Alright. I’m going to make absolute certain I say this on the front end because I don’t want anyone blowing me up over this. I struggle with religion. I haven’t always, but lately I’ve been a lot more introspective about it and have come up with some concerning questions. So let me make that clear – I am NOT knocking religion, and I’m not disrespecting it, so please don’t interpret it that way. All I’m doing is voicing my thoughts and my questions. If that offends you, I invite you to read the other billion blogs on this website rather than my own. Here’s a good one to start with that might be more inviting: https://merndaj.wordpress.com/
Anyway, I had to get that out of the way. So I was raised Catholic. After I got confirmed in 8th grade, I started going to a Church of Christ (my high school sweetie was CoC). After moving to West Virginia following college, I attended a Southern Baptist church. So I’ve had my share of different perspectives.
Here’s the issue I have. At least the main one. According to what I’ve been taught, you HAVE to believe in God and Jesus as the son of God in order to gain entry to Heaven.
Sounds reasonable, right? I mean if he creates us, I suppose that’s a logical rule to make. But what about the other people? I know this is a super old topic, but put some serious thought into this. Let’s use Mother Teresa as an example.
Here we have arguably one of history’s greatest humanitarians. An extraordinary human being, for all intents and purposes. Well, what if she was Buddhist? According to Christian doctrine…she goes to Hell. Is that REALLY fair? I presume most people are going to say one of two things:
One: well Matt, she wasn’t Buddhist. I guess that’s a fair statement. But are you telling me that there aren’t people out there in the world who are GOOD people, but not Christians? People who contribute to humanity, who genuinely have the right intentions, but follow a different belief system. If you can honestly believe that, then I hate to say this – but you’re wrong. Get mad all you want, but you’re wrong. I know dozens of incredible people who are of all sorts of different faiths. And I mean good by universal standards, not just my own. So if that’s your argument, then I would encourage you to be more open-minded and expand your ability to critically think.
The second thing most people say to this is that God saves those who deserve to be saved according to his standards. Well, I hate to say this, but no one on the planet ASKED to be created. Why do they have to live according to someone else’s standards? That would be like me cloning a bunch of dogs, and then condemning the ones who I thought didn’t live by my rules. Well what if some of them didn’t want to look cute and fuzzy? What if they wanted to play with cats instead of other dogs (I’m not a cat person…so to hell with you dog!). That just doesn’t seem right, does it? It’s the same concept with God. I know we’re conditioned to believe its taboo and inappropriate to question these things…but if we can’t question them, what kind of invention are we in the first place? As entities, I mean. If we aren’t allowed to question things, we’re essentially glorified slaves.
So I guess that’s my primary concern. I find it very difficult to be okay with the fact that one of my closest friends is going to be rotting in fiery brimstone simply because he chose a different path. So if anyone has a solution to this that could ease my mind, I’m all ears.
Perhaps my mother’s recent passing has made me resentful of God. I’m the first to admit that. And that very well may be the case – but that one issue has always bugged me.
The sad thing about what I’m about to say next is that I KNOW it’s going to turn people off. At least in their perception of me. Which really sucks, because I can’t help how I think. Believe me, if I could I would. But in all honesty, I feel like I’m slowly drifting down a path of losing my faith. I just can’t stomach the hypocrisy and counter-intuitive concepts I’ve noticed.
As I said at the beginning…it’s clear I’m struggling with all of this. If I could make it vanish, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I guess sometimes ignorance really is bliss.