Something to Believe In
I have told some people here and there what I do believe in, in bits and pieces. I don’t think I have articulated it all in one place before. My head is full of a lot of information regarding my own religious beliefs, so today I thought I’d make a list and then future blog posts will attempt to break the list down and expand on each point to explain how I came to believe the things I do. If you are searching for yourself or simply curious, my hope is simply that this blog helps you on your journey. I will probably have my personal experiences and personal church history mixed in where it’s applicable. I may also add to this list.
1) I believe there is a God. I believe the spirit of God is omnipresent in each of us. But I do not believe he makes decisions or influences the world like an outside source. He simply “is” and we decide with our choices how much influence God has in the world. This concept is supported in the Bible, actually, as I will explain in a later blog.
2) I believe in Jesus’ message in the Bible. I do not know if he was the divine son of God or not. I do not believe that it matters.
3) I loosely believe the Bible to be a guide book with flawed humans and stories in it. I do not believe it is the flawless inspired Word of God. I also believe humans purposely decided to leave books considered scripture out to carve out a certain one view of Christianity to promote it and use it for control and power.
4) I do not believe getting Baptized is important
5) I do not participate in rituals such as communion or before-meal prayers. In fact, I hardly ever purposefully pray. Most of my “prayer” is in the form of meditation.
6) I do not take oaths or covenants. My church has a covenant its members take at the beginning of each year. I do not participate. This past year I think my husband and I were the only persons in the church to not sign the covenant.
7) I believe certain themes and stories are across all major religions. There is value in that knowledge. It also puts Christianity as equally important to other religions…not as the best one, the only right one, or above any others at all.
8) I have not sought membership in the church I attend because I will not pretend to state things I don’t really believe in just to have voting or committee rights. My hope is some day I can have those rights while having the freedom to believe as I wish and simply be allowed to fully participate in the community I chose to be a part of.
9) I believe certain people throughout history have a higher spiritual knowledge and message they shared with people to collectively influence the world in a positive way. Jesus was one of those people (whether he is God or not is of little consequence). Other modern people I put in that same category are: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Bruce Lee, Jon Stewart, Robert Reich, and others. There are people I don’t even know about that fit that category also. But those are the people I have noticed and inspire me.
10) I believe we are all connected. I believe that it isn’t “God” who lets bad things happen to people, but merely it is a consequence and influence that we have with each other. The more power someone has, the larger influence and consequence that person’s decisions have. I will further explain this later with concrete examples.
11) I believe in a balance between personal responsibility of one’s own decisions and the knowledge there are circumstances (from other peoples’ decisions) that affect you, you have no control over.
12) I believe that Love is the solution to 99%, if not all, of our problems. And I believe we cannot love anyone properly without first loving ourselves. Most of us are fully aware of other people projecting their damage and pain onto other people. Most of us are not yet fully aware that Love works in the exact same way. When Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself”, he wanted you to also love YOURSELF. I believe this single concept can revolutionize the world.