Do You Believe in God?

Do you believe in God?

It’s a question that we hear regularly.  And when someone says yes, my immediate response is always ‘why’?  That may sound cynical.  And there may be some truth to that.  Mostly, I’m always curious why people believe.

My answer would be ‘no’.  I’ll call it a qualified ‘no’ simply because I have to allow for the possibility of some superior being/race that may influence things here on earth.  But that is doubtful at best.

This commentary is not meant as a detraction, insult, negative towards people who believe.  I’m just always curious what drives belief.  It really doesn’t matter what faith you practice.  The belief in a God directing our lives always raises questions.  I’ll stick with what’s familiar to me: Christianity.  I use this as a reference point only.

So what is faith?  Why do people believe?  And is there something more underneath?

Faith is belief is something or someone.  Religious faith is belief in God and/or Jesus.  It has a base definition of the acceptance that the bible contains the Word of God, that Jesus is God’s son and that he died on the cross for our sins and opened the door for us for eternal life.  That said, humans are humans.  We may believe all of it, some of it, none of it.  God’s free will, if you will.

Churches of all sorts have appeared over the centuries, espousing all sorts of interpretations of both God’s Word and God’s Will.  There are churches that follow good purpose and use love as a basis for living.  Others look for control of the masses.  Other’s want political power.  Many are simply there for the Benjamins baby!  That means means money if you don’t get that!

I won’t go through the reasons I don’t believe.  I’ve stated some before.  I may state some later.  This isn’t about a debate of the validity of the Christian persepctive.

Common themes appear through most religions.  Love, caring for others, caring for the poor, respect, fairness.  People with absolute beliefs feel anyone who doesn’t believe in God doesn’t believe in these concepts.  The problem of course?  With the exception of radical elements, don’t we all believe in those concepts?  They are as old as humanity itself.

If you believe that I don’t have faith because I don’t believe in God, you are mistaken.  My faith is in humanity.  A wise man I know who believes in God suggested that man is prone to err as we discussed this very topic in the middle of my writing this.  And as individuals, we are all prone to be, shall we say, ‘human’.  But for me, the goals of humanity, the common goals and truths of humans as a whole, are exactly the same.  Call it basic rights.  Call it human rights.  Call it what you want.

Jesus does not have the market cornered on these concepts.  They are as old as man and older than Christianity.  Jesus did a nice job of showing the way.  Too bad so many have abused those ideals to the point where Jesus is as divisive to many as he is as a uniter.

So as much as I can be a belligerent towards belief (more like religion really), I have to say that after much discussion, much negativity and much introspection, the reality is that, at the heart of it all, our goals are all the same.  The community of man.

If you believe in God and that brings you to help others, accept all, respect all and bring hope to those you interact with, we are on the same page.  If I am doing all those things, the only difference is sourcing.  I don’t need God or Jesus to tell me what’s right.  For me, so much of this is just a given.  At the same time, how can I argue these points with you if you believe and follow the same thing?

We are more alike than many would have us believe.  We all want peace.  We all want love.  We all want respect.  And we should all do what we can to help others reach those same goals.  Life, health, giving, love.

Love is the beginning and the end and everything in between to me.  And for others, if I say God is love?  God is the beginning and the end and everything in between for them.  What’s the difference other than semantics and some concepts I won’t argue here.

We are the same.  Spread the word.  Too many have forgotten.

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2 Responses to Do You Believe in God?

  1. smirkdirk says:

    I was listening to a local NPR show the other day featuring an hour-long interview with a local bishop, Bishop John Spong. You may find it interesting. Here’s the link:

    [audio src="http://www.wfae.org/wfae/18_93_0.cfm?do=file&file=/CT20091016.mp3" /]

    He relates a tale of a man who once said, and I’m parapharasing here, “What gave Christianity its credibility? Divorcing it from Judaism. The next step is to divorce it from Religion.” The man who said that, Bishop Spong relates, also is an attempted assassin of Adolf Hitler.

    Essentially, God is separate from the manmade religions he has inspired. Do not mistake religion for God, is the basis of the interview. Good stuff.

    Another paraphrase from the interview: “If I were to ask a dog what its like to be a cow, how would that make sense? Its the same as asking a human what its like to be God. We cannot understand. We can experience God, but we can never understand God.” – Thus religion is merely some people interpretation of the experience of God, but religion is not God.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Wow Dirk! Thanks for sharing that! Great interview with a passionate and realistic man. Nice to see that a man of God believes in reality! And yes, man has defined all the rules and generated all the elements of hate as well.

      I like how man takes responsibility for his actions in the Bishop’s world (that being reality). If you are starving and I bring you food, religion says God answered your prayers. But that implies God made you starve and it implies that God told me to help you. So God takes responsibilities for all actions? Why are we here if we are just puppets of a master? Prefer to think circumstances are what they are and it is up to each of us to help each other. That is love.

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