Do I believe in God

Several things lately have stirred the thoughts in my head in regards not to religion but about God. Talking about religion is always a lost battle. Most people do not understand that its a choice we all make one way or the other. Same with what denomination or what you chose to call your imaginary friend. I am not trying to start a debate about religion, but rather make people think about the concept of God. Also, if you are easily offended, don’t waste your time reading any further.

The disturbing events of this week have brought to mind a thought that frankly has never entered my mind fully. How can God allow for such atrocities to happen. Even though what is happening in Africa and with the war should be making more of an impact, 32 college students in the most safe country in the world made it a little scary. While I have always looked at God as an all knowing being, I think that his level of control on this earth is limited and with good reason. If he wanted a perfect world where there was no conflict he would have raised gold fish in a huge bowl. I do not see him as a chess master playing a round against the devil.

I do not think of God as a scientist that is looking at the human race as his ultimate experiment. He is not placing cheese all over the maze that it is the world when there is a strong prayer. However I do think that God is powerful enough to grant miracles. I have not yet decided if the power of God is something that we all share as a single consciousness, or if he is the white bearded dude up in the sky… what I do know is that he exists. Explaining what kind of God I believe in is more complicated than a Chinese alphabet soup, or playing sudoku with roman numerals. I know I could learn to do both, but it would just take a long time. So for this post lets just try to get the brain working.

For someone that still goes to church and calls themselves a catholic admitting that at times I think of God as more the star wars force than the holy trinity is tough to do. However, I think it is all part of what my favorite thing about believing, which is free will. I also see God as someone that forgives.

I think whether I would have grown up without religion at all I would still have come to this conclusion. Believing in something bigger than ourselves is a very comforting though. The religion I chose is more based on culture, custom and familiarity than anything else. The more and more I look at what some people do with religion, the more I think I picked the wrong one and I should go with buddhism.

Fear is powerful. Without fear I think we would not have modern society and it would be a free for all full of people drunk in self gratification. I think religion is good at channelling that fear, but at times they also abuse it. What does God think about that? Not sure, Christians believe that he sent his only son but it seems like just some of them got the message, and most of them interpreted it wrong.

I think religion uses at times creates lazy believers. People that believe on something just because someone else told them to do so. I like to do my own thinking, and therefore I have to analyze what it is I believe in and how do I put it into practice. It has caused a lot of conflict between organized religion and myself, but I do not regret what I have learned.

I chose to believe because it makes me feel in control. I am the one that has to use my decision making power to make the right choices. I do not believe because I fear going to a place called hell, but rather know that I have some kind of reward waiting for me if I act in good faith. I know for many separating the thought of God from religion is almost an impossible task. So I ask you in a very polite way, putting your religion aside, if you can… define the God that you believe in.

14 Responses to Do I believe in God

  1. What I didn’t tell you before is that I do believe in a god (not as a supreme being to be worshiped, but rather as an initial force from which the universe generated -to believe in a just spontaneous generation of matter I think would be, well, let’s say silly), but, for many reasons, I don’t think that god has a power over our actions nor over what we call ‘our fate’. That’s why I don’t follow any religion. I even think that religion could sometimes be harmful and I have already told you my some of my reasons to believe that. But this is not a discussion about religion, as you said, so, that’s the god I believe in: a god that generated the World but then let life take its own course.

  2. Oh, se me olvidó añadir:
    Although that’s what all my free-time thinking has led me to believe I understand your position on this tough subject and I respect your opinion because it’s fundamented, you have a reason to believe in a supreme being, not like those people you say believe just because they’re told to do so.

  3. I’m not quite ready to extemporize on the kind of God I believe in, but I did want to say this:

    People that believe on something just because someone else told them to do so. I like to do my own thinking, and therefore I have to analyze what it is I believe in and how do I put it into practice.

    I’ve been fortunate to have a number of good, thoughtful, wise and open-minded religious mentors in my life. I’ve relied on their advice and experiences to shape what I believe, as well as the various churches and other religious centers I’ve attended. But ultimately I believe it’s between me and God (and the Bible) to determine what I Believe. Anything else is taking a chance on bowing to the whims of someone who doesn’t take the Word into his or her heart.

    Look at the people who follow Rev. (hah!) Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. They haven’t made their theological decisions on their own, based on a close personal relationship with God. We all need to be guided by others who are strong in the faith, but that’s where it ends for them. He tells them what’s true and what’s false, and they believe it and that’s that. And that way lies ruin.

    I’m curious about Catholicism – it’s a tenet of the religious that all Catholics follow the pope…if he gave a mandate that you did not believe followed the Bible’s teachings, as you heard in your heart, felt in your mind and accepted in your soul as being God’s will, would you still follow it?

  4. Nope, if the Pope said jump, I would not for jump.

    That said, I did “meet” John Paul the II and it was a very spiritual experience. I have never felt the presence of someone and I sure felt his presence. If John Paul would have said jump while I was on his presence, I am not sure how I would answer this question. Now, rules and dogma are a little less important to me than my true morals and values. My religion helped me build my morals, but it did not give them to me.

