Losing my religion

I read a short article today that notes that people are changing their faith almost as quickly as they’re changing their underwear (my words, not the article’s). My guess is like everything else in our lives we’re also expecting quick fixes with our religions.

We expect our food to be fast; dramas in people’s lives crescendo and resolve themselves in 30 minutes or an hour; we expect a war to be fought and resolved within the time constraints of a movie. Our patience levels are at an all time low. It’s no surprise then that people are looking for that quick high with a higher power. And then when they don’t find it within the boundaries of one faith they go looking somewhere else. If I may borrow and reformulate from JFK: it’s not what can my faith do for me? But rather, what do I need to do for my faith.

I have to be careful not to be critical of the searching process. It is wonderful and essential that we search to find something to be meaningful to us. But, it’s a more serious issue than what most people believe it to be or at least what most people end up acting like. There are eternal consequences.

I think today people are looking for peace; a way to feel “connected” to something beyond themselves; maybe a way to feel “connected” within themselves. People are missing the point and it has to do with the immediacy that our culture is teaching us. The first purpose of religion and faith is not about the here and now. It’s to know what is going to happen to you when you die…when you no longer exist as a living human. Once you determine what’s going to happen to you when you die, then you begin to address the applications (and implications) of religion and faith in your present life.

I’m going to posit some questions to you:

  • what do you believe happens to humans when we die?
  • if your answer was anything other than “we cease to exist” then: what criteria must you meet on earth right now in order to get you there?
  • if you believe that this is what happens, then what about all the other beliefs? They can’t all be right. SO: what is the ultimate truth?* Is it really yours?
  • instead of asking what can your faith do for you ask what do I need to be doing because of my faith?

Think on these things.

 *Ultimate truth is a whole other topic itself, so let’s save that one for another post.

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3 thoughts on “Losing my religion

  1. Thanks for the awesome post! Here are my answers:

    1.) I honestly don’t know. I feel that we would probably return in some form, as matter cannot be destroyed, but I am willing to wait until I get there to find out.

    2.) I don’t think that we need to meet criteria. I think that we should learn from our mistakes in this life, and try to be as good people as we can.

    3.) Nope. I don’t know for sure what the truth is, and neither does anyone else. Not for 100% sure, with scientific evidence to back it up. So no, I don’t know, but like I said, I’m willing to wait to find out, and let other people believe whatever they believe.

    4.) My “faith”, if that is the word indeed, is that we should try to be as good people as we can, and in some way (call it “Karma”, “Rule of Three”, “coincidence” or even “wishful thinking”, as it may be any one of these) you will be rewarded, even if it is only with that good feeling you get inside.

    Great post, I also recently (yesterday) did one about religion, though mine was more of a rant against fanatics.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I read your post as well and will probably comment there too.

    I think we will return as well, actually I don’t think we ever go away. When we die our bodies are either burned or decompose. So what “lives on” is spiritual (non-human, I guess) in nature. I don’t think it inhabits another human body though.

    There are a lot of people that say we need to be as good as we can, which is actually a form of criteria to meet. So, with so many people believing that: What is the level of good that we must try to attain? Some may be able to do more good than others (either through time, money, resources, ala Oprah) or be “more good” than others (helping old ladies across the street). What if someone’s definition of “good” isn’t the same? The guys who flew the planes into the WTC, Pentagon and Pennsylvania thought they were doing good. Or, on a lesser scale, someone may think he’s good because he decides not to steal a purse on a subway.

    So, when is good good enough? And what definition of good should we go by? Will that definition change over time? Has it changed through history? If it does change over time then why wasn’t the first definition of good sufficient, or why isn’t our sufficient?

    I think there is an ultimate truth (as I alluded to in the post) and I think we can know it. I don’t think it’s too high for a human to comprehend either. We see evidences of ultimate truth in math and science: 2+2=4. The chemical composition of water is H2O. (I’m not a scientist, so don’t beat me up if I’m using the wrong terminology.) So we see there is ultimate truth out there and I think it extends to the spiritual realm.

    Ok! I think I should have made this another post instead of a comment. Hope I didn’t ramble. More things for readers to think on. Thanks, Leai-Ann, for being a sounding board of some sorts. I must now go console the screaming baby…

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