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Author Topic: Belief a CHOICE?
plankeye p
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Ok you got me. You are right I was lying about believing in leprechauns. Please forgive me. But it seems we have made a little baby step toward the purpose of this thread.
"I would hope that I would be able to apply your technique to my own efforts."
If you don't mind me being nosey. What efforts?
Do your "efforts" have anything to do with believing God?

I disagree with you in regards to my example earlier. I maintain that even after seeing that Kirk could grab the rim the choice was still mine to believe or not. I know you do not agree with that. So I wont spend anymore time on it.

I was not around to see who said what or what happened to start this discussion. So please allow me to guess. Maybe you have heard christians say we choose to believe this or that. And it seems like we are just arbitrarily choosing things to believe in. Things that may seem leprechaun-ish in nature. Because no one has really seen them. Take Jesus for example. No one in this world today can say they have laid eyes on Jesus. Same as a leprechaun. So you are right on that point. (if that is your point) So basically Jesus is just a mystical character that is only real because a book says so. Much like the encyclopedia and the leprechaun. Except one difference. I know Jesus is real not only because a book says so but because I have experienced his realness in my life. As for the leprechaun... not so much. (speaking only for my experience) Although the thought of catching one of those lil fellas and getting wishes granted and pots of gold and all that other stuff kinda makes me want to experience one.

I'm tempted to go into further explanation but I would hate to go any further only to have you shoot down yet one more attempt move past what you insist on in the "OP". I'm guessing here but I doubt anyone can do what your asking in the "OP".
So if the conversation cannot move forward unless I believe in leprechauns this will be the end on my end, However if you would like to share what your "efforts" are I would like to help. And by help I do not mean help you become a christian. I mean help. (Are you an atheist?)
If so there is a good book that I would recommend for your reading enjoyment. (Heck maybe you already read it.) It's titled "Jim and Casper go to Church" It's about a christian and an atheist traveling across the country visiting different churches.

Peace
p.i.p.

--------------------
i am what "I AM" says i am

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rstrats
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Sha’ul,

re: “Like I said before this is a loaded question.”

And I asked “how so?” when you previously made that statement. I don’t believe you have given an answer.


re: “I think the last few answers have done what you've asked...”

With the exception of plankeye p (who says that he has consciously CHOSEN and that he now believes that Leprechauns exist) no one has done that.


re: “So since you believe that we can't just choose to believe, than what do you do with that...”

Because of "that", I started this topic.


re: “... and how does that affect your relationship with God?”

It would hamper any relationship where the conscious CHOOSING of beliefs were involved.

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rstrats
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plankeye p,

re: “You know what just happened? I chose to believe leprechauns are real!”

I note from your profile and your posts that you appear to be a Christian and therefore would want to do all you can to avoid lying to a person. Consequently, I am prepared to accept your words as truth that you have just consciously CHOSEN to believe - are convinced without doubt - that leprechauns actually do exist and that they store away all their money in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and if ever captured by a human, that they have the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their release. Now if you could just detail how you were able to make the instantaneous transition from being convinced that they don’t exist to being convinced that they do, I would hope that I would be able to apply your technique to my own efforts.

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plankeye p
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Hello rstrats,

You know what just happened? I chose to believe leprechauns are real!

--------------------
i am what "I AM" says i am

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Sha'ul
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Like I said before this is a loaded question. I think the last few answers have done what you've asked, but not to your standard. which you're entitled to. Good luck on this quest. So since you believe that we can't just choose to believe, than what do you do with that and how does that affect your relationship with God? Just curious. Shalom
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rstrats
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plankeye p,

re: “So just because you asked me to believe something I should choose TO believe it?”

Sure, why not? I asked for help. If you are able to give it by demonstrating what I thought was your implied ability to consciously CHOOSE to believe things, then why not do it?


re: “Choices are based on information and beliefs. That simply is not enough information to change my belief.”

If beliefs can be obtained by simply consciously choosing to have them, then information or evidence is not necessary - prudent in some cases, perhaps, but not necessary. However, even if it were necessary, how would you know when you had it? ? What would be the indicator that would allow you to say: “Okay, I have obtained evidence for the existence of “X” and while I still do not believe that “X” exists, I am going to CHOOSE to believe - be convinced without a doubt - that “X” exists and - poof - I now believe that “X” exists?

