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Troubled by doubt and skepticism - help!


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#1 AnthonyKana

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hey All,

I do not mean to offend anyone I am just troubled with some doubts, and i am hoping I can put them to bed.
I've been having doubts regarding Jesus as the Messiah, how can I know 110% Jesus is the Christ that the Jews in the 1st Century were expecting ?. Is there any good books or articles online discussing such a matter in an Orthodox view, explaining everything how in the old testament he was prophesied and this was fulfilled by Jesus Christ?. How can I know for sure that he is alive today and is seated at the right hand of the Father ?. I just would like to know the real truth what the New Testament teaches is the Truth, I see a lot of Jewish Scholars, Muslim Scholars and Christian Scholars all profess "we have the real truth and everyone else is wrong". How can I know for certain that the one true Abrahamic religion God wants me to follow is Christianity?.

What I believe so far and I am certain 110% that there is a God and he has created everything visible and invisible, I just have some trouble accepting Jesus is the Messiah who was prophesied in the Old Testament. I really want to know the truth so I can believe in it but how can I know Jesus Christ "evidently" is the truth and is seated at the Right hand of God ?. I have trouble comprehending the idea how God can be 3 yet one and is totally in agreement with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. I find the concept that God has a Son difficult to accept how can I accept this concept that God does have a Son Eternally begotten from God the Father?.

In the Old Testament the Jews would know and worship God as One and they would call him Father, but the doctrine that God had a Son the Jews in the 1st Century AD and in the past they never knew or believed in that concept. It was only until the Jews who created the New Testament that this doctrine was created, how can I be sure that this is the true doctrine of God and the New Testament is divinely inspired by God ?.

Why was God the Son not revealed to the Israelite's/Jews earlier in there history when they first worshiped God?.

Sorry again I do not mean to offend anyone I just seem to have swallow faith in the New Testament. What books or Saints have helped you truly see the Truth and feel convinced that the New Testament is the inspired word as it is in the Old testament?

Thank You.

#2 Lakis Papas

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

John 20:29

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


For the theological issues there are threads in this forum that have sufficient information.

Christology Discussion Area
The Nature of God

You are on the right path. Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.


And I have a question: do you understand and accept the faith of the Old Testament ?

#3 Owen Jones

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

Maybe there is something else going on, Anthony, and your theological doubts are merely an outgrowth of that conflict, whatever it is. In any case, Orthodoxy teaches that some of your questions we will never be privileged to know as long as we have physical bodies. But the truth of these things of which we can know can only come to us when we are illuminated, that is, we are given the eyes to see and the ears to hear. While theological logic is an important aspect to that, the theological logic of the Trinity also implies that people who have formulated these concepts have been given prophetic gifts that permits them to see (know) things not everyone can, and we trust in them, just as we trust in the Church. If there is a fundamental lack of trust in the Church, because of certain negative experiences in life, then this becomes all the more difficult to "swallow." So instead of looking for all of the things wrong, or potentially wrong about the Church, we must always examine what is wrong within ourselves.

#4 Yolanda

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

A very cute question, reminds me of St. Thomas( "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." Jhn 20,25). So why not ask him to help you?

I think if you read the bible again and again, you will see from heart, we need food for our souls, and we shall be able to receive truth.

Saint Gregory the Theologian: "God(The only cause holy father) is one, but not solitary"

Edited by Yolanda, 21 December 2012 - 05:16 PM.


#5 Kosta

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

The way you know Jesus is the messiah(from a historical point of view) is that the overwhelming majority of jewry no longer believe in a coming messiah. There are a few hasidic sects and other ultra-Orthodox jews that do, but most of the jewish world has rejected a belief in a coming messiah. The former Rabbi of Arta Greece (a holocaust survivor) converted to Orthodoxies in the 50's. He asked this question, 'IF not during the holocaust then when?' This is what many jews asked themselves following WW2.

