Ex-Orthodox now agnostic, want to know does God exist.

Anthony1986

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Hi!

My name is Anthony. I had lived in Canada and Spain for many years. Right now I am currently living in Taiwan, my birthplace with my parent.

I was born in a Buddhist/Taoist family. I was baptized in the Protestant Church when I was a teenager. I received my Chrismation in the Orthodox Church in Canada back in 2012.

In 2014 I traveled to Spain to study the dentistry degree. However, I didn't finish my degree. I was wasting my five years of my life to doing a degree for nothing.

Last summer, I returned to Taiwan to live with my parent and started a new career. 

However, I became agnostic. I was studying very hard for the past five years. However, I had been abused mentally and financially by the University professors and administration.

Does God really exist? If so, why God allows evil things to happen?

Can anyone show me the evidence of God's existence?

Is Jesus God? if so where is the evidence?

Did Jesus rise from death? Where is the evidence for the resurrection?
Are there any proofs of after-life?

I am not here for the debate, I just want the answers. If anyone can answer my questions that will be great.

Thank you
 

Anthony1986

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Has anyone seen Jesus?

If you haven't seen Jesus physically, how can you believe that Jesus is God?


Has anyone talked to Jesus? If you haven't talked to Jesus personally, how can you believe that he is God?
 

WPM

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I believe you can work with questions about Life and Existence for many years.
 

Tzimis

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Can you see Corona virus? How do we know it exists? Because we listen to science and believe in there findings. In other word we trust in people who have this knowledge.
Its the same with our religion. We trust those who have this knowledge and hopefully one day we can actually see for ourselves. Its a matter of trust.
 

Anthony1986

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The other question I have is what is the definition of God according to the Orthodox Church?

A God of intervention? Or just the God of order, like physical law?

Why are some animals have to eat other animals in order to survive? 

Why God creates predator-prey relationship among species?

 
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I believe I can only go so far in my conscience to know right from wrong. The Gospel is that truth that holds me accountable for my own good & others ultimately ( in proportion of my own existence).
I
 

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The lives of the saints are solid testimonies, because they've known God better than anyone else. Usually it reflects in their virtuous ways, without great supernatural wonders, although some have both witnessed and exhibited miracles due to this proximity.

Many historical narratives of contact with deities exist, but Orthodox Christianity is special in giving an unbroken living tradition of many saints that show us God by reflecting his light. They are the living witnesses to the ressurection of Jesus Christ, more palpably than any book.
 

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Anthony1986 said:
hecma925 said:
I see God every day.
What do you mean you see God every day?

Do Jesus, Theotokos, and Saints appear to you every day?
The sun rises, the grass grows, the birds nest, we wake up, we breathe, we laugh, we love, we cry... how is that not God?  :)
You seek with your mind what only the heart can understand.  It doesn't mean there aren't rationally understood evidences, but when Scripture says, "the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge," you see what has to come first.  Where is your heart?  And why?
 

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Just as you have a physical body and a soul and a mind, it makes sense by analogy that the material world, reality as a whole, also correlates to a supreme soul and mind. This works for me.

However, this proof by analogy appears debatable. Your mind correlates to a physical brain, but the physical brain, unlike the material world, has a specific function that we know to correlate to thinking. The brain has electrons and neurons and stores memories in cells. However, we don't know that reality makes up a corresponding "macro-brain" with thought processes.
 

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Anthony1986 said:
Hi!

My name is Anthony. I had lived in Canada and Spain for many years. Right now I am currently living in Taiwan, my birthplace with my parent.

I was born in a Buddhist/Taoist family. I was baptized in the Protestant Church when I was a teenager. I received my Chrismation in the Orthodox Church in Canada back in 2012.

In 2014 I traveled to Spain to study the dentistry degree. However, I didn't finish my degree. I was wasting my five years of my life to doing a degree for nothing.

Last summer, I returned to Taiwan to live with my parent and started a new career. 

However, I became agnostic. I was studying very hard for the past five years. However, I had been abused mentally and financially by the University professors and administration.

Does God really exist? If so, why God allows evil things to happen?

Can anyone show me the evidence of God's existence?

Is Jesus God? if so where is the evidence?

Did Jesus rise from death? Where is the evidence for the resurrection?
Are there any proofs of after-life?

I am not here for the debate, I just want the answers. If anyone can answer my questions that will be great.

