The next two pages of my web book are on religion and enlightenment. They really are one and the same because true enlightenment is a religious experience, and so are inseparable. The greatest advancements in mankind's history have been the result of religious motivations, so one can't be explained without the other. Conversely, all of mankind's lowest points have been when religion was separated from human endeavors. Considering the history that most 'historians' agree on would contradict these conclusions of mine, I wouldn't be surprised if you believed differently, but hopefully by the conclusion of these pages you will see my point
So, what is my religion? The short answer is I'm a Christian, but if you read my previous page, you should know that my religion defines who I am, and no endeavor could be more pointless than trying to tell you that (even assuming I remain static long enough for any definition to still be accurate by the time I finish it). This means to answer that question is not possible.
But try I must. Why? It's not to tell you anything about my religion, but to help you define yours. Even though my words on this page may seem like I'm telling you what I believe, they aren't. It's just a writing style. So don't waste your time trying to get into my head. Just read this page with the focus of seeing how these words affect your religion.
I see. You want to pontificate and yet claim you are not preaching. Come on. Either your telling us what you believe or you're not.
I know. It's a tough concept to get. The best way I know how to explain it is that when I read or hear something religious that speaks to me, I don't get a sense that I've learned something new. Instead, I feel that what I read has simply revealed something about me that I hadn't noticed before. That's what I'm trying to accomplish here. I'm not trying to change any minds, or get anyone to agree with me. What I write is either something that will speak to you, or it won't, and I have no say in that matter. I just know that it most certainly never will if I don't write it.
As you go through this page you will probably get the impression that I am a rather unconventional Christian, but I wouldn't think so. I may differ from what is commonly portrayed as what it means to be a Christian, but I believe my beliefs are shared by the majority of us Christians. I just word it differently. And I do so to better define myself, by which makes that definition strong. Without a strong definition you are just wandering aimlessly through life.
If you need to narrow down what I believe to a name, I would use Pro-Life Christian. As I got into on my Pro-Life Marriage page, I use the phrase pro-life to describe what I'm for, and not what is commonly considered as describing what I'm against. In other words, my Christian faith is about promoting life, and not just the life of the unborn.
Naturally there are many differences between what I believe and what is considered Christian orthodoxy. I use pro-life to put front and center how I differ from the small minority who I consider pro-death. Pro-Death Christians are the ones who believe that we are suppose to suffer on Earth in order to prepare for the after-life. I couldn't disagree with these people more. I have no idea what awaits me when I die, and quite frankly, I'm perfectly content to wait until it happens to find out. I am a Christian because of what my faith does for my life right now. I personally don't know any pro-death Christians. I see them around, and have heard their diatribes on TV, but every Christian I know is one because of the beauty they bring into their lives when they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
In a nutshell, Jesus Christ is my savior. Not because He will save me from going to hell, but because He has saved me from a life without meaning.
I'm no theologian, nor have I studied at any seminary. I'm even worse than the average Christian at knowing chapter and verse of the Bible as well. So if your looking for some authoritative description of what it means to be a Christian, you won't find it here. My advice is that if you are looking for something like that, you should check out Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. He gives the best case for being a Christian as only a former atheist could, and I would like to spend a little space here singing its praise.
I have always considered myself a Christian. Even as a young child, yet my family was not the church going type. It wasn't until my late teens that I started going on my own. But later, as a young man, I had a falling out. It wasn't so much that I rejected Christ as I felt the path I was on wasn't leading me where I needed to go. So I started researching other religions, from Buddhism to Islam to many others all over the map.
I even considered becoming a Mormon. Not because I thought that what they believed was right. Let's face it. A religion based on some guy staggering out of no where claiming he saw these tablets can't be anything but a bit unhinged. Yet what attracted me were the results. By and large, the LDS was producing the best people than any other faith I saw.
You're the one that has to be unhinged if you can't see how crazy they are.
If your goal is to dismiss a religion, you can always find the examples you need to do so. Freewill demands it, as I'll explain more later. Yet if you want to evaluate a faith based on its results, from a conservative perspective, you would be hard pressed to find a better one than the LDS. I see them like Catholicism, with their strong focus on family, but without all the liberal politics that are so pervasive in the Catholic church. I'm not saying that being a Catholic will make you a liberal, just that Catholicism doesn't present a good enough barrier to becoming one.