    I agree with you completely, we do need guidance in our spiritual walk, but blind faith on other people is not just foolish, its dangerous. I also believe in a personal relationship with God and wanting to sound redundant I believe its the only way to believe.

  5. Consider for a moment that all religions are inventions of mankind. They’ve been handed down for centuries from one person to the next. Whether or not you believe people were “divinely inspired” to write what exists in the bible it was still written by people… Not invisible, untouchable, unknowable things.

    When you’re young you’re taught about religion (usually) and in doing so you’re indoctrinated into that belief. Occasionally people change beliefs but most stick with what they were taught from the start. In doing so, a person that believes in any given religion is just “believing because another person believes”.

    There is no way to prove the existence or non-existence of a god. There is no way to know for sure what went on 2000 years ago. What we do know about the universe is what we’ve discovered through science. This doesn’t necessarily conflict with religion, but I think that where most people go wrong with religion is precisely the moment when they stop believing the science and instead believe what their religion says on the matter.

    Believing in something without evidence (such as a god) is faith. Believing something _in spite_ of evidence is delusion. People, especially the very religious, often confuse the two. When a moderate religious person encourages others to “simply have faith” they are enabling this sort of delusion. In essence, they’re encouraging people to stop asking questions and to stop demanding evidence.

    Encouraging people to submit to the authority of a religion is the same as telling them that they should not think for themselves. “What would Jesus do?” is the perfect example of this. It is an instruction to use the bible as the authoritative source on, well, everything. It isn’t. In fact, the bible is a very poor reference for just about anything–even religion. If you want to learn about Christianity, look at history books. If you want to learn about morals, take an ethics class. If you want a reason for existence, examine the natural world around you and determine it for yourself. Religion doesn’t provide answers, it only teaches you to stop asking questions.

    -Riskable
    http://riskable.com
    “The astronomical improbability of life is a wonderment and the inevitability of death is our last great shared experience. We are all equals in this way and that in itself is beautiful.”

  6. Well, when it comes to God, I believe in the God of the Bible. When it comes to “religion”, I have a basis in what I was taught but we have also been encouraged to challenge why things are the way they are. So, I have done a lot of my own research and feel comfortable that I believe things for a reason. Not just because someone told me this or that. I continue to study the bible for this very reason. I’m certainly not perfect and I can only keep reading and studying God’s word to find out what he wants for my life.

    One comment for Riskable: “It is an instruction to use the bible as the authoritative source on, well, everything. It isn’t. In fact, the bible is a very poor reference for just about anything–even religion” I’m not sure what you mean here, do you have an example of what you are talking about?

  7. Hi Logtar;

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking part in my new project.

    As for your own post: My faith lies more in Fate and destiny than in any particular religion or God. So I guess my answer would be that if God were both ‘Fate’ or ‘Destiny’, then he would be a God that kept an eye on the path you chose, but that would never interfered with that choice. You say you chose to believe, because it makes you feel in control. I guess I am the opposite. I do not need that same type of control because I believe what ever happens in life, there is a reason but I need not necessarily have to know what that reason is. Thanks!

  8. Mark wrote, “One comment for Riskable: “It is an instruction to use the bible as the authoritative source on, well, everything. It isn’t. In fact, the bible is a very poor reference for just about anything–even religion” I’m not sure what you mean here, do you have an example of what you are talking about?”

    The bible isn’t a religion and religions are merely based off of choice pieces of it. If someone who has no prior knowledge of any of the world’s religions were handed a bible and told, “This is the truth. Read this and tell me what you think that truth is.” You would have a set of beliefs that looks nothing like modern-day Christianity. Not only that, but you’d probably have crazy person on your hands that believes you can see “all four corners” of the earth from the highest mountain and regularly performs “cleansing rituals” in blood. He might even want to kill any children that curse at their parents (which is what Jesus would do).

    FYI: If you read that last sentence and don’t know what I’m talking about you shouldn’t consider yourself a Christian. If you don’t know what Jesus did in the Bible, how can you say that you would do as he did?

    If your faith is in the belief, “do unto others as you would have done unto you” that is not Christianity. It is a belief in itself and it is most certainly not an exclusive tenet of Christianity. In fact, that saying was written on the walls of an Egyptian tomb some ~6000 years ago.

    -Riskable
    http://riskable.com
    “I have a license to kill -9″

  9. Interesting post. With Buddhism, you are to rely upon yourself to make yourself better. With Christianity, you admit that you have no power to change yourself, and give control over to God to change you. Sometimes the method may be the same, for instance, if you wanted to quit smoking. You may be lead to use nicotine gum, but in the end, do you pat yourself on the back for quitting or do you give thanks to God for giving you willpower?

    I have studied Hinduism, Buddhism, Bahi’ Faith, and Christianity. The thing that makes the most since with Christianity, is that I know I am to weak to make changes on my own. I’m to weak to love my enemy without God.

    Just my 4 cents. :D

  10. It just goes to show that God cannot be ‘All Knowing,’ ‘All Powerful,’ and ‘All Loving.’ Because if God is all knowing, He would already have known this was going to exist. Therefore, if He was all powerful, He could have stopped it form happening. The fact that it happened disproves one or all of the three supposed facts. If He couldn’t stop it, then He isn’t ‘All Powerful.’ If He didn’t know it was going to happen, then He isn’t ‘All Knowing.’ And if He did know it was going to happen AND he COULD have stopped it BUT DIDN’T, then He isn’t ‘All Loving.’

