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Grebels
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13 May 2012, 8:06 am

Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon. However, it is not an intellectual kind of thing. It is rather a kind of knowing. When it is acted upon the faith increases.

This is not the kind of knowledge an philosopher can argue with. It does not offer proof of itself., except in as much it brings about changed lives. Certainly there are many people who call themselves believers who don't have this experience. One thing that is necessary is the openness to receive, and that involves trust. This is one reason why I am less than happy with religious conversions brought about by fear. True belief cannot be forced on people. Hell fire preaching may get results, but I think although the converts may be happy to miss Hell, they may continuer with a negative outlook on faith.

I expect true faith to change lives for the better. It is not about restrictions, not doing things. Sure, smoking, getting drunk, gambling, or other addictions, should fall away. They do tend to be self-destructive. The real thing is receiving new life. It is peace of a far deeper kind than normal, it can be being flooded with the love of God, and that love enables us to love others. There is also great joy, not to be confused with euphoria.

How is it a shy timid boy who dare not even approach a girl for fear of not having any words to say, could become bold enough to speak in a church full of people. And how is that such a fearful child became secure in himself.

At school I was the dunce, the subject of many a joke. Maybe the education system let me down, or just maybe I took hold of faith to get an education in adulthood. The desperately needy, clingy kid became the man who does not need to drain others.

Many people will tell me I could have done this all by myself, without Christianity, as if I didn't try. It is true I could have got so far, but was able to change me from the inside out. Can you see that difference. It was a change to the core, ego centre. Faith can change a person at an unconscious level, the things in our lives we do not understand, and that for a great part is what prayer is about.



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13 May 2012, 10:37 am

I think the biggest headache with organized religion, even more I think than the tattered remnants of old hellfire and brimstone teachings, is the attitude of compartmentalization: ie. we give you a bunch of information, tell you that you can utter a few words accepting the Lord as savior, after which its useless information - there's nothing you can do with it aside from keep a list of things not to do. What's even there of a 'to do' list is even more dismally vacuous.

Its because of that so many people live with this word called faith all around them and no one even knows the first thing about it aside from that social wisdom tells people to play along and pretend they have it - even when they don't know what it is - lest they catch the wrath of the social hive mind.


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Grebels
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13 May 2012, 10:58 am

I'm from the UK where things are a bit different, (no TBN). All the same I think we need a new vision to move on with. A lot of people in church have settled for being comfortable and from my point of view boring.



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13 May 2012, 11:16 am

Grebels, the problem is that a psychological change does not require a supernatural event. So, faith curing you of your anxiety is not something I, or anybody else, has to consider distinct from perhaps a very clever therapeutic method. A clever therapeutic method doesn't have to be under your control, but it doesn't involve any supernatural agents, and given that LOTS of different things cause massive psychological changes, some religious, some not, the idea that your particular change is a result of a divine being's intervention seems questionable.

I mean, I've gone through my own share of massive psychological shifts. Maybe perhaps not quite as extreme as yours, but certainly enough for me to originally think a divine hand was present. Other atheists have seen the same occur. This doesn't mean a conscious person could have easily caused this to themselves. It's just that this is by no means a good justification.



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13 May 2012, 11:32 am

Grebels wrote:
Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon. However, it is not an intellectual kind of thing. It is rather a kind of knowing. When it is acted upon the faith increases.



Anything not based on empirical evidence or rigorous logic is not knowledge. God is believed in, never known.

ruveyn



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13 May 2012, 11:47 am

Hi Awesome, I've got your point, although there's been a lot more involved than I'm saying. I'm not even sure what words to use here. You can possibly explain away feelings of power, but have you ever had such an experience to know about it? I will say that life has not always been easy for me. Christianity does not mean a bed of roses. However, I have had great resources of strength within which I have been able to draw on. I simply could not have done this without faith, although it would be unwise for me to speak for atheists. I cannot say how effective a belief system such as Bhuddhism would have been. I am talking about a very powerful experience. I am talking about power which is as real to me as electricity. Now after all these many years if somebody were to ask me for a straight answer to the question, looking back on your life has your faith been beneficial to you and others, I will say yes it has been tremendous and I would like to think a benefit to others as well.



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13 May 2012, 11:52 am

ruveyn wrote:
Grebels wrote:
Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon. However, it is not an intellectual kind of thing. It is rather a kind of knowing. When it is acted upon the faith increases.



Anything not based on empirical evidence or rigorous logic is not knowledge. God is believed in, never known.

ruveyn


I think you are on the wrong side of the fence ruveyn.



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15 May 2012, 3:20 am

Although it uses hyperbole, I like what Twain had to say about faith: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."



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15 May 2012, 8:55 am

Grebels wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
Grebels wrote:
Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon. However, it is not an intellectual kind of thing. It is rather a kind of knowing. When it is acted upon the faith increases.



Anything not based on empirical evidence or rigorous logic is not knowledge. God is believed in, never known.

ruveyn


I think you are on the wrong side of the fence ruveyn.


just as we think you are


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Grebels
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16 May 2012, 5:53 am

Rocky wrote:
Although it uses hyperbole, I like what Twain had to say about faith: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."


Rocky wrote:
Although it uses hyperbole, I like what Twain had to say about faith: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."


How would Twain know what faith is or is not, if he never had it, or had the experience. I can look back after having had faith for many years and tell people it does actually work. I can also say I have no regrets that I gave my life to Jesus Christ. My trust has paid off many times over.



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16 May 2012, 6:31 am

Do you think that your experience of the good effects of faith are the same ones that Hindus get from theirs?



Grebels
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16 May 2012, 8:29 am

Unspecified wrote:
Do you think that your experience of the good effects of faith are the same ones that Hindus get from theirs?


