I came back to Christ exactly a year ago after twenty two years of being away from Christ. I had lost my faith as a missionary during the ministry and then I didn't follow Christ exclusively for twenty two years. Then, on Nov. 20th last year I gave my life back to Christ. A year later, however, after really giving it a solid try, I'm finding myself not able to believe any more because it simply asks me to accept too much on faith. Virgins don't have babies, miracles don't happen nowadays, prayer doesn't really get answered, people really don't get healed, and the righteous do indeed suffer even though there are thousands of verses saying they won't. I'd love to believe this message but it simply doesn't add up. Not to speak of the fact that I have been totally celibate for an entire year which is very hard for a good looking 53 year old, and I ain't gettin' any younger. I can do it, I do it way better than most Christians, and that doesn't add up as well. So I'm at the threshold of becoming a Buddhist and leaving the Christian faith and let me say, that if there is indeed an enemy, perhaps this is his tactic. I'm a super evangelist, I have the gift of talking to anybody, anywhere, anytime, about anything, I love to preach, I love to teach, I love to minister to others, and I have been doing so ever since I came back. But I don't want to mislead anybody, and I'd rather teach people to meditate, since I know that works, rather than accept something that doesn't make sense, and which down the road can hurt them, and don't tell me people don't get hurt in church. We both know they do. What do you have to say to my questions? What answers do you have that you think would/could keep me from taking this step?
The ball is in your court. As a Christian, if somebody wrote a letter to me like this, I would know what to say. My arguments don't work anymore, however, and that's why I'm asking you.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
...and, people follow a religion or religious belief because it makes most sense of the reality we all experience. How does the Buddhist path fit life better than other paths? Just curious. It appeals to me but it does leave some holes that Christianity, for example, fills...like where do we go after death, why are there evil people...the problem of evil...what is this life all about, and things like that.
Thank you for communicating with me.
I am indeed very honoured to have a "super evangelist" telling me things that I like to hear. Usually it gives me a great headache listening to Christian preachers.
I notice that you have finally decided to use your human intelligence and common sense to analyze Christianity without fear or favour. The positive result from this approach is realizing that many questions cannot be logically answered because they simply have no logical answers. Since the ball is now in "my court", let's start playing the game. Use your freedom to analyze the teachings of the Buddha. If you find that all your questions cannot be answered logically and to your full satisfaction, you are free to reject Buddhism.
" where do we go after death, why are there evil people...the problem of evil...what is this life all about, and things like that."
Why do we always have criminals in jails? Why do we always have sick people in hospitals? If we can SEE the real nature of this world and this life, we will understand why evil and problems exist in this world and in our lives. It is the very nature of this world where all beings are subject to this unstisfactoriness. It is such because the very nature of this world is subject to change and is not permanent. We cannot have permanent happiness and complete satisfaction simply because the nature of this world cannot provide for such desires.
To explain "where do we go from here...what is this life all about, and things like that", I will have to "preach" the Buddha's teachings. Are you prepared to listen to concepts that are totally contradictory and alien to Christian concepts? In the process I may hurt your feelings because the Buddha's message is like a "shock therapy".
If you wish to communicate further please come back with specific questions, but please limit your questions to two each time so that I can respond quickly.