It is my bold, unapologetic and unequivocal assertion that everyone’s relationship to God or to that inexplicable universal power that transcends a finite individual is very personal and personalized. Were everyone to authentically state the nature of that relationship, they would almost always think every other person’s experience as bordering on heresy. I think the reason the self-confessed atheist has a hard time being accepted let alone understood, is the assumption that the theists’ belief is a generic one.
I declare that the same goes, in Christianity, of each individual’s experience of Jesus Christ. I am, in my Christian walk, discovering in Jesus Christ, a guy who was not even a Christian (thank God) and whom I daresay would be appalled and shocked at those claiming strict adherence to his teachings at the exclusion of everyone else. No, I am not going to present statistics here. Monday newspaper headlines are proof enough. I seek to emulate him more than follow him.
I am no philosopher in the academic sense of the word yet I do have certain philosophy or tenets that I adhere to that give me my way of being. As does everybody else; whether they realise it or not. We wouldn’t be driven to wake up every day and live out life in a way that works for us if we didn’t. Yes, even that deeply depressed and suicidal individual has philosophy on which they are basing their life today. It could be that this world is a threatening and non-accommodative place to be right now and she or he needs to organise alternative exit arrangements. It is a subjectively real place.
And belief, in my view, may be the only real thing that exists. It should be encouraged. Spiritual or personal growth consists of independence of thought and action, courage and effort. It is a search that is fraught with mistakes yet very necessary life-giving ones. Any teaching that does not prompt the seeker, the believer to work out their own salvation or question their beliefs and values is an insufficient and possibly false one. Fellowship whether attending religious services or simply shooting the breeze over coffee is where the individual’s belief and value systems undergo the necessary testing, modification and clarification.
I do not know where I am going with this one. My side of the street is a work in process.
I’ll be back.