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Author Topic: Why do people leave Christianity, or lose faith?  (Read 10094 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2010, 08:05:01 PM »

I think some young people lose faith because we are told in not so many words that people without religion have lives that are full of fear, hardships, and despair because of that. It is implied that we will be "happier" and "more fulfilled" in life if we "start out right" in the Church. When we see that not all people within the Church live full lives, and not all people without the Church end up alone and miserable, it challenges us to see our real reasons for remaining in the Church. I think that sometimes there is no reason some see to stay, especially since they don't see how they'll be good enough, so they'll go to hell (like Lauren_Elisse said). It is also easy to become jaded by the politics, and if you can foster relationships better outside the Church, then that's another factor. Burnout is another factor.

Whatever the case, it is a complicated one.
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« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2010, 10:00:48 AM »

  Each of us is being saved by escaping the evil generation in which we live, being entangled by the snares which are the snares of our generation.  If the righteous are barely saved, how shall the wicked be saved.

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« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2010, 05:53:47 PM »

I know to many, myself included at times, most aspects of the faith seem constructed rather than delivered, if one is intellectually honest with oneself.

But with Orthodoxy, I suppose that whenever things seem "created" by the Church, that is acceptable because the Church is a divine/human organism.

Yeah, I feel that too.. Sometimes, I feel like Christianity's Story is just a bunch of role-playing dramas to give people hope. But that wouldn't be true! If it were why did it claim a life? And why did He who's life was claimed, claim it back? That is the most astounding part of Christianity.

Sometimes, I feel tempted to become agnostic (as I was before) -- it's simply more convenient -- there's so much spiritual and moral pressure in Christianity, especially in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox groups.
If Jesus weren't real, then why would the Apostles make up a whole new Religion?
Someone please honestly try to give me an answer as to why, if Jesus wasn't a real person.
Just speculation, I expect the answer  «¡because he really was true!».
but what would a skeptic say, as to why they created a whole new religion?

Yeah, why would they? Judging from the fact that they were Jews and Jews were stoned for such insidious things -- if Jesus weren't the True Messiah.

I just said I felt tempted -- I mean, look.. It's like the whole world is trying to erase Jesus' memory from the world.
I can only see two or three possibilities: one they were crazy madmen, or two they actually saw the resurrection.

All twelve of them were crazy madmen, plus Mark and Paul and Barnabas and Luke and James the Brother of the Lord and a whole slew of other people. And all the bishops who have followed them in a direct line of succession to this day don't mean a thing Wink.
I still can't get the secular mundane reason why the apostles made up a new religion.
Like Muhammed and Joseh Smith I can give a secular reason why they made a new religion.
Muhammed wanted to be king of Arabia, and Joseph Smith started a new religion so he could practice polygamy.
But I still can't figure out why the apostles did what they did according to worldly logic.
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« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2010, 09:53:26 AM »

Or gave up their lives willingly for the faith that they had.

Muhammed fled many times until he had the ability to fight those who were his enemies. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith both went out of life after having discharged  their own guns at the mob coming to them.

Compare this to Jesus who told the Apostle Peter to put away his sword and allowed the guards of the Temple to arrest Him, the Romans to beat him and Crucify Him. Or look at the case of the Apostles and their disciples witnessed even to the point of their death the reality of Life after Death and the Resurrection of their Lord. This obviously flies in the face of how "The World" would respond to such violence against a person.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2010, 01:36:28 PM »

I still can't get the secular mundane reason why the apostles made up a new religion.
[...]
But I still can't figure out why the apostles did what they did according to worldly logic.
You are assuming people view early Christianity as something more than just Judaism 2.0.
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« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2010, 10:44:10 AM »

I know to many, myself included at times, most aspects of the faith seem constructed rather than delivered, if one is intellectually honest with oneself.

But with Orthodoxy, I suppose that whenever things seem "created" by the Church, that is acceptable because the Church is a divine/human organism.

