Ok,, before you answer, please read everything that i’ve written. i have a very specific question and i don’t want to waste your time or mine by having you answer a question that i didn’t ask.
assuming that a person can even choose their beliefs, why should i go with jesus?
please don’t answer…
I think people should choose to believe in whatever they feel best reflects the core of their own being after a period of deep reflection and soul-searching, so if Zeus or Vishnu does that for you (although I’m not sure where you will find accurate worship information about Zeus beyond some old Hercules cartoons) then good for you!!! I’m not going to tell you anything different but I do my own work through my actions so if you were to see something you like in how I treat others (which obviously isn’t able to be translated through the internet), I would expect someone who is searching for that special something that reflects their own inner core to ask me what I believe and perhaps follow to learn more.
As such, it is Jesus’ example of doing good works that attracted those to follow along to find out more that best represents my own beliefs in how to spread goodness and justice to the world around me. Yes, Jesus was a preacher but you will see in the Bible that he always attracted the crowd with an act of charity or kindness that caused people to ask more because it was something they were drawn to as well. Those Christians who mindlessly beat Bible passages on others and spew hatred for those who don’t agree reall have missed the point.
I’ve examined pretty much every other faith out there in my own personal dark ages years ago and ultimately came back to the beliefs of my upbringing. Maybe part of it is merely a product of my upbringing imprinting those beliefs into me but upon intense and continuing introspection I have found that I have co-opted small things from the many other religions that have touched me, as well as gained the strength to fight those I found to be malignant.
That’s how I came to the point I am at today in a nutshell. If it helps you at all, I would describe myself as largely Roman Catholic but with minor upgrades. 😉
Edit: And btw, I did take the time to read the whole question so maybe I’m an act of God. ;P
Edit 2: To the morons replying that Zeus is a myth, the truth (which is clearly beyond you people) is that Zeus was indeed a full-fledged deity worshipped by the Greek in ancient times. If you call Zeus a myth then I suspect your kind will also call Jesus a myth as well given enough time.
Edit 3: to respond to some of your additional information (dude you just go on and on); first, I agree with your take on prayer and the probability of coincidence. Personally it annoys me how some people seem to believe that Jesus is like some genie who grants wishes when you put your hands together (how debasing of an attitude is that for someone who is *supposed* to be a Supreme Being?). I also agree with your take on miracles as outlined in the Bible and how Jesus really isn’t all that special among other historical figures in other religions like Buddha, Moses, Mohammad, etc. As for myself, I don’t mean to try to portray myself as any more special or holy a person than the next guy because Lord knows I have my tragic flaws and I also can’t judge another person’s connection with the divine. I just think that I comparatively have a very well-developed process for my own exploration and growth and that very few people do the same, choosing instead to leap blindly on “faith” without truly comprehending the word. You say “there’s a big difference between whether a religion is true and whether it’s a good code for running one’s life” but I would counter that you need to find a good code for your life so as to discover the truth of religion. In my mind and experience, the one leads to the other. In fact, all the historical figureheads of religion do the same (revelation through personal trial and introspection). This is going to sound EXTREMELY corny but it is a good yet accessible analogy in my mind: remember in The Matrix where Morpheus says that one cannot explain what the matrix is but that it must be experienced to be understood? The same holds true for Jesus, God, universal truth in general; I cannot explain to you why I know Jesus is God and Truth because we don’t have a common enough spritual language with which to discuss it, and even if we did it may still not result in the ability to meaningfully dialogue the answer you are looking for. All I can do is to point to the path and help you make the journey and hope you have the strength and perserverence to see it through for yourself.
