Click on the quote below to read the article...

There is a tendency amongst critics of religion to throw the Baby out with the bath water. Sure, much is wrong with religion; but faith in God should not be blamed for it. Dishonest religionists only pretend to have faith in God. The solution to such hypocrisy is not to deny the existence of God, but to counter dishonest faith with honest faith.

Honest faith starts by admitting that there are very real limitations to our ability to comprehend God. We are but specks in the vastness of the universe, and our lives are a flash in the face of eternity. Our minds boggle when we try to imagine never having been born, or what it is like to cease to exist after death.

Consequently, most people avoid such thoughts altogether and grab all the pleasure they can get right now. But others cling to a hope that our personality (mind, soul, spirit, or whatever) is part of eternity and exists quite apart from this physical body. This hope is the beginning of faith.

There are good reasons for believing that life as we now know it is only a small part of a higher plane of existence. There is so much order, purpose, and beauty in creation that we cannot accept that the universe was an accident, or (more unbelievably) made itself.

We may not be able to comprehend a man with a long white beard constructing the universe, but the fact that some fathomless Force and/or Intelligence is behind it is consistent with everything that we experience in this prison we call Time. We don't accept that cars can make themselves, so we cannot accept that human life created itself. And if there is a Master Designer (and He, She, or It has at least given us enough intelligence to recognise the probability that He, She or It exists), then what is our role in it all?

Many religions teach that the Creator seeks a special relationship with humans. While other animals have an instinctive relationship, people alone are given the opportunity to choose to actually resist the Creator.

Our unique notions of good and evil, right and wrong, morality and immorality, also lead us to believe that the Creator is good, right and moral; while resisting the Creator is evil, wrong, and immoral.

But this is when religion begins to rear its ugly head. Dishonest leaders claim to speak on behalf of the Creator in teaching what is good and what is evil. Their decrees conflict with those of other religious leaders. More importantly, they conflict with tiny whispers within the souls of each of us. And this conflict leads many to reject religion.

We know that the leaders are wrong, but we also know that those inner whispers are often not understandable or are completely inaudible. Following the inner voice on our own requires such honesty that it proves to be too painful for most of us; eventually we lose all interest in (and ability for) hearing that voice.

Some return to the religious leaders; others return to an animal existence. And still others declare themselves to be spiritual leaders without really having a knowledge of ultimate Truth. They invent new terminology, only adding to the confusion of exaggerated conjecture that is religion.

Only a rare few desire Truth strongly enough to find it.

There are times when someone says something that echoes or even amplifies our inner convictions. Our hopes for finding real purpose in life are lifted, as the inner voice and another human being begin to support one another.

But, when this person exposes a blind spot in our thinking, and the inner voice feebly admits to the truth of the claim, most of us choose self-deception rather than the divine fulfilment that could come from accepting the truth at any cost. In fact, this is what makes the inner voice unreliable.

Many religious leaders speak of faith and love, and our consciences bear witness that this much of what they are saying is true. But Jesus goes further and tells us to put our faith and love into practical action by forsaking everything we own and living only by faith in God, and love for others.

No religious leader in history has had the courage to promise God's provision for any and all who will spend their lives working for love. Some religions promise such an existence for a chosen few, but they still insist on the majority being 'supporters,' who play the part of God for the chosen ones, by staying rooted in the economic mire of the world. For them, Christ's claims are a big threat.

The great strength of both the Jewish and Islamic religions was their recognition that idolatry is an insult to God: The Creator of the universe cannot be contained in pieces of metal or wood! Christianity goes farther and challenges all material possessions (mammon) as potential threats to spiritual growth. It brands all greed as idolatry, and calls on people to renounce all private ownership. Even religious buildings are seen as totally unnecessary. What the Father seeks, according to the Son, is humility and honesty; for he looks at the heart rather than at external appearances.

We agree! Such a witness in the Twentieth Century challenges everyone to do the same or attempt to discredit those who do. Unfortunately, the latter is most often the case.

But it does not take away the satisfaction that comes from having a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe... a relationship which has given us a true purpose for life.

Register or log in to take the quiz for this article

Pin It
Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account