UPDATE 9/2016: My faith life has changed drastically since I wrote this post! I’m leaving it here for posterity’s sake. As far as what the changes are, I’m not ready to write about that yet!
Warning, this post is about religion and politics! Feel free to leave now. 🙂 My “About Me” page has this statement: “I’m a Christian but my politics decidedly lean to the left. I am opposed to theocratic laws.”
I haven’t written much about my faith up until this point. First, yes, I really am a Christian despite what many fellow Christians may think after reading this entry. To me, being a Christian means believing this core belief: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He died on a cross for our sins, rose from the dead, and through this belief we can be reconciled to God and go to Heaven one day. (As far as how on Earth I can believe this crazy sounding thing, well, that’s a different entry for another day!)
My faith life tends to get controversial to many people through things outside of this core belief. I honestly don’t know why people get SO upset over things outside of this core belief. Almost every Christian I know considers this core belief the most important thing, really the only thing that matters most of them will say. So why are there such great arguments over all these “other” things? Anyway, here are my other beliefs.
I don’t believe you have to accept Christ into your life before you die here on Earth. Many Christians believe our life here is the start of our eternal life – well, so do I, so why can’t that acceptance of Christ come at any point, including after we die on Earth? God is the creator of the Universe and He is also said to love each and every one of us more than we love our own children. Well, be assured there is nothing my kids could ever do such that I would condone eternal torture for them. And God’s love is far more perfect than my own, so I don’t believe anybody goes to hell.
I also don’t believe the Bible literally. The majority of the Old Testament is pretty unbelievable to me to be honest if I had to take it literally. I believe in evolution. I don’t believe in a literal Adam and Eve, the story of Exodus as written, King David if he existed at all was probably a tribal leader, not a grand King as portrayed in the Bible. I do believe these Old Testament stories are there for a reason and we need to put them in the historical context in which they were written to get meaning from them for our lives today.
The New Testament I take somewhat more literally, but since the Old Testament isn’t literal, then I don’t automatically believe everything in the New Testament is literal.
Here’s the thing about taking the Bible literally: I’m not so sure how important it is to debate this to death. It is quite interesting to ponder and if it’s the type of thing that will be meaningful to me in Heaven, then it will be great to find out. I think it’s more important to understand the message being conveyed rather than how literally true the story is or not.
I don’t believe in theocratic laws. So this means a whole slew of things that Christians typically support I don’t support. I do not support prayer in public schools. I support same sex marriage. I think the word “God” should be removed from our money, court houses, pledge of allegiance, and any public place that taxpayers paid for.
The reason I am so against theocratic laws is because I believe the freedom of religion is extremely important. Right now in the USA Christians are the majority religion. That may not be true someday. Let’s pretend a religion that worships the Cylons (Battlestar Galactica fans anyone?) becomes the majority religion one day. Do you really want a Cylon in the pledge of allegiance, on all the money, in a school prayer every day, etc etc? Do you want only human-Cylon marriage legal? I know this is a ridiculous example, but just think about it. Freedom of religion is precious.
I’m also against theocratic laws because I believe they backfire. We want people to know about the love of Christ. We cannot legislate them into it. I was an agnostic for many years, all attempts to “force” or scare me into converting completely backfired on me. It was only once I met Christians that walked the walk and did NOT talk the talk at all that I started to become interested.
I do love to discuss my faith life, but let’s keep it civil ok? I have not had great reactions to my personal faith beliefs in the past. I agree it’s the most important question we will face in our lifetimes. So I get the intensity of feelings faith elicits. Let’s just stay calm about it ok? 🙂