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Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
08-16-2013, 12:23 AM
Post: #1
Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
If so in what way?
What caused these changes and why?
Are changes in belief a sign of growth or just that people change?
Do you feel you have grown wiser as your beliefs have changed?

Please be respectful of each other.


I was raised a Protestant Christian. To be percise a Baptists. But I am not a Protestant any longer. I do not fit in any group so I named my brand of Christianity the Narrow Way.
Over the years my beliefs have changed based on personal experiences ranging from spiritual experiences to non-spiritual experiences. They also might have been effected by my interest in other faiths as I have spent a lot of time trying to understand other religions.

I use to believe in "Free Grace", "the blood of the lamb", and eternal torture among other things but over the years I lost those beliefs and they where replaced with other beliefs. Such as reincarnation.
I still identify myself as a Christian though my approach is more about the spiritual nature of the faith. I am sort of pious at least to the extent that I have a morale code and do my best not to stray from it. I believe Jesus is Messiah and son of god but I do not believe he was a sacrifice or that he was god. I do not worship Christ as I did when I was younger. I tend to put more importance on personal revelation than on scripture.
I would like to hope I've grown more open minded.
As of now I am not sure if there is only one god or multiply gods, all I am sure of is the existince of my own god.
I believe a personal spiritual experience is important and that one should pray and meditate daily. I did not always believe meditation was important but I do now.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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08-16-2013, 01:13 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2013 07:10 AM by KellyKep.)
Post: #2
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Quote:Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Yes, positively.

Quote:If so in what way?
I understand what I believed then better than I had ever when I was young.

Quote:What caused these changes and why?
I began to study the Bible more when I became doubtful. Instead of looking elsewhere, I went back to the Bible to look for answers - and there I found harmony and symmetry in all. I have never seen contradictions as others have.

Quote:Are changes in belief a sign of growth or just that people change?
I don't know. I would like to think that it is a sign of spiritual growth and maturity.

Quote:Do you feel you have grown wiser as your beliefs have changed?
I have, but only insofar as God allows and without claiming that to the point of excluding God.

Quote:I use to believe in "Free Grace"
What do you understand about free grace?

Quote:I do not worship Christ as I did when I was younger...
Why not?

Quote: I did not always believe meditation was important but I do now.
I do too. But I believe that it should be complemented by reading the Word. Without it, our meditations open our innermost mental recesses to be preyed easily upon by all sorts of other ideas. Only by basing upon Bible can we know what is wrong and right.
Well, unless of course, if you have replaced the Bible with something else.
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08-16-2013, 01:26 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2013 01:28 AM by Azrael17.)
Post: #3
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
I was taught at church when I was younger that Jesus was god,
But I don't believe that any more I believe he was just gods son, I do not believe in the trinity and so to me Christ worship is a sin that I avoid.

Free Grace can be defined as: " the idea that Jesus died for our sins and that all we must do is believe on the "blood of the lamb" doctrine to be saved, that once a person is saved no amount of good or bad deeds done effect the outcome of their afterlife they automatically go to paradise no matter what." Some call this eternal security. I feel this false doctrine makes people more willing to sin and less likely to do good.

In contrast to that I now believe that we are saved by repenting with a willful intent to improve for the better. Good works are necesary for salvation and are a sign of a true believer. The ultimate good deed is to be loving for from out of love arises all other possible good deeds.

If you have further questions about what I use to believe or what I believe now just ask.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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08-16-2013, 01:36 AM
Post: #4
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Was raised nothing-in-particular. My parents answered questions when I asked them, and I never asked them "does god exist?" At least, not that I can recall. When I asked them questions that could be answered scientifically, they gave me (or helped me to find) the scientific answers. When I asked where people came from, they explained evolution to me, and got a book about it from the library.

Was sort of a defacto atheist -- I never even gave it much thought until my family moved to North Carolina. There I was surrounded by Christians. And I wasn't one; I didn't know their songs, understand their mythological references, understand why nobody could ever do anything on sundays. I found that generally, when the subject of their beliefs came up, other kids turned into assholes when they realized I didn't believe the same things they did. So I guess that's when I started thinking of myself as an atheist.

