They all believe they are correct.
As winter is approaching, I am spending more time indoors. We have been blessed with some unseasonably warm weather here in the Ohio Valley, but the annual transition to consistently cooler weather is beginning. It is bringing me to more of the indoor piddling and reading that I typically spend my time doing during the cold months. I also spend more time in front of the television.
At times, I find myself doing the same thing I’ve been doing since the days of first attending church several years ago: Observing the way others experience God. During my indoor evening alone last night, I tuned in to a documentary that, in summary, told the story of how a small group of Seventh Day Adventists had become convinced that a small boy was hearing from (and could see) angels. Yes, Angels of God. He was supposedly able to receive revelations and directions from these angels. What made me wonder how this group of people could be so naively persuaded by the so-called gifted boy was the directions that he gave to kill people, and the willingness of two individuals within the little cult to go out and do so. Later in the program, the members within the little circle of crazies admitted that they no longer believed what they had previously believed, and the boy–now adult–admitted that he made it all up. He was only carrying out the religious grooming of the adults.
The program contained yet another example of that one particular thing I have experienced and witnessed throughout the quest to understand God: Grooming. Think about it, would you truly understand the Lord (if you believe in a monotheistic God) in the manner that you do if you were not once conditioned to do so? Would you? My personal belief is very simple, and I had to put all of the brainwashing, religious puffery and westernized church practices behind me. Faith is all I that I have. In fact, faith that God is with me is all that I possess. After having my go with the church, and after experiencing the many ways people practice, present, define, interpret and swear by the Church, I have no more to possess other than that simple faith.
‘Is your way the right way? Ok, prove it to me!’ Oh, how they try. People go to great lengths. They have a constant need to convince not only themselves, but everyone else, that their way is the way. Jesus did say that He is the way, according to the Bible. Yet, others have so much more to add. The grooming begins, progresses, and eventually takes the mind into a delusional playing field of innumerable fantasies. The fantasies become their God.
We don’t know where we came from, what we came from, and we don’t know where we are going after we check out of here. We all have faith in something in this life, and for some, a faith in an afterlife.
I just sit in the little spaces, in the warmth of our indoor places, and try to fathom why people try to convince themselves of being (complacently) right with God.