This is brilliant summation of the issues that divide the people of this world. I had religion as top on my list as well. I believe religion has done more evil in the world than any of your other categories. The sad thing about all this is, it would probably take a major upheaval to unseat the current mindset.
Of course there must be the caveat, surely, that there is a difference between religion and faith. Can faith be independent of religion, can religion be independent of faith?
Can faith be independent of religion? Absolutely. One of the most important insights I’ve gained is that religion and spirituality are not the same thing.
When I was a Christian I had some experiences of “God” that were genuine. But is it necessary to have a religion to have experience of God? To imprison God with bunch of men who say, “Look to us and nowhere else for all the answers”?
Religious people can have spiritual experiences, and non-religious people (like me) can also have spiritual experiences. Spiritual experiences don’t happen because of religion. Spirituality is real simply because we’re spirit.
I had considered that very question myself for years: could religion and faith be independent of each other? Sure. I think that religions are very restricting to faith in something more than what we know; why are we always trying to limit our understanding?
Is it because it is so hard to fathom there is more to learn than what we know? Fear of the unknown, perhaps?
I have so much family that tries to get me to one church or another, but I see the distance they put between themselves and me when I don’t go. If they choose to or not, I don’t judge. I just prefer to think for myself on spiritual matters; after all, is it not one of the first things most Christian churches teach is to “seek out God within your hearts”? I wonder if they understand the parodym they create when stating, “God is within all of you” and then “God frowns upon those that do not attend church regularly”?
It just never made sense to me…
I had thought for a while that I was somehow “bad” for feeling as if I had lost my Christianity; but I find myself feeling more “Christian” than those that wish to state loud and long that they are. I feel very centered and refreshed now; I have learned to calm my inner center again and focus.
“I find myself feeling more “Christian” than those that wish to state loud and long that they are. I feel very centered and refreshed now.”
What you say here so matches my own feelings. When I abandoned Christianity, I started healing psychologically, started learning to love unconditionally. And at the same time I had to endure horrible attitudes from some Christians.
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