    The circular reasoning of religion just isn’t logical. But of course, this is spoken like a true Atheist.

  11. Being Catholic I can say that I don’t always agree with what the church hands down. Religion is more personal than that.

    I believe in a God that allows us our free will which is why things like VA Tech unfortunately happen.

    I believe religion should bring you peace…and I also wonder why it has to be the cause of so much strife in the world. Why do we have to assume one religion is right or wrong…when if you study the basis of most religions…they are all fundamentally the same.

    I hate that people seem to think that the Pope is infallible. He’s a man. He makes mistakes. Everyone does…and I also believe that God isn’t going to send you to perdition because you don’t agree with what the Pope or any other church leader says.

  12. I heard the best answer as to why God didn’t save the students at Virginia Tech.

    “God isn’t allowed in schools.”

  13. Melanie Stephan

    I have been on a number of blogs saying about the same thing. So far no one believes me. This time I am going to take whole different aproach to what I have been writing. This time I have some questions for you to think about.
    First, Would God talk to someone that is now living? Second, Lets say God told this person a number of things that could change the world as we know it. Would you want to know what God said? Third, If God told this person the date of Judgment. Would you want to know when that was? Fourth, If God told him/her they are on his Left side, Who would that be?( I really don’t know the answer to that question either.) Fifth, If Jesus said that someone changed the words in the bible would you believe that?
    Sixth, If Jesus said his parents are Joseph and Mary, and that his parents are just like everyone else’s is that believeable? Seven, If God talked to someone that is living right now and he told that person the meaning of Revelation. And that Revelation is really going to come true, would you believe that? Eight, If this person could prove that God talked to them, would you be interested in seeing the proof? Nine, If God talked to you would anyone believe you? Posted by: Melanie Stephan (Answers to 1 to 8 are all true)

  14. I am a Christian woman and want to comment on a few things. Also know i am dating a Muslim man. To some you may be saying not going to work, others may say they are in the same boat, and others may also say good for you! to spare the “relationship” story, i want to get straight to my beliefs and thoughts…hoping to provide people with some insight.

    First and foremost, the most important thing in a relationship with God i believe is to be in-tune with your mind and your heart (your soul). I mean heart figurativly…because i believe your soul could be in your head…what makes you think also makes you feel.

    secondly, never set limitations for God. Some people mentioned they believe he does not have control, does not love completely, and can not be all things to all people. That right there is such a horrible thought to me. Look at your own imagination…your inner most thoughts and maybe even dreams. Although dreams can be sparatic and maybe meaningless they compromise your thoughts. So if you can sit there and think of the wildest or most creative things you have ever thought of…what a blessed God who gave us such a mind…who are we to denounce that very gift and to use that gift to say God is not in control.

    To comment on whether God is in our every step, i have a few things to say. First off…in the Bible God gave us dominian on this earth. Meaning he gave us free will, choice to do as we deem right. He provided us with guidelines to help us live a life he would want us to live, not every one of us does, and we all certainly ask the questions “am I on the right track?,” “did this happen for a reason?,” and of the like because we long for a guidance. Do you think that is coincidence? And that is the beauty of forgiveness…our sins have been forgiven on the cross, the ultimate sacrifice, one’s life for another, which is exactly what Christ has done for everyone.

    I believe in the word of God but i also believe it is very naieve of us to take the bible literally, because of the fact that it has been written in parables and stories to make parallells of the time in which it was written. I also believe that God has sent more than one divine individul than Christ for us to utilize.

    Because I am dating a Muslim, my knowledge of Islam has greatly improved, not just by him and his family but by my independent studies and readings. Of course there are some contradictions with each system of beliefts (Islam) and (Christianity) that we face, we both believe that God has, is and will always be universal, and he himself never decieving. When i say decieving, i do not mean that that must mean that we MUST know everything then or he is a lier…that is where he taught us faith…because what a boring gift an afterlife would be if i had no way of appreciating it. I do not expect to know everything before my judgement and i do not expect to be perfect right before i am judged as well…i just trust in God that my sins have been forgiven like he has said, and i try my best to live accordingly, in hopes of bettering myself every single day.

    You know, Einstein once said that the imagination is greater than knowledge itself…if you really think about that, yes we should believe in science ( if anything science is a testiment to my faith even more so) and also to the statement earlier, that God gave us dominian on earth, but if you really think about it we should not set limits to God or for ourselves and we should NOT NOT NOT be the judge of anyone, not even ourselves…but only ONE judge, God himself because everyone judges, of all religions, however each and every one of us are wrong and not following God’s word in doing so.

    Soooo my most cherrished message is this: Please live your life as you see fit, follow God’s basic fundamental rules, believe in one God, and try not to set limitations or restrictions for what you experience in life, because ultimately i believe everything is more inter-linked than we can even imagine….but feel free to do so!

    There is so much more in my head but i must be off to bed…take care and God Bless!

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