Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Solace is in the heart of the beholder

Those of us who do not find solace in organized religion may not be... thrilled... with the prospect of frequenting a church.

Or so I attempted to convey to an aquantance a few days ago... And through all of his interjections and interruptions, I don't feel like I got my true point across. I was by no means trying to "convert" him; merely hoping that by talking to someone who doesn't attend the same church, he would become more understanding to some of the world's many religions and... more importantly... some of the world's thoughts on religion.

His first concern was that I had not "taken Jesus into my heart." And in response to that I said that all great men and women have a special place in my heart. There's a lot to learn from individuals such as he. But do I worship him, he asked?

To be quite honest, I'm a little uncomfortable with the term "worship." "Thankful," "awe," and "blessed" are slightly more my speed. But "worship"?

Without spending eons citing many a literary work, I shall sum up my thoughts on 'taking Jesus into my heart':

*Again, I believe he was a great man. One that has inspired millions to lead better lives, stronger lives and more purposeful lives; myself included. But I have many a doubt about his divinity. In 375 A.D. Constantine convened the Nicean Council. Among other issues on the ballot was the question of Jesus' divinity. Obviously, that measure passed. But according to some scholars, many of the issues being debated upon for the institution of the Roman Catholic Church were passed by "the sword."

*I have found that I should take the Bible figuratively and not literaly. Why? Because, again, Constantine commissioned the orginal Roman Catholic Bible to unify a Rome that was falling apart at the seams. The pagan religion (the one of which Constantine was head priest, by the way) was clashing quite violently with the three-century old religion of the Jews. A unified front had to be presented. And so the many works written about Jesus were shuffled through and the 'best' ones chosen. Those left out became part of the Gnostic Gospels. (The works written on the Gnostic Gospels are quite interesting if one should choose to read them.) And lets not forget the commissioned translations and re-workings of the Bible to suit the passing fancy of say, an English king that wanted to kick his Spanish wife to the curb and pick up a new and fertile wife. And, on another note, my belief in the world of physics and biology are such that certain...stories...are quite implausable when taken literaly. ("The Science of God" is a book that helped cement the scientific world within my religious world.)

*I truly believe that God, or whatever you should chose to call your deity, is the only one to which I owe admiration, love, awe and thanks. Putting a creature of this earth before Him seems... undue.

I truly hate trying to put my thoughts on religion into such a small space. If I let myself, I could write for hours and send many into a giant snooze-fest. But I was so riled up about this one conversation... I accept his views as being part of the big picture; why can't this fellow accept mine? I'm not asking to be converted nor am I asking to convert. To be quite cliche', I just think each individual needs to find his own path. And if, after study and thought and prayer and many, many questions, you come to a belief, any belief, then that's all I, the world, the universe and your deity can ask.

Or so I hope.

1 comment:

meghansdiscontent said...

Who the hell were you talking to??? With the religion thing I figured possibly B.S. or K., but you had a male reference. What male do we know that was trying to talk you into church??????