Religion. G-d. Faith. Beliefs. Blah. Blah. Blah.
There are so many people telling you to think like this, pray like that, act like him, be like her, but, let’s be honest, which one is ‘right’?
To tackle this topic, I’m going to follow up on a promise I made to a reader/friend of mine to examine my point of view on ‘faith’.
The question I received was: “Why did you decide not being Catholic anymore?”
Well, my answer is: I never ‘chose’ to be Catholic in the first place. I was ‘put’ into the system by parental powers that thought it would be good for my life and maybe my soul.
Did this happen to you?
Depending on where you live in the world, you’re going to be subjected to the belief system that dominates the region. For many ‘Western’ nations, the primary influence are Jesus derived faiths. For many middle eastern nations, you have Mohammed derived faiths. Scattered around the globe and recently concentrated near the river Jordan is another Abrahamic derived faith. Across Asia you have the jolly Buddha. And so on.
Everyone in the world is exposed to religions in one way or another.
For some, it may be a ‘choice’ to actively participate in a faith, follow sets of rules, and practice certain behaviors according to religious laws.
For others, they may simply follow the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of their community (i..e parents, teachers, political leaders, etc.) and just go with it.
Then, there are the odd few who refuse to believe in anything whatsoever. Seriously though, not all things are made in China. The Earth and the people on it came from somewhere, something, no?
Anyway, religions are quite fascinating. I have spent some time researching, studying, and reading a variety of books, blogs, and preachers to come to my own conclusion that every religion and faith has a place, a purpose, and a role in people’s lives.
Maybe some people need a place to go each week to wash away their sins. Perhaps praying multiple times a day is needed to keep you in connection to the higher powers that be.
To each their own.
The world can be a messy place. Murder. Rape. War. Bombings. Flowers blossoming. Beautiful children being born. And, farts.
Sometimes, without any kind of guidance, life seems to be spiraling in a never ending whirlpool of hate and can have an ongoing sensation of hell.
Other times, it feels like a never ending euphoria of happiness and love which takes you to places you never imagined to exist here on Earth.
However, at the end of it all, when death catches us all, that’s the part that causes all our tongues to fumble.
What happens when we die?
Is life a preparation for whatever comes next?
If I kiss a girl before I’m married will I rot in hell?
If I chuck a rock at a human I hate will the gates of heaven still open onto me?
If I followed the wrong religion but remained true to the faith, will G-d smite me or wrap me in his arms?
Is the devil real or just another fairy tale told to scare children from following their innate animalistic nature?
What about the long lost tribes in Amazonian jungles? What happens to them when they die? Should I be a missionary and save their souls?
I could go on and on like this. But, I won’t.
Each of us have our own questions. We have our own way of thinking and feeling and perceiving the world.
Maybe at some point, we lose our faith and stop believing that the radical hippie with water-to-wine superpowers was just another dude
That way of thinking, feeling, and experiencing will work for some but not for others. And, I’m quite glad because with all the variety of faiths available, all the possibilities of beliefs, it guides me closer to the answers to the infinite questions I have in my mind.
So, why did I decide not to be Catholic anymore?
Throughout my journey, my searching, and my desire for truth, I have decided that each faith has a place in my heart. I’m no longer Catholic but instead a little bit Muslim, a fraction of a Jew, a hint of Buddha, and a taste of Hindu.
Resources for Religious Truth Seekers
If you’re like me and have a mind full of questions where the entire world has different answer to, here’s a few resources to guide you closer to your own personal truth:
- Faiza’s Blog (Click here to read) – Faize is a friend of mine I met at a Mosque in Malaysia. She loves a good debate and takes a strong stance on the Muslim faith. Her blog is a beautiful portrayal of Islam and definitely worth reading.
- Pilgrim’s Progress (Get a copy for just $3.99 CAD) – I read this book during the Christmas holidays in Shunan, Japan. It’s a great allegory of the Chistian faith. Quite nice if you’re seeking to stay ‘on the right path’.
- Bhagavad Gita (Get a copy for just $3.81 CAD) – This book introduced me to the depth and beauty of the Hindu faith. I explored these ideas during my University years. A must read for every truth-seeker.
Full Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links which will provide me with a few cents to help me keep this blog going (i.e. hosting costs and a cup of coffee). You don’t get charged extra, I promise.
“We may not be able a beard, wear cotton robes, and turn water into wine — but — we sure as hell can try to make the world a little more like heaven.”
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