Why Believe or Connect with God 2018-96

Why Believe or Connect with God           2018-96

This is a simple question that came to mind when surfing the Web the other day.

An article stated that many millennials (Born between 1980 and 1990’s) do not go to church or any religious place, due to many reasons that were listed. Not only is that a fact but they list “No Religion or belief” as a reason, in most cases.

The thing that was interesting were the comments below the article which were stated by various people responding to the article. I scrolled down and read them, and my first thought was a little over the top of understanding. The reasons were bonified, but they or many of them, were pure hokum. 

Some were legitimate, and I agreed that they had a case, but not against all religions regarding the church portion.

First off, it DOES take “FAITH” to believe in a God or in his son Jesus Christ, the man-God.  Nobody has the ability to look back in the past and see the wounds that Jesus Christ had from the Cruxificition at that time. So, doubting Thomas did and it convinced him that Jesus was who He was, at that time. We today do not have that luxury of seeing and believing with something right in front of us. So, I can understand, somewhat, why the lack of faith is present in society today.

But, using the reasons for not going to church that were used, is a stretch.  I will list some now and explain my thoughts. I could probably write a full discourse about each item, but will not do so now, and only a concise, short thought for each of them.

1. Churches are hypocritical in their thinking.   There are some churches and people that go to them that are hypocritical in practice.  That is not right but is a fact. I will repeat this— NOT ALL are that way. To use this broad statement is not only incorrect, but inconsistent with reality.

2. Churches are money grabbing and should be taxed.  Churches need money to exist, support community endeavors and pay for other needs.  To tax them is not going to do anything, except put many out of existence.  If any church DEMANDS people to give money to them or to tithe at 10%, then that is THAT church or religion, NOT ALL of them. If you tithe fine, if you give what you can, fine, if you just go to church and not contribute, fine, so be it.

3. People are judgmental.   Not right, but is so in some cases where humans are going to and exist. This is true in society as a whole, not right, but a fact. But NOT ALL are that way. People being judgmental exists everywhere, so saying a church or religion is so, is a fact, but not the absolute truth.

4.  People in churches are prejudicial towards gays and blacks (if a white church). Not right, but if so, they do NOT represent the majority or churches in general, as a whole. There ARE churches in most locations of the country that have an accepting attitude of everyone welcome; they have to be found and usually on the internet  they state this fact.                      

5. Children are molested by leaders in the church. This HAS happened and is wrong and sometimes, even covered up, but does NOT represent churches in general.  I would think that this is even a rare factor overall for churches in general; sad but true.

6. Too many rules, regulations, dictates, and laws. The only list that counts are the Ten Commandments, for the individual, and internal church ones are subject to change if needed and desired. There has to be some way of guidance for any organization to run and function. Many churches have “Constitutions” that show how the church is run, how it should react to situations, and these are needed, just like the country of the United States, has now.

7. Too many churches with just old people in them. That is a problem for some churches in certain locations, again due to the times.  Getting younger couples to attend is difficult if there are none now in a particular church. Maybe if those young people attended, that church would change for a betterment.

8. Fake stories in the Bible equal lies.  The Old Testament has many “stories”, which are there to make a point, but they do not mean the story is accurate or absolutely true.  They are stories; period. Some religions have beliefs that everything in the Bible is correct, which is wrong in my mind.

9. No proof of Jesus being the Son of God.  There is no birth certificate of Jesus; again, Faith works. The desire to believe also has to be there, and if not, well that is too bad.

10. God does NOT show Himself or talk to us today.  Hmmm, I will deny this as a fact and say that maybe the person did not look or listen, therefore did not see or hear. God is everywhere and most importantly, always Present, always aware, always active, for those that need. He is also alive, to those that will just give Him a chance to react to our needs.

ll. Prayers not answered.  Depends on the prayer and circumstances, which may or may not be accurate of a statement.  God does His thing in His way and in His time, so this is not an absolute. If a prayer for winning the lottery, for instance, to a certain person is not answered, it does not mean He is not there, just was not your time to win. If a wife or mother died and you prayed that they would not, perhaps it was time for them to go; sad!!!  God works in His way, not ours and that is hard to understand for many.

I would rather those that commented did so with honest reply’s, instead of personal hokum type responses. To give a reason for not believing or not going to church for a GOOD reason is one thing, but I don’t think many of the above, are bonified reasons overall.

