Belief by Trust: Part 2
As I mentioned in the first post on this subject (Belief by Trust; Just The Beginning) belief by trust is nothing more or less than having faith in something or someone. But faith evolves into knowledge which comes by experience. If you see a cat carrying a bat being carried away by an owl, you are not the one who has to show faith in this story. You are going to be telling it (I hope!) and those you tell who haven't seen it will be trusting you to be telling the truth. Of the people who know you it will take less faith for them to believe you assuming you have already proven to be a trustworthy person. Of the strangers you tell, they will doubt until they talk to those who swear by your trustworthiness. They'll prove you tell the truth by giving examples of other times bizarre things may have happened that involved other witnesses and so on and so forth.
Taking this into consideration, why do we continually lose faith in our own experiences and trade them for what other people are telling us we must have seen/experienced?
I was raised in a Christian home. Both of my parents are still Christians. I grew up in a church and although I took a leave of absence during some turbulent teenage years I returned, married a Christian, raised my son (named Christian by the way) as a Christian, went behind the scenes of the church as a pastor's wife, Sunday School teacher and my husband and I were the praise and worship team that led singing and prayer. It doesn't get MORE Christian than that. It's who I was taught to be to help me through life. Because it was taught to me, it's what I look to when I need to find answers. And I do find answers that help me through life in Christianity. I clung to Christ through my parent's divorce and my subsequent depression. I cried on His shoulder the second I realized I had miscarried the baby we'd hoped for. I turned to Him for answers to questions I couldn't face on my own. I've leaned on the comfort and guidance that I was taught was there, and it was there. I believe God is in my life through Christianity. But I've learned more than what I was taught and it would be denying the truth to ignore these lessons, too.
I've learned that people who were not raised in a Christian home often have faith in a force beyond themselves that they do not attribute to Christ, and they too are comforted. This is against what I was taught within the church.
I've learned that people who engage in lifestyles different from my own are often happy, healthy, loving, valuable members of society. This is against what I was taught the Bible said.
I've seen with my own eyes people of other faiths, love. I know people who show selfless compassion and they worship forces that I was taught were wicked and only a deception from the devil.
And worst of all, I know of Christians who have seen what I have seen and they refuse to acknowledge these realities. This is not faith. It's superstition, cowardice and above all it's ignoring what God is trying to teach you through the examples of people who have chosen to love, give and consider others through compassionate action and risk of self.
I love my god. I know my god a little more each time I lean upon it but my god doesn't seem to fit in the category of Christianity anymore. How many Christians, if they would accept growth beyond what they have merely been taught and integrate what they have seen, would know the god I've found?