I have also for most of my life developed a deep and trusting relationship with the Lord of life Jesus Christ and have felt grace and healing slowly grow in my life. The sacraments and the writings of the saints and doctors of the church are a rich combination of writings. Of course the Scriptures are essential.
Without a deep loving faith in God and a seeking of slowly understanding Jesus message, then religion becomes a hollow shell, something that can become evil and destructive. So I have no problem with religion, any religion, since I know that all of us who are on that journey grow at our own pace and have our own inner demons to deal with. Some mature early, others late in life. Then perhaps many don't have a relationship with God, it is just something they do on Sundays, though who they are and their number I don't know, nor try to, nor judge. I have my own struggles with seeking to deepen my walk with the Lord and to also love others as Jesus says we should...which takes a death to self on a regular basis.
People are wounded and can hurt each other, so it can be difficult to stay in a community, but I feel that is where growth is and also were we can learn to speak out and make a difference. I am not talking about cults of course, which are out there and from what I have read it is really quite easy for just about anyone to fall into one. Often people leave their parent faith and are so angry at it that they never actually get free from their past and allow it to poison their lives. Better to study, learn about the core of ones faith and then decide to leave or stay, that way there is a clean cut.
I know people of many paths, all who combine both their religion with their inner life and live balanced and wholesome lives and grow in compassion of others....they just don't get into power position for the most part, so they are often overlooked and forgotten.
Religion, secularism, theism or atheism is not the problem, the factor that links all of these paths are humans, we are the problem. Of course there is no hope, people will continue to speak in straw man language, as if they know the truth, when in fact it only adds to the problems of our human situation. Original sin in my faith points to this problem. It is not personal sin, but we are born into a broken world and it seems to get worse in many ways as each generation passes….though there are some good things that also come up. I also talk in straw men language from time to time, so I am not in anyway placing myself above the crowd here, no, I am in the front row, I am also part of the problem and have tried all of my life to not be.....I will be dead a year before that happens.
Edited by markdohle, 03 October 2012 - 11:00 PM.