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Have You Scrutinized/criticised Your Belief System Or Do You Just Believe?

1 Thessalonians 5:21:

21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

The above quoted scripture is one i find very instructive and hold very dearly too. A lot of us hold on to certain beliefs just becos we were born into it and made to believe it is the "truth". For the christians amongst us we hold unto the bible as the gospel truth, our muslims counterperts hold on to their quoran whilst our atheist friends hold on faithfully to their delusions. But the question be asked who amongst us can say that he as scrutinized his/her belief system and understands it 100%? As the above captioned verse states how many of us have put our beliefs to test and understood it before dogmatically holding on to it as truth? I am a christian and as i understand christianity better i would be makng more references to the christian belief system as i progress on this thread. As a believer i took time out to study, scrutinize and criticise by belief system and today i believe i am better off for it and have a better understanding than someone who just beliefs becos he is afraid of going to hell or he wants to make heaven. My studies took me back to study the history of christianity, the history of the bible, the make up of the various books of the bible. The effects of translation errors on doctrine [some of these errors are deliberate] The use of bible concordance to understand the bible better, why christ really came and his true gospel, our purpose in life and our future in the cosmos. The studies are endless and continous but i believe studying with a critical out of the box mind set is crucial for us to be able to truely understand and hence justify whatever we believe in and i encourage others to do same. My findings have reformed and defined my understanding of christianity as opposed to popular church version and i truely pray we all come to the understanding of the truth one day which really is out in the open if we truelly want to find it.

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Myjoe: Your earlier write-up now makes perfect sense to me. I think where I missed it was the word "religion". As a word, its probably been the most misused ever and yes, you're right. If most people lose their "religion", they will become unmanageable and absolutely amoral. Indeed, even with the cloak of "religiosity", most of us are little better than animals when left alone. Most people would say "if there's no-one there, a tree falling in a forest makes no noise" and thus what they do in the absence of audience is ok since no one knew.

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^^^ Indeed, thanks alot: you are on point, sir.

I think what he meant to say is simply that as humans, the quality of goodness and conscience rests naturally within us and we can accordingly live in such goodness to our fellow man without reference to the existence of a "God."

Or the Abrahamic ideal of "God."

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I believe what he wrote exactly was "Yes, you can be good to your fellow man for the sake of being good rather than to please God". The choice inherent in this statement gives me to believe you can be good to others "to please God". Seems a bit funny.

However, and in light of your statement, I re-read it and there's no reason to say he spoke of himself. Take it then that he was generalizing and pointing out something that is anathema to him. I apologize sincerely.

Truth be said though, its pretty disturbing to think that a personal experience can make you believe those claimed by others are an "empty shell". When someone says he is a piece of radioactive material or a cadillac, we easily disprove him. MYJOE calls himself by that name and so do I. Why? Trust. Another person could say he's lying but for such to call me a fool//bingo/ignorant etc because I TRUST MYJOE calls my own name and integrity to stake. That I see when told my belief is Blind. Prove that it is and I will keep shut. However, since based on faith, you can't so why the insult?

I hope my apology is accepted. I'm learning honestly and with an open mind

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@ Nuclearboy = i fear you have misapprehended MyJoe's post.

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@myjoe:

Would you be willing to let us know what this accident was and would you say being good to others "to please God" is right? Maybe the allegory is extreme but its (to me) like saying if your wife were to be driving drunk and hit and kill 4 children standing by the side of the road, she'd be right since she, of course, is your wife. And of course, the day you quarrel and separate, she becomes wrong!

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@myjoe

Thanx for the conytribution, much appreciated.

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I find this post as interesting as it is relevant.

I used to be a Bible-spouting Christian, belonging to a group that insists it is the genuine article as far as Christianity goes, and believing most of the things KunleOsbob believes. One day something happened - pure accident - that made me pause to re-examine a particular dogma. I found I had been lied to all my life! (Much like Einstein told us about about his coming upon scientific facts which made him realise that the state was lying to the youth by presenting the Adam fable as the true story of the beginning of man.) My findings made to be reaxamine everything, that is, my whole relationship with God and men who exercised so much influence in my life because they claim devine appointment. I found that the core of what I had held as sacred since birth was nothing but an empty shell. I found that what I thought was a bridge between God and man was nothing but some terrestrial bridge. I was devastated. It was the first time I had subjected by beliefs to serious scrutiny and it fell flat like the wall of Jericho.

My conclusion today is that religion is an empty shell. I find Humanism to be far superior. Yes, you can be good to your fellow man for the sake of being good rather than to please God. And, yes, I now agree with Freud that the idea of a big daddy up there who will come and solve my problems for me is a childlike fancy.

But nothing I have said here should be taken to be gospel. These are private views which I do not intend to package for export or propagation. The only thing I have against most religious folk is that they believe blindly. Those who can adduce a sound basis for their beliefs, I respect.

