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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This goes out to the ISTP Christians on this forum.

I accepted Christ at age 6 and from the age of 11 to the present, I've been all over the place with Christianity. I'd go into detail, but I'm on my phone...if you need the details, I'll hop online later and give them.

I've reached a point now, where I truly desire to live according to God's Word. I believe Jesus is the only way I can be saved and I accept Him into my heart.

My problem lies in that, the deeper I think about Christianity, the more I wonder if my belief is true. Christians always ask the question, "If you were to die tonight, are you 100% sure you'd go to Heaven?" And when I think about it, I can't even picture Heaven. I can't see myself standing face to face with Jesus or standing before God in judgement. Heck, I can't even see myself dying.

I live so much in the moment, it's hard for me to grasp any past or future. And it's not like I believe anything else, like evolution, the big bang etc. I just can't honestly say I can grasp the concept/wrap my mind around God being out there watching me right, now.

So I'm stuck between belief and (doubt?)...it's really bothering me because I want to have a genuine belief, but I can't reason it into existence and I don't even know if the belief I have is false to begin with.

Also, when I get really involved with church, I almost feel like I'm in a dream or something. Like none of this is real and I'm just gonna wake up and go back to a normal life where all I'm concerned about is mechanics, thrill seeking and the thought of death never occurs to me. It's weird.

The more I think, the more confused I become.

I tried talking to the college Pastor at my church and he tried to help me, but he drew some blanks because my, "thoughts were so deep" I guess he didn't really look that deep into the topic before.

Also the Bible preaches, to keep your focus things of heaven, not on things of the earth. And it preaches to follow it's scripture, but he more I focus on heaven and following scripture, I can't seem to function in day to day life anymore and I feel bogged down by rules and regulations.

I know (from what I've read and my own experience) we ISTP's tend to have trouble believing in things we can't see and looking into the future. How did you overcome this struggle and accept Christianity as a reality? Or did you even have this struggle?
 

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I was raised in a fundamentalist church (although I was baptised Catholic) and I hated it.

I used to read about how us humans are "filled with awe when we look to the night sky and see the stars" and I never was. Stars are balls of gas out in the galaxy; it says so in my science book. I struggled with it because I saw so many religious people living two lives: one girl would say all the right things on Sunday and then tell the most racist jokes on Monday morning in school. On the other hand, some of the kids raised in it were so innocent to the world that I seriously wonder how they've managed to survive. And in some ways I don't consider myself "raised in it" because my father wasn't in this faith, and in this faith where men makes the rules and women follow them, not having an adult male in the family put my mother and I on the same level as pond life.

Plus, I can't be bothered worshipping something that says "I have created you, now worship me".

The struggle? Faith, if true, should be something so beautiful and pure that when we see it and feel it it should captivate us. All I ever saw was petty squabbling, a disregard for science and all these prophesies about the world ending "in this current generation".
 

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Oh yeah. My ISTP and his INTP brother were raised by a very devout Jehovah's Witness mother (she's also probably ISTP). They even went door-to-door doing a lot of witnessing when they were little boys. Now? Both avoid talking to their mother because they want to avoid the topic of going back to the church. They're both very much men of science/atheists/skeptics. If your doubts have been troubling you for some time, it might be trying to tell you that you're not cut out for certain aspects of Christianity and the Church. You don't HAVE to take the Bible literally, but still believe in the gist of its principles. You could try taking a step back and just partake in the rituals that make sense to you. Ultimately, I don't think you have much to worry about if you try to lead a basically good, upstanding life, meaning don't hurt living things unnecessarily, but repent, forgive yourself, and move on if you do, because people are flawed. No one's perfect, and some of the most apparently devout church leaders have turned out to be the most um, scandalous people in secret. If God had serious hardcore rules for who gets into Heaven, I think it would take an Eternity to let most people in. Wouldn't He have better things to do all over the universe?
 

