liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Somebody asked me to tell them about my religion. This is what I told them.

"What Is Your Religion?" Does everyone have their own, then? Maybe--in the sense that we all have a different idea of "blue" or "apple." My idea of God is unique from everyone else's.

However, Wikipedia has a lot of interesting things to say about what the definition of religion is, but it seems to be essentially a social thing: beliefs are personal but religion is public, social.

That being said, I'm a Christian. The simplest explanation is often the best. It makes perfect sense to me, now anyway, that our Creator became a man to speak, act and teach us to love.

Anyway, my experience is that Jesus thus conveyed to humanity an immortal, grace-ful spirit that is, in fact, essentially vital and authentic. But even though I believe in Jesus's words, that doesn't necessarily translate into one or another "religion" as its practiced by other people.

Jesus gives his spirit directly to the believer who then is nurtured by the church. But the church is the creation of Jesus Christ, not Christ the creation of the church. The church exists because Christ exists, and in the end, Christ says God above all, God Almighty, is the true goal of Christianity.

The church, where "religion" is found, is sort of an imperfect work-in-progress, like a human being.

So the challenge, I find is sharing my faith with others, and persevering in the life of faith. The world is somewhat dismissive-- and occasionally hostile-- to people who believe in God. On the other hand, believers are constantly having to ward off and shed worldly imperfections such as fear, anger, lust, envy, and all the things that steer us into a world-focused crash landing, not an uplifting movement to God above.

But that's me. There's not an imperfection I'm free of, to my knowledge. But instead of crawling off to cry myself to death in a dark lonely corner, because Christ abides with me I know God.

"Preposterous!" scoff my critics. "You can't say you know God!"

But I know Jesus, and God is in Him. He said, "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me."--John 14:11.

I'm just explaining my religion this way because that's how I can tell you what I know. My experience is that when you take him at his word, Jesus is telling the truth when he says that God is in Him, and whoever has seen him will see God. It works. I don't know about other religions, really.

But religion is useful as a way of getting to God, so Christ fills the need. It's because God's love for all of us is so great, and his grace and glory are so spectacular and abundant.

In the end, it looks like God is doing everything. What we need to do is avoid sabatoging his workings in our lives.


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