Yeah, I feel that too.. Sometimes, I feel like Christianity's Story is just a bunch of role-playing dramas to give people hope. But that wouldn't be true! If it were why did it claim a life? And why did He who's life was claimed, claim it back? That is the most astounding part of Christianity.

Sometimes, I feel tempted to become agnostic (as I was before) -- it's simply more convenient -- there's so much spiritual and moral pressure in Christianity, especially in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox groups.
If Jesus weren't real, then why would the Apostles make up a whole new Religion?
Someone please honestly try to give me an answer as to why, if Jesus wasn't a real person.
Just speculation, I expect the answer  «¡because he really was true!».
but what would a skeptic say, as to why they created a whole new religion?

Yeah, why would they? Judging from the fact that they were Jews and Jews were stoned for such insidious things -- if Jesus weren't the True Messiah.

I just said I felt tempted -- I mean, look.. It's like the whole world is trying to erase Jesus' memory from the world.
I can only see two or three possibilities: one they were crazy madmen, or two they actually saw the resurrection.

All twelve of them were crazy madmen, plus Mark and Paul and Barnabas and Luke and James the Brother of the Lord and a whole slew of other people. And all the bishops who have followed them in a direct line of succession to this day don't mean a thing Wink.
I still can't get the secular mundane reason why the apostles made up a new religion.
Like Muhammed and Joseh Smith I can give a secular reason why they made a new religion.
Muhammed wanted to be king of Arabia, and Joseph Smith started a new religion so he could practice polygamy.
But I still can't figure out why the apostles did what they did according to worldly logic.

Good point!  Grin

Its very well established that the Apostles died for this new religion of theirs. I believe no other religion could claim that (I think).
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« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2010, 03:44:51 PM »

I can attest to having cultural and political reasons for rejecting Christianity. I was born and baptized Orthodox, but my father had a falling out with the Church and my mother did not want to "force" a view on to my siblings and I, so we grew up without a household faith. Living where we lived, there was plenty of animosity towards Christianity. Multiculturalism seemed to promote every faith but Christianity. Out of all my classmates, few had faith. Many were interested in the neo-pagan religions or atheism. I followed in those footsteps and tried out neo-paganism, atheism and looked into other religions. None fit. I stuck with atheism for years, especially during some of the hardest parts of my short life. I thought God was a crutch for the weak willed. I could get through it without God, and I thought I did. But I had the nagging and saddening feeling of loneliness and emptiness and residue from those hard times. I tried to fill that with various things: national pride, nature loving... sin. None worked. So, one day not too long ago, I just threw up my hands and prayed. Since then, its been a slow, but wondrous journey that I plan to continue through all things, both good and evil.
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« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2010, 04:17:37 PM »

I can attest to having cultural and political reasons for rejecting Christianity. I was born and baptized Orthodox, but my father had a falling out with the Church and my mother did not want to "force" a view on to my siblings and I, so we grew up without a household faith. Living where we lived, there was plenty of animosity towards Christianity. Multiculturalism seemed to promote every faith but Christianity. Out of all my classmates, few had faith. Many were interested in the neo-pagan religions or atheism. I followed in those footsteps and tried out neo-paganism, atheism and looked into other religions. None fit. I stuck with atheism for years, especially during some of the hardest parts of my short life. I thought God was a crutch for the weak willed. I could get through it without God, and I thought I did. But I had the nagging and saddening feeling of loneliness and emptiness and residue from those hard times. I tried to fill that with various things: national pride, nature loving... sin. None worked. So, one day not too long ago, I just threw up my hands and prayed. Since then, its been a slow, but wondrous journey that I plan to continue through all things, both good and evil.

Glory to God!

