Posts Tagged ‘belief’

“I am not my belief system.”

Just watched a video that put words to something I’ve been feeling for a while now.  It’s a conversation between Spencer Burke and Tim King about several aspects of religion including the presence of doomsday scenarios in most of the world’s religions and the propensity to convert a person of a different belief system rather than contribute to his or her worldview.  I urge you to check this video out … it’s only 5 minutes long, and it touches on some issues that will become more and more important to grasp as our reality becomes more and more pluralistic.  I don’t believe these are purely reactionary principles (to the reality of pluralism), I’m beginning to see that viewing reality from this vantage point actually contributes to a better way of living. As Tim King says, when we back up and realize that we are not our belief systems (our belief systems are actually pointers — not “the point” — to a higher reality), we can meet with others beyond our belief systems and begin to realize not just peace, but celebration.  That’s the kind of life I want to live.  Thoughts welcome, as always!

Sorry, but I can’t figure out how to embed this type of video. You’ll have to click over to another page to view the video. Link.

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Wisdom from the Good Friar

I’ve often struggled — both with myself and with non-religious friends — with the words to describe why I follow Jesus and, in effect, “blindly” accept all those crazy propositions about him. Born of a virgin. All the miracles. Resurrection.

The rational part of my brain can’t wrap itself around many of the stories I learned on a flannel board in Sunday School, and yet I still, to a large degree, believe them.  Then I read Fr. Richard Rohr’s e-mail meditation from today (sign up here … well worth it), and his words resonated with me.  His main point?  This isn’t primarily an intellectual exercise, people. It’s a way of life. A new way of being. A return to our humanity.

Let me know what you think:

Jesus says, “I am not asking you to just believe my words, look at my actions, or the ‘works that I do.’”

Actions speak for themselves, whereas words we can argue about on a theoretical level.  The longer I have tried to follow Jesus, the more I can really say that I no longer believe in Jesus. I know Jesus.  I know him because I have often taken his advice, taken his risks, and it always proves itself to be true!

Jesus is not telling us to believe unbelievable things, as if that would somehow please God.  He is saying much more to us, “try this, and you will see for yourself that it is true.”  But that initial trying is always a leap of faith into some kind of action or practice.

In summary it can be put this way:  We do not think ourselves into a new way of living.  We live ourselves into new way of thinking.  Without action and lifestyle decisions, without concrete practices, words are dangerous and largely illusory.

Adapted from Preparing For Christmas, pp. 48-49