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Faith in a Divine Person
Dr. Dave Oester
Questions and Answers from our Readers
Question: Many religious people around me say that without a faith in a divine person, there is no meaning in life. As one person told me, he accepted God in his life because he couldn't answer the question, what is the meaning of life, why was he here on earth? In regards to your article about the afterlife, what is the meaning of life and how is this meaning discerned?
Answer: This is one of the questions the Mormons use in their missionary endeavors. This question is probably the most asked question anyone has ever asked. Perhaps the reason so many ask this question is because there is no single answer for it. Most Christian religious people feel that unless they have faith in a supreme being there is no meaning to life. However, those who have faith outside of the Christian mainstream concepts do not necessarily believe in a divine person, but rather in a divine energy. I know that most Christians feel lost if they donít have their divine person to hang onto for strength, but these same people will feel rejected if they find themselves in harmís way or suffer a reversal. I am not knocking Christianity, but it is relatively new and was forged from existing religions that existed for thousands of years before Christ.
It is true for some people that only through the practice of their religion do they find meaning to life. The question that might be asked is this: Is their meaning of life predicated on their social contact and is it based on doctrinal issues. It has been my experience that those who proclaim that religion is their meaning in life fail to examine the history of their religion. They accept the current teachings never realizing that there existed earlier versions perhaps as different as night is today.
Religion is a tool to provide strength and hope in a better life after death, but it also is the mechanism that controls its members in this life by the use of shame, guilt, and fear. Some people feel blessed to be religious while others feel damned because of it.
Letís get back to the basic question, what is the meaning of life? If you ask the Mormons they will tell you it is their version of Christianity, if you ask a Baptist, they will say it is their version. The same applies if one should ask a Catholic. Based on my own studies and research, the meaning of life is different for each person because no two people can walk in the same shoes or have the same experiences. Each individual is different and unique, just as there is no single pathway to God. God is in all things, and in all people, even if they do not accept it. There are many ways to reach a destination, some are easier and some are harder, but they all lead to the same place, some just takes longer. There is no single pathway to God.
The question of why we are here on the earth is like asking why are we born? There is no mystery as to a birth; one does not say what metaphysical explanation accounts for the pregnancy and the birth of a child. Religions attempts to narrow down the vision of life and make it fit the explanation they offer their members. The explanation does not have to be true; it just has to sound good and promises unlimited wealth in the future life.
Question: How do we find our meaning in life?
Answer: The answer is by opening our eyes and seeing life for what it is and what it is not. Slow down and smell the flowers as Sharon would say. Question everything, do not accept anything at face value, and always follow the money, it will lead you to the source. Never believe what you read in a newspaper or hear on television. The media is owned by democrats who order all news sanitizes before airing. Good example of how the media can distort facts is that it is now political correct to label everyone who opposes Obama as a racist. No more freedom of speech, now youíre a racist.
Life is life, and what we do with it is all left up to us. God does not require consultation as to what color shirt or tie one must wear each day, nor does God need to be consulted as to for every decision one has to make. I would suspect God expects us to think and act according to the understanding we have of the environment around us. This is offensive to some suggesting we are to act on our own and use our own common sense instead of asking God for everything under the sun.
I have friends who have to pray for guidance over every single decision they make in life, praising God or damning the Devil if their decision is faulty. Instead of saying they messed up and made a poor choice, they blame it on someone else. This is the same dumbing down we see in politics today. People believed Hitler rantís and raveís and rallied around him for a better life. I guess the German Jews discovered that this better life became an invitation to the gas chambers.
Instead of putting your hopes and future onto the shoulders of others, one should take responsibility for their own actions or lack of actions. So what is the meaning of life? From my standpoint as a ghost researcher, the meaning of life is all about learning the lessons in life that will make us better as human beings and learn to let go of emotional scars that will anchor us here in the Afterlife. Speaking of the Afterlife, it is not the religious version. The Afterlife is what we create for ourselves. For example, if we smoke in this life, we will be able to continue smoking in the life to come. If we feel we will go to hell, we will create our own hell in the Afterlife.
Look at how many of the Hollywood stars that get a face or boob lifts to improve their appearance, but a few years down the road they look like crap. Their values are on personal appearance and not on what they learned or what they have discovered about living. It is all about money, power, drugs, and sex. Death comes to all, both rich and poor. How you handle death is perhaps the meaning of life. If you require a divine person to hold your hand so you will not be scared then you have failed the test.
God is not a babysitter for those who are afraid to think for themselves. Remember the parable about the three men who were given talents, one to the first, three to the second and five talents to the third. A talent is like a gold coin. The first man buried his coin and came before the master and say I have protected it, but the master said that he was foolish and had not gained any increase because of having the coin. The other two men did increase their talents by investing wisely and were rewarded.
If we bury our talents because we are afraid of losing them, then we are foolish and unwise. Life is for developing talents, for helping people, not because some divine person may be watching us, but because it was the right thing to do. If our motivation is because of brownie points we are trying impress this divine person then we have failed as human beings. Life is for living so the day can come when we look back and see how our lives have influenced others, not how many prayers we have offered up, but how many people have we lifted up.
People ask if you have accepted God or Jesus, what a bunch of horse pucky, if your actions does not show that you believe in God or some other divine person, you are living a lie. You do not have to declare verbally that you accept God because our actions will so indicate it. Saying you accept God is like the parable of wearing your religion on your sleeve to be seen of men. In ancient times, men would sew marks into their sleeves showing their religious attainment in the Torah. This is similar today to those who preach on soapboxes of how religious they are and how God loves them.
God is not jealous or prideful so if we do not call his name a thousand times a day or bow down to him, God is not offended or jealous. If you have children do you require them to kiss your backside twenty-four hours a day, or do you want them to go forth and learn to be the best they can be? God is the same way. God wants us to be the best we can be in this life. So is this the meaning of life, forsake the manipulation of organized religion and learn to stand on our own two feet and then to reach down and lift someone else up to the level you are at as equals.
Everyone has their own meaning of life, for me, it is the freedom to think for myself and to act in the best possible way. Some people need organized religion to feel they have value; others like myself do not need it to feel that they have value. It is all about the individual, not about a cookie cutter that stamp out duplicate copies that fits all people. Do not be ashamed of being unique and individualistic, it is the mark of being alive. Do not be like the chicken who pecks around in the barnyard forever looking at the ground, but rather be like the eagle and soar to new heights and adventures beyond the horizon.
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