Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some things don't change

Many years ago, decades that is, I began to question some of the extraneous teachings of christianity. It seemed to me that the different denominations did not agree on all the more superfluous items. My questioning was even more firmly cemented when I took "religions of the world" and "comparative religion" classes. My belief in God never wavered, even at my most scientific moments. God is. Nothing I have seen, felt, thought or experienced can dissuade me from such a fundamental statement. That said, I could easily agree with the message of Jesus when he taught us to love God with all our heart and with all our soul. I even felt in sync with his second golden rule to love one another. I don't know if Jesus ever said that in such a clear and succinct manner ascribed to him in the bible. It doesn't matter to me. Those thoughts ring true with me and I recognize them as fundamental truths. It the rest of the stuff I find everyone making up as they go along. For instance, some believe "salvation" is through faith alone. Others believe it is based on good works. The role of saints and angels seem to have a mixed reaction as well. Even the role of women in the clergy is as varied as icons and sacraments. About five years ago, I ran across a website that charted out how a number of christian denominations views many of these ideas. I took the time to review all of them and make a spreadsheet of it. To that, I added a column for myself and filled it in. Not too amazingly, I did not match up with any of the listed denominations. I ran across the spreadsheet about a year ago. At that time, I added a second column. Without looking at my original column, I responded to the items in the chart. While my words changed, the underlying message was unchanged. I found my belief to have solidified. I was grateful. My constant questioning of my faith lead me to believe that I may not have had a solid foundation. Seeing the commonality of responses over the course of years, pointed out to me that I did have a stable platform. I found the file again today and repeated the exercise. My responses were even more clear and consistent. I can finally state with clarity that I have, despite my constant questioning and searching, a solid religious belief. I definitely do not fall within any of the traditional denominations, and I am fine with that. What, then, did I write down? What is the dogma of my faith? Stay tuned to this spot, and I will expound on it further. In the meantime, I suggest reading the Epistles Of Doug.

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