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Between A Believer And A Nonbeliever

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Hello, community. I've been writing passionately since I was a teen, and I've written in all sorts of genres. I'm new to Christian writing forums, since I've only joined secular ones until I decided to search for Christian ones. I feel kind of wrong calling myself a genuine Christian at this time until God works with me however I need to be worked. That said, I'm definitely a Christ-seeker, and I started writing Christian fiction (and some nonfiction shorts) in 2017.

 

My thread title is accurate because I'm agnostic in belief, but I lean toward Christ with hope that my faith can be restored or at least found. I was raised Christian my whole life (Catholic and Pentecostal because of my contrasting parents), and most of my family are still believers. However, somewhere along the way through rebellion and pain, I got lost when it hadn't been clear to me that the path would crumble. I feel like Dorothy (lamb) looking for Oz (Christ) to reach Kansas (faith). The thing is, I've always had questions even as a former Christian, but the more I rejected God, the more these questions multiplied. I'm not afraid to question God, but I'm afraid of not receiving answers. Most of my online friends are atheist, so they don't understand my situation. Why I'm writing Christian lit, you may wonder? Signs throughout my life with one that hit me the hardest on March 16, 2017 (John 3:16). I ignored that experience because I was scared. Then in August of that year, I started my search for Christ. Trust me when I say this is no walk in the park. It takes a heck of a lot of hope for an agnostic person to even bother with looking for God. I just don't like the idea of nothingness after death; I like the idea of a paradise after death with an unconditionally loving existence. I've had my share of anger with God years ago; now, it's just more hope that God exists.

 

I created the pen name, Pax Pace, to write not just clean fiction but anything that God can approve of. It's not just a chance to start over with a clean name for Christ, but it represents what I want most in life. What I want most in life is peace, and not just peace, but peace in the afterlife, with God and all my spiritual siblings. Thank you for having me, community. I look forward to learning more through this rough but hopefully glorious journey to the one and only Christ.

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Thank you, Rebecca! I appreciate the welcome. :D

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Hi, Pax Peace!  Nice to meet you :D

 

Your introduction really touched me, and I promise to pray for you.  I have struggled with doubts as well, and I understand a little bit of what you're going through. 

 

That being said, I thought I'd post something here I wrote about a year ago for a friend who wanted to know more about God.  It's a little long, but this is a writing forum :D

 

We are all sinners.  Romans 3:10 says that “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”  God is perfectly holy.  He cannot accept sinners.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  Even if the only bad thing we ever did was tell a lie, we would deserve nothing less than eternal punishment in hell.  As sinners, we deserve to die.  Even though we deserve to die and spend eternity in hell, God provided a way that we might be saved.  Romans 6:23 says that “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

Because of our sin, we will spend eternity in hell when we die.  But God provided a way for us to be saved from our sins and that eternal punishment.

God sent his Son Jesus to live the perfect life that we could never live.  He was completely sinless.  But He had to take the punishment for our sins.  He died on the cross and was buried.  Three days later, He rose again. 

When He died on that cross, He took all our sins with him.  He paid the penalty for the sins we committed.  He took the punishment for our sins.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Even though we were completely wicked, the perfect, sinless Son of God died for us.  He died in our place.  But He did not stay dead.  He rose again three days later and is alive today. 

How can we be saved?  The Bible is clear that the only way to be saved is to believe on Jesus.  Acts 16:31 says,  “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Again, John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Believe that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.  He did everything for you to be saved.  All you have to do is believe. 

Romans 10:9-13 says that “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Salvation is a free gift.  You can’t earn it.  You can’t be worthy of it.  All you have to do is accept it.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  See, it’s nothing we do.  It’s all what Jesus did on the cross. 

Once you believe on Jesus, all your sins are forgiven.  You can stand right before God and know that you will go to heaven once you die.  Romans 8:1 says that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  And once you are saved, you are always saved.  Nothing you ever do can ever separate you from God.  Romans 8:35-39 says that “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Trust Jesus to save you.  He did all the hard work on the cross.  All you have to do is accept the gift He’s offering you.  There’s not a specific prayer you have to pray.  There’s no right or wrong words that you have to say.  Just tell Him that you need Him.  Just tell Him that you’re trusting Him and Him alone to save you.  And He will hear you.  John 6:37 says that “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  He will receive you.  Come to Him. 

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Welcome, Pax Pace. Nice to meet you.

 

Your introduction reflects something I went through myself recently, although my road is very different from what you have described yours to be.

