I’m not directing this series towards any particular group of people. In contemplating this selection of writings, I have realized that seemingly fully dedicated followers of Jesus as the Christ have similar difficulty in believing things about God as do Atheists and Agnostics. I’m not necessarily writing these as a response to anything or anyone particular other than the growing stirring in my heart. I continue to pray about and meditate on the topics that will follow and question not only God, but others as to why these things happen.
If you have read any of my writings before, you will know that they are merely putting my thoughts on “paper”. I take what I experience or read and then put my thoughts to it. Obviously they are mostly from my own perspective and certainly subject to interpretation, as is anything in this world (and others). That being said, I’d like to make clear a few points about what I will be writing about.
I know I said in the first paragraph that this series is not in response to anything particular. If any of you actually know me, however, you may find that some of the things I discuss in here may relate to particular conversations we may have had. My responses are not meant to be aimed directly at you, but rather a reflection of my thoughts. In other words, I hope you don’t take offense to what I say about it, as my intent is to share my thoughts and what I think is going on. I’ll do my best to not allude otherwise.
In purposing to make this applicable to the largest audience possible, I will try to refrain from direct biblical references. I’ve learned that generally, if someone doesn’t believe the bible to be the Word of God, 1) it won’t make an impact as such and 2) the point may be lost purely because of disbelief and lack of credibility in one’s own eyes. I will say, however, that some of what I say will reflect biblical principles, as I have learned them, because they are a part of who I am. Furthermore, my belief in these principles do not come from merely reading them and accepting them as they are, but through testing of such principles in my own life and that which I have witnessed in the lives of others.
I believe that miscommunication is the number one barrier to effective relationships. More so learned from my own life, I have seen many relationships hindered, broken, and even destroyed simply by improper communication and a lack of willingness to truly listen and understand what someone is saying instead of impatiently waiting for their turn to speak. I feel that in our individual relationships with God and the rest of the universe, too often we don’t slow down enough to listen and this is what hinders our relationships, even to ourselves. My hope for this series is not necessarily to bridge the gap in communication, but to clear some things up in my own mind, as well as anyone who ventures to read this. I hope this will inspire others to start listening if they have stopped and to attempt to listen better if they are already (this includes myself).
I expect this to make people uncomfortable. I say this as a reflection of my own unease. I recognize that the majority of my writing is me talking to myself. My thoughts, as exposed as they become, force me to continually question my beliefs, my comfort, and my current ways. I have learned that when something upsets me on an educational and spiritual level, it is an indication that the specific thing that upsets me is an area of my life I must explore, question, and seek out more answers. I will do my best to remain candid in these writings, as I normally do. I would like the reader to keep this in mind in this reading. It is by the constant exploration and questioning of ourselves that we are able to grow and accomplish things we never dreamed were possible.
If we refuse to keep an open mind and therefore choose to remain comfortable in our ignorance, then we have simply given up on all that our existence has to offer. I believe we tend to settle for things because we fear change and the possibility that we are wrong. Regardless of how convinced we are about our current belief structure, we should constantly put it to the test to reaffirm that it is truly what we believe. Some may call this process “increasing faith.” Whether this faith is in Yaweh, Jesus Christ, Buddah, Allah, The Eighth Dynamic, or nothingness, why wouldn’t we want to make sure that our beliefs are true? If someone tells you not to test your beliefs (even your own psyche), what then is being hidden from our conscious thought? If our inner being is founded on our core beliefs, then we should not only fully understand what those beliefs are and why, but it only makes sense that they should work synchronously with each other.
My current list of topics I intend to explore are: science, religion, man vs. God, pain & suffering, trust, Jesus the man/god, and grace. These are in no particular order and I am not quite sure yet the order in which I will write about them. I’d like to encourage anyone to suggest other topics as I certainly do not feel this is a complete list of topics concerning our belief in an all powerful, all loving God who wants to have an intimate and eternal relationship with us.
As a final note, I am unsure of the regularity, length, or number of these posts. They will continue to be a work in progress. Also, I do not plan to post more than this initial piece on my Facebook group forum. If you would like to read this series, please subscribe to my blog. You can find the series here (http://thoughtsofasimpleman.wordpress.com/category/why-we-dont-believe/). In the top right corner of the blog you will find a section to subscribe via email if you choose.