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Curious as to why you don't believe in evolution? Also it seems the only thing that's keeping you going is fear. You talk about being "saved". Saved from what exactly? Again with this "If you were to die tonight, are you 100% sure you'd go to Heaven?" Ask yourself if you weren't threatened by Hell would you even bother with any of this? What worries me about your post however is this "This goes out to the ISTP Christians on this forum. " so of course there is only room for bias.

I'm not here to tell you what to believe or what not to believe, I'm going to tell you its important to keep an open mind. There are people on this planet that believe in all sorts of "Gods" and the only way your going to find out what you truly believe in is to look at this from different angles. Why are some people Atheist? What's there logic behind it? Why do some people believe in Christianity? Etc..
 

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When you have the time, listen or read some of Christopher Hitchens thoughts on religion. Here is one of my favorites. *3 part series. Even if you disagree with him, (which I don't) he has a very interesting perspective.


 

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Discussion Starter #7
Curious as to why you don't believe in evolution? I'd rather not get in to it. I will say this. Theories and science are always changing. One day (x) is fact, the next day (y) is found to disprove (x) and so (y) is now fact, then (z) is found to disprove (y) and might prove (x) to have been the actual truth. Science and theories run in circles. And I hardly want to base my belief on something that is A:Always changing, never known. Based on thought more than evidence. and B:On something that obviously can't explain 99% of all there is to be explained, through undeniable facts. Heck, we can't even get outside of our own galaxy and you mean to tell me science can explain the origins of trillions of galaxies and the entire universe? Science still doesn't understand 90% of what there is to know of our own planet...beyond that...Science can't even explain our own bodies...and you mean to tell me Science can explain how it all started? No...sorry. Not buying it. (not the source of my disbelief, I've looked much deeper than that in to science,evolution etc.)

I've looked in to evolution and I've kept an open mind for years and the more I look in to things like evolution and science(not talking about things like physics/chemistry etc.) the more I realize people are just trying to bleed blood from a turnip. I actually had a friend who was a big Evolutionist and we often had conversations about it. In those conversations, I asked so many questions he couldn't explain and found a few things that even combated evolution/evolution couldn't make sense of. And before you think, "Don't base evolution as a whole off of a friend who obviously didn't know everything about it" just as a Christian would say, "Don't base all of Christianity off of a Christian who was a bad example" I've looked in to it myself and I see many logical inconsistencies on a very basic level. Having said that, I do believe in Natural Selection, though. Look at the difference between Zebra's and Horses, or Lions and Tigers, even human skin color and features. Makes sense.

Also it seems the only thing that's keeping you going is fear. You talk about being "saved". Saved from what exactly? Again with this "If you were to die tonight, are you 100% sure you'd go to Heaven?" Ask yourself if you weren't threatened by Hell would you even bother with any of this? Yes, I would still bother with this.

What worries me about your post however is this "This goes out to the ISTP Christians on this forum. " so of course there is only room for bias. The reason I wrote that, is because I have already made up my mind and I wanted to know if other ISTP's had similar experiences with Christianity and if so, how they overcame them. Maybe my point of view is flawed, maybe I'm looking at Christianity wrong etc. or maybe it's a normal struggle other Christian ISTP's have had.

I'm not here to tell you what to believe or what not to believe, I'm going to tell you its important to keep an open mind. There are people on this planet that believe in all sorts of "Gods" and the only way your going to find out what you truly believe in is to look at this from different angles. Why are some people Atheist? What's there logic behind it? Why do some people believe in Christianity? Etc.. I understand you aren't trying to tell me what to believe. It's cool. I've been stuck in the same situation before and I understand you're just trying to widen my perspective a bit. As I said earlier, my perspective has been open for years now and I've come to the conclusion Christianity is true and it's what I'm going to put my belief in.

By the way, I didn't intend on seeming angry or anything in this post. Everything I wrote, I wrote from a neutral stand-point. And a few things might overlap in my post, I went back and added a little bit here and there...saw some repetition, but I don't want to go back and rewrite stuff.
 