 

I was raised in a Christian home and taught from an early age the importance of believing in the Bible and trusting in what Christ achieved for me. So one of the major questions I struggled with, especially towards the end of teen years, was whether or not I was a Christian because of my upbringing, or because I chose to believe in Christ for myself. This was a question I was afraid to ask, because I feared the answers I might encounter. 

 

It was only about 6 - 8 months ago that I faced the question and asked it. Honestly, it felt like I was driving my faith onto rocks and hoping it would float. 

 

I started with science - did I choose to believe the Bible because it was backed by science?

 

Turns out that the answer was no. 

 

Same with historical evidence.

 

I eventually had to conclude that I do not choose to believe the Bible because of the overwhelming evidence.

 

But I still didn't have my answer.

 

So, in frustration after months of searching with no results, I finally turned to God and asked Him for the reason why I believe.

 

The answer came within a few hours:

Quote

Psalm 9:10 [Amplified Bible]

And those who know Your name [who have experienced Your precious mercy] will put their confident trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.

I believe in Jesus Christ, because I have tasted His precious mercy towards me.

 

This really is just to let you know that you aren't the only one who asks questions - we all do, and I believe that it is important to ask them. One final encouragement I will leave with you is:

Quote

Jeremiah 29:13 [ESV]

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

God will be found by those who seek Him earnestly.

 

Once again, welcome to the community. It is great to have you here :) 

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@HK1 Thank you for your warm and scriptured reply. No worries about length, as you're right in that this is a writing forum. I appreciate the empathy in your words and how you were willing to pray for me. You're absolutely right in that we have to believe. I just had no idea that that was all it took. Though, it definitely is challenging despite sounding easy. Maybe it works by telling myself that God exists and wants me to come to him. Maybe it works by telling myself that Jesus died for our sins and rose three days later as our holy salvation. Maybe it's repeating John 3:16 in various ways, not necessarily word-for-word, but just the sentiment of that scripture. Maybe it's all of the above or a combination. I'm just hoping that when I tell any or all of these to myself, I will believe it because I'll have seen or felt something that tells me so. I've fallen off the track and got a bit back repeatedly, with more stumbles than not. I want to believe that there's a reason I keep searching and giving up, searching and giving up, rinse and repeat. This is all on my own, too, with no influence from my still-Christian family. No one told me to do this. I wanted to look for Christ, and here I am.

 

@Claire Tucker Thanks so much for your empathetic reply as well. It's great when I come across other Christians who at least have had some kind of similar experiences to mine, be it exact or through another path. I do believe in science but that it can align with and come from God. I have no problem believing that God could have possibly created everything as a theory, just that why and why this result of suffering when it wouldn't have had to come to it (the million-dollar question, if you will). But despite the whys and what have you, I still seek him and am continually full of wonder. I too want to taste his precious mercy because I can only imagine that it's a beautiful experience when real. I felt something last September while trying to sleep but am still not sure. I don't know whether my journey is one of a fully open heart, but I do know that I could have just given up and not bothered anymore, something I haven't resulted in doing just yet. The thing is, it doesn't seem like there will ever be a "yet" with this search pattern going on for years. I just keep looking and looking until I find him.

 

By the way, in case some of you might be wondering about my lack of capitalizing godly pronouns, it's largely (besides for grammatical reasons) because of my lack of faith at this time. That could very well change once I do find God. That said, whenever I write a Christian POV character in a story, I capitalize godly pronouns in both the narrative and that character's dialogue to reflect the faith while not doing so for non-Christian or nonreligious Christian characters.

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Pax, you already know God exists. Otherwise, you wouldn’t say you’ve gotten off track. We all get off God’s path at some time or other in our walk toward our heavenly Home. If you ever, in your past, asked Jesus to come live in you, then He is there. You haven’t lost Him. You’ve just covered Him over with doubts, unbelief, and the stuff of life.

 

God did create the universe. The Word tells us so. His voice DNA is still alive in all that exists. He created you. He has a plan for you. And He is pursuing you so that you can follow and complete that plan. Searching for Him, and His purpose, and learning to know Him through His Word, you will gain the insight and intimate fellowship you are longing for.

 

I would tell you to keep at it. But realize that forgiveness is the Spirit’s fresh wind of clearing. Asking the Lord to forgive you while you forgive others clears that misty fog and darkness from your soul and you will see God’s Light of love.

 

We are glad you have joined us and have been so open with your heart’s desire. We will all be praying you find that place of rest and purpose you so diligently seek. Be sure you get into God’s Word, for there, you will find the guidance you seek. May the Lord bless all your searching and your writing to serve Him.