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plankeye p
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Hello rstrats

- But I didn’t ask you to believe that they are NOT real. I asked you to believe that they ARE. If you can consciously CHOOSE to believe things, you should have no problem in doing that.

So just because you asked me to believe something I should choose TO believe it? Choices are based on information and beliefs. That simply is not enough information to change my belief.

Sorry I couldn't help you in your quest.
p.i.p.

--------------------
i am what "I AM" says i am

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rstrats
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WildB,

re: "The Will of God will not direct you where His Grace cannot keep you."

I don't understand your point. Could you please explain?

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rstrats
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plankeye p,

re: “...i'm not sure you don't have an ulterior motive...”

I don’t know why folks keep saying that. I’m dead serious about wanting to see someone consciously CHOOSE to believe things. I don’t think that it can be done. But if it can, I would really like to see it demonstrated so that I can at least know that it is possible even if the technique for doing so can’t be explained.


re: “my choice is to still believe they are not real.”

But I didn’t ask you to believe that they are NOT real. I asked you to believe that they ARE. If you can consciously CHOOSE to believe things, you should have no problem in doing that.


re: “The little short white kid jumped up and grabbed the rim. Now... did I make the choice to believe he could grab the rim the very instant after I saw him do it? Of course. How could I not?”

Exactly. There was no conscious CHOICE possible.


re: “Now what?”

Now I would like to see you do as I requested in the OP.

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rstrats
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Sha'ul,

re: “So I went from not believing of the importance of old testament to believing undoubtedly of it's importance now. Is that what you were looking for...”

I’m afraid that it isn’t. I’m looking for a realtime conscious CHOOSING of a belief as I asked for in the OP.

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WildB
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The Will of God will not direct you where His Grace cannot keep you.

Enjoy the journey.

--------------------
That is all.....

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plankeye p
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hello rstrats,
Very interesting post you got going. Although i'm not sure you don't have an ulterior motive, I will still play along.

-"assuming that you don’t already have a belief in them, how about right now,"
-Never believed they were real. Still don't.

-"while you are reading this, CHOOSE to believe"
- my choice is to still believe they are not real.

-"be convinced without a doubt - that they exist"
- There is nothing convincing about a quote from an encyclopedia. However, seeing is believing. So maybe if I were to meet on of those little fellas... that would be more convincing.

So that example does not do it for me.
However, there was a situation in sixth grade that might be what you are looking for.
So there was this little fella named Kirk. We played basketball together. Mind you we were in sixth grade. He told me that he could jump up and grab the rim. That's right the basketball rim. Let me review just so we are on the same page. the basketball rim stands at 10'. The boy who is in sixth grade, stands at maybe 5'5". And he says he can jump up and grab the rim. Yeah right. I did not believe him. It just didn't add up. Even i couldn't accomplish that feet, I was taller and more athletic. (I thought) And on top of all that. He was white. (I'm not racist at all) Just that... well you've heard the phrase. White men can't jump. He wasn't even a man. Well after all that I think you know what happens next. The little short white kid jumped up and grabbed the rim.

Now... did I make the choice to believe he could grab the rim the very instant after I saw him do it? Of course. How could I not?

So now i'm sure I have shown you how "the instantaneous transition from lack of belief to belief" takes place.

Now what?
Peace p.i.p.

--------------------
i am what "I AM" says i am

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Sha'ul
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Okay, let me see if I can give you the demonstration you're asking for. I use to believe(which I must say was due to just listening to the pastor and not studying for myself)that the old testament was obsolete and uneeded. But when I felt conviction in my heart and continued to feel drawn to it, I began to study it more and realized through quit easy revelations of scripture and prayer that it's as relevant today as ever before. Case in point Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-4. So I went from not believing of the importance of old testament to believing undoubtedly of it's importance now. Is that what you were looking for, because I'm rather enjoying this challenge. lol Shalom
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rstrats
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Sha’ul,

re: “I re-read your OP, and in some ways it's a loaded question.”

How so?


re: “There's no doubt(to me anyways) that facts of something play in to what we believe or don't believe...”