Thank you
I really can understand you & that you are wounded and that now out of this wound new questions about God have been arising. I've struggled also with my faith when things in my life (studying (yet not finished after 10 years!), struggling with my passions to the point of total exhaustion, pressure from my parents to have a "succesful" life, struggling for ten years in the relationship with my girlfriend to the point of several nervous breakdowns, and so on). Now my life situation is after 10 -12 years of constant struggle a bit better - but only God knows for how long. All the struggle was worth it! But now more then before I understand the saying "all our troubles are coming from pride". Beside my desire for spirituality and a life in Christ, I still put tooo much hope & energy to have as soon as possible a normal, average life with a good job, with a good marriage, with healthy childrens and a wonderful spouse - and so on. But life is not about all these things - not at all. I unconsciously tried and hoped to fill my self-worth with all these things and with just a little recognition from other people, instead to fill it with my only Love - Christ.
And: Glory to God for all things! Compared to people from the past (100 years - 1 Million years ago) I live like a king today - really! Only if I compare myself with modern, western people, who are "successful", my life is not really admirable. It's all about finding the right perspective. Christ has never promised us a succesful life, but the cross, when we follow Him. Orthodoxy is paradoxy. In Early Christianity christians were compared to soldiers - and that's more than true. We enter a spiritual war, ready to lose everything, so that we may find our Heart and so to gain the true, deep Everything. I write all these, dear Anthony, with love & to encourage you. Forgive me if I wrote something wrong.
 

Anthony1986

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Nathanael said:
Anthony1986 said:
Hi!

My name is Anthony. I had lived in Canada and Spain for many years. Right now I am currently living in Taiwan, my birthplace with my parent.

I was born in a Buddhist/Taoist family. I was baptized in the Protestant Church when I was a teenager. I received my Chrismation in the Orthodox Church in Canada back in 2012.

In 2014 I traveled to Spain to study the dentistry degree. However, I didn't finish my degree. I was wasting my five years of my life to doing a degree for nothing.

Last summer, I returned to Taiwan to live with my parent and started a new career. 

However, I became agnostic. I was studying very hard for the past five years. However, I had been abused mentally and financially by the University professors and administration.

Does God really exist? If so, why God allows evil things to happen?

Can anyone show me the evidence of God's existence?

Is Jesus God? if so where is the evidence?

Did Jesus rise from death? Where is the evidence for the resurrection?
Are there any proofs of after-life?

I am not here for the debate, I just want the answers. If anyone can answer my questions that will be great.

Thank you
I really can understand you & that you are wounded and that now out of this wound new questions about God have been arising. I've struggled also with my faith when things in my life (studying (yet not finished after 10 years!), struggling with my passions to the point of total exhaustion, pressure from my parents to have a "succesful" life, struggling for ten years in the relationship with my girlfriend to the point of several nervous breakdowns, and so on). Now my life situation is after 10 -12 years of constant struggle a bit better - but only God knows for how long. All the struggle was worth it! But now more then before I understand the saying "all our troubles are coming from pride". Beside my desire for spirituality and a life in Christ, I still put tooo much hope & energy to have as soon as possible a normal, average life with a good job, with a good marriage, with healthy childrens and a wonderful spouse - and so on. But life is not about all these things - not at all. I unconsciously tried and hoped to fill my self-worth with all these things and with just a little recognition from other people, instead to fill it with my only Love - Christ.
And: Glory to God for all things! Compared to people from the past (100 years - 1 Million years ago) I live like a king today - really! Only if I compare myself with modern, western people, who are "successful", my life is not really admirable. It's all about finding the right perspective. Christ has never promised us a succesful life, but the cross, when we follow Him. Orthodoxy is paradoxy. In Early Christianity christians were compared to soldiers - and that's more than true. We enter a spiritual war, ready to lose everything, so that we may find our Heart and so to gain the true, deep Everything. I write all these, dear Anthony, with love & to encourage you. Forgive me if I wrote something wrong.
Thank you Nathanael. Thanks for your encouragement.
 

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Anthony1986, how exactly did the professors at the university humiliate you? You can continue training if you want?

Have you read about Job? Why do you think God does not give answers to Job, but only asks questions?

What books of Theodicy are available in English? (sorry, I don't know English).

Brother, in fact, I also feel sorry for the bunnies and I know no more than you. Let's look for answers together!

Or maybe we should keep some questions with us to ask them when we meet with God face to face?
 

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hecma925 said:
Anthony1986 said:
hecma925 said:
I see God every day.
What do you mean you see God every day?

