My Faith – My Religion

Over the weekend I had a casual conversation with my wife on the after life. To this day, I still stun my wife when it comes to faith. Anyway, I am pretty much agnostic when it comes to the thoughts and traditions of the after life with G-d. Not saying that there isn’t, but for me, it just doesn’t seem necessary to believe in G-d. (Whoops, this sentence kind of meant something different from what I wanted to convey. Afterlife is just not that important too me. It’s how I live this life now that’s important.)

I guess that leads me too this post. What the heck do you believe in James?

I suppose it is no front page news that I am a wee bit liberal leaning when it comes to faith. Yes, I believe whole heartily in G-d. What gets tricky for me is the relationship part. I guess that would come down, in a real world sense, too a faith tradition. Honestly, that is where my comfort level ends.

I often struggle with why I am stubbornly resistant to religion. It is not like it’s really going to bite me.

I guess it would be my religious past that haunts me. Let’s face it, I believed at one time in some pretty outlandish nonsense. Heck, I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that this nonsense was real. This religion found a way to justify their beliefs through their sacred scripture. Being that I took a fundamentalist approach (not saying fundamentalism is a bad thing), it was easy to get caught up in it. One of the things the pastor taught was free thinking and research (only in the context of his group’s own little reality). I took him to heart on that and studied what I presumed was my enemy. Hey, if they are truly my enemy then there should not be a problem finding the truth without hearsay. So that’s what I did, I studied my enemy and found that reality was much different than the little small world of hearsay that I was living in. That’s when I realized that I was on the wrong side of the fence. I did not take me long to leave the group and repent. To this day, I believe G-d saved me from this group.

So, I suspect the adventure in bad religion plays a major part in why I am the way I am. Yes, I am afraid to have a relationship with G-d via a faith tradition. Is this a rational fear? No, I think not. But really, what can I say? The past is the past and it truly haunts me.

What ends up happening and creates such a struggle for me is thought of spiritual authority. I don’t do very well when someone speaks about the righteous path like they know what G-d wants. Frankly, why should I? I was spoon fed a bunch of baloney in my previous religion. I was told that this was G-d’s will that I think this way and after a while, believed it was. To be honest, even though it was a load of crap, it was very empowering and I truly felt close to G-d.

Well, I will stop for now, that is kind of were I stand. I hope this makes some kind of sense. I have trouble writing coherently when it comes to this topic. If anything, this is a taste of what’s rattling around in my head.


6 responses to “My Faith – My Religion

  1. Great post! I love reading about this type of stuff. Is it necessary for you to belong to any one specific religion? Isn’t believing in God and making your own personal connection enough? Just saying…

    • Thanks Elisheva! I am not sure making a personal connection without a faith tradition is enough for me. If that was the case, I would be content and be at peace with myself. Is it possible though? I believe so. Unfortunately, from my experience, it is pretty lonely without a faith community.

      I understand were you are coming from. I will have to think on this some more.

  2. Boy, talk about bad writing skills. I have edited the last sentence of the first paragraph. For some reason I wrote that it is not necessary to believe in G-d. Although, I really don’t know if it is or isn’t. What I was trying to convey is that the afterlife is not on my priority list. Sorry for any confusion!

    • I really, really love reading your posts like this, James — and even if you’re not fully sure what you’re thinking about, as long as you’re still searching for whatever it is you’re trying to find in regard to faith, that’s totally cool, and I love that you’re allowing us to come along for the journey.

  3. Being unsure about your road is not a bad thing. When I first started my steps to Judaism, I absolutely questioned what I was doing because being (or planning on being) part of a particular faith was so alien to everything I had experience of to that point. I didn’t want to be (or be seen to be) one of those people who blindly and unquestioningly followed a set of rules.

    The fact that you are questioning is fantastic. I know you aren’t happy with connecting with G-d in ‘just’ the ‘James way’, but connecting you are – and you will find what you want and need at some point, I am sure of it.

    Great, great post!

  4. Pingback: My Faith – My Religion (Part 2) – The Nitty Gritty | Religiously Challenged

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