Oh and for the record, evolution and science are not mutually exclusive to faith and God. In fact Catholicism teaches that many stories in the Bible are just stories and that science does not contradict religion, but that religion has a place of guiding science with a sense of morality. In fact the Vatican is probably among the most progressive when it comes to sciences as they run many of the top astronomy labs and telescope arrays in the world. But most people don’t know that and instead judge a religion by the wacked out zealots they encounter in the street. 😉
I’m so glad *answers* are not limited to 1000 characters at a time. ;P
Edit 4: maybe you’ll read this before your next round of dealing with me. 😉 I think the stumbling block you are hitting in finding your answer is in thinking that the answer is knowable through the mind. Now hear me out: the way I look at it, there are things that can be perceived by the logical mind and then there are things that are perceived by the emotional/spiritual mind’s eye (or even that gut feeling). Now what you are striving for is a logical reason why Jesus is God from a classically mathematical point of view; you essentially want a proof. But could you expect someone to give you a written proof as to why the Mona Lisa is a great painting? Most people wouldn’t dispute the greatness reflected in DaVinci’s work but it can’t be quantified in a logical sense. Instead you *feel* it with a different range of senses, just as humans do for all things pertaining to art. Can you tell me why you love things that you do? Why do you love your mother? I would say that knowing things in the realm of the divine also fall into this category of what I’ll call “spiritual logic” where once you have exposed yourself to the various possibilities that one resonates on a spiritual level to a much higher degree than the others. This of course is why the journey is always important in all religions because it is only through self-exploration that we develop the senses necessary to truly know God in a meaningful way. Spiritual truth cannot be arrived at using the same methods as science and mathematics, which is where I feel you are having a problem and will always have a problem in trying to resolve the two.
But who knows…maybe my continuing journey will eventually lead me to to a higher truth that contradicts what I believe to be truth now. You could be right that Jesus may not be God (or maybe they are all God in one form or another and it is only mankind’s ego that has inserted the need for one version to be exclusive over all others) but you don’t actually believe this from any position of knowledge but from a lack of knowledge. This is why the journey is a integral part of finding the answer for anyone.
Well, I can really only tell you about my own experience. I’m not a theologian or anything, so I’m not sure how ‘logical’ or ‘comparative’ you will find it. But it’s true.
I was raised in a christain family (a missionary family, actually), so I new the Way–intellectually. But I was always a questioner. Like you, I wondered about other religions. When I went to college and decided to major in philosophy, my dad was worried that it would make me question my faith. I told him that a faith that can’t survive questioning, isn’t worth having. (He understood.) I studied so many philosophies and religions. I actually practiced Buddhism for a couple of years.
But this is why I returned to the Way of Jesus: When I meditated for hours and hours and hours at a time, Buddha never responded to me with any sign or sense that I was on the right path. When I prayed, to God, at first it was the same thing, but as I really became more honest with God in my prayers, and acknowledged my deepest self (hopes, fears, dreams, loves, desires) …he responded. Jesus responded. I hear his voice. I know it sounds really out there, but I hear him. I know he cares. And I know it’s really cliche, but what can I say–it’s true: I have an actual relationship with the one who created the universe.
Some churches can be very helpful (and some are less so) in your quest. Philosophy may be helpful or unhelpful. I actually have learned quite a lot from reading the writings of different Rabbis. Jesus was a practicing Jew, and he didn’t find his Way to be contradictory to the Law of Moses and the Prophets. I do know that there is no shortcut to being painfully honest with yourself and your God.
I believe that anyone who honestly searches for relationship with God can find it. I’m not that special. If I can connect, then anyone can. I’m hoping the best for you.
Ok, I’m not going to be able to your question for a simple reason, you can’t prove that any religion is false, mainly because it is extremely hard to prove that things don’t exist at all, such as the Easter bunny, or aliens, ect.
I just had a suggestion, and a comment. If you want to find the truth so badly, maybe you should find it yourself, take your own advice and find what you think is true.
And a comment, I like the way you think, you don’t tend to believe what people tell you without proving it first, your not afraid to ask questions, and you defend yourself using logic. You may want to consider a career in Computer Programming.
Good luck finding your truth, and a VERY well done question and responses.
I was raised in a Christian home, so it has pretty much been all I have ever known, although there were years when I did not participate or practice my faith. So I know how it feels to live both ways, and I know Christianity is all that will ever work for me. And when comparing to other beliefs, who profess to be THE only way, you just have to study, compare and believe in what works for you. There is no way to intellectually explain Christianity because it deals, at it’s most basic level, with faith – you either believe or you don’t. I believe God created the world and all that lives in it, that Jesus was his perfect son who came to fulfill His promise of redemption to a dying world, and that He is alive and active today. But that’s what it takes: faith and belief – that’s the only way it makes any sense.
