Do you believe in God? – A Poll

by Janice

I grew up with God.

He was as much a part of my life as was my family. In fact, as a child, I often wondered how other children fell asleep at night without God.

My father was a minister and theological discussions were a part of my everyday life. As a young adult, I followed my faith and became a youth worker with Youth For Christ.

God's love to peopleOver the course of my adult life, I have studied, explained and defended the Christian faith. Transient doubts about the existence of God may have passed through my mind but they never took root or weakened my faith.

A decade ago, my older brother decided he no longer believed in the God of the Bible. I remember the day my mother told me about the change in his beliefs. I wanted to get on a plane and fly across the country to shake some sense into him.

How could my big brother, whose faith had seemed as certain as mine, suddenly change his mind and question the existence of God?

A few weeks ago, my brother was here visiting. I hadn’t seen him in five years. Because he understands how important faith in God is to our family, he refuses to talk to us about Christianity because he doesn’t want to upset us. He doesn’t want to discourage us in our faith or try to change our beliefs.

But, late one night, I asked him if it is really true — does he no longer believe in God?

We talked for a few hours. He emphatically denied the existence of God and a spirit world. He insisted that the Bible and organized religion are merely man’s creation.

After a lifetime of faith, nothing has shaken me like this conversation I had with my brother. It didn’t destroy my faith but it was the first time I have ever really wondered if maybe there really wasn’t a God — that maybe when we die, we just die.

I still haven’t completely recovered from that discussion.

I feel shaken; both from hearing my brother passionately deny his former beliefs and from having doubts attack my own faith.

So, as I revisit our conversation over and over in my mind, it has also made me curious – what do you believe?

What About You?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

I’d love to hear from you… Do you believe in God? Is He the God of the Bible? Have you had moments of doubt or have you changed your beliefs as you grew older?

P.S. If any of you are wondering if I might be wavering in my faith — No, I am not. This was just the most disturbing discussion I’ve ever had because it was with my brother.

Written by Janice, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
I’d love to tweet with you @5minutesformom and @janicecroze



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ticia June 25, 2010 at 8:30 am

It’s a hard one sometimes when your family or close friends you grew up with suddenly change their mind. I have a good friend I grew up at church with who also came to that decision, and so we kind of dance around the subject. It is hard, and I can imagine it being your brother is even harder.

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2 Janice June 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Yes Ticia – it can be strange. I also have friends that no longer believe. Like you, most of the time, the conversation just doesn’t come up. Thanks for your comment!

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3 Lori June 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

I believe in God, and His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – just as the Bible portrays.

Do I ever have doubts? Yes. (and they zing at me at the oddest moments)

Have I contemplated changing my beliefs because others around me have? Yes.

However I keep coming back to what I believe because the alternative is so empty & confusing. In the end, I believe, because I CHOOSE to believe. It’s only by grace (and the prayers of others) that I’ve been able to make that choice consistently.

I can’t help but relate my feelings to the instance where Jesus turned to Peter and asked if he would be leaving too (John 6:67-69) and Peter replied by asking where else would he go for words of eternal life.

I feel for you – I imagine it’s especially difficult when a sibling chooses to believe something different from what you were both taught. I have no words of advice – I’ll just pray.

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4 Janice June 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Thank youi so much for sharing Lori!

It is so comforting to know that others have doubts, but like me, they choose to believe. :) For me, it would be much harder to not believe than to believe. I think we have more proof that there is a God and that the Bible is true than there is that it isn’t.

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5 Jen June 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

I feel as though I can not only say I “believe” in God, but that I “know” he is real. Numerous times I have prayed and the Holy Ghost has testified to me that it is true.

I grew up in a very religious home and honestly I have never doubted my faith. Now as a Mom I am teaching my faith to my children and I love watching them develop their own relationship to our Father in Heaven.

All of my siblings, and all of my husbands siblings have stayed true to our faith, so I can’t relate to how hard it would be to hear your brother say those things. I can only imagine that it would be so difficult. But you can’t let his lack of faith destroy yours. Remember what you were taught, remember what you’ve been shown, pray to be shown the truth, and you will. Our loving Heavenly Father wants you to believe in Him and to be happy. This I KNOW!

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6 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Thanks so much Jen!!! It is wonderful that you and your family have such a strong faith!

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7 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Actually, its abhorrent.

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8 Jamie June 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

My brother has done the same thing. I DO believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that throughout the years as things have happened, He’s protected my faith in Him.

So, despite the hard, painful conversations with my brother, I still believe!! And I’m still praying for him!

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9 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Thank you for sharing Jamie! How wonderful that you are still praying for your brother! I am praying for mine too!

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10 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Stop praying and start thinking. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to believe that god exists.

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11 Angel June 25, 2010 at 10:36 am

I completely believe in the option 1.. I think at some point in life we all have a God encounter, not just one but several it is what we do with the information we are presented in that moment that can make or break our decision. I also think so many people view God as a lottery that they get what they want and never expect to give anything in return. Of course God wants to bless us, but it comes with requirements. The failure in giving back to God will turn off the flow of blessings and many times God’s non response to what we want him to move on can lead us to doubt, especially when it happens time and time again. We become doubtful and eventually denying the power of who God is, when what we really need to do is step back and say hmmm what were WE doing to merit that blessing?? Were we doing all we could to honor God instead of just view him like a neverending dispenser of all things good.

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12 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Thanks Angel! Yes – it is so important to not just view God as a “neverending dispenser!!”

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13 Nell June 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

Janice, I’m going through the same thing with my brother and I just wrote about it last night.
http://loveletterstojesus.com/an-eternity-is-a-long-time-its-like-forever/

I wish I had comforting words but you and I both know what it means when someone denies God — I think we can only continue to pray for them until they find their way back home.

HUGS!

Nell

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14 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Your post was beautiful – thanks for sharing Nell!

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15 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm

You are just deluded. As simple as that. Your brother managed to break free from whatever faith he was indoctrinated into. You should be happy for him.

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16 Amy June 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

I believe that religion is the world’s oldest and most successful multi-level-marketing scheme.

I believe that it’s possible that a god exists, but that I do not have enough evidence to claim that I know or understand what he wants or expects of me. I believe that if there is a god, he probably doesn’t give a rip whether I cuss, or had sex before I got married, or whether or not I am a nice person.

I believe that believing in a personal god, as Christians do, is arrogant. With 6 billion people on the planet, why would a divine being give a rip if you cuss, or have sex, or are nice, or whatever?

I believe that humans are wired to believe in god, in much the same way that we’re wired to notice coincidences (for example, if I mention a song you haven’t heard in years, and suddenly you start hearing it everywhere over the next few days – the frequency of the song didn’t change, your noticing did. However, some people take these things as “signs.”)

I believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe – there are millions of stars and billions of planets. It’s simple math. However, I do not believe that any of that life could necessarily find us in the vastness of space, or get to us if they were aware of us on earth.

I believe that it’s arrogant (I keep coming back to that word, and I don’t mean that YOU as a Christian are arrogant, but that the idea itself is arrogant) to think that the One True God would reveal the One True Truth to my Presbyterian ancestors out of the billions of people who’ve lived on this earth, and out of all the possible billions of sentient beings in the universe. The Hindus might be right. Or the Muslims. But if some actual divine being has revealed actual truth to anyone, chances are excellent that it’s a sentient being on a planet that’s a zillion light years away from me.

Even if a One True God DID reveal a One True Truth to us, I think it would blow our puny human minds. We’re only just beginning to understand the extent of what we DON’T understand about the universe that we can observe – we’re not capable, as a species, of understanding anything about what we can’t observe. We need to do some major evolving before any of that’s within our reach.

So, with all of that in mind, I am an agnostic. I am open to the possibility of divinity, but I don’t claim to understand it or know its preferences for my behavior. I prefer to believe in being a good person, doing no harm, helping when and where I can, etc. I think that a lot of horrendous things are done in the names of various gods, and I want no part of any of it.

On the other hand – you win. If you’re right, you go to heaven and you win. If I’m right and that what we’ll be able to perceive about our own condition after death is exactly the same as what we remember about before we were born (in other words, nothingness, non-existence, game over), neither one of us will be around to appreciate my “neener neener neener.” You’ll have had a happy life full of hope and faith, while I will have had to wrestle with these doubts and questions, in a largely Judeo-Christian culture that tells me I’m going to burn in hell for denying your god and your Christ… I won’t even be able to enjoy a good gloat when I’m finally proven right, so you still win.

In other words, if you CAN believe, go for it. (Assuming that you’re not one of the people out there doing horrendous things like killing people and molesting children, or covering up the killing of people and molesting of children in the name of “god”) Go for it. You win!

I, however, have tried and tried to believe and I just don’t have it in me. My wiring must be broken.

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17 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Wow Amy – THANKS so much for taking so much time to share your thoughts with us!!! I really appreciate how much time you took to answer me in such detail!

Your thoughts are the same as my brothers – and I agree, it feels arrogant of us to believe that we have the only way to God. But then I go back to the humility and love of Christ and see no arrogance, just acceptance and compassion.

So I rest there — in the mercy, love and wisdom of Christ.

Thank you again for sharing!!!

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18 Jill June 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I agree mostly with you, Amy. I was going to write many of the same things – but you said it better than I could have.

I especially agree with your 1st sentence. Most wars have started because of religion, and will continue to.

I think religion is very personal. I believe in a spirit world though – angels and a higher power. I just don’t believe in the bible – it was written by men and is a nice story. I also just don’t believe in one god, Jesus, or the devil. I think many Christians today are Christians in name only – they are very hypocritical, and don’t accept other people like they are supposed to. I think living by the golden rule is much better than living through an organized religion. I think it’s great that people believe in something, though, and when they need it, it is there for them.

I LOVE studying religions. All of the differences and similarities in all of the different religions completely fascinate me – and make me realize that there isn’t one right way or one wrong way. I can’t wait to read the rest of these comments. Thanks for tackling this topic!

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19 Amy June 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm

The only religion that ever came close to doing anything for me was the Baha’i religion. But I was in college, and (true story) when I told people, “I’m Baha’i,” they thought I was saying, “I’m bi…” and that got old REAL quick. :) Also, no alcohol? My 20 year old self said, “No thanks!”

But seriously, if you’re interested in all religions, you should look into it. Here’s the description from Wikipedia:

“In the Bahá’í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and others, and most recently the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. In Bahá’í belief, each consecutive messenger prophesied of messengers to follow, and Bahá’u’lláh’s life and teachings fulfilled the end-time promises of previous scriptures. Humanity is understood to be in a process of collective evolution, and the need of the present time is for the gradual establishment of peace, justice and unity on a global scale.”

http://tinyurl.com/bqcn4

Makes more sense than saying, “We’re right, you’re wrong, and now I’m going to kill you!!” to me.

PS – Janice – you’re most welcome. :)

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20 Erin June 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

I’m an athiest –

I was like you, brought up in an extended catholic family. My aunt was a nun and my uncle is a priest. I was a junior lay person at 12. But after a meeting with the bishop before my confirmation, I realized that I didn’t want to be catholic anymore. And I spent the next 7 years looking for a place to belong. I even went so far as to make my search for religion my major in school (Theological Anthropology), before finally realizing that I’d stopped believing long ago.

I agree that your brother is right. Religion is a creation of man. On the larger scale it will always be used as a tool for control and as an excuse for attrocities. But on the smaller, local scale, it can allow communities to come together and perform miracles.

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21 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Thank you for sharing Erin! I really appreciate your point of view!

Yes, “religion” on the larger scale has been responsible for unspeakable – and ungodly!!! – acts. And I do not follow “religion” but Christ and his love and mercy. Human mess everything up – especially religion!

Fortunately, like you say, on the local scale, it can do powerful things!

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22 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm

There is just that tiny fact that Christ (if one existed) was nothing but a man. Love and mercy are alright, though.

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23 Mary June 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

I had a similar situation with my (younger) brother. Except, unfortunately, the bulk of our conversation took place on his blog. It was so discouraging and just broke my heart. I’ll pray for you and your brother!

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24 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Oh – I am so sorry to hear that! HUGS!!!

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25 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Perheps you should consider what your brother is telling you in more detail. People do tend to find that faith is very wrong eventually.

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26 Mikki June 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

Janice~
What an amazing post.
I do believe in God. I believe that He willingly forsake the glory of heaven, became flesh, came to earth, gave up His own life and took on my sin and the sin of the world, was crucified and died a horrible death, rose again and is now sitting at the right hand of God. I believed He did that all to reconcile those who believe in His name and what He did to a right relationship with Himself.
My heart breaks for your brother and for you. But keep praying for him. Sometimes God allows people to become completely blinded so that HE can work miracles.
There’s an awesome book called “Second Guessing God’ – I loved reading this book because the author talks about how as Christians we are afraid to admit that we sometimes doubt God, or we never come to God with our real hard questions because it makes us a lesser Christian.. that’s so not true. God wants us to come to Him with our doubt and unbelief so that He can show us truly who He is..
I will be praying of your brother.. not that he comes back to the faith he was raised in.. but that he would find Jesus Christ as his ONLY Savior, that he will find that a relationship with Christ is SOO much more than ‘religion’ and that he would cling to, trust in, rely on, and believe in Jesus Christ..
with many blessings and prayers..
Mikki

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27 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Thank you SO MUCH Mikki! I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

I will check out that book! Thanks for the recommendation.

