A Few Words on Faith

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By Jean Ryan

In God We Trust.

I am stunned by the hordes of people who readily adopt theism. What comfort is there in adhering to a god who allows birth defects, untimely death and the presence of evil?

I’ve always found it natural to believe instead in a creative intelligence we will never fathom, a force equally invested in all forms of life, from slugs to swans, from fungi to fetuses.

We were given brains so that we may forge our own values and meanings. We were given each other so that we may offer and receive comfort.

What more is needed?

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13 thoughts on “A Few Words on Faith

  1. For those who weren’t born into and raised with a religion, adopting theism may be a way to deal with difficulties and a seemingly harsh, uncaring world. If this world is flawed (for whatever reason, e.g. original sin, etc.), but there’s a loving God to reward you with everlasting peace at the end, then it’s easier to deal with injustice and cruelty in the here-and-now.

    Now Imagine a person raised with a harsh, unforgiving parent. How easy must it be to fall into a ‘punishment / reward’ belief system if that’s the dynamic in which you were raised. Pleasing a remote, austere figure of power in hopes of finally being accepted and loved – that’s heady stuff right there. It would fulfill a multitude of psychological issues.

    Not that I believe religious beliefs denote psychological problems. I know some very healthy, intelligent, well-adjusted people who are part of organized religions. We live in a complex universe and only a small percentage of us truly understand the (incomplete!) science behind our existence. It’s no wonder we search for meaning and answers to fill in the gaps.

    I’m of a similar mind to you. I believe there must be some sort of intelligent design, but one whose intellect and motivation is far beyond our ken. I don’t try to understand why suffering exists if there is an entity or entities that could prevent it. I believe we go on in some form or other, even if it’s simply the energy of our decomposing matter. However, I believe we should be perfectly present and savor every moment of this existence now with no hope of a reward beyond because to do otherwise would be to waste a priceless gift, suffering and all.

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    1. A thoughtful and well written response. Thank you. Living in the here and now instead of worrying about the hereafter makes sense. Given this lovely planet and its endless opportunities for wonder, I’ve come to accept pain and grief as the price we pay for being fortunate enough to be here.

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  2. I have two daughters. Both were stricken with a DIFFERENT rare illness. I had to take one off life support. The other will eventually die from her illness. If there is a god? He’s a jerk. To put it as nicely as I possibly can.

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  3. Without suffering we would never find happiness. Always searching, in a meaningless life, withoutout joy, or compassion. What would life bring if everything and everyone was in perfect harmony -Heaven. That’s where I’m going, I pray you will join me.
    God gave us free will, so we would find a purpose on the earth. He gave us Jesus, to find the right path. You won’t find either of those in a brain that is limited by human frailty and flawed capacity. Do you think any of us can escape death? Do you believe God is at fault for disease, deformity, and evil?
    Satan is the power on earth -it is him that causes our greed to fill our environment with chemicals that were never intended. It is him, who daily test our will, our strength, our spirituality. I follow hundreds of dying and diseased children. I am also a former foster mother, and a CASA for foster children. Do you know who has the greatest faith in a Christ that will save them? The children.

    Why? Because they feel his presence even during times of strife, pain, suffering, and even death. If they believe in the depths of their suffering, how can you say God did this to them? Please, don’t bring power to Satan by taking power from the God who wants to save us all. Maybe, he isn’t doing it the way you want him to, but tell me one person in your life that has ever met all of your demands. God is the father, not the slave to our will.

    Always keep searching. OUr minds are powerful, but they are also weak with self. I believe in you!
    http://www.fiddledeedeebooks.wordpress.com

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  4. Many people will agree and disagree with you. The same God you believe is benevolent and cares for all creatures is the same one who gave us free will to make mistakes. We did in the Garden of Edan thus we are innately sinful (born sinful) and we do sinful things ourselves. Sin not only infected people but all of creation. This is why we have natural disasters and why when someone else makes a bad lane change on the highway, the person they hit dies. God wanted us to have free will but he did not leave us to die needlessly in a sometimes gruesome world. He sent his Son Jesus to earth. Jesus knows what it is like to be human. When he died on Good Friday long ago he defeated sin, death, and the devil. All we need to do is believe in God, to have faith and we will go to heaven when we die. Hebrews 11 states “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I know this is sounding like straight Christian theology to you but it is the truth and I hope you can appreciate it and it makes you think and wonder. We don’t live in a perfect world. To bring us closer to God often we suffer and God lets it happen. Because he knows when our time is up on this earth people die, sometimes in bad ways. But when it’s your time, it’s your time. Interesting write up but I hope you can find it in your heart to understand a God who both is an intelligent designer who cares about all his creations so much he died for them to save them death and the devil.

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  5. As someone who believes in a very present and involved and caring God, He is life and unbelief is death. I don’t just mean after I die. Here on earth, life is a million times fuller knowing there is a reason, a purpose behind everything, and that pain always ends in something so much better. I have a relationship with Him, with Jesus Christ, who died for every single person and then who rose again.
    The reason that God doesn’t consider creatures and other living things equal to humans is because we were made in his image, as a reflection of God himself, with his life breathed into us. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the animals. In Matthew 10:29 it says “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” He knows, and he cares, and he sees everything.
    There is evil in the world that isn’t from God, but rather it’s there because of the sin in the world. That’s a result of free will, which is something God doesn’t take from us. He wants us to be able to choose him, to love him, as opposed to creating us to be his mindless slaves.
    I guess I can end by saying that I didn’t “adopt theism” as much as I began a relationship with the Father who dries my tears when I cry, who loves me through every mistake I make, and who took every pain so that I might live.

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