This is the problem. Smug insults make a person feel superior to others, but no meaningful discussion or transferring of ideas can happen. No analysis of the philosophical realities of life, spirituality, or truth comes from merely calling some people stupid, crazy, or diluted.
I have been around all kinds of people and have looked into the different beliefs of the world. They can't all be right. While an atheist will dismiss anything spiritual, I have not found the world to be a purely naturalistic place. Human beings are deeper than just this shallow physical world.
I have only found there to be two ways of life. Either our beliefs are man-centered or God-centered. No one really wants to take God's word seriously, because it requires humility and willingness to change.
If I have followed the world's way of thinking for years of my life, dedicated myself to humanism, and have been left empty, depressed, and suicidal, I am left with only two options. Either I continue doing the same thing or I'm willing to change. Then, if I finally start being in relationship with God, simply by seeking and following Him, and for once in my life I'm not burning in pain inside, what should I make of that?
If that's just blind emotionalism and finding a crutch in life, I wonder why said crutch is as much of a crutch as legs are crutches, as much of a crutch as sight to a blind man is a crutch.
'Kay, I opened another tab and saw you left a second comment, Drudey. It is interesting, because what you are saying is the way of humanism. Why follow a God if you can become one? Well, what I know of myself and humanity is that we make horrible gods. If the blind lead the blind, they both end up in a ditch.
I'm not here to argue or force my faith on anyone, but I do care about truth and I care about every single one of you. I've always viewed this place as where I've learned about life and made genuine friendships. That hasn't changed.
I did not say all leaders are blind. I said that if the blind are in leadership they lead people to ruin.
If a blind person chooses not to be blind, can they make themselves suddenly see? If you sit and try to explain to them what it is they are touching and what color is, but they can't see it, does that mean that physical sight and color don't exist?
A meaningful conversation can happen if we impartially seek truth and see what beliefs bear good fruit. You've already concluded that what I've said is wrong, but have you ever studied what Biblical Christianity really is? Don't take my word for something. Before you discount something, at least understand what it actually is first.
So I would start by saying I have no interest in dead religion. If what I now believe didn't line up with reality or was built on truth, I wouldn't waste my time.
I decided to look into the Bible, and see what it really says. The Protestant Reformation came about based on 5 ideas: We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), according to Scripture alone(2 Timothy 3:16-17), for the glory of God alone (Isaiah 42:8). This drew a line between it and the Catholic Church, believing that tradition and what church leaders teach should be weighed with what Scripture says. To me this makes sense. Is something really what God says or what man says?
The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and that everything was in a state of perfection. Adam and Eve were given a choice, a free will, to decide if they would obey what God told them or rebel and seek godhood themselves. They chose the latter, causing separation from God and becoming captive to sin, leading to death and decay.
Right after their fall God promised the Messiah would come to make the way of salvation and destroy the works of the devil (Genesis 3:15). The Old Testament is filled with prophecy of who the Messiah would be, what He would do, His laying down of His life to cleanse man of sin (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22), and His reign as King for eternity (Psalm 110, Psalm 2).
The penalty of sin is death, and the only way man could approach God in the Old Testament was through the blood of a lamb or other certain animals. The design of the tabernacle and the temples all center around the need to be made clean and sinless to come into the presence of God. (Genesis 3:21)
The law was brought in under Moses to reveal God's standard of holiness. Jesus even taught the law is deeper than just what happens on the outside. If we burn in hatred toward someone, we have killed them in our hearts (Matthew 5:21-22). If we burn in lust, we've already committed that act with them with our hearts (Matthew 5:27-28). Who we are and what we do flows out of what we believe and are willing to do in our hearts (Mark 7:14-16).
So, obviously, all of humanity has failed this test. No one keeps the law. No one naturally desires the things of God. (Psalm 14:1-3)
The Bible teaches that the whole law comes down to this: Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love people as you love yourself (Mark 12:28-31). The commandments of the Bible are love, but what does love really mean? Is love a feeling that comes and goes? Is love based only on what someone can give me, or whether they affirm what I want to believe and hear?
The Greek language recognised there are different types of "love". Agape love is sacrificial love. It is the love that causes you to lay your life down for someone, to give up so another can have, to forgive someone who has hurt you.
The Bible teaches that is what Jesus Christ did by going to the cross for us. God doesn't want people to go to hell. He doesn't want people to suffer and die. He was willing to descend from the perfection of Heaven and literally bear the punishment we deserve. He calls the Church His Bride, and His plan for humanity has always been that we would dwell in His presence in love forever. (John 3:16-21)
But love cannot be forced. It requires a response, to receive it or reject it. God honors that freedom, and we all make a choice to enter the presence of love, goodness, peace, joy, truth, and light, or not. The difference is humility or pride. Humility can accept that we're the ones who must change to be brought back into what is right, but pride cannot. Pride only wants to get its way and receive glory for itself, even if that glory isn't based on truth and eventually leads to ruin.
So if the Bible makes so many claims, how can we know it is true and not just some made up story from the Bronze Age? Well, there are many ways to test it. In my life I have seen the difference between people who actually practice what they preach versus those who don't.
Christianity wouldn't have formed for a desire of power and control. In the first century, if you merely wanted to control people, you would have sought political power in Rome or, if you were in Israel, religious power among the Pharisees. Becoming a Christian meant you had a high chance of being crucified, fed to beasts in the colosseums, or any of the other creative ways of murder that were common in those days. All throughout the Bible taking God at His Word could cost you your life. Ask the prophets.
I've seen people forgive their persecutors, withstand torture, receive healings for physical and mental illnesses, and entire lives change from darkness to light. I've seen the historical evidence and the magnitude of creation.
But most of all, for me, I've experienced God in my own life. I've experienced salvation as well as probably one of the most difficult things a human being can do: be humbled to repentance and let God do the work of sanctification in my life.
This is what happens for a spiritually blind man to regain spiritual sight. He can't do it for himself. He has to let the Healer diagnose his problem, and he has to be willing to receive treatment. If he thinks he knows better than the doctor, and doesn't heed the doctor's order, he will remain blind.
I searched for meaning in many things. I thought romantic relationships as well as the beauty of art, music, and storytelling would fulfill me. They didn't. I looked for someone to help me get through life, but clung to people like a drowning woman in the ocean, pulling them down with me. No one can bear another human being's despair. They can't bear their own.
If faith in God is just a crutch, legs are a crutch. Why can't the torso get by without them? Stupid, weak torso. Living by truth is such a crutch in life. Can't you be strong enough to live on lies? That house that is built on a rock isn't strong enough to stand on sand when the storm comes. Pathetic house.
The Gospel glorifies God. Every other way seeks the glorification of man.
I agree with having humbleness and confidence. The question becomes what are we confident in? If I'm humble, I can admit my own weakness. My confidence is in Christ. If I can trust God to be everything He claims to be, I don't have to fear the future. He hasn't failed me, so my confidence is in a safe place. :3