Theist and the Agnostic

I’m not extremely religious. I come from a family that was pretty mixed on what we believe. I have siblings that believe in many different things. Some of my siblings are Christian and they follow the teachings of the Bible loosely. I have family members that are Christian and they follow the teachings of the Bible strictly. I have family members who changes their beliefs like the seasons.

However, we were raised Baptist and at one point in our lives we attended church pretty regularly. I remember sitting in church and being the big reader that I am I opted to read the Bible for myself rather than listen to the Pastor preach on for hours. While I read I came up with many questions that I wanted answered. No adult in my life could answer those questions to my satisfaction. Also, there were things that you should not question. At least that is what they told me.

I spent many years of my life trying to find my spiritual self. What do I believe versus what people tell me I should believe? I knew that I believed people should be good to others, they should look out for one another and you should try your best to be the kindest and most empathetic and sympathetic person that you could be.

It took at least 30 years of my life before I figured out what exactly I believed. Once I discovered it I wanted to know if there were others that thought like me. I mean it’s in human nature to not want to fill alone, to want to feel a connection to others and to know that you’re not the only one that feels that way.

After much soul-searching and research I discovered I was an Agnostic Theist. What is an Agnostic theist? Does it mean I’m an atheist?

To answer the first question and probably the second question as well,  I would probably have to explain what a theist is, what an Agnostic is, what a Gnostic is and how none of the three means I’m an atheist.

First I’ll explain what an agnostic is. Agnosticism means not knowing. Being an agnostic means you do not know if there is a God or if there isn’t one. It means that either could be true but…there is no proof. The opposite of that would be a Gnostic. Gnosticism means certainty. A Gnostic believes that they know without a doubt. agnostic theist

Theism is a belief in a higher power. A theist believes that God exists or a higher power. An atheist does not believe that God exists and that there is no higher power. Therefore an agnostic is not the same as an atheist. They are not mutually exclusive.

I’m an agnostic theist. I believe there is a God or a higher power yet I feel this belief is based solely on faith alone because there is no proof God exists or doesn’t exist.

A Gnostic Theist says and believes that the Bible is definitive proof that God exist. I do not.

I must admit, it was much easier telling people I was bisexual and that I have bipolar disorder than telling them I was an agnostic. Either way it feels good to finally know where I stand.

 

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13 thoughts on “Theist and the Agnostic

  1. Donnee, you are not alone! My beliefs are very similar to yours. And I understand completely how hard it is to share this, especially in our conservative and religious community. But I also know that being an agnostic… or even an atheist… has nothing to do with being a good or bad person. Thank you for this excellent post.

  2. Excellent post on a complex topic. You clarify the language with great precision, for which I congratulate you. However, I would add a blurry circle in the center of your diagram; the Rational Humanist, who humbly admits that any higher being would be incomprehensible to the mind of man, whose existence or non-existence is therefore inherently unknowable, and that mankind should accept that we must struggle on with the knowledge we do have to make the best of the world we do live in. The concepts of right and wrong, order and chaos, good and evil are not dependent on faith or the lack of it; but faith sometimes helps to define them and lack of faith is no impediment to acting on them.

    1. Thank you for adding. Spirituality is never black and white. I agree. I had a mother tell me that my kids needed religion in order for them to be good people. I was calm (because no mother likes it when others tell them how to raise their children) and I told her exactly what you said.

  3. Donnee, I believe God resides in each person as that person’s higher power. She/He is our inner wisdom that guides us when we take the time and are still enough to listen. Thanks for your thoughtful post. xoA

  4. Donnee,
    Great post. I was raised Catholic and always asked the nuns and priests too many questions (which were never answered).
    This sentence really got me, “I must admit, it was much easier telling people I was bisexual and that I have bipolar disorder than telling them I was an agnostic.” It’s sad how we tend to put people in boxes by their sexuality, religious or political beliefs; and, even sadder when we cannot be true to who we really are without fear of public humiliation or angering others. Bravo for posting and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  5. What a terrible thing for an adult to tell a child, “don’t ask,” especially when the question relates to religion. I think that invokes a sense of shame on the curious child, and I’m sorry if this was also the case for you. But I applaud you for standing up to tell your truth now. I also like your diagram. 🙂 Thanks for the post!

    1. I was always told you do not question God so I didn’t. At least not to anyone. I did feel shame when I felt like I was not like others. I had questions and felt shameful when I didn’t understand or believe things.

  6. Great topic, interesting post. I’m a Gnostic Theist. If you want proof that God exists…..just asked him. He will reveal himself to you, if you sincerely want to know.

  7. Thomas Edison was a Diest. When he talks about proof, he’s talking about proof within the context of a modern scientific world view, that we no longer live in. But faith itself provides proof of God’s existence because faith is a faculty of perception within us by which we perceive the hidden things of God, including his existence with as much certainty as we perceive scientific facts through our senses.

    1. I believe there is a creator, a spiritual architect. I do not believe that his actual existence has been proven neither do I believe it has been proven he does not exist. I also do not believe he has planned out our lives. He created us but our lives are our own. I believe that when he created us in his image it was not physical it was mental. He gave us the gift of creation.

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