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14 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - "Just Believe" · 1 reply · +1 points

I think most Christians you talk to have a "workaround" theory on this. One my friend proposed is that they (those who never heard the gospel on Earth) will have an opportunity to accept or reject Jesus personally on the day of judgment. At this time they will hear about the gospel, and be given the same choice the rest of us had. To me, this explanation raises a lot of questions, but anyway he admits it is just a theory.

14 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - "Just Believe" · 1 reply · +1 points

Hi Lyndsey,

I appreciate your response. While I know we still do not see eye to eye, you have a certain openness about you that is very inviting. I look forward to discussing with you more tomorrow when I post the article you have sent to me.

I just wanted to ask one question. If I'm not mistaken, what Jesus said is that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Do you believe this statement was literal, metaphorical or both?


14 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Honestly Tired · 0 replies · +1 points

uh oh - sorry. i need to go back and fix my misspellings.

actually just posted my response. but thanks for being understanding. :)

14 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Reasons For Belief · 0 replies · +1 points


It is all part of the same project to me. If it is possible to know that Jesus rose from the dead, then I want to know. So for me, mapping out the paths that other people take to believe might be of some value. Or perhaps not. But I agree your category "Faith" or perhaps "just believing" is different from the others.

May I ask, do you believe that the angel Gabriel came to Muhammad and revealed the Qur'an to him? Why or why not?



15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Day #22 · 1 reply · +1 points

Pigs flying is obviously a ridiculous example.  But take the gospel account, imagine it were true.  That a man came, performed miracles, preached a radical message of love, told you he would be crucified and would rise again, and then did - or at least seemed to.  For me, I would accept it immediately.  It would capture my heart and overwhelm my mind.

I guess what I'm getting at is if something miraculous happened that wasn't random or ridiculous but actually seemed endowed with significance and purpose, my criteria for believing would not necessarily be so "rational."  To stick with my philosophical arguments at that point would feel a bit arrogant, as though I would not "allow" for God to suspend the laws of the universe that he presumably created.

So, unless I had other reasons for doubting my own sanity, I would be willing to accept a miracle if it happened before my eyes.  But the fact remains - I have never seen anything miraculous.  I have absolutely no real reason for believing Jesus rose from the dead at this point, and to me I won't just believe because I want it to be true, nor will I just "believe first, understand later."  I don't feel like true belief is something that can be manipulated so easily.

Am I making any sense?

15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Day #22 · 3 replies · +1 points

Is there no point at which you would accept something miraculous, or would you insist on your own insanity until the very end?

15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - "It is because of your... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you for your response - very heartfelt indeed. As I mentioned in a previous comment, I am really drawn by the trope of "light" and "darkness." Usually in my own life, when I am faced with a decision, I know which is which. When I move towards the "light," I am doing something not necessarily for my own benefit, but the benefit of all. When I am moving towards darkness, I am indulging only myself, regardless of whom is hurt by my actions. I am sure most everyone has experienced this dichotomy. Which isn't to say, of course, that there aren't gray areas. But anyway, this is how I think of sin and if it is a helpful way for people to think about things then I see no problem with using that language.

15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - "It is because of your... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you for responding. Before I went to sleep last night, I told Brianne that I must remember that those who would condemn me (whether or not you are a part of that group is beside the point - but thank you for saying you do not condemn me) are experiencing far greater hurt than the hurt they cause me by their condemnation. I am sure this statement requires much more explanation, a lot of which will hopefully become clearer once I finally manage to finish my biographical narrative.

You see, at one time I believed I knew the truth. The truth was similar, but in many ways very different, from the truth you know. I believed that I was going to heaven because I had accepted Christ. Anyone who had not accepted Christ was en route to Hell. Therefore it was my personal responsibility to do everything in my power to help direct the "lost" towards salvation.

Ultimately, this resulted in quite a bit of pain, as all I saw around me were lost people. If a person did something kind for me, it was as though I had to ask myself whether this person was "saved" before I could feel anything. I could not see people for who they were, only where they were headed. "Love thy neighbor" was perhaps Jesus's clearest command, and yet, this was perhaps the most difficult for me to live out. Loving my neightbor meant only one thing - doing everything in my power to sway them to my viewpoint. Of course, it was not "my viewpoint." It was simply Truth.

Unfortunately, it never felt like Love. It felt more like bullying. I felt true Love later, when I lost my faith and began doing service work. When I helped others with absolutely no agenda, no desire to save them or convert them, it was then that I understood what it meant to love my neighbor. In my opinion, agendas and love are quite at odds with one another. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other.

If you do not feel this way as you move about the world then I am very thankful for that fact, for your sake. I don't presume that everyone interprets the "gospel" the way that I did, or feels the kind of misery I did. But at the same time, I doubt I was the only one.

I think repentance is quite important. I feel I have had many moments of repentance in my life, and I hope that I have many more. It is so important I believe to reach a place where you have "had it" with yourself, and are ready to fully shed your ego and embrace the light. I do believe in light and darkness, by the way. However I don't think anyone is ever totally in one or the other. I wish to walk towards the light and away from darkness as much as I am able, but I know that I will never be entirely free of this struggle as long as I am alive.

And so, I put it to you - are you free of sin? Are you, yourself, in need of repentance? If not, then I commend you for achieving perfection. But if so, then by your own analysis, how can you or I or anyone else be certain that your viewpoint is correct?

I suppose what saddens me the most about the person who accused me of having some sin or another is that, by his very statement, he denies his own sin, his own imperfection, and yes - his own uncertainty. In so doing, he participates in what I feel is a widespread denial of our own fundamental identity as human beings. We are all the same. Nothing could be more terrifying, or more true.

15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Reasons For Belief · 1 reply · +1 points

Just checking - you realize that "Mr. Atheist" and I are not the same person, right? :)

I think its a fair question though. When you say "It makes sense to me that he would change as we change as parents to adapt to our growing and developing children," - it only makes sense if God is limited by time, as we are. But my understanding has always been that there is no past, present or future with God. God created time, and can move in and out of it at will. Therefore any statements about God "adapting" do seem rather self-contradictory.

15 years ago @ Honest Uncertainty - Reasons For Belief · 0 replies · +1 points

Not a direct response per se - but a similar thing happened in Buddhism. I do not believe Buddha was a god, and yet he was turned into one as his teachings became "relgion." I wonder sometimes if people do not "deify" human beings who seem to transcend ordinary human limits because deification "excuses" us from living up to their example. After all, we know we are not gods. Worship is far easier than imitation.