Thank you for sharing this with us. My prayers are with you. And now that you are praying, please pray for me too! Wink


Selam
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« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2010, 04:38:20 PM »

I can attest to having cultural and political reasons for rejecting Christianity. I was born and baptized Orthodox, but my father had a falling out with the Church and my mother did not want to "force" a view on to my siblings and I, so we grew up without a household faith. Living where we lived, there was plenty of animosity towards Christianity. Multiculturalism seemed to promote every faith but Christianity. Out of all my classmates, few had faith. Many were interested in the neo-pagan religions or atheism. I followed in those footsteps and tried out neo-paganism, atheism and looked into other religions. None fit. I stuck with atheism for years, especially during some of the hardest parts of my short life. I thought God was a crutch for the weak willed. I could get through it without God, and I thought I did. But I had the nagging and saddening feeling of loneliness and emptiness and residue from those hard times. I tried to fill that with various things: national pride, nature loving... sin. None worked. So, one day not too long ago, I just threw up my hands and prayed. Since then, its been a slow, but wondrous journey that I plan to continue through all things, both good and evil.

Glory to God!

Thank you for sharing this with us. My prayers are with you. And now that you are praying, please pray for me too! Wink


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« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2010, 05:04:24 PM »


I still can't get the secular mundane reason why the apostles made up a new religion.[/quote]


Well I wasn't going to reply because I didn't want to be seen as trying to "wreck" anyone's faith here, but everyone seems to be playing under the assumption that the Apostles were either lying, lunatics, or madmen. (a version of the liar, lunatic, or Lord argument about Jesus). However there are other possibilities than just those 3. The simplest one involving the Apostles is that they were simply just wrong!

It's probably true that no sane person would make up a story then be willing to die for it. That doesn't mean that the only other alternative to the faith being true is that the apostles were insane. The third possibility is that they were perfectly rational sane people who truly believed what they said, but in fact were just flat out wrong. (ie: what they believed was simply false)

Maybe they had "visions" of Jesus, like many people have "visions" of their recently deceased relatives, but considering their circumstances, and cultural worldview (Late 2nd Temple Judaism, which was pretty Apocalyptic) they interpreted these visions as actual bodily appearances, and in fact were willing to die for their belief. Or in fact, it's possible they never did interpret these appearances as bodily Resurrection, but the people who became Christians later on were the one's who interpreted it that way. before someone asks "what about the body? where's the body?" in response to that, well there are about a dozen other pretty sound and historical possibilities to that question. Bart Ehrman gives a good example that maybe some (say 2) family members of Jesus (who were not followers of his before the Cross) were in fact upset that members of the Sanhedrin had buried Jesus. (a rational concept that makes sense given that they might not have spent that much time with Jesus during His ministry but still loved Jesus and didn't want his body in the hands of the "enemies" who handed  him over to Pilate to be put to death) And maybe these family members went to the tomb in the middle of the night, "stole" (rightfully claimed?) the body...but while sneaking the body through the night, some Roman soldiers happened upon them, (possibly some who knew of Pilate's orders about guarding the body?) killed the family members....and not knowing what to do (and not get themselves in trouble with Pilate) took the now 3 bodies, and threw them into Gehenah's trash heap. Within 3 or 4 days the bodies would have been unrecognizable. But the Apostles go to the tomb, see it "empty" and assume "he rose from the dead"...they then have "visions" to support such a belief. (or vice versa, or whatever)

There are plenty of other examples as well, all make sense. (though they probably aren't true, and in fact Ehrman does NOT believe that above scenario is what actually happened, he just says it's possible from a historical POV)

The main point being the Apostles could just have been wrong, and not in any sense evil madmen out to trick the world into believing a new religion. In this scenario they would have very readily went to their deaths for a falsehood, but of course assuming it was all true.

The fact that people are willing to die for a religion doesn't make the religion true. hundreds of thousands of Jews died in the 2 revolts against Rome...during the second revolt they fought and died because they thought the Messiah had finally come, yet that belief didn't make it true.


Quote
Like Muhammed and Joseh Smith I can give a secular reason why they made a new religion.
Muhammed wanted to be king of Arabia, and Joseph Smith started a new religion so he could practice polygamy.


