The Path(s) to GodPosted: 9 November 2010
Hands up – coming clean – I am a Christian. The chances are, you wouldn’t know this about me unless you really know me. I have never been the type to stand on a soapbox to proclaim my beliefs for all to see. I don’t even share them with other Christians (unless asked) because in my 26 years of being a follower of Christ I have encountered more hate, rejection and derision inside a church than out of it.
That being said, I am still a Christian. I call myself an unconventional one, and this is why.
I believe in a God who loves indiscriminately, in a Jesus who died to save all. I believe the barriers to God are placed there by human beings. I believe there’s a difference between the words ‘faith’ and ‘religion’ – one is the path to God, and the other is just human frippery. I love cathedrals; I believe they are both awe-inspiring testaments to belief and an irreplaceable part of the English landscape. I have been blessed since childhood with the innate knowledge that there is someone up there looking out for me.
I believe that I do not and will not ever know everything. I believe that science is a celebration of creation. I believe that God is everywhere; in the city, in the country, in the sea, in the sky. I believe that you don’t have to go to a building marked ‘church’ to believe. I believe that ‘God’ is just a name we use for a presence in our lives which could never be described with words.
I believe that no one has the right to judge another human being. I believe that the similarities between people are more important and more numerous than the differences. I believe that nothing you can do will ever take you so far away that you will never be forgiven. I believe that God loves homosexual and transsexual people for who they are, and that discrimination is something purely invented by humans who choose to remain ignorant rather than make the effort to understand.
I believe there are many paths to God, all of them different, and that everyone should be free to follow theirs. I believe that the path to God you choose for yourself will be the only right one. I believe that what you are taught by others on that path will never be half as important as what you discover for yourself. I believe it is important to stand up for yourself when someone challenges you for your choice of path, because if you don’t, no one will.