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Curious as to why you don't believe in evolution? I'd rather not get in to it. I will say this. Theories and science are always changing. One day (x) is fact, the next day (y) is found to disprove (x) and so (y) is now fact, then (z) is found to disprove (y) and might prove (x) to have been the actual truth. Science and theories run in circles. And I hardly want to base my belief on something that is A:Always changing, never known. Based on thought more than evidence. and B:On something that obviously can't explain 99% of all there is to be explained, through undeniable facts. Heck, we can't even get outside of our own galaxy and you mean to tell me science can explain the origins of trillions of galaxies and the entire universe? Science still doesn't understand 90% of what there is to know of our own planet...beyond that...Science can't even explain our own bodies...and you mean to tell me Science can explain how it all started? No...sorry. Not buying it. (not the source of my disbelief, I've looked much deeper than that in to science,evolution etc.)
At least science is trying to find a answer to the big questions. It's a good thing that they make mistakes and correct these, cause our understanding of the universe are always progressing in the right direction. You will never see a scientist get mad if another scientist refute his hypothesis, cause that's not how the scientific community works, they want to make progress.

If we take religion on the other hand they don't try to find the answers. They say "everything we need to know is written in our holy book, therefore don't waste your time on anything else." You can take any religion and see that they are happy to not knowing. And sure i don't agree to that way of thinking, but i wouldn't care if religious people do. The problem is that they force that way of thinking on everyone else, by teaching creation i science class and not evolution etc...

Sorry if it came out a little harsh. But i have been raised and lived in a very fundamental Christian home and know how it's like. I know all the arguments. I myself could never buy into religion a 100%, but i went along cause it's good to have hope and it's a nice way of living. Anyway, hope you find the answers you're looking for.
 

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Out of all religion and philosophies that are out there I find it kind of baffling that your decision was made towards Christianity out of all of them. I am a non believer and don't mean to intercept with anyone's beliefs, do what you want for all I care, but even then a lot of 'popular' or 'wide spread' alternatives appear to be a lot more promising and more worthwhile to practice. I'd even go so far that your own religion would be a lot more worthwhile as well, as in believing in a self defined godly entity as opposed to pflocking towards a pre-set.

As many inconsistencies you may find within evolution or science for that matter you'll never find a more solid explanation of things on a rational level religion will ever care to provide you in its stead.

Take your doubt positively however, if god, heaven and the pass to heaven/hell did exist in the way Christianity describes it, you'd at least get there (or go to hell) as a mere sinner, not as a sinner combined with an incredible double standard like many people would, regardless of how pure they love to view themselves as.
 

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I'm pretty Catholic, and don't have a problem with anything you posted. It's something everybody goes through.

Also the Bible preaches, to keep your focus things of heaven, not on things of the earth.
Actually, doesn't it tell you to be in the world, just don't be of it?

And it preaches to follow it's scripture, but he more I focus on heaven and following scripture, I can't seem to function in day to day life anymore and I feel bogged down by rules and regulations.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
How much more do you need?
 

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I am still going through this struggle because I cant really see how it will help me in life, sometimes christianity acts more like a crutch preventing me from doing 'fun' things in life. I would recommend you do your own research specifically on the reliability of the bible. For example there are hundreds of prophecies in the bible which were fulfilled and the probability of all of them actually happening is almost nonexistent.
 

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Ok, not an ISTP but understand where you're coming from. I too became a Christian when I was 5 and have been involved with the word ever since. Here is the bottom line, you have to understand that you are human. We make mistakes. We're to strive to be like Jesus, to avoid sin if at all possible, and to trust in God. This bogged down by rules and regulations thing sounds like religion, not a relationship. They are laws that we are to follow, yes, but again, we may slip up. God understands. And He forgives AND forgets. The concept of God is too complex for anyone to understand. Goodness, I can't even go into this because it would take too much time. I went through this too; how is God real if we can't see him? We need proof. It doesn't make sense, why would He let people go to hell and choose others to heaven, etc. if He's a "Good God"? Read C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. He goes through a lot of thoughts that you may be stuggling with. He makes a very good point of the exsistance of God in it and how God works while quoting scripture. He makes a valid point to the exsistance of God too: If there isn't a God, then we're not supposed to even know of the concept of God. Or that something out there is greater than us. We wouldn't even know of the concept of "greatness". We wouldn't even know He exsisted unless He did. Just like when scientists discovered dark matter. You can't see it, they didn't even know it was out there. And then there it was. Someone found it and it was.
 

