Yep, I’m going to go there. I'll probably have a number of you feeling as though you need to pray for me by the end, but please do not go out of your way, k? In church (BRUU) our minister, Rev. Greg, gave a particularly interesting sermon, it was blog-spirational. I was even taking notes throughout. I would like to work through some of the thoughts I had then and whatever will transpire as I write.......not sure where this is going to go, but bear with me..... Anything that is not my own words, even I don't quote it exactly, I will put in quotations.....not really sure who said them, but they aren't mine, k? If it's outside of the quotes, it's mine. Just want to set this straight before I go on this journey.
The whole sermon was on the concept of Hell. "Hell is a theological necessity. It provides a deterrent to negative behavior"......thus providing a means of control. I grew up in the Presbyterian Church, from the moment I was baptized in my family's pre-civil war christening gown, to pulling the offering wagon up the aisle, to confirmation and then spent 8 years as a Sunday school teach to some really terrific kids. For the most part, I did not question anything. Then my middle-schoolers (the best age in the world to teach) started asking questions.....so I got this giant book from the Jesus Bookstore called "Where to Find it in the Bible". You ask a question, look up keywords, and boom; you have a passage to read. Nice and easy, right? Yeah, if you're not really interested in an answer. So, I started asking the kids what they thought. Now, this was acceptable for a while since I had the most well-attended class in the Sunday school.......imagine, a 7th grader who wants to go to Sunday school? Anyway, so it was accepted......Jenna was teaching in her way and getting them to come, but then, for some reason, I got an assistant assigned to me. A homeschooler mom who wanted to hold my hands and pray a lot in the hallway.....never was much of a touchy-feely public prayer if you know what I mean. I found her presence tended to squash the kids desire to talk openly. So, we reverted to the crappy pre-written curriculum and crafts. Then a good friend of mine was asked to leave the church because she was bi-sexual and people (whomever they were) were afraid she might influence their children......don't let the gay rub off, now. She was informed of this right before Christmas eve service....I got up and left. Never went back except to clean up my room.
Anyway, I’ve already gone somewhere I didn't intend to go. so, where was I? Oh yes, hell. One of the best lines "Hell is other people". "Apparently, 69% of people (Americans or worldwide, not sure) believe in a hell, however, less than 1% of those people believe they will be going." Only other people will be going. So, the criteria for getting selected for this lifetime sentence is subjective to........whomever is talking at the moment, I suppose. "There are several religions that believe that they are the only ones going to heaven, however, since most people are not the member of more than one religion at a time, seems that everyone is going to hell", right? Brings me to thinking about other religions......why do most who follow a particular religion believe that only they could be right? That's very narrow-minded don't you think? I'd tend to believe, more so, that there are about as many good ideas about how to be a decent person as there are people on this earth. I've said before that I do not believe in some all-mighty God sitting in some throne watching over me. (You Better Believe It) It's too much of a
concept. Supposedly, we are made in his/her image, but I think it's more
likely that we have created God in our image. In the same thought, I will
say, I do believe in a force, a power that binds us all and demands of us to
operate as one whole unit, the good and the bad balancing each other out.
Also, we've been given quite a few leaders who have understood the need
for love; yet, we build a single religion around these leaders and teachers and
claim that they are the only right one. How could one individual lead the
world? There are just too many flavors of people........of course it would take
So, the hell talk took many directions, several which stuck with me and while I probably am unable to make one cohesive thought (never said I would make a good preacher), one line of scripture popped into my head; yet, my version is a little different.
For God so loved the world, he gave us each other.
How about that? I tell you what; I certainly don't attend church to solely worship a God. I attend to center myself spiritually and to be with my extended family. My God does not require my attendance and worship to make her great.
Anyway, I'll wrap this up with a conversation my son and I had on our way to church on Sunday.
M - "Mommy, why do we go to church?"
Me - "To learn how to take care of each, to love each other, and to take care of our world"
M - "I already know how to do that."
Me - "how's that?"
M - "You just have to clean up your trash and say please and thank you and I love you and sorry and stuff like that"
From the great mind of an untainted child. Could it really be that easy?