Why Do You Believe?

Last night, I revealed some of my current beliefs to an acquaintance with whom I hadn’t encountered in over 20 years. It was one of those moments when a person realizes another has adopted a much softer religious stance than either of us possessed growing up, and opportunities to share possible commonalities were immediately present…

….maybe even needed.

The church stuff is deep-rooted. Classic responses to age-old dilemas.

Because the Bible tells us so.

Hate the sin, love the sinner.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to stretch my thinking. Every encounter like this forces me to ask the question, “Why do I believe it is this way?”

It also makes me wonder why the other person believes the way they do. Is it because that’s just how they grew up? Is it because they believe the Bible has some magical protected sacred accuracy? Is it because that’s what they’ve always been told to believe?

I come from a religious world where questioning is both encouraged and condemned. Some things are ripe for questioning, discussion, and debate. Others are totally off limits. Questioning the authority of the Bible is one of those “off limits” areas. It’s like one of those unmentionables. You are supposed to simply accept that the Bible is the ultimate accurate authority on everything from when to commune to the assumption of homosexuality as a sin.

To which I say again, which Bible is the authority?

Why do you believe that?

And why do you believe THAT?

And on what do you base THAT belief?

If at any point in this series of why questions, a person arrives at an answer resembling “…just because…”, then we have arrived at the core problem. Most of us don’t really know WHY we believe something. We just do because we are supposed to.

Because anything else triggers fear of the assumed punishment.

…the place that didn’t really exist until “The Church” needed to keep its followers loyal.

…a place designed and embellished by artists under the influence of said “Church”.

Ask yourself, “Why?”

“Why do I believe this to be true?”

The real answers may surprise you.

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