That's a vast caricature of Muhammed, and really isn't accurate at all. Particularly in his early life. I know little of Joseph Smith, but the scenario seems dubious considering he created an entirely new and complex religion. Seems like a bad way to go if all he wanted was to practice polygamy. Neither of those are really secular views of those religious founders, but in fact they are specifically Christian views of those founders and those faiths. A secular view would out all faiths on equal ground, and in fact I don't think any secular historians suggest Muhammed wanted to be "King of Arabia" at all. Rather I think the accepted view is that he was likely an epileptic who had "religious visions". (which is their same view of St. Paul btw)

I'm not trying to argue against Christianity, only point out that there are indeed other options available than just the "liar, lunatic, or lord" argument. I'm not saying I agree with them, but some of them are pretty sound.



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« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2010, 05:08:04 PM »

Good point!  Grin

Its very well established that the Apostles died for this new religion of theirs. I believe no other religion could claim that (I think).

People are willing to die for all sorts of things they feel strongly about.  Freedom, democracy, national/regional pride, their particular version of 'the truth' (can be religious or non-religious), etc.

NorthernPines said it all much better than I.
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« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2010, 10:33:15 PM »

Bart Ehrman ...

Stop reading this crap and go to Great Vespers.

There's a lot of wonder, beauty and life in this world, and not one single drop of it comes from this bitter windbag.
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« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2010, 01:33:58 PM »

The third possibility is that they were perfectly rational sane people who truly believed what they said, but in fact were just flat out wrong. (ie: what they believed was simply false)

Maybe they had "visions" of Jesus, like many people have "visions" of their recently deceased relatives, but considering their circumstances, and cultural worldview (Late 2nd Temple Judaism, which was pretty Apocalyptic) they interpreted these visions as actual bodily appearances, and in fact were willing to die for their belief.
Then "simply wrong" is not a possibility--they were insane.
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« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2010, 09:28:05 AM »

The third possibility is that they were perfectly rational sane people who truly believed what they said, but in fact were just flat out wrong. (ie: what they believed was simply false)

Maybe they had "visions" of Jesus, like many people have "visions" of their recently deceased relatives, but considering their circumstances, and cultural worldview (Late 2nd Temple Judaism, which was pretty Apocalyptic) they interpreted these visions as actual bodily appearances, and in fact were willing to die for their belief.
Then "simply wrong" is not a possibility--they were insane.
No, people who die for wrongly held beliefs are not necessarily insane. I read a story a few days ago of a soldier who refused deployment because he does not believe our President is a U.S. citizen. Obviously, his is an incorrect belief. Nevertheless, he was willing to be court-martialed for his refusal to follow orders. Now would we call him insane? Certainly not. His is a very rational belief based upon false information.

So it is certainly possible that the apostles could have had false information. I personally doubt so many of them would have had such similar visions, but that's my personal view. At any rate, my faith is not based on what happened millenia ago, but on what I have seen and experienced God doing right now. An empty tomb is a nice addition to the evidence that He is risen, but there's plenty more evidence than that.
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« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2010, 11:57:08 AM »

Quote
But I still can't figure out why the apostles did what they did according to worldly logic.

In the realms of religion, worldly logic need not apply.  Wink
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« Reply #60 on: April 18, 2010, 03:00:44 PM »

Quote
But I still can't figure out why the apostles did what they did according to worldly logic.

In the realms of religion, worldly logic need not apply.  Wink

laugh
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« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2010, 03:19:35 PM »

Well I wasn't going to reply because I didn't want to be seen as trying to "wreck" anyone's faith here, but everyone seems to be playing under the assumption that the Apostles were either lying, lunatics, or madmen. (a version of the liar, lunatic, or Lord argument about Jesus). However there are other possibilities than just those 3. The simplest one involving the Apostles is that they were simply just wrong!

