It's the Whys that undid most of my religious beliefs. None of them could stand up to that eternal, infernal question: "WHY?"
My main concern is the reconciliation of the idea of a loving, benevolent Father God (in other words, the Father God of the Christian trinity) with the things that happen in this world-the unspeakable crimes we human beings visit upon one another, the disasters, the infirmities, just the sheer bad luck that some people find themselves up against.
Now, I know I've been down this road before but I have one more question to heap onto the pile.
Why would this loving Father God reveal Himself through one man in one relatively small geographical area with only one way to be saved?
What of the millions who have not comprehended Christ in the past, in the present and maybe in the future? If I have studied the Bible correctly, those who have not accepted Christ as their savior are condemned to hell.
How does this concept of eternal torture line up with the concept of a God who gave us free will so that He would be truly loved? Why would he condemn perhaps over 3/4 of his creation, His children, if you will, to hell? And many having already lived a sort of hell on earth due to the general human condition would now be spending eternity in the hell created by "Father God."
I can conclude one of two things:
1. We are under the control of a God who truly is to be feared.
2. This concept of God is false or at least misguided.
I prefer the spiritual world described in the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is described as "roomy and all-inclusive." I prefer a religion that focuses upon the love that we as human beings can show one another. Love is not cornered by the Christian. I have met many loving Christians and they are some of the best people. I don't know a lot of people of other faiths because of my locale but I have read the loving words written by people of other belief systems and I know how kind and merciful some people who don't really have a big- deal belief system in place can be.
There is room for all of us, room for us to share and to journey together, to engage in mutual respect even if we don't always understand.
I have faith in the common person. the common person has a few people that he (or she) loves and he wants the best for them. He has a general goodwill towards others and maybe a few prejudices too. We are only human after all. He loves his country and wants to work towards his goals and secure things for future generations. I have faith in this common person.