What do you believe and why do you believe it?

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Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
10,634
4,093
113
#61
I find this very odd.
And God finds it EXTREMELY ODD when someone claims that he is an atheist. Indeed God calls him "a fool".

All your objections are inconsequential. Why would anyone believe Philo over Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, unless he is bound and determined to reject the truth and believe the lie? Who says Philo wanted the truth?

No matter, looks like you have made up you mind, and you should be on an atheistic forum. Or a godless Communist forum, where you would be more comfortable.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
12,953
6,973
113
#62
Thanks for your response. You have stated many things about what you believe. I'm trying to get to the essence of WHY you believe this? What's your most compelling reason?

In answer to your question, a moral act in my view is anything a person says, writes or does that maximises mental and physical wellbeing in others and themselves (this includes animals as well as people). I find situational ethics a good starting point.
In other words, you have no standard for morality. Therefore, your statement that you find certain actions in the Bible "immoral" is meaningless. It's fine to express it as your opinion, as in, "I find certain actions distasteful", but a standard for morality is above opinion, or it is not a standard at all.

As to why I believe as I do, I have chosen to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. I find the Bible internally consistent, consistent with the real world, and consistently reliable in my life. I have a two-way personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God has answered prayer in my life. These things all confirm the truth of the gospel.
 

KJV1611

Senior Member
Nov 23, 2013
11,288
740
113
#63
I originally posted this message in the New Member Intro section but a member said I should post it here. So here goes...

Colloquially speaking I am an agnostic as I don't know whether or not a god exists. Technically I am an atheist as I don't believe any god claim I have heard. Although I used to be a Christian. I was brought up in the Church of England but properly self-identified as a Christian in my twenties and believed I was saved. I had my doubts after several months as a result of speaking to atheists and ex-Christians. Some things in the Bible stopped making sense to me. Some of the Bible was immoral, some of it was inconsistent and some of it was not credible. I prayed for answers but no answers came. I now consider myself to be an ex-Christian. Every so often I like to challenge my beliefs as I think it is healthy. In that spirit I would like to ask all Christians here what do you believe and why do you believe it?
I believe everything in the Bible. I believe this way because it’s obvious that the universe had a designer and creator. That being the case, it makes sense that the creator would leave us with an owners manual.
 
Mar 23, 2016
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#64
I don't feel confused. They are just labels anyway. What I meant was that I am a weak atheist, i.e. I'm not claiming that no Gods exist, because I really don't know, but I remain unconvinced of God claims made by others.
To claim that you are a "weak atheist" because you're "not claiming that no Gods exist" is like a pregnant woman saying she's half pregnant because she's halfway through her pregnancy. She is not half pregnant … she is 100% pregnant.




Spectrox said:
When I went through my conversion process I felt reborn and saved. It lasted for several months but slowly my faith was eroded.
Seems to me you appear to be like what Jesus described in Matt 13:20-21

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.


You heard the Word and received it with joy but when confronted by "atheists and ex-christians" you had no root and, rather than turn and stand on the Rock (the Lord Jesus Christ), you were trapped in the shifting sands of those to whom you listened. Sad.





Spectrox said:
I followed the evidence of reason and sound argument and my own honesty. My knowledge of the Bible also increased and I found passages in there that I didn't agree with. I prayed for answers but no answers came.
Hope/pray you continue to seek God and that you find Him.



 

Waggles

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2017
3,338
1,243
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South
adelaiderevival.com
#66
I simply asked what you believe and why. But the above is just quotes from The Bible and doesn't really answer anything.
Now you are being very disingenuous - and I suspect you are perhaps not so honest about your desire to learn about Jesus as
your Lord and Saviour …
those scriptures you dismiss so readily will first, if you bothered to read them and be thoughtful, actually explain HOW you
can know God directly and with truth. No small gift to be tossed away.
Second, they immediately followed my reply post to your OP which I noticed you have not acknowledged.
Too direct for you?
No theological waffle for you to argue with and to play internet games with?

