Vera Bradley

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About Vera Bradley

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  1. I believe there is a Creator God who has always existed outside and through the universe. God established divine order everywhere. As for my fight against God, I was angry because I had so many unsettling experiences at church with fake christians in the past. It was hard for me to believe that Christianity was true if its own followers didn't take it seriously. It felt like a silly game, so I sought people who took morality seriously, and found some who happened to be nonChristians. So then I questioned everything. Then I questioned the existence of God and listened to well-known atheists like Richard Dawkins. What I realised is that they fight against God for the sake of fighting, all the while knowing that God exists.
  2. I am not sure if he ever was a Christian. When I say I "don't have a choice" I mean I am tired of working against God (fighting an uphill battle against reality). Ultimately I am choosing to end this fight against God. Sorry that did not come across clearly.
  3. missmuffet, my brother was a pastor for over 15 years and he knows the gospel through and through. He is not ready to hear me tell him about Jesus Christ. Where I stand: I don't have a choice about asking Jesus Christ to be my Savior because I am tired of fighting an uphill battle against reality.
  4. Fishing for a fellow rebel in his rebellion against God. When I talk to him on the phone, he asks me "You're an atheist, right?" I have told him that I am not an atheist. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. He wanted reassurance that he was not alone in his rebellion. It's not working. I have a blog that my brother knows about, and at first I wrote random book reviews, but now I have decided to focus on spirituality, and I don't think he will frequent my blog much longer. I say all of this to say that I see how rebellion works. It's like a child sneaking around doing something wrong, and seeking alibis.
  5. Thanks for your replies. I want to believe that prayer is effective. What I'm dealing with is doubt about God's existence. When I go to pray, I wonder if I am making God up in my own imagination, and if prayer is just happening in my mind. I compare it to a child writing a letter to Santa Claus. If a child writes a letter to Santa, that child more than likely truly believes that Santa exists. However, if an adult writes a letter to Santa, what is going on? I want to believe that God exists outside of my own imagination. I have difficulty getting to that point.
  6. Hi everyone. I have had a very difficult time praying. I have not prayed in years because I cannot see how prayer solves problems, especially when they are life-threatening. I can see how taking action solves problems. I think about people in situations where they are on the verge of homelessness, or having a major illness, and I think, if they pray about it, how will that change their situation? Wouldn't reaching out to housing agencies or applying certain remedies or medicine be more effective? I want to know how and why prayer is effective.
  7. "Theistic pagan" describes me perfectly. However, I do not believe there are gods like Zeus and Thor. My search for Jesus Christ has led me out of the religion and growing American enterprise that is more like Christianity™ than the way of Christ. There is a blog called "Jesus Without Baggage," and Tim, the author, puts into words the very things I have felt for several years.
  8. other one, To answer your question, it's possibly because I have not yet found people with whom I have a strong human bond. Also, with American culture infiltrating the church, it's difficult for me to find people who are Christians first, and Americans second.
  9. Thanks everyone for the replies. I think what it boils down to for me is that I crave human friendship. I see other people get together and have good times. I watch other Christians get together and support each other, and am left out of that. I don't want it to be just me and Jesus. There are some things Jesus cannot do, like give a physical hug, prepare a cup of tea, or provide first aid to a physical wound. As silly as it sounds, those types of things are extremely important to me.
  10. Hi angels4u, When I made friends with the nonbelievers in college, that was the first time I had ever had flawed human friends. At that time, I wanted human love more than Christ's love because no human can go through life alone and dejected. I still feel that way.
  11. The title seems like an oxymoron, but it is the main reason why my faith disappeared. I grew up in a church (church of Christ) where I quickly became a social leper because of my desire to study the Bible. I often had an entire table to myself during Sunday school, and an entire pew to myself during the church service on days when I went to church and my family stayed at home. I have distinct memories of my peers and their parents singing sexually explicit songs, making off-coloured jokes, and treating me like I was the odd one when they discovered I had a Christian music collection. Fast forward to college... I first attended a Methodist college, and experienced the same things--pressure to get drunk and accept homosexuality--by the religious studies students! Once again, I was left out. After I transferred to a public university, I met a few nonbelievers who respected me and actually appreciated my faith! They were kindhearted, generous, and a breath of fresh air for me. They actually wanted to be around me instead of avoid me. They became my friends, and that is when I began to see that it doesn't matter what a person believes. What matters is how they treat others. I know that it's not good to depend on other people when deciding what to do with Jesus. I also realise that not all nonbelievers are nice people. I just don't know what to make of my experiences, and the more disortions I see in Christianity, the less I want to do with it. I feel like the person (supposedly Ghandi) who said, "I like Christ; I do not like your Christians." Thanks for letting me vent here. Feedback is welcome.