While I don't consider my wandering over yet, it was Mere Christianity that put me back on the path that I'm on now. It spoke to me like nothing else. This book was adapted from a series of BBC radio talks given by Mr. Lewis between 1942 and 1944. As he was an atheist, he makes a solid and logical case why you should be a Christian.
One of the things that has always attracted me to the Christian faith in general was that it has something for everyone. Whether you are of low intellect or high, it had something to say that spoke to your soul. One of the many ways that liberals like to disparage Christianity is that they point to the people of low intellect who are Christian and say to themselves
if it's good enough from them, it certainly can't be what's right for me. Yet they fail to recognize the great intellects of our past and present who have been moved by their Christian faith, much like C.S. Lewis, and if you read Mere Christianity you will understand too. It's considered only a primer to becoming a Christian, but it will open a door that you know going in will take you a lifetime to get through.
The were many factors that caused the falling out I mentioned above, but the most significant one was my encounter with a street corner preacher. I had seen many previously, but none since I had declared myself
Born Again. At the time of this incident I was filled with the wonder of Christ, and felt connected like never before. Yet that encounter led to a series of events that shook me, and left me feeling abandoned.
Looking back, it's quite ironic that what did this to me was so similar to what got me started in the first place. I was 16 years old, standing in front of a movie theater waiting for my mom to pick me up (I was always waiting for my mom - I don't think she ever picked me up on time for anything). So I had nothing better to do than listen to a couple of kids my age evangelize to anyone coming out of the theater. What made them different was that they seemed to just want to talk to me, not preach. In other words, they seemed more interested in finding out who I was, and not to just telling me what they had to say.
As I would understand later, it was the connection that they made with me that made the difference in making me born again. It certainly wasn't anything they said, because I had heard it all before.
Before my conversion to be Born Again, I had seen and heard many street corner preachers, but I never paid them any mind. All I knew about them was that what they were preaching was wrong, but I didn't understand why. But now that I was Born Again, and I saw what worked for me, I attempted to explain to this one that I encounteres how wrong he was with what he was preaching, and how what he was doing was turning more people away from Christ. What I got for my troubles was being accused of being the devil who was trying to thwart his
As this incident occurred over 30 years ago, I can't give you a blow by blow account, but I can summarize it. What I learned from this encounter affected far more than just my thoughts on religion, but politics as well. His entire dementia was exactly the same as with liberals.
There simply was no way to reason with this guy. The fact that his objectives were out of synch with his methods had no relevance to him. This should have just been an anomaly in my spiritual development, but it turned into a life altering event when I tried to discuss this with the others I was having fellowship with. They thought I was in the wrong for trying to interfere with what he was doing.
This reaction from them shocked me. At the time I couldn't put into words what is was that he was doing wrong, mainly because I couldn't put into words what these people who I was having fellowship with did right with me. All I knew at the time was that I couldn't continue my fellowship with them if I was ever to understand it. To me, it would be living a lie for me to remain with them. We were now on different paths, and I could not pretend otherwise.
One of the first things I learned was how easy it was for me to pick out the Christians that were clearly not on the same path I was on, which are the ones I would later call pro-death. All I had to ask them was how they would feel if non-Christians got into heaven.
For a pro-life Christian, which most Christians are even if they won't say so, this doesn't concern them. Who does or does not get into heaven is God's will, and really not for us to concern ourselves with. Not so for a pro-death Christian. To them, they mere idea that a non-Christian could go to heaven is an anathema. It simply wouldn't be fair. And why? Because non-Christians are not sacrificing their life for Christ. For a pro-death Christian, the point to life is to sacrifice it for a reward in heaven. I couldn't disagree more. I consider it a sacrifice to not be a Christian.
To understand what I mean, take the Biblical story of Abraham who was commanded by God to sacrifice his son. Pro-Death Christians use this story as a testament to faith, and because Abraham was willing to kill his son, God spared him from actually following through with it.
I don't know about you, but anything telling me to kill my child will never convince me it's God. I don't care how many lightening bolts are thrown at me, or how much the ground shakes beneath my feet, I am not going to kill my child because something claiming to be God has commanded me to do it.
Sacrifice is wrong, and how I arrive at this comes from a belief that God does not care about what I do. He only cares about who I am, and if who I am sees being a Christian as a sacrifice, then I need to change who I am, so that it is no longer a sacrifice.
