix the problem, but this time it just kinda seemed like you weren't in total control. This was the mom's responsibility as well, though this is just one side of the story, and I'm sure that there's way more to it. Try to actually talk with her, and by talk, I mean no shouting, no arguing, nothing. Have a totally nice conversation, and if she starts to act up you should act calm and cool to show that you have control over yourself. Continue praying again, it will get you peace of mind.
How do some people mess up a message about "love" and "forgiveness" so much?!

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

#43

Post by daywalker1966 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:46 am

It took me a few years to realize that it was not my fault and I did tell her that the marriage was breaking down, that she had responsibilities in it the same as me, nbut it's like so many people that they will cause their own problems then gripe about the results. She wondered why I tossed my wedding ring in the top drawer years ago, I said butlers dont wear them and when I feel married again I'll wear it.

I am not the abusive type, I dont drink, smoke or carouse. As for religion, it was all largely logic which I taught the kids as best i could, keep your knickers up, keep the needles out of your veins and the sauce out of your system.Two of them listened to that much at least.

As for this thread, in the end I do believe that prayer and false churches have much to do with non believers. I heard a sermon on it on the raduio some time back from a minister who was talking about how going to a church that is a facade can do enormous damage toward turning people away. So true.

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Re: Why are there so many non-believers?

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Post by 7777777 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:58 pm

I used to think about this all of the time until one day I asked myself. "What do you expect God to do? Do you want Him to write His name in the clouds? Should He spell out His name with the mountains?" I could NOT come up with any answers to my question. But, eventually I was content with this answer.....I think the reason God doesn't make Himself appear "more real", such as doing the things I described above, is because if He did, two things would happen.

1) Non-believers would believe for a while but as soon as He missed one day of appearing in the clouds, they will forget about Him.
2) Our relationship with Him would cease to be personal.

Can you imagine what kind of God He would appear to be if He wrote His name in the clouds? It would scare me to death. I would wonder what would happen to me if I didn't worship Him. I would be worshipping Him out of fear and not love. People would be speaking to one another saying things like, "did you see what He wrote in the clouds today? He wants us at church on Sunday. Are you going? I know I am. I don't want to make Him angry." You would be afraid of telling Him anything out of fear He may broadcast it to the whole world.

God wants a personal relationship with you. He does not want this relationship to be based on fear. The only way to have a personal relationship with Him is to have our experiences with Him be personal as well.

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