Over the last year or two though (owing largely to having spent so much time here), I'd say my views have changed a bit, or at least become more nuanced. I still don't believe in the Judeo-Christian God, but in the last few years I've learned so much more about other concepts of gods in which one could believe. And some of those concepts don't even contradict my atheism, as strange as that sounds.

Lately, I've more and more identified as a pantheist. I'm still an atheist with regards to the Judeo-Christian concept of god; but I've learned so much more about what other concepts of god are out there over the last few years, so calling myself an atheist at this point seems like it doesn't really tell the whole story.

I guess "pantheist" feels more or less right at the moment. I think god is quite apt as a metaphor for the sum total of all the natural laws of the universe, and I think it completely fair to call these laws divine. But I don't believe in anything supernatural; I don't believe there is anything in the universe that operates outside the laws of physics. We may not yet have a perfect understanding of those laws, but I believe that the universe has at its core a set of laws that can never be broken. Which means I don't believe in miracles, I don't believe in the afterlife, and I don't believe in the power of prayer.

No single step in the search for enlightenment should ever be considered sacred; only the search should.
-Ann Druyan
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08-16-2013, 03:40 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2013 04:01 AM by KellyKep.)
Post: #5
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Quote:Free Grace can be defined as: " the idea that Jesus died for our sins and that all we must do is believe on the "blood of the lamb" doctrine to be saved, that once a person is saved no amount of good or bad deeds done effect the outcome of their afterlife they automatically go to paradise no matter what."
That, to me, is an inaccurate theology. There is grace but there is no such a thing as 'free grace'. For if it was free, there would not be any need for sacrifice. As well, with grace, there is also mercy and love. Grace is given to us because God is merciful. It is the unmerited favor we find in the eyes of God.

But with mercy comes justice. I wish to know your take on these, in reference to how they play out in the Bible - grace, mercy, justice, and love.

Quote:In contrast to that I now believe that we are saved by repenting with a willful intent to improve for the better.
Yes, but only insofar as the Holy Spirit enlightens. Without this intervention, we will never know right from wrong and therefore, never come to repentance. Consider:
John 16:13 New International Version (NIV)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
So, the work of repentance is really that of the Holy Spirit. We exercise our free-will to obey or not.

Quote:Good works are necesary for salvation and are a sign of a true believer.
Yes, only when exercised through an authentic faith. Consider:

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


Quote:The ultimate good deed is to be loving for from out of love arises all other possible good deeds.
And this is also of the Holy Spirit. Consider:
Ga:5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love: .... So love is a truth that the Holy Spirit should help us to understand. Without Him/Her, we can never understand the different dimensions of love because,
1 John 4:8 (NIV)
8 "..., because God is love."
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08-16-2013, 05:30 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2013 05:34 AM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #6
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
The "Free Grace" Azrael refers to, Kelly, is Free Grace theology.

It is essentially the fusion of Arminianism's free will concept and Calvinism's "Perseverance of the Saints" doctrine. It takes the most apparently-appealing aspects of these two doctrines and (lazily in my opinion) joins them together.

Basically, Free Grace theology goes like this:

- Everyone can be saved (Arminian).
- There is no predestined elect (Arminian).
- Man and God work together to have man saved (Arminian)
- Man can not lose salvation once saved (Calvinistic)
- The saved know they are saved because of their initial conversion, and have assurance of eternal life from the moment of initial conversion (neither Arminian or Calvinistic)

In Arminianism, after conversion, it is possible to resist God's saving grace by falling away from unity with Christ through heavy sin and apostasy. Good works are done to make faith alive rather than dead.

In Calvinism, God saves the elect, so they can not resist converting because his grace is irresistible, and therefore they won't die as apostates. But if they're the true elect, they will be a light unto the world, performing good works. If they are not a light unto the world, performing good works, then they never were the elect in the first place.

In both (classical) Arminianism and Calvinism, good works are a tell-tale sign of the security of one's salvation. It isn't accepting Jesus as your savior that is a tell-tale sign of the eternal security of salvation. Free Grace Christians tend to be Southern Baptists, Independent Fundamental Baptists, Nondenominationalists, or Neocharismatics ("Third Wave Pentecostals"). The Plymouth Brethren are the original Free Grace denomination however. They go back to the 19th century, but in the 19th century, Free Grace was unpopular, and was called "Antinomianism", and Antinomianism was heresy in mainstream Catholicism and Protestantism since the beginning of Christianity. Since modern Christianity is so heavily fractured, and so uninterested in theology but more in "personal salvation", most Christians don't even know that the type of "Christian" they are (Free Grace), which they often think is the "only" type of true Christianity, was always accepted as heresy back when mainstream Christianity actually cared more about theology (that is, before the 20th century).

