Am (drumrolls please) Catholic. Shocking; I know. I have been Catholic all my life. Yes, I belong to the official church of the Mafioso. The biggest, most mysterious Christian organization that ever was and is. An organization so big and powerful, it has its own bank and believe it….had its own army at one time. How cool was that? Then Martin Luther and his Reformation happened. Great.
This tiny place in the map called the Vatican is a state so small, yet so powerful; with worldwide followers numbering over a billion people. Yes, with a ‘B’. Think of it this way; it is almost as big as China and India but the difference is that its influence knows no race and certainly no geographical boundaries. The king of this influential iron throne is the Bishop of Rome, otherwise referred to as the Pope; a very powerful man with a non-threatening crown on his head. He is boss and the most powerful of state heads kneel to kiss his ring, to the sound of the boys’ choir singing the Ave Maria.
What is my point and where am I going with all the above information? Nowhere really. Was just flexing my mind and finger muscles before starting on the real issues here. (Insert smiley)
I grew up in a Catholic Christian household and for eleven years of my formative life, I attended a Baptist school. We had preaching every Friday in school and Sunday in church. So one can therefore say I got a good scope of both sides of the Christian divide. Thus far, I detected no difference. Just that the Catholic side had more rituals here and there. But really no difference in the fundamental Christian beliefs. Well, at least in my juvenile mind. The world was a happy chimerical utopia where everybody read the Bible, said their grace and smiled at one another. In other words, I was living in the peripheries of Narnia. A dangerous place to be, when real life is nothing close to the handy dandy.
Sigh; growing up happened and out of nowhere, my mind went on overdrive with religious questions popping from the essence of nothingness; questions to torture me and force me to really examine what on earth Christianity was all about. And the overall religious question.
At this point, I have to put a disclaimer: the opinions below are purely mine; I am under no duress whatsoever (always wanted to say that!). Therefore consider me a simpleton/ airhead with too much time in their hands and a lot of energy for thought. We together so far? Awesome.
So what, in my opinion, IS the overall religious question? There is none. Too much to question.
Thus the existence of Philosophy of Religion. Is there just ONE WAY to the Father?
I really find it hard to believe that God, the Creator, would time and again set up races for the devil’s furnace. What on earth am I going on about?
I do believe that God is the Creator and that He lives outside our time and space. He knows or rather IS the beginning and the end.
Now, from the statement above alone, (assuming we are in agreement) we can conclude that God knows what will happen before it does and thus knows what you will ultimately believe…even before he creates you.
In Christian doctrines, the idea of ‘free will’ is drummed into us. We are taught that time and again, God gives us the right to choose our path. Whether it be right…or wrong. And there are consequences for both choices.
Smile. Why then, if I may ask, would this God, of our own human interpretation, create me knowing very well that I will make all the wrong decisions in life and be shortlisted for the eternal furnace?
I observe children a great deal. Some things are genetically pre-disposed. Some traits, they are born with it and some behavior comes naturally. This can be observed from a very early age. Some kids are sweet and generous, others are plain mean and nasty. Not taught.
Some characteristics reside in the DNA. Some can be ironed out through socio-culturalization but why should it be so in the first place? If the same God that glorifies patience writes it in one’s DNA and doesn't give it to the next person…then how can we then, be subjected to similar laws of judgment, by the same God that created us as we are in the first place?
The above notion borders on the sadistic and I do not believe in such an almighty being…a Creator that will set up his creation for ultimate failure.
END OF PART ONE