Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Faith Challenge

The last blog may have raised a question for some of you. So, in 1989, the tiger was an evangelist? He was part of a team under the direction of Dr. Tom Stebbins, the Evangelism Explosion Ambassador? And now, DeHomely does not claim to be a Christian, and what's more he claims to be a seeker.

My understanding and attitudes toward Christianity have been varied over the last 50 years. I have gone the gambit from negative, to positive, to negative to appreciative.

Christianity has influenced the majority of my life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the basic tenants of Christianity as taught by that humble and loving leader, Jesus of Nazareth. The Apostle Paul, if you read him as a Jew would read him, you would probably see that Jesus was a mystic, perhaps a prophet, and the Apostle Paul was solidly convinced that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah (Christ). I am convinced that both Jesus and Paul are both mystics and both very solid Jewish mystics.

Listen, can you name many individuals that have been so influential in the everyday lives of people for 2000 years, as has this simple carpenter from Nazareth? His teachings have been twisted and abused more than any other notable teacher in history. It was not Jesus' fault that men have so corrupted his teachings and brought on so much tragedy and unhappiness in the world in his name. Yes, I can easily subscribe to the teachings of the gentle man of peace, and his staunch follower, Paul, every bit as much as I can appreciate the wisdom and kindness of that simple teacher from India, Mahatma Gandhi. I don't subscribe to all of the dogma and doctrine that has been imposed on those Jewish and Christian texts. I read them at face value, as any other piece of literature, accounting for custom and culture of the time. And yes, there is much wisdom to eschew.

I see Christianity as a temporary path for some of us.

Not for all of us.

It served a purpose in my life. And the abuses and corruptions in Christianity also lead me to seek a simpler truth, something less tainted by the agenda of ambitious and greedy men, or men that want God all neatly packaged and confined to a finite mental container that satisfies a very limited need.

Of course, some (atheists) would say that religion not only has messed up the history of man, but it also offers false hope for the afterlife. I think, so, if one dies with hope, and there is no afterlife, then there is no disappointment for the dead, is there?. On the other hand, if there is an afterlife, hope is an important part of dying. I have to laugh when I have been challenged by some militant atheists that are determined to rescue me from “false hope.”

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