It is widely known that in the past, I was a Quaker Minister. I stay away from that term now, because I would rather be known just as a good, solid man, than a Preacher. Part of my reasoning for that is: I feel like we all have the same responsibility before God, to do our best to serve Him. I feel, no one has more or less responsibility in this department. Each one of our lives should be gratefully dedicated to honor and harmonize with God.
Yet, some of us do seem to have a special call in the (spiritual) area of life and I am one of these. So, I accept my responsibility to be a spokesman for Christ, when called upon. Recent events, namely seeing people beheaded in the name of religion, overwhelms my conscience with fervent passion. I feel, I must speak out as a voice of sanity, in a world attacked by religious nuts.
So it will not seem that I am picking on other religions, I remind you of Jim Jones (of a Christian culture), who in 1978 lead 909 people to their deaths by suicide. No, it is not just other religions; . . . . absurdities abound in the name of the spiritual part of life…… And this should be the part of life that makes us the most sound, well rounded and healthy people, possible.
This is not surprising to a man like me, of deep devotion to God. For wherever there is genuine value and treasure, there will always be counterfeits. Faith should be full and free. Yet, when we see such horror in the name of religion; we know that this kind of faith is foolish.
Plainly, There seems to be a lot of confusion about what should and should not be accepted and expected from any kind of religious faith. The following 10 ideas seem to be plain truths, about what is good about faith and when to suspect that religion has turned into insanity.
Current events make it necessary for me to speak out on this subject. So here are some simple guidelines to think about, in determining if your religious influences are inspiring or degrading; healthy or unhealthy.
1- It is healthy to respect people of all faith & persuasions, as long as their belief inspires that which is good & healthy in humankind .
2- If religion is healthy- it inspires virtue-truth-honor-nobility-courage-humility-character-honesty-value & compassion .
3 – My father taught me a wise lesson; my freedom ends where your nose begins and vice versus. Healthy, Religious Liberty is fair for all concerned.
4 – Deep personal devotion to God will always inspire that which is good, uplifting & just; otherwise it is oppressive confusion-not true spirituality..
5 – All belief systems that produce well-being; ascribe to justice and truth; to guiding principles of honesty and love.-
6 – All men & women with healthy beliefs ascribe and follow clear moral codes of conduct.
7 – How can we truly serve God that we do not see & mistreat men that we do see. What we believe must influence what we do in a positive way, for it to be acceptable and right.
8 – God is that Being who’s principles are so good & righteous that they encourage us to be benevolent beings in His image .
9 – Faith should liberate our eyes and heart to be more considerate, caring, courageous, noble souls championing truth.
10 – A healthy faith should make the heart stronger, the mind clearer and the motives purer.
A friend of mine (CJ Jones) said on her FB page this morning as I was finishing this up. “As you go through your day, show kindness to those you encounter and you will feel filled up.” I replied: Such a simple, yet profound way to live. To practice being good to each other. To which she said: “Right? It’s so simple and yet sooooo many people do not do it.” Our faith can not be of positive effect, if our lives are not truly helpful to others.
In conclusion, Paul Johnson in his “History of Christianity” makes the statement “a sincere follower of the truth has nothing to fear from the facts.” Even so, those of us of a sincere faith must be mindful to make sure our faith is leading us to our loftiest accomplishments of humility, love and service. Not deceiving us to become arrogant agents of evil.
Difficult words? I know. But this is a difficult day in which we live and they are needed.
Tim G. Carter – “Slam” 336-688-7538