To Believe or Not To Believe

“Religion is like a pair of shoes… Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
― George Carlin

Well my introductory blog was a little about me and where I came from.  My likes and dislikes, my hopes and dreams, and love for my local Cracker Barrel.  For the most part the content was vanilla and at times whimsical.  Random thoughts brewing inside this head of mine, but inside my spirit stands a place I’ve yet to discover who I truly am.  I have yet to determine where my heart lies with religion, I hear the facts of science and astronomy whispering to my only good ear, and then at other times I hear, “You must love God” and “Accept the Lord as your savior”. (Note: I was about to say I hear one thing in my one ear and one thing in the other, but I have no other ear, so I had to correct that portion. More on how I was born with one ear at a later time). My family, who I love with all my heart, has different beliefs when it comes to religion.  I was raised to always respect other people’s beliefs and try to understand them as well.  My father instilled a strong sense of justice, compassion, and tolerance in me.   He was vital in making me the man I am today.

This leads me to a dilemma I am now facing at 33.  (Again, please note: I am trying to capture the thoughts swirling round and round, faster and faster inside my brain and type them as quickly as I can. So, if I cause offense to anyone reading this, I APOLOGIZE in advance.  As another caveat, all these are my current musings, like everything else in life it can change as time goes by. Consider yourself warned if you choose to proceed).

What path in life will I take spiritually?  Science is the pursuit of fact and knowledge; it pulls me more and more every day.  But at times it contradicts religion which discounts events based on the testimony of man.  How does one come to a consensus that God is real?  How does one say Jesus is my savior and the son of God?  Why do I exist? What the heck is my purpose in this life?  What do I believe in? I have adhered to the teachings of Christianity for most of my life. I must believe in it now. It is what is right.  I do not want my soul to burn forever in damnation!  Wait a second… “soul to burn forever in damnation.”  That is a very real thing inside the back of my mind.  But in my heart, I just cannot fully accept, believing in all of this or else risk eternal damnation.  So wait all the good and love I have done on this planet is rendered moot, if I do not believe?  So, God my creator and father is going to send me to the bottom deck of hell, if I do not believe or adhere to what “Christianity” tells us?  Or at least to me what the pastors tell churchgoers on Sunday mornings is their variation of Christianity.

Dear Sir/Madam: I just cannot buy into that logic.  So you mean to tell me God will condemn the gay man or woman, condemn the Muslim or condemn those who do not believe in man’s interpretation of religion?  I as a “good and faithful” Christian must believe and judge them as well?  I cannot and will not. God is my judge and my creator.  He will be the one to judge my fellow man based off their life choices or beliefs.  I may have my personal opinions, but frankly it’s none of my business how other people live their lives.  I can be sad about the way our society is becoming disconnected from the physical world and leaving spirituality in the trash all together.  But hey, that is none of my business.

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So now here I am right back at square one.  I wear a cross around my neck, I know in my heart who God is and what He has done in my life. He has taught me so much and I have learned some very difficult life lessons.  I believe He loves me and wants me to be fair, firm, and consistent.  I believe the love and compassion He has put in my heart can influence others.  I believe that my father, great uncle, and great grandmother are seated all with Him in His kingdom watching over me.  I know there will be a day when I need to come face to face with my own mortality.  I know in my heart and soul He will be there to greet me and get onto me about the wrongs I have done.  But I refuse to discount science or any man’s perception of religion, however skewed it might be to me.  I refuse to condemn others to hell or complain to good people how they should change their ways.  But if you want to debate this like adults and still be able to drink a beer afterwards with no hard feelings, change my mind.

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So if you haven’t already left, thank you for taking the time to read.  And if I have pissed you off and made you want to cut my only ear off, hey glad I could help you blow off some steam.  Anyway, until next time.  Make good choices.

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