Friday, July 07, 2006

For the love of God...

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" 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! :)


chesneygirl said...

I've struggled with "religion" my whole life...even a little yet today.

Your perspective is very enlightening, I really enjoyed reading this. I have to agree with most everything you say.

btw, I'd pick you for my guardian angel any day!! ;)

Kodijack said...

You have a pretty healthy outlook on this issue. But talking about it with a co-worker?

I talked about religion on my site a couple of months ago, it was the most popular thing I have ever written there.

Rebecca said...

Hey Chesney Girl -
Thanks! :) I find that it's something I'm more interested in now that I'm an adult and a parent - than previously. I think it IS a struggle, which is sort of why I think my views are what they are.

Kodi -
Working w/ the military, you'd be amazed at how prevalent religion is with people. Or maybe you wouldn't be - but I guess the best way to put it is that it's probably a more plausible topic of conversation here than at most work places, given their employment. :)

clew said...

I am a Christian and will talk faith issues with anyone anytime, so long as it's done with respect. I have been told by fellow believers my attitude is wrong, but a person's spiritual place and walk is very personal. I respect others' choices as I expect respect for mine.

Maybe because not all my beliefs fall neatly within "organized religion's" package. But The Lord and I are cool with each other.

Love ya girl!

bigwhitehat said...

This sort of conversation is seldom productive and always awkward.

You did surprise me here. I can't believe your using that tired old hypocrisy line. If there is a hypocrite standing between you and God, then he is closer to God than you are. I don’t let hypocrites keep me from doing anything or going anywhere.

My offer and challenge still stands. Go buy the bible of your choice. I’ll buy an identical copy. I’ll read with you word for word. And we can talk about all of it.

What people say and do is seldom consistent with what God says. You should base faith on truth not somebody else’s behavior.

And quite frankly, judgment day has little to do with what you have done. It has mostly to do with Who you know. We are incapable of standing up to what is expected of us. Our only hope is the grace of a merciful God.

I hate to be condescending here but you are too smart to think this way.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I think you would make an awesome guardian angel. If it comes to that, keep me in mind, okay?

Your belief system pretty much mirrors mine.

martie said...

I like this post a lot! Seems to sum up religion for a lot of people!!

jimmy said...

your post was wonderful to read i kinda feel the same way but to discuss this with a coworker well let just say the people i work with would never understand a topic like this lol......

Big Ben said...

Great posts, mirrors my views to a tee. However i would only invite Jehovah's Witnesses in to my home to mess with them and make them feel very uncomfortable

Tish Grier said...

HI Jill...

well, you know the difference between faith and dogma. Some people need alot of dogma just to have the smallest amount of faith. Others of us just have the faith.

Bibles are great--I've spent a better part of my life studying out of 'em. But, quite frankly, all they taught me is, similar to what you know: that I don't have all the answers, that there's something greater than me out there. But they've also taught me that many of the text interpretations done over the centuries by men are usually supporting some political point of view--more than a faith point of view.

If dogma leads someone to faith, fine. but if dogma--obeying the rules--is the end in itself, then, well, the belief is pretty empty.