Agreed.


re: “...and the rest is coming to the conclusion of excepting said facts in which triggers a response in us to believe or not believe.”

Agreed.


re: “We can choose to believe or not believe just because we can...”

And yet for some reason you won’t demonstrate your ability as requested in the OP.


re: “Again if this was no help to you I'm sorry.”

As am I.

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Carol Swenson
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http://thechristianbbs.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000928#000000
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Sha'ul
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I re-read your OP, and in some ways it's a loaded question. So here's my finite wisdom on your question. There's no doubt(to me anyways) that facts of something play in to what we believe or don't believe, and the rest is coming to the conclusion of excepting said facts in which triggers a response in us to believe or not believe. Now when it comes to God and Jesus, it's much of the same but one other thing involved is the spiritual change we feel inside us. Like I said before sometimes we are looking for some cosmic answer when most of the time it isn't. Psalm 119:130"The entrance of thy word gives light, it gives understanding even unto the simple." I like that because I'm as simple as they get. We can choose to believe or not believe just because we can, plain and simple. Again if this was no help to you I'm sorry. Sha'ul
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rstrats
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Sha'ul,

re: "...yes I believe or no I choose not to believe."


Perhaps you can help me, then, by doing what I asked for in the OP.

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Sha'ul
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There was no way I was gonna be able to read all that was said, but from what I read no one was listening to you. It's unfortunate that sometimes people get so zealous about telling some one to come to Christ that they end up turning the person off. More often than not we as humans are always looking for some big fancy answer to our questions, when the simple easy to miss answer is right in front of our face. Then we say that can't be it, it's too easy. Your statement about leperchauns was interesting, a leperchaun from what I'm getting from you is a little man who someone along the way turned into a magical creature, kind of like how santa claus came about. What it boils down to is researching the truth, getting the facts together and then (here's where the simplicity comes in) choosing, yes I believe or no I choose not to believe. I truly hope this helped, if not I'm sorry. Sha'ul
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Carol Swenson
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Is Belief Really a Choice?

The Bible Teaches We Can Choose Our Beliefs.

We know that we are told to test our beliefs - even those that support Christianity. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 that we should "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good". This means all that we hold should be looked at with careful consideration to see if there is a good basis for our holding that view. The clearest view of this were those in Berea mentioned in Acts 17:11, who didn't just accept Paul's teaching, but checked it against the scriptures - making sure that Paul's claims lined up with their theology.

The Bible also teaches us that we have choices as to what we should believe. Consistently, we are admonished throughout the Scripture to choose whom we will serve. The most well known verse to this effect is John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." According to Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the verb for believe means to entrust and also carries an idea of committing oneself to the person or idea.1 It can mean to be persuaded of a certain position. In the book of Romans, Paul says that if one believes in their heart that Jesus is raised from the dead, they will be saved.

Come Reason

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Carol Swenson
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Skeptics always seem to have trouble understanding basic Biblical doctrines. Among these is the doctrine of salvation. Dennis McKinsey, in the March 1983 issue of Biblical Errancy, provides a good example of the inability of skeptics to grasp simple concepts. His confusion mirrors that of Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll who also exhibited little understanding of this doctrine.

Given this history, we can expect that today’s skeptics fare no better in understanding this doctrine. Skeptics have a tendency to read what other skeptics write about the Bible, and many never really study what the Bible actually says. Mckinsey reads Ingersoll and they both read Paine. In the end, they all express the same erroneous concepts. This investigative laziness perpetuates general ignorance among skeptics regarding Biblical doctrines.

The Skeptical Review

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Betty Louise
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rstrats

The Bible makes it clear that we have a choice to believe or not believe.

Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Jhn 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Jhn 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

1Jo 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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rstrats
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Anyone?
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Carol Swenson
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The material world we know is a world of change. This young woman came to be 5’2”, but she was not always that height. The great oak tree before us grew from the tiniest acorn. Now when something comes to be in a certain state, such as mature size, that state cannot bring itself into being. For until it comes to be, it does not exist, and if it does not yet exist, it cannot cause anything.

As for the thing that changes, although it can be what it will become, it is not yet what it will become. It actually exists right now in this state (an acorn); it will actually exist in that state (large oak tree). But it is not actually in that state now. It only has the potentiality for that state.

