A question of belief
I am amazed by the planet on which I live and the life in it and the universe in which the planet is found. I am filled with wonder and awe when I contemplate this amazing complexity and the development of this from the time of the so called “Big Bang”.
When contemplating this I have no need to recognise a supernatural presence in that universe. I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. These teachings reach out to me and touch a deep chord in my being. I acknowledge that some of the record of his life and death and supposed resurrection are implausible to me.
Forgiveness is sought from those who are wronged. There are things that I have done that I regret and people that I have hurt and contrition is an essential part of my being. I do not try to absolve myself from these acts however they are not carried as a burden. I use them as a reminder not to transgress again. My hope is to not repeat mistakes and to have goodwill to all.
It seems to me that the God of this world has no need of miracles or the supernatural to engage me. Rather these manifestations detract from the power of the teaching of Jesus on care for others. I am deeply drawn by the world and universe in which I live.
I have a deep respect for some of the teaching and record of the life of the Buddha and the Prophet Mohammed. I have respect for most of the great faiths including Hinduism, Shinto and others.
In my time there have been men of greatness who I respect and admire, these include Nelson Mandela and Gandhi.
Am I a Christian? I would accept that in the current doctrine of the Christian Church I would not be accepted into their communion.
I find worship in church to be restorative and am strengthened and encouraged by this and the inspiration and fellowship I experience there. This helps me to follow in the path of Jesus. I find that my spirit is uplifted by the music and liturgy. I am humbled and warmed by the fellowship of public worship and fellowship in the church family.
I accept that when I die I may not have a continued life however I see that for all life there is some influence continuing in the world following death.
My wish is to enhance all life.
Human consciousness is one of the amazing and complex mysteries. It may not be restricted to humans. This appears to have developed over millennia and as it developed humans seemed to have had a deep need to explain the world in which they lived and attributed that which was inexplicable to the supernatural which was in the form of god or gods with a consciousness in the same way as humans. In fact rather than God making humans in its image humans have made God in their image. To me God is an impenetrable mystery within me and therefore not inanimate yet not supernatural.
Can the inclusiveness of the Uniting Church welcome into full fellowship those who hold such beliefs and more reflect these in doctrine and worship?
David Palmer, Canberra.
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