I've been diagnosed bipolar three months now and my life has turned into a living hell. None the medicines work so far; I've baffled my doctors. I've been hospitalized and still can't seem to get anything to work.
I will write I am a Christian, because I choose not to be anything else, but I don't understand God in my life anymore. Looking back on my life I feel like all the times I thought God was close, they just seem false and manufactured. I believe I'm beginning to lose my faith.
I'm writing here because my mother insisted I should. I figure it won't hurt if I do or don't. "Find people who are like you," she says. "Talk to them; you're not the only one." I don't think she understands that I don't care if I'm the only one or not.
So here is my question, Why rely on God and follow His plan, when you're programmed not to?
This is all hypothetical, though. Hypothetically, someone might be in a situation where he would be spending a lot of time with a person like this, someone who drops the bomb "I think I'm questioning my faith. Someone who cares would want to help this person learn how to think for himself. A good way is to get him out of religion, which takes away his ability to judge. Unfortunately, it's very easy to push someone back into it stronger than ever. It coudl be possible, though, that someone who is able to question, is able to find this all out for himself.
What do you say to people in this predicament? Is this person looking to be reassured in his faith, or looking to be reassured in his lack of faith? I would start off by asking him why he "chooses not to choose." I might ask him to explain what he means by false and manufactured, and I might go on to realte my own feelings about that topic. I know exactly what he means, as I spent many years in church feeling very much apart from the whole thing. I felt that people were acting the way they thought they should, rather than being genuine.
I would have to find restraint, however, and try to limit what I'm saying, as he might not relate to my experiences. I would try and relate to him, but briefly. I am tempted to talk about the whole "being programmed not to" thing. What do you suppose he means? Perhaps we should discuss what "God's Plan" means. I would want to ask how there could be a plan in the first place, and how could anything God planned not happen, when He would certainly know the outcome. He would have had to intend for the outcome to happen. He would certainly have planned for me to be an atheist. Why would he do that? However, I tend to go on and on, and I would have to resist telling him exactly what I think of it, and instead hint about it and let him discover it on his own.
What would you say? Ask shorter questions?
"Wow, you would think God wouldn't need a plan at all!"
"Do you think God's plan could fail, since He knows everything that's going to happen anyway?"
"Why do you suppose God lets us muck around, deciding what we are going to do next, when we're just going to do what he wants, anyway? Can you imagine that God would be cruel like that? It's like we were just toys."
I don't go to church every Sunday. I don't openly participate in religious debate, keeping my views to myself. However, I am a Christian, because I believe in the true words that Jesus Christ spoke and his actions toward mankind. If that makes me religious, I hardly feel any reason to apologize for it.---Andrew
I would not be speaking to this person. But if I did, I would probably ask him what words, and why he agrees with them? I would have to wonder why he agrees with Jesus about the Apocalypse and Hell. I don't know how to tread lightly on this subject. If he denies that Jesus said these things, then I would have to challenge him on what other reference to Jesus there is, than the gospels, that makes him "agree" with Jesus. We wouldn't speak of Jesus' existence. We would speak of our own values, and whether they were Jesus' values as well. This sounds like a debate! Maybe it's not Jesus he agrees with. Maybe it's good, sound values. Are they consistent with Jesus' words? What would you do?
I must add: if you know what the character Jesus said in the book, what use is it if you can't tell a Christian? ;)
I am a Christian because I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ because of the Bible.
It bears to mention at this point that I believe in the Bible not because I have thoroughly read it and conclude it to be the sacred truth. As I have said, I have read only portions of the Bible. I do not even know how the books of Genesis and Exodus were written.
I believe in the Bible because when I called on its God, I received a response. The God of the Bible has three persons and three names. I call on them all although I call on Jesus most.---Yaw and Mog
As I will explain later, I do not believe it would be necessary for me to do so.
I threw that one in for fun. Anyone see the merry-go-round?
Somebody had to tell us the story of Jesus, had to live the faith before us, had to serve as our exemplar. We Christians call it, grace, a word that means simply, gift.
I know that is why I am a Christian. I might like to tell you that I am a Christian because I made a careful study of all the world’s religions, carefully comparing their beliefs and ethical systems and decided that Christianity was superior. Therefore I am a Christian. --Duke Chapel
So, what would happen if you did make a careful study of all, or some, of the world's religions? What would happen if you didn't find Christianity superior? Therefore, you are a Christian because you are a Christian? How do you know that this "gift" you were given was given by something good, and not deceitful? You have to make your own judgement on that, don't you? Then, why not make a judgement of Christianity and other religions and non-religions? If your christianity is a gift given by God, then nothing bad will happen. If it was given to you by some trickster god or yourself, then you'll be able to nip this thing in the bud! That was close!
This is not a well thought-out scenario. I doubt I would seriously try to witness to this person. If so, we would try to find common ground and leave it at that. Not much to go on here. I'll let him finish:
But despite any reservations you may have about the liturgical propriety of my baptism, at least you have to admit that it worked. Here I am, telling you the story of what was done to me, a story that I did not think up myself, but one that was laid over my life. Christians believe we are Christians, not primarily because of something we do, or decide, think or feel, but rather because of something that God in Jesus Christ does to us, something that the church lives before us and tells to us. We call it grace.
The claim is that Christianity is put upon you, whether you like it or not. At baptism? This is unclear. He also says Jesus Christ insinuates Himself upon us. This begs the question: is everyone invaded by Christ, including the little babies in India? Is the belief in Christ as God somewhere in the brain so that little babies in India can "refuse" him and go to hell or eternal Almighty Ignorance? Aren't they already ignored by God, and isn't this cruel? Or does Jesus rape--I mean, "give us his gift" at a certain age? Or are only certain people given the gift of Jesus couch-surfing on our souls? Is that what God means by "chosen people?" Why does God choose some people, then, to go to hell? They would have no choice in the matter. That doesn't seem fair at all! God is pretty mean.