If it is easier to sleep in, go play golf on Sunday morning, or attend a soccer team match at your kid’s high school, but these are excuses, not reasons for not going. It is also easier to not believe, because believing DOES require commitment and action on our part, which many refuse to do; also sad!!!!

If you just plain don’t believe in God, again, I understand, and both of us will find out someday which was correct. 

Peace,

Den Betts

                                bettsden@gmail.com      = email

                                thebettsden.com             = Blog site

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Exclusion 2015-23

Exclusion    2015-23

What the heck is exclusion and how does it pertain to everyday life? Asking Mr. Webster, he said that it is the act of barring, prohibiting, omitting, or rejecting and that sounds like drastic things to do to others. I wrote a post about being judgmental and said I would follow up with this post about exclusion and am therefore doing so now.

I then ask – if anyone has had this happen to them in their life, being excluded? I have, and it is NOT nice to feel that you are being ignored, or worse, in a negative way. In one instance in my life, I was, not made to, but did feel like I was being excluded from a group for reasons that were not fair to me, but that is another subject in the future. Let me say this: It is not right to exclude others and it sure in heck is not right to be excluded by others either!

I was reading a book on spirituality for a book study group, where we went over and somewhat dissected different portions of the book.  In it, a statement was made about exclusion. This was in regard to being excluded by a religious group towards those not in the community of the same faith.

Church groups?

This can be a touchy subject for some, or for certain groups. Do we look at OUR group or community as being the correct one, the better one, the one and only one?  That can happen, and I hope your group does not feel that way or present yourselves as such. How can we have an open door policy and say we welcome ALL if we exclude certain people?

How do you think a church community would welcome these following two types of people? The first type would be three convicted persons where one was a rapist, the other a pedophile, and the other a person convicted of homicide. All three were convicted and served the time that was made by the judge. Now, think of three different people in the same church that have done the same actions, but are unknown to have committed the same acts. Would people of the church exclude any of these?

This is somewhat of a no brainer. If we do not know that the second group committed the acts, how could this fit into the equation?  In the first group we might or may not know of the acts, but let us say we found out, somehow.  Some would have a hard time with the pedophile one, but some would give an honest response to the other two suggesting they did their time and paid back to society for their crimes.

I then ask, would we as a group, really include the three convicted ones into the fold? Some probably would not answer the question, basically, because we do not really know. We know how we feel but might not be able to speak for others in the group. That is an honest answer, I feel.

Those are somewhat more extreme examples, and there are better ones to contemplate that would be more of everyday occurrences.

Someone I know went to a church that was of another faith. It might have been a wedding. Anyhow, he took communion and when he went up to the altar to commune, someone in the back, pointed him out and loudly said, “He is taking communion and is not a ——— (meaning not someone of that faith). He felt embarrassed, because his religion believed that if you can take communion in your own church, you can take it anywhere.  He also felt excluded and ostracized.

I tried to explain that the church rules dictated that he was not allowed to take communion in that church because he was not a member of that faith. He did not understand why not, and it did have a meaningful thoughtfulness to him about that religion then and probably still does. Quoting someone, again, that I respect, On the other hand, a commitment to rules to the detriment of a person’s relationship with Christ is also not helpful.”

Rules dictate!

We as society members have different ways of believing things and sometimes let the rules dictate just how we react with one another. Maybe, we should change the rules! I look at rules as guidelines that you can follow. I said, “can follow” not MUST follow. My church has statements and messages that give this guidance to those that follow the religion, but they are not classified as rules. A friend of mine told me that our church hierarchy has sort of a “washy- washy” attitude, regarding certain things, in what they put out in those statements, and I feel I agree, somewhat, at times.

The thing is, they (the hierarchy) made a stand but gave leeway to those that read their statements and to either follow or not follow what was written. If you follow them, great and if you do not, so be it. At least you will know what you do is either well thought of or not, by the higher ups. Will you be excluded if you do not follow the guidelines?  I doubt it very much and that is why I like the statements overall. They give us an idea of what the church I follow, believes in, even though the overall practice of following what is written is not a mandatory dictate or rule. I believe that many faiths and holy places of those faiths are not really following the dictates of God, but instead the dictates of human leaders that made the decrees.

Peace,

Den Betts