He is one of the few individuals I, myself, find interesting. Fascinating at times if you'll allow me to be blunt. Religion is something many of my parts and I find to be an intriguing topic. As you may have heard... "Never discuss religion or politics with a friend." While this is sound advice I often fail because in simple terms, it's interesting.
Religion is a varied and diverse belief system many are passionate about. God --specifically the Christian god-- is a hot fire button for all whom believe in "his word." What I've personally encountered is pity when I attempt to explain my belief's on the subject. Why? I honestly can't fully explain it. From my perspective (the atheist) it seems those who follow some religious constructs or "faith" truly do believe my soul needs saving or I'm somehow not finding fulfillment. I assure you, I am.
Steve and I had a candid conversation, via skype-- Can I get a hip-hip hooray for technology real quick?-- on varied religious high and low points...
We began our conversation with simple pleasantries and some chit chat that inevitably lead us into temptation. 😏 By this I mean, the topic of our conversation, religion. His religious beliefs, my lack of, and our mutual respect and compassion of each other's struggles through a life of trauma and our own individual journey's to recovery.
S: Hmm...Give me a second. Preacher? First of all, it's Pastor. Everyone is a preacher. All people are preaching something spreading information they believe in. A pastor though, is a shepherd. Gathering and leading his flock. A protector, guide and guard. A "watchful eye," not in the intrusive sense. A Friend and confidant. A pastor should want to empower the people, "You're the professional at living your life...but what about trying this?"
E: Well said, we knew you'd take issue with the terminology of Preacher AND am glad you did. Well said though, "hey I got your back." That is exactly what it should be. A watchful eye, but not intrusive and a shoulder to lean on. A church leader should be the first honest and open person you can rely on through all manners of struggles and get you additional help when needed.
S: Yes, Exactly. "Your faith should be strong enough," doesn't help. It's one way the church gets it wrong.
I attempted to explain to her that I had read it, but I couldn't just choose that and needed to know the context. She took this as disrespectful and proceeded to tell me, "well that doesn't really matter." Even as a young child I couldn't understand how if the word of God held so much weight with these people how then did those other words not matter?
E: Exactly! One of the questions I ask people is if they've read the bible. Most say yes of course, every day...but that isn't my question. Have you read the entire bible, Genesis 1:1 - Revelations 22:21? This is what I find so interesting about religions of all sorts. It is a common thing to jump about sporadically and study only specific texts.
S: It's a very good point. I've never picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and skipped to the end!
S: (visibly upset) I am truly sorry. Right, though? Someone being "slain in the spirit" is perfectly normal?
E: I do honestly appreciate that, but this is the problem. Like you said earlier, the church gets it wrong. Expanding on that, people get it wrong. I don't find there to be some massive amount of evil all around; just awful people, some needing professional help or prison and others who need actual help and not prayer. Prayer to me is hope spoken aloud or in one's mind. It's good it brings people comfort, that's what I find is what the main goal of religion, should be, but often isn't.
I don't expect there to be evils or demons lurking around every corner or hiding in the bushes.
S: Yes it was another great conversation. Talk soon.
For me, the ten commandments are something I often used in defense against my abusers. Knowing our enemy was a key component to survival. Unfortunate, perhaps, but I learned the bible and we studied it quite well. Which pleased those put upon me to due me additional harm on top of the "people" whom had initially caused the DID. My life was truly the perfect storm and religion was at the eye of that chaos.
All of this being said, I don't hate god. That isn't even logical. I don't believe in god, so how can I hate this deity? I don't even hate the people who've harmed me throughout my life, they're simply no longer of any consequence. We focus on my life now, the answers I finally have, connecting with people and continuing to find my own version of "normal."
As you know..."Normal is Illusion. What is Normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly."
|Peace & Be Well!🌀|
Revelations 22:21 The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all God's People. -NIV
Revelations 22:21 May the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's Holy People. - NLT