they say that there are two things you should never talk about on a first date, or a family dinner- religion and politics. Since we are at neither, lets talk about church. I went to a private christian school a portion of my academic life, so I've heard every speech I might hear when I open the door to two neck ties and startched white shirts, asking if they can share something with me..... I get it. And every week when I hear the same invitation to come along to the Sunday service, from me, you will always get the same cringe. Now, don't misunderstand, I feel like I am a very spiritual person, but I am not religious. I am almost, dare I say, anti-religion, but not all the way, and here's why- It works for people. And whatever it is that works for you, helps you find peace, purpose, helps you sleep at night, whatever, I say, "go for it." I don't need validation from any one else, and I understand that others may feel differently than I feel. that is all ok. My problem is that people get a little pushy with the personification of certain ideas and concepts, the trinity, for example, and just won't let it go. I find myself in heated debates, if you want to call them that, between myself and other people who feel just as connected, spiritually, to the rest of the world, as I feel, but who just don't understand how we can be as close to being on the same page as possible and yet I don't believe in some dude sitting on a thrown up in the clouds somewhere that knows everything about me, loves me, has a plan for me, and watches every move I make. Thats the Disney version. A fantastic story that people have identified with over time and that works for them. Great. Im just not buying it. I have a testimony of my own to share- but no one ever knocks on my door asking to hear it. The things I have seen, the stories I have lived, the stories I have heard from people I believe in and trust, all of these things, just don't jive with the pearly gates theory. For now, I will say this- I think that history has always been recorded by the winners of battles, not losers, and the more a message is passed down a line, the more distorted the story becomes. the Bibles of our time are crammed full of good stuff, stuff you could live by and be ok. And I understand that for the masses to understand the ideas they describe, without having lived the experiences themselves, personification of concepts, such as a father, son, Holy Ghost, etc. is a great technique for a writer to use, to make their point. As the times have gone by, however, I think the "masses" I mentioned earlier have focussed more on the metaphorical examples than the actual message the scriptures hold. This is just a theory of mine, and I do not recommend anyone adopt my way of thinking. It is full of holes and has, at times, driven me to madness and grief in the past. I only share because I feel constant pressure from people around me to surrender and love a Disney-ish character, that I feel is neither sitting up in the sky watching me, nor created me in his image. I can agree to the idea of something that connects us all, that is so much bigger than we all are that we can not understand it fully. There is a whole lot more to that, but I will save that for tomorrow. In the meantime, leave me a comment... what do YOU think happens when you die?
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