I'm losing my faith in Christianity and am strongly considering Agnosticism... Help?
Ok, well first off I'm 17. I've been losing my faith in God for many reasons and I'm on the brink of totally trashing it and taking up a form of Agnosticism (Basically I believe in logic, science, etc. but do not ignore the fact there could be a being(s) beyond comprehension surpassing physical laws and others.)
I have been angry towards most Christians for a while now, I find their ignorance offensive, even though I consider myself a Christian. I feel like whenever I see something on facebook or somewhere else on the internet I want to counter it with scientific proof and how they're bigots and don't seem to understand not everybody believes what they believe. I have also recognized many fallacies and just things that make no sense in the Bible and also things that I feel a loving God would not do (Yes, I know God works in mysterious ways, but there are seriously questionable things in there).
I started SERIOUSLY considering Agnosticism these past fews days after getting into science (More specifically Astronomy) when I learned about the vast galaxies, universes, and how insignificant we are. How there is so much more life out there. I can understand how God could have created it all and watch over other extraterrestrials(Which is never mentioned in the bible), but the scientific methods are also much more logical and interesting (Yet mostly theories, which will takes thousands of years to figure out). I can't seem to bring myself to believe that a god created all of that and yet still have all the flaws the bible often depicts. It just makes no sense to me.
Back to Christianity- I have accepted Christ as my saviour (Numerous times, actually, because I feel like some of the times I didn't know what I was asking for). If I accepted him as my savior how am I feeling this way? I've done some bad things in my life (Sex, illegal substances, stealing, lots of other criminality), and I know God forgives all of that (There is a verse somewhere in John that addresses it)- But how am I straying so far from him and his principles if I have accepted him as my savior? Did I do something wrong when accepting him? I still believe in SOME of His morals, and I'm not a bad person for the most part.
How, as a saved Christian my whole life, have I come to the brink of denying his principles and possibly existence? How have I come to the point of seriously questioning this and believing he does not exist?
I feel like I'm only keeping my faith so I don't go to hell... And I remember there being a verse saying that Christ will deny me if I do that? (I don't recall the exact verse, if you know it please tell me). But if I'm 'saved' and turn away from God that means I'm going to hell? Some verses say I will, but some say I won't. Why does it contradict itself?
SO many other people believe in their OTHER gods just as much as Christians believe in THEIRS. They ALL think they are right.
I'm sorry if this all makes no sense and if I'm repetitive, but it's a very frightening issue and my heart is divided on this issue and I can not decide this without help. This is a serious issue that will potentially change my life forever.
I'm going to be praying all the rest of the week, and see if anything might sway me from choosing agnosticism.
Please help me. This is a difficult part of my life. I would like answers from Both Christians AND Agnostics/Athiests please.
too long;didn't read: I don't know if I should leave my Christian faith for Agnosticism/Athiesm and need help choosing.
- 9 years agoFavorite Answer
Part 1 of 2, from Dalinian
Firstly, let me celebrate your honesty, candour, and vulnerability in asking for help in this way. It’s so refreshing to ‘meet’ a young man who exhibits such open hearted courage in revealing his doubts about the religious faith in which he was raised. I salute your bravery, my friend. So now let’s address some of your substantive issues.
“I started SERIOUSLY considering Agnosticism these past fews days after getting into science (More specifically Astronomy) when I learned about the vast galaxies, universes, and how insignificant we are.”
<applauds> I know how you feel – I’ve a life-long fascination with scientific astronomy and cosmology, from the age of 10, when I used the telescope my Dad gave me to show him the rings of Saturn and the Galilean moons of Jupiter. Two of the reasons why practically all cosmologists are atheists are that (1) not only are there no more significant gaps in scientific cosmology for a ‘God of the gaps’ to explain away, but also (2) there’s simply mountains of evidence that from the Plank time after the Big Bang (10^-43 seconds) to now (c. 13.7 billion years later), nothing but natural laws and processes have determined how our cosmos has evolved over time.
But I’d caution against feeling insignificant – for more, see my previous ‘Best Answer’ at:
• How do you respond to the modern notions of the immense size and age of the universe?