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What I'm getting is your trying to visualize and understand god and heaven so you can relate to it more. Ultimetly I don't think a person can fully understand it. The best I can tell you is be the best person you can be (within reason) and if that's not good enough what can you do. If he really is loving and all knowing I would hope this would be enough.

I used to belive but only became more sceptical the more I thought about it. It's not that I say there couldn't be a god of some sorts. Basicly I desire proof that I can't find.
 

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What I forgot previously, you may want to consider to ditch the whole Catholic Christian stuff and look into Evangelism / Protestants. By that I do not mean what Americans try to make them look like, but Evangelism in its European origin with Martin Luther and his thesis and the split/war that caused, this may be a lot more tolerable for an ISTP as it allows you a lot more flexibility in your faith.
 

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What I forgot previously, you may want to consider to ditch the whole Catholic Christian stuff and look into Evangelism / Protestants. By that I do not mean what Americans try to make them look like, but Evangelism in its European origin with Martin Luther and his thesis and the split/war that caused, this may be a lot more tolerable for an ISTP as it allows you a lot more flexibility in your faith.
well, that anyways. Coming from me, an agnostic/spiritualist (non-specific), it may not exactly mean much, but I really know the dark side of christian faith quite a bit (not the religion itself, but the people.

I can probably explain better after work.
 

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I grew up as a Southern Baptist, reading the Bible every day. When I was around 12 my mom asked me if I wanted to keep going to church and I told her "no, I'm tired of being yelled at for hours every Sunday". I went through an atheist stage and have been a pragmatic agnostic for about 8-9 years. I also own copies of the Old Testament, the New Testament, Bhagavad-gita, The Torah, The Qur'an, and the Satanic Bible.
 

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xReBoRN7, I understand completely what you are talking about. I found my struggle comes from this: I do believe and I've never stopped believing. But it's often a "head" belief, and not enough of a "heart" belief. Does that make any sense? Jesus said that we must come to him with the heart of a little child, with unfettered love and faith, and my reserved and rational nature struggles with this. I ask God, "Why did you make me this way, and then ask me to be the opposite?"

Then I realize, that God made us all with a purpose in mind. If He didn't want rational and questioning people, He wouldn't have made us that way. And He is loving and forgiving; we are going to make mistakes and stumble too. If that weren't the truth, Jesus wouldn't have had to die for us. We can't see it from our perspective, but from what I've seen in the world and from what I've read in the Bible and other places, I believe it to be true. Think of it in terms of spiritual gifts...that's how I like to think of MBTI, in fact. We all need each other, right? We all have areas where we need growth (kind of like developing your inferior functions). For ISTPs, we must grow beyond our skepticism, and just learn to trust. That's how it is for other relationships. What more is belief and acceptance in God than a relationship?

That being said, I also struggle with staying involved in Church. I do believe in the assembly of fellow believers, but I'm starting to believe that modern day churches have it wrong, or skewed in a sense, at least from what I've observed in American evangelical churches. There are so many facets of God that He reveals to us, and I think that most people can only grasp one at a time, and they're inclined to think that another facet a different person perceives is wrong. That's where you get all these denominations in the modern-day Church.

So I understand what you say about "rules and regulations" bogging you down. This is what you need to do, and this is what I've been doing: go back to the Word, and research which rules are biblical and which are not. Understand their context; sometimes a dogmatic rule in a church came from a verse that was taken out of context. For example, among Christians, a controversial issue is alcohol. I am of the opinion that drinking alcohol is not wrong, and I am an advocate of Christian Liberty. So I do drink; but some people get their noses bent out of joint about it. Then I know not to drink around them; I don't want to be a stumbling block to them. But I am open about what I think. Read I Corinthians; I love Paul, he has such a rational and direct style of writing, you can't go wrong.


