I believe God is perfect, that He created everything and that He loves us.
Yes life sucks sometimes. I think God allows us to get sick with horrible diseases, diseases that He created. I think He does it for a good reason. I don't know what that reason is for sure, but here's my guess: We are basically hedonistic. It's all about pleasure. If everybody were healthy and never got old we'd never know true compassion. We'd never know the overwhelming love and strength it takes to care for someone who is helpless. We'd never know how deeply we were loved in the physical world unless we were totally helpless and had to depend on a loved one. And then we get a glimpse of God's greater love to have given us someone like that. That's not explained well. And I know some people would rather be healthy than experience love that deeply. But God apparently thinks it's important so He lets/causes that suffering to come to us. At least that's what I think He thinks, but I could be wrong. Maybe it has nothing to do with Him and it's just some deal He's got with Satan where they each get equal time (kind of like with campaign advertising during elections.)
But life also sucks because People kill each other, they murder innocents and they commit unspeakable acts against each other. But quite frankly that's our fault. We screw each other over. That's our choice. Choice. That's a key word. We have free will. You can't be free to love God (or anyone for that matter) if you are a Stepford human programmed to be a bundle of Love&Joy. You have to be free to be hateful and ugly too if you are going to be free to love. I think God is totally free to hate us. But He chooses not too. I believe He will never choose anything but Love. I'm pretty much betting the farm on that one.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the literal son of God.
Not just some prophet. Not just a rabbi, or a holy man, or a sage. Not merely some reactionary who created a hubbub. Yes, he was all those things but he was also God’s Son. I believe His mother was a Virgin. I believe the Holy Spirit of God impregnated her. I believe He died on the cross. I believe He rose again from the dead. I believe He did this for the whole world to remove the guilt that blinds us from realizing we're loved in the most spectacular way. Don’t ask me to prove it to you. I won’t. I can’t prove it to YOU, because I don’t know what evidence would suffice. I could tell you how I know (and it ain’t just cause the Bible told me so) but you wouldn’t believe me. You'd pick it apart and call me crazy, stupid or worse... gullible. Suffice it to say that my evidence is supernatural, decidedly intimate and personal in nature. If you want proof, you’re going to have to ask for your own. (But I warn you, be careful what you wish for.)
I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God… for the most part. But probably not the only one.
That’s going to piss my Christian brothers and sister off but that’s how I feel. The Bible like all historical accounts was written by the winners. These people were God’s chosen ones but they were still human. No matter how divine the inspiration we as humans will sully it as soon as we touch it. Even the most holy of us will not embrace guilt and hold it up for all of history. We will confess but we will seek to justify it at the same time. The men who recorded God’s works also recorded their own. And where God may not have condoned their actions I think they appropriated His approval even when He did NOT, in fact, approve. They had prejudices and bigotries that they sought to justify. Just as men do today, they often put words in God’s mouth. Just because we don’t have a bunch of verses crossed out in the bible don’t assume that all the misinformation has been excised over time. I think it's arrogant to assume that the human race got the message perfect ONE time. We all know how damned subjective we are. Let's be honest.
For this very human and fallible reason I believe that an infallible God wouldn’t put all His eggs in one divinely inspired basket. I believe that the Torah, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the writings of Chaung Tsu, the writings of Native American Shamen, the orations of many of our great philosophers, and the discoveries of our most brilliant scientists and mathematicians are also inspired by God. (Sorry for misspellings in that last sentence.) I’ve read most of them except the Native American stuff, some of the philosophers and the uber-Geeks but I’m getting around to them Like the scribes of the Bible they too were human and probably didn’t get it all right either. So I look for themes. Overriding, prevailing truths that bind them all together like pearls on a string. And they ARE there I assure you. Chaung Tsu a student of Lao Tsu writes of the perfect man or the great sage as one who among other qualities would be able to lay down his life and take it up again. Sound like somebody you’ve heard of? And he wrote that more than a thousand years before anyone ever thought of Easter Sunday. But that is just a coffee table point. The truths that run through the room up and down the walls are: honesty, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, peace, moderation, courage, sacrifice, compassion, sharing and the greatest of all, from which all the others flow: LOVE.
I believe that all these written works along with music, art, history, sex, laughter, the birth of a child, the death of each of us, the life we live in between and what we discover of ourselves on that journey must all link together somehow to show us the wonder of this Infinite Being whose limitlessness is inextricably bound to His unfathomable Love for us. I know this somehow, instinctively but I have not been able to put two pieces of the puzzle together without discovering 10 more. That experience both thrills and frustrates me. But I long to continue it and I feel my soul shrink when I am not engaged in the search.
I believe that HELL is a state of being not a place.
Hell is the choice to live outside of God’s presence. It comes back to CHOICE. I believe that hell is God next you but you having no sense of Him. It is being a spiritual vegetable, you could say. Only you are aware of nothing but your own loneliness. The only thing that can save you is the one thing you cannot reach out to. Hell is the ultimate tragedy of being. There are people alive right now who are on the brink hell only they still have their physical senses. They still have God present in nature, in good things around them, the people they love, in love itself, in laughter, in physical pleasures. God is in those things. When those things pass away they lose God. The best example I can think of is that movie “What Dreams May Come.” Watch it if you haven’t seen it. The hopelessness of the wife in that movie, where she cannot even leave the darkness when her husband comes for her; she cannot even recognize hope and love for what they are. That is hell. It is not God torturing or punishing a person. The person does it to themselves. We must grasp onto the love of God that is around us now. It is the lifeline that ties us to heaven. Without it we fall utterly into ourselves. And that is just not enough; it is quite simply... hellish.
I believe that some, most or almost all of what I now believe could actually be wrong.
But I am willing to learn. I am willing to question any one of those beliefs but one… I believe God Loves Me. Nothing else is set in stone (wet cement perhaps, but not stone) I simply cannot know it all for certain, but I trust that God does know; and it doesn’t seem to be troubling Him in the slightest.
I don’t ask to you to believe me, convince me, be inspired by me or limited by me. I offer you ZERO proof. Sorry. Not gonna engage you beyond my own experience. My faith is no greater than anyone else’s. I am just a sparkling bit of Almost-Nothing searching for the Something Wonderful that I think is already holding me in the palm of His hand.