Now a question: To explain the change, can we consider the changing thing alone, or must other things also be involved? Obviously, other things must be involved. Nothing can give itself what it does not have, and the changing thing cannot have now, already, what it will come to have then. The result of change cannot actually exist before the change. The changing thing begins with only the potential to change, but it needs to be acted on by other things outside if that potential is to be made actual. Otherwise it cannot change.

Nothing changes itself. Apparently self-moving things, like animal bodies, are moved by desire or will—something other than mere molecules. And when the animal or human dies, the molecules remain, but the body no longer moves because the desire or will is no longer present to move it.

Now a further question: Are the other things outside the changing thing also changing? Are its movers also moving? If so, all of them stand in need right now of being acted on by other things, or else they cannot change. No matter how many things there are in the series, each one needs something outside itself to actualize its potentiality for change.

The universe is the sum total of all these moving things, however many there are. The whole universe is in the process of change. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. Therefore, there is some force outside (in addition to) the universe, some real being transcendent to the universe. This is one of the things meant by “God.”

Briefly, if there is nothing outside the material universe, then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe. But the universe is the sum total of all matter, space and time. These three things depend on each other. Therefore this being outside the universe is outside matter, space and time. It is not a changing thing; it is the unchanging Source of change.

(The Handbook Of Christian Apologetics)

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MentorsRiddle
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In my opinion, it is more plausible to believe in God than to not believe in God.

There is more evidence to prove the existence of God than there is to debunk the existence of God.

Let us use simple maths here. If A=B and B=C then A=C.

If A is the matter before the “big-bang,” B is the result of the “big-bang,” and C is the structured order that followed, then there had to exist a structured order from the very beginning.

Science dictates to us that order cannot be derived from chaos, so thus order had to exist in the material world long before the first star was born, the first planet rotated and the first life formed.

I don’t think there is a choice to believe in a higher power, either by using science or subconscious thought. Again, there is more proof through simple mathematics to prove the existence of a higher, intelligent creator than to prove the opposite.

We all have a deep seeded need for a higher power.

Atheists higher power is the “chaotic origin” called the “big-bang” which has never been proven and math denies.

Agnostics higher power is their own ego’s. They want things proven to them, but their pride blinds them to the truth.

The list goes on and on.

However, you can choose what spiritual path you follow.

I, for one, believe the spiritual path of Christianity to be the way, truth and life.

I could claim Islam, but why would I want to do that seeing as how their religion has been raped, changed and had so many alterations to fit a generations needs that it isn’t even the same concept as it once was – that and they promote murder in the name of their “loving” god.

I could choose to follow Buddhism, but that’s more of a way of life and not a religion per-say.

I choose to follow Christianity, because there is more proof to fit the bible than any other religion.

Science once denied ancient towns existed in history that the bible said did – then they found them.

Science once denied an ancient biblical flood – which is now being thought of as more and more plausible.

Ancient historians have written about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and how the sky darkened, the earth shook, etc. (and more than one I might add)

Now that’s just the logical side.

Once you delve into the faithful side and spiritual side is a whole other matter.

I have felt the presence of God on many occasions.

God has given me personal proof he was real – after I choose to follow him without proof.
As the bible said, “A wicked and adulterous generation will seek after a sign and none shall be given unto it…”

Once you choose to follow God, of your own freewill, without need for proof – then God will give you the proof and make himself known.

It is a choice, you see.

You can choose to not believe or to believe – but it isn't a choice on if a God exists, but a choice on what path you choose to believe.

Do you honor and glorify yourself, or the creator of all?

--------------------
With you I rise,
In you I sleep,
kneeling down I kiss your feet,
Grace abounds upon me now,
I once was lost
but now I'm found.
The gift of God dwells within,
To this love I now give in.

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Caretaker
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quote:
Originally posted by rstrats:
TB125,

re: “You seem to be willing to deny or to ignore the obvious process in which you engaged that enabled you to believe that your parents loved you.”

I would surmise that there was indeed a process involved. But it wasn’t a conscious one. When I realize that I have a new belief I would guess that it is most likely caused by some process occurring in my subconscious mind due to an exposure to outside stimuli, such as experience, literature, lectures, media, conversation, reflection, etc.

