Have you ever noticed that there is a direct correlation between a person's willingness to accept Truth and that person's proximity to Truth?
What I mean is, people are *usually* only willing to believe what is COMFORTABLE for them to believe...
If I live a self-serving, self-gratifying existence, then it is convenient for me to believe that the tangible world is simply an illusion.
If I believe that my actions truly have no effect on anyone but myself, then it is logical for me to insist that sin does not exist and all evil is an illusion that must be conquered by the mind.
If I believe that Jesus was "just a man" who died and that God is just a big brain in the sky with no intimate connection, whatsoever, with man then it is imperative that I not believe in a literal hell or a final judgment.
The sad thing is, so many people DO believe this way.
My own religious sensibilities were assaulted this past weekend by someone whom I feel is not being fully honest because they are not comfortable with the truth. It's not a question of study or intellect. It's a question of discernment.
Is it possible for someone to study their religion -- almost incessantly -- without truly discerning the truth (or lack thereof) within their beliefs?
This person will likely never read this blog, but I feel compelled to ask the following questions anyway:
If satan and hell and literal sin do not exist, then from *what* exactly do we need salvation? What would be the purpose of Christ's dying for my sins if sin and evil are simply an illusion?
If Jesus was not the son of God in the literal sense of the word, then how could he be the "Lamb of God," -- the literal sacrifice in the traditional sense -- an atonement for our iniquities? If He was "just a man" acting as a manifestation of God's Son -- embodied with the *spirit* of Christ, then how could He know of suffering and pain? Without knowing this firsthand, his sacrifice becomes superficial -- and not really a sacrifice at all.
This perspective is seriously disturbing to me.
How can someone read the scriptures as though with a penknife, cutting away that which does not "fit" within the comforts of their perspective while at the same time taking other sections as literal, inspired words of God? How can you "pick and choose" what you will believe from the scriptures and not call yourself a hypocrite? Either you choose to believe the Bible is the word of God -- divinely inspired -- or you don't.
You can't say, "Well, I will accept verses a, b, and c, but e through k do not apply to me."
I'm sorry if this post is too *heavy* or disturbing for you, but I felt the need to write it out. The discussion from 2 days ago has been weighing heavily on me.
Yes, I honestly think that people often believe only what is comfortable for them to believe, and that -- in and of itself -- is a dangerous truth.