It's probably true that no sane person would make up a story then be willing to die for it. That doesn't mean that the only other alternative to the faith being true is that the apostles were insane. The third possibility is that they were perfectly rational sane people who truly believed what they said, but in fact were just flat out wrong. (ie: what they believed was simply false)

Maybe they had "visions" of Jesus, like many people have "visions" of their recently deceased relatives, but considering their circumstances, and cultural worldview (Late 2nd Temple Judaism, which was pretty Apocalyptic) they interpreted these visions as actual bodily appearances, and in fact were willing to die for their belief. Or in fact, it's possible they never did interpret these appearances as bodily Resurrection, but the people who became Christians later on were the one's who interpreted it that way. before someone asks "what about the body? where's the body?" in response to that, well there are about a dozen other pretty sound and historical possibilities to that question. Bart Ehrman gives a good example that maybe some (say 2) family members of Jesus (who were not followers of his before the Cross) were in fact upset that members of the Sanhedrin had buried Jesus. (a rational concept that makes sense given that they might not have spent that much time with Jesus during His ministry but still loved Jesus and didn't want his body in the hands of the "enemies" who handed  him over to Pilate to be put to death) And maybe these family members went to the tomb in the middle of the night, "stole" (rightfully claimed?) the body...but while sneaking the body through the night, some Roman soldiers happened upon them, (possibly some who knew of Pilate's orders about guarding the body?) killed the family members....and not knowing what to do (and not get themselves in trouble with Pilate) took the now 3 bodies, and threw them into Gehenah's trash heap. Within 3 or 4 days the bodies would have been unrecognizable. But the Apostles go to the tomb, see it "empty" and assume "he rose from the dead"...they then have "visions" to support such a belief. (or vice versa, or whatever)

There are plenty of other examples as well, all make sense. (though they probably aren't true, and in fact Ehrman does NOT believe that above scenario is what actually happened, he just says it's possible from a historical POV)

The main point being the Apostles could just have been wrong, and not in any sense evil madmen out to trick the world into believing a new religion. In this scenario they would have very readily went to their deaths for a falsehood, but of course assuming it was all true.

The fact that people are willing to die for a religion doesn't make the religion true. hundreds of thousands of Jews died in the 2 revolts against Rome...during the second revolt they fought and died because they thought the Messiah had finally come, yet that belief didn't make it true.


Assuming the historical accuracy of the Gospel narrative (apart from the Resurrection itself, of course), the problem with the above theory is that from the moment our Lord was buried Pilate had a guard on the tomb and the Roman seal on the door.  We now have to assume that anyone stealing the body would have to be willing to take on a group of battle hardened Roman centurions, certainly not something one would expect from 2-3 grief stricken members of a family.  Next, we would have to assume said soldiers were undisciplined enough to either waltz away from the tomb they were guarding or fall asleep (as the Sanhedrin bribed the soldiers later on to say).  Finally, these same 2 or 3 would have to move an incredibly large stone. 

Occam's Razor never applies to any of the Resurrection hoax theories.  The only theories that really apply are- 1) the Gospel narrative is false or highly embellished (either in the Mohammedan theory where Christ was not crucified, or a more secular theory which implies that the Body was not placed under the type of guard the narrative states, the tomb was not sealed with as heavy a rock as stated, or Jesus was just dumped in the trash head of Gehenna to begin with, etc).  2) Jesus never existed at all, the Apostles themselves were invented or it was all folklore on the level of King Arthur or Robin Hood, or 3) The liar, lunatic, or madmen theory.

However, if everything aside from the Resurrection in the narrative is true , then the only reason to doubt the Resurrection itself is because it invokes a supernatural explanation.  All theories which take into account the veracity of the Gospels in most other respects but try to explain away the Resurrection as a hoax involve scenarios which are just a little too over the top, telling one far more about the mind of the theorist than the event itself.