The whole premise of a jewish messiah is that he was to be a charismatic military persona that will reestablish the kingdom of David on Earth, as a superpower. Bar Kokhba was considered that messiah until he and his amy lost to the Romans in the 2nd century. Undoubtedly if this messiah was true he would of showed up in WW2. Any other kind of messiah the majority of Judaism simply dont care for.

#6 Myles Lane

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:14 AM

For an intense read of a defense of Jesus as the one prophesied from the OT look to the first and second apologies of St Justin Martyr.
For one making a case for Jesus as Son of God, see St Athanasius On The Incarnation.

those ought to be a good introduction to Orthodox thought on two of your main questions without dabbling too far into the mystery of the Trinity and Its workings.

#7 Yolanda

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:16 PM

"And God said, Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the flying creatures of heaven, and over the cattle and all the earth, and over all the reptiles that creep on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;" Gen 1:26-27 (and Chapter 18: "And God appeared to him by the oak of Mambre, as he sat by the door of his tent at noon. And he lifted up his eyes and beheld, and lo! three men stood before him; and having seen them he ran to meet them fro the door of his tent, and did obeisance to the ground.")

"And one cried to the other, and they said, Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." Isa 6:3

"In Scripture one and only are not predicated of God to mark distinction from the Son and the Holy Ghost, but to except the unreal gods falsely so called. As for instance, The Lord alone did lead them and there was no strange god with them, andthen the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and did serve the Lord only. 1 Samuel 7:4"
- Letter 8(read more:http://www.newadvent...ers/3202008.htm)
by St. Basil the Great

#8 Deborah Valentine

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

The Church Fathers and Holy Scripture can't always assuage doubt. I believe it is part of deepening faith. It is an invitation to take the mustard seed and go deeper, in my opinion. I've had to go through that on several occasions over the last many years and it's always resulted in a stronger and clearer belief in the reality of the Most Holy Trinity.

#9 Owen Jones

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

The doctrine of the Trinity is simply the explanation of what the Apostles experienced and saw and heard. The fact that it took several hundred years to codify simply points to the health and strength and spiritual dynamism of the Church, which continually struggles to truthfully represent and exemplify what God has revealed of Himself. With that said, since you are already baptized Orthodox, Anthony, and so you are not being required to assent to the Nicene Creed as one of the preconditions of being baptized or chrismated Orthodox, your struggle can be seen as something vital and important in terms of deepening your faith. It means that you are at least a spiritually sensitive person and God can work with that, as Deborah has suggested in the above post. But if I were your priest I would want to bring your doubt to me (i.e. to Jesus) and lay it upon the altar and simply ask God to show you the right path. However, were I also your priest, I would have to suggest not receiving communion until the issue is resolved. Since communion is, in part, predicated on being able to recite the Creed with conviction. I suspect the answers you seek do not reside in a book.

#10 Paul Cowan

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:01 PM

I suspect the answers you seek do not reside in a book.


Or online.

#11 Marc J

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:02 PM

Or online.


Pray, pray from the heart and ask God to reveal Jesus and the Holy Spirit to your heart.


Prayer is the answer!

IC,
Marc

#12 George Y

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

Hi Anthony,

Everyone here is more learned than I, but I can offer this. One sure way to know Jesus is the Son of God and the Christ is by watching popular culture and the media. Everything you see, everything you read will be derogatory and designed to make you feel foolish for your belief.

If Jesus were not the Christ and truly the Son of God, they would not expend so much money and energy to make you doubt it. I find the harder they push, the stronger my resolve. Pay attention to the world around you, Anthony. You'll see your doubt is merely a dividend of their efforts to destroy you. Will you give them the satisfaction of tearing down your faith?

#13 Monk Herman

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:21 PM

Anthony

 

I'm coming to this late. In case you still need help, try reading a book entitled The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

 

H



#14 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:40 PM

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)


#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 10:41 PM

The trouble with monotheism as opposed to our Trinitarian doctrine is that the former does not fit the fact that God is love whilst the latter does.  The Son was begotten of the Father before all ages and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.  God is a communion of love.  If He was only one person and also love, that love would be self-regarding and so not love.  If you believe that God is love, you believe that He exists in three Persons.






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