What or Who is God?

by Clayton
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I’m often asked the question if I believe in God. Since I listen to metal music, people often associate my taste in music with atheism or Satanism. Well let me clear the air and explain what my religious beliefs exactly are.

I was baptized into a Catholic when I was a baby. I attended a Christian Elementary- and Secondary school. I’ve had my first Holy Communion and was confirmed at the Easter Vigil. This means that I am religiously allowed to become a godfather and to get married. 🙂
(Read more about the Catholic Church on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church)
Even though I’ve been through all of these rituals, I’ve never been raised religiously. I was never forced to go to church on Sundays by my parents; the only time I went to church was with the school. Later I did decide to attend church on Sunday mornings, but that was in total honestly only because my cousin was doing so on a regular basis and it was a way for me to see him during the weekend. I used to bike to his house early in the morning and from thereon we both went to church. And what may come as a shock to a few; I even was a server boy for a few years. Once again, I was simply following my cousin.

But after a while I started to feel a bit of a discomfort in the church. Questions started to rise; questions that never really got answered. Questions like: why would a loving God create a fiery pit to cast out the humans that have sinned, when he promises to forgive all sins? Why would a loving God create chaos and disaster to his loving people? Why would a loving God punish those he loves so much? Why would got create gay people, but cast them out into hell? These are just a few of the many questions that had entered my mind.

Another reason why I eventually stopped going to church is the infamous fainting incident. I wasn’t about to write about this and had already published this blog post WITHOUT this story, but my best friend insisted on me telling the story, so fine. I’m doing this for your entertainment.

As I already mentioned above I used to be a server boy in church for a few years. On one Sunday morning I was late as usual and had to rush to get to church. The keys to the storage room, where my bicycle stayed in, were locked inside the storage room, as it has been many times before. So I had to crawl through the window to locate the keys, open the door and head to church. I was just in time and rushed to prepare myself for the ceremony. Half way in the ceremony as I was sitting at the side of the alter, I started to feel unwell. I hadn’t eaten anything; I had rushed myself on the road and had a thick robe on top of my clothing. After I tried to stand up after kneeling during the prayer my head started to spin. I started feeling very warm and cold at the same time and I remember whispering to one of the other boys that I’m not feeling well. As I tried to walk forward it all went blank. Next thing I remembered was me lying on a table in back office of the church, someone trying to take up my robe as two others tried to fan air for me. I wasn’t exactly sure if I was dreaming or not, but quickly I realized that I had lost consciousness. I was served with a tall glass of milk and bread to regain my strength. The milk tastes nasty by the way… hey, I had lost consciousness, not my ability to taste 🙂
Afterwards my head felt hot, but this time not from a lack of nutrition, but out of embarrassment.
After that day I was traumatized and felt a few symptoms of fainting every time I went to church, but I think it was all mostly in my head. But all of that is over now. If my memory serves me right it has been over 10 years that all of this has happened.

Back to the original topic:
Later in my teen years I came across a new religion called Wicca
(Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca)
It took me a time to decide to change religious beliefs and for a few short years I used to call myself a Wiccan. I still have most of the reading material stored on my bookcase. At the time I thought that I had found the religion that suited me best. But I had to keep the practicing hidden from my parents and a few others around me, because the religion is often confused with Satanism. Eventually I got tired of the hiding and also found myself having less time to practice.

Eventually I simply defined my religious beliefs as being Agnostiic.
(Read more about Agnosticism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism)
So, I’ve stopped following any specific religion. I however do believe that there’s a driving force behind this great Universe that we live in. There are things out there that are beyond our human imagination. I believe that there must be something out there, but I don’t believe that the world is controlled by a big man up in the sky that pulls the strings to a puppet show.
For me “God” is figuratively; a way of thinking, rather than a person. By that I mean:
To Stephanie “God” can be a man up in the sky controlling us all;
To Peter “God” can be a the sun and the moon, which give him energy;
To Tom “God” can be the wax doll in the shrine of his living room;
To Mary “God” can be a rock that gives her hope that her son is still alive;
To Alexander “God” can be the charm bracelet on his wrist.
Do you see where I’m going with this?

I do get the whole concept of believing in a God.
It’s an easy excuse to blame your problems on or an easy way to find comfort in desperate times.
Let me tell you the story of a moment in life when I thought I was about to die in a plane crash.

It was back in September 2006. I was on a trip to the Netherlands with my mother and little brother and about 1-2 hours into the flight we were hit by a sudden wave of heavy winds. The plane went out of balance and was descending at rapid speed. I could feel the blood rushing through my veins and for a moment I was unable to think. I quickly regained my thoughts and looked around me. To my right, my brother was screaming and started praying; the lady sitting next on my left , nearly fainted and as I looked around me I saw more people with terrified faces, silently praying. I wasn’t sure what to do myself. Praying at that point really didn’t have a point. Instead I tried to comfort my little brother. I literally thought I was going to die in a couple of minutes, but in the movies the people that are about to die, their life flashes before their eyes; mine didn’t, so I was unsure what to think. But before I could decide on my final thought the plane was brought back in balance by the pilot. This may sound like it lasted long, but it happened at rapid speed. But even in danger I am able to think. I don’t easily panic.

So, I see the need for people to believe in a higher power and I do believe that there are forces out there beyond our understanding, but I don’t think I could be able to live by a specific religion anymore. And I most certainly won’t live by hundreds-of-years old book written by MAN, telling me how to live my life. I live my life open-minded, honest, try to do good where I can, respect others and their opinions and am a friend to all whom like to be my friend.
As if for heaven or hell? I’m not sure. It does sound like a nice way to scare the kids into doing good.
I believe in reincarnation until your destiny in live is fulfilled. When does the cycle end? I do not know.
I think all religions are the same; we just pray in different ways.
FUNFACT: I’ve never read the Holy Bible in my 23 years of existence.

But actually I really don’t like to take part in religious debates, for everyone has the right to believe whatever they want and who can tell who is right and who is wrong? I usually keep my opinions to myself when it comes to this topic.

So that’s my story.
I’m not an Atheist; not anti-religion; I am not Satanical, not a Wiccan.
I label myself as Agnostic.

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