You can have a personal relationship with God directly with all the evidence you need.
God dwelling in you and your spirit connected with God.
You can enjoy the power and presence of God in your life, and enjoy many miracles, healings (for yourself and others) and
much answered prayer > blessings.
God will even give you a spiritual tongue to pray directly to Heaven to build up and to reward your faith and your walk.
You can receive the Holy Spirit of God - the Spirit of truth who will teach you about walking in righteousness and open your eyes
to understanding the Word of God.

I am writing about being a Pentecostal Christian.
For it is in the Pentecostal faith and life that we have in our churches numerous testimonies to being converted by the baptism
of the Holy Spirit and first, how our lives dramatically changed for the better; second, to miracles, healings and blessings.
The God of truth enables a true worshipper to experience his truth and power.
So stop wasting time on the internet and seek the Lord and his salvation while you can.
http://revivalfellowship.uk/
 

Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
2,693
1,644
113
Texas
#67
Thanks for this. I don't think the chair analogy is useful. Only the other day I sat in a chair and it started to collapse from under me. Honestly.

My definition of faith is accepting a claim as true where there is insufficient reliable evidence.

Is there any position that you couldn’t take based on faith? If not, why not?

If you had been raised in a Muslim country, for instance, would you be more likely to self-identify as a Muslim or a Christian?

How do you decide if your faith is more likely to be true than a that of a Hindu, for example?
You still sat on it as if it would hold you. Which is my point. You did not have any doubt. That is how I have faith in Christ.
If you have bothered to read the Quran you would be able to know this answer, and Hindu makes even less sense.
I wasn't raised Christian, nor in a Christian environment. I was a born skeptic. As a child I didn't trust anyone especially adults. From my earliest memories I examined everything that people said testing them for logic and reason. I was well convinced that my kindergarten teacher was making a mockery of how gullible the other children were; because they played the games with out any question and looked a fool doing it. Man it was difficult looking at an adult as a child and knowing they were lying. There was no security for me, there was only being on guard. I watched the adults lie to children and to other adults, I watched children lie to each other and adults. The only rest was sitting alone away from everyone. I spoke as rarely as possible, usually only when I knew I would have to or I would be pressed. I was called antisocial, and cynical little old man.
Sometimes I wondered if it were easier to just play along, I would try to fake it and fail miserably.
But then there was a neighbor who went to church every Sunday, and His parents where honest, and had an austere but kind way, and it was really his mom mostly. By this the I was a bit of a hooligan and trouble maker, kind of a the world sucks so let her burn, kind of thing. Well, they took me to church, and I went as many Sundays as I could. There the Gospel was preached and it was with out any doubt the truth. That took hold of my life and set me on a long hard road, but it was a true one.
Yea as soon as I could I escaped from my prison that some called my home. I have never been quite sure what to call it. Prison isn't quite right but home wasn't right either. I abandoned church and continued with my rebellious life, but that truth still set on my mind nagging me pulling my hand back from many evils. That truth finally convicted me and condemned me yet strangely enough also set me free.
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,655
1,880
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#68
This is not an accurate characterisation of what I went through. You know nothing about me other than what I have written on this site. I was not looking for excuses to leave Christianity. In fact the opposite was true. I wanted to become a better Christian. This eventually clashed with the real world and I was presented with new information that I had not previously considered. This new information eventually won out over my presuppositions.
Nonsense:

That's all just nonsense.

You could spend a lifetime just reading academic works which intelligently and logically defend theism.
You clearly didn't investigate these answers thoroughly because you weren't interested.

If you had any interest in rational explanations for theism, and you wanted theistic answers, you would STILL BE READING ACADEMIC WORKS on the subject... there is a virtually endless supply of scholarly works written over many centuries by some of the greatest minds who ever lived.

I doubt you read ANY serious or scholarly works by top Christian academics or philosophers.

Nonetheless, if you were trying to do THOROUGH research on your doubts, you would STILL be reading academic works supporting theism, because there are centuries of great thought put into these topics.

