Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Making Sense of it All Part II

In an earlier blog post, I explained my personal belief that there certainly is a God, but that He does not really note “the passing of every sparrow”.  There is a colossal plan being carried out and in a time frame that are both beyond our conception, but the notion that God responds to our pleas for help does not seem to be true.

Where does Jesus fit in?  We know His existence is not a myth because the historical Jesus has been well-documented by archeologists and historians, as have His disciples.  We also know that something stupendous and awe-inspiring certainly took place shortly after his death that instantly changed those disciples from a forlorn group of terrified souls to valiant men of courage willing to face certain, cruel deaths in order to spread the Good News.

Nowadays, men and women clergy mostly do good works, but that was not always true.  Unfortunately, from ancient times until the industrial age, about the only way an ordinary person could advance his situation was by force of arms or by convincing others of his holiness or his magical powers.   Remember that, as a general rule, until the turn of the 20th century, only priests, generals and persons of royalty lived well.  Virtually everyone else lived short lives of extreme poverty, misery and desperation.  The easiest route to wealth and power was to become a priest.  

Because this is man’s history, and because we know that before the invention of the printing press, the book we know as the Bible was written in ancient languages and was reproduced by groups of monks copying it by hand as it was read aloud to them.  Who knows what copying mistakes were made and what the original text actually said?

This is why I long ago made two major decisions: a. that I could not participate in any religion that was based on one or a few particular passages found in the Bible, and b. that there were two main messages that unquestionably could be found there over and over again – 1. we have been placed here to praise God and to love and help each other, and 2. there is hope for something beyond death.  It is also apparent that to some extent, 2 depends on how we deal with 1.

Some time ago I was discussing with my dentist the subject of reducing plaque.  I asked him if it was really helpful to use mouthwash advertised as a plaque reducer.  His response was, “can’t hurt”.  Even if you find it hard to believe, you should live your life as if you do.  Remember what the dentist said.


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