God and feta cheese

Can God Seeker Guy develop a kinder, gentler approach to religion in the new year? While he would like to soften his approach in his search and perhaps become more open in his thinking, to date he has found little or no encouragement to do so. But let’s give it a try.

Most of the worlds people adhere to some kind of religion, so there must be something that causes them to believe in the divine. What is it? I have no idea, however here is my best guess.

The human ego demands that there be something more to life than work, play, sleeping and shrimp cooked with tomatoes, onions and covered in Feta cheese. Do you as believers need religion just to get through the day or is your faith an honest effort to understand yourselves as a Homo Sapiens? You tell me!

Most religious adherents appear to believe blindly, which becomes apparent  when trying to engage in religious conversation. In depth religious dialogue is rare, rigid opinions and bizarre explanations are the norm.

“The most obvious answers is that we never have to choose…”

To be sure there are those who genuinely try to explain their faith. For example, the Mormons are very patient and never raise their voice in a conversation about their faith. Many Muslim acquaintances have proven to be very intelligent and are much more tolerant than the media suggests.

While the Jewish community is less inclined to explain itself, and has difficulty separating religion from politics, we should remember that all of the great religions are born of the Jewish faith.

So what to believe? What to embrace as a lifelong guide? The most obvious answers is that we never have to choose, we are born with our religion and for the most part die with it.

If born in a Christian country to Christian parents does that make one a Christian? If so then religion is simply an accident of birth and geography. There is nothing divine in that, nothing supernatural, it is a fluke of nature. If there is only one right faith then the Almighty should have done a much better job of explaining himself, thus we could have avoided a great deal of human misery.

GSG (God Seeker Guy)

Oh hell!

“There are degrees of punishment in Hell depending on the severity of the offense.” (Lk. 12:47-48).

This quote from Luke is very reassuring to those of us who have taken the odd fall in the sinning dept. It’s good to know that a small lapse in judgment while briefly coveting a neighbors spouse will not elicit the same punishment as the serial killer, or maybe it will, we’re not really clear on that point.

Apparently we are born sinners, guilty before proven innocent, condemned before the crime is even committed. Many live in fear of retribution from some unseen entity, a tool created by humans to put the fear of God into other humans. What was perhaps a simple control mechanism designed by the likes of Moses when he downloaded his commandments from the cloud, has evolved into a universal tool for manipulation of the faithful.

“How can we believe in genetics, the cosmos and the merits of tofu and still adhere to directives concocted at a time when few people could even read or write.”

We can free ourselves from fear and self-loathing by simply recognizing that man created God, not the other way around. That religion was simply an uninformed effort to understand science and is fast losing its relevance.

How can we believe in genetics, the cosmos and the merits of tofu and still adhere to directives concocted at a time when few people could even read or write. If education had not been controlled by the church it’s demise would have come much sooner.

Civil law keeps us in order, the fear of a parking ticket is more powerful than the fear of punishment  in Hell, at least on a day to day basis. It is indeed a tragedy that many of us live in fear of vengeance in an afterlife.

To be sure humans crave something bigger than ourselves for guidance, but do we need an all-powerful somewhat miserable God? Author Stephen Prothero talks about history’s most dangerous idea “that human beings can solve the human problem on our own without recourse to God or divine revelation.”

The bible of course has an answer- ” I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon, let us take our fill of love until the morning.”  (Proverbs  7:17-18 )  – just be careful who you’re coveting.

 GSG (God Seeker Guy)