Since Sunday is declared faith day on my blog, I was looking for a place to start, a jumping place, if you will, so I typed the word “Christianity” into a Google search. Wow, there is a lot out there on that! I bopped around on different sites and found the “Belief-O-Matic,” a questionnaire claiming to be able to advise me as to which category into which my faith fits.
At the risk of alienating a whole heck of a lot of people, I will divulge that my results proved a 100% match for Neo-Paganism. This kind of surprises me. I have tried reading Wiccan texts, and they make me feel weird. But here’s the rub- the Christian Bible is weird, too.
Have you ever really thought about some of the Biblical stories? Accounts of endless loaves and fishes, water to wine, and walking dead are meant to believed by Christians as literal truth. It baffles me that anyone might still believe that the earth was created in seven literal days. I’ll save my utter disdain for the Apostle Paul the misogynist for some other Sunday.
I believe Jesus was really great. I believe he truly lived and died, and that he had a particularly beautiful relationship with his Maker. The teachings of Jesus are, put simply, precious and dear and true. But the teachings of Buddha which I have managed to read so far also ring true and good. There is beauty and love in the Koran. The Native Americans believed in a Great Spirit, whose presence could be felt in the wind, the sun, and the rain.
A common thread in these teachings? God/ess is present in our own corporeal bodies and in the earth and its wonders.
Apparently, Neo-Pagans hold that Divinity is most powerfully evident in Creation, that we humans are interconnected and meant to assist each other through this life, that each man and woman has an individual path and calling, that a truly blessed life is one that seeks balance and moments of peaceful community with the Divine.
You know what troubles me? I think this is pretty much what Jesus said. Modern Christians have, in my view, lost sight of what Jesus really taught. By being involved so heavily in politics and policy, by feeling the need to sequester themselves in private schools and elaborate sanctuaries, by being more concerned with being right than doing right, modern American Christianity has lost me. And I don’t think I am the only one.
All my life I was taught that “The World” was full of miserable unhappy people who needed the saving gospel of Jesus. When I left the safety of the church and began to know people outside its walls, I discovered that the world is, in fact, full of joyous loving people. People who lift a hand to help their neighbor not motivated by a Christian imperative but by the knowledge that we are all in this together, no matter color or creed.
If I can find a church that digs that, maybe I will return to formal faith. Until then, I plan to have my own running discourse with the Divine. We will commune in the trees, She will let me feel her presence in the breeze, or He will remind me of his power in the thunder.