1. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    01 Jun '05 21:40
    I've come to the conclusion that I will never sort out the tangled web of my belief system and will invariably end up in Hell. If I passed on right now, tomorrow or even the day after that... Is suspect that by current Christian rules my sould would be condemned to eternal damnation. Nothing can be done about this as I cannot escape doubt. Faith slips by grasp yet doubt remains firmly entrencehed as a core part of my belief system.

    So basically I'm screwed and should continue with my policy of hedonism.
  2. Standard memberColetti
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    01 Jun '05 21:47
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I've come to the conclusion that I will never sort out the tangled web of my belief system and will invariably end up in Hell. If I passed on right now, tomorrow or even the day after that... Is suspect that by current Christian rules my sould would be condemned to eternal damnation. Nothing can be done about this as I cannot escape doubt. Faith s ...[text shortened]... f my belief system.

    So basically I'm screwed and should continue with my policy of hedonism.
    This brings up a question I have been struggling with. Does doubt mean one is not saved? Is certainty guaranteed for a Christian? What is certainty? Is it an emotion?

    Almost all the verses I can think of that deal with the issue make the work of Christ the object of certainty. The implication of this is that, I may be certain that Christ work saves, but I can still have some doubt that I am saved. Maybe that is a contradiction. I'm not certain. 😉

    But I do believe one may feeldoubtful and still be saved. I also not some Christians who deny this all together. They would say that faith entail certainty - and if I am not certain, I do not have faith.

    What do others think?
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    01 Jun '05 23:33
    Originally posted by Coletti
    This brings up a question I have been struggling with. Does doubt mean one is not saved? Is certainty guaranteed for a Christian? What is certainty? Is it an emotion?

    Almost all the verses I can think of that deal with the issue make the work of Christ the object of certainty. The implication of this is that, I may be certain that Christ work saves, ...[text shortened]... faith entail certainty - and if I am not certain, I do not have faith.

    What do others think?
    The experience of being "entirely free of doubt" is, in my opinion, an immature stage in spiritual development. It happens frequently to those who have recently undergone a spiritual experience and interpreted the experience as meaning that now they are "finished" spiritually, or "saved". This is common not just in the born-again Christian phenomenon, it also shows up in Islam when someone undergoes "conversion to the Will of Allah", and it also shows up in certain Hindu yoga traditions where a practitioner may have undergone a spectacular experience involving altered states of consciousness. One find this in Zen Buddhism as well, during the breakthrough experience known as "satori", where the practitioner may think that now their ego has been fully transcended and absolute reality has been perfectly realized. It is a "half-cooked" stage.

    A mind that has no doubt at all is either extremely rarefied, or has temporarily suppressed doubt owing to the spiritual experience it is caught up in eclipsing everything else. I believe the latter to be the case in the vast majority of times.

    The mind by its very nature "doubts". That's what minds do, unless they've been straitjacketed or deeply conditioned to a "this is the only way" programming. I think that the spiritual process is simply one of seeing, more and more deeply, that one's essential nature is not the mind. We have a mind, much as we have a body, but neither defines our deepest identity. Seen from that perspective, whether the mind is doubting or not is not too big a deal.
  4. Standard memberColetti
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    01 Jun '05 23:51
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    The experience of being "entirely free of doubt" is, in my opinion, an immature stage in spiritual development. ....

    .... I think that the spiritual process is simply one of seeing, more and more deeply, that one's essential nature is not the mind. We have a mind, much as we have a body, but neither defines our deepest identity. Seen from that perspective, whether the mind is doubting or not is not too big a deal.
    I believe the mind is the essence of who a person is - the center of identity. I think may be a fundamental difference between eastern and western philosophies. I don't believe there is anything deeper than the mind.

    Do you think these spiritual "experiences" are basically emotional?
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    01 Jun '05 23:57
    Originally posted by Coletti
    I believe the mind is the essence of who a person is - the center of identity. I think may be a fundamental difference between eastern and western philosophies. I don't believe there is anything deeper than the mind.

    Do you think these spiritual "experiences" are basically emotional?
    Yeah, this word "mind" needs to be defined. In the context I was using it, I'm referring specifically to thought. Sometimes in Eastern traditions the mind beyond thought -- that is, pure silent awareness -- is called "Mind" with a capital M, when translated. English is not an especially spiritual language so these translations are sometimes clumsy. Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) is very spiritual, having many, many terms that define precise spiritual states, terms that have no equivalent in English.

