When It Comes to God, How Do You Know If You Made the Right Choice?
Recently my homeboy Chad (My Thought World) and I were having an in depth discussion, as we’re prone to do every week or so, and we meandered, actually I meandered, onto the subject of Religion.
Chad and I discuss Religion quite often, and although we vehemently disagree we never argue or get upset with one another. (Chad is a rare Wingnut indeed, and in fact I think dwelling in his heart is a Liberal yearning to be set free). Anyway, we have these discussions, and we always have a fun time doing so, and things never get heated or out of hand. (To be honest, I find it easier discussing these matters with Chad than I do with many of the “Liberal” minded people I encounter).
As we’re talking, I realize I’ve never asked Chad “The Question.” The question no one has ever answered, at least not in a way I find satisfactory. I first asked “The Question” (Or a variation of it) when I was but a high water khaki wearing Lad in Catholic grade school (Much to the chagrin of the Priest who was teaching our Religion class).
“How do we know?”
Now, I don’t mean, “How do we know God exists?” Such questions are pointless and lead nowhere. I mean “How do we know you, or anyone, is right about God?” In other words, how am I supposed to know if Catholics or Baptists or Hindus or Wiccans or whomever is telling the truth? What if they’re wrong, and it turns out Shakers were the ones who truly understood? How are we supposed to know?
In all Christian faiths, the ones I’m aware of anyway, they begin with the premise that humankind is innately flawed, “Original Sin.” We are forever tarnished by the actions of Adam and Eve in the “Garden of Eden,” and only through accepting Jesus as our Savior can we be “Saved.”
According to God, humans are immoral, ego driven wretches who possess neither the will nor the ability to behave in a way deserving of Eternal Paradise. We are incapable of saving ourselves, which is why Christians say being a “Good Person” simply isn’t enough. No human can earn their way into Heaven on their own. God had to sacrifice his only Son in order to open the Gates of Heaven for us.
Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it doesn’t sound as though God has too much faith in the Human Race. In fact, it appears he thinks we’re pretty damn stupid and if given the choice between Spanking the Monkey or feeding the poor well…pass the KY.
If that’s true, here’s my problem, and it’s a big problem. If God can’t trust us or our Judgment when it comes to behaving like civilized people how can he possibly trust us when it comes to Religion and our Eternal Souls?
So I say to Chad,
Look man, I have this problem and maybe you can help me out. If in God’s eyes I’m flawed, and a miserable excuse how in the Hell can he place the onus for choosing the right team squarely on my shoulders? I can barely match my clothes without a woman’s assistance. Surely he has to give me a little leeway in this regard doesn’t he? What if I choose wrong?
(He sits for a moment and then asks)
I’m not sure I’m following, what do you mean?
(To Chad’s credit, he didn’t want to answer that question. Some of the Christians I’ve known jumped at the chance to tell me I’m going to Hell. But in the end he does. I’m not Christian, therefore it’s Hellfire and O’Reilly’s inane “I have a tiny Penis” ranting for me).
Do I think what’s fair?
Do you think it’s fair that at least 80% of the world is going to Hell simply because they chose the wrong team? How are we supposed to know? Isn’t it similar to trying to pick the winning Super Bowl team before the season even begins? On paper the Chargers looked mighty tough last year, but in the end they flamed out. It just seems wrong to me.
What you tell me about your religion being the “true path” etc is no different than what a Muslim or Hindu or Jew tells me. You say the same things, “We’re the ones who got it right?” But my problem is, and no offense, how do I know you got it right? Each Religion claims the “Truth” with equal veracity, so I can’t rely on Passion as an indicator, and if I look at actions the Jews, Muslims and Christians are definitely out of the mix. Should I go with the Hindus? After all, they have numerous Gods and if I piss a couple off I still have a chance at least one of them will like me.
How am I supposed to fucking know Chad is what I’m asking? I’m not asking you to trip you up, and it’s not one of those “Ah ha! Gotcha!” questions that the so-called Global Warming skeptics love to ask. I’m absolutely serious. I cannot, for the life of me, discern who’s telling the Truth because everyone says they’re telling the Truth, but that can’t be right or can it?
Again, to Chad’s credit he didn’t come back with one of the rote answers I’ve heard in the past. “You’ll know because your heart will tell you.” Nope, not good enough. My heart has told me some fucked up shit before, but at the time I was convinced it was the “Absolute Truth.”
He paused and said,
That’s a good question, and I’m not sure if I can answer you because I don’t know. There’s nothing in the Scriptures, at least nothing I’m aware of, addressing that question.
I really don’t know. I’ll have to look into it, and see if I can find something.
We haven’t spoken since, so I don’t know if he has an answer yet, but I’m fairly certain there is no answer. I’ve asked numerous people this question, and as I said no one has ever answered in a way that satisfied me. It always boils down to, “You’ll just know.” But that is a shitty answer, and it’s really a cop out.
How do we know?
Of course, I’m assuming for the sake of this discussion that there actually is a God. But if there is does God honestly care which team we choose? And if he does isn’t that a tad sadistic?
He knows we’re idiots, and can’t be trusted, yet he forces us to make a choice that if made incorrectly results in us being cast into Hell forever? Think about that,
Nope. You have forever to go.
If God is that petty and cruel, then that means the Nutcase Muslims who strap bombs to their asses, and the “God Hates Fags” psychopaths from Westboro Baptist Church are the ones who got it right. (I’m not linking to their site because they’re fucking crazy, but if you’re interested in checking it out the WBC’s website is called “God Hates Fags”).
I find it incomprehensible that if there actually is a “Supreme Being” who is Omnipotent and Omniscient he/she/it would be so ignorant. It’s illogical. And how can a “Perfect Entity” be illogical? Perfect means without flaw. Sending billions of people to Hell because they made a bad decision, even if it was made in good Faith, is flawed reasoning especially when the “Supreme Being” knows we’re only a few I.Q. points away from being Monkeys or Cats.
Hell, the Average person can barely write a Damn sentence, and I’m supposed to trust them to lead me down the path toward “Salvation?” I don’t fucking think so.
Either God is “Perfect” and this idea of “We Are the Only Ones Who Got It Right” is a bunch of bullshit or God is Imperfect and all bets are off.
Personally, my conception of “God” is nothing like the “Religious.” I see “God” as the Energy that makes up the Universe in which we live. All things: rocks, trees, Cats, Humans, O’Reilly’s finger are made of the same Energy and that is the “God” which binds us all. This idea of a White Bearded Elderly Man is odd to me, but whatever. I really have nothing against the idea of God, but I do have a problem with many of God’s Followers.
So, I’ll put the question to anyone who’s interested in adding their two cents. What do you think? I’d really love to hear from some of you who usually don’t comment. No one is going to attack you. Do you agree, disagree, do you have the answer to my question? I’d love to know.