...or more accurately Part 1.5, as I actually wrote this before the last post.
Several years ago, after exploring a number for churches, I gave up on religion. I knew I wasn’t an atheist, yet agnosticism didn’t quite fit; it was a little too ambiguous for me. Too neutral? Purposeless? Maybe I need to believe in some form of universal goodness? I don’t know, but at the end of the day, I do subscribe to the principles of Christ, in their simplest terms. And I believe he died for our salvation. I’m pretty sure he was a real person, and unless he was flat-out crazy, why else would he do what he did? Call me complacent, but it suits.
So, I guess I’m a Christian, but for years I didn’t want to admit it. I don’t like modern Christianity, and I don’t identify with those people. Somebody said I might be a 21st century Christian, so I’d better look that up and see (snark!) I am a founding member of ThruWay Christians, which is scary for me - I’m not a joiner. We’ll see how it goes. My “personal” Christianity is highly streamlined: I believe divinity exists. I believe God is divine. I believe Jesus is God, and his sacrifice was an expression of a love I can’t begin to comprehend. That’s about it.
I don’t believe the Bible is “inerrant”. It was written by wise men with (mostly) good intentions. Period. I don’t believe I have the right to judge anybody. Nobody has that right, and this is where I differentiate between judgment and justice. Justice is a necessary human invention, based on actions and the intentions behind those actions. If you take what’s not yours, you give it back or pay for it, one way or another. It’s a simple concept and it works, but God’s not part of that equation. I’ll ignore you if you tell me God will punish me for my sins. On the contrary, I believe He will forgive me. Punishment is a matter for us humans.
Do not quote Scripture to me if your purpose is to contradict the teachings of Christ. There may be a bit of hearsay involved, and translations are suspect, but His message is fairly clear. He loves us all, and He wants us to love one another as we love ourselves. This world is full of people I can’t or won’t love, for a lot of justice-related reasons. If I tried, maybe I could disapprove of their behavior and love them anyway, but I don’t try very hard. That is MY weakness, not theirs. If nothing else, I have the guts to admit that. I sin, and I’ll continue to do so, but somebody please slap me silly if I ever justify bigotry with “God’s word.”
Spirituality should not be separate from everyday life; it should make sense, and should mesh with the real world, not contradict rational thought. What’s the point of having ideals if they can’t be part of reality?