Recently an on-line friend of mine made me think about my faith and how I thought about God and organized religion. It was funny because I have always thought that I was in touch with my feelings on this subject, but the more I thought the more I realised that although I used religion as a guide I really did not blame, or credit God or the devil for any of my good deeds or my bad ones.
As I have stated in earlier posts I went to church and was brought up as an Anglican Christian. I have often found comfort in the fact that there was a higher being although up to now really never understood exactly what that meant. My mother always punished me for wrong doing not the devil in fact the devil never came up, although she did call on God to give her the strength not to kill me a few times. I was taught to admit to my mistakes and deal with the consequences of my actions. From the time I entered a church there were questions that could not be answered, declarations of what God had done without any proof and it all seemed to come down to having faith in what another man said and I have never been comfortable with that.
If man is a liar and given to do the devil’s work most of the time, how do we determine what is true in the scriptures and what is not? How do we know for instance that it is Christ in whom we should trust and not say Allah, or Odin for that matter, both are older. Or is it that we invent God and make him into what we need at the moment to stop us from doing crazy things? Is God another tool used to keep a population in check for governments and monarchies?
I hear all the time that Christianity must change with the times to be effective in our ever-changing world and it confuses me to no end. If God is perfect in all things and knows all things then why change? I do not understand how the whole devil thing, the lucifer thing ever came to pass. Why would for example an angel created by God with no other purpose than to glorify God get jealous of God? With no devil yet present where did this jealousy, this sin come from? Where did the Gods of old go and where did the Christian God come from? These are some of the questions that I had as a child; the questions that got me kicked out of Sunday school class. To these questions came the answer you just have to have faith and I would always say faith in what, faith in who?
From what I can see man has changed the bible and therefore the Christian faith to suit himself since christianity hit the earth. My question is therefore is Christianity, or any other religion more than an attempt to make the world a better place and the God of the day the hammer by which we drive home the laws and morals of a time period? Is religion like a fairy tale and our story time heroes, only alive and able to exist as long as some one believes? When a God becomes irrelevant does he cease to exist replaced by a new more understanding God of the problems of the day? Again I ask, is God a tool and religion a way that governments and monarchies created to get power and keep it?
I think we follow Christianity partially because we are taught to and it makes us feel safe. I think that very few people study religion and take all that is told to them in blind faith, because it allows them to blame something else for their wrong doings. I feel most of us take comfort in the fact that there is something more out there and that it all just does not end in the grave.
When we get down to it most people have never read their holy book, or taken the time to question what they believe. Some people believe that every word in the bible is true. The miracles are true, the destruction of the world is true. I ask this question to you more knowledgable in this field than I, “Why would a God of love destroy all the people of the world for being sinners and leave the cause of sin alive to continue to corrupt the new life to come after? Why not just rid the world of the devil himself?”
Now the bible says that if you do not take Jesus as your saviour and you can not enter the kingdom of heaven, does this mean that no Jewish person will be in heaven when the time comes, or is there a special covenant between God the father and his chosen people, because try as I may I do not see that in the New Testament or old where God makes an exception of them, or any other people who do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior?
Finally most religions say the same thing and most of them are about making rules by which a civilized society behaves. The rules protect and help a society function as a unit without stepping on one another’s toes. Did all of the main religions of the world take on a best-selling book, or writings of a popular philosopher of a time when chaos was running rampant? Is it possible that God does reveal himself to people as different things or in different ways, or does man make God what he needs at the time? Finally can a God exist if no one choses to believe in him? In other words does God require man to live?
These are the questions that have remained unanswered to me throughout my life about religion, holy books, holy wars and the spreading of a certain religion. We know that there were many Gods being worshiped, many before Christianity, so where did they go and why? It is only when I look at the wonders of nature for example that I see God like my online friend. When I look at the sky and see the universe that man tries to learn but really has no idea how it all came to be that I see God. It is when I see a little baby before it is changed and influenced by elders that I see God.
It is said to accept God you must accept God totally, believe in what you do not understand on faith and follow the instructions left for you in his books, eg. for Christians the Bible, but which one, which version, (King James) which denomination, (Anglican, Catholic)?
I know for me none of these so-called churches represent my God, because they have recreated God in their image. My God is a God of love not war. My God wants us to feed the poor, heal the sick and do unto others as we would have others do unto us. My God would want us to protect and honor the planet he has provided as a living place for us and stop killing off all the creatures he has given unto us. My God would expect us to not pollute the air and water which enables everything on this planet to live. Mostly my God would never make weapons that would kill and certainly never a weapon that could kill hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people at a time. This is what I understand about my God and I choose to live in his image.