You could spend several lifetimes just studying the philosophical defenses for theism.
If you aren't STILL studying Christian scholars, then you weren't really looking for theistic answers.
That is the proof.


Rigorous Debate:

Furthermore, in genuine academic debate, atheism does NOT hold up well against theism.
Atheism is actually rife with coherency problems.
Most atheist scholars, when entering into academic debate, will usually turn out to be completely ignorant of the topics they're addressing.
They're usually so given over to presupposition, that they actually have no awareness of the finer points of the topics, or of their own commitment to logical fallacy.

They don't have good arguments.

Atheists are not atheists because they have better arguments... they are atheists because they simply WANT to be.


Epistemology:

Really?
Instead of discussing the finer points of deeper arguments, you're here trying to deconvert believers by challenging their epistemology?
That's all you've got?

Isn't that like atheism 101?

You clearly read somewhere that would stump most Christians.
It's what atheists always do.
Why?
Because most Christians are just normal folks; they're just trying to get through the day and be good people... they aren't trained in philosophy and dealing with rigorous logical defenses to epistemic challenges.

ALMOST NO ONE IS.

Because they aren't trained in this, they are likely to STATE THEIR CASE in a way which leaves some holes, and you're already prepared to move into the gap and attack those holes.

This is typical atheism.
They read up on a few debate tricks, and a few tricky sounding arguments (which almost always contain logical fallacies), and then they go around trying to stump Christians.

Ugh.

By the way, NOBODY who is untrained can give logically defensible answers to epistemic challenges.
That includes atheists.
Atheists quickly melt down, and come apart, if the Christian starts asking all the questions.

That's why I don't tolerate all this nonsense.


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Locoponydirtman

Well-known member
Oct 9, 2018
2,693
1,644
113
Texas
#69
Nonsense:

That's all just nonsense.

You could spend a lifetime just reading academic works which intelligently and logically defend theism.
You clearly didn't investigate these answers thoroughly because you weren't interested.

If you had any interest in rational explanations for theism, and you wanted theistic answers, you would STILL BE READING ACADEMIC WORKS on the subject... there is a virtually endless supply of scholarly works written over many centuries by some of the greatest minds who ever lived.

I doubt you read ANY serious or scholarly works by top Christian academics or philosophers.

Nonetheless, if you were trying to do THOROUGH research on your doubts, you would STILL be reading academic works supporting theism, because there are centuries of great thought put into these topics.

You could spend several lifetimes just studying the philosophical defenses for theism.
If you aren't STILL studying Christian scholars, then you weren't really looking for theistic answers.
That is the proof.


Rigorous Debate:

Furthermore, in genuine academic debate, atheism does NOT hold up well against theism.
Atheism is actually rife with coherency problems.
Most atheist scholars, when entering into academic debate, will usually turn out to be completely ignorant of the topics they're addressing.
They're usually so given over to presupposition, that they actually have no awareness of the finer points of the topics, or of their own commitment to logical fallacy.

They don't have good arguments.

Atheists are not atheists because they have better arguments... they are atheists because they simply WANT to be.


Epistemology:

Really?
Instead of discussing the finer points of deeper arguments, you're here trying to deconvert believers by challenging their epistemology?
That's all you've got?

Isn't that like atheism 101?

You clearly read somewhere that would stump most Christians.
It's what atheists always do.
Why?
Because most Christians are just normal folks; they're just trying to get through the day and be good people... they aren't trained in philosophy and dealing with rigorous logical defenses to epistemic challenges.

ALMOST NO ONE IS.

Because they aren't trained in this, they are likely to STATE THEIR CASE in a way which leaves some holes, and you're already prepared to move into the gap and attack those holes.

This is typical atheism.
They read up on a few debate tricks, and a few tricky sounding arguments (which almost always contain logical fallacies), and then they go around trying to stump Christians.

Ugh.

By the way, NOBODY who is untrained can give logically defensible answers to epistemic challenges.
That includes atheists.
Atheists quickly melt down, and come apart, if the Christian starts asking all the questions.

That's why I don't tolerate all this nonsense.