It is a valid question, but I don't know a lot about the Hindu faith. I do know that like Christianity it can mean a lot of things, there are many sub-beliefs. I know the correct answer for a Christian is to quote The Bible, "The only name by which you may be saved", meaning Jesus. Sorry I may not have the words quite right but that is the meaning. Beliefs like Hinduism and Buddhism have got well mixed up with tribal beliefs. I see so many experts on subjects, or at least people with strong opinions on subjects of which they know nothing, that I hestitate to say much. I can tell you what I know to be correct from personal experience.



Grebels
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16 May 2012, 8:29 am

Unspecified wrote:
Do you think that your experience of the good effects of faith are the same ones that Hindus get from theirs?


It is a valid question, but I don't know a lot about the Hindu faith. I do know that like Christianity it can mean a lot of things, there are many sub-beliefs. I know the correct answer for a Christian is to quote The Bible, "The only name by which you may be saved", meaning Jesus. Sorry I may not have the words quite right but that is the meaning. Beliefs like Hinduism and Buddhism have got well mixed up with tribal beliefs. I see so many experts on subjects, or at least people with strong opinions on subjects of which they know nothing, that I hestitate to say much. I can tell you what I know to be correct from personal experience.



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16 May 2012, 8:47 am

OK.
I will let that stand for itself.
You are the only expert on your personal experience.
Generalisations and extrapolations from personal experience are frowned upon in scientific research, for valid reasons, but I certainly defend your right to make your own personal decisions based on your experience, as I have done based on mine. I hope you can accept my refusal to change my behaviour based on your anecdotes, and that you understand that I am curious about what makes you think like you do.

The whole issue in the 'proof' thread can be found in this principle.
Believers think that it is OK to make assumptions about the world outside the head based on thoughts inside it, while the scientific methods of reaching conclusions require external confirmation.



bobbythebluesman
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16 May 2012, 7:16 pm

Grebels wrote:
Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon. However, it is not an intellectual kind of thing. It is rather a kind of knowing. When it is acted upon the faith increases.

This is not the kind of knowledge an philosopher can argue with. It does not offer proof of itself., except in as much it brings about changed lives. Certainly there are many people who call themselves believers who don't have this experience. One thing that is necessary is the openness to receive, and that involves trust. This is one reason why I am less than happy with religious conversions brought about by fear. True belief cannot be forced on people. Hell fire preaching may get results, but I think although the converts may be happy to miss Hell, they may continuer with a negative outlook on faith.

I expect true faith to change lives for the better. It is not about restrictions, not doing things. Sure, smoking, getting drunk, gambling, or other addictions, should fall away. They do tend to be self-destructive. The real thing is receiving new life. It is peace of a far deeper kind than normal, it can be being flooded with the love of God, and that love enables us to love others. There is also great joy, not to be confused with euphoria.

How is it a shy timid boy who dare not even approach a girl for fear of not having any words to say, could become bold enough to speak in a church full of people. And how is that such a fearful child became secure in himself.

At school I was the dunce, the subject of many a joke. Maybe the education system let me down, or just maybe I took hold of faith to get an education in adulthood. The desperately needy, clingy kid became the man who does not need to drain others.

Many people will tell me I could have done this all by myself, without Christianity, as if I didn't try. It is true I could have got so far, but was able to change me from the inside out. Can you see that difference. It was a change to the core, ego centre. Faith can change a person at an unconscious level, the things in our lives we do not understand, and that for a great part is what prayer is about.


Very nice.

I always seem to find something to comment on when I read. I hope you don't mind my opinions.

Even though they may come out as "known facts" it is because I, too survive on faith.

And eventually things start clicking.

No friends, constant belittleing of myself, (early programming by my dad) and have come to feel much as you describe. I got drunk the other night and I selfdom dtink, Overdid it and ended up on the bathroom floor leaning over the toilet. While I was convulsing, I was cussing at myself. Maybe that's normal.

A couple of exceptions that aren't really exceptions,

"Faith is knowledge of God that is acted upon"
Very true. including observing, as the action taken.

In many times, for me, Faith means get out of the way, Quit acting so quickly. Faith in God means he don't need my help. Listen, be observant, keep talking to him. That's good action. I never hear a response, he just listens and I talk to him like he is paying attention or will get the message eventually. A demonstration of faith? yes?

And then I watch for the path that is presented to me. It doesn't suck, for me, I am rewarded in service. I like serving and offering all I have. Which isn't much, but I am my worst enemy so maybe more than I realize.

I also feel I have a different realization and attitude toward death. I see mourning as selfish.

You toast to their spirit and let it go. It aint yours.

I'm rambling,

I really appreciate reading expressions similar to mine though. Thanks.

One last observation. While I am not a proponent of organized religion as it exists today. It has had it impact. Lets face it would the concept of God even be known without it.

But now that God has made his way into many minds, places like wrongplanet can be a church. I would never think of "testifying" in person. But that is sorta what I just did online, right?

So see, now I'm changing my mind about testifying, cause this has been cathartic.

But I'm not in favor of creating the importance for testifying. I appreciate the opportunity here where seemingly open minded people may relate to it. But I don't see it as a requirement of my faith.

Faith helps deal with depression, obviously.

And yes you' are absoluttely right. Its like quitting smoking. Once you decide that you are going
to quit, you are your own coach and begin to redevelop that mindset of a non-smoker. Once your Faith takes that importance to you, and creates that mindset of determination you will find the rewards. You force yourself to be more vulnerable, you force yourself to trust more, you start living differently, It take a while, For me it has anyway.

Many men would write my bio as a tragedy. Waisted potential.

My version of my life is magic. I feel like I understand much of what has happened to me in life and why and I defend my decisions along the way.

Also, when it is just you and your faith. There is alot less complaining. lol

See Ya!