Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Crossroads with Abraham
We stand at a crossroads, some four thousand years from the day a man named Abraham gave up everything to follow a nameless god.
We don't know the exact date, of course. We don't even know if the story is true. Abraham isn't recorded by any other historian and he left no artifacts.
What we do know, is that this story, this tradition spawned three of the greatest cultures yet known to man: the Jews, the Gentile Christians, and the Muslims.
At this crossroads, many of us blindly reach back into the past in an attempt to refute the present, but many others question whether the tradition is even worth keeping any longer--if any faith is worth keeping any longer.
I propose a third path, one which preserves the wisdom of our ancestors, but recognizes their humanity and imperfection. A path which incorporates and embraces science and history and new learning--even when it conflicts with the ancient texts. God gave us the capacity to learn. It's foolish not to embrace it.
Further, I propose a reunification of all the children of Abraham.
A reunification that can only begin by setting aside the false prophesy of the apocalypse. We can only come together and live together if we abandon the fear that God will destroy the world and only by coming together and living together can we hope to prevent destroying the world ourselves.
If we don't do this, then the instinct for self-preservation will take over and more people will abandon their faith in order to survive and avoid any self imposed apocalypse.
Faith can be the future, but only if we recognize that it is human and imperfect and forgive ourselves for the mistakes of the past.