What did she mean by that? Was it meant literally or figuratively? Do I take it as a compliment or, was it delivered with some sort of derogatory connotation in mind?
Was I being praised for my thought process, words or looks? Was this comment blasphemous? At that point I had a thousand questions wiz through my head in a moment, probably just as many as anyone who finds it difficult to get their head around religious belief?
I’m not religious and can’t really get my head around the concept of god, although I was christened as a child. I also spent some time as a choirboy at the local church during my youth. In fact, it’s very unlikely I’ve even been inside a church more than a dozen times during my adult life, let alone attended a church service. I have entered the house of god for marriages and funerals from time to time however; no one could ever call me a religious fanatic or bible basher, not even a budding theology student.
Who or what is God?
God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism. God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God
Well that answers that… I’m really no wiser than I was before!
What does Google show about God? Well there are probably just as many websites denouncing God as there are ones promoting his virtues. Some ask Does God Exist? Some say God is imaginary and even present you with 50 reasons why! Others like www.god.com try to give you ‘food for thought’ whilst offering ‘direction in finding him’. You can have an interview with god and, he’s apparently even got a slot on twitter! So in summary; Not with standing those sites covering mainstream beliefs like Christianity and Islam, there are many more covering every differing religious belief and probably as many different gods!
It’s interesting to see how much internet god coverage is, the evangelical type of sales pitch so popular within the Bible Belt region of the USA. And probably because of heightened worldwide passions caused by war in Afghanistan, there is also a large measure of Islamic fundamentalist stuff denouncing the actions of the infidels. More evidence that it is actually very dangerous to get too passionate about religion; it causes wars and people die! Difference of religious opinion is used either as the real reason for a war as in the Crusades or, just as an excuse for politics and/or greed…
My opinion has always been; people are entitled to their beliefs and, follow them as closely (or losely) as they desire. What I don’t like (and should never happen) is when their personal beliefs impact upon a ‘non believer’ or, when the followers try to stuff their beliefs in the face of others and expect them to follow as well.
The original comment raising my initial question had come into our conversation whilst discussing The Shack and it’s challenging views (see earlier post) about christianity. Not being a religious person or believer in God per se, I found the book was very interesting because; many common perceptions of God were actually turned upside down. Not least the fact that god was portrayed as a woman!
I look at any religion as a set of guidelines by which an individual should live their life. I don’t know of any that suggests we should steel, injure, kill, or even be abusive to another human being? As far as I’m aware the greatest number actually tell us to be honest, kind and helpful.
So why then do we have so much hatred and violence in the world and often in the name of religion? I can only think that my suspicions are confirmed in that; the vast majority of devoutly religious people are often just hypocrites!