In particular, I’m with Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams in believing that discovering the truth about the immense size and age of our universe emphasises how important we are in being able to comprehend...
• ‘The View from the Center of the Universe – Discovering our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos’
» website – http://viewfromthecenter.com
» video download, 303 MB – http://viewfromthecenter.com/files/NASA-Ames-Lectu...
“I've done some bad things in my life (sex...”
Despite the Christian dogmatism, sex is absolutely NOT a “bad thing”. Our sexuality – straight, gay, bi, trans – is as natural and good as our capacities for altruistic kindness and loving our friends. Get self-educated in safer sex techniques, to optimise sexual health for you and your sex partners, and enjoy expressing your sexuality – it’s a major part of what makes you human, and deserves to be celebrated, not repressed as in the conventional Christian tradition.
The other risky activities you mention are all pretty standard for your age; the more you comprehend what we know collectively about the physiology, patterns and experiences of teenage risk-taking behaviour, the more empowered you’ll be to make more well-founded decisions in the future; for instance, see:
• ‘Teenage Risk-Taking: Teenage Brains Really Are Different From Child Or Adult Brains’, in ScienceDaily, 2008
» more info – http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Teenage+risk+taki...
» Google scholar – http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=Teenage+risk...
“I'm not a bad person for the most part”
Despite the appallingly demeaning Christian doctrine of ‘Original Sin’, neither you nor I nor anybody else is a “bad person” AT ALL. The most valid over-generalisation is that we are all good people, but occasionally, like everybody else, you may make a poor decision, or do something wrong. That is an integral part of the human condition, and it does NOT define the whole of your being-in-the-world as “bad”. You’re obviously smart enough to learn from your mistakes and wrong actions, as we all do.
Despite the preposterously arrogant Christian assertion that only their God is the source of all morality, these days anthropology and evolutionary psychology are beginning to demonstrate that human morality is as much an evolved trait as eye colour or language acquisition – for more, see my previous two-part ‘Best Answer’ at:
• Is morality an inborn quality or acquired/human construct/subjective concept?
End of Part 1 of 2, from Dalinian.
I’ll pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster to deliver Part 2/2Source(s): • Web-based research enthusiast • Science and science fiction specialist • Anthropology aficionado • Cosmology connoisseur • Secular humanist • Physics buff • Evolutionist
- ∫ QM ∂Lv 69 years ago
I too felt this way when I was like 12 or 13. I understand what you're going through and know that it's a challenge to let go of something that has been indoctrinated for many years. I would often look for "proofs" of God's existence, but the "proofs" just weren't enough. I think it is not really that you don't want to convert to agnosticism, but accepting that you *are* agnostic. It gets easier over the years and you will start to get more comfortable with it. I'm 15, almost 16 and I'm fine with being agnostic, but do sometimes wonder if there is a heaven and/or hell, but highly doubt the existence of them and God.
You are straying from your beliefs because you are inquiring more as does happen in general with more rational and scientific people. What you need to do is search for the TRUTH and that is exactly the goal of science. Things like "Creation" don't change, but science not only changes, but refines itself. Ever since I started going to a Christian school in the 2nd grade, I had a problem with the way Creation explained how the universe came into existence and how the universe was only 6,000 years old. I've always believed that science can and will explain anything (although I can't explain why I believed in santa based on that philosophy :P ), so I wanted to believe the Bible, but just had a different interpretation of it, until 6th grade which is when I became agnostic, but didn't accept or rather get comfortable with it until this or last year. Technology has advanced to the point where we can prove the idea that the universe is expanding and that it is approximately 13.7 billion years old and that there's evidence for evolution.
- ElaineLv 44 years ago
You can do something similar to what I do - morph your religion a bit. For example, I'm a very religious Christian, and I think gay people deserve every right that straight people have. Just like how the big bang theory doesn't exist in the mind of many people at my church, yet I believe it works its way into Gods' plan. I don't think it really matters to God, as long as you're relatively close! ;) Always try to keep a religion, though. I can't imagine trying to deal with a death without God. Even when I was young and hated church and religion, God turned out to be the best comfort....
