A cry from a friend: 'Please read, please understand'.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Complete, Oct 8, 2015.

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  1. Hello there,

    I received the following from a friend by email yesterday, whose mind is in turmoil at present, with the request that I read it, in order to understand his present state of mind. Having read it, I pass it on, for it may be of interest to you. :)

    Am I Becoming Agnostic?

    I’ve been so overwhelmed with details lately that I just feel like letting my brain take a little walk this morning. So come on along…
    Aside from pastor friends and others who question whether I’ve lost my salvation…there is (or was, at first) a little bit of personal concern I had in my journey away from the beaten paths of institutional Christianity.

    I sort of have this contradiction going on inside me where I desire to explore and blaze trails and do new things – question the status quo – but at the same time, life has conditioned me to “go along to get along.” So even while trying to be a reformer of sorts, I’ve still tended to walk well inside the lines – to “play ball” to gain favour with the powers that be. I’ve been a “good boy”. And when my conscience started dragging leading me along this different road, I quickly achieved “bad boy” status among the kinds of people who used to affirm me. So while searching for the truth inside all the mess, inside I’ve had this internal wrestling match going on as well, and seasons of second guessing – because I have this tendency to believe an authority figure who tells me I am bad, whether or not they are correct.

    So, yeah – at times, I’ve questioned my own heart. Am I just being rebellious? Am I truly backsliding just because my walk of faith doesn’t look like that of the “churched” anymore? Am I losing more than just my religion?

    Okay, so I’m paranoid. - Whatever.
    Even so … of course I still believe. And not only that, but I have a relationship. I’ve often wondered, in fact, about people who were once Christians who now claim to be atheists or agnostics, what it is that changes their mind or heart. I might second-guess my own direction, but I think I could never second-guess the existence of God. I might get mad as hell at God when He doesn’t do what I expect Him to, but I have seen/known/experienced too much to just decide He is fictitious.

    And yet … once in awhile I hear about a Christian claiming to be an agnostic or something. And at first, I’m like, ‘no you’re not‘. That’s a contradiction. I mean, isn’t that like saying, “I’m a skinny overweight person” or “I’m a conservative liberal” or “I’m a tolerant bigot?” It doesn’t make sense.

    But in a book recently I saw the word “agnostic” used a little differently than I’d heard before; the book said that many Bible scholars are “agnostic” about end-time prophecy in the Bible. “Agnostic” literally means, “not knowing”. In other words, those scholars are admitting that they don’t know what the prophecies mean.

    We think of an agnostic as someone who questions the existence of God, who claims not to know whether God exists – and that’s how most agnostics would describe themselves. But what about that larger meaning? What if there’s more than just the question of - if God exists – like who He is or what He is like? Or how He does what He does? Or how He can be everywhere at once, and know every thought of every person, without losing His own mind? Or how He can be a God of love and a God of judgment at the same time?

    When I think of it that way, and looking at my own journey … I have to say there’s a lot I thought I knew that I really don’t. I mean, as a young zealot in the faith, I had more answers than questions; but now I have more questions than answers. And what I think I know, I don’t hold nearly so tightly as I used to. And I certainly don’t let those things define me.

    Now … there are some things I believe, and some things I firmly believe, to the point of saying that I “know”. I can’t see myself being an atheist because there is this inner knowing about God’s existence that I can’t shake. To deny Him would be to deny my own convictions, my own soul.

    But other things I thought I knew about Him? Things I thought were obvious that really weren’t? That’s a different story.

    So I guess what I’m getting at is that perhaps there is a difference between being agnostic about certain things, and being AN agnostic – a person who is defined by what he/she does not know (specifically, questioning God’s existence).

    I have to admit – for all I think I know of God, there is so much more that I do not know. So I guess, from a certain point of view I am agnostic (that is, not knowing) – even though I am not AN agnostic.

    A Christian who does not know everything.
    Perhaps, if we are honest, we’ll have to admit that all of us are a little bit agnostic.

    I would appreciate your feedback.
    In Christ Jesus
  2. #2 KingJ, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
    I get paranoid and really concerned when I hear anyone talk like this.

    On the one hand he could be someone testing waters on the other side. Some lines hint at it. 'Upset with God' is given as a reason, it could be the reason? The blur with agnosticism. Huxley 'may' have intended the word to have a non religious meaning but it has without any doubt whatsoever been coined to be a religious word directed at a belief. They believe we don't know. Scripture says we do know. 100% conflict. It is really not far from atheism. I doubt he googled ''word used for what is not known'' .

    On the other hand it could be that he has never really taken part in apologetics and desires to. Questioning God's omniscience is not evidence of agnosticism / change of belief. Who doesn't wonder about God's omniscience :). Humans cannot come to terms with our brains being a limiting factor. We are like ants trying to grasp God.

    I do think many today are falling short of having real confidence in God. I believe the bible is crystal clear that God is an open book and that He does not want us to just believe and assume He is good. But for us to know with all we are that 1. He is and 2. that He is good.

    Eph 3:18-19 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
    Major and Complete say Amen and like this.
  3. Most Christians actually don't believe all the word of God so if they really are Christians they must live by faith and the word of God tells us how. So your friend is allowing other ideas to replace the word of God as truth. This causes doubt which causes even more doubt. Paul says we need to be fully persuaded in our hearts. That's it. He has to choose life just like the rest of us. It's the same decision since the garden: do we lean on our own understanding and die or do we believe and trust God, His word, choosing life and live.
    Cturtle, Euphemia and Complete says Amen and like this.
  4. I see a person who is being tested in his faith and running away with himself, trying to rely on intellect, and in so doing, playing a dangerous game with a very definitive label.

