Tuesday, April 25, 2006


as in seven-day agnostic. I switched my religion on MySpace a few weeks ago, and thought I'd do so here too. I know this doesn't really matter to how people view me or think about me, my actions and interactions (with a little hearsay) do that, but I thought this would be as good a venue as any to work it out verbally.

Right now, I'm more not Christian than gung-ho Agnostic. Some reasons I'm not Christian. I don't believe in the divinity of Christ. This started by not really accepting His sacrifice for my sins, because I don't think I need it. [I don't know if I've discussed this here before, but sin seems very subjective to me, based on guilt mainly (what you feel guilty doing is a sin, different cultures issue different guilt). I'd rather not feel guilty, nor do I feel guilty doing or thinking things that used to be sin to me. So, if sin is subjective, which I think it is, why need someone to save me from it?] After over a year of not believing I need "the Cross," this Easter I decided Jesus is what I think the Buddhists and Muslims say He is, a great teacher/prophet, but not God.

I admit I've been influenced by other religious literature (see The Book of Mormon, The Koran, and The Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend). Many religions have religious texts, and each believes in the veracity of it. Why is the Bible more true than the Koran, or the Book of Mormon for that matter?

Even longer than not needing the Cross, I've been more religious than spiritual (I've always mocked the start up Gen-X churches who promise "God without religion." I say, "No religion?! Not for me!"), even the religion part is out now. My take on those that are succeeding with Christianity (no offence) is that belief or faith is the important thing (I've felt this way about prayer for many years. Prayer focuses your mind on something; doesn't matter what happens--God is answering). I don't think it matters what you believe (in); if you believe and have faith, then you will feel better about your life (which is why you believe, so that you will feel good about your life). I think that about covers my non-Christian reasons.

I still believe in a God that created the Universe. Whether He has a place for me after I die, I don't know. Does it matter to Him if I live a moral life? I don't know. Does He want me to join a chosen group of people to worship Him? I don't know. Is He a he? I do not know. I guess that covers the a-gnostic part.

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At April 25, 2006 11:26 PM, Blogger Angela said...

does He love you?

i'm sorry i haven't sent the answer to your question yet, daniel. i forgot. but i have remembered.

i love you.

At April 26, 2006 12:27 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

you've thought this out more then i have, and i'll agree with most of your points. but for me it came down to realizing i was only pretending to be a christian to fit in with the group of people i was around (ozark bitches, i mean, classmates). it wasn't until i was talking with one of my professors (from turkey and therefore raised muslim) and she said, "i'm not christian" did it hit me that religion didn't really matter to me, it was the connections i make with other people that matters.

i also don't believe in santa and, really, what's not to love about santa...and his six to eight black men? i'll stop here before i get out of hand.

At April 26, 2006 6:38 PM, Blogger Voth said...

I can see where you are coming from.

I can't quite bring myself to the same place, but have been tempted. I have to believe in Jesus. Not because I should, or "know" that it is the right thing, but because I couldn't justify the way I think or live my life if that part wasn't true.

Not the best reason for belief, but the best I can do right now.

I really don't like Christians though. There are some good ones out there, but well, not enough to make church a happy place.

We should talk religion sometime. I miss that.

Even though we don't agree on lots of stuff, I love you!

At April 26, 2006 7:49 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I really appreciate 3 things about this post: (1) you're honest, (2) you've vulnerable, & (3) you don't ridicule people who hold other beliefs.

I have a lot of questions & thoughts, but for now I'll just say I'm interested in the God & creation part. If you're ever motivated, I'd be interested to read a post on why you believe "in a God that created the Universe."

Oh yeah, Hi, my name's Jeff. Peace.

At April 26, 2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Angela, I'm glad you brought up God's love. See my next post for a more thorough response, but in brief, I think God's love is quite literally pathetic.

Ellen, the social/cultural aspect is HUGE, and I think it's a larger obstacle to honesty than a lot of people want to admit.

Wendi, I am also matching how I live with what I believe but reverse from you. I'm just admitting that I don't live like a Christian. Sounds a bit pompous, but I don't think I could live differently than I believe. Speaking of Christians (since you brought them up), I don't have any problems with Christians, or Adventists for that matter. I think I've always been able to separate the person(ality) from their affiliation. Yes, we should talk about religion sometime. Call me.

Jeff, welcome, and thanks. I think it is easy to be honest and vulnerable, because putting these thoughts on the blog helps me to pack light. :)


At April 26, 2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Voth said...

Well, I don't think I live like a Christian much, at least I don't follow all the teachings that my parents believe I do/should do.

My whole life philosophy is based on being there for other people. If I can bring a little joy to someone, even from just opening a door or having something nice to say to them, I am happy.

This is sorta based on how I view Jesus. If he doesn't exsist or even isn't divine, I'd have to do a lot of soul searching and thought, and frankly, I'm lazy.

My biggest problem is the love aspect of it all. It works for some people, people I greatly respect (Angela for one), but I don't understand it. I've tried. It is an emotion I can't accept as genuine. I love other people, they don't love me back. (I blame my mother for that complex). Anyway, this is getting too personal for blogs. Let me know when you are free to talk.

At April 28, 2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

This comment goes in the direction of Voth... I'm confused.

It seems like the first half of your last comment is totally about love, and then the last paragraph is about not understanding or experiencing or something love. That part confused me a little.

Because to me, your comment about “being there for people” is real love. I'm not sure what else it would look like.

I know you're right—we're getting a little deep since this isn't even our blog. Cool. And I don't even know either of you, so yeah, I'm totally butting in. Again, cool.

And you're also right that Angela definitely has a corner on the love thing. Maybe that's a common thread—we all love Angela, aye?

I've posted some general thoughts on my blog about some of these ideas/experiences. I thought it might be more appropriate to put them there rather than here 'cause they're mostly God stuff. I hope you'll check it out (http://packlight.blogspot.com/2006/04/real-labels.html). It's meaningful to me.

Peace & respect,

At June 06, 2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Piiwite said...

I realize I'm commenting on an old post, but it's one of those enjoyable little vices...

The best advice I can give, since I'm sure you want my advice, is the old Sufi saying: We do not fear hell, and we do not covet heaven.

If one keeps this in mind, and if one is genuinely curious and willing to seek, there are many rewards to be found.


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