I'm a South African Zulu and was raised in a culture that has gods for everything. Like the Australian Aborigines and Native Americans do. I suppose.
We Zulus have gods for rain, thunder, wind, sun lightning - you name it. We also pay respects to our ancestors. I wouldn't go so far as to say we worship them in the christian sense of the word, but we give them offerings, sometimes sacrificing live chickens, and ask their permission for various things, like does somebody special love you? Or is it the right time to plant maize etc.? We also practice polygamy, and the more wives a man has, the better it is for everybody. I can explain why.
There are also witch-doctors, both good ones and bad, and you can pay them something (or offer a chicken, goat or food or drink if there isn't money available) to put a spell, or a curse on somebody. All this makes sense to me.
Can you make me a better offer? That is, persuade me that your christian god is a better one. Forgive me if my spelling, punctuation and grammar isn't that good. Living in the bush in Zululand, we are too far away from any schools, so I haven't had much in the way of education.
Well, I tried the Mormons' 'chat with a mormon' site, but it's not working, and won't accept my email address as valid, even though it is. That site must be broken down. Then I tried the AUSTINE STONE COMMUNITY CHURCH, and that won't accept my postal code, since I don't live in the USA, so I'm stuck.
Sure there must be at least ONE christian who discusses things on these forums who'll help me out?
Hey ther Cory,
Thank you for your response. Actually I didn't say I believe in what the Zulus do. I'm a Zulu, but don't necessarily believe in their gods any longer. I suppose you could call me an athiest - that's why I'm a paid-up member of the ACA.
What I'm looking for is a christian who can give me sufficient reason for me to believe in their god. Perhaps I could be 'converted' if I received enough proof that their god exists, and is a good and benevolent one, rather than the vindictive and destructive god I've heard the missionaries talk about.
Zulunkosi: "What I'm looking for is a christian who can give me
sufficient reason for me to believe in their god. Perhaps I could
be 'converted' if I received enough proof that their god exists,
and is a good and benevolent one, rather than the vindictive and
destructive god I've heard the missionaries talk about."
It's difficult to convince someone over the Internet to believe
in God, especially on an atheist web site, but I'll try.
If you want proof - start practicing Christian faith, and you
will receive plenty of it. Read the Bible. Start with the
Sermon on the Mount. Apply these teachings to your life and see
what happens. Stop judging others if you do. Stop worrying
about tomorrow if you do. Forgive all who ever did wrong to you.
Ask forgiveness from anyone to whom you may have done wrong.
Stop being angry, annoyed or frustrated about anything. Convince
yourself that God will take care of it as of everything else. If
you have a quarrel with anyone, settle it immediately - forgive
and ask forgiveness. Start giving to charities and help those
who need help, even complete strangers, even your "enemies", even
if you don't have much money or time. You will feel the effect
almost immediately. You will see how people change their attitude
toward you, how you start feeling at peace with yourself and
others. There is no mystery in any of that.
It may not be easy to do all these things. This is where prayer
comes in. Every night, before you go to sleep, take a few
minutes to search your heart. Go through the events of the day
and think, did you get angry during the day? Did you get
frustrated and worried that things do not go your way? Did you
offend anyone or did not help when you could? Ask God to forgive
you and give you strength and wisdom to do right the next day,
set you free from worry and anxiety. Ask for the "daily bread"
and nothing more. Ask for the strength to resist temptations.
Ask for wisdom to learn God's will and for the strength to follow
it. Ask for peace with yourself and others. And you will
receive these things. You may not believe that God exists at
first, but if you do this every day and see the effect, you will
believe. And if you want to believe - don't hang out with
atheists. Go to church. Every Sunday. If you want to fly with
eagles, do not swim with ducks.
You may still struggle with these things. It's hard to forgive
people who would never forgive you, to ask for forgiveness and
help people who never did and never would help you. You may be
uncomfortable to get on your knees every night and ask for
forgiveness from someone you don't know, for things you don't
think are a big deal. You know who is speaking inside yourself?
