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  1. #31
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Got saved when I was five, raised within the Protestant traditions of Christianity, experienced various denominations (attended just about every main type in the fold except for Episcopalean, it was mostly just an oversight and lack of time), was most heavily involved with the precursor of what today is known widely as evangelicalism and this had the most profound social influence on me throughout my childhood/teen years, through my involvement with a "born again" style Christian camp that I eventually worked for as a teen counselor.

    I always read voraciously, and so naturally had lots of questions start to pop up as a teen and never quite felt like I fit in. Was heavily into apologetics as a teen and adult through my 20's, heavily involved in worship ministry; I felt pretty alone, though, in that I did not agree with the atheists but also did not align with a lot of the conservatism I found around me... there were just too many questions that the 'pat answers' did not really address.

    Became involved in spiritual direction-style approaches to faith, and throughout my life the pattern seems to have been to shift away from intellectualizing my faith (and demanding clear rational answers) to a more Kierkegaardian-style approach to God. I finally had to embrace that, for me, acceptance of my doubts and embrace of mystery was a natural part of my growth as a person.

    I currently label myself as Christian agnostic. I'm not happy in traditions other than Christianity despite exploring them and it is as easy as breathing for me to see the world with an overlay of the conceptual framework of Christianity... but intellectually I have a parallel map that declares that nothing can be known, and I can also deconstruct my experiences and observations that way. Some people would view this as paradoxical, and maybe it is to a western mindset (and for me, for many years, it was, and I struggled painfully with it), but it no longer is to me.... and honestly I am far more content, and inclined to pray, and feel closer to whatever spiritual truth exists in this world than I did all those years I tried to hard to make everything fit within a particular and single box. The validation for me has been that I am far more capable of giving, loving, enjoying life, and sacrificing for others without resentment than I've been at those earlier stages where I was struggling so hard to make everything fit someone else's framework, so I'm content.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #32
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    I believe in God. And Pre-destiny.

  3. #33
    Senior Member wank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    And I'm talking 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' nuts. Completely brainwashed.
    Yeah, I didn't like Big Nurse either.
    Everyone is a case study.

  4. #34
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    As I believe there is no conclusive evidence to support either the existence or nonexistence of a God, Superior Being, The Thing or whatever, I remain undecided. I wasn't raised in a religious or spiritual environment and I haven't gone through extensive research on the subject, I just feel that way. Simple as that. I consider myself as an Agnostic but it has no effect on my life either way.

    But maybe I'm missing all the signs. I have no way of knowing that as much as I would like to know. I hope to find it out...someday.

  5. #35
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    "The Brain" magazine had a recent piece about how they can invoke religious experience by stimulating certain regions of the brain that you might be interested in reading. It's nothing new though, I think several years ago Michael Shermer volunteered to use some electromagnetic helmet at a research facility in Canada that would cause the subject to feel a presence or experience some supernatural phenomena.

    In before jokes about peyote and LSD.
    I would be interested in that. Dr. Ramachandran (how do you spell that!), a famous neurosomethingologist, had a patient who was a temporal lobe epileptic; when the patient seized he would wake up crying and feeling like he understood god/etc. I think this video is available in the NOVA or PBS videos somewhere online?

    As JAVO repped me (hope he doesn't mind me mentioning it), it's important to note that brain imaging of religious experiences is quite irrelevant to knowing if God exists. It doesn't prove or disprove anything.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #36
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    I believe that the best way to describe how God created everything is with a thought. The universe and humanity and everything we know is only a small measure of his thought. How do we know what a 'thought' is made out of? We see parts of the brain light up in scans, but we still can't truly read minds directly. The existence of thought is only believed by the fact that practically everyone has experienced it. Just like the experience of gravity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ayoitsStepho View Post
    I'm a born again christian. Not catholic, but baptist.
    I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and came to earth to die for our sins.
    In that, I also believe that you cannot get to heaven through works, but by Jesus alone. He judges our hearts, not our actions. Thats pretty much the base of what I believe.
    I believe in the same, but I grew up Pentecostal, which is similar. I have always felt like I am not up to God's expectations, but then I think: 'Who am I to judge what his expectations are?'

    Much of how I 'practice' my religion is manly deep inside myself. The only true values I have in life are Balance, and my God. It would take a lot of effort for me to remove them, I think, since I can't not believe in them. They have become part of my psychology, even though I am sure most people don't even realize I have those values until I say something about them.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by persianness View Post
    I believe in God. And Pre-destiny.
    Look what that did to the Jews.Don't you people ever read the bible, the Quran or watch History channel???

  8. #38
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curzon View Post
    Look what that did to the Jews.Don't you people ever read the bible, the Quran or watch History channel???
    Please reread the OP and try again.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #39
    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    I believe in God and have believed for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a Christian home, and my family attended church, so the concept of God was always before me.

    What's more, I always felt like God was with me, guiding my path. I would get these knowings when I needed them most and I knew this knowledge was from God. There were times that I would feel His presence even as a small child and I knew He was God just as I knew my parents were my parents.This experience of God's presence would increase the more that I read the Bible and prayed.

    I would even get this strong sense about what parts of the Bible I was supposed to read for the day. I would then be suprised on Sunday morning when the preacher, who only preached on random thing as he felt led to, would preach on exactly what I had been studying. This happened about 80% of the time, actually. I had this unexplainable knowledge and wisdom about other things as well and it all came about as a direct result of my relationship with God.

    So, for me, I have always been trying to find a philosophy and theology that helps me understand intellectually what I already know experientially and instinctually. As a result, I have rejected some of the doctrines that I was taught as a child that were unhelpful to this end, kept some of them that were helpful, found other doctrines that make more sense to me and I am still in the process of coming up with a coherent theology. Throughout this whole process, I have come to love the mysteries of God as well as the wisdom of God. I can at least say with all confidence that I am a Christian.

    I have yet to find any Christian theology, though, that can fully explain and express the unfathomable love of God. I think this would be impossible to do anyway, but I at least want to reject any doctrine that detracts from my knowledge of his love. If believing a certain doctrine causes me to be unloving, then it is false, no matter how true it sounds. I believe that his love will continue to guide me in my quest for truth. His love is my northern star.
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
    ~ Groucho Marx

  10. #40
    Riva
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curzon View Post
    Look what that did to the Jews.Don't you people ever read the bible, the Quran or watch History channel???
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Please reread the OP and try again.
    oooops. ok here I go!

    I do believe in God or Gods. But I don't believe they control our destiny nor can they control our destiny nor would they control it even if they could.

    The universe is a HUGE place. I am certain that there are other beings just like us (humans) in it. That is logical isn't it.

    And there could be in this Huge universe of ours beings who are so different and powerful that the only words we could use to describe them as is GODS.

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