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- SyzygyLv 49 years ago
What you should ask yourself is: does Christianity itself make sense to believe in? Is there any real evidence that God exists and that Christianity is correct?
You say that by "turning your back on God" you fear going to hell. But if neither God nor hell actually exists then...well, then there's nothing to fear.
Personally, I am an atheist, and I believe science is the best way we have to understand the world. It is logical, concise, and most importantly, self correcting.
And don't worry. Every person I've talked to who's "de-converted" and become an atheist do not regret it. They are grateful.
- NousLv 79 years ago
13 is the age most people find that education and growing intellect lead them to the truth and reality! So you are a bit late but your emotions just show you are having a hard time throwing off the conditioning you received!
Acceptance of a supernatural claim tends to promote cooperative social relationships. This communication demonstrates a willingness to accept, without skepticism, the influence of the speaker in a way similar to a child's acceptance of the influence of a parent. By encouraging this kind of behavior where the most intense social relationships occur it facilitates the lack of skepticism and deters more open minded thinking.
They are christian, Muslim or the other religions depending where they were born simply because they were indoctrinated by their parents as very young children. They will go on to indoctrinate their own children and those will go on to indoctrinate their grandchildren!
Atheists have the intellect to see through the conditioning and escape into the real world!
Agnostics have the intellect to see through the conditioning but lack the courage to throw of the conditioning entirely.
Sadly Christians, muslims and others are still held firmly prisoner by the self perpetuating brainwashing!Source(s): University of Missouri-Columbia. Arizona State University
- gray.lavaLv 59 years ago
Agnosticism has nothing to do with belief in a god...
Agnostic is the position that it cannot be known if there are gods, not a middle ground between atheism and theism.
Atheists don't deny the possibility of a deity, they just don't believe in one.Source(s): Agnostic Atheist
- Truth MattersLv 69 years ago
Steve a good thing for you to do is believe this one scripture and then don't open your Bible until God tells you to.
John 3:16...For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life..................What will you do with this Steve? Pray that the Holy Spirit will teach you God's word. Repent of sin and come as a little child God said. If a child's daddy says "jump to me" A child does not question but he jumps with all faith that his daddy will catch him when he jumps. God said if we don't come as a child we will not make it. Just as Jesus for a personal relationship with him. He will.
- 9 years ago
I have been in your shoes before. I did consider both agnosticism and atheism at one point. I will be honest, it took 3.5 years of study to be convinced that Jesus was God incarnate. I am going to go through the description to your questions and point out a few things that you need to seriously consider.
1) There are a lot of bad ideas promoted within Christianity. I have to deal with this all the time. I can even begin to mention how many times I been called an atheist from a mean spirited Christian because I find the evidence for evolution quite convincing. Science is a noble pursuit of interest and I highly encourage it.
2) Science is great at testing things that are physical (matter and energy). However, most philosophers doubt that this is the only part of reality and think that it is only a small part of reality. Do you really want to base your entire worldview on just a small fraction of reality because it can be tested by science?
3) The Bible is never very scientific because modern science is a relatively recent phenomenon. The Bible was completely written before the scientific method was introduced. Yes, the Bible describes the earth being flat with a dome shape sky being held up by pillars. It even states the sky has windows and doors. The Bible describes bats as being a type of unclean bird. This is because this was the understanding of the people when the Bible was written. The Bible was concerned about talking about who we are as people, who God is, and how God planned to restore our broken relationship with Him. God was not too concerned about teaching the people concepts like cellular mitosis.
4) Christianity and salvation does not come through a special prayer. It comes through repentance (a change of mind and heart) and a complete dedication of one's life and will over to Jesus Christ). Yes, God will forgive you of your sins, but there has been no change in your life because the people of your church are more concerned with numbers than helping people build committed relationships to Jesus Christ. I will include a link to a really good video done by Paul Washer on repentance because it will explain in greater detail what I am talking about.
5) Faith should never be built on a fear of hell. Rather, it should be built on a trust in Jesus Christ and a sincere wiliness to be in communion with God. Hell is not a place, but the type of damaged relationship many people have with God. When these people die, they experience God with great fear and try to hide from God's light in the outer darkness. God's light feels like flames of fire to them.