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I agree he has been here playing as if he had an intellectual interest in why people believe, and then he has argued with them for stating what they believe, it sounds to me that he is here to drag others into his hole with him, and it's time to say good bye, and show him the door.
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,655
1,880
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#70
Epistemology... quick defensible answers:


Christians, please pay attention.


1. It is logically coherent, and logically tenable, for a theist to simply say, "I believe in God because I have experienced him in a direct and personal way."
This is not a subjective answer, this is an answer of one's personal experience of an external and objective reality.

This is logically tenable, and will hold up to philosophical scrutiny.

2. It is also logically coherent, and logically tenable, for a theist to simply say, "I believe in God because I simply KNOW he exists, and I experience this "knowing" as a "foundational" or "properly basic" belief.


This is also logically tenable, and will hold up to philosophical scrutiny.

3. There are many, many evidences for God, of all varieties. But either of the two answers above will both square with the experience of most Christians, and also be philosophically defensible.

There are many, many, evidences for the existence of God.
Many.
But they aren't even needed.

God Bless.

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Leastamongmany

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
3,270
1,261
113
Usa
#71
I believe in a living God! He is the creator of all things. Genesis ch 1/2. I believe Jesus is the Son of God John ch.1:1-36! I believe He was born of a virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit fulfilling prophecy in Is. Ch7:1-16 and it was fulfilled in Mat ch 1:18 / Luke 2:5-7! Jesus began His earthly ministry John 1 :37-ch.2. He ministered among a sinful world until it was time to drink the Fathers cup ,John 18:1-13,He was arrested,and subsequently tried and crucified for the sins of mankind! A FINAL sacrifice without spot or blemish! He was buried and rose again from the dead,a glorified Saviour! He said that before He ascended He would send us ANOTHER comforter the Holy Spirit,that would guide us in all things Acts ch.1:1-9. I believe that the Holy Spirit is here today among men to carry us through to the end Acts th 2:1-4! I believe ALL these things bc once I heard the Word of God,the Holy Spirit brought conviction and TRUTH into my heart. I saw myself as the sinner I was helpless to help myself! I repented to Him,confessed before man that Jesus had cleansed my soul and SET ME FREE! I then went on to study and pray and seek more of God. I was immersed in water baptism bc He set that example of obedience;Him that was without sin! As I studied and sought God feverently,I began to realize by the Spirit that there was POWER to be had in God! I began to pray and ask Him to show me the FULLNESS of the Godhead.I was baptized with the Holy Spirit on July 4th and began to speak in other tongues AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THE UTTERANCE as in Is 28:11,Eze.36:26/27 and Joel 2:28/29!! I am following ALL He said through inspired men of God in His written word. A gentile woman who has been mightily blessed by His tender mercies and love!!!!!!!
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
8,030
4,293
113
#72
Epistemology... quick defensible answers:


Christians, please pay attention.


1. It is logically coherent, and logically tenable, for a theist to simply say, "I believe in God because I have experienced him in a direct and personal way."
This is not a subjective answer, this is an answer of one's personal experience of an external and objective reality.

This is logically tenable, and will hold up to philosophical scrutiny.

2. It is also logically coherent, and logically tenable, for a theist to simply say, "I believe in God because I simply KNOW he exists, and I experience this "knowing" as a "foundational" or "properly basic" belief.

This is also logically tenable, and will hold up to philosophical scrutiny.

3. There are many, many evidences for God, of all varieties. But either of the two answers above will both square with the experience of most Christians, and also be philosophically defensible.

There are many, many, evidences for the existence of God.
Many.
But they aren't even needed.

God Bless.

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Look, EVERY person KNOWS God exists. We MUST start with this universal Truth or we do damage to the Word.

This fellow, and others like him, SUPPRESS this universal Truth, because they love unrighteousness:

Romans 1:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [a]suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is [b]manifest [c]in them, for God has shown it to them.

