Wheres my motivation?

Many times i’m at a lack of motivation. But now more than ever I am really at a lack of motivation for God. Even though I’d like to get back in touch, I don’t even feel that I have the energy or smallest desire to pray… Will it happen when i hit rock bottom? Or will I want to fix my own life? When will I develop the desire…

Is it Satan? Or the feeling of “I can control my own life and I don’t need help”. I used to pray for Gods help, now I just rely on myself.

In many ways I like the control. When I’m pissed off I don’t blame it on God, God should like that.

Ah fuck it I don’t even know anymore. The God thought is the biggest conundrum in the universe.

Sounds like the thoughts of a mind gradually shifting away from theism and to the realization of the incipience of what was once so dear and so “true”. At least it does to me, your lamenting is reminiscent of my own is all.

What does he matter in regards to you? Is the absence of prayer make you an intolerable person? Or an unsavory one?

His absence just lessens the blame game. All we have control of in our lifetime is our own thoughts and actions. Life w/ this realization is amazingly simple and effective to being a great person.

I think that is proof that you don’t want to get in touch with God, if you did there would be a motivation to do so.

As for when it will happen I don’t think anyone can specifically answer that for you, the best advice I can offer is that you have to want it to happen for it to happen. When one shuts their eyes or heart to anything they don’t accept it, no more is this the case then with faith. You may hit rock bottom or the end of life and then come to the stark relaization of faith, but that isn’t the best way to go about it: waiting. If you feel the urge to do so, then do it: even if you aren’t motivated if you do [re?]find faith it will well be worth it.

There is no reason that they both cannot co-exist. God does not run your life even if he is in it. You don’t have to accept God in order to receive help, indeed there is a number of people (myself included) that God can offer you wisdom and guidance but is not your personal servant. While miracles can happen I believe they are rare, so don’t rely on them. I don’t pray for God to make me better when I am coughing up blood, I pray to find the strength to make it through it. Do not think of God as a helped, think of him as a guide: he doesn’t pave the path for you but will point it out for you.

Good.

God is essentially a paradox, reconciling that is what faith is all about.

It isn’t about knowing, it is about believing. No one can force you, and I would doubt anyone could give you the motivation: it is all up to you.

Good luck on your path, whatever you choose.

If I know my Christianity, then it says you’re wrong. No one comes to the Father but through Him, which means he is the instigator. If one isn’t instilled with a desire, guess who is to blame. Jesus. Or the Father. Or both.

The moment you realize this belief as optional and then absolutely unnecessary is the moment this goes away because none of it matters. It’s like asking how I can please the color blue. :-s

So God is to be praised for helping you through coughing up blood when he is the one who made it happen to begin with? Hm. Kinda reminds me of Stockholm Syndrome.

Tell that to the intelligent design people, they are trying to find undeniable proof of God in design, which would absolutely destroy this vital faith ingredient.

(I’m not trying to pick on you or be nasty I swear, these are all genuine points of interest/concern for me. I also think that if advice is going to be offered, it should be made sure it’s good advice.)

Why should anyone have to “get in touch with God”? If an omnipotent god existed wouldn’t it be the easiest thing in the world for that god to get in touch with us and to get in touch with us in an unmistakable way (i.e., not get in touch with us in some patently ambiguous way such as a wind blowing through the trees, as the remission of some dread disease, or in any other way that might have a perfectly plausible natural cause)?

It should be perfectly clear that if an omnipotent god exists that that god does not want at least some humans to be in touch with him because if he DID desire all humans to be in touch with him then all humans would be in touch with him.

However, it seems more likely to be the case that if an omnipotent God exists then that God does not want ANY humans to be in touch with Him. From this, it obviously follows that any human who believes that he or she is in touch with such a God is sadly mistaken.

[ . . . and before anyone brings it up, the ‘free will problem’ does not even enter into this equation.]

Depends who you talk to within the faith. There are so many views, that the ‘decision’ to come to faith can be wholly human, instigated by God, performed by God or in some cases wholly dependant on God. It really depends who you are speaking to.

I don’t praise God when the bleeding stops, and I don’t blame him for it starting. That is the point. If it stopped on day during a fit and instead I coughed up a $50 then I might be more willing to attribute it to God, but my general argument is that God does not merely willy-nilly control every aspect of our lives.

