"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction." -Proverbs, 1:7
Often when I speak to some group, people ask me about my faith specifically. Apparently it's very important for people to know exactly what doctrine I follow, what God I follow. First of all, God is God - there is only one God - one miraculous, all-powerful, divine Intelligence.
But anyway, the answer is that I'm Christian. I recommend Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation for more insight.
Are there other avenues to get oneself to God, to the limitless fountain of God's love?
Yes. In fact, I also resonate with Buddhist psychology and engage in Zen meditation. I once said this to a Christian fundamentalist at the gym, a man who is the principal of a local alternative public school for vulnerable youths, and he called me a new-age Satanist. Yup. Your tax dollars hard at work. Now I wear headphones when I go work out - volume up.
So are all those peace-loving Buddhists who have never even heard of Jesus Christ going straight to hell?
And if we believe that, we should pray, as this would indicate we are officially shut off. It indicates that we are no longer educable, that we have lost the ability to learn, change and grow. And, ah, it probably means we've never traveled anywhere.
I once read the Ten Precepts (sort of the Buddhist equivalent of the Ten Commandments) end with an 11th suggestion and final plea: Question everything, even this. Genius. I only knew how important that truly was after I felt the power and presence of God for a fleeting moment up North, a sudden flash that altered my mind forever. That is when I questioned every belief I had accumulated in the first 28 years of life. And now I have no problem being wrong. That is freedom - the willingness to be wrong.
Trust me, going around desperately trying to force our beliefs on others is a crystal clear indication that we aren't really sure what we believe, that we aren't really sure who we are. Why? Because if we were truly okay inside, there would be no need to preach. We preach to try to prove what we believe to ourselves, not to others. Preaching is a cover for insecurity. And yes, I am definitely guilty of this. Sure I write this blog and yes it's opinionated, but I do it because it is mildly informative and useful to bullshit addicts and their loved ones, not because I care at all that you believe me or follow me. I don't want followers.
I am simply fulfilling a promise I made to the solution that saved my life, a promise I made to the people who laid it at my feet, a promise I made to God... and those are promises I intend to keep.
God, we need You...