He will also never understand Spiritual Truths beyond that there is a God, unless he get's born again:
1 Corinthians 2:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

That's why the only real help we can offer him is to pray for him, and give him the Gospel.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
3,006
691
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#74
No rest for the wicked, eh? Only joking! I often marvel at the Universe around us. Not sure it's very reliable evidence for the Christian God or any God for that matter. Our Universe is very complex. For God to have made it, they would have to be at least as complex as the Universe they created. Where did God's complexity come from? The concept of a God doesn't really explain anything to me. It just uses a mystery to appeal to a deeper mystery.
Can't answer my question eh,? You asked what I believe . . I believe a human person could not have come about by random, impersonal forces and a big bang explosion.

Could a human person really come about by random, impersonal forces which came from a big bang explosion?

If you want evidence for a God, look at the evidence in front of your eyes that you see every day. You are simply using your reasoning abilities (which itself shows a Creator) to try dismiss the objective evidence in front of your eyes.
 
Aug 4, 2019
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#75
The question you can ask yourself is this. Does the human mind have the capacity to tell if there is God or not. By itself, I think not. There are intuitions, feelings, and hunches, but that’s not enough for a modern mind like yours. But if we examine the New Testament from the historical point of view, we come to learn that no other work of antiquity is more attested than the books contained therein. Following the evidence, a real and objective possibility of truth emerges. I can point you to a more concrete material if you’re interested.

You can also ask yourself this. Those who wrote the New Testament all died horrible deaths. Who voluntarily goes to death for a lie they invented?
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
28,838
7,302
113
#77
Thanks for your considered response. In answer to your questions:

"I want to ask you if you believe there is a Spiritual realm. Agnostics and atheists often deny such a thing."

I have no reliable evidence that a spiritual realm exists so I do not currently believe in one although I do not discount the possibility.

"Have you had any experiences you would describe as Spiritual?"

During my conversion process in 1994. I believed that was spiritual. I felt forgiven and saved and felt like a different person for some time after that. Whether that is spiritual or not I do not know?

And, when was the last time you prayed?

Probably late 1994 when I was deconverting. I realised that I was just talking to myself so gave up.

What else are you doing in your search for truth in this regard?

Reading, talking to people, watching programmes on TV and also debating on forums like this. I like to test my beliefs on a regular basis because they could be wrong.
You are welcome :) I am a former prodigal myself, as many of us no doubt were at one time, and we are all born enemies of God, and fall short of the glory of God, which is why we need a Savior. I think it is wonderful that you did experience the forgiveness God offers through the covering of the shed righteous blood of Jesus Christ.

I had a similar experience when I went to a church to watch a movie, around Passover in 1988, about Jesus Christ based on the gospel of Luke. That experience alone, which was profound by the way, was not enough to convince me of the Truth of God's eternal Living Word, though I did treasure knowing God loved me, for I was at the same time filled wholly with His unconditional Love, which probably helped save my life at that time.

I was raised in a fairly strict religious home but quit the church as a teenager, and realized I did not know Who Jesus was, which is one of the reasons why I went to see that movie then. I was thirty three years old.

The natural man, yes, I have mentioned him before... I went away from that experience thinking, too bad it happened in a church, so great was my aversion to all things relative to organized religion. You seem to have been in a similar place. I entered a seeking phase that lasted many years, but I was not open to accepting anything from a solely Biblical point of view. I explored other avenues I believed were spiritual, studying and practicing some in depth, while carrying on living my life to the best of my ability. I got clean and sober in 1994 after twenty four years of alcohol and drug abuse when I cried out for help to the God I did not believe in. Did I believe then? Nope! But my life started drastically improving. I began praying even though I did not believe in God, because I knew there was something, I just did not know what it was. More was revealed to me, slowly over time. There came a point where I could no longer deny that the God Who repeatedly revealed Himself to me was the same one I had been running from for most of my life. Yes, I had been attempting to define Him in ways that were acceptable to me as opposed to defining myself in ways that were acceptable to Him.

