I was talking with someone I love not long ago, and a comment was made about a religion I "liked" on Facebook. Well not so much the religion, but something to do with that particular church's page. It was as if the thought of me liking something to do with that particular denomination had to be a mistake. Now, do not misinterpret, this person loves me and was speaking from their heart, and I believe genuinely amused or taken back by the thought of me purposefully subscribing to this particular faith. I do not believe the intent was for me to be stuck thinking about it for nearly as long as I have been. Then again, I think about religion a lot.
I read about different denominations and their doctrinal similarities and differences. I wonder which church is the most closely representative of the church as Jesus established while here, walking among us. After all, neither you, nor I were here. In fact no one we know was. So how are we to know, I mean, really know the right answer to life's more elusive questions?
I have written about this before. Kind of. The truth is, I find myself contemplating the same set of questions over and over again. Most people of faith offer similar answers. "Find a church that is a bible believing church." "Read the bible and pray about it." You know, non-assertive, generic answers. I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, given to man, translated by many men over the course of many years, during many of which, average people were restricted access to and therefore taught from the perspective of other men, passed down through the last few thousand years, leading to numerous translations of that very same collection of books. This brings me to my point....
Have you ever played the game telephone? You stand in a line, or a circle and whisper the same sentence or phrase into the ear of the person next to you and so on until the last person says it out loud and the first person repeats the original statement. It is a fun game, because the last person usually says something outrageous and quite far from the original. How can we truly know that errors like that have not occurred in the translation of our most sacred text? I worry about that. Do you?
It's kind of humbling, for me. It makes me more tolerant of people's different takes on religion. I truly believe if we follow our hearts, and live our life as closely as we can to Christ's example, we will one day find ourselves in the presence of God. Now, if only I could find a church home that was full of people who love God, each other, and the community, who are able to look past people's differences and allow people to live as they see fit, and love them anyway. Well, I would be a very happy camper :0)