I think by now it is safe to say I no longer identify as a Christian. While I still see myself as a wholly spiritual person and devote to a spiritual practice, I do not identify with any religion in particular.
That said, I have continued to read the Bible as part of my spiritual practice. Well to be a bit more honest, for a long time after dealing with spiritual turmoil and grappling with doubts in my faith it was really difficult for me to hold the holy text in my hands. So it sat on my bookshelf for the past few years. Collecting dust. I didn't see the purpose in reading it ever again. Until recently.
This year I've decided before I can fully doubt the words of the Bible, I have to fully study it. So I picked it up again. This time when I read it, I gained a newfound meaning for spirituality and the purpose of the Bible.
It is as if I am now seeing God through a new lens. This new lens has made it easier for me to read the Bible again.
With this newfound perspective on faith and spirituality, I sat down and reflected on how God and the Bible appears to me now. This lead me to list what I currently hold to be true about the Bible, my faith in God and my spirituality.
What I Now Hold To Be True
- The Bible is not a book of rules that can be directly applied to modern times. Instead it reflects a code of ethics that has changed throughout time and across cultures.
- The Bible is a library of books documenting the human experience of God over thousands of years.
- The Bible reflects humanity's ever expanding moral consciousness.
- Though divinely inspired, being written by humans the sacred text has been subject to error. The sacred texts of the Bible is not infallible. It has been proven to have many errors, as expected.
- The Bible is based on the limited knowledge of the human race at the time it was written. Using current understanding of the times to make sense of the world around them.
- Ex: In the Bible Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. At the time many believed the sun revolved around the earth. We now know it is the earth that revolves around the sun. Reference: Joshua 10:12-13
- It is possible to believe in God and develop a sense of spirituality based on scripture while whole-heartedly believing the Bible in it's entirety is not purely based on facts.
- Jesus was a devoutly religious man who's teachings had a profound impact on the world much so that he was revered by humanity as the son of God.
- Humans, being created in the image of God is a reflection of the inter-sexed nature of God. Of god being both feminine and masculine, mother and father, nurturer and provider.
- Church isn't confined to a physical structure. God exists within us. So wherever I am, God is.
While there are some things I am now more certain of, I must admit there are still a few things I have not yet received clarity on.
What I Am Seeking To Understand
- Is there truly an afterlife? It has become harder and harder for me to believe in a benevolent God who will punish humanity solely based on whether or not they've followed a simple set of rules. Of course, we all believe in morality. But seriously, will God truly ever doom well meaning, devout Hindu, Muslim, and Witches to hell simply because they are not Christian? With all the good that Mahatma Gandhi has done for humanity, would it make sense for his spiritual destination to be in hell? Or does God make an exception. And what are the terms and conditions of this exception? Hell doesn't make much sense to me. For this reason, I lean towards the belief that heaven and hell is in the here and now until I am able to sort things out.
This is a working list, as I am growing and developing as a spiritual being. Overtime, I am sure this list will expand and change.
Overall I 've learned how much I still enjoy reading the Bible. I regard it as a sacred text which helps me to feel much closer to the divine. When I read the Bible I can still feel God speaking to me, so I will continue to make it apart of my spiritual practice.
Books I've Actually Read
Books On The Wishlist
*I am in no way affiliated with any of these authors or Amazon. I am sharing these resources based on reviews or I have found them to be quite helpful on my spiritual journey.