Religion is a man-made construct. Merriam-Webster defines it as “an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.” In our quest to understand the nature of the universe and our place in it, we turn to others who are like-minded, decide together what we believe, and find strength and community among kindred spirits.
Faith and spirituality spring from within the human soul. In our quest to connect with the unseen Spirit that inhabits us all, we cling to what we believe. Sometimes, in our worst moments, we attack the validity of the beliefs of those who see God through a different human lens. And even in our best moments we are often confused by why anyone would believe what others believe.
Today’s post is the first in a series that will explore what I think people misunderstand about the religion I’ve chosen to help me understand my own spirituality, my own place in the universe. I don’t pretend to be a theologian. These posts will simply offer my own thoughts and my own understanding as I’ve come to see God through Christianity—and, in particular, through Presbyterianism.
I invite you to respond—to help me understand what I might not about your own religious community and practices.
Part One: “Don’t they believe in predestination?”
This is a question I’ve come to expect from other Christians. It is the first question I was asked after I began attending services at a Presbyterian church because I was attracted by the beautiful old brick building and the kindness of the pastor, a man whose child I taught.
Wounded by a religious community in which men wielded power and women were forbidden from speaking in services, I found the rituals and the quiet time to think in my new church comforting. Continue reading Misunderstandings about Your Religion? (Part 1)