    Probably the best English equivalent of "mind beyond thought" is "soul", or "spirit". "Pure consciousness" is also adequate, although in Western societies "consciousness" is often seen as merely an emergent property of brain functioning.

    As for spiritual experiences, yes, I'd say many certainly have an emotional component, especially in the more devotionally oriented spiritual traditions, such as in Bhakti Yoga, for example, and certainly in Christianity and Islam.
  6. Not Kansas
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    02 Jun '05 02:37
    Hmmm, wouldn't having no doubts at all lead to fanaticism? Or at least insufferable bore-ism ...
    Doubt leads to question, moves one forward.
  7. London
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    02 Jun '05 02:41
    Originally posted by KneverKnight
    Hmmm, wouldn't having no doubts at all lead to fanaticism? Or at least insufferable bore-ism ...
    Doubt leads to question, moves one forward.
    Excessive doubt can be paralysing. Imagine, the person who never trusted something he could not verify for himself would hardly get anything done.
  8. Not Kansas
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    02 Jun '05 02:47
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Excessive doubt can be paralysing. Imagine, the person who never trusted something he could not verify for himself would hardly get anything done.
    OK, just the right amount of doubt. 😉
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    02 Jun '05 04:03
    Originally posted by Coletti
    This brings up a question I have been struggling with. Does doubt mean one is not saved? Is certainty guaranteed for a Christian? What is certainty? Is it an emotion?

    Almost all the verses I can think of that deal with the issue make the work of Christ the object of certainty. The implication of this is that, I may be certain that Christ work saves, ...[text shortened]... faith entail certainty - and if I am not certain, I do not have faith.

    What do others think?
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
  10. Not Kansas
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    02 Jun '05 04:09
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
    What, are you the heavy that keeps order?
    He doubts a bit, so what?
  11. NY
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    02 Jun '05 04:31
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
    I doubt every thing unless i see it.. and even then i doubt... so untill jesus knocks on my door and says.. "Yo jeremy... WAZALPPPP!!!!! I'm jesus." and then does that whole water to wine trick and we gat hammered and talk religion.. im doubtn' it... but if that does happen.. boy.. ill be the most hard core jesus pusher there ever was..lol
  12. Standard memberDaemon Sin
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    02 Jun '05 08:38
    Originally posted by xxxenophobe
    I doubt every thing unless i see it.. and even then i doubt... so untill jesus knocks on my door and says.. "Yo jeremy... WAZALPPPP!!!!! I'm jesus." and then does that whole water to wine trick and we gat hammered and talk religion.. im doubtn' it... but if that does happen.. boy.. ill be the most hard core jesus pusher there ever was..lol
    Nothing like a good bit of nihilism, eh?

    One question though. If we're all meant to have free will and the ability to obey God's word and the choice to beleive or not, etc... than wasn't Jesus' coming back in the old days a bit unfair. Would have kind of swung the balance for believing or not if the son of God was walking down your highstreet curing lepers and blessing the meak! Is that technically not giving us free will?
  13. Standard memberorfeo
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    02 Jun '05 13:47
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
    The original disciples were quite GOOD at doubting, I think you'll find. So don't knock it.
  14. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    02 Jun '05 14:46
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
    Yes, I have reason to doubt... do you want the whole list or just the top 10?

    Lets start with some of the all time favorites: death of the inoccent, pestilence, famine, suffering, genocide, disease, suicide, etc....
  15. Standard memberColetti
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    02 Jun '05 15:28
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Doubt? Has GOD/CHRIST given you reason to doubt? Does not CHRIST speak on the subject?
    I have no doubt in the ability of Christ to save. And I think that maybe what the Bible is saying when it speaks of certainty is certainty in the power of Christ to save any sinner. But that does not seem to translate to certainty in my personal salvation. Does that make sense?

    I can honestly say I do not doubt Christ, but I do not always feel certain about my faith. And I don't know that I must feel certain for my faith to be genuine saving faith.

    Comments? All are welcome but I am especially interested in what other Christians think about it.
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