2006-04-15 0936 Lifestuff: Religion, God and me

Religion, God and me

Roche Abbey

Hmmmmm… there’s definitely a religious theme going on with the last few posts. Maybe I should explain.

Once upon a time like most folks, I became fourteen, complete with all the hormones that snuck up on a boy round about that age. I went out with a girl – a Christian. She was (barring ugly Aunties and pretty cousins) my first kiss. I went with her family to a Christian meeting. One of those big top affairs with music, singing, clappy stuff and lots and lots of shouting, praising Christian types.

Now, to a fourteen year old mind, that’s pretty impressionable stuff. It’s powerful at any age, but to a kid like me with an unstoppable curiosity about how the world works, a lust for finding the truth and a mind desperate for knowledge, it was crack cocaine for the soul. Especially when by your side is a girl you want to ….y’know… get closer to.

When they called people to stand up, I did. After three hours of intense – there’s no other word for it – propaganda, I defy anyone not to do the same. Certainly not an impressionable fourteen year old with a girl by his side.

Now, I’m not the kind of person to take things at face value though. I study. When I finally croak, I want my epitaph to be “Why?”. I researched the Bible, I studied Hebrew and Greek until I realised it didn’t get me any closer to the origins of what we call the Bible.

When I was fifteen, my life was torn apart in a way we could never have imagined. That’s been the topic of older blogposts, and I’m sure, of future ones too. It’s not relevant here. Suffice to saw that what faith I had was severely rocked.

The years passed. I helped run the church youth club. I joined the church music group as its bassist. I made good friends with the then minister of the church, and even became a steward. I didn’t know what to believe though. I knew the history of the Bible better than most ‘blind’ Christians and saw that it contained more the Word of Man than the word of a God (or Gods), yet I could see divine inspiration in a tree or a sunrise. Did this mean that Christianity was the wrong path?

I stayed with the church because it had become a part of my life. It was a community like any other – maybe a little more judgemental, a little more arrogant in it’s “rightness”, a little more willing to accept any rubbish said by those in authority, but it was a part of my life nonetheless.

I’ve researched Christian history, theology, Jewish (and countless other) mythology. I’m familiar with the Akkadian origins of the oldest books of the Bible and it’s links to the polytheistic/monotheistic rift that tore ancient Egypt apart. As a Christian scholar, I’ll claim I know my stuff.

As for my faith though, I’m none the wiser. The only conclusion I’ve reached is that we are our own Gods, created by nature or other Gods to be able to stand on our own two feet and shape our own worlds. Maybe we’ll be judged in the afterlife, maybe not. I struggle to accept a God who would destroy on a whim the billions upon billions who have lived and died just because they don’t know or accept that a 2,000 year-old human sacrifice somehow made it all ok. I’m not even sure Jesus/Yehoshua existed at all – there’s too much of a link between Jesus and Horus to ignore the possibility that the story is far older than Christianity believes.

That said, I respect those who do have faith, because they’re on a journey of self-discovery just as I was, and that’s always a good thing in the end. I love the architecture of faith, the beautiful buildings erected in a quest to make permanent someone’s vision of Heaven and Hell. I love what we call mythology, but others in other times called their religion. I hate when the ignorant claim religion has caused wars – religion is the excuse, nothing more. The real reason for any war is always the same. Power and personal gain. Religion is a veneer.

Mankind would be poorer without the folly of faith to drive it, that’s for sure.

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