6) Yes, there are many religions that believe sincerely and many things. That is why I would encourage you to research the claims of Christianity. I did. It took me a while, but I feel confident in my faith because I know it is built on something real that I questioned vigorously. Many people are lazy and just get comfortable with what ever religion they are brought up in without researching it for themselves. Some religions censorship information from its members (these type of religions can never be trusted if they have to suppress truth to keep their members faithful).
By the way, if you have any addition questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to keep in touch with you.Source(s): Studying Eastern Orthodoxy Paul Washer video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuabITeO4l8
- Anonymous9 years ago
science uses logic and testing and retesting to find out if things are factual. religion relies on faith alone in books that were written several thousand years ago when people still thought the world was flat. to put it in perspective it was only a couple hundred years ago when we were burning witches at the stake in the US.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Part 2 of 2, from my worshipper Dalinian
“How, as a saved Christian my whole life, have I come to the brink of denying his principles and possibly existence? How have I come to the point of seriously questioning this and believing he does not exist?”
Maturity! Adulthood!! Autonomy!!! Thinking for yourself with your emergent adult critical cognitive faculties!!!!
Or as a wise conglomeration of divine spaghetti+meatballs+sauce puts it:
“A well known aspect of maturing as an independent adult is the development of a finely tuned and fully functional deception detection psychological module – it detects liars from truth-tellers, fact from fiction, the likely/possible from the improbable/impossible. At some point in most lives, the lies-to-children  we were told by the grown ups in our childhood are subjected to deception detection. Early on, we discover the playful deceptions of Santa Claus, the tooth faery, and magic tricks. Sometime later (and most often when a teenager or young adult), some people uncover the contradictions, incongruities, and extreme improbabilities of the religion in which they were raised. This is often the starting point of a deeper exploration of faith and belief issues that usually includes a curiosity about atheism and Secular Humanism.”
~ The Flying Spaghetti Monster, from ‘Religious young adults and teenagers: have you become atheist curious yet?’
“Why does [the Bible] contradict itself?”
Despite what Christian extremists preach about the infallibility of scripture and the literal truth of the Bible, even a cursory exploration of Biblical scholarship quickly reveals it to be a mash-up of the writings of many fallible men, who often don’t agree with each other. A skeptical review of the Bible...
• ‘Contradictions in the Bible’, at The Skeptic's Annotated Bible, 1999-2011
...reveals 1545 contradictions! Then there are the more repulsive aspects of the Bible – the mass killings, war crimes, ritual human sacrifice, cruelty, violence, rape and murder in the “Good Book”; for three video and seven website resources, see the question and ‘Best Answer’ at:
• Christians, would you like some help in making the transition to atheism?
Steve, I believe you’re well on your way to becoming a mature and thoughtful adult, through applying your birthright intelligence and reasoning ability to the religious beliefs in which you were inculcated as a child, and discovering not only their contradictions, but also their...
» injustice – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/inj/long.html
» intolerance – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/int/long.html
» absurdity – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/abs/long.htm
» cruelty and violence – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.htm...
So I send you all my best wishes for your self-liberation from...
• The God Delusion
— the magnum opus of Prof. Richard Dawkins, 2006
» Google books – http://books.google.com/books/about/The_God_Delusi...
» my book review – http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/286089
Hope that’s broadened your understanding, and given you some pointers for further exploration,
Share and Enjoy, Peace-&-Love, Dalinian – ★ ☮ ♥ ꂨ ♻
“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day.” ~ Albert Einstein, ‘LIFE’ magazine, 02 May 1955
——————————————————————————————————————Source(s): • Web-based research enthusiast • Science and science fiction specialist • Anthropology aficionado • Cosmology connoisseur • Secular humanist • Physics buff • Evolutionist See also: • ‘The Root of All Evil?’, two-part documentary series by Prof. Richard Dawkins, 2006 » Part 1, video, 47:51 – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-432157495... » Part 2, video, 47:58 – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-761916119... • Why are you an Atheist? » http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201108...  Lies-to-children – http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Lies-To-Children