    It's OK to question, but ask God! Get into the word. Doubt is a gateway to a whole host of afflictions.
    autumn oddity, Cturtle, Abdicate and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  5. 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?
    to his own master he standeth or falleth.
    Yea, he shall be holden up:
    for God is able to make him stand.
    (Rom 14:4)

    Hello there,

    I just want to explain, that what I entered for you to see was an article which was found online, by the friend who sent it to me, for it expressed the way he felt at present, and which he hoped I would read and hopefully understand him a little better. If it had been his own words, I would have considered it a breach of trust to share it.

    The article did help me to understand his present condition, and gave me light as to how to pray for him. Questioning man's interpretation of the Scriptures is wise, but questioning what is written within it's pages is not, for it is to be believed, and received by faith, even though we may not always understand.

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, so if we cast boubt upon what is written, our confidence ebbs and faith wavers, and we can be blown about by 'every wind of doctrine' (Eph. 4:14)

    I thank you for your responses.
    In Christ Jesus
  6. Judgement, no. Observation, yes.
    Complete likes this.
  7. #7 KingJ, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    God inspired humans to write His word because He wanted humans to be able to understand it. There is nothing that is meant to be confusing in scripture. We are destroyed for a lack of knowledge because we simply don't know the other scripture. The devil quotes a scripture telling us to jump because angels will catch us and we don't know the other scripture that says don't tempt God.

    I don't agree fully with the underlined. We can't expect someone to just believe and have faith. We 'just' believe when we already have confidence. This is the argument that atheists and agnostics pose to us that we fail on. They set us up.

    Our mind can ''know'' that there is a God. We can ''know'' that God is good. We can ''know'' that the bible is true and the word of God. No faith and belief needed. We can have faith and belief on heaven, hell and God's omniscience. But we can ''know'' that we are humans / our minds can only grasp so much.

    Example: We don't believe that God is good. Nor just have faith that He is good. We must ''know'' for ourselves that He is good. God of the bible must pass our minds test / impeccable logic. We must be able to like David say with confidence that ''we give thanks because God is good'' Psalm 136:1.

    If you listen for a while to atheists you will see that they try really hard to mudsling God. Because they know that accusing / proving that He is evil, wins the debate / contest / seals the deal for them. We are insane and they are sane because we serve an insane God. Uhm, no. They read and quote very dishonestly. 99% of a Christians time on an atheist site is giving free language lessons.
    Complete likes this.
  8. Hello @KingJ,

    I understand what you are saying. For in order to deny God's existence you have also to deny the evidence of creation as to the fact that He does exist:-

    'The heavens declare the glory of God;
    and the firmament sheweth His handywork.
    Day unto day uttereth speech,
    and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
    There is no speech nor language,
    where their voice is not heard.
    Their line is gone out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world. '

    (Psa 19:1-4a)

    'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
    against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
    who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them;
    for God hath shewed it unto them.
    For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
    being understood by the things that are made,
    even His eternal power and Godhead;
    so that they are without excuse:
    Because that, when they knew God,
    they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful;
    but became vain in their imaginations,
    and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God
    into an image made like to corruptible man,
    and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.'

    (Rom 1:18-23)

    In Christ Jesus
    KingJ likes this.
  9. Yes, belief in God is the default belief. There is a very interesting verse from David on this Psalm 14:1 For the director of music. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

    Its kind of hard to miss the underlined that accompanies the disbelief.
    Complete likes this.
  10. Hello again, @KingJ,

    The article entered for consideration was written by a believer who questioned certain doctrinal matters, and asks the question, 'Am I becoming an agnostic', because he did not know whether certain doctrines were true or not. He was not an atheist.

    I have, and do, question the doctrines which 'man proposes', and in certain cases the saying has proved true, that, 'God disposes', Praise God!

    In Christ Jesus
  11. Sounds like a "typical" " the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh so that you can not do the things you want" (Gal 5:17)
    These are the kinds of thoughts a person would have if they have never "re newed" their carnal mind to the Word of God. The heart, and mind at odds with each other making you wander what is really true. Being double minded, there fore never being able to receive from God, and being unstable in all he does, and thinks. (James 1:7-8)
    Complete likes this.
  12. I have no clue or insight to this person's thoughts or faith or lack therof. You are free to ignore completely what I am about to say.

    Over the years I have heard this exact same story but of course in different words. I have had person after person sit and talk with me and share this concerns. After talking and listening what always come to the top of the list is SIN.

    Just two weeks ago a wonderful Christian young man came and talked with me. He had the same concerns and questions that your friend has. We talked and prayed and I encouraged him to be true to himself and to God as well.

    Wouldn't you know that the very next day his wife came to see me in tears. She then explained to me that her husband confessed to her that he was having an affair and wanted divorce. You see, it was then that all the theological and sound good words from her husband fell into perspective. It was SIN which needed to be dealt with on his personal level and not a positional relationship with God.

    It seems to me personally and again please feel free to disagree or ignore me, but it always comes down to SIN not dealt with causes doubts.
    Complete likes this.
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