Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Rules for the Faithful

The attacks of September eleventh, made many people realize that religion can be dangerous. There is no solace in saying "that wasn't my religion", because all religions have had equal moments of insanity.

Not surprisingly, people have turned to atheism in growing numbers as this act drove a wedge between people's trust and their faith. People of faith can respond by relying even further on their old ways, which may help some, but drives others even farther away, or they can adopt some new concepts for the future.

It's disingenuous for people who believe in an all powerful God to ever assume they should use the earthly forces of violence or law to enforce God's will. Control has no part in faith. People must come to God of their own choice or it means nothing. Likewise, people must follow God's law because they believe in it and not because they are forced by other men or it means nothing.

All people have different ideas and understandings of God and none of us have the right to enforce our perspective on any others. How can you be sure they are wrong and you are right? If someone is wrong in their beliefs, then that is an issue between them and God, not them and you.

It may feel confining, but it protects us from each other and allows us to have faith and follow our faith under any condition. It's one of the greatest gifts of our ancestors. Embrace it and protect it and it will protect you and your faith.

People of faith have fought science many times through the years and they've always lost. Science takes nothing away from faith. It gives the faithful an opportunity to refine and redefine their faith based on new information. Embrace this. It may seem painful to give up old understandings and embracing new ones, but doing it only makes us stronger.

We were never made to be perfect. Never be ashamed of your mistakes. Admit them easily and be willing to learn from them. This is much more difficult than it seems.

This does not mean "love the sinner but hate the sin." None of us are wise enough to distinguish between men and their acts. Love all unconditionally. Their sins are an issue between them and God, not you. Love before all has the power to end all conflicts and ease all suffering, but only if we are strong enough to do it.

1 comment:

Sandi said...

That last one is the hardest for me. Excellent blog post.