Actually the outside stimuli is the "evidence" and you have to choose to believe it or reject it.

The snow on the ground outside, frost on the windows, you can choose to believe that you do not need a coat to go outside.

The stove is turned on, the electric burners glowing orange, but you can choose to believe it is turned-off and cold.

The bottom line is whether one accepts or chooses to reject the evidence.

Romans 1:
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.


My faith is based upon the resurrection, for it is the empty tomb, which is the pivotal point differentiating the Christian from all other religions, and establishes the credibility of the Word of God.

1) The resurrection was foretold by Jesus Christ. Matthew writes, “From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and raised up on the third day”(Matt. 16:21) Though his followers did not understand what He was telling them at the time, they remembered and recorded His words.

2) The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the empty tomb. If Jesus had been only wounded he could not have removed the stone or gotten past the soldiers, likewise his disciples could not have gotten by either. His enemies would not have taken the body for it would have only encouraged belief in the resurrection.

3) The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the appearances of Jesus to His disciples. There were at least ten different occasions, and even eating and allowing them to touch him.

4) The resurrection is the only reason for the beginning of the Christian church. This was the foundation upon which the church was founded, and the primary subject of the first sermons.

5) The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the transformed lives of the disciples. They deserted Jesus during His trial and crucifixion. They remained in hiding, and it was only after the resurrection that they emerged. These same sheep hiding in the darkness emerged with power and boldness, in the very presence of their enemies, to turn the world upside down. Where once they had cowered in fear and confusion, and Peter had made his denial three times, they now endured horrid persecution and death, with faith unshaken. The transformation in the life of Paul, can only be reasonably explained by the resurrection. For he was the lead persecutor of the early church. After meeting the resurrected Lord upon the Damascus road, Paul was transformed, and he went forth boldly proclaiming the faith, even unto a martyr’s death.

6) Lastly I offer into evidence the transforming power of the resurrection, in the lives of countless millions through the centuries, who have received Christ. Each of us gives evidence in our testimony to the resurrection power of Jesus of Nazareth, to break the bonds of sin, and produce peace and righteousness in our lives.

--------------------
A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

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rstrats
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Carol Swenson,

re: “You have chosen to believe many things in your life.”

See my last post to TB125.

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rstrats
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TB125,

re: “You seem to be willing to deny or to ignore the obvious process in which you engaged that enabled you to believe that your parents loved you.”

I would surmise that there was indeed a process involved. But it wasn’t a conscious one. When I realize that I have a new belief I would guess that it is most likely caused by some process occurring in my subconscious mind due to an exposure to outside stimuli, such as experience, literature, lectures, media, conversation, reflection, etc.

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rstrats
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Betty Louise,

re: “You do not want to take responsibility for your actions.“

Where have I said, or even suggested, that I do not want to take responsibility for my actions? All I’ve said is that I would like to see someone demonstrate their stated ability to consciously CHOOSE to believe things. So far no one has done that.

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Carol Swenson
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quote:
I’ve never been able to consciously CHOOSE any of the beliefs that I have. I don’t think that CHOOSING one’s beliefs is possible.
You chose to believe your teachers or you would be unable to read and write. You would not be able to drive, or have a job, or do much of anything unless you had chosen to believe those who taught you.

You chose to believe your History books, and your Science books. The daily news.

You have chosen to believe many things in your life.

I pray you will repent of your unbelief and choose to believe in Christ Jesus who is the only Savior.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NLT)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB)

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Betty Louise
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Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Just keep reading the Word of God and ask God to give you faith.
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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TB125
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rstrats,
You seem to be willing to deny or to ignore the obvious process in which you engaged that enabled you to believe that your parents loved you. You indicate that "you don't know" what it was that convinced you of this. I would also assume that you can't prove that they did to anyone. I would also assume that they or anyone else didn't force you to believe that they loved you. Therefore I would conclude that you must have chosen to believe this.

You seem to be determined to maintain a position that you nor anyone else can "choose" to believe anything. Yet, you are choosing to maintain that position in spite of your own experience with your parents. Your position doesn't make any sense to many of us, and maybe not even to yourself. Give it some more thought outside of your own defensive efforts to avoid making a decision about Jesus.