I left out a lot of details I would normally only tell Christians while testifying or people I am very close to. One day your story will be more complete and you too will have a testimony. Please pray, even if it is only to say "Please" in the morning and "Thank you" for the things you are grateful for at night, to begin with. Humbly ask God to reveal Himself to you in ways you can understand and accept in your present state.

I was trying to remember that Romans 8:28 verse for your thread here, and it was mentioned as part of our teaching at church earlier, and I made that graphic tonight. Thank you :)
 

TLC209

Active member
Mar 20, 2019
545
181
43
37
Merced, CA
#78
Thank you for sharing your story and I'm glad that your life has been turned around.

I prayed to the God I believed in for months but no meaningful answers came.
Hey so I have some questions for you. You seem like a smart guy. You have some common sense I would imagine.

What God were you praying to?

Who told you that you were a Christian? I find it interesting how you were convinced you were a Christian? Thats really fascinating to me, because you mentioned that you believed you were "saved".... what does that even mean? Would you care to elaborate.

You see I believe you are confused. And the basis of your confusion begins with your original pretense or "faith in your God" (that you believed in.) Im convinced it was not God the Father, nor was it Jesus Christ... Then what exactly are you talking about? Please enlighten me...

Why are you claiming to be an ex-Christian when you never believed in Christ to begin with? And this "saved" notion you had, or "experienced" as you interpret, please elaborate...

You claim to have intellect but then why are you so easily mislead, why are you so gullible, and why do you not have a foundation?

Confussion... a longing... emptiness... knowledge but no true wisdom... a searching and exploration for truth... is your mind even ready?
 

FleeJenn

New member
Aug 5, 2019
11
16
3
#79
I originally posted this message in the New Member Intro section but a member said I should post it here. So here goes...

Colloquially speaking I am an agnostic as I don't know whether or not a god exists. Technically I am an atheist as I don't believe any god claim I have heard. Although I used to be a Christian. I was brought up in the Church of England but properly self-identified as a Christian in my twenties and believed I was saved. I had my doubts after several months as a result of speaking to atheists and ex-Christians. Some things in the Bible stopped making sense to me. Some of the Bible was immoral, some of it was inconsistent and some of it was not credible. I prayed for answers but no answers came. I now consider myself to be an ex-Christian. Every so often I like to challenge my beliefs as I think it is healthy. In that spirit I would like to ask all Christians here what do you believe and why do you believe it?
If you consider yourself an ex Christian then you were never a Christian at all. That's like saying I met the president personally but later I decided I didn't meet him at all therefore he doesn't exist.

Once a person makes a personal acquaintance with the act al creator-savior then you will not be able to unmeet him.

God is not approached through the mind, intellect but by the spirit.

Whether you will ever actually meet him or not only he knows. But deciding to become a Christian in a mental way means, absolutely nothing. You've never met him at all.

The key of the Christian faith is, meeting the savior. He came for me outside of man created institutions called denominations and I had no understanding of what had happened. I read the book and found out.

This, was 42 years, ago and I have seen his hand frequently.

The only ex-christians are those that really met him, were recreated yet chose to turn about and go back to their old life.

You are not an ex Christian since you've never met him and know nothing of him. You met religion and shook hands.
 

Leastamongmany

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
3,270
1,261
113
Usa
#80
If you consider yourself an ex Christian then you were never a Christian at all. That's like saying I met the president personally but later I decided I didn't meet him at all therefore he doesn't exist.

Once a person makes a personal acquaintance with the act al creator-savior then you will not be able to unmeet him.

God is not approached through the mind, intellect but by the spirit.

Whether you will ever actually meet him or not only he knows. But deciding to become a Christian in a mental way means, absolutely nothing. You've never met him at all.

The key of the Christian faith is, meeting the savior. He came for me outside of man created institutions called denominations and I had no understanding of what had happened. I read the book and found out.

This, was 42 years, ago and I have seen his hand frequently.

The only ex-christians are those that really met him, were recreated yet chose to turn about and go back to their old life.

You are not an ex Christian since you've never met him and know nothing of him. You met religion and shook hands.





Welcome to cc. Blessings on your journey here!