The problem with Free Grace is that you can be a heavy sinner and assured entry into Heaven, something both classical Arminianism and classical Calvinism do not allow (or any other type of Christianity for that matter). Additionally, as a corollary, many Free Grace Christians believe that every other non-Free Grace Christians is "Legalistic" in putting works ahead of faith, and therefore say they're not really saved, and going to be damned regardless of good intentions.

Furthermore, it's Free Grace Christians who have perfected the modern art of "Bible Thumping". They also know they have no serious challengers, which allows them to monopolize Christendom with their doctrine. Just look at the Christian media today: the channels, the programs, the ministries, the pamphlets, the booklets, the books, the videos, the websites, etc. It all promotes Free Grace without any "denominational baggage". These guys say they're Christian, nothing else, and it's this kind of populistic hyper-individualism that appeals to the masses if the masses know little about theology and Christian history and even the Bible itself. Because if everyone's doing it, it must be right, isn't that correct? This is what causes so many other Christians to join the Free Grace "Evangelical" movement...the pressure and the flock mentality and the monopolization of the Bible and media and the fact no bold theologians are making as big impressions on the whole Christian world as they ought to. But search them, and you'll find them...and I mean lots of them.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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08-16-2013, 06:12 AM (This post was last modified: 08-16-2013 07:07 AM by KellyKep.)
Post: #7
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Wow...... So much for being a Christian. I am flabbergasted. I've never known this to exist in the Christendom. But I still stick to my Bible.
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08-16-2013, 06:57 AM
Post: #8
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
I assume you mean beliefs that pertain to religion? Because I should hope that everyone's had many beliefs that have been changed dramatically since they were kids Tongue


But yes, my religious positions and beliefs have changed. When I was very young I was religious and went church. Sometime around middle school I stopped going and was more an apatheist. Then sometime in high school I became interested in the topic and declared myself an agnostic holding that god's existence was 50/50. During my early years of college I went to student-run bible study a lot and stated participating in religious conversations much more frequently, but this led me further toward atheism, especially when I realized that high uncertainty to the most fundamental questions of the universe entailed not that god's likelihood was 50/50, but that any specific concept of God as a hypothesis (as opposed to a pseudonym for whatever the truth happens to be) was very unlikely a priori with some specific God hypotheses being especially unlikely. My arguments also continued to be refined as I learned more formal reasoning methods (e.g., probability theory).

So yeah, they've changed a lot and even now are still refined.
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08-16-2013, 01:12 PM
Post: #9
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
@Shiver: While where on the subject of types of Christianity has there ever been any groups that emphasized Good Works and Repentance as an important part of Salvation? What was the name of the belief opposing "free grace?"

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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08-16-2013, 06:01 PM
Post: #10
RE: Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger?
Quote:Have your beliefs changed from when you where younger? If so in what way?

Yes. I was baptized Roman Catholic as a baby and was raised in a Catholic school. I am now an agnostic Atheist.


Quote:What caused these changes and why?

My parents never seemed to care much about religion and we never went to church, so I only attended mass through school (my grandparents were the hardcore Catholics). Any time I raised doubt about the Catholic faith in school I was either scolded or treated like an idiot. After realizing that my questions were not welcome and my beliefs did not align with the Catholic church, I started reading about other religions and realized that I don't believe that any of them are right, and that we really don't (or can't) know the truth at this point in our existence.

Quote:Are changes in belief a sign of growth or just that people change?

The changes are most definitely a sign of growth. We all ask questions and find answers that suit our goal of better understanding our own existence. That could be with a religion or a disbelief in religions, but each person will always continue to grow spiritually as they learn more about their world.

Quote:Do you feel you have grown wiser as your beliefs have changed?

I feel like I have learned a lot being raised in a Catholic school and I have learned a lot discussing my current beliefs with people of various faiths. I am constantly growing wiser as I continue to ask questions and find more questions (and the odd answer).
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