Recent statistics show that 80% of the world believes in God. However, acknowledging God’s existence does not necessarily mean someone is religious. I had an interesting conversation with a few of my friends this weekend and we began discussing God, organized religion, and some of life’s other tough questions.
Over the past couple years I have met more and more people that describe themselves as “spiritual,” but not “religious.” I never really understood what that meant until discussing this aspect with one of my friends that falls into this category.
Developing your “spiritual” side simply means the conscious act of self improvement. Taking a walk, clearing your mind, reading a book, thinking deeply about something, meditation, or any other activity that promotes self reflection qualifies as self improvement. If someone says they are “religious,” this typically means they actively practice their faith—like a Christian that goes to church, reads The Bible, and constantly prays.
A viewer of the CNN/YouTube debates (scroll to question #20) and asked the Republican candidates if they “believed every single word of The Holy Bible.” I’ve never really examined what the question asks, or where I stand. I think The Bible was written by God through man—meaning that it is the word of God. However, I also acknowledge it’s translation from Hebrew to various languages, and believe some of the words have been altered—so there are some interpretive differences between the original Hebrew version of The Bible and many of the versions we read today, however, the concepts remain the same.
My next point: I feel God left The Bible for man to interpret. In addition, there are certain aspects of it that human beings cannot comprehend, which is exactly how God intended it. If science explains everything, why have faith?
The conversation jumped around numerous times, and I found it interesting that five good friends all had different feelings, meanings, and interpretations when it came to organized religion. We eventually agreed that for the most part, religion does more good than harm, and it remains an essential part of many people’s lives.
Finally, a really tough question: Do you believe God knows exactly what’s going to happen in all our lives, and if so, how does “free will” fit into this logic?
I believe God has a set plan for the earth and all of our lives. “Free will” simply means we have the ability to do what we choose, with no outside influence. However, even though we think we are somehow “tricking” God with our decisions—good or bad—he already knew the path we would take.
I’d like to hear what you think are the answers to these questions…..