In an earlier post I talked about visiting a few local churches and how transforming it has been for me - helping me get over fears of religious bigotry. In reaction to many difficult situations, I have to admit to having stereotyped Christian churches and church people. Despite having grown up in a Christian home and pretty much identified as Christian, I grew to dislike the word "christian" and reacted badly to it. I am thankful that friends have taken me to task on that and encouraged me to face this fear - to recognize this stereotype. I have felt welcomed in a Methodist Church, a Catholic Church and most welcomed in a Presbyterian Church.
The experience has provoked some very pointed and deep discussions about Christianity with some of my dear friends. With great love and concern, I have learned that their motivation revolves around wanting me to be with them in the "next life". Knowing that they view this "next life" as eternal, they must like me a lot. Why would you want to spend eternity with someone you don't like?
So, where am I in this journey? First, my assessment of "religion" of any form is that it is merely a philosophy. A philosophy is difficult to prove right or wrong - especially when much of it is based on what will happen after you die. Your guess is as good as mine. It appears to me, most people are trying to hedge their bets. Who is most convincing in assuring a ticket to the best outcome? What I hear is - "just buy the ticket, silly woman."
And then I think, "Silly woman, who has a ticket, really?" What's for sale?
It's all philosophy. By what standard are you going to live your life?
Do you believe there is a devil? Ahhhh, then, "the devil is in the details." If we are caught up in the "details" of everyone believing in the things we believe - it's a devil!
I believe there is a positive force that we can choose or not choose. To me, that positive force is God - however you see her or him or it. That is the source of all life, all death, all power. That IS the GREAT it IS. And perhaps I am even wrong in calling it positive or negative. IT IS. IT is the force - the energy of all things - IT is everywhere and always and ever will be. We can surrender to it or resist it but IT IS and always WILL BE. Our best hope is to understand that power and how to become one with it. I believe that is what Jesus tried to teach us. And I believe we lost much of his message along the way because humans tried to make it something else. IT just IS.