The basic tenet of Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ came to earth as a perfect man, God’s son, born of a virgin,and was obedient to the Cross – He took on the sins of the world, died, laid in a tomb 3 days and was raised from the dead before going to Heaven. There are countless reports of this in letters from a physician (Luke), and others. There are also accounts in the Old Testament of God’s intervention, deliverance and guidance before Christ’s birth, all recorded by people who saw and experienced the stories they record. If we believe history books and accounts, written by people long dead & gone, who don’t we believe the Bible – same thing.
After you accept Christ as your Savior & turn your heart/life over to Him, it’s a matter of believing and faith. You either believe Him and the Bible, accepting them as truth (the Bible being the inspired word of God), or you don’t. And there’s a lot that seems unbelievable: walking on water, rising from the grave, all the healing & miracles. But as your relationship grows (by prayer, which is talking with Him, and studying the Bible, which is his way of communicating with us) and you get to “know” Him, life takes on a whole other dimension and He becomes more real.
His love is unconditional, His devotion to you unlike any you will find from mere mortals on earth, and His power overcomes everything we come up against. Doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that life becomes a cakewalk. The devil is alive and well, and life happens. But now you have an Answer, a Problem Solver, someone who sticks closer than a brother and will NEVER leave or forsake you.
Everyone has to answer that question for themselves. I just know that my life has been more hopeful, purposeful, peaceful and fulfilling living with Him than without. I am divorced, raised a child by myself, and have had really tough times, but in them I have found joy, peace, comfort and real answers to prayer that just are not explainable otherwise.
Bottom line: you either choose to believe or not. I respect those who believe otherwise, I just don’t agree with them. And when you get to the question of Eternity and where you will spend it, if there is ANY truth to Hell, I’m gonna do whatever I have to do avoid it. Heaven sounds like a much better alternative to nothingness or eternal torment. That alone makes Christianity worth the choice to me, plus all the great fringe benefits 🙂
You and I were created to live in a relationship with God. Until we find that relationship there will always be something missing in our lives. As a result, as I was (people) are aware of a gap, like an emptiness deep inside, like a chunk missing in our soul.
People try to fill this emptiness in various ways (as I used to). Some try to close the gap with money, success, work, music, sport, and although there may not be anything wrong with these things in themselves, they do not satisfy that hunger deep inside every human being.
Others try excess alcohol drugs or even sexual promiscuity, but they leave you feeling hollow afterwards.
Even the closest relationships, wonderful though they are, do not in themselves satisfy this emptiness deep inside. Nothing will fill this gap except the relationship with God for which we were made.
God satisfies my hunger for life beyond death.
Before I was a Christian I did not like to think about the subject of death, as most people don’t. We all long to survive beyond death. Only in Jesus Christ do we find eternal life. For our relationship with God, which starts now, survives death and goes on into eternity.
He also satisfies my hunger for forgiveness. We all do things wrong, sometimes we do things of which we are deeply ashamed. More than that there is a self-centredness about our lives which spoils them.
By Jesus death on the cross He made it possible for us to be forgiven and brought back into a relationship with god. In this way He supplied the answer to my deepest need.
I know that Christianity is true because we can test its claims. It is based on historical faith, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. My faith is based on firm historical evidence.
Jesus is the centrepiece of our civilisation. After all, we call what happened before Him ‘BC’ and what happened after Him ‘AD’
The evidence for the physical resurrection is very strong indeed. When the disciples went to the tomb they found that the grave clothes had collapsed and that Jesus’ body was absent.
In the next 6 weeks, following, he was seen by over 500 people. The disciples’ lives were transformed and the Christian Church was born, and then grew at a dynamic rate.
God has given me a plan and purpose for my life. As I look back over the years, I see that He has guided me and led me and made me into the person I am today. He has been with me through the most devastating of experiences, and I have learned to trust Him more as the years have gone by. He is a faithful God.
