Thursday, May 14, 2009

Answering Green's Question

"I would like to know what you or your husband would say to people who are not sure there is a god at all, and would like to come to a conclusion about it."

Green, Hubby may guest post on this one and answer it completely differently than I will. He's finishing his Sunday sermon today, but he'll answer it. But as for my answer:

I am not the person to answer this question for someone who is desperately trying to believe. Stop reading here if you are. But if you are just someone who needs to know more, than I will proceed. I myself constantly struggle with questions of faith. I do not call myself a Christian because I have not "accepted Jesus Christ as my savior." I believe there was a Jesus, I believe he was crucified and I'll even try to accept the immaculate conception. But I cannot fathom how someone dying takes away the sins of the world. I just don't get it. And please, do not try to make me understand. Some of the world's best theologians who get paid big bucks to teach this stuff have tried. It's just something my mind resists.

And I am someone who has been taught a little about a lot of religions. I am not ignorant to other cultures and beliefs, but I tend to lean towards Native American beliefs. I believe that there is an inherent power that flows through the world and that there is definitely good and evil. But I am also the daughter of a scientist. For a long time I needed empirical proof. How can there be a God if I can neither see or speak to him, her or it? How can God let bad things happen if he, she or it is all powerful? According to our religion, I can not go to heaven because I am not a Christian. How can that be if I have led a good and charitable life? All of these questions block our ability to believe in God.

So over the years, this is what has worked for me. I believe in a higher power because I choose to believe in a higher power. Since the beginning of times, humanity has made up gods and goddesses, creation stories and told tales of a power greater then ourselves. I believe that our inherent need to believe in something that controls our natural order (even before humans could write) speaks to the possibility that there is a god. I have seen my daughter pray for snow in the south in late April and get it. I have seen my daughter pray to see dolphins only to have them instantly appear. I have seen how my husband can be fearless when I am weak because his faith is so strong, he doesn't worry about things that he has given over to a higher power. And his faith carries him over the rough times and through things that would topple a lesser person. In fact, if you could meet my hubby, just his sheer faith can allow you to believe. I'm not kidding. He's not one of those pastors who screams about hell and brimstone, or makes you feel bad if you have a "past." He just has this deep faith that calls to others and in a way I think that in itself is proof of a god. Of course, Manson had a way to call people, too....

All of these things can be attributed to coincidence or chance or a person's character. But I, as a thinking, intelligent person, have decided that I choose to take comfort in thinking there is something greater than me that I can call on in times of need. Now, I may not be calling on the Christian ideal of "God" but that's not what you asked. "What would I say to people who are not sure there is a god at all, and would like to come to a conclusion about it." I would say look at your life. Would a belief in a higher power give you comfort? Would it give you strength? Would it harm you in any way? If you answered yes, yes and no, then I would say just try choosing to believe for a year. Just accept it and try. See what happens. Millions of people claim to live better lives because they have faith. I would also say there are so many things that happen in this world that there is no other explanation BUT a higher power.

I know that doesn't fully answer your question or give you a reason to believe, which is probably what you were looking for. But I don't believe anybody can be made to believe. I don't think everybody is supposed to believe. Without some conflict and dissension there is no reason to believe. Then we would just be mindless robots ready for the Matrix. But that is my story and I am sticking to it.

6 comments:

Wide Lawns said...

Fabulous post. Beautifully honest and articulate. I really admire you for writing this.

Green said...

Thank you. I am not trying to believe in god. I just wondered where your stance was, as a religious person, and one who is a religion that's different from mine. I'm comfortable not believing in god for the most part, and believing things only a higher power could create when it suits me, like I'd like to think there is a place where dead people congregate and meet up with their loved/lost ones, and if I have to refer to that place as heaven so other people will understand what I'm talking about, that's okay.

I really appreciate your answering and will probably be back to re-read this a few times.

Living in Muddy Waters said...

I hope I did the question justice. It was hard answering it because I am not a "church" person except by default. But I appreciated the chance to give it some thought.

tamjenic said...

Although I basically consider myself an atheist, I agree with you on the presence of some kind of power or life force. I experience spirituality through things such as nature, music, poetry or poetical writing, the innocence and wonder of childen, and selfless acts of grace.

I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to get the whole 'jesus died for my sins thing' (coming from a non believer's standpoint) At a very low point in my life, the idea that someone sacrificed themself to take away my pain was an appealing one.

floridagirl said...

Very nicely answered. This pretty much sums up the way I feel.

Jen said...

I think I am ignorant to religion and I grew up going to church wiht my granny. I have never been baptised and do not go to church regularly but I do believe that there is a god. Maybe not to the extent that some but I definetly beleive in heaven and hell agian maybe not one above and one below but the whole idea yes. I can not concieve the idea that as a good person and never done bad things that you would go to hell because you have not been baptisted. I also beleave that even though you have accepted god into your heart that you will automatically go to heaven. Ther are people who do horrible thiings and then are saved and accept god but I dont think that erases what they ahve done and I definetly dont believe they are going to heavan.

I think their is a higher power and beleaving in that or in god (heaven/hell) does make you somehow live with peace. The idea of not wondering and being at peace with the unknown is calming and doing lead to happier healther life but like you said then why do the worst things still happen.

I have to agree with you 99%. There was a man who died on the cross but how does that resolve the worlds sins I dont know and dont understand and it has to make scientic sense to me but I can believe... I can say that I do pray and look up to the sky and wonder, is grandpa looking down on me? and i believe yes...