The ID people have a whole other set of issues to be dealing with. I would not be telling them much, they might try to include it in their Newtonian view of God.

On the plus side I have been doing some reading into ‘theistic evolution’, and while it isn’t perfect I think it offers a more usefel synethis of science and Christian faith.

(I am fully supportive of being skeptical about religious advice, ask away. As long as it isn’t hostile I am willing to take anything you have)

By why should the easiest thing be of any appeal to God? If God had wanted unrelenting faith and praise from every human in a uniform way then we would probably be that way. Obviously God didn’t create us for thankless servitute of his massive ego.

How is it perfetly clear? Because some humans aren’t in contact with him? When someone sticks their fingers in their ears and screams “LALALALA I’M NOT LISTENING LALALA!” it doesn’t leave them open to conversation, especially when you need to start it.

Interestingly enough some believe that Christ didn’t die for every person, but only those God has allowed to come to faith. The belief that faith can only begin with God and that not everyone is given the opportunity is not unknown. So you may actually be on to some accepted (to some people) theology.

Likely does not indicate actuality.

And how do you figure that God does not want any humans to ‘be in touch’ with him?

And that merely argues that a current conception of what God is may be flawed, but there are quite a few people who would argue that the concept of God needs to be revisited.

Then enter it in, you obviously want to. I am willing to see where you take it!

(1) Then who is to blame for it?

(2) If I get you correctly, you say that if there is a positive event, (coughing up $50) you attribute that to God, but if it is not a positive event (coughing up blood), you don’t. Seems unbalanced, no?

The question is, Does God desire that we know Him or not? If He does and He’s omnipotent, then we will.

If He doesn’t and He’s omnipotent, then we will not.

Nothing could be clearer.

Are you sure? The Christian bible seems to say that is exactly why God created us – to glorify God; to praise God; to serve in His name; etc.

It’s perfectly clear from the definition of ‘omnipotence.’ If God desires to communicate with me clearly and unambiguously and cannot, then God is not omnipotent. It’s just as simple as that.

You, who I assume are not omnipotent, seem to have no problem in communicating with me; thus, to communicate with me is a possible act. Any possible act can be performed by an omnipotent being. God has not communicated with me. Therefore, God has not communicated with me because he cannnot (which means he’s not omnipotent) or because he has no desire to do so.

I assume everyone on this board is at least vaguely familiar with John Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. If anyone isn’t, here’s a taste of it from his Institutes of the Christian Religion:

This is one way to account for what we actually observe on earth if one posits a god; although god seems to lose the title of ‘loving father to all humanity’ as a result.

Yes, it does ‘indicate’ it. It only doesn’t guarantee it. Absolute truth about the world doesn’t appear to be ours to know. It seems the best we can do is provisional knowledge.

I don’t ‘know’ it but if we assume a benevolent god and observe the world it seems to be the most likely explanation to explain our observations.

. . . or scrapped all together, which is what I would argue.

And what if he is either indifferent or willing to see what we are capable of? It isn’t necessarily a yes or no answer.

Or what is he only want certain people to know him, those he has chosen? Then he meets your first criteria.

That, like everything, is open to interpretation.

Also, can you provide some passages for such a claim? Quickly looking through the account of creation I don’t see anything that said “And on the 7th day, God created man: God was lonely and needed some people to worship him.”

So we can agree that it comes down to more of an issue as to God’s motivation that God’s ability. And an analysis of God’s motivations may be a little difficult for psychoanalysis or analysis at all.

For the sake of argument it call also be evidenced that in a lot of traditions faith plays a LARGE part over evidence. God does not reveal God’s existence in an obvious way and talk to humans personally. I can communicate with you because it is my express desire to do so, perhaps God’s motivations are not as simple.

And what I said makes no sense, more reason for me to late night post. I am not sure what I was trying to say here, but it certainly didn’t help my point too much.

I am glad you picked up on this, you get a cookie.

As for the God losing his title, I do agree with that. While I agree that God is generally benificent to humans rather than either uninvolved or spiteful I believe there is some truth in this: it does explain a bit about faith in different people. If this can be accepted many of the anomolies that atheists point to as inconsistencies are not as damning as one might believe. But yes, this does make God out to be a little more selective and indeed not truly beneficent, at least from what we can try to understand. The capacity for faith is not inherant in all of us, along with it salvation: yes, a functional change in a common definition of God occurs if we believe this.

