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Blog Entry

Religion

Posted on: December 10, 2008 2:46 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2008 2:56 am
 
This is an excerpt from an essay I wrote about my life that created my political identity. This part talks specifically about religion and my view on it as I grew up. Please share your thoughts!

Religion’s a very interesting subject in my life. It’s always a very touchy subject around my house because of my differing views from my parents. They raised me in a Lutheran Church and expected me to grow up to be a “good Christian” like they are. As I grew up, I went to church, never really enjoying it but not questioning it. Finally, it was time for me to be confirmed. In order to do this, you have to go through Catechism class. I took the class, got through it, and was finally confirmed. I haven’t been to church since that day. The funny thing about taking Catechism is what happens to you as you take it. For most people, it gives them a better understanding of the Bible and brings them closer to their faith. For me, however, it made me question the things I was being taught. While questioning the beliefs, I started to realize that I didn’t agree with what they believed in. I started to ask myself questions such as, “Is there a God?” I decided that there’s no way that I can be sure that there is one. That led to another question: “If there is a God, why should I worship him?” There are the obvious answers that involve going to heaven, thanking him for creating me, and being grateful for Jesus dying on the cross for me. It was at this point that I realized that it didn’t make any logical sense to me how Jesus could be considered the son of God. We’ve all seen the crazed people in this world that will blindly follow someone because they say something charismatic or act differently. How does someone know that Jesus wasn’t just another fraud trying to make a name for himself? The only answer I ever get when I ask that question is, “That’s why they call it a faith.” As a math major, that answer wasn’t good enough for me. I need proof, and there’s no way you can prove that there is a God. So, I decided that I didn’t want to spend my time worshipping a God that I wasn’t sure I believed in. Also, if I were to believe in a God, is that a good enough reason to think that I’m going to heaven? Lutherans believe that faith is enough to get you into heaven, and I think that’s ridiculous. So, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a “good Christian”, but rather a good person. If there is a heaven, I think that should be enough.

Category: General
Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2008 9:56 pm
 

Religion

First off I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post and then respond with such an in-depth analysis of the history and culture surrounding Jesus and Christianity. I have a couple of honest questions about everything you posted.

1. In regards to Josephus, did he say that the resurrection really happened or does he just not discuss it?

2. If God created us, then wouldn't have the power to control our every move and thought, thus eliminating the need to communicate his ideas and standards to us?

3. With so many religions in the word today, how can anybody say that one religion is more correct than another religion?

4. You say that if I believe what Jesus did was enough, then I will know that I will go to heaven. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a religion though? Shouldn't a religion teach people morals and guide them to making the right decisions in life? If you tell people that what Jesus did was enough for you to get to heaven, then aren't you allowing people to feel that they can do immoral things without having to pay an eternal consequence? Also, if you don't believe what Jesus did, then how can you believe that it is enough?

Again, thank you for responding, and I'd love if you could answer my questions. I really enjoy learning about the way others think and trying to see things in their perspective.




Since: Oct 18, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2008 7:18 pm
 

Religion

How does someone know that Jesus wasn’t just another fraud trying to make a name for himself? The only answer I ever get when I ask that question is, “That’s why they call it a faith.”

There is a lot more to Christianity than faith.  The letters of Paul in the New Testament were first to be written, between 20 and 30 years after Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.  People were still alive that witnessed those events in Jerusalem.  By this time, the people that became known as Christians were getting slammed.  Thrown in jail, some crucified or beheaded or burned.  They died refusing to deny their belief in Jesus Christ.  This was not blind faith.  They knew from first or second hand knowledge that Jesus had died on the cross, that a roman soldier made sure of it, that he was buried, and that he was raised to new life, immortal life.

The Gospels were written because the writers realized that they were getting old and were in danger.  So they wrote down what they had been preaching.  If any fact had been misrepresented, the readers would have known because the word of mouth stories were repeated over and over in city after city.

Also, there were non-religious historians of the day.  Josephus is one of them.  They include some information about Jesus but they never say that his resurrection was a lie.  No one writing from that time does.

The Gospels record time after time that Jesus makes statements that identify him as the Son of God or equal to God.  God's resurrection of him was the validating stamp on those statements.

Looking at it a different way, if there is a God who created us, he had to have a reason.  And he  would need to communicate that reason to us.  He did this through the jews (he had to pick somebody).  He decides he wants us to know more about him.  The best way to do that was to join us as humans.  Now, he knows that we are not perfect.  He gave us the choice to do good or bad so that we could choose to love him or not.  That created a problem because God is perfectly good and perfectly just.  The penalty he set for being imperfect is death.  Then he paid the penalty himself on the cross.

No one is good enough for God, except his son.  Open your mind and trust that what Jesus did for you solves this problem and gives you access to God.  This is the true place for faith.  Believe that what Jesus did was enough.  Believe what he said about himself.  Then you will KNOW that is enough.

Stepping down off my soapbox now.  I don't post much but when I saw this thread, I had to.  I hope it helps.




Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2008 4:33 pm
 

Religion

Thanks for the comments, and I understand that there are a lot of people out there who wish not to discuss this and that's fine. My experience was very similar to yours Rule in that I was raised Lutheran (as close to being Catholic as you can get without being Catholic), baptized, first communion, confirmation, but I went to public school. I guess it's all in the way people interpret a religion. Again, thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2008 4:22 pm
 

Religion

Good Blog Criss 

my views are different then yours though  raised Catholic   Baptised&
nbsp; First Communion   Confirmation  Catholic Schools

the whole nine yards ..but  like McCoy  I also dont consider this a fave topic ..My dad says never discuss religion and politics and well

I agree with my Dad.. I also look forward to your future blog entries..

 




Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2008 3:28 pm
 

Religion

So, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a “good Christian”, but rather a good person. If there is a heaven, I think that should be enough.

My experience and my view of religion are very similar to yours.  But I gotta say, this really ain't my favorite topic. 

I look forward to reading your future blog entries!

 



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