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As someone who follows a sense so sehnsucht that has brought him into faith and yet finds his efforts to prove that that desire is of God/Jesus frustrated at every turn because of very little evidence of said desire in the Bible, (I genuinely don't think there is a straight forward answer to them...no worries, I'm not going to chicken out (despite the rest of what I have to say here). My ineffable desire fits in with Platoism (in that it is inspired by certain Earthly things and ideas that seem to point to a heavenly version of themselves. The desire is for something so unknown and so good (it trancends Earth's joy and happiness but also even that description!) that I sometimes doubt it exists. There is no Bible evidence to proove it outright)... in frustration I have sometimes thought it would be less concerning if I followed a more materialist approach to reality so that I could "get on" without chasing unanswerable questions. Now, what I've asked thus far is all personal and any answer would seem to be opinion-based, so, onto the real deal... If I one day decided to go through with the notion, yet still hoped for my desire/God/Jesus will turn out to be what Christianity makes them seem...does that mean one would be agnostic? Or a bad Christian, taking all the hope of the Hope without taking the angst of seeking?

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Since the point of Christianity is a life lived with God because sin has been dealt with through the acceptance of Christ's sacrifice, the seeking needs to take a more urgent priority. Your present approach seems to be that of a man who gets a marriage certificate in the mail, but is hesitant to tie the knot with a real spouse. While you are here on this site, why not articulate your actual issues and let us help you resolve them? –  Steve Jan 11 at 16:45
    
Tried that I'm afraid! They are difficult to convey on a site that requires certain kinds of question. I don't plan to be an atheist- though, as I said, I sometimes consider it for peace of mind! It's ironic- many atheists view theism as fictional escapism! –  Sehnsucht Jan 11 at 17:00
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What does a jealous God want from you? The answer is simple and then everything is simple. –  gideon marx Jan 11 at 19:10
    
Not sure I understand- why would he be joealous? (sure I'm being thick here but I'm missing what you're saying...) –  Sehnsucht Jan 11 at 19:40
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I don't understand the question. "If one day I decided to go through with the notion..." -- sorry, but what notion? I'm afraid the question is almost stream-of-consciousness. Could you re-write it in shorter sentences? –  Andrew Leach Jan 11 at 23:09

4 Answers 4

John 3:17 (ESV)
"He who believes is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already."

Belief is the essential requirement. The Greek word is πιστευο, which means more than the English word "believe." It means to trust in, have faith in, and to believe.

Do I believe in Jesus?

An interesting method for "calculating" an answer to the question involves the choices you make. It's one thing to say that you're agnostic, but if you live like an atheist, then your actions say that you're an atheist. If you're really unsure (and you care about finding the answer), then your actions would look like you're really searching for an answer and not content to ride the fence perpetully.

Do your actions/choices proclaim that you are putting your trust in Jesus? Do you live like you believe Jesus? If one actually believed in Jesus, he would probably do (or try) what Jesus said to do. If one trusted Jesus, he would believe the things he said.

Is it possible to be an atheist and believe in Jesus? I can't imagine how. You'd have to believe in some other Jesus than the Bible describes. Is that belief good enough? I wouldn't put my πιστευο in it.

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Nice answer. If you are to be an atheist while also having a relationship with Jesus, you are essentially having a relationship with something you do not believe in. –  Jire Mar 16 at 7:10

If I one day decided to go through with the notion, yet still hoped for my desire/God/Jesus will turn out to be what Christianity makes them seem...does that mean one would be agnostic? What man builds a house without making a plan or making considerations? So does your consideration of building plans define you as one who has built his house? Now an Agnostic would be a man that that would not be sure that he wanted to build a house. Therefore in your going through with it, you are then defined by your accomplishment, or your long consideration. So I would say no, that would not define you to be an Agnostic.

Or a bad Christian? Not in this either, for if you do not know the advantages between one blue print and another, who can say you made a poor choice in your selection.

Taking all the hope of the Hope without taking the angst of seeking? This indeed is the purpose, hope without angst. For what angry man do you know, that is laughing cheerfully and is full of joy when he is angry? The life of happiness and the life of frustration are polar opposites. Are not all things of vibrations? Those of vision, those of sound, and things of matter. Does not a question get answered?

Can one be atheist even if you still pin your hope on Jesus? If you can believe that you exist, and you can believe that there are a list of things that make you angry, and you can believe that understanding what makes a person angry is to some advantage. Then interested you might become. If you believe in Physics and that everything has an opposite and equal reaction, or if you understand in math and see the Logical means of things equaling each other. And if you can believe there was a need to stop the families from the argument. Then you can believe that someone out there figured out how to have a peaceful relationship between a man and a woman. And there is a good chance that this guy wasn't a king. It's completely logical that he could have just been a carpenter.