Although, I would admit, one could make an excellent pop-corn flick out of some of them.  "Coming this summer: One man full of guilt- 'I tell you, I never knew him!'  They've frightened his friends.  They crucified his Lord.  They've sealed away the body.  Now, he's going to get Him back.  Simon is... The Rock!"  Cue clips of 300 style fight sequences, Ocean's 11 style heist scenes, and Brad Pitt in a robe.  "Starring Brad Pitt, and real life brothers Owen and Luke Wilson as the Sons of Thunder!"  Owen (as St James), lugging a shrouded object, to Luke (St John), who is shooting arrows at Roman centurions from inside a tomb-looking structure "Could you quit playing around and give me a hand here?  This thing's heavier than you'd think!"  Cue exterior shot of Herod's Temple exploding.  "June 2010 be ready for The Greatest Heist Ever Pulled!  Directed by Robert Rodriguez based on a story by Dan Brown"

(I apologize if the above might seem impious to some, but I hope it puts these theories into proper perspective)

The third possibility is that they were perfectly rational sane people who truly believed what they said, but in fact were just flat out wrong. (ie: what they believed was simply false)

Maybe they had "visions" of Jesus, like many people have "visions" of their recently deceased relatives, but considering their circumstances, and cultural worldview (Late 2nd Temple Judaism, which was pretty Apocalyptic) they interpreted these visions as actual bodily appearances, and in fact were willing to die for their belief.
Then "simply wrong" is not a possibility--they were insane.
No, people who die for wrongly held beliefs are not necessarily insane.

No, but people who have grief-induced visions of dead people are, at least temporarily.  I believe this is what S.A.Bros. meant.
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« Reply #62 on: April 18, 2010, 03:43:30 PM »

Quote

Although, I would admit, one could make an excellent pop-corn flick out of some of them.  "Coming this summer: One man full of guilt- 'I tell you, I never knew him!'  They've frightened his friends.  They crucified his Lord.  They've sealed away the body.  Now, he's going to get Him back.  Simon is... The Rock!"  Cue clips of 300 style fight sequences, Ocean's 11 style heist scenes, and Brad Pitt in a robe.  "Starring Brad Pitt, and real life brothers Owen and Luke Wilson as the Sons of Thunder!"  Owen (as St James), lugging a shrouded object, to Luke (St John), who is shooting arrows at Roman centurions from inside a tomb-looking structure "Could you quit playing around and give me a hand here?  This thing's heavier than you'd think!"  Cue exterior shot of Herod's Temple exploding.  "June 2010 be ready for The Greatest Heist Ever Pulled!  Directed by Robert Rodriguez based on a story by Dan Brown"


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« Reply #63 on: April 19, 2010, 02:59:04 AM »

But I really miss the depth of Christian fellowship we used to have. I wish he could learn about Orthodoxy, but I'm not the one to tell him.

Selam

You don't have to tell him.  There's only so much you can say, but there's no limit in what you can do.

Be a god that he may believe in God.  Maintain a strong relationship with him for the sake of friendship.

I believe in a my friend's friend is my friend mentality.  If I maintain a relationship with God, I am all the more an advocate to my friends.
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« Reply #64 on: April 19, 2010, 04:02:51 AM »

But I really miss the depth of Christian fellowship we used to have. I wish he could learn about Orthodoxy, but I'm not the one to tell him.

Selam

You don't have to tell him.  There's only so much you can say, but there's no limit in what you can do.

Be a god that he may believe in God.  Maintain a strong relationship with him for the sake of friendship.

I believe in a my friend's friend is my friend mentality.  If I maintain a relationship with God, I am all the more an advocate to my friends.

Thanks. You are right.

The reason I said that "I'm not the one to tell him" is because I have influenced him so many times before in leading him to erroneous Christian beliefs. Now I think he realizes that he is much smarter than I am (which is true), and therefore I don't want to try to "teach" him anything anymore. However, since our friendship was rooted and centered in Christ, there isn't much we can talk about in depth these days.

I have never been good at "small talk." I guess I feel that life is too short and that I'm here for a purpose, so I don't really know how to cultivate superficial friendships. But you are absolutely right that we can be a good and faithful friend to anyone without necessarily having to talk or "preach."

I'm afraid this reveals a major character flaw I have: I am good with profound words, but lacking in profound actions.

"Lord have mercy on me a sinner."


