Ever since I was young, my mind constantly was racing. I thought about things all day long--my thoughts kept me distracted from the finer things in life; they even kept me from sleeping. I had questions for everything. I was raised as a Christian, and from this made many questions rise. Why, in church, did we only talk about Adam and Eve, Moses, Noah, and Jesus's birth/death? The pastor/group leaders did talk about Jesus's teachings, but that didn't seem to be the main point. I always asked myself why we worship a man, who had a great message, but he couldn't be our main point of discussion. I didn't dare ask questions, for the stories of the Old Testament of people being stoned for not conforming had me scared shitless. I've figured for a long time the only reason the Old Testament was in the Bible was because Jesus was Jewish so you get a background for him. Otherwise, it seemed irrelevant to me. Also, much of the Old testament was written ages after these events may have occured, so I didn't know how accurate they could be (I came to this conclusion when I was like 10). The New Testament was recorded as the events occured, so I didn't have a reason to question it (you could argue it was made up, but let's not go there).
Now, I find it useless--no, insulting--to say you can worship a man and only loosely follow his message, if at all. If you are going to worship Jesus, you could at least follow his teachings more closely. The red words you find in the New Testament (quotes from Jesus) should be the only words that matter. I always felt in church they were connecting two different things. They would tell a story irrelevant to Jesus, and claim the morals are Jesus's will or what have you. I say if Jesus didn't say it, don't bother with it (by that I mean there shouldn't be a point to, believe what you want we have freedom of religion in the Western world).
Now, Jesus said some things that were a bit outlandish, like certain human emotions are sins; lusting before giving yourself cognitive reason to tell yourself you really do not want that person is committing adultery at heart; a woman who divorces and remarries is an adulterer. Adultery is, of course, a sin and frowned upon in almost all cultures that I am aware of. But Jesus taught forgiveness as well. If you look at it in an abstract way, couldn't he be metaphorically saying that we all sin, so no person is perfect, but that is okay, because we can't all be perfect?
Back to people who don't follow Jesus as closely as they claim. My favorite quote from Jesus--this is a word of advice I live my life by--said not to judge others, for if you judge someone for having a speck in their eye, you may very well have a plank in yours. A Christian should believe that only the holy spirit can judge them in the end, so why do so many Christians (obviously not all of them) feel the need to judge others anyway? I understand if you want to "save" them, but let them do it on their own terms. No calling of people "fags" or any slur for homosexuality is necessary in the slightest, and it will only alienate them further. Jesus used the word hypocrite several times, and if he were alive today, he would call many of his followers hypocrites for the actions they live their lives by. If he saw the Westboro Baptist Church holding "God Hates Fags" signs at soldiers funerals, he would proabably be in tears knowing these people claim to be doing the work of him.
The Republican Party (not the whole of people who associate themselves with the party, but the party in general) are guilty of these types of things. Along with things I previously mentioned, Republicans are most likely to be okay with capitalists abusing workers for their own gain. Jesus would hate capitalism. He opposed greed and wealth to the fullest extent. If the Republican Party is so Christian, how is allowing this to happen okay by their belief system? The Republican Party is also more likely to support death penalty/harsh prison sentences; not very forgiving, if you ask me.
It's safe to say I am not a religious person anymore.
Now, this blog is also titled God, so let's get to God, shall we? While I questioned the way the church taught about Jesus, I never really questioned God until 7th grade. I was depressed with my life, and didn't think God would let anyone be unhappy if he existed. So I questioned God through 9th grade. At that point, I realized that God can still exist, the evil/chaos in the world can be God's way of testing us, or maybe he created everything and let nature take its course from that point on, and evil came about naturally; who knows. But it was always these back and forth philosophical arguments in my head for years until recently. I have realized that it we as a species cannot comprehend things. We only can think with 10% of our minds at a time, after all. Unless Noetic Science has some breakthroughs, we won't be able to comprehend certain things anytime soon. God is just a subject we aren't meant to understand at this point in time in our state. Therefore, we can't make a gnostic claim that he exists or doesn't without being a militant, close-minded fool. It's all a matter of belief: what argument you hear on him sounds the best and most compelling will determine what you believe. I have read arguments for and against the existence of God. The arguments for God's existence seem to be weaker, and I believe this is not because people arguing this don't have an idea; it's because their arguments are gnostic and deductive, claiming it guarantees his existence. If they approached it inductively, which acknowledge the fact that they MIGHT be wrong, they would be more respectable, at least I believe that is very likely.
So you may be wondering, if you don't already know, or think my thoughts in this text have shaken what you think you know of me--Does Jon believe in God? My answer is simple: yes, I do. Let me explain. First, I will repeat that we cannot know everything, so God's existence is left to belief, to faith. You can believe in something without knowing it is true or not. I can say I believe my Grand Valley State University's football team will win it's national championship for the 5th time in less than a decade, but I don't know if that is true (I hope it is
). It's all about the argument that compells you most. I am an agnostic theist, or spiritual agnostic, meaning I believe in God but I readily acknowledge that I cannot know
if God truly exists, and am willing to accept the fact that God may not exist if it were provable beyond a reasonable doubt. Many (if not most) atheists are the same way on their side: they don't believe that God exists, but if God's existence were to be proven somehow
beyond a reasonable doubt, they would accept it. We just view the argument differently. Atheists likely disbelieve in God because they don't buy the arguments for God; they understand them, the arguments just don't give them a reason to believe God exists. I, and other theists, on the other hand, believe God's existence is likely enough to warrant
believing, and I see no reason to NOT believe.
So, call me a heathen, call me a moron, call me what you will. I just wanted to put my thoughts to the keyboard and screen. Now that I am at peace with my thoughts, I can enjoy the finer things in life, see it for what it is, and live it to the fullest. That is all.