For me, I don't know what I am. I do believe in God, but I don't want to be associated with Christianity. Here's a little known secret. Being a Christian doesn't have anything to do with believing in God. No one can argue that Christianity was founded on the ideas of a Ghandi-like figure named Jesus, who preached peace and died for it. It happens.
But what others did with those original ideas Jesus came up with is what started Christianity and the church. Nearly every belief and custom was created by man, and most reflect the time they were made. Thing is, because Christianity is supposed to be linked with God, which it rarely is in my opinion, these out dated customs are viewed as God's will.
Now for the meat and potatoes. Christians listen up. (I know I'm picking on you guys) The only thing relevant in Christianity are the two things stressed by both Jesus and the Ten Commandments, and it all boils down to this. Love God, Love Others. That's it. Everything else is man-made and complete bull. And really these two things are the only thing that matter in other religions anyway. (except Buddhism, they don't have a god, but the love others part does apply.)
Now that that's out of the way I want to explain something else further. God is not your magic uncle who will take care of all your problems whenever you whine about them. This is for both christians and atheists who both have the wrong impressions of God. He isn't your babysitter. He created you with freewill didn't he? Meaning He wants you do make your own choices and live with the results. He will not bale you out. God for the most part is a councilor to tell your problems too. When you've gotten everything off your chest then your mind is clear to come with a solution, or at least you should feel better. But He is not some cosmic Mr. Fix-It.
So why bother? Because it makes you feel better. That's all. Giving you the strength to carry on. People say you should worship Him. But that concept is also dated. You should honor Him. He did created the bleeding universe... And here is how you should honor him Christians. By LOVING OTHERS. By loving others, you're really showing your love for him. It's really simple. You don't need to dress up every Sunday and sing horribly to act like some VIP meany because you've got a ticket to heaven.
As for the events in the Bible. I see the Old Testament as ancient stories like Gilgamesh. It's like a bit of History mixed in with some mythology. To take everything single thing in the Old Testament as literal is crazy. I mean you have Giants, Super-men, talking beasts, crazy miracles, and mythical creatures such as demons and angels. What you should take with you is the message behind it. Mother Goose didn't exist, but the morals are true.
Now for the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, and John were supposedly written by Jesus' disciples and Luke was an early Christian in Jesus' life time. Thing is all of the were written WAY after the death of Jesus. Also during the time when Christianity was just forming. Since their big rival was with Roman pagan religions, they most likely spiced things up a bit. I believe Jesus was a great man. He had a charisma and spoke of peace in the time of violence that made him stand out. But I don't think he was walking on water and feeding thousands with just a boy's lunch. Once again taking a story to literal. He was a good man, with a good message, and he got lost in all the magic that went with it.
The Bible is a great piece of literature, and you can find many good stories as well as profound thoughts. To believe that everything the Bible says exactly anyway is a crazy idea, even if all those magical things are possible and outdated ideas of the ancient days (such as there being unclean animals or women are inferior to men) still matter. In the late Roman Empire, the books in the Bible are the books selected by "important" Christian leaders from many volumes of collections. It's like picking your favorite stories, adding them to one collection, then saying the others don't matter. The reason the modern Bible was created was because Emperor Constantine needed something to pull the Roman Empire together and he saw the young budding religion of Christianity as a way to unify the country. Once again it's man getting in the way with the core believe of Loving God, Loving Others. This path was used in both Russia and England as a means of control.
But all these ideas are just MY views. I don't want to push them on others. But I will point out what I believe in. I believe in God. I believe he wants us to help ourselves so we can grow and learn on our own. I believe that to love him, all you have to do is love others. And loving others benefits you as well as them, as kindness will produce kindness. I know Jesus existed, but he wasn't David Cooperfield. He was a great teacher who got killed for his views that were against the times. I believe the Bible is a great book, but not everything should be taken as hard fact. And most of all, I'm tired of humans over complicating this simple idea, fighting tooth and nail over.
Even though I'm at an age where you'd considered to be old and mature enough to follow my religion with full commitment, I'd be lying If I said I was a strong follower.
My desire for my religion, Islam, is as strong as ever. I see it as a religion of peace, as do many others around me, regardless as how many are portrayed. I do my best, and always have faith in God.
I doubt there's many who truly feel Gods presence with all their hearts, such as me, but I cannot blame anyone. In a world full of hatred and violence, how can one do so? We really need to forget the differences, in belief, anything. Doesn't matter if we're Jewish, Christian, Atheist, or whatever, we need to embrace each other and respect each other.
Yeah, this is an internet forum, still, every little helps. If others share a view of peace, then hopefully it can spread.
Oh, I'm not a flippin ideologist or whatever they want to call it.
Since Jesus gave these two commandments as essential...
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.