 

I'm going to take my moderator liberty and suggest you might want to read some posts from my site. I write devotionals and inspirational stories. The one that just went up is What Kind of Father? Praying it blesses you. :D

 

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@lynnmosher I guess the reason I feel agnostic could be the doubts and stuff of life as you mentioned. Maybe the anger and bitterness and pain from the past managed to cloud my spiritual view like your fog/mist metaphor. It could explain why I struggle even being an atheist because I can't accept as a fact that God doesn't exist. I will tell you that the concept of God's absence scares me more than the concept of his presence. I wrote a short story late last year about a struggling former Christian attending a Christian college, and I had no idea until your post that there were more similarities between the main character and I than I bothered to imagine. He and I are not much alike as people, but we have similar spiritual paths, hence my creating him through personal experience. Now, your words inspire me to ponder this in a whole new way because of how they are written, because of how you convey your thoughts and the message you're spreading my way. I will not forget that at all, just like I won't forget what the others here have said before you and what anyone else here might say after you. And sure, I'll definitely check out your stories right now. I could really use some inspirational stories, so there's that. Thank you so much for your enlightening post, and especially thank you for the much-needed prayer. :)

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Pax, you are very welcome. In our writing, I think many times, there is a part of us in each character we create. I believe the Lord sent you here. You just haven't realized it yet. We care about our members, not just the heart of their writing but the heart of their lives as well. May the Lord guide you into the full knowledge of His love for you. And thank you for subscribing. May my posts bless you. :)

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Thank you so much, you're welcome, and may you continue to be blessed. :D

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My Christian person - a person of faith - wants so much to comment on this. But you have quite a few people talking with you already.

 

But just so you know, Pax Pace, I'm praying for you.

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7 hours ago, Pax Pace said:

You're absolutely right in that we have to believe. I just had no idea that that was all it took.

That's definitely all it takes.  Thank goodness :)  Jesus has done everything.  Like I said, I've also struggled with doubts about salvation.  I have to keep remembering that it's not what I do.  It's what He did on the cross that paid my debt.  He did everything for us.  He died and rose again for us.  All I have to do, all you have to do, is accept that gift.  No works.  Just faith.

7 hours ago, Pax Pace said:

Though, it definitely is challenging despite sounding easy.

Yes.  We must be very alike.

7 hours ago, Pax Pace said:

I've fallen off the track and got a bit back repeatedly, with more stumbles than not. I want to believe that there's a reason I keep searching and giving up, searching and giving up, rinse and repeat.

God's drawing you to Him. 

 

Read the Bible.  Start with Romans.  That's how you will get faith.  Romans 10:7 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

 

Also, here's a website that might help you out.  https://answersingenesis.org/

I'm pretty sure they have an article on most every question you could have :)  They're really thorough.

 

Praying for you! 

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Welcome! I don't have the amazing helpful links everyone one else does, but it is very nice to meet you! 

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Hi Pax Pace, welcome to Christianwriters! It is great to meet you, and have you here!

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Guest N R

I'd add my reassuring, but there's been some good  answers already!

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@KR LaLonde Aw, you can tell that person to do so. I don't mind at all. I appreciate your response, though. Thank you for the prayer, and it's nice to meet you. :)

 

@Alley @jonjovi @Nicholas Reicher Thank you for your welcoming greetings. I appreciate it and am glad to be here. :D

 

@HK1 See, that's a big part of why I joined this forum, to meet other Christians and learn more about the community and get some enlightenment/insight and, of course, gain more experience with writing Christian lit. With all that, I can hopefully grow closer to God. At the very least, I could believe in him and have some kind of solid faith. Baby steps, I suppose. Thank you for the suggestions, since I'm not very well-versed in the Bible, oddly enough. I wish I were, though. I did read the New Testament once and enjoyed it very much, whereas I only made it halfway through the Old Testament and was lost and confused and kind of disturbed (and a bit bored later on, to be honest). Of course, that was also when I took all this less seriously back then, so who knows now? I did read the Four Gospels twice because I really enjoyed them that much. I will also check out the link you provided. I appreciate your kindness and helpfulness. Thank you once again for your responses!

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Haha, well, there's that at least. I'm glad we can get some humor in. It's always great to laugh once in a while.

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You know, as someone who isn't always optimistic in life, I have to agree with that piece of advice. I really do appreciate it. Thank you. :D

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3 hours ago, Pax Pace said:

whereas I only made it halfway through the Old Testament and was lost and confused and kind of disturbed (and a bit bored later on, to be honest).

Don't be hard on yourself!  Everyone struggles with the Old Testament.  Myself more than most :D

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