Do Jesus, Theotokos, and Saints appear to you every day?
Yes.  Most times, I reject them.
This hurts too much, because I'm the same way.
 

Ainnir

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Most of us are.  Life is a struggle.
 

Anthony1986

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znqn said:
Anthony1986, how exactly did the professors at the university humiliate you? You can continue training if you want?

Have you read about Job? Why do you think God does not give answers to Job, but only asks questions?

What books of Theodicy are available in English? (sorry, I don't know English).

Brother, in fact, I also feel sorry for the bunnies and I know no more than you. Let's look for answers together!

Or maybe we should keep some questions with us to ask them when we meet with God face to face?
When I was doing my dentistry in Spain, I did study very hard. I didn't miss any lectures and work very hard during the practical.
However, the professor didn't like me. They think I am lazy. Every time when I have the questions I asked them for help. The always shouting at me. I criticize me all the time. Even during the final exams, they were shouting at me and insulting me.

I begin to read the books about Father Arseny (1894-1975), it was amazing, it helps me to heal my pain.

I will read the book of Job tonight and look for the answer.

I  want to read some books about Theodicy. Can anyone help? Thank you.
 

Anthony1986

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I just had a conversation with Protestant Preachers on the street.

I asked them to present to me the historical evidence that showed that Jesus is God and had risen from death outside the Scripture.

However, they told me the only evidence they have is the Bible. They said the Bible is enough to show that Jesus is God.

I am very disappointed. I am looking for rational discussion, but I can't get any rational information.

Can anyone show me the historical evidence that Jesus is God and had risen from death outside the Scripture?

 

RaphaCam

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First of all, the Bible collects testimony of many different people about the life, death and resurrection of Christ. So it's not one piece of evidence, but a collection of many. Within one century of Christ's resurrection, Ss. Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Quadratus of Athens, Papias of Hierapolis and Polycarp of Smyrna definitely wrote about Him, not to mention those who aren't that confirmed by critics. Among non-Christians, you can check a list here of writers who referred to Him. Obviously not to His resurrection, but that's no surprise given no one who wouldn't convert to Christianity would believe in His resurrection and vice-versa.
 

Eamonomae

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One thing is absolutely true, there is something greater than us, without which your life is meaningless.

Even assuming there isn't the Holy Trinity, there is likely something where we derive life from that is beyond just atoms. Our very consciousness speaks to that. I find it more difficult to believe what we call "the soul" is nothing more than chaos.

Even assuming that isn't true, that our consciousness just came from dead atoms and chaos, you are part of the human species and are destined by fate to take a role in that cycle of birth, death, reproduction, happiness, sadness, loneliness, memories, resent that will repeat until we all die off.

The harsh reality is the fact that the world is not just at all. Period.


Christianity speaks to that with the prince of this world being Satan, and our world being fallen and corrupt.

This "greater thing," whether it's God, "consciousness", the human cycle, etc. does not owe you anything more than what it has given to others. Babies get cancer, men and women die alone, homeless heroin addicts die in the street with onlookers, children get sexually abused, etc.

The most mind-opening moment for me is the fact that bullies tend to go on to live happy, fulfilling lives with friends and family, often married happily with a partner, whereas bullied victims tend to be poorer and alone. The whole "geek will show them and live in an office, while the stupid jock will be unemployed" is a falsehood, a "just-world" fallacy.
How is that fair? That is what is it though.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2013/05/20/why-bullies-succeed-at-work-2/


You have no more intrinsic value than anybody else, and if this "greater thing" did not exist at all, you would not exist; your existence depends on this greater thing.

Why? For the Christian, it's God's Wisdom. There's a reason why God in His Wisdom has allowed it, and you are not allowed to know why. You can waste years of your life away trying to figure it out, but no human being ever has or ever will. It's off limits. God has ordered it thus.

All you can do is accept whatever life has given you, and change what you know you can change about yourself to become the best version of yourself and work hard to discern that difference. And use what you have to make a positive impact in the lives of other people. Accept your fate, and do your part in God's Will, and then die. Everyone takes part in that fate, and you have to accept it.
 

Eamonomae

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Here's the article I was looking for in terms of bullies:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4552909/
 

Eamonomae

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Last thing: who knows? While I do not doubt that succeeding in Dentistry is disappointing, you never know where your life could have ended up.

You might have ended up in a terrible practice, a terrible location, or starting a business that fails, which may have been worse than being a dentist in the first place. Dentists tend to have some of the highest suicide rates compared to other professions. And I personally know a few Dentists who regret doing it in the first place.

