Thursday, August 18, 2016

If Your Religion is "TRUTH", Then Why is it Just a Belief?

Last night as I was prepping dinner, I walked outside with a glass of wine and my phone and started Periscoping the beautiful view of the lake and mountains. The sun hit it just right, making different parts of the mountains light up. I started talking about spirituality, faith and atheism. The point of the scope was to point out how faith is purely an unseen belief. Although I claim to be Christian and believe that Jesus is my Savior, I would never condemn anyone to hell because I don't want to play God. Those are some big shoes to fill. And although I believe in the Bible, I also believe that much of the book was written by man and yes, inspired by God, but how much do we actually know is true? So I rely on the book and read it with discernment. There are many contradictory scriptures in the Bible that leave many unsure.

Why am I a Christian?

Because it makes me incredibly happy. Is that a lame excuse? I'll elaborate on it. The euphoria I experience while meditating and praying to God is enough for me to say, "YES! This is real!" I have had spiritual experiences, that without a doubt in "my mind" -- God spoke to me. I once tested it and asked if He could tell me something I would never possibly know and say words that I am not familiar with. These are my types of confirmations that tell me "this is true" -- "this is God". You can call it hallucinations, or call even me delusional, but you can also say that I'm filled with joy because "I believe" I have The Spirit living inside me. And that to me is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my entire life.

I had a very "religious" vegan hop onto my live stream and went full steam ahead on me about the sin of eating meat. She said that I am making animals suffer just because I prefer a specific type of food. She also stated I should only eat plant-based foods and then went on to say that it was listed in Genesis.

In an article I read, it stated the scripture listed in Genesis: Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. (Genesis 9:3-4)

Later, laws were instituted that declared certain meats to be "clean" and others to be "unclean." The system provided a means of proving one's obedience to God and had some health benefits. After Jesus Christ came, God declared all meats to be clean.

Current slaughterhouse practices comply with the dictate to remove the blood, so virtually all meat today is acceptable to eat according to God. God was the one who instituted the sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sin.

The blood of the Passover lamb was symbol chosen to cleanse from sin and to cause the Lord to pass over the first-borns. The New Testament calls Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, a clear symbol of the sacrificial system set up by God.

One major premise of Christianity is that we are free from the Old Testament ceremonial laws, since Christ is the fulfillment of symbols they represent.

Paul addresses the question directly in the book of Romans: One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. (Romans 14:5-6)

Therefore, the Christian is free to eat or not eat meat according to his own conscience. However, all eating should be done giving thanks to God."

I mean, if she truly wanted to get technical on me, I would also have to ward off shellfish, for it's an abomination to eat, written in the Old Testament. Many other "sins" to list. She kept saying, "It's wrong to eat meat! It's so wrong! You're wrong! Wrong!"

"Wrong" she said.

Here's the thing: when people are so passionate about a certain topic, let's just say for example, telling someone they're going to hell for being a Muslim or a Jew or any other non-Christian faith -- you are threatening their afterlife. And it's not about "saving people" so much as it is about enlarging your own ego to be "right". So when somebody screams, "You're wrong" -- it's their own ego screaming. The need to feel right is essential to the ego. But if you're strong-minded enough, you'll realize that you have absolutely no control over what people believe or don't believe in. It is not your business to brainwash them on something you cannot prove.

And there's another thing that people got upset with me for.

I stated that even though I have faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit -- I am not going to tell you it's "TRUTH", because there are no factual evidence for this. Christians say "TRUTH" a lot, and they always capitalize it so that people will "HEAR" it better -- maybe it'll sink into their little heathen-ridden heads. But for whatever reason, *cough-hack-EGO-hack-cough*, we'll just say the notion of disagreeing on someone else's faith is basically threatening their own afterlife. A fear-based religion or belief can set someone's ego into high gear.

Here's another example of truth vs belief... I have had spiritual experiences, seen and heard -- all that wonderful, glittery, euphoric-causing sensations that would let me know that there is a God. But many can chuck it up to a hallucination or that my brain chemistry is a little mixed up --whatever the theory, it happened to me. It's not truth for them, and rightfully so. They didn't "see" it for themselves. I love the scripture in John 20:29 where Jesus said, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  Meaning -- blind faith is much more impressive than God letting you see or hear Him. Do you remember ever having blind faith over something? Or just ridiculous beliefs, like believing in Santa Clause, (even though there was a guy back in the day who did distribute gifts) -- or believing in the tooth fairy? I remember catching my mother slipping the envelope underneath my pillow one night, and she got startled and said, "I was just checking if she gave you the right amount!" After that, I slept with one eye open, hoping that my next tooth loss would cost her much much more.

Even IF there was no God or heaven or hell -- for me -- I'd rather believe. It feels good. It makes me happy. And if there IS a God (which I truly believe), then why not believe instead of debating this all your life? Wouldn't it be a nice surprise if your time runs out and you start to float up into the heavens and God said, "Hey! Do you believe me now?" For some, maybe that would be a scary situation, but nonetheless...

There have been countless accounts of near death experiences, where people have had similar cases to where they saw a light at the end of a tunnel, or perhaps they saw loved ones about to take them back "home". Many neurologists debunk this account and explain that it's what our brain does when it tries to shut down. Like a computer logging off, it'll go through all of the microchips and memory board in order to shut down properly, which explains "I saw my whole life flashing before me" theory. But can it be that simple?

Dr. Eben Alexander 
"A successful neurosurgeon, who has taught at Harvard Medical School and other universities, spent his life dismissing claims of heavenly out-of-body experiences and refuting such talk with scientific logic, until he himself had a near-death experience. During that time, Dr. Eben Alexander says he saw heaven and knows the afterlife exists. Now he’s telling the world in his new book, 'Proof of Heaven.'"-----read more here.

There are so many things that cannot be explained. But my question is, if you see somebody incredibly happy with what they believe in, then why would you want to tear them down or throw away their belief? Many believe that religion has gotten into our politics, threatening our rights as Americans. And yes, there is that one stipulation of concern. Sometimes religion can be a bad thing once it starts judging, ridiculing, and leaving people out in the cold if they believe in something entirely different. "Freedom of religion" has also been known to be used to discriminate against certain groups, claiming it was "against their religion" when it was really about their hatred towards whatever "sin" they were committing, and that also goes for the sin of not believing in their religion. It may also have a lot to do with fear of the unknown. Most cases of hatred or bigotry are rooted from fear.

So let me ask you: does your faith make you fear things in life? Do you find yourself very uncomfortable sitting in the same room with somebody of another religion? Or, do you find yourself getting anxiety sitting next to someone of the same faith, possibly judging you? I find that most Christians judge one another so harshly based on whatever sins they've committed. But the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart and to love others the same. Judging others leaves no room for love. "Righteous judgement" does not exist unless you are God. And remember, playing God is a tough role. Those are some big shoes to fill.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!