--------------------
Bob

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When I decided to open my heart to Christ, He entered in and gifted my heart, my mind and my soul with the gifts of the Spirit, one of which is faith.

Heb. 11:1
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Eph. 2:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gal. 5:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law

--------------------
A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

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Carol Swenson
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If you ask that people tell you how they chose to believe in Christ, I am sure there are many here who would be willing to tell you.

I have believed in Christ since I was a small child. I don't remember a time when I didn't love Jesus. But there are others who came to faith as adults and they can tell you about it.

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rstrats
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TB125,

re: “Do you believe that you are loved?”

I believe that my parents loved me.


re: “If so, what convinced you of that?”

I don’t know; it could have been any number of things.


re: “ So I would conclude that you have made a choice to believe that you are loved, at least by someone. Isn't that true?”

No it is not true. If I could consciously CHOOSE to believe things, I wouldn’t have stated this thread.

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rstrats
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Carol Swenson,

re: “Anyway, how can we address your inability to make a choice to believe in anything?”


Well, since I’m not asking anyone to do that, that won’t be a problem. What I am asking very clearly in my OP is for someone who thinks that THEY can consciously CHOOSE to believe things to demonstrate THEIR ability to do that. I merely suggest the use of leprechauns because I assume that the person wouldn’t already have a belief in them. I simply want to see that it can be done.

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TB125
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rstrats,
Look around in your life. I'm sure that there are some things that you "believe" that you were not forced to believe or otherwise made to believe. Do you believe that you are loved? If so, what convinced you of that? In any case, it probably isn't anything that you can absolutely prove to anyone. So I would conclude that you have made a choice to believe that you are loved, at least by someone. Isn't that true?

--------------------
Bob

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Carol Swenson
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Okay. But that is how your OP reads.

Anyway, how can we address your inability to make a choice to believe in anything? No one here is a psychologist, and that's a psychological problem.

We can present you with the truth so you can choose for Christ. Your eternal salvation is far, far, far more important to me than anything else. I'm sure you can choose to listen. And I'm sure you can choose to pray. God will help you if you ask Him to.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

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rstrats
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Carol Swenson,

re: “You aren't looking for ‘help’. You want to prove that faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is no different than a belief in leprechauns.”


You couldn’t be further from the truth. I have no other agenda than what I stated in the OP.

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Carol Swenson
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You aren't looking for "help". You want to prove that faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is no different than a belief in leprechauns.

Good-bye. Have a nice day.

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OK, I can see that I’m not going to get any help here.
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Job511
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quote:
Originally posted by rstrats:
Job511,

As I said to Carol Swenson, I don’t see how your comments are relevant to my request in the OP.

I suppose what I was trying to say is, how can you "choose" something if it's already meant to be? Some of us Christians talk about "God's plan," of which, obviously, the faith of those on this forum and other Christians is part.

I understand that the movie reference might have been a little non sequitur, but I tried my best to relate it back.

--------------------
The lowly He sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
--Job 5:11, NIV

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Carol Swenson
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To those who receive the light, in the sense of not refusing it, revelation is one whole, and all its glorious system of truth is received and surely believed. To them it is both objectively and subjectively the Faith; and, inasmuch as Christianity has brought it in all fullness into the world, it is to them the Christian Faith. This phrase has therefore a larger meaning. It signifies that it is not their philosophy simply, the glory of their reason, the tradition they have derived from their fathers, but the rich inheritance which the Holy Spirit has given to that one supreme faculty of their souls, the faith which is the evidence of things not seen. It is a body of truth which, as reason did not give it, so reason cannot take it away. It is a region in which they walk by faith, which their faith habitually visits, in which their faith lives, and moves, and has its being.

(Unger's)

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Betty Louise
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Saying you cannot choose to believe is a cop-out. You do not want to take responsibility for your actions. But if you do not choose to accept Jesus as your Savior, you will spend eternity remembering those who try to warn you.


Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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rstrats
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Carol Swenson,

re: “If you want to talk about the psychology of belief, then go to a psychology site. “

First of all, I’ve posted under the General Discussion category which states that it is “A place for general discussion. Talk about anything here. That is if it is family friendly and clean.” I don’t think my OP is unfriendly or unclean.

And secondly, for the purpose of this topic, I am not concerned with the psychology of belief. I am merely looking for what I requested in the OP. As I said, I’ve never been able to consciously CHOOSE any of the beliefs that I have. I don’t think that CHOOSING one’s beliefs is possible. However, if it is, I would really like to have the ability. If someone could just demonstrate their ability to consciously CHOOSE to believe things - even if they can’t explain how - then I could at least know that it can be done.

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Carol Swenson
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I don't CARE what your OP says. I care about whether you have put your faith in Jesus Christ or not.

The focus here is on the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to talk about Him, we will be happy to.

If you want to talk about the psychology of belief, then go to a psychology site.

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rstrats
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Job511,

As I said to Carol Swenson, I don’t see how your comments are relevant to my request in the OP.

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rstrats
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Carol Swenson,

re: “The focus here is on the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I’m afraid I don’t see how that comment is relevant to my request in the OP.


BTW, you have a couple of questions directed to you in post #8.

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Job511
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In answering this question, I'd like to make a reference to "Next," starring Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel. This was while Cris Johnson, aka Frank Cadillac (Cage) and Liz Cooper (Biel) were driving to Arizona.

Cris: It's amazing. Isn't it? I end up in a diner where you are. We're both headed in the same direction.
Liz: Well, I don't know if I would call it "amazing," but-
Cris: Destiny. That's what it really is.
Liz: OK, I'm starting to get that psycho vibe.
Cris: No. You don't believe in destiny?
Liz: Well, even if it does exist, I don't think I want to know. I mean, if every move we make is pre-ordained, what's the point of that? I mean, life is supposed to be a surprise. Right?

I believe in destiny, or as I have heard fellow Christians call it, God's plan. Jehovah set our destiny in stone - well, maybe metaphorically - and that included for people on this forum to believe that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to atone for our sins.

--------------------
The lowly He sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
--Job 5:11, NIV

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Carol Swenson
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The focus here is on the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

From Abednego's post:

quote:
Saving faith, you see, is not simply acknowledging that certain facts about Christ are true. It’s reaching out to personally accept God’s remedy for sin. It is entrusting the destiny of your soul to Him for eternity. It is saying, “Save me, Lord Jesus. I believe that You can and will.” That’s “taking the medicine” … that’s receiving Jesus Christ!

THE SOURCE OF FAITH

It Is the Work of the Triune God.

God the Father: Rom. 12:3; 1 Cor. 12. This is true of faith both in its beginning (Phil. 1:29) and its development (1 Cor. 12). Faith, then, is a gift of His grace.

God the Son: Heb. 12:2—“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Illustration, Matt. 14:30, 31—Peter taking his eyes off Christ.) 1 Cor. 12; Luke 17:5.

God the Spirit: Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:9. The Holy Spirit is the executive of the Godhead.

Why then, if faith is the work of the Godhead, are we responsible for not having it? God wills to work faith in all His creatures, and will do so if they do not resist His Holy Spirit . We are responsible, therefore, not so much for the lack of faith, but for resisting the Spirit who will create faith in our hearts if we will permit Him to do so.

There Is Also a Human Side to Faith.

Rom. 10:17—“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (cf. the context, vv. 9-21.) Acts 4:4—“Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed.” In this instance the spoken word, the Gospel, is referred to; in other cases the written Word, the Scriptures, is referred to as being instrumental in producing faith. See also Gal. 3:2-5. It was a looking unto the promises of God that brought such faith into the heart of Abraham (Rom. 4:19).

Prayer also is an instrument in the development of faith. Luke is called the human Gospel because it makes so much of prayer, especially in connection with faith: 22:32—”But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” 17:5—”And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” See also Mark 9:24; Matt. 17:19-21.

Our faith grows by the use of the faith we already have. Luke 17:5, 6; Matt. 25:29.

(The Great Doctrines Of The Bible)

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rstrats
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Betty Louise,

re: “This cannot be done. “

But you seemed to be saying that you can choose to believe things. Have you changed your mind about that?

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