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28 frost March 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Here’s a hopless case if there ever was one. Relationship with reality is SOO much more than anything any person can think up.

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29 angie June 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

you are so right I have one brother who is not for sure what he believes in and my son is strong in his faith and wishes to tell all that he can about God’s love with such a stark difference our family often talks over this

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30 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Thanks for sharing Angie. It is great though that the lines of communication stay open! And what a wonderful gift that your son is so strong in his faith!

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31 Tarasview June 25, 2010 at 11:48 am

Yes, I believe just the same as you. But of course I’ve had doubts. I’m a pastor’s wife and a pastor’s niece and a pastor’s granddaughter… but my mom was the “black-sheep” hippie of the family but even she always believed in God & Jesus & faith. There were always talks about God swirling around me as a child. I think doubts are completely normal and actually necessary for our spiritual growth. If we never have to truly grapple with the tough questions than our faith is probably pretty weak.

But oh how hard it is when someone so dear to us has different beliefs- big hugs to you Janice!

I said a prayer for your brother, your family and you- that God would be VERY real to you all today. :)

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32 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Thank you SO much Tara! How sweet of you to pray for us!

It is good to hear that others have doubts and that it is ok! HUGS

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33 Jaime June 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I am Jewish.
I was raised in a Conservative Jewish community and am forever shaped by what I learned and experienced there. I draw upon the lessons weekly, if not daily and firmly believe that a structured religious upbringing helps children become wholesome adults.
Some of my closest friends have come from religous families – the exact religion is far less important than having faith in something greater than ourselves.

I always find that I learn so much from these types of conversations… looking forward to seeing where these comments go.

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34 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for your comment Jaime! It is great to hear the Jewish perspective. Yes – I have found these comments fascinating. So wonderful to hear other people’s point of view.

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35 Annie June 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I definitely believe. I understand your point at the beginning of your post about wondering how people can go to sleep at night without God. I wanted to let you know, that when you are doubting or questioning, to read the book of 1st John. It’s so encouraging and faith confirming. Also, many of the stories in the Bible are about God’s orchestrating the lives of His people, and how He is faithful even when we are not. Don’t let your brothers lack of faith cause you to lose yours. It is by the grace of God that you believe, and judging by the tone of your post you know that and want to continue to believe. Ask Him. He’ll strengthen your faith.

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36 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

THANK YOU Annie!!!! I really appreciate your thoughts and support. I also love the book of 1st John. Thank you for the reminder. :)

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37 Nancy T. June 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I do agree with this: “the Bible and organized religion are merely man’s creation.” I believe the bible was written by a bunch of men and “God” had nothing to do with it. I see the Bible as a way to live your life as a good person, not something that came from some higher power. And I don’t like the way the Bible is often used to back up some crazy beliefs.

I don’t know if there’s a God. I was raised Catholic, but over time have started to have my doubts. I often envy people like most of the commenters, those that have a strong faith and do believe wholeheartedly. My husband has declared himself an atheist but my 6 year insists God exists. He’s never been to church, has had no religious background, yet he talks about God all the time. So I have to wonder where that comes from.

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38 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Thank SO much for sharing Nancy!!! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

That is fascinating that your son has an innate belief in God. I once read a book about a child oncologist who turned from an atheist to a Christian because of her young patients’ innate understanding and faith in God.

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39 Lynn from For Love or Funny June 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Hi Janice,
I can see why the conversation with your brother shook you. Did he happen to go to my college? I don’t know what was in the water there, but Christianity was totally frowned upon by the faculty. I wasn’t prepared for such an assault. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that questioning your faith can lead to stronger faith. For me, it all boils down to the disciples. Essentially, they ran away from Christ when he was arrested and crucified, but when he rose from the dead and reappeared to his disciples, they were convinced that he was the Son of God. After that, every disciple proceeded to preach about Jesus, even though they knew they’d be killed if they did so. They must have had good reason to Believe, otherwise they wouldn’t have given their lives if they weren’t convinced Jesus was The One.

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40 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Yes – college can be a difficult place for a Christian! It seems like faith is often attacked or disrespected by many professors and students.

I also look to the complete transformation of the disciples as proof that something miraculous had happened. Thank you!

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41 Angela Sewell June 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I too have experienced that same thing. My stepson told me he did not believe in God. I felt so helpless at the moment. Immediately I started asking myself and God what I had done wrong for my child to feel this way when I had faithfully loved him, prayed for him, and taught him spiritually. I felt hurt for my son, my heavenly Father, and myself. Then I started praising God. Thanking Him that I knew He is and still was in control. I sometimes watch painfully as my son tears away from the truth. I have tried to understand and many times in my human flesh have judged him for his denial. I have blamed, cried, gotten angry and bitter over this situation. I even start to doubt. Thank goodness my heavenly Father tells me the truth…… This is a spiritual battle. You already have the victory…just keep loving your son, me, and trust and have faith in me. I have never failed you and I never will. God reassures me he loves my son just as much as he loves me. I will pray for your strength.

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42 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I am so sorry for you have gone through with your son. That must be very painful. Thank you for sharing!!! And thank for your encouragment!!!

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43 Sharon June 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I have LOVED reading the book “Reasons for God – Faith in the Age of Skepticism” — I HIGHLY recommend it. It helped me work through a lot of the doubts that pop up!

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44 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I don’t think I have seen that book before – thanks for the tip! I will have to pick it up! Thanks!!!

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45 mindy June 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I believe in The God of the Bible. I also believe in a literal Hell. Therefore, the idea of anyone that I love spending eternity in a lake of fire…well, it saddens me to my core. You can only do so much though. Your brother, that must be so difficult. I am sure that you are in prayer for him all day long. I will pray for him too. I am so sorry that this has hit you so hard. It would do so for me as well. ((((hugs)))))

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46 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Thank you so much for your thoughts Mindy!

Yes – the thought of a literal Hell is so upsetting.

It tormented my brother as a child and is the primary reason he has turned away. He just cannot accept that God would allow humans to have such a large part in keeping people from goign to Hell. So he thinks that there either must not be a God or if there is, then he is too angry with him for allowing so many people to go to hell!

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47 Mom24 June 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Unfortunately, I find myself doubting more and more the older I get. Sometimes I feel as though it’s just a nice fairy tale to make us all feel better. I hate that I have doubts, I hate that. Truly. Yet, even though I try to deny them, they’re there…little fisures in my faith. My oldest son no longer believes, and it breaks my heart, even while I’m struggling with similar doubts. Yet, I still find myself unable to declare that I do not believe, to stop attending church, to stop teaching my other children there is a God. I think my brain, or maybe my heart, is smarter than I know.

