Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Karlskirche, Vienna. Fresco by Johann Michael ...

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Have you been living genuine faith?  Or have you been properly schooled in how to make yourself feel better about situations you cannot understand.  What if all of the miracles and good happenings that you believed would bless your life never happened because you ignored the possibility that they might not?

Most of us know that great acts of courage follow feelings of almost paralyzing fear.  This makes sense right?  One can’t show courage without first experiencing fear and then choosing to act anyway.  Without having to overcome fear, the act may still look courageous to those in observance, but the actor knows that his actions required less of him than the act itself.  Can we apply the same logic to other areas, namely faith?

Religious leaders teach that to believe in God is an exercise of faith (that makes sense), and that doubt is the enemy of faith.  Again, that seemingly makes sense.  They tell us that one can’t have faith in God if one has any doubt that God actually exists.  But if an act of courage requires the actor to experience and overcome fear, can faith be fully expressed without experiencing doubt and making a similar choice to “believe” anyway?  Can you exercise faith if you haven’t first come to the neutral place of doubt before choosing to either believe (have faith) or reject (show disbelief)?

Doubt is no more the opposite of faith than fear is the opposite of courage.  We cheer a hero’s bravery because we all know what it is to experience fear and the great fortitude required to act anyway.  This is why we are all so enamored with heroes.  Why then do we continue to teach people to ignore the doubt that is inherent in believing in something that we have not seen and that therefore requires faith in order to accept?  Having doubt that either God exists or that something miraculous is possible doesn’t weaken or threaten your faith.  These doubts are the normal result of a human mind that measures reality by what his five senses report back to him.  Recognizing that reality and choosing to live on hope ‘s substance and to find evidence in that which you cannot see is perhaps the single missing ingredient to our expressions of faith.  Perhaps the reason why we don’t see miracles anymore is because no one doubts that they are really possible.


Erasing Battle Lines

Posted: September 16, 2010 by Alexandria in Alexandria's Mind
Tags: , , , , ,

I was reading an opinion piece in USA Today by Columnist Chris Mooney.  See below.

We hear a lot these days about the “conflict” between science and religion — the atheists and the fundamentalists, it seems, are constantly blasting one another. But what’s rarely noted is that even as science-religion warriors clash by night, in the morning they’ll see the battlefield has shifted beneath them.

My Response to USA Today:

As a religious fundamentalist I was taught to deny science and fact.  Now that I have made my exodus from religion I am free to accept science and realize that it does not undermine my belief in God.  Religion is by no means an authority on spirituality, nor should we continue to allow it to be the sole arbiter on things sacred and moral.  Religions are man-made institutions; human perspectives of the divine, not divine perspectives of humanity.  A shift from religious fundamentalism to a focus on spirituality frees us to appreciate culture, history and science, moving us past the idea of tolerance, which most fundamentalists don’t practice anyway, to celebration and identification with all of humanity.

Gandhi said, “No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”  It has seemed impossible for religion to avoid exclusivity.  For when we seek to possess God, we create an atmosphere of ignorance, hatred and fear of anything that appears different, including other religions and science.  Religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world and draws arbitrary lines between science and truth; good and godly, so that the science is now in opposition to God and the good man is condemned to hell.  Not only does this support a narrow view of God, but it locks us into a narrow view of ourselves.  Spirituality is something everyone can have, and it seeks to erase the ancient battle lines between science and religion, promoting openness, appreciation, humility, and acceptance.