This is a strange post, so you may want to get comfortable. As I sit to write this, I realize that I have no idea where this post will go. I guess I'm inviting you for the ride with me. Maybe we can discuss this and find some better direction for ourselves?
First, let me introduce you to a site I bumbled upon. http://boyboxrebellion.blogspot.com/ I find some things here humorous, some thought provoking, and there are others not quite up my alley. That's ok... that's life! One post this blog author posted spoke about how a culture will seek to understand the very things that most defy understanding. Some create a belief system, a religion. And, for the people and the time, it works - perhaps. The blog author went on in quoting others that just because that belief system worked for that people group does not necessarily mean it works for others. Further, being "true" in one people's eyes doesn't make it "true" in another's.
I thought this profound and it truly caused me to return to this line of thought over and over again.
The small blog post went on to this substantial truth of a creator, a God; the reality of this Being is likely to be beyond the understanding of those He creates.
I've considered some of the differing religions of our current world. Granted, I know very few - and very little about those! So, I'm bound to make some mistakes here...
Question: How do we know what we know to be true is, in fact, true? In Christianity - and I'll use this religion the most as it is one I've studied a bit - we are taught that all scripture is by inspiration of God and good to use for teaching, preaching and reproof. Now, basically, what we are saying here is that person X says 'God told me to write this' and it is therefore true. I am going beyond the simple historical rendering of an event or time or people, but to say that line for line, scripture is true because this person X said 'God told me to write this'. What that requires is that little thing called Faith.
Have you ever heard that song by Allanis Morrisette http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7VgncbDw8M that goes 'what if God was one of us? Just a stranger on the bus?...' Well, that is the point. What if? We believe what we believe much due to what we were taught. There are some who study, dig, seek.... and make decisions and believe by faith. But, many of us believe what we believe because we are taught that this is true.
Well, what makes one religion true and another false? Quite simply, if one religion is true - then the other, by definition, must be false. Right? So, is it by popular vote? Is it by area covered? If my mother and father didn't teach me what they did, would it still be true? Is it true because the country that believed it overcame the country that thought their religion the truth? Is religion true only by the sake of conquest? "My God is stronger than your God". Here is a frightening thought: what if it was only a small group of people who knew the real God, the real Truth, and they were swarmed over and destroyed by a Mongol Horde, the Romans, the Plague, taken up to Haley's Comet..... what if?
Then, there are those who believe in no God. But yet, what if they are wrong?
In our world today, we have wars, struggles, etc. all based on what we believe to be true of our beliefs or untrue of another's. Some Christians believe those who are gay are worthy of death. What is the basis for this? A vague reference in a book taken out of a contextual environment and inference thousands of years ago. Is it true? Well, they believe that those words were the very words of God, so they must be fact. Of course, there are others words in that book that they'd just rather let go on by. Not culturally relevant, don't you know. But that? Yep, that's the true and relevant part.
There are some others in our world who believe that if you don't believe the very things this group believes then you are to be put to death. You are horrible and worthy of death at any cost. Why? Well, roughly 2000 years ago this person was given a revelation, he said. So, there are now those who believe his revelation true, and there-in, all that he said the very words of God....
But, I'm drawn back to that song. What if God was one of us? What if what we believed was not untrue, but just the very best we could understand of what we see as true? What if that person who doesn't believe what we believe is just as likely to be correct as we are since no one can really be sure. What if the best we can do is look to our neighbor and know that if there is a God, a Creator, He or She... or It?... created that person just as much as we were created, or for that matter, not created for those who believe in no creator... and so we are all equally bound?
Well, I guess here is where this particular ride ends for the moment. What do you think?