Anyway, all of this rambles a bit and clarifies nothing, but I just wanted to say you’re definitely not alone. (((hugs)))

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48 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thanks so much for sharing! It is hard as we get older. I am trying to have the faith of a child. My children do not understand all I do to take care of them and I do not understand all my Heavenly Father does to take care of me!

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49 Crystal & Co June 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Yes, believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and his father.

We teach our children the same.

Moments of doubt. Of course. It is hard to fully wrap your head around something bigger than you.

We are all sinners and thank God we all can be forgiven!

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50 Janice June 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm

YES! Amen!

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51 Raine June 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I am an atheist, and so is my husband. I was raised Christian, and was pretty religious when I was younger, and very involved in church later on after I got married. By all accounts, including what I believed at the time, I was a Christian, but I always struggled with faith and totally lost it over time. I reached the point now where I’m not blaming or berating myself for not believing, I’m ok with accepting that I never will truly believe in God because I am way to analytic by nature. I haven’t had the whole faith discussion with my parents, because I know it would hurt them and they wouldn’t understand.

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52 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Thanks so much for sharing Raine! I understand that sharing with your parents would hurt them — perhaps not telling them is the kindest thing.

It is all so complicated isn’t it! Thanks again for your point of view!

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53 Real Life Sarah June 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I believe wholeheartedly in God because of many personal, real life situations. I did go through a MAJOR doubting period in College, and was pretty much at rock bottom. (I wasn’t actually in a relationship with him, but believed he existed). It was Jesus (and it only could have been Him) who lifted me up and changed my life. I see pictures before and after, and I am a totally different person. I wish I could share all the stories here!

I think that going through a struggling period can strengthen our faith, and if your brother is truly seeking, God may just reveal himself in a fresh way.

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54 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Sarah- I didn’t know you went through a stage like that in College. Thanks for sharing!

Yes – I have seen God working throughout my whole life! But the only problem is that I wonder, “Why me????” Why would he do so much to help and save me and not others!??! This confuses me!

I sure hope that Dave finds way back. Even he says, it isn’t a pleasant thing to believe that there is no life after death!

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55 Nikki June 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I believe completely in God and Jesus Christ is my Savior. I don’t think we as humans could possibly create such a great work as the bible. A book that you can learn from your entire life. Its meaning is ever changing the older I get the more I understand. . If you even think of the number of writers of the bible and how it was all formed over years of exsistance it would make no sense to think that God doesn’t exsist. How could all of those pages have survived. Who of us could have fabricated such perfection and could have put it all together in such a absolute way.

Someone once told me and I will always remember it…. Our faith is like the waves of the ocean. When we are down at the lowest point in our lives or our faith is the lowest, that is . when we learn the most about ourselves and about Him.. When our faith is at it’s highest point we often get comfortable and forget some of the important things in life.

Nikki

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56 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I agree – the Bible has an incredible history! So much of it is filled with prophecy that is completely filled hundreds of years later! I do believe in it – but sometimes it is all just so hard to comprehend!

Thank you so much for your encouragment!

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57 kd June 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Why NOT believe in God? I’d far rather believe in Him, trust Him, love Him and feel His presence and direction in my life NOW instead of waiting until eternity to find out there most definitely IS a God and I denied His Being.

I presume you read the Bible…what man’s mind could inspire men to write through a span of approximately 6,000 years and it all agree from cover to cover?

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58 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

YES kd – I agree!

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59 Amy June 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I grew up in the church, worked in the church for a while, my husband worked for the church for years. Doubt is there. It’s going to be there and sometimes you will brush it away and sometimes it will work on you for a while. The one sure thing to me is that through all of your doubts, God is still reaching out to you. Thanks for the great post!

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60 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

THANKS Amy!! That is very encouraging to hear. :)

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61 Tricia June 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I am a Christian, believing in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. But my younger brother has also renounced his faith. And we, as well, grew up in a religious household. Prayer for him has been my number one line of defense against what I believe is a crisis of faith. I completely empathize with you, and know that you are not alone. It hurts me, and I find myself seeing the logic in his arguments. That makes it even HARDER. Great post, talking about a topic that needs to see the light of day.

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62 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Oh I am so sorry that you and your brother are going through this as well.

Thank you so much for your comment. Sending prayers your way too…

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63 MainlineMom June 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I’m a scientist, an engineer by profession. I’m as analytical as they come. But I not only believe in God, I know him…well….intimately, personally. Is it narrow-minded and arrogant to believe that only the Bible spells out the truth? Yeah, but God has revealed himself to me, speaks to me, there is far to much evidence in the natural world and in my own life for Him not to exist. Have I ever doubted that? Probably a bit. But He is sovereign and it’s His choice that I believe, or you believe, not the other way around. It’s heartbreaking to see loved ones wander from their faith, but like someone above said, sometimes He causes hearts to be blinded in order to show others the miracle of Him and His glory.

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64 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:10 pm

THANKS so much for your perspective! I really appreciate you sharing!

I think the thought that always bothers me the most is the thought that God would choose some of us and not all of us. I think I have always prefered to believe that it is human free will that decides if we turn away. BUT I know that the Bible also says that He has chosen us. So I struggle to understand that.

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65 MainlineMom June 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Yes Janice, that is a HARD one to understand. Especially given our human sense of fairness, it doesn’t seem fair at all. But then, fair would be we all get turned away, right? Yes the doctrine on that one in the Bible is tough, which is why even Christians don’t all agree…free will verses election. I’ve studied it and chosen to believe the Calvinist view, which is hard but very comforting in a lot of ways. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share our faith, but it does mean it’s not our fault if we share and share and people don’t accept it. It also comforts me to know God is in complete control, even when things are going horrible wrong.

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66 imperfect momma June 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I grew up in a Christian home but when I was…a certain age that I cant remember right now I turned from everything & questioned everything i was ever taught. After doing what I wanted I finally had a moment when I asked God who are you & why should i believe in you…and He answered in a big way. Now I firmly believe in God & am facing the fact that my brother is going down the same path I went. It makes me sad but I just pray. And I will be praying for you & your family

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67 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm

That is wonderful that you had such a healing in your life!!! I am sure your example will be integral in your brother’s life.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!

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68 Randi June 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm

It’s hard when someone you think it such a great Christian rocks your world by denying their faith. Unfortunately, the media does the same thing with famous people proclaiming the Word of Christ and then acting in complete opposition to it (hello Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, and Clay Aiken).

But I believe in one God and the holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins (and the sins of every person, believer or not) in order to pay my debt of sin that I could never pay myself by any good works. Only in the belief of that act of Jesus and knowing Him to be my Savior (every day Savior, not just Judgment Day Savior) will I be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

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69 Janice June 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for sharing Randi! Yes, it is hard when our role models change their beliefs or values.