Your ego. Your pride. The evil one. This is why couples do not
forgive each other and go from quarrels to violence to divorce.
This is why there are wars in some regions going on for
centuries. Nobody thinks that what they say or do is a big deal,
and yet it is for the other side. Nobody sees "the plank in
their own eye". How to deal with pride? This is where
faith is useful. Note that "faith" does not require proof. So,
simply believe that there is an almighty power in this world,
bigger than anything you can imagine. Bigger than the Earth, the
Sun, and the Universe. The power that created EVERYTHING you see
or do not see. By this power you are alive. This is the
picture of God. Again, it may go against the logic. You may
have no evidence of this power. This is why it's called "faith".
Faith alone has huge power.
What is your ego and pride compared to this picture of God? Do
you want His power work on your side or do you want to work
against His power? Do you want to submit your will to His will
and enjoy the benefits of doing so or do you want to serve your
own little interests? Just get on your knees and worship this
"Worship God alone" - the first and the greatest commandment.
Atheists say, they don't worship anyone. This is a lie.
Everyone worships something. What takes most of your life, your
time, and your money? Family? Work? Car? House? Friends?
Popularity? Sex? Alcohol? Coffee? What makes you get up in
the morning? What do you look forward during the whole week?
What makes you feel good about yourself and your life? What
gives you security and confidence? Cool looks? Money? If it's
not God, it's got to be something.
"You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody" -- Bob Dylan.
If it's not the Creator, it's going be the creation. The "gods"
of your people are not the Creator. They are "creation".
Not that they do not exist, but they are not to be worshiped.
Christians call them "spirits", and the Bible forbids to worship
them or to seek contact or help from them. The reasons are that
there are many evil spirits out there, and people are not
equipped to deal with them. By contacting these spiritual
forces, you make yourself vulnerable to them. Just don't go to
places where criminals hang out. You may get hurt. Same logic
here. The only spiritual force to stay in touch with is the Holy
Spirit - God himself, one of the Trinity. Don't go to witch
doctors. Don't "give the devil a foothold", an opportunity to
enter your soul. This goes for other temptations - alcohol,
drugs. These things may possess and consume you completely.
Seek help from the Holy Spirit.
Any material thing will fail you. What will you do if your wife
leaves you? What if you get sick? Will she still love you? God
will. You put all your time and hope into work? What if the
company you worked for for 20 years lays you off? You save money
since you are young, invest regularly. What if all your
investments disappear one day - destroyed by inflation, market
crashes, natural disasters, etc.? Will money support you? God
will. Through others, through people whom you loved and helped.
No "miracles" required. If you put your trust in God, He will
not fail you. He never fails. He may be putting you through
hard times. Think why. Think, how it changes you. Does it make
you stronger? Do you find yourself doing things you didn't know
I just touched the surface. If you read the Bible, the wisdom
there is unlimited. It sets the framework to keep you straight
so that you do not fall spiritually and preserve sanity in hard
times, tough relationships and situations. Too many people fall
into temptations - addictions, anger, bitterness are all around
us. And then people wonder "why didn't benevolent God make them
prosper". It's not His purpose. What is His purpose? Read the
Bible. Know Him. You can live without a Father, but it's hard.
If you know your Father, you enjoy protection, guidance, and help
in difficult times. There is no mistake that your Father would
not forgive you if you acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness.
But if you know Father's will and continue to disobey, the Father
will punish and discipline you - for your own good. Ever noticed
how children remember their parents in times of trouble -
need money, support or advice? Why not maintain a relationship?
Aww man.. sooo close.. but then you screwed up.
Going through all the "Brainwashology" and then telling him to read the bible..
its like saying, "Violence is not good!" state 50000 reasons, completely moronic ones among them but hey quantity beats quality anyway.
And then say "Go and watch Tom and Jerry, and see for yourself".
Also a lot of your reasons sound to me like "bend over, it might hurt at first but then you'll feel all my love inside you and it will be all good."
I might have to try that one some day..