I asked this same question once on a Christian message board, and after 20 pages of responses, could not get one, good solid answer. The huge flaw with Christianity is that you are to believe in its major tenets SOLELY ON FAITH. Other religions do that, as well, but when someone asks, “Why do I have to have faith in your religion?”, the other religions reply, “You don’t. Go find the one you want to have faith in.” And that makes everyone happy. Christianity doesn’t respond this way. And that’s when people get upset, get confused and get lost. My friend, Christianity is not for you; you’ve seen through the BS and want something else. Go on, worship Shiva or Vishnu or Allah or whomever you want to. And, if you do feel that Jesus is the one for you, check out modern Gnostic Christianity. It’s still around and is the way all Christianity should be.
Btw, the Bible is not historically correct or any of that garbage; if it were, we’d probably be using it as history books, wouldn’t we? Do some research if you want to know more.
Most likely because your question is about Jesus? Please realize that the offered answers are just offerings, you can ignore them if you so please, but why? Don’t you realize that your questioning a faith system, not an individuals belief? There is a difference; we all can believe that the police will enforce the speed laws, even while others around us are going twenty miles an hour over that speed limit, but not everyone has the faith to believe it, and will follow the faster vehicle never noticing their speed. One day, I was doing this and the policeman passed me by after I pulled over to get the original speeder, but not all police officers are so diligent, however I digress, can you see how beliefs and faiths are different now?
This is difficult question for a believer to answer even though most believers don’t know this. It’s like asking how do you know the sky is blue or that the sun is going to come up in the morning. I believe because I have experienced the reality of an interaction with the creator.
Why should you believe?
Peace, happiness, love, belonging, satisfaction, forgiveness.
He is only one that can and has done what is necessary to make these a reality.
How do I know this? I have experience in a way that is not likely to be a delusion.
You seem to be honestly searching and if you are keep it up with an open heart and you will find what you are looking for. I hope this the type of answer you are looking for but you know and I know the medium is limited. I hope I haven’t waisted you time.
what you have told me through your questions and answers you dont know what to believe but you are not open to other peoples personal experences. you have made it kind of hard to this answer but ill do it.
jesus came from heaven to save us all from our sins. i kno that from this sentance you are allready thinking that “how do i kno that this is true” well you dont, not yet. so please keep reading. all the stories in the bible talk of a man called jesus and as far as most people kno this is all just a myth. but it is not a myth not according to me.scientest have found proof that some of the stories in the bible are true, but i said some and still why should you believe??
why not believe?? we have to face it some of us are going to go to hell but im pretty convinced it wont be me. think of it this way have you ever met a christian that has been depressed or thinking about commiting suicide??? i havent. but think about all the poor muslims or budists dont they all seem sad or depressed about somthing ? now i dont kno why they are sad but i have a pretty good guess. look at all the rules they have to follow i mean its called a RELIGEON for a reason…rules. me as a christian i dont have a religeon i have a relationship with the one jesus that there is and ever will be. so many things in my life have changed as i get closer and closer to the one called Jesus. event if there isnt a god my life has changed dramaticly since i have “met” him. my point is that why shouldnt you believe, some of us are going to go to hell rathar we like it or not. but if you can live your life always feeling sincere were you are going after you die is it not worth believeing?
Jesus, Zeus, Thor all are NOTHING compared to Vishnu or Shiva, trust me. Read some Hindu mythology it’s fascinating and you’ll agree that it is much more complex, interesting, and involved then any other group of gods. Christianity is not the answer. Why do you think christian missionaries are all over the world trying to convert others??? They are insecure and feel that if other’s convert then they will have accomplished something or done something with a purpose. Hinduism on the other hand doesn’t actively try and convert anyone. It is such a relaxing religion, the requirements aren’t many or complex, and you don’t have to go to temple every sunday maybe a few times a month, and during religious festivals. VISHNU,SHIVA,BRAHMA before all others…….
Looking through your question it seems that no matter what any person has to say you’ll have a reason why it is not good enough.
So I say this, no person can answer your question. Nothing a person could say could change your opinion on why you should believe.
Revelation, wisdom, insight, from the Holy Spirit may answer your question. So, pray, and be open to whatever answer comes to you. ^_^. … If that’s what you happened to be doing before coming here >> << >> ^^;;;; oops X3; In the end we were given free will, believe what you wish. If Christ appeals to you more than the rest that’s your own decision to make. You can listen to books worth of people’s opinions and stories, but it’ll be the Holy Spirit that touches your heart.
God bless ^_^.