As for the celebrities though — I think that it is sad that they are put in the position of role models. Esp the young ones. That is too much responsibility for them — and they haven’t earned or wanted it. They should be role models for singing, acting, sports — whatever they are famous for — but we shouldn’t be surprised when they are shown to be human and not the people that the media insisted they were, (because it made for a good story!)

I don’t judge them for their decisions — they didn’t ask my opinion about their lives. It is between them and God I think. I think that young people need to be taught to look to Jesus as their role model and reminded that no human can live up to their expectations. We are ALL imperfect!!!!

THANKS so much for your thoughts – I really appreciate your faith and your thoughts.

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70 Lea June 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I have seen God answer prayers. I know he has a purpose for my life. What one may call coincidence (over and over again), I call God’s provision. He loves me and he is with me every step of the way and he will be with me for eternity because I believe that He sent his son to save me.

Whenever I doubt this truth I remember how I have felt God in my life, I think of how the Old Testament accurately predict his life in the New Testament, I understand how there is no “religion” like Christianity that preaches a God who died for his own creation because God is love.

My family is not saved and they are not happy with my beliefs, but at the end of the day I know where I will stand at the end of this life and they are lost. Growing up Catholic we “heard” the right things, but we didnt really hear it in our hearts and it wasnt real. Now the words I read in the bible come alive and they are alive and the Spirit uses them to speak to me.

I pray for your family. I understand the situation well (similar with my sister in law) and it can take a toll on a family. May you keep in the faith and remember how much God and His Son love you.

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71 alexis June 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I was also raised Catholic, graduated from Catholic school even, yet spent many years with doubt. When I was 26, I almost died having my daughter my pre-ecclampsia was so bad I ended up on a ventilator, blood transfusions, the works. I would have someone hold my hand at night while I was in the ICU, yet no one visible was there! My daughter had a bleed on her brain so bad we were told to be prepared for mental retardation, wheelchairs and everything bad. They scheduled a 2nd brain scan in 1 week. She was also on the highest level of breathing support available. However, we had faith like a child, I belived in him, trusted Him, and prayed to Him constantly. At that next scan, her oxygen levels were reduced, and he bleed on her brain was GONE. You could actually hear the doctors discussing how this is medically IMPOSSIBLE and how could they come and explain to us “uh-you experienced a miracle”. I should also mentioned I had her 8 hours away from home when I was on a flight layover and I stopped breathing on my own. We were stuck in a strange city, with strange doctors, and a lot of expense. She was able to be transfered to our city’s children’s hospital 3 weeks later. I was able to fly with her, a doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist. We never saw a bill for the flight. Everyone used the restroom before we took off and on my way back over to the plane, a guy walked up to me and said “I want you to know that your daughter is going to be just fine. It will all work out!” First off all how did he know I was with that plane, that a baby was on the plane and that my baby was a girl. It had to be a God thing, and I still get chills thinking about it. When we returned home, money, gas vouchers and the like would just be there when we needed it. All our expenses were covered. How could I deny God. She is now 8 and is doing excellent. Shes a normal happy, healthy little girl who by the way makes the Honor Roll and does gymnastics! Yet, I still went through a period after this where I started to waffle on the idea again. I mean if there was a GOD, how could he let me go through all that and why did he let my baby and all the other babies in teh NICU suffer and some even die. Then I became pregnant with twins. I contracted MRSA shortly after birth at the hospital. He was the sickest baby in the hospital, couldn’t even breathe on his own. Again, had faith like a child, I let God do his work and stopped getting in the way with my doubts. Within 24 hours, he was healed! How can I deny God after all my experiences. I’m definately not one that can convince others to believe, yet, but I know there is no other option for me!

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72 Erin June 25, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I want to send up prayers for you and your brother tonight. Coming from a ministerial home myself, I know where you are coming from….,my brother has strayed from the church itself but still believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior. It still hurts me to see him trash talk the church, the one that has loved him so much as he grew in wisdom and favor with God and men…..but I know that God has a plan to use him (and your brother) in awesome ways that we may never understand. I also want to pray for those lovely ladies and gentlemen who do not know God as their personal Savior. How heartbreaking to live life and not know that there is such love reaching across the ages toward us!!! I pray that the seeds that may have been planted by this discussion are watered and will grow in their hearts.

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73 Kathryn June 26, 2010 at 1:54 am

I do believe in the God of the Bible, however I came to Him through my brother who describes his faith as “Easter Bunny faith” He explained to me just how he came to know that God is real and with us, and that he “just” believes, much like a child believes in the E.B. I have been on a long journey to reach the “place” I am in regarding my beliefs, am shaken sometimes, but know that God is with me always, He has protected me even when I denied Him and that He loves me. I think when we have people challenge our beliefs, we often strengthen our relationship with God and extend ourselves to bring His light to others.

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74 Leighbra June 26, 2010 at 5:01 am

I do not pretend to know 1 way or the other if there is a god, or gods.

My father’s side were Austrian Jews, who gave nearly everything they had (short of only their lives) to flee Hitler. They moved to Northern Idaho & hid their faith. They raised their children in the Episcopal church. My Jewish father was an alter boy.

My maternal side were Christians from a “community church” where they read the Bible & came together for fellowship. They did not have a denomination.

I was raised with all western religions, and none at all. I tried to find my place in life. I prayed to God, I prayed to Jesus, I prayed to the Holy Mother. I came to call myself an atheist.

After a time, I realized the atheists I was speaking with were as fervent in their dis-belief as the Christians & Jews I knew were in their belief. I started to realize that when emotions are that high, all discussions take on this personal level & LISTENING falls to the wayside.

I started to say “I don’t pretend to know if there is or isn’t a God.” I found a great relief in stopping the pretending. Because I DON’T KNOW. There’s no way for me to know. Someday maybe I will, but until then, I raise my children to take notice of every moment & interaction that they have. I teach them that since we have 1 go at this, we need to do it right: with empathy, love, patience, kindness, generosity, stewardship, personal accountability & doing it a lil better each day. Since we may all only have 1 go at this, we don’t have any right to make someone else’s go at it LESS pleasant. All life is valuable, big & small, and all worthy of kindness. We’re not perfect, but nobody is.

It took me 29 years of my life to finally say “I am not Christian” because I was always afraid of how people would react. I imagine that saying these words were as liberating and freeing as when most Americans say that they are. The point to this last paragraph is to say thank you to the people who have posted so far, proudly proclaiming their personal beliefs, but being respectful to those who differ. It’s very affirming to see.

Jaime, I say that a “belief system” is helpful for raising wholesome adults, as opposed to an organized religion being the necessary key. I know that sounds like PC mumbo-jumbo, but I am seeing some simply marvelous children in my secular, non-theist homeschooling families. All of us outside religion, but all of us sharing our belief system/world view with our children.

