Everyone says "you Gotta have FAITH"
FAITH in what? Faith in your spouse, sure. Faith in yourself, sometimes. Faith in your friends, you can try, more often-successfully. Faith in your dog, absolutely---that is unconditional love, man.
Faith in the Gov't taking a piece of your pie, for sure!
But what about the OTHER Faith? SPIRITUAL FAITH? What does that mean?
Believing in stuff you don't understand? Well, for many than can be math and science. I mean seriously, I have taken college level Physics I and II, Radiographic Physics, Physics as it applies to Specialized Imaging, and Human Physics, but don't ask me to actually be able to explain K-space (in my field of MRI---past the part that it fills from the middle out) and definitely do not ask me how something so large as a 747 can stay air-born, but it does. Does that mean I am spiritually connected to flight? I hardly think so.
I was raised Protestant-Christian, as a child; Presbyterian. Later a Lutheran for a bit, then as a Methodist. Later still, I became "saved" in my brother's non-denominational, bible-based, Christ-centered, Charismatic church. I eventually went back to the Methodist Church, and then left altogether for being surrounded by waaaay too many hypocrites. I knew and know many Roman Catholics. I knew a couple of Jews, and Buddhists. I have researched Native American beliefs a bit (part of my heritage)...The main message I have gotten from all...is to be good to one another, love one another.
But let's go back to Faith. I have watched my brother and his family become fanatics. Then later my own daughter who accused my Parents of being "closet Satan worshipers" because my Dad was a Free Mason and my Mom was in Eastern Star (women's part of free-masonry). I have also taken and taught Sunday school for years, and been in and out of Bible study groups. I found out 2 things...#1
you teach what that given ministry wants you to teach and #2, you study the parts of the Bible that, the preacher of that church, passes along that he wants you to study. I am speaking from my own experience in the protestant, and the non-denominational Christian churches.
Another big thing I have noticed time and again, is how many different ways a piece of scripture can be perceived. Who is right? and why? Better yet, HOW do we know who is right? Take it on Faith??? Basically, if that is the case...you have to take the entire Bible on faith. OK, I get that. I also get that the bible was written by men, some of which waited generations before writing stuff down. How much was lost, twisted, changed or deliberately omitted? There are whole books of the original Bible that were taken out before the King James version came out, and even before then.
What do we believe? We believe what we choose to.
Furthermore, how many Christians have noticed that there are several, SEVERAL pieces of scripture that actually contradict each other? I know I have. Again, written by men, not a God. However, it is supposedly the word of God passed from God to Prophets and then to paper, or onto other men before hitting paper. Again, how do we have Faith, when so much is at stake, and so much is unclear?
I am speaking for myself, My faith has ebbed and flowed over the years because of what I have experienced, encountered, researched, understand and do not understand.
For more than 5 years now, my Faith has been on very shaky ground. I have seen more bad than good. I have seen horrible things, and yes I have had some prayers answered. Were they answered? or is what happened, something that would have happened anyway? Is it possible that the power of my own will and mind did it?
I am afraid to say that I no longer believe in God, because I am unsure if that is truly how I feel. I am still questioning. However I CAN say with certainty that my questioning has grown in leaps and bounds. To me that speaks volumes.
Look to my side bar, see my great-niece Daisy...Take a few minutes when you are done here to visit her website. Daisy was born with an uncommon, Horrendously painful, and ultimately fatal disease called EB (Epidermolysis Bullosia) she has a combination of two of the worst forms. The doctors told the family not to expect much. When she lived to see her first Birthday the doctors were amazed, and now she is 3.5...however, she can't keep hair on her head, her teeth will not form properly and then rot away. her digits on both hands and feet will web, contract, there growth thwarted and basically shrink into her hands and feet over the years, that is if the MRSA, Psuedomonis and other Superbugs she has in the skin do not reach the blood stream and kill her first (this is usually how this disease kills it's patients) when she was born, she was missing the skin on her lower arms and hands and from just above the knees down. On the one leg, the skin has NEVER even attempted to grow back.