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3 times today by mukina and jarus. . . . they are angry at the constant ridicule of Allah

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@KunleOshob: « #6 on: Yesterday at 04:05:09 PM »

Only the most gullible fall for such a belief! My mother was able to willingly leave Christianity when I asked her why are you a Church goer, a Christian, a Bible reader, etc, if you do not believe all of these that Christians do believe? Alhamdulillah and I did not have to force anyone but God sees the heart and made it easy for those Whom He made Muslim!

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a few are debatable a few aren't. One has to question how perfect the bible if it even leaves openings for misinterpretations or contradictions.

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 But nevertheless I personally do not point to the "inaccuracies or inconsistencies" in other religions when evangelising mine. The bible claims an exclusivity to the truth, this is a bold and arrogant claim - from a secular perspective - and I believe it not because I have evidence but by faith. And I do not shy away from proclaiming it though I cannot prove what it is I proclaim with unshakable confidence.

Both! I heard the gospel, I believed it by faith, and all through my life I have seen the unmistakable result of believing in this gospel, I have experienced things that cannot be explained by science or rationale. This mazaje, is my evidence to me and only me, that the gospel is true. The path to truth is not a universal road, we all get there differently - some will find it in time, others will not.

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Interesting. . .The only evidence that Jesus was a miracle worker is the gospels and that is self is not an evidence. . .because if you read the works of other greek authors you will see where the write or talk about miracle working people. . .even josephus said that one emperor he wrote about died and ascended into heaven. . .

By the way did jesus not say that those that believe in him will do more wonders and magic than him so that people will see and believe?. . . .Why is it that people like you that truly believe in him are unable to do any of the things(wonders and magic) written about him even though you truly believe in him?. . . .

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True and I will readily concede transcriptional or translational errors. But you must admit, the bible as a whole body of work is very consistent and has matched up pretty closely if not perfectly with many archeaological findings (though these findings to me are not what make it credible).

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@KunleOshob

- KunleOshob

Confusion wasn't intended. Our God is not a God of confusion.

I initially mentioned Shepherd but you brought up shepherd. Remember?

Shepherd with small case letter "s" is not the same as Shepherd with capital letter "S"

I was answering your question and distincting shepherd and Shepherd

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I do not belong to the school of thought that christianity is purely based on faith, there are a lot of factual and obvious truths involved which Jesus and the apostles went to great lengths to prove, Jesus actually went around doing miracles partly to prove his divinity and the apostles also performed miracles as evidence, they just didn't tell people to believe based on faith.

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Don't you feel that there is a lil bit of double standard here? Christains claim that the bible and most of it's claims are to be accepted purely based on faith but go around attacking other religions and trying to disprove them through their historical claims, contradictions and errors that abound in their religious claims etc. . . when christains are shown their own historical errors and, contradictions and inconsistencies that abound in their own scriptures they say that faith alone is what matters. . .Is it faith that matters more or knowing that what you believe in is actually the truth?. . . .

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Kunle,

   I believe you are condensing two very seperate and distinct issues into one over-simplified statement.

1. Paul taught us to scrutinize and test everything against and in the light of scripture.

2. This is very different from testing the scriptures itself. This is an undertaking (while in itself may be somewhat profitable) I do not think we are tasked with in/by the bible.

   We are preached a gospel, and subsequently expected to choose to believe it or reject it - not necessarily charged with the mission of researching and finding means to either prove or disprove it. The gospel of Jesus Christ was not meant to be proven - but rather simply believed and accepted from "start to finish", by faith.

 Extensive historical studies on christianity and the bible are definitely good, I'm not condemning that all. But let us not elevate such extra-biblical hobbies & assignments to a level the scriptures do not necessarily give them.

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@KunleOshob

- KunleOshob

"And who is the shepherd in this case, is it God, Jesus or religious leaders"? you asked

In tandem with your question. This shepherd is the religious leader whereas this Shepherd is Jesus.

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so guys which is one is true and test proven to be held between "Your Servant Jesus Whom you sent" and "Jesus is God" both said by post Jesus ascension people? What litmus did you apply to the one you chose, since they are 180 degrees to each each oter, they cant be both 100% right or can they?

You guys came out of the gate with your subjective acceptances, so we know what your leanings are. That in itself is dishonesty. No? And you did not give educated process of how you arive at what is truth and worthy of holding on to. Critical analyss is to be expected before you give us example of what you deemed worthy to be held.

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The sheep knows the voice of the Shepherd

The Spirit of Truth's guidance is the key

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But religion as it is practised today goes beyond belief in God and higher power hence we have several different opposing religions and various sects practising the "same" religion, in fact most religions consists of doctrines of men that have been established as divine. How do you tell the difference?

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@Post

With the former? Yeah! Affirmative, 100%

Proverbs 4:7 and Proverbs 25:2 gives me the boldness

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I have definitely criticized. definitely! I have had and experienced my stages!

and I have reached the conclusion that I am incomplete without my spiritual actualization and realization. I believe in God and the truth that there is a higher power,

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