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75 Crystal June 26, 2010 at 5:15 am

I am very pagan so my beliefs are right here…our mother earth. On christmas i celebrate the ‘rebirth of the sun’
Don’t be discouraged in your beliefs though~
its all about love right here and now;)
Bright Blessings to you and your family

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76 sal williams June 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

I am 70 next month , have terminal inoperable cancer, and I am an agnostic. I have had plenty of time lately to think of things like God and heaven and hell. I personally believe that religion and spirituality are different things and that Hope is the engine that makes organized religions run. As I get nearer to death, I am not having a turn of mind to get closer to “God’. I do not believe Jesus is there to forgive my life’s sins and see me to the gates of heaven. I do believe that the electrical energy that runs my body and mind will merely change form and manifest elsewhere at the moment of my death but my memory bank and therefore “I”, unique little old me, will not be present anywhere in any form. I was raised in a strict Baptist home, I have read the Bible cover to cover 15 times in my life time… I consider it a great history book but by no means the word of anyone but the scholars King James of England hired to write it his way. I do believe in the power of prayer…in a sort of cosmic consciousness- Jungian way and I put “prayers in the air” for those I am thinking of and wishing well, but they are not addressed to any God. I wish you all good things and hope you and your brother have many stimulasting conversations…having “faith” does not mean one must live with a closed mind.

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77 Jaimie K June 26, 2010 at 10:24 am

“We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

This is the first Article of Faith in my religion and I stand by it with all of my heart.

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78 Melissa P. June 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

Do you believe in God?
I surely do.

Is He the God of the Bible?
Most definitely.

Have you had moments of doubt or have you changed your beliefs as you grew older?
I think we all have doubts sometimes but that is because you know who likes to throw projections in our faces but God knocks all of them down. My family grew up as Catholics but now we ALL, including myself, are Born Again Christians. An amazing transformation I might add. : )

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79 Melissa P. June 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

PS: I have seen God work all around me. I have seen miracle after miracle, from the smallest to the biggest. I have heard testimony after testimony. I have seen lives change, people healed, trials prevailed. The evidence is there and it is undeniable. : )

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80 Julie June 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

Janice I love this article. You know me well so I don’t need to explain myself. Love the poll and the subject matter is so thought provoking! Great job!!!!

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81 Gattina June 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

This is a very difficult and very personal question. I think your brother is right at least what the interpretation of the bible is concerned, that’s all done by men. Don’t forget it has been translated and translated and retranslated from old hebrew into latin and so forth, so where is the truth ?
I think it is in everybody’s own heart.

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82 Louise June 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Janice,

There is a wonderful book out there entitled The Case for Christ. A reporter that did not believe in God at all set out to prove that God did not exsist. He interviewd a ton of people and ultimatly found Christianity and became a Christain himself. The evidence he found convinced him that God does infact exist. It’s a great book filled with facts and evidence he discovered.

The book has even been re-written for children/teens.

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83 amber June 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I was going to suggest this too! :) Great Book!

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84 myself June 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I definitely questioned God when I reached my teen years. Like you I grew up in church, my dad was a worship pastor and very involved. I just came to a point where I was analyzing alot of things and I really needed to know for myself. I can remember the very night, I was so broken and so desperate for an answer, my head just hadn’t been able to figure it out. God revealed himself to me in such a beautiful way that wiped away all doubt. I think it was because my motives were completely pure and my mind had finally been emptied of myself.

I think that it’s very important to have those questions though. The bible talks about knowing why we believe what we believe and being prepared to give an answer for our faith. How can we truly know why we believe something, if we don’t deeply question it?

I’m sorry for your brother, I know that’s hard. I know where he’s coming from because those were alot of the same questions and thoughts that I went through.

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85 Lucy June 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Wow, this made me cry. How touching. My son has turned away from being a Catholic and it breaks my heart. I was raised Catholic and I raised him Catholic. He says that he believes in God but he is over Religion. I guess that is better than nothing.

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86 Sky June 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I’m one of those who voted other. I grew up going to church and in my tween and teen years started referring to God as HER/SHE. I have a lot of questions and can’t put my heart into one person having all the answers. Instead, I consider myself humanist. If there is something out there, fabulous. If not, hey I’m cool too.

Most importantly, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion about it. I’m leaving it up to my children to decide what they want to believe or not believe.

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87 Ruth Hill June 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

How hard it is when those we love the most do not share our belief in the awesome and almighty God. Things have certainly changed in our country. All you have to do is turn on the radio, go to the movie theatre, turn on the TV, listen to music–it’s an endless list. I’m currently madly in love with a man who is not saved. He grew up in England and the Anglican church. He has been to church with me, but he has been burned by so-called Christians. I pray daily for him. I have tried everything. I pushed him pretty hard to get saved. I was almost willing to go against the Bible and marry him because I was sure God was going to save him if I did that. It’s hard. Very hard. My niece and her husband are currently going through a separation/divorce, and they know all the right answers about God, but they do not believe as I do.

It comes down to this. All we can do is pray and continue to have faith that our loved ones will know God or come back to Him. It is not Him that has changed. It is our loved ones. We can’t do it. Only our prayers and our following God’s leading in all areas can do the work. We can’t save our loved ones like we would like to.l

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88 Lindsay June 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm

ABSOLUTELY!! God does exist and he works miracles in our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY!! There was a time in my younger years from about 18-20 that I had my doubts… But I got mixed up with a not so good guy, whom I was head over heals in love with, and I got pregnant. I was SCARED.

Now almost 8 years later, by the GRACE of GOD, I have not only graduated from college, but went on to get my Masters degree. I have raised that little boy with the help of my family for 2 years, before we set out on our own.

After about 6 years of on and off with that bad news guy, I met the love of my life and we are now married (1 year anniversary on Aug 22nd). We got married in the church and it was one of the the most meaningful days of my life.

I can now reflect on my life and see how God has been with me on the long and winding path. He has connected the dots in my life and my life today is filled with extraordinary blessings. I thank God every day for not giving up on me.

If you just pay attention and talk to Him, you will see he exists and He shows us He exists every single day!

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89 sarah jane June 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

My husband’s brother went through the same thing. After a lifetime of belief and active faith in God, he decided it was all a man-made excuse to make sense of this life we live in. It happened over several years, and the real hit was actually when he started battling depression, and he couldn’t feel the love of God or the Spirit working through him like he had before. He started to realize that if our minds can be chemically altered and cause depression, was it possible that the feelings of truth and love from God that he had felt before were just chemical reactions?