  12. Why is God addressed as a male rather than simply God? If God is Spirit, does that not mean God is beyond gender?
  13. Hi everyone! Though I am no longer a christian, I do believe the Creator exists. I say this because I have watched people who convert to atheism transform into angry, degenerate, and demented souls. One person in particular is my older brother. He was a pastor for many years, and has been an atheist for at least 10 years. It would be one thing if he simply went about his busniess, but instead, he uses every interaction as an opportunity to bring up his criticisms of theism, and to announce to others that he is an atheist. Now he has gotten to the point where he said he wants a police officer killed for every black man killed. This is someone who has declared that he will run for U.S. president in 2024 as the first openly atheist candidate. He used to be a fairly mellow person. Now he gets angry at theists and mouths off at them. He recently said that people who believe in God need to be slowed down. He hates the word "God." To me this is more proof that God exists. I have always believed because of the complexity and beauty of nature.
  14. The Bible says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, yet in the context of dating and marriage, at least in the West, that mandate does not appear to be heeded, at least in my experience. I remember when I was younger, I was with some women who held a Bible study once a week. Yet on weekends when I went out with them, they had a night out on the town and flirted with worldly men on the street. Also, I have encountered more people who put the faith aside just long enough to find a mate, then pick it up again afterward. This frustrates me because I refused to be unequally yoked and have been single all my life. Do I have to play this baiting game? Is it really possible to be equally yoked from the very beginning?
  15. Hi everyone! I'm not new to the forums. I have spent the past couple of years on and off the forums groping in the darkness of doubt and unbelief. My unbelief was because of my focus on people and my expectation that they behave the way I wanted them to. I couldn't see how focusing on Jesus could keep me from being lonely because I wanted people in my life so badly, not just Jesus. Here is a summary of what has happened... I grew up in a conservative church that taught false doctrine. It was called the Church of Christ. We were taught that we were the only ones going to heaven because we did not have musical instruments. I knew that was false teaching, so I searched elsewhere for the Truth. I was also discouraged by the hypocrisy in the church where I was raised. I wanted to obey God and study Scripture, and found myself alienated by the very people who claimed to want to do the same. I was left out of church activities because I didn't want to make off-colored jokes and I didn't want to drink and get drunk. I wanted to have good, clean fun. I joined a Bible study at my high school, and that's where I met people who has authentic faith in Jesus. At that time I believed in God as Creator, but I still didn't know Jesus. I thought I was saved because I grew up in church and was a law-abiding citizen. I was just a religious person. During my first two years of college, I attended a Methodist college. I was with a group of students in a church careers program, and found myself in the same predicament again, being misunderstood by the religious studies students because of my desire to be pure. By no means was I perfect; I was self-righteous and blinded by my own goodness. I transferred to a public university, and it was there that I started to interact more closely with nonbelievers. What threw me off was that the nonbelievers had greater respect for my desire to obey God than the church folks had. I found myself reaching out to the world to have good, clean fun, and I made friends. It was during that time that I decided that maybe the nonbelievers were onto something. I got angrier at the church and found ways to discredit it. I threw my Bibles away, and entertained myself with anti-Christian propaganda. I explored almost every belief system out there. My main focus was on new age. I waffled between atheism, agnosticism, and paganism. I was looking for love and acceptance, and I found it in the world. There are a whole lot of nice people in the world. Through all this, the one thing that never settled with me was the world's acceptance and celebration of homosexuality. Yes they were welcoming, yes they were more kind to me than the church folks had been, but they accepted something that was clearly not part of God's divine order. Among other things, there was that unmistakeable darkness that was just... there. I got to the point where I couldn't be isolated in my anger toward the church, and I went back to church because I couldn't continue to live in confusion and loneliness. I bought a Bible, and found a church close to my home a few weeks ago where there is sound doctrine. I'm still learning what it means to have faith in Jesus alone, and not in my religiosity or in other people. Tonight as I type this post, I think about how horribly wrong an educated, law-abiding citizen such as myself can be, and that my righteousness is filthy rags. "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) I follow Jesus Christ.