That's no justification - having a dream and failing at it sucks. I know. Especially with the debt (which I hoped you escaped from or your family can help out with) and the 5 years of your life gone. No amount of American platitudes will change the fact that it sucks.

Here's the thing though - you have the ability to accept your defeat and move on. Some people have it way worse, some have it better,  but if you really work on yourself to be the best version of yourself, and you create a new dream for yourself of what you want to achieve, you can achieve it.

I'm sorry, Eamonomae, but the forum rules are clear.  As a non-Orthodox member, you are not permitted to post in the Convert Issues section except to either enquire about Orthodoxy or to clear up any misconceptions surrounding your non-Orthodox faith.  You will receive a warning of 20 points.

Pravoslavbob, Section Moderator
 

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Regarding theodicy, I haven't read it yet, but some people really like The Doors of the Sea by David Bentley Hart, which was written in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2004 which killed hundreds of thousands of people.
 

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Jesus said you believe in God believe also in Me. You can not believe Jesus is God if you don’t believe in God. But belief in God is a choice one makes with evidence. It clearly seems unreasonable to be in this world without a first cause. We just simply can’t understand the first cause. This first cause being God encourages belief in His existence by answering prayers to all who are true seekers of God but not all prayers unless they are seeking Jesus or He only hears them when they are truly searching for the truth. If God had something to say to man that he needs to know the bible is the only reliable book that details the whole history of man which is consistent and reasonable and says nothing foolish. He spoke through the law and the prophets proving Himself to the world then through them and showing the world what they must do to be saved. As Paul said gentiles who did not have the law who fulfilled the law then were justified then because they followed the law written on their heart because though they did not have all the advantages of being God’s people which is to not be without chastening yet I believe God had shown all who were true seekers the truth but they were not God’s people without chastening. God’s people also would also not be chastened only if they kept all the law and Jesus came fulfilling all the law and the prophets to grant the same favour to gentiles as to Jews in this world but gentiles before were not given the whole revelation of God or the law as some Jews if not all Jews knew so they were not expected to keep it. Or they would have all known if they had seeked God like Job who was a gentile knew about Christ but even if they did not know God knows they would have received it because they cared for the truth. Jesus fulfilled the law so there is no reason not to believe Him and there is no proof He is not God so you have to believe Him
 

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I forgot I should not post as I am not orthodox but he is not only enquiring about the orthodox faith

You forgot, even though the post of Eamonomae in which I warned him in bold green ink not to comment in this section as a non-Orthodox is just two posts behind your first effort here today.  I'm giving you 15 points to help you be more observant of the forum rules. 

Pravoslavbob
 

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Regarding theodicy, I haven't read it yet, but some people really like The Doors of the Sea by David Bentley Hart, which was written in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2004 which killed hundreds of thousands of people.
So now that I've read it, here're just a few thoughts on it. It doesn't really provide any concrete answer that will settle all doubts down on these kinds of issues. I suppose I shouldn't have expected it to. Hart spends some time dismantling poor arguments against Christianity, though he also points out that many arguments aren't even relevant to Christianity and are more criticisms of deism or generic theism. But there's no moment where he lays out an actual answer. Quite the contrary, he admits towards the end that our answers to these questions are shown to be terribly inadequate in the light of actual trauma and soul-searching. That isn't to say we can't learn about the issues and have a better grasp of what's going on with sin, evil, death, virtue, free will, etc., just that such topics involve a lot of questions with few smoking gun answers (regardless of religious/irreligious affiliation).
 

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What brought you to faith the first time, when you became Orthodox? And why do you believe you need to be convinced all over again, "from the beginning"?
 
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What level of evidence do you suggest you need to satisfy your question? It's amazing to which truth stares at us today, or even slap us in the face, and yet we (general term) reject it. The level of obfuscation for absolutely critical things is crazy high too.

Do masks work? Is global warming man's cause?

Also, what medium of evidence is necessary? I posit to you, that if Jesus were alive today and did the things he did video evidence would not only be not enough, it would be deemed fake or illusory.

There were many false messiah's before Jesus (and probably after). What fruit have they bore? The Church is here now because of the authenticity of Jesus, with all the Saints, as the community of believers to spread the Gospel.

In your first post you mention all the tribulation and pain you've gone through. Has God (Jesus) promised us any different? No, he states explicitly these things you will encounter.
 
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