I still hold to many traditional Christian beliefs, but I am not convinced trying to convert others to such beliefs is impacting the world in the way God hopes. Our agenda in converting others to our beliefs is not getting others to talk about how we can better love our neighbors. I do not apologize for suggesting we need more spiritually minded people. Anyone can love the lovable. In a troubled world there is also a need for mercy and forgiveness