A friend asked about people’s belief in God last week and I got busy and didn’t respond – I’ve felt a little guilty ever since.
I believe in God. I can’t imagine not believing in God. I can’t imagine not living your life believing it served a purpose. Pretty much everyone I know does seem to lead their lives with a purpose. But any kind of purpose is a leap of faith, a belief that what happens on this earth, in some way, matters, and that what you do to make it better also matters. I think the real question is Are you conscious of believing in God, or do you pretend to not believe in God? (With a tiny fraction of the people being actual Nihilist.)
And yes, I believe in organized religion, and look forward to going. I loved getting Churched up every Sunday. We all walk by faith, not by sight. If you are trying to do something you’ve never done before, you haven’t seen yourself do it, then all you have is faith that it can be done. A good dose of faith on Sunday actually makes me look forward to Monday.
I know it’s easy to point to the bad things that have been done in the name of the church, or by people involved in organized religion. Every human institution has human failings, and sometimes the habits of the institution can allow or even cause terrible things to happen. But lost in all of that is the spiritual nourishment the church has provided to billions of people.
The moral framework for billions of people. A community of musicians helps musicians become better musicians. Why wouldn’t a community of people trying to lead a moral life be better able to lead a moral life? Speaking as someone who’s had a very full life, it’s hard to resist temptation, hard not to sometimes do things that you know are self-destructive. The structure of the church, and yes prayer, make it easer to stay true to how I want to live. I pray every day.
It’s a strange world we live in. Every human needs some kind of spiritual nourishment. But somehow our society seems to reject the idea of needing spiritual nourishment and organized religion.
I blame Karl Marx, but that’s a subject for another day.