I just finished reading the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. The entire book focused on Christianity/Christian Spirituality and the belief in God and Jesus. I struggled through all 240 pages but I came to realize at the end that I am really starting to figure out what my beliefs really are. I am without a doubt not a Christian. I, at this point in my life, am agnostic. There is no doubt in my mind about this. I am not saying that Jesus and God are not possibilities but I cannot firmly say I believe in it because it is something I do not know, something I have never experienced. I respect those that believe as they do, I just do not believe the same. I look at religion/Christianity/belief in God in a very different manner than several people on Earth. I have too many questions. I know it sounds very horrible but I compare religion and following Jesus to that of being in a cult. In my perspective it is as if people are being molded to believe a certain way and are being controlled and conformed. This could all be an idea or a story that some random person came up with several years ago and it just caught on and spread like wildfire. I swear I do not mean any disrespect, I am merely stating how I see things. With this being said, I know how I feel and I know that I am agnostic but it is as if my lips are glued shut and I am unable to talk about it. I live in the Bible Belt of the United States and I am the minority and it sickens me because I have to remind myself that because I am part of the minority this does not mean that I am wrong or do not have a right to feel as I do. I believe in spirituality and the search for a greater knowledge of where we have come from and where we are going. I just have a hard time living for someone other than myself, because it is myself that I know day in and day out. Some may call this selfish but I call this my own reality. I feel that each of us as individuals are drawn to something spiritual in one way or another. Many millions of people are drawn to Christianity and God and I admire those people because they have such a strong faith in something. I, myself, am drawn to Buddhist and Zen philosophies. I believe strongly in compassion and finding your inner self.
I realize I sound very cynical when it comes to organized religion/Christianity/God and in some ways yes I am. My issue is that I believe that many people are hiding behind their religion and using it as a scapegoat. People are always saying God is responsible for everything and he will help us find a way out of the darkness and we need to give back to humankind in order to be accepted into his Kingdom. In my opinion, this is just people not taking ownership for their actions. Instead, they are pawning the blame on someone/something else. I find this to be pretty disheartening. People are not owning up to who they are and what they have done throughout life. It is natural to make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes and decisions are really poor but for me personally, I respect someone a whole lot more that takes ownership of doing something wrong and tries to take the steps to fix it as opposed to those that just say they are going to look to God for the answer. What is God anyway? We have this book called the Bible that could be interpreted a million different ways and who knows what truth lies in the story and if God really ever even existed but masses of people believe this. Again, I am saying none of this in disrespect and I can say there may be truth to the Bible and God/Jesus may have existed. I just do not know this, as there are so many concepts and thoughts and ideas that I cannot wrap my brain around because they are nothing I have experienced. Maybe I am looking with tunnel vision but until I experience something than I am unsure of it’s truth—and even though I have experienced some things that does not necessarily mean those things are truth.
I want to live in the here and now. I do not want to conform and do all of the things and believe all of the things that a man in a robe standing at the front of a church tells me to. I am more than willing to learn more about every religion out there but I believe for myself that I am a creature of knowledge and learning and experiencing as much as possible in this lifetime. I, honestly feel that I am not meant to believe one set of rules of values.