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A question to my theist readers

October 29, 2010

I’m just curious, what god do you believe in?  And I don’t just want to know if you believe in God (aka I Am, YHWH, the  Judeo-Christian God) or Shiva or Cthulhu, and I’m mainly aiming this at the Christian theists who read this, I want to know what sort of god you believe in.  Is it the god we read in the Old Testament, creator of the world, protector of Israel, etc.?  Do you believe in some other idea of God?

I’m just curious.  I know what my vision of God was as a Christian; He was all powerful, all knowing, and infinitely good.  He was infinitely merciful and just.  He physically exists and he exists as spirit.  He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and he created the world from nothing and rules over it, and cares about our eternal salvation.

What do you believe about God?  Do you hold a similar belief, or is it maybe more along the lines of the Deists (Deists basically believe that there is a creator god, but that it has left creation to run on its own since the beginning)?  Does your God allow us “free-will” or does He control everything?

Atheists, please feel free to answer, if you once believed in god, what you believed.

I’m not looking for some kind of ammo to refute your claims, just curious about what sort of variety of views I have reading this.  As always, the comments here are moderated so if anyone gets out of hand they will remain out of the public eye.  :D

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2010 11:24 am

    Anyone?

    Beuller? Beuller? Beuller? Beuller?

    ….

    Ok, I guess you theists are going to stay in the shadows for now. I love you all anyway, chickens! On to other posts :p

  2. Emmy permalink
    October 31, 2010 6:29 pm

    I believe in my Heavenly Father. I believe that he loved me so much that he sent me here to learn to be a better person. He knew I was going to sin, so he provided a way to repent through his son Jesus Christ. We have the power to choose but we don’t have the power to choose the consequences. I am not perfect, I know that an its just something I deal with everyday. Simply put, I believe in God the Eternal Father and belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. I may not know everything, but I know enough.

  3. November 2, 2010 7:59 pm

    Hello
    I found your blog by reading your post on exchristian.net. I used to be a Calvinist as well. I was actually on my way to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to train for ministry. Good thing I got out before then.

    Good luck with the Job search my friend. I look forward to reading new post’s on your blog.

  4. JD from Ex-C permalink
    November 2, 2010 9:18 pm

    I once believed in the same god or the stereotypical Judeo-Christian god one who was infinite, just, compassionate, merciful, loving and any other good feelings we can conjure.

    Then I started reading and studying. I always have, throughout my life, been interested in theology and philosophy. But I took many interesting and provoking classes at school (finally went back) and realized (from Art History and Geology) that my assumptions were wrong not only about religion but about time scale and natural history.

    It was a slippery slope down from there and I finally came to the point I am today.

    Good luck on your journey!

  5. November 4, 2010 12:46 am

    I believe in a God who is somewhat between the two extremes of five (or however many they have now) point Calvinism and Deism. God knows what can be known (which isn’t how many breaths I’m going to take next Tuesday if it differs from a normal day, but is also the best ‘educated guesser’ ever, which is essentially the same thing in practice, because he knows days and days and days ahead of when we would) and can see all probable outcomes, and the probabilities of each, calculating those in a blink of an eye for every being on the planet. On the issue of free will, I believe that it’s what separates us from monkeys or whatever, and that if we didn’t have it, we couldn’t have any relationship with anyone with any semblance of meaning. This means He’s given himself a seriously strict (for a Deity) set of rules about when He can step in. I think He walks with us through things, but because of His own promises and ‘rules’, he can’t step in all the time because of the importance of choice, and the consequences thereof. I think if we ask him, and there is no reason not to, he’s only glad to do for everyone, whether we ‘profess’ or not.

    It’s kind of a weird amalgam of beliefs and understandings, but I’ve gotten here through a long, hard road.

    Hope this makes some sense. If not, you know where to find me.

    • November 4, 2010 5:31 pm

      I had to think for a moment how Calvinism and Deism end up on a spectrum together, but I guess there is the sovereignty of God vs a creator who walked away from creation after making it idea that would do it. I’m just used to thinking in terms of Calvinism vs Armenianism, so it threw me for a moment.

  6. November 4, 2010 12:55 pm

    Oh, man. So hard to explain. You’ve told me I sound much like an agnostic! Which was funny to me. But that’s because I tend towards the mystic side of faith, and I don’t have much use for logic when it comes to things of faith.

