I have come into contact with The True Religion. Not just once (as might be expected) but with numerous “true religions”.
I have come to realise that for many people “believing” needs something more than “belief”. It needs certainty – proof – evidence.
Faith seems as abused as Love.
We have “weaponised” both and justify it as “spiritual warfare”.
Because Love Without Condition is not enough – has never been enough – not in “real life”. Believers all nod sagely and then weaponise Love with rules/law, proof/texts, and traditional/theology and original/sin. God will always love us – but we will only love God if we are saved. And the twist? Being saved is to win our “reward” – not of Love Without Condition here and now – but of Eternal Life to come after we die.
And so Love is made merely smoke and mirrors – even unto Eternity!
And then Faith.
The kind Simon Peter is lauded and applauded for – stepping out of that boat to willingly and knowingly walk on water! Is there a greater example? Because we all know we can float (almost submerged) but never “walk” on the surface of water – and not just “water” – but storm-surge-stormy-frothy water.
And, just like Love, we all nod sagely and then dismiss Faith.
Faith in the real world needs “a sign”. Needs “evidence” and “proof” and “certainty” that the “outcome” can be achieved – an outcome that is viable to sustain – that we have a budget for – that won’t make us all look ridiculous or even worse (is there anything worse than a believer “looking ridiculous”?) – that might (with hindsight) distract us from something far more worthy. That would be a sin.
Which reminds me of this … our “weaknesses” as they are called (when pointed out) are always excused by “sin”. We are but sinners saved who cannot help but sin. And having been saved – we still sin. We always will. Which is okay as it’s now pre-forgiven. Which reminds me of this –
“Free-Will” – where did that go in this explanation?
And something else. Each “true religion” deflects attacks on “our integrity” with: “Do you think Satan would allow us true believers to go unchallenged? Satan fears us and causes non-believers to attack us.”
So “sin” excuses Faith (and Love), and “Satan’s actions” excuse the need to engage with anyone regarding “evidence and proof and certainty”. And we come full circle back to the bible.
Because with every true religion I have come across, the bible/sacred text is all the evidence, proof and certainty a believer needs. The bible/sacred text is its own evidence because the bible/sacred text is God (in one shape or another). Which means the bible/sacred text is all I need.
Except – as is widely agreed – the bible/sacred text supports any stance I wish to take. Which is why THE “true religion” is always close to other “faiths/religions”. But always far enough apart so as to be unable to become One with other faiths/religions.
Which makes The One True God a very small god made in our small-minded likeness. Small-minded enough to think we have found the evidence to prove God – and small-minded enough to have the evidence to prove other religions haven’t.
And when you are that certain – all that is left is to convert, convince and save everybody else. Even believers of other religions/faiths.
Which leaves precious little time for Unconditional Love or Faith!
Thanks be to God (or Allah or Jehovah or …)