So then ask yourself. If you found a man that had the solution to all family arguing. What would need to happen to make sure that this man's teachings never became lost?

Now I give you this answer from an Atheist point of view, because I used to be one. Now if you indeed thought to yourself, hmmm no more arguing with my Mom, or no more arguing with my Wife, and you decided to follow these teachings who then is your teacher? If you do only what someone tells you, who then is your Lord?

Now I apologize for any suffering that you probably have occurred from pushy religious people. People that follow a set of teachings without the understanding of what the outcome is to be. Setting many bad examples and causing dishonor to themselves.

Now by definition an Atheist does not believe in God so hoping on Jesus is the opposite. Yet an Atheist without knowing prays all the time, and gets response all the time, and has a relationship with Jesus all the time. So if you asked my "How can this be?" that in itself would be a prayer. For all questions are prayers. When you ask "Can I get a drink?" the one that loves you either (and this is always true);

  1. Gives you permission to get it yourself.
  2. Gets the drink for you.
  3. Deny's you privilege to get the drink.

Now if you where the one that figured out how to have the full joy you would have to face the choice. Have the fullness of the life myself, or share the fullness with others even if it cost me my life. Well that is what Jesus did. He could have had the life, but instead he gave it all so that we can all have the advantages.

Now everyone is faced with reality, we have been given this opportunity to follow these teachings and we have been given the opportunity to ignore these teachings. Reality is our Father, we all where born into reality, and our pasts really did happen. With science we measure reality, and we move in reality all the time.

So I want to share a story. I used to really be into learning telekinesis. I remember this day that I was standing in the bathroom staring at this hanger that was attached to the wall, and I decided that with everything I got I was going to move this thing with my mind. As much pure focus and will and breathing and intensity I put into this thing to try to get it to move. I think I was there for about 15 minutes or so looking extremely maniacal lol. Anyways by friend James saw what I was doing, and actually walked over and pulled the thing off the hook and sat it on the bathroom sink.

He said "Here is this what you wanted to have happen?"

Then it was all amazingly clear. How much easier it would have been to just ask someone to move it for me. There is power in your words. Power to give life, and power to destroy, to both yourself and to others. For in my lesson I realized, that reality loves hearing words, and words have sculpted many things. And I even believe that words made all things, and that it can make me again just as it did Jesus. In closing I suggest you watch "The Genesis Code".

Good science will have religion back it up, and good religion will have science back it up. The stages of grief you see all anger and depression happen after denial. So by faith you can believe and be set free from your depression. I only ask that you believe what you see, I just want you to see it better. Thanks for listening to all this.

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It is possible to be an atheist and "hope" for the existence of gods. However whether or not you fit into that category is debatable.

Atheism posits a disbelief in a god(s) claim and so if are not convinced, you're an atheist. However, our hopes, desires, and fears are not related to that concept.

You can be atheist who wishes god were real. Additionally, you could be an agnostic atheist. That means you disbelieve AND you claim any understanding of gods are unknowable. However you might be an agnostic theist - you believe in god but don't claim there's any evidence proving or disproving a god's existence.

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An atheist has a positive belief there is no God. Someone who is not convinced that there is no God (that is, who admits there is a possibility that God exists) is an agnostic. Subtle difference, maybe; but a difference. –  Andrew Leach Jan 13 at 7:13
    
That is not actually correct. An atheist does not necessarily have a positive belief there is no god. Your definitions are certainly the commonplace definitions but not the correct ones. Agnosticism is about knowing while a/theism is belief. There is no atheism without first a claim of a god. Atheism is a response to theism and god claims. Not inherently a claim of disbelief of all gods. "Philosopher William L. Rowe states that in the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity lacks the requisite knowledge or sufficient rational grounds to justify either belief:" –  rpeg Jan 13 at 17:39
    
Previous quote source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism –  rpeg Jan 13 at 17:41
    
"Agnosticism is about knowing [or not knowing, perhaps!] and a/theism is belief." That's exactly what I said. –  Andrew Leach Jan 13 at 19:54
    
Buy you asserted that an atheist has a positive belief that there is no god. This isn't true with the classical definition. You can be atheist with specific god claims and not an atheist with other god claims. It's not automatically a broad assertion that there is no god. For example, you're likely an atheist with regard to Thor. –  rpeg Jan 13 at 21:07

No. But many atheist agree with a lot of Jesus' messages from the Bible. I'd say most atheist, or non-believers are politically, progressive. They look at Jesus' teachings, and believe em to be socialist. Many look at Jesus, in the same light as Gandhi, MLK Jr. etc. But no, you are not a atheist! My guess: You will probably decide to believe or not, when you get to a certain point in your life. Good Luck & Stay Human!

Full Disclosure I am a agnostic - atheist...I grew up, as a Christian. Now I agree some of Jesus' teachings; but I also believe that the story of Jesus is 100% fiction!

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