    I definitely believe in the Judeo-Christian God and in Jesus Christ. I am a member in a United Methodist Church. My beliefs are in flux, and I am exploring different thoughts on Jesus – like, did he die to cover our sins, or did he just die (and rise again) because of His great love for us/his innate divinity? I believe in the Trinity. But I also can translate my belief in God to other faiths – I think God is happening in most of them – I honestly believe Muslims, Jews, and I share the same Father. (And Catholics, and Mormons, and all that…) The verdict is still out on Buddha but I have total respect for that faith. I also can go pretty New Age in some ways. I believe God is not just a river but an ocean… the whole idea of Him is bigger. As I have written before, I have major issues with the Bible, or the way other believers insist I revere it. I’m good with it being a holy Story…not the end all and be all of what I can believe. I believe deeply in free will, because if not for free will, we’re all just puppets on a stage. I believe we’re created by a loving Creator and we live in the world He/She created for us…I really respond to the Creator side of God, it just speaks to me on a very deep level. That means I’m open to evolution, and a very old earth…

    Basically, it’s very important for me to be open to other faiths, and understandings, not just because I’m interested, but because I deeply want to be a bridge to people who feel outside of God and church and organized religion. I feel like I’m a testament to the fact that you can have lots of questions but still be welcome and loved. Being part of a community is important to me, but finding the right one is a difficult path!

    • November 4, 2010 5:27 pm

      Well, I don’t know that I’ve outright said that I think you’re agnostic, but maybe you picked up that inference in something I’ve said. I don’t really think that one can tell a person what they believe. You can tell someone what you believe, what you think that they should believe, or what you think is wrong with what they believe but you can’t tell them what to do believe. :)

      Anyway, to say you are agnostic simply means that you, “profess that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known.” (T.H. Huxley as quoted in the online etymology dictionary) So you can be a theist (believe in god(s)) and still be agnostic. In fact, if you believe that faith is an important or necessary part of Christianity then you have to be agnostic.

      Sorry, I think it is the librarian in me that requires me to categorize and the linguist in me that requires me to quote etymology dictionaries!

  7. KimchiGUN permalink
    November 19, 2010 9:05 am

    Since I’m an Atheist now. The god I believed in was one what was never happy with you, you were always wrong, never close to good… I went to a fundie church and it was depressing.

    • November 20, 2010 5:46 pm

      Wow. I can’t imagine having believed in such a god. The God I believed in was a father figure, and a close friend. He was frequently disappointed and hurt in my actions, but he always loved me. Of course, it still ends up leading one to try continually to live up to an impossible standard causing much emotional distress and heavy guilt feelings, but at least he wasn’t always distant and angry.

  8. Anon permalink
    December 7, 2010 3:19 pm

    Hey again!
    I don’t know if it has to do with a persons (potentially) in born personality or WHAT, but even though I was brought up rotating through a host of churches (presb., meth, congregational etc) I could never, ever, ever get myself to believe in a god of any sort or any bibilical stuff. Even as a four year old I remember completely rejecting everything said around me relating to god and religion to the COMPLETE fustration of my family and church body. I would openly say “I just don’t believe you” to my elders, or as a pre teen went through a very rude stage. ( Probably as a reaction to being force-churched when it was clear I DID NOT BELIEVE). I wonder if some people are more prone to “faith” than others. I just do not understand and have never understood the mind of a person who has faith?? As a child I used to wonder if the other kids and adults around me were slow or mentally retarded in some way (I did not think this in a mean way, I honestly wondered that!). They didn’t seem to grasp basic scientific or mathematic principles.
    Now of course I do not think anyone who believes in a god is mentally challenged, I understand much more about how easily a person’s mind can be formed by the society they interact with.
    I still wish I could understand what having a belief in a god would feel like? Are you able to think thoughts? What if your thoughts run counter to the god belief? Does one just walk around feeling like a dummy with a god pulling the strings? It must feel so strange!

  9. December 7, 2010 8:16 pm

    Someone, I think it may have been TheraminTrees’, compared the way that Christians can rationalize their faith with the idea of doublethink in Orwell’s 1984. For instance, in the novel, the government workers could be the ones to delete a piece of information, they would know that they had deleted that information and it had once existed. At the same time, however they, as everyone else in the society, no longer believed that information had existed before.

    It is like I say in one of my posts about my story, I was a huge fan of dinosaurs as a young child and read a lot of dinosaur books. I could name all the dinosaurs by their Latin names and tell you all sorts of facts about them. I believed it when I read that the earth was billions of years old. But I also believed it when I was told that the earth wasn’t that old, that God had created it a few thousand years ago.

    This was when I was a young child, and believed things that adults told me because they were the adults and why would they lie?

    This duality of thought is what eventually caused me to start doubting, and in conjunction with my inability to remain “pure” and free from those horribly sinful sexual thoughts as a teenager is what led to my eventually losing faith.

    As to how it feels, I suspect some don’t even think of it. Some probably just do their best to ignore it (in fact, humans are pretty good at ignoring things that don’t make sense to them, Douglas Adams mentioned this in Hitchhiker’s Guide, actually, but it does seem to be true). However, once you start to doubt it can be very emotionally wrenching. Even after I had lost my faith (sometime between the ages of 20 and 22) I struggled with that, clinging to my religion as much as I could. I continued to do so for another 8 years or so, finally giving it up this past May.

  10. August 29, 2012 6:47 am

    I believe in Jesus and the God he taught about and showed through his life …. and death …. and resurrection.

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  1. What is God to you? « The Godless Paladin

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