This is where faith sets in. I believe that God is my Father, and his Son Jesus Christ died so that we could be joined back together in a Heavenly Family. I believe that with all my heart. I have witnessed too many things in my life to deny it! And though I was really shaken, like you, to think along the same lines as my brother in law, I realized that FAITH is the key. See, my brother in law had started to rationalize and logically come up with an answer that suited his feelings of disbelief. God doesn’t work that way. We can’t logically explain, as hard as we try, why we believe in God. It is in us, and as we continue to act in faith and serve him and love him, that faith will become strengthened. I have to remember too that this world that we live in is steering farther and farther away from the belief in the God of the Bible, and it is so sad. But when I wake up each morning, and know that I can face my day with him, talk to him, knowing that he loves me and wants the most happiness for me, I feel peace that isn’t man-made. And the best part is…when I am feeling like my faith is weak…I can pray to know even more assuredly that he is there, and I feel my faith strengthened every time.

I don’t know how I would face this world if I didn’t know that I had a Father in Heaven who knows me, loves me, and has a plan for me. Just a belief in higher power wouldn’t do it for me. But it takes active listening and living to know that every day.

Great post and so glad you shared your feelings on this! It really touched me!

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90 Melanie June 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I believe in God and that Jesus is the son of God.

I have had some rough stuff happen in my life. My mom died unexpectedly at the age of 33 (which I am now), when I was 7. My dad quickly remarried my very abusive stepmother. My own son died n my arms, three days after birth. More things happened that I don’t want to mention here, but life has been rough at times.

None of this has shaken my faith. I have been angry – often times, VERY angry – at God for “letting” these things happen to me, but it hasn’t changed my fervent belief in Him. I’m afraid I can’t explain why, I just believe. Maybe it’s because I just HAVE to believe my mother and my son are still out there, waiting for me to join them, I don’t know.

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91 Joan June 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Wow. I’m always fascinated with other people’s believe in God, especially the Christian God that I grew up with. The concept that a higher power can be thanked and praised for all the good that happens and then be let it off the hook because it is “his plan” when something horrible happens is just mind boggling to me.

I really don’t get that. Haven’t since I was about ten.

However, I do totally respect everyone else’s belief in their God, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. I just can’t make that leap of faith.

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92 Shelly June 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Hey Joan, I don’t believe any of the “bad stuff” was ever in God’s plan. Neither was sin. But He gave us free will, and I’m so glad He did. I can choose to praise Him, and you can choose to reject Him. I wish you wouldn’t, but He wouldn’t want you to come to Him under any other pretense than love. I wish you all the best.

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93 MageeMommy June 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I believe that God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins and the world and that through Him I have forgiveness of my sins and can have communion with God(prayer/quiet time). I have lots of friends and family that do not believe that the God of the Bible exists. It does break my heart. I know from how God has protected me, answered specific prayers(not mere coincidences but to the letter prayers from needing a free sierramist/sprite at Taco Bell to getting a phone call while still on my knees when I was desperate for an airplane ticket), I’ve gone weeks and weeks where one specific Bible verse will appear in several different places on the same day down to going to paying a bill one day and the lady taking my money had the same Bible verse I had read for quiet time and was in a daily devotional email etc.

I can’t deny God. I can’t deny His only Son Jesus. For me, that would be complete arrogance toward Him because of all the miracles, answered prayers, and personal evidence through Him giving me His word repeatedly throughout days.

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94 Amy June 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I believe in God and have personally since I very young age. He has spoken to me on countless occasions, I have seen him work in others and I simply can not imagine life without Him. I’m an analytical person and I have questions but the answers come in time. I will pray for you, your brother and your family.

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95 Jen June 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm

IMHO –
I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I always have and always will. I was raised Protestant but baptized, took communion and was confirmed Catholic. I am still not sure about the saints. But, I’m not a ‘Bible thumper’ as my husband calls them. I do not go to church (although I feel I should).

I sometimes wonder if the Bible isn’t just stories written by man for man as an ex-boyfriend told me once. (I seem to be drawn to the agnostics.)

But, then, I look at all of the supposed ‘coincidences’ in the world and think they have to be planned. For instance, how is it that a bird can have body parts and functions so similar to human beings? I mean, they have a heart. They have nutrient needs. They have a digestive tract. As we all know, they, um, dispose of the unneeded nutrients of their food. They have a brain. They have a tongue, eyes, ears of some sort. While I in no way believe man is a descendant of birds, the similarities between man and non-humans (animals, insects, etc.) seem to be so much more than a coincidence. They seem much more planned than that.

Here’s my story –
My husband was coming around to the religious side of life when we got married in 1999 after turning his back on God for many, many years due to personal losses in his lifetime. He would ask questions about religion/the Bible. I would answer.

In 2001, my husband and I lost our son to stillbirth. He turned his back on God completely. He refused to believe. He didn’t understand how God could take our son. I, on the other hand, was angry with God for allowing it to happen. I prayed and demanded to know why. But I never strayed entirely. I remembered my Sunday School lessons that evil or the Devil depending on your beliefs will cause things to happen to make people question God and hopefully dissolve their belief in Him. With eternal depression looming, I came around and began asking him for strength to survive our loss. He gave me a new doctor who encouraged me to take the antidepressants prescribed by my primary care doctor and that helped me through the loss of my son as well as Baby #2. The full pregnancy with Baby #3 (my daughter) was emotional from start to end and I couldn’t have made it without my belief in God and being able to beg Him for His help, and my daughter’s life.

I spent the first 5yrs of my daughter’s life feeling completely guilty for not taking her church. My belief was still there but my will was not enough to overcome my husband’s doubt. I prayed for help in getting my daughter to church that would not result in divorce. God led us to the information that affected my husband’s wallet. My daughter now goes to Catholic school because, for kindergarten, it cost less to send her there than pay for 1/2 day before and after care at Kindercare. That was my help. My husband is now very comfortable with her attending school there and allows God and Jesus to be discussed in the house which he wouldn’t before.

I believe God puts obstacles in our way to help us grow and develop just as a butterfly must struggle to get out of it’s cocoon on its own or its wings won’t be strong enough to fly. It’s the old saying of God never gives us more than we can handle.

I also believe that evil/Devil puts the doubts in people’s minds to test their belief in God. It is up to the free will of the individual whether they give in to the doubts or not.

I do not hold it against those that do not have the same belief as me. I can see where they are coming from and choose my own path. But, just because their path is not my path, doesn’t mean they should be judged.

So, that’s my 2cents worth. I will pray for you and your family to find peace with your beliefs … whatever they may be.

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96 Kat June 27, 2010 at 2:53 am

I do believe in God, and in Jesus Christ. I believe we’ve all asked ourselves that question. I’ve even asked myself before whether I truly believe or if I just truly WANT to believe. In all honesty, I’ve always believed that the more you resist conversations like that, the weaker your faith becomes. Challenging what you know – when it is the truth – can only strengthen your case for it because it will be further proven to you. Simply ignoring all other theologies doesn’t keep doubt out. It just keeps you from giving your own faith the consideration it deserves :)

God bless you!!!

