I had an interesting conversation with a coworker of mine today.
He is a Born Again Christian - and I am not. I'm Agnostic - I don't necessarily believe in any organized religion; there's too much hypocrisy and judgement in them all for my liking. I try to read and understand other religions as best as I can. And I've found that there's something beautiful in all of them, and so I try to take a little of each religion and apply it to my life. Basically, I practice being a good person. I've had all of my "ceremonies" in life at a Unitarian Church - because it's a "house of God" - all ideaologies are welcome - and I like that.
I don't necessarily believe that one's God is better than another's. Or that one's love of God is stronger....I also don't necessarily believe that God will forsake me if I don't follow all the rules set by one religion. I think that I was born as a free thinking creature, which gives me the ability to question certain things - including religion. This doesn't mean that I don't believe in God.
I think that while I'm not necessarily a "religious" person per se, I'm a spiritual person. I do believe in love and miracles....I do believe that there is a power bigger and greater than us all and that maybe I'm not supposed to know all the answers. I do believe that God is everywhere, and that everything around us is proof if we want to see it. I also believe that God will help those who help themselves - nothing comes for free.
I also believe in science. I believe in evolution, in genetics.... and while I do believe that children are a miracle of God, I know scientifically how we we make them. Interestingly enough, I think it's a miracle that God has created some people on this Earth smarter than me to develop methods of allowing people who can not have children the natural way - still have children with a little help from Science. So clearly, I think that God and Science go hand in hand. This is only one example, but there are many more.
Does this mean that I only want God on "my terms", as my coworker suggested? I don't think so. I think it just means that I have an open mind - I don't reject any possibilities, be it religions different from mine - or science. That's one of my disdains for organized religions - the lack of being able to think that something else is possible. Or right for someone else. I believe in "Live and Let Live"....my way may not be right for you, and that's okay. Just as I don't turn away other religions and say they're wrong. For an example, when Jehovahs Witnesses' come to my door -- I'm always open to discussion, and dialogue - I'll even take some reading materials, because you know what - it can't hurt to hear someone else's perspective. And while I may not subscribe to it - I can respect it.
I guess bascially my thoughts are that I don't know what's wrong or right with regards to religion. However, I do believe that God will not forsake me for not proclaiming to know all the answers - nor will I be forsaken because I haven't dedicated myself to one belief. I tend to think that if we were all meant to believe in one thing, then we'd have been made very differently. And we'd not be capable of free thinking. I think God is probably pretty proud of us in general, despite what we believe. And I don't think that on my judgement day, I'll be turned away from Heaven because I didn't subscribe to one thought process over the other.
Besides - I believe in spirits and angels.
And I can't see how God wouldn't want ME to be somebody's Guardian Angel! :)