What I forgot previously, you may want to consider to ditch the whole Catholic Christian stuff and look into Evangelism / Protestants. By that I do not mean what Americans try to make them look like, but Evangelism in its European origin with Martin Luther and his thesis and the split/war that caused, this may be a lot more tolerable for an ISTP as it allows you a lot more flexibility in your faith.
I love Martin Luther!
 

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It appears to me that religion has become a la cart to person's personal desires of morality. People tend to pick and choose from various preachings as to what they feel is virtuous from different denominations. Isn't the majority religions summed by the objective to live a moral life? Why must morality be hijacked by religion? Wouldn't a book of good quotes, or words of wisdom contain the same truisms that cover everything that is preached in the Bible, the Koran, etc?
Morality should be effortless, innate. Something that you can teach to children and not something you can get from an unanswerable being.
 

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I can understand why you might pick Christianity over Science. People seem to think that scientists domain is common sense and that religion is all about faith. I think the two cross over more than most people realise. I mean evolutionists seem to think that the Bible is outdated but it's age is it's real power. It's from an age which is ancient, when people where more basic in their motivation and understanding. I think it deals with things that are a lot closer to the bone than we usually have to deal with in this day and age and it can give you some pretty powerful advice.
Also people don't realise how blindly they follow science without really understanding it and then they complain about Christians blindly following their faith. I do believe in evolution but I saw a TV show where a man was explaining it and he said that to understand evolution you must first try to understand "Deep Time". And as an example he raised his arm and said "Imagine my arm is the span of all life on Earth. In one scrape of a nail file I would scrape off the whole lifespan of mankind." Now when you think of evolution in those terms it is impossible to truly comprehend the sheer magnitude of it. And the evolution of life, which yes is a miraculous thing is almost insignificant compared to the complexity and lifespan of the cosmos. I think it is the same "faith" or "awe" or "impossible comprehension" that the science orientated and people of religion are mesmerized by. And choosing to believe in either is the same search for greater understanding. It is that search which is important, so don't worry about whether your faith is strong enough.
 

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I can understand why you might pick Christianity over Science. People seem to think that scientists domain is common sense and that religion is all about faith. I think the two cross over more than most people realise. I mean evolutionists seem to think that the Bible is outdated but it's age is it's real power. It's from an age which is ancient, when people where more basic in their motivation and understanding. I think it deals with things that are a lot closer to the bone than we usually have to deal with in this day and age and it can give you some pretty powerful advice.
Also people don't realise how blindly they follow science without really understanding it and then they complain about Christians blindly following their faith. I do believe in evolution but I saw a TV show where a man was explaining it and he said that to understand evolution you must first try to understand "Deep Time". And as an example he raised his arm and said "Imagine my arm is the span of all life on Earth. In one scrape of a nail file I would scrape off the whole lifespan of mankind." Now when you think of evolution in those terms it is impossible to truly comprehend the sheer magnitude of it. And the evolution of life, which yes is a miraculous thing is almost insignificant compared to the complexity and lifespan of the cosmos. I think it is the same "faith" or "awe" or "impossible comprehension" that the science orientated and people of religion are mesmerized by. And choosing to believe in either is the same search for greater understanding. It is that search which is important, so don't worry about whether your faith is strong enough.
There is no "picking Christianity over Science". Christianity has no problem with science.

The whole Christianity over Science thing is purely manufactured by people who wanted to create a wedge issue to use as a weapon against Christianity. The Church taught the World was flat. The complete, total, and intentional misrepresentation of the Scopes trial by the papers and the film industry. Galileo was attacked by the Church because the Church hated science. None of it is true.

Of course, I also have the advantage that I am Catholic and and not locked into a doctrine of literal Sola Scriptura, so I can believe that God created the Universe and the Bible is divinely inspired and when they don't seem to agree the problem is that my interpretation is wrong, not that the Universe is wrong. But that is a whole different issue.
 
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