I learned long ago not to get into Politics or Religion unless you are looking for an argument. Well, I say learned… but I am not sure that I really have learned as I tend to get into these debates and they always end bad.
I have been pretty out spoken regarding the actions of churches in our local area, specifically the Baptist churches that decided that discrimination is ok and that they can no longer support Scouting. And I suppose that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I have ruffled a few sets of feathers along the way in relation tho this topic.
Two days ago, I received an email from a reader asking what my thoughts on religion are. The reader went into much detail on how, based on what they read and my thoughts expressed.. I am wrong. At the end of the email, the reader asked if I would share my honest thoughts of religion and what I believe.
Sure.. I’m game.
Let me start with history.
I was raised in a church going family and instructed in a solid foundation of faith. I was raised Catholic and until recently attended regularly in our local parish.
We have raised our children in that same faith tradition, but have allowed them to discover their belief in our God and practice in as they say in Scouting
“the manner in which they are accustomed”.
As a kid I was very much into our church. Youth group, retreats, and vacation bible school were certainly the norm. As I grew up I maintained my participation in the church and practiced my “religion” faithfully.
As an adult, I have grown in my faith and lost my religion. I have no use for the hypocrisy of “The Church”. And as I continue to grow in my faith, I find no need for the brick and mortar of the church. I have no use for the administrators that call themselves pastors. I don’t need it.. that simple.
This in no way shape or form takes away from my faith. My love of my God and his Son Jesus Christ.
I honestly believe that if God is paying attention, and I know that he is.. there are a lot of “holy people” out there that are in trouble.
I am a sinner.. this I know. But I try every day to be better. I give effort in living the values that I know to be consistent with a good life.
Prayer. I pray every day.
The Bible. Good book. Not sure that I am 100% ever going to buy in that Jonah was in a whale, but there are some great life lessons found in the text. I appreciate the fellas that hung out with Jesus and wrote down the story. I wish Jesus would have written some of the bible, but it is what it is.
I think the bible contains common sense and that is where we humans screw it up. There are instructions for living and we take the word and interpret it to meet our needs and leave out the part about common sense and how to do it.
So what do I believe.
I believe in One God. He is the creator of everything. I have seen His beauty in my children and I have wandered through His majestic wilderness. Every morning I wake up and see the beauty that our God created.
I believe that His Son, Jesus Christ. He was sent by the Father to live with us and lead us to our salvation. He sacrificed His life to take away the sins of the world and give us a more direct path to our Heavenly Father. We continue to screw it up.. but He knew we would, so He gives us grace and forgiveness… we just have to ask.
No, I don’t think man can forgive us, but talking it out with another person is great therapy.
I think that faith trumps religion. Religion was created by man and for man. The early church preyed on illiterate people who could not read. They played on fear and threat and forced the people into “Church”.
Is there a place for Church.. sure. If that’s what you need to strengthen your faith and that works for you… go for it.
Like I said, I grew up in “the Church” and I learned through their example that they want Money, Power, and followers to keep it that way. They practice hypocrisy in the name of morality. I am not talking about the Catholic Church here… I am talking about all of them. They are all the same.. oh I better say In my opinion before I get an email from the Pope or something like that.
Churches provide tradition, they provide a place to be in a community, they provide common ground. If that is what you are looking for, I encourage you to be a part of it.
For me, I find God everywhere and I just try to be the best guy I can be.
Am I a little bitter. You bet. I feel let down by my Church. The Church that I grew up in. I feel let down by the Churches that I have had contact with through Scouting. They make claims of great things, but at the end of the day, they don’t always practice what they preach.
God’s power, beauty, and awesome nature is all around us.
While we were at Philmont I attended the Catholic Church services twice. I enjoyed them. The Tooth of time in the background, sitting outside in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The messages that the Priests shared were good and I enjoyed the fellowship. I like going to Chapel at Summer camp each year. Bringing our God into our lives and having the little nudge to remind us to not take for granted our God and what he gives us. But it’s not the same out of those contexts for me.
Religion. Man made and made to meet man’s needs.
Faith. God inspired and in my heart.
That is where I am. Take it or leave it.
Hope that does not turn you off or cause you to unfollow. I make no apologies for honesty.
Thank you all for reading the blog.
Have a Great Scouting Day!