Monday, November 24, 2008

A Blogger's Faith

I am, or at least have become, a Blogger. I am still new at it and I admit I'm not the best writer but I love it. It is a creative outlet in part, a way to let out any thoughts that may be wandering in my head that need a place to rest. I chose Religion (in general) to blog about because it is such a vast, interesting, and controversial topic to write about. I don't try to force my beliefs (either on this blog or in the real world) on anyone anymore because it seems to contradict the whole spirit of faith in the first place. You can't force faith on anyone, nor can God. Now there may be believers (in "insert name of Faith Here") that may wish to force there beliefs on other people but even then how can one know they are believing out of their own free will or out of fear be it intimidation, peer pressure, or on pain of death?

Does God say then,"That was great work you did back there making that sinner feel guilty so that they will turn back to worshiping Me." I can't imagine a God so consumed with collecting as many worshipers as possible that He would result to violence to strong arm people into obedience. Even then some Holy Books warn of punishments for those that choose not to worship the Almighty. What then? Do we blindly follow those commands and force Humanity to bow or do we let our lives be an example of how religion has changed us for the better (Warning: Your Religious Experience may Vary)?

I have gone off on too many tangents. My original focus was on Blogging, but that is the beauty of blogging. I can go off on as many tangents as I please without making any sense. This is not for others but for me. I guess you can say it's a bit therapeutic getting this all out in my own private environment. Others are welcome to read, comment, and debate but this is still my own pulpit. I can go on and on about a certain topic or I could just post a solitary link without comment.

But I do this primarily because it is so difficult to talk about Religion to just about anyone. Most people have there set beliefs and the minute you state that you believe otherwise or follow different creeds immense walls shoot up, alarms go off, and warning signs flash up in your head.

Warning! Warning! Their Religious Experience varies from yours! Abort! Abort! Abort Conversation! Take all precautions, enemy combatants are in range. Raise Shields! Bring weapons Online!
That's why recently I've become careful with what I say when it comes to the topic of Religion AND especially in the South. You never know who you're going to offend unless you are part of the majority. And I'm not. I'm far from it.

But in closing I think it's only far to share what I do believe.

  • First and foremost I can at the very least consider myself a Monotheist. I believe in one God. I don't say there IS a God as if it's scientific fact but that I believe there is a God.
  • I was raised Christian my entire life so my Religious experience is similar to most people here in the Southeast. But that's where the similarities end.
  • I was raised a 7th Day Adventist. I am not a practicing Adventist anymore but, on a subconscious level, still slightly think and consider myself an Adventist. I do not follow any of the creeds but I tend to sometimes think like an Adventist on certain occasions (for example: I sometimes catch myself thinking "Is this sinful?" when I bite into a delicious ham sandwich.)
  • I am very open minded when it comes to listening or studying other faiths. I especially find it interesting when I find close similarities between faiths I thought (at one point) had absolutely nothing in common (i.e. Christians and Muslims are both awaiting for Jesus Christ to Return to Earth to reign and to destroy the Antichrist). This is where I start to get hateful glares from some Christians because they equate Islam with the Devil.
  • And this leads into my final point since I could go on for awhile on what I do or do not believe. I can not believe that only one Religion has all the answers or is the only way to commune with God. I can not say to a Hindi, "You can not be praying to the God Almighty because you worship idols." Or to a Muslim, " You are not saved because you do not believe that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate". What I am saying is that I CAN NOT judge a fellow worshiper (or non-worshiper) of God and tell them that they are wrong. I am not God, I do not claim to know God's mind, and so therefore I can not pass judgment on others spirituality or lack thereof.
I want to not only understand the different creeds and rituals of different Religions but I want to dig past them. This open-minded view I have allows me to better understand my fellow Man, and by better understanding I can increase my love towards my fellow Man.

Mark 12:28-34
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

32"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

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