Selam
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« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2010, 12:41:07 PM »



I'm afraid this reveals a major character flaw I have: I am good with profound words, but lacking in profound actions.

"Lord have mercy on me a sinner."


Selam

I think we all have that character flaw. Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #66 on: April 19, 2010, 04:31:46 PM »



I'm afraid this reveals a major character flaw I have: I am good with profound words, but lacking in profound actions.

"Lord have mercy on me a sinner."


Selam

I think we all have that character flaw. Lord, have mercy.

yeah.
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« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2010, 05:57:02 AM »

To me, a much more important question is, why so many people from my own heritage or background (urban intellectual families of the former USSR) never acquire any faith. Virtually all of them look at faith as something stupid, unworthy of a human being to have. 100% of my family (except myself) and 100% of my firends are like that, regardless of where they now live, in Ukraine or here in the US or in Australia or in Western Europe.

I've found there tends to be 4 camps.
1)  People look towards religion for comfort/hope, but many within the USSR were taught to look for such feelings elsewhere (public service, work, etc.).  They did, and they continue to find relief within that which they can see with their eyes, feel with their hands, etc.
2)  Some have remained very socialistic in their thinking, and see that such a system could do much more for people (in terms of their daily needs) compared to relying on a deity or a church.
3)  Then you have the more arrogant types, who view religion as inherently plebeian.  As Christians once viewed various pagan groups as barbarous and uncouth, they view modern religions as something primitive and ultimately unnecessary.
4)  Lastly, you have those who view various branches within Christianity as ultimately anti-intellectual.  Some have had bad experiences with Orthodox clergy, others fundamentalist Protestants, etc.  I remember one Professor saying he would sooner beseech Thoth over the Christian God, since at least the Egyptians appreciated knowledge and wisdom of the world.

Anyway, that is merely what I have witnessed working with some people (grad students and professors) from Russian, Ukrainian and Polish backgrounds.

Thank you, Nebelphade... I am just wondering then, why am I so weird? Strictly speaking, philosophically, "God is" is as much of a foundational axiom as "the objective world beyond "me" exists." Arguments like, "there is no God because no one sees Him/her/them/it" are as naive as they can be. And if one chooses to take, as a foundational axiom, that "God is," then why not Christ, Who is God and man like myself?... "I just don't understand it..." (Francis McDormand in "Fargo")...

I don't think you're "weird" Heorhij. Of the few people I know who have immigrated to the United States from Ukraine, Russia, or Poland within the last 10 years, all but 2 are practicing Orthodox Christians, and all have received their college education in the aforementioned countries. I do know one girl who is 22 who immigrated here 4 years ago. So although she was not educated under "Soviet" Russia, she received her primary education in the Russian Federation. She's not a practicing Orthodox Christian, but she does believe that there is a God, and her Grandmother is an Orthodox nun in Russia.
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« Reply #68 on: May 11, 2010, 11:57:36 PM »

When I was young my family went to church.  Just before I started going to school we moved to a new house that was far from our old church.   My mother was not willing travel the distance to our old church. So we searched for a new church.   I do not remember how many protestant churches we tried but it was allot.  None of them were right for my mother, so we as a family stopped going.

I don't know the exact reasons I was very young.   But I did not stop believing in God and later I found my own bible and tried to read it.  I the old English very difficult to read so I stopped.

When I moved out of my house I tried a few local protestant churches of various denominations but they were all doing the same thing and it did not feel like worship to me.  I noticed that many of them were actively changing to retain the youth and the fact that they were changing really turned me off. 

I decided that I would continue on my own and when I found a girl to marry, I would consider her belief system as long as it was the same God.   That is my story of me losing the protestant faith. 

Recently I married my wife and I have liked Orthodoxy from the first Liturgy I attended.  The more I learn about orthodoxy the more I wonder why people remain protestant.  I think soon I will ask our local priest to help me begin the journey to officially becoming orthodox.
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« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2010, 02:33:04 AM »

Welcome to the forum Russell!
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
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