Here's what happens, anything that touches her, causes blisters, then the skin sloths off. That includes being held to be fed as a baby, she couldn't nurse. and even the bottle would sometimes pull the skin away from around her mouth. Everyday, she gets wrapped like a mummy. She wakes up in the morning they try to get her to eat, it depends on the skin in her mouth or throat if it will be successful, if not they will give her some liquid food through a feeding tube after her dressing change. Sometimes she can not even tolerate that, and has awful reflux. OK...dressing change, starts out with putting her in her own bathtub that has jets with her bandages on. The days alternate between water and bleach in the tub and water and vinegar. The remove the bandages, the crying starts, they wash her, the crying is worse and now she starts to fight because she is in pain, due to new blisters and new slothing of skin. She gets removed from the tub, and with a sterile lancet the nurse and her mother pop the new blisters. By now she is screaming, sometimes she stops breathing and turns blue due to the pain level. Then they have to use the bag on her to get her breathing again. Now they cover her with a generous layer of Aquaphor and re-wrap her. Most times within an hour she is back to her smiling and courageous self. Some days the infections get the better of her, and her fever goes up, and she doesn't do anything but lay there. Some days this has been the 2nd or 3rd day of this, which means uh-oh a 3 hour drive down to Philadelphia Children's hospital. Where they may ATTEMPT to get a line in, and give her precious fluids and IV antibiotics, but they can not even give her the BEST one for the MRSA as apparently her body has an adverse reaction to it.
I'll stop there, if you want to read more or see pictures or donate to the family, please check out her website.
I Brought Daisy into this blog post because I do NOT understand, if "God, The God I was raised to believe in" is such a loving God, and has the best intentions for us all. Why on earth or HEAVEN would he let these children be born? OR, Why not take them back quickly to be an angel? WHY would a loving God put an innocent Baby through that kind of horrible pain, a daily torture?
There are many WHYs that I ask. The Bullying in schools--getting worse. Violence of our children--getting worse. Technology progressing forward to a point where I belief it is making things worse.
I have SEVERAL personal WHYs...and I do not mean just "me" I mean for people around me, situations around me.
Not to mention the behavior of some people in my life (and in my old church) that was VERY UN-Christian like. It really makes me wonder. I really have to shake my head sometimes. There was another thought I had to put right here, but my son's cat just knocked over a bunch of my stuff, and I lost my train of thought. (sorry)
I am sure many of you feel the same way.
I understand recently the author Anne Rice, publicly spoke out, saying she was leaving Christianity, (this after becoming "saved" and writing only Christian Novels for a while) She listed many reasons, but the main theme seemed to be INTOLERANCE. She said she remained a believer and follower of Jesus Christ but NOT of the structured religion.
Never in my life have I met IN REAL LIFE people that openly call themselves Pagans or Wiccans. My son started talking about Wicca when still in HS, and I was mortified, why? because I was taught and told that Wicca is against God, therefore it must be for Satan. Then I started blogging this past February, and I have met many others.
I have been pondering this a lot lately, and what I am thinking now, is maybe Jesus(who is supposed to be God incarnate) is the Creator, and the Goddess of the Earth is the manager. I know there are "new age" Wiccans and Pagans, that have combined religions, I do not know what "religions" (and I hate that word anyway, as one can be "religious" about brushing their teeth for 3 minutes every morning at 7:05 am)
SO NOW for anyone who has stayed with me, I am looking for Information, thoughts, opinions, good books, good websites, help and answers. I am thinking about Wicca, I have been told the very first book I should read is "Wicca for Dummies"
REMEMBER: I do NOT publish anonymous comments, so if you do not want to be honest in your beliefs publicly here, then I guess you can email me. PLEASE use THIS email address: firstname.lastname@example.org