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97 Nancy S. June 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Janice, very intriguing question. Thanks for asking!
Yes I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, and I believe that the Holy Spirit is living and active in my life! I believe in the Bible as God’s truth to us. That doesn’t mean that I understand the Bible, but I enjoy reading, studying, and learning. I too have close relatives that have different beliefs than me, and its tough isn’t it?!? How can a group of people grow up in the same house and have such different beliefs? But that’s the beauty of being human, free will. God loves us all and wants nothing more than for us to love him. But it wouldn’t really be true love if we didn’t have a choice now would it. I know these conversations can be hard. I really enjoy Lee Strobel’s books, “Case for a Creator”, “Case for Christ”, and “Case for Faith.” He was an athiest that decided to do the research to back up what he believed, and ended up being totally blown away by the evidence for God and Christ. Of course there are lots of great authors and books, but I think these would appeal to people like your brother, because he answers the questions that many of them have. You and your brother will be in my prayers.

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98 Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom) June 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

I was raised by a retired priest and nun.

They adopted three of us children and raised us Catholic. Sunday School, Communion, bible reading and church every Sunday. I was part of the youth group and went to Catholic School.

I grew up and moved out of the house.

I started studying everything… including religion. I had questions I needed answers. I didn’t find answers, only more questions.

I was pulled in another direction.

I accepted that there could be many paths, many gods and many more answers. Some contradicted each other, but at least I found answers.

I am polytheistic. I believe in many gods, many reasons and answers and path and people and ways to worship. I have my “chosen” deities. I pray/do spells. I ask them for things and help, I get angry with them (my fear of them is just as strong as my fear of the “god” I grew up with, just as my love of them).

I am careful what I offer up as blessings and as curses.

I also study shamanism, I have found my spirit animal and feel a loss when I don’t journey in a while.

I feel just ask much power from them as I did when I first felt the pull to the virgin Mary when I was 14. My spiritual awakening….

I respect all paths, all people and their beliefs. As long as they don’t try and push it on me. I love a good discussion and love to see someone passionate about their path.

I love it when any path allows for an open mind and when the person following the path asks questions and understands WHY they believe in their deity(ies). It means a lot when someone can say, “I love my god because of…..” Not “I love my god because that is how I was raised.”

It shows little intelligence to love … because….

It shows all intelligence to love… for a reason.

Just like loving our significant other or our children… we love them for a reason.

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99 Mary Margeson June 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Janice –

While I have the utmost respect for others’ beliefs, I can honestly say that I don’t believe in God because I don’t know the answers to the many, many questions that I have. I enjoy listening and interacting in conversations involving religion and spirituality, because then I am able to try to understand others’ views on the subject.

That being said, I think it is arrogant of us, as human beings, to insist that one religion, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wiccan…is correct and that all the others are wrong. I have spent many years researching different types of religions because I was interested in finding answers in order to develop my own belief system, and the only thing that I am sure of is that none of us still alive on earth can know what happens to us after we die. The only thing that I do believe for certain in my heart is that the earth and the elements are sacred and that we need to respect them. And I dig anything that believes that.
But none of us really KNOWS what is guiding us, there are cases and circumstances that give credence to almost every different theory.

My sister recently married a man who comes from a devout Christian family, and they have recently started attending church. My 7 year old nephew (stepson to the new husband – this is his first experience with church) recently asked me, “Is God real?” I asked him what he thought, and he told me that he thinks so, because that’s what he learned in church, and that he is glad because God loves us all and will help us through bad times. I told him I was glad that he had formed an opinion on the subject, and that a lot of people believe all different kinds of things about God, and that they are all ok. I also told him that he might start to think different things about God as he grows and learns, and that’s ok, too. I also reminded him that everyone thinks differently, and he should always try to listen and be respectful to what other people think.

That was the best answer that I could give him, based on my own feelings, because I didn’t want to try to influence him toward anything but pride in his beliefs and respect for others. I don’t know of any religion that doesn’t encourage that.

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100 Betty Hakes June 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

When I’ve been in similar situations all I can do is pray for the person. If you believe and continue your faith you will end up helping them in the long run. Remember it’s not your time, it’s God’s time. Hope that helps… Betty

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101 Lindsay June 29, 2010 at 11:03 am

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I believe in God. I believe he is Creator and Ruler of the universe. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with God the Father. I believe that God the Holy Spirit lives in every Christ follower. I believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. I believe people are made in the image of God. I believe salvation is God’s free gift to us. And, I believe everyone lives forever in Heaven.

Those are taken from my church’s website and I whole-heartedly believe each and every one of them.

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102 Lorie Shewbridge June 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I believe in a higher power, or god, as in someone who created the beauty that surrounds us – whether it be by true creationism or through evolution I do not know. However, I don’t know if he truly has a hand in our every day life, but I do pray daily for guidance in life in general (not the specific things), and to help and protect my family and friends with their lives.
It may sound like a contradiction, but I am confused and I have NO faith or trust in organized religion because of my upbringing and the things that have been done to me in the name of religion.

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103 Self Sagacity June 30, 2010 at 7:52 am

I absolutely do. My parents are very religious and that has turned me away from church, but I still believe in God.

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104 Amy July 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I am so done with religion and all that it entails, but I do believe in God. I do attend church, one that is about serving, giving and loving on others.
I think religion has ruined many people. For myself I had to relearn what everything was all about. I was raised with our religion being the only “right” one. I was taught lots of doctrine, but some how missed that it’s about a relationship with Jesus, not just a prayer you say to “get in” and knowing the right information.
I am sorry your brother is going through this. I am sorry that you are watching him walk through this. I hope, because of you, he will see that Christ is as real today as he was that day on the Cross.

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105 Brianna July 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I respect everyone’s free will to believe in whatever they please…however, I believe that everything in this world can be explained by science- thus, I do not believe in God. I am 21, and in my generation of people I do not know one person who still continues on with a relationship with religion unless they have recently gotten out of some sort of rehabilitation center. It seems now God is a safety blanket. People use him when they need him, and ignore him when they don’t. I’ve also found that many religious people are disgustingly contradictory in the way they live, so I do not chose to live a life that is guided by something unknown. I guide it myself-

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106 Jane Internet Bingo July 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I think everyone has the right to believe what they want. In my opinion, God has always been there for me. I know he’s watching out.

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107 Jasim August 22, 2010 at 4:52 am

you should read about Islam.. In the Quran, Allah ( God ) said clearly that the bible was played with by people.. I mean you should ask yourself, did jesus write a book ?.. Watch the series The Arrivals, it’ll give you a more clear idea of what’s really right. it’s on youtube ;)

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108 Google August 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

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