Sure, there are sacrifices to being a Christian. Just as I had to sacrifice many of the things I enjoyed to become a husband and father. But my life is so much better now that I am the man who no longer sees those things I gave up as desirable. I changed, and if I hadn't, I would never have received the benefits that come from being a husband and father.
So when you are presented with sacrifices, you need to consider whether it's something to reject, like killing your child, or whether you need to change who you are. Never accept a sacrifice as is. Much like the problem with abortion. It's not the killing of the child that is the biggest tragedy. It's believing you are better off without the child that is the real harm you do to yourself. Who you are is the problem, not the unborn child.
This goes to a significant problem that both non-Christians and pro-death Christians have. They both see Christianity as something you do, which leads them to believe they must sacrifice to be one. They differ only in their reaction to it. Non-Christians reject it, while pro-death Christians embrace it. Neither really understands what it means to be a Christian and the blessings they'll receive when they do. I pity them both.
Being a Christian is not about what you do, like sacrificing, it's about who you are, and that's no sacrifice.
So I take it from what you said earlier that you believe that I am going to heaven even though I am an atheist.
Not a chance. I also believe that sex outside marriage is a sin, yet I don't run around calling people fornicators either. The question isn't what do I believe, but what do I value, and I don't value either. It's not my beliefs that drive me, but my values.
I don't get it. Why believe in something you don't value.
The Christian faith is far too large to act upon it all. Like all human endeavors, you must prioritize, and all lists of priorities are based on what you value. Just because I believe in something, doesn't mean I have the time or resources to act upon it. What I value is based on what serves a useful or beneficial purpose, and placing value on the belief that people who don't believe as I do are going to fry in hell serves no purpose.
Pro-death Christians believe otherwise. It's all that matters to them, and as such, it becomes destructive to them and their perceived goals. When you value something, it becomes important to you. When it becomes important that terrible things happen to people, your soul is damaged. You can claim all you want that it's not you, but God that is condemning non-believers to hell, but when you value it, you want it, so you may as well be responsible for it. It does the same damage.
Besides, if you want someone to be Christian, and you lead off by telling them that what they believe now is wrong, they're just going to put up their defenses and cling even tighter to what they already believe is true. If, on the other hand, you actually care about whether they become a Christian, you're going to lead off with the beauty and wonder they will bring into their lives by being a Christian, and if so, does it really matter what happens to them when they die?
The reverse of this values-vs-beliefs issue is also true for people like you. You believe that you have to believe in everything before you'll believe in anything. If that's the case, then you'll never be one, nor will you ever change your mind on anything. You've simply established a standard that can never be met. Nothing in life is all or nothing. Saying anything is, is a great way of making sure you'll never truly consider it, which if you were honest with yourself, you would know that's what you are doing.
Instead of focusing on what you believe, you should focus on what you value, and if you see no value in becoming a Christian, then by all means, don't become one. I certainly wouldn't want you to. I even believe that this is how pro-death Christians are created. They haven't become a Christian because of what they value. They have become one because of what they fear.
I'm not the one claiming it's all or nothing. That's what I hear from your side. Isn't picking and choosing what you believe or don't believe looked down upon. I believe the term is "Cafeteria Catholic."
First of all, there are no sides here. Sides are what people believe in order to divide people to establish who they are instead of who we are, but this topic is for later.
As for picking and choosing what to believe, that's been going on since time began. A significant picking-and-choosing event occurred at Nicea in the fourth century. At the behest of a Roman Emperor who needed a unified religion to rule his empire, a group of people who valued the belief that non-believers should fry in hell, gathered together there to choose among the various different beliefs and writings what best supported what they valued. From that effort came eventually what we now call the Catholic Church and the Holy Bible.
Considering the people who gathered there, and for the purpose they were gathered, it is absolutely incredulous to believe anything good would come of it. These people took a vibrant and rapidly growing religion, and gave us not only the Dark Ages, but also Islam. Exactly how those dots get traced I'll leave for another page. What's important for now is to consider that it would be over a thousand years before Christianity could be reborn as a faith that is a blessing on mankind.
The depth of hypocrisy needed for a Catholic to accuse someone else of picking and choosing what to believe is just staggering. And regardless of which denomination you are, to believe you must worship the Bible to be a Christian means that you also believe there were no Christians for the first four hundred years after Christ. Preposterous.
