Church on Sunday

I rarely go out on Sunday as it’s my self-designated day for washing and cleaning. And besides, most stores are closed. But yesterday was different because I needed a couple of ingredients for our Sunday dinner so I hopped in the car and headed for the grocery store. As it so happened, my chosen route took me past a church.

On my first pass-by, I didn’t think much about it except to notice the parking lot was only semi-full (it was still early). However, on my way back, things had changed and cars were everywhere and anywhere that a parking spot was allowed.

As I continued my way towards home, I thought back to my “church-going” days. It took a bit of digging through my memory banks as it’s been a very long time since I walked through the doors of a church. And even as memories came to the surface, they were fuzzy and ill-defined. Mostly I remembered greeting my “brothers and sisters” before service started (which I always enjoyed).

But the songs … prayers … sermons? None of those memories ever materialized. Perhaps because they no longer hold any significance for me. Perhaps because I now find such things irrelevant and unnecessary.

Then my thoughts turned to the idea of a “God.” And I mused over why so many people feel a belief in same is so important. I looked up at the sky and thought to myself … what is the need behind the idea that some unseen entity exists somewhere “up there?”

Then I took my thoughts a bit further and asked myself … could “something” really exist somewhere in the cosmos? Is there truly some kind of invisible force that interacts with humans? And more specifically … at their request?

It didn’t take but a moment or two for me to answer my self-imposed questions. 🙂

Reblog: Fishing. Tales.

A diversion from all the “stuff” …

Just started following this blog and have found considerable talent on display.

Richmond Road

I think I have it right this time. 99 words. But one needs to mentally transpose the image onto a slightly different backdrop.

April 26 Flash Fiction Challenge

We stood there together on the edge of the world. Before our eyes the waves announced their arrival from beyond the horizon with suicidal assaults on the rock ledge below and created a salty curtain of mist that you could taste.

“This looks like the place,” he had said, laying down the rods. He imagined that I had been lured there with tales of wild fish and of tortured line and of aching arms. But I was there just for this moment. To be with him.

We stood side by side and my head reached almost to his shoulders.

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Is God Necessary?

Just saw this phrase on a Christian blog … “the necessity of God” … and it puzzled me.

I don’t know about you, but even when I was a Christian, I never felt “the necessity of God.” I mean obviously God was part of my faith, but mostly “he” was someone to send prayers to … someone to sing to in church … someone to “worship and adore” …. and of course, someone that I needed to stay on the good side of … !!

I suppose if you’re religious, God would be considered “necessary” because, after all, that’s what religion is all about. But there’s something about that phrase that seems, well, off.

To me, it makes the whole idea of “believing” rather cold and calculating. In other words, it sounds like you must agree that God is necessary  before you can become a believer.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m making too much of the phrase. And certainly, as a NON-BELIEVER, God is definitely not necessary.

But I’m curious. Anyone like to offer their thoughts on “the necessity of God?”

The Ugly Atheist

I want to begin this post by stating clearly and unequivocally  …

I most definitely do not believe in the Christian god — and I highly doubt the existence of any other type of god. However, to my thinking, this, in itself, does not give an individual (who has never met me) the right to label me an atheist based entirely on comments or thoughts I’ve expressed in public.

Yet people do … simply because I disagree with their perspectives on the god represented in the bible.

Further … while many of my blogger friends have openly stated they are atheists, many others have never made this claim. They are simply deconverts from the Christian religion. They may describe themselves as deists, anti-theists, gnostics, agnostics — or any other word they feel best fits their theological position. ( NOTE: None of these identifying titles hold the same meaning as atheist. Suggest you look them up if you disagree.)

Yet they too are branded as “atheist” simply because they disagree with a person who claims the title of Christian.

The incentive that finally moved me to write this post was the following comment recorded on a blog owned by a Christian:

Aetheism (sic) is the highest level of ignorance. Full of arguments. Carnal. Judgemental (sic) and believe that all and sundry should be dragged into mundane ways of thinking by philosophy, science, myths or ancient facts. It’s a pity.

IMO, the “pity” is the individual who wrote this.

Comments like this are (unfortunately) extremely common among believers. Any and all individuals who do not “profess Jesus” and/or who happen to see life from a non-religious perspective are “ATHEISTS!”

From a personal standpoint, I’ve found it difficult to understand why such anger exists within the hearts of those who claim to believe in a man who (is said to have) made the following comment in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV):

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Even in the Hebrew Bible, there are similar words found in Leviticus 19:17-18 (ESV):

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall … love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Yet behind the cloak of anonymity — or simply because it’s not face-to-face conversation — believers apparently seem to feel they possess divine impunity and can strike out at any and all who disagree with their faith perspective. Even those who serve as their god’s ambassadors are guilty.

I’m well aware of the “Great Commission” given to Christians to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 16:15, KJV). But there is also another scripture they seem to often overlook which states: And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet (Matthew 10:14, ESV). It doesn’t say call them “atheists” or other derogatory names as you leave.

The diversity of human beliefs about life is immeasurable — primarily because we are each individuals with our own backgrounds and experiences. As has been repeated innumerable times … No Two People Are Alike. Thus, when it comes to religious matters, it would far better serve all of us to keep this in mind and cease and desist placing (often incorrect) labels on other people.

In The Beginning … God?

Christians claim absolute certainty that this world and the universe of which it is a part was brought into existence by an unseen supernatural entity.

Why do they believe this?

Because a several thousand year old book they refer to as “The Holy Bible” says so in its opening dialogue, i.e,  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The questions that are never answered, however, are (1) who is God, and (2) who was there to witness this event?

Neither of these questions is answerable because the statement itself is called a “creation myth” —  a cultural, traditional or religious story describing the earliest beginnings of the present world. It is said creation myths are the most common form of myth, are found throughout human culture, and usually develop first in oral traditions.*

What is most fascinating about creation myths is they are frequently accepted as history, which is generally defined as “All that is remembered of the past.” Of course the question then becomes … if there were no human beings yet in existence, who was there to remember this event?

It has been commonly accepted throughout several centuries that the book in which this origination statement is made is “holy;” that is, belonging to, derived from or associated with a divine power, and as such, no matter its age or its contents, everything is factual or, at the very least, based on highly possible/probable happenings.

But this is fallacy.

To place credibility in such a story does not speak well of human reasoning powers. In fact, it demonstrates a complete lack of rational thinking. It is equivalent to a belief in fairies, unicorns, dragons, goblins, cyclops, gremlins, etc. — whose existence all came about through folklore. Such creatures were fabricated to thrill, terrify, entertain and, yes, even to inspire, much like the many and magical gods of the ancient past.

Yet rational, sane, and describably intelligent individuals will look you in the eye and without even the hint of a blink tell you this story is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Some will undoubtedly ask, if not a god, then how did this world/universe get its start? The most direct answer is “I don’t know. I wasn’t there.” But God-Believers will not accept that answer. To them, it’s all or nothing. Even though their “proof” is contained entirely in a book that wasn’t even in existence “in the beginning.”

The indisputable facts are this. We — NONE of us — know how this world began. Scientists/Cosmologists have their theories, but that’s all they are. They weren’t there at its origination any more than those who wrote the creation stories.

P.S. For anyone who’s interested, here is a link to the MANY ways people have traditionally explained the origin of earth and its life.

*A form of human communication wherein cultural material and tradition is transmitted orally from one generation to another.