Ok, wrong word. I think you understood what I meant with this statement. Especially when discussing absolutes, indeed in a postmodern context with the general disdain for accepting ‘meta-narratives’ which certainly this qualifies as.

Again, likely does not mean actuality. But while the evidence may compel that God doesn’t appear to be in direct contact with a vast majority of the population I will concede that it appears that God is not ‘in touch’ with many people. This wouldn’t be the case if someone had experienced a subjective relationship with God in any meaningful fashion, but this would be an exception to the generality.

I will concede this one unless God talks to me personally. At least as a general rule, I do accept that some people have been directly communicated by God (in some form or another) but certainly these are exceptions.

So would many, but like all other beliefs I think the conception of God can change as we learn and understand more about our own nature. I don’t think an antiquated concept can condemn a modern one simply because they both reference the same referent.

Then he doesn’t desire to communicate with us.

Then he’s not the loving father of all humanity.

Such passages are in the bible. If you don’t want to accept the claim that I make here, then we’ll leave it at that.

I don’t agree with that at all. It’s about God’s actions, or perhaps better put, His will. It’s not about his motivations. Has God communicated with everyone on the planet clearly and unambiguously? Obviously he has not. This is the observed fact that we’re trying to account for.

The fact that you can communicate with me is important in this context only so far as it establishes that to communicate with me is a possible act. An omnipotent being can perform any possible act. Therefore, if God wished to communicate with me clearly and unambiguously, then he would. His ‘motivations’ (A question for another day perhaps is, In what sense is it meaningful to say that an omniscient, omnipotent being has ‘motivations’?) for doing either the one or the other is irrelevant.

Perhaps I’m missing your point here, but you seem to believe that when I use the phrase “likely to be the case” I am making some sort of claim for infallibility. But I am not. When I say something is “likely” I mean only that and nothing more. We might never know reality absolutely. It may be that our knowledge about the world is forever circumscribed by what is likely to be the case. I am willing to accept that.

This is tangential to our discussion, but why? Why do you believe that a god has directly communicated with some people?

We can agree on one point about our natures: We are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. If God is both AND if he also desires to communicate with us about his nature, then we’ll know about his nature. If he doesn’t wish to communicate with us about his nature, then he will not do so.

I would agree that he isn’t a father to anything, that is just a personification placed on God to make the concept more understandable.

As for not being loving, I think this would depend on how people are ‘chosen’ par se. Staying within the Calvanist tradition unconditional election based on God’s own conditions: while this may be viewed as unloving (as not everyone get’s equal treatment) there is a claim to be made that merely we do not understand what God’s compassion for man is. But this does come off as very cold to those who do not receive the ability for salvation, although those who do receive would view this as very loving to them.

That’s fair. I may have missed some, I honestly wasn’t sure.

Ok, I will keep that in mind for my next responses.

Yes, if God chose to communicate with you clearly and unambiguosly then there is no reason why it would not happen.

And yes, assuming God can have motvations they are irrelevant to capability, only to what actually happens.

And some day ask that question, it would be interesting to hear some other opinions on it.

So am I, I think that is what I was harping at. I believe I was taking what you said to be a little more matter-of-fact than you were meaning it to be.

I am not sure how much of a tangent it was, because if the premise is accepted that God has commincated with some people clearly and unambiguously it indicates at least some form of involvement. If God has directly spoken to people it illustrates both capability and willingness, which are two things that have come up in this discussion. I may have thought it was more important than it was.

And I believe that God has directly communicated with some people out faith that certain sources (such as the Bible) do reveal that people have been inspired beyond this world. As to how clear and unambiguous these communications were I cannot attest, but I do believe God has interacted with specific people in a meaningful way.

I can accept that.

And we can keep playing point-counterpoint to no end (indeed, please do so if you feel motivated) but I feel as if the whole point of the thread has been lost. If we are to continue, can you at least address if you have found the motivation to believe again or at least why you don’t think you are motivated to do so. It seems as if you are willing to accept God as some form of truth but remain skeptical.