You know, there is some debate about who and when wrote which gospel of the Bible, but there is no debate about the fact that Christ didn't write any of it. He didn't write any of it, nor did he ask for any of it to be written.
Admittedly, there is also no doubt that at the time of Nicea Christianity was splintering, but what was called for was leadership. The kind of leadership that Christ offered. Instead, we got a theocracy, which is the opposite of leadership.
Everything you need to know about what is good and real about the Christian faith was how it bloomed and spread from person to person, even while the government was persecuting it, yet how it went horribly wrong when men with power got their hands on it. No matter how noble your intentions, power is evil and will damn anything it touches.
I see what you are trying to do. You're trying to make some connection about what happened then as the reason why government is bad now. Liberalism is politics not religion, so it doesn't apply. Besides, I may not believe in God, but I like what I've read about the teachings of Christ. Surely if he were here today he would be a liberal.
You may have read Christ's words, but you never understood them. The mere idea that Christ's message to us is to demand of others to do His work, is the antithesis of his message. Just as I said previously that giving the needy other peoples' money doesn't make you generous, it also most certainly does not make you a Christian. I may have a problem with what the fundamentalists of my faith believe, but its more a difference of style than substance. Christian liberals may as well be the Taliban as far as my differences with them are concerned.
Christian liberals have no clue about what they are doing. You should read some of their web sites. They are appalling. The idea of personal accountability completely escapes them. Everything that matters to them is about what you do, not who you are, other than to say that if you don't do what they say then you are evil. As in only someone who is evil would object to handing over their hard earned money to spend how these liberals please.
What's really sad is how little faith is expressed at these sites, other than faith in government. I remember hearing this one person expressing the opinion that you either worship big 'G' God, or little 'g' government. Initially I liked it, but I knew of a few atheist like Ayn Rand who would have no faith in either. So instead, what I like is another thing I heard, which was you either have faith in God's creation of man, or man's creation of government. While an atheist would quibble about the God part, this saying does not require them to put their faith in God, but in their fellow man.
No liberal could do that. They believe what they do because they don't have faith in mankind, so they create an abstraction called government. As if it is not made up of the men they don't trust in the first place. This is positively demented. They don't trust mankind so they create a power structure that attracts either delusional individuals who believe they can decide what's best for us, or sociopaths attracted by that power who will say whatever liberals need to hear to get elected.
The bottom line is that being a liberal and a Christian is at best completely gestural, and at worst, damning more people to hell than the actions of any street preacher. Liberalism is about saving the bodies of the poor, not their souls, and there is nothing Christian about that.
I'm not here to defend Christians - liberal or otherwise. The best choice is no religion at all. What ever you believe must be arrived at through reason, not by blind faith to religious text. Surely a guy like you doesn't believe in miracles?
Of course I do. Miracles are those gifts from God we don't understand, such as life itself. The thing you need to understand is that just because we now understand many of the things we once called miracles, that doesn't make them any less a gift.
What really irks me is your use of reason, as if what you believe was arrived at by some well thought out plan. Nothing is further from the truth. Reason is just an activity, like walking, and everyone believes they have good reason to believe what they do.
What's wrong with following where the facts lead you?
Facts? What a foolish concept. I guarantee you, you can find the facts you need to lead you anywhere you want. It's your faith that determines what the facts are. It's what determines where you are going. This is why you cling to reason in the first place. You don't want to look where you are going. It's like believing that if you just start walking without any destination in mind, you'll end up where you need to be. It's the destination that is your faith, and atheists specifically say you shouldn't have one. I came across this definition of atheism that just nails what I mean.
The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.
...makes perfect sense. /s
The very idea that atheism is well reasoned is laughable. I am a Christian because I have good reason to be one. It is you and your ilk that have to make stuff up to arrive at what you believe.
What are you talking about? We're not making anything up. Just because science hasn't explained our beginning doesn't mean it won't. At least we atheists don't give up questioning how everything ended up here by saying a god created it.
I'll admit that there are some Christians who take the Bible literally, and believe such nonsense like the Earth was created in six days and is only seven thousand years old. But they are such an insignificant minority, and pales in comparison to more fanciful delusions like believing Darwinian evolution is a fact.
Of course you wouldn't believe in evolution. Didn't see that one coming – Not!
I do, in fact, believe in evolution. It's Darwinian evolution as described as 'random mutation and natural selection leading from lower order life forms to more advanced forms' that I dismiss. Mainly because there is no such thing as random.
I am a computer programmer, and as such, I have a different perspective on the idea of random. Sometimes there is a need for generating a random number. The problem is that there is no way to make a computer generate a truly random number. Computers can only do exactly what you tell them to do. So what we do instead is use the computers clock as an input to an algorithm that will generate a pseudo-random number. The thing is, if you know the millisecond input into the algorithm, then you will know what number will come out.
Back on a previous page I introduced you to words that while may be used truthfully, they in fact do not exist. Words like dark and cold. Instead of saying there is insufficient light in a room to see, we can easily say the room is dark, and instead of saying there is insufficient heat in a room to be comfortable, we can say the room is cold. You can now add another word to that list, and that's random.
Random does not exist. The placement of every molecule in the universe, from the moment of the Big Bang until life appeared, was the result of specific causes that lead to specific effects. This is what science explains, and nothing about it was random.
So why the word random? Think about it's use in other ways, such as random street crime. The only reason to describe a crime as random is so that you won't feel compelled to look any further into it. If you know the crime wasn't random, then your conscience won't let you rest until the crime is solved.
The word random appears in Darwinian evolution for the exact same reason. These so-called scientists don't want to look any further into why things evolve, so they throw the word random in there. We once thought earthquakes were random, but now we know differently. There are specific causes to them, and only by rejecting random will we eventually know enough to predict, and who knows, someday prevent them in the future.
Maybe it's OK to use random in a theory as a place holder for a process we can't explain yet, but it has absolutely no place in any scientific fact. Until the word random is removed, it must remain a theory, not a fact. Any scientist who tells you that Darwinian evolution is a fact, is not a scientist, but a priest of Atheism.
It's not hard to understand why. Any true scientist can see that the placement of every single molecule in the universe was determined – repeat, determined – at the moment of the Big Bang, or as I would put it, at the moment of creation.
So sure, there are some Christians who believe some pretty unscientific things, but they don't claim to be scientists. As far as I'm concerned, it's the ones that claim that they are, and yet believe in something like the existence of random that do far more harm to science.
No! Absolutely not! Darwinian Evolution is a fact! Who do you think you are to question the greatest scientific minds of the day?
I question everything. That is the scientific process. It's you and your kind that are the ones that have abandoned the scientific process by blindly believing in something that can't possibly exist, like random, then use it to denounce and deride anyone who challenges Darwinian Evolution.
This leads to my final dichotomy that I must cover, which is the dichotomy of science vs religion. There is absolutely no conflict between them, because they are both processes of reason meant to answer completely different questions. The only reason there are problems is because people try to use science to answer questions that only religion can answer and vice versa.
Science is the right tool to use to figure out how chemical reactions work, but people aren't chemical reactions. Yes, there are chemical reactions within us, and science can tell us a lot about them. That's the point of biology. But science can't explain who we really are. A chemical reaction is defined by its environment. What you get out of it is solely determined by what you put into it. If you define the environment, you have defined the reaction.
People, on the other hand, are not defined by their environment. You get far more out of us than what you put into us. Science absolutely cannot explain this. It's not even meant to. Science only explains the specific causes that lead to the specific and repeatable effects, and there is nothing repeatable about people.
Take joy for instance. Many of the things that bring you joy would only sicken me, and vice versa I'm sure. It is religion that answers why this is so. You can study all of things you want that science can explain about joy, like the hormonal and neurological effects that joy has on a person, but not one dram of that knowledge will bring any joy in your life. Joy is just not something you can understand until you experience it. There is no way it can be explained to you.
With science, you must understand it before you can believe it. With religion, you must believe it before you will ever understand. That's why faith means what it does.
I wish I had your faith, but I just can't fool myself into believing in a god. That's what faith really is. Fooling yourself.
No. The only one fooling himself is you. Faith is that aspect of reasoning when you look beyond your five senses in order to understand the world around you. For you, your senses mark the extent of your existence, while for people of faith, our senses only mark our beginning. Your options are only what your senses can tell you, while my options are limitless. We don't have to choose the obvious choice our environment lays in front of us.
Fantasies aren't options. I'll choose what is real.
And that is indeed your choice. No one has picked it for you. For God to exist, so must freewill. God must be chosen, so He has given you every reason you need to deny Him. Freewill demands it. As I read in a book a long time ago
If God were as obvious as the sun in the sky, would you really have a choice in worshipping him? If you expect the senses of this world to be able to see anything beyond it, then you are truly a fool.
Let's try a different tack. Answer me this question. Do you consider yourself to be special? Not in the sense of a special human being or anything. Just in the general sense. Do you believe that there is something of significance or of consequence to you? Do you believe you have any impact in the world around you?"
Of course I do.
Well, chemical reactions don't. They don't define their environment, so they can't take any credit for what they do. Eventually you are going to have to find something other than science to explain who you are in order to say that you really matter. Ultimately, the question of God's existence has little to do with whether you believe in something external to you, and more about whether you believe in yourself.
I think, therefore I am is just pseudo-intellectual psychobabble without God.
Nope. I have no interest in being one of you sanctamonious know-it-alls.
Me? Careful, I think you're projecting. What you describe may apply to some Christians, but it very much decribes all Atheists, and the reason is very similar to the misunderstanding of the difference between Science and Religion. It is the difference between what you know and what you believe.
What you know is based on facts, which is the realm of science, but God is meant to be belived, and what you believe is based on faith, which is the realm of religion. People who 'know' there is a God have no faith, and without faith, they will be intolerant. It's like I know the sun rises in the East, so if anyone disagrees with that, and tells me the sun rises in the West, I am not going to be very respectful to that person. Disagreements on the conclusions drawn from facts maybe acceptable, but disagreements on what are facts are not.
Yet if you tell me you don't believe there is a God, I'm good with that. You're not convinced. You have doubts, and all good Christians have doubts. That is where faith comes in. But if you tell me you 'know' there is no God, and I'll call you an ass, like I call all Pro-Death Christians who 'know' there is one.
God was never meant to be known, and you shouldn't even try. Only things within the realm of science can be known, and God is beyond that realm. Any attempt to know Him is a claim that He is within that realm, which is at best foolish, and quite frankly, the only truly blasphemous claim I know, with the exception of claimimg that He doesn't exists at all.
Science will neither prove nor disprove His existance. That's my belief.
But I know the real reason you are an atheist.
You do? Then enlighten me.
Consider what you would think of someone who demanded that you worshipped him? Don't think of God. Just think of a man who walked up to you, and demanded you worshipped him. What kind of man would you think he is?
Hardly worthy of worship, right?
Goes without saying.
As a related point, have you ever wondered why, considering its many faults, Islam is the second most populace religion in the world?
No. Not really.
There is a connection.
It's real hard to ascribe a characteristic to any group of people, but there is one that holds true for all atheists. They are all type-A personalities. I'm not talking about agnostics, or anyone else that is not sure there is a God. I'm talking about the people who boldly proclaim there is none. These people have a real hard time with the concept of submitting to anyone or anything.
Islam, on the other hand, translates as submission. It may be a backward looking and violence breeding religion, but there is none that instills in its adherents the true nature of man's relationship to God, which is to submit utterly before Him.
You're really selling it. Can't wait to leap into that.
On the surface, I can understand your reservation, but that's where faith comes in. This is not science. You cannot evaluate it from the outside. You must believe it before you will understand it. But once you make that leap of faith a whole new world will open up to you.
One of the first things you will learn is what gratitude will do for you. People who are grateful are the happiest people in the world. Conversely, anyone who harbors feelings of entitlement are the most miserable. Believing that you, and you alone are responsible for your life in this universe, or worse, that anyone owes you anything, is a recipe for a life of misery. But you can't just be grateful. Common sense says you have to be grateful to someone, but who?
Once you make that leap of faith... On second thought. It's not a leap of faith. With your own eyes you can see many people around you that have done it and the rewards they have received by submitting before God. Don't focus on the naysayers. Freewill demands that there are those that say they were harmed by their faith. But they are few, and the truly righteous (not self-righteous) are many. You have to deliberately close your eyes to not see what a life of faith brings to you. That was something I saw right away. I was deliberately refusing to see what accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior was all about.
So, once you
make that leap of faith recognize what you should have known all along, you start seeing that what God demands of you are the things you should want to do anyway. Look closely at the Ten Commandments and you won't see rules, but a path to happiness. God does not command you to worship Him because he needs his ego stroked, which is the obvious motivation of any man who demands it. What faith has shown me is that I don't worship God for Him. I worship God for me.