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Trying To Inspire Some Belief And Joy


skyseeker
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I think in progressive christianity there are many people rather estranged or disillusioned from conservative christianity. Some of us might even be atheists or agnostics, they identify as christians, as belonging to the subset of human christianity, but they don't go the usual believing route.

 

I wanted to show some things which I believe are helpful. Not theories or explanations, but just some ... things.

 

I want to start with a little cosmology. We are in a universe, probably even a multiverse, that is completely infinite and complex. So if we manage to look through things like a child, undisturbed by human issues or perhaps despite of them, we can see that we have reason to marvel at the universe, at ourselves, and at life.

 

This is for me something that connects to the human need for happiness. The human quest for happiness in his life is something that I actually revere. It's the main reason why I don't believe in a plain and complete atheistic materialism or a completely rational explanation of our existence. Happiness makes us into beings of plasticity. A happy person is metaphysically free to live, because when we are happy we agree with our life.

 

And this happiness is like an image of the cosmos in us, as the cosmos really is. Everything in the cosmos has its reflection in us. Grey clouds correspond to sadness, a hot desert corresponds to suicide in my associative world, cold rain corresponds to melancholy and warm rain corresponds to tenderness and clarity for me. But the thing is, the cosmos does not suffer. The cosmos is happy, because happiness is a state where the happy being moves, either in thought or often, in humans, also in feelings, and actions. This is how the cosmos sparkles in my mind. The cosmos is never entirely still, although it can seem still when we are still, another reflection of the cosmos into us.

 

And now I've wanted to come to what I intended ... this cosmos, and then ourselves, allow for a finding of Existence in this here and now, our Dasein. But this, in the same time, births our idea of God - God is our and the universes Dasein in an inclusive and yet also a special Being. This special aspect of God is what an atheist or agnostic maybe cannot see so easily, or believe in so easily. But this is where we might understand a sense of romance and love. I want to say to the atheist, we may not know if God really exists, but can we conceive of a need for God? Atheists like to make fun of God with the idea of a flying spaghetti monster. The thing is, we can create a flying spaghetti monster, and it would be ridiculously funny to build it. But is this romance and love? It is merely fun. Romance and love come in if we remember the absence of the fulfilling God.

 

The Cosmos, however deeply we see it, has something missing. In our life we always notice that - because we do not need only happiness, we also need love. This is something I must argue from experience, the happiness that I have found through love was always by many magnitudes deeper and more fulfilling than the happiness I could get through, say, buying myself a steak or watching my favourite soccer team play. In love things became the essence of profundity.

 

God then, is the answer to what such love makes us ask about. Is death the end of everything? Is there someone who could bless my love? Is there something that goes beyond even THIS! The happiness of the cosmos that we seek so often, the Dasein that we may understand divinely or still just "existentially", requires a conclusion. Yes, sure, you can go the stoic route and say, that was it, I must be at peace. You can be a buddhist that says, that is the nothing really, I want to fade, I want to smile and be finished. You can be an atheist and search for a normal context and say I can't change things, I need to wash my car and tomorrow I go working again.

 

But then there's the option of theism. I don't say faith, because faith may not find our agreement yet. I just want to focus on thought for now, on making sense.

 

We humans all believe in good luck. It's too deeply ingrained in us. Happiness and good luck are related. We feel happy because we think it's extraordinary. That's our earthen humanity that knows suffering and boredom and emptiness too. But we believe in good luck. And that is related also to God. We can believe in the good luck of there being God. It's not different from other good luck, and if we keep in mind how infinite the cosmos is, then it's not impossible that there's a God in it.

 

What faith is, sorry, what theism is, is a search for this God based on what some people have experienced in that regard. The burden of many progressive christians is, if this God exists, why is there so much suffering connotated to Him, why is the bible so dark at places, why can I not find God more easily? There are answers to these questions, I don't want to go into them here. What I want to say is, search for God on the basis of the depth in life that I described. Search for God on the bases of the cosmos being very probably infinite. Search for God on the basis of God explaining the cosmos and its origin. Search for God because He is the counterpiece to our specific human needs. And you can see how you are in the image of God.

 

Personally I believe in God, to a great extent because of the many spiritual experiences I've had. I had to deal with demons, I've had such horrible nightmares that I believe in something devilish, I've had visitations of God and experienced things like speaking in tongues. So for me the existence of God is almost necessary unless I want to think I am completely mad. And I'm not accepting this on the basis of a rational argument, but on the basis of my love and dignity. These things made me find the God who loves them, and contracted the problems with demons and devils who hate them.

 

I know this may not help you when you're not inclined to listen to such stories, or perhaps they would scare you and send you into atheism all the more. But what I can encourage anyone is make a quest for God. See the cosmos - is that the work of an evil deity? Can you say that when you watch a sunrise or a flower or a little bird? That is why you don't have to be afraid. Faith in God overcomes the laziness and the fear of the supernatural. A quest for God allows you to practice faith without needing to believe.

 

The german theologian Rudolf Bultmann had the view that faith is simply the response the message of Christ, no matter what form this response takes. It can be belief ... fantastic, but will you become an inquisitor? It may be doubt ... awful, but might you become a splendid philosopher? It may be a sack full of spiritual experiences like mine ... odd, but maybe I could profit from them, provided I don't go bonkers about them? It may be an interesting and unique thought life, especially as a progressive christian.

 

And in these different responses we might see something like a flower opening, and each petal is precious and a normal growth. Even atheism, even agnosticism, even the thorn of satanism that couldn't be a petal too. And this is again a reminder to the happy cosmos, that is still there with us, providing a mother Earth you will most certainly believe in always. The Maker is never without the Cosmos, because He loves it, and the Cosmos is never without love for the Maker, including ourselves, because we are part of the Cosmos, and our reaction to the message of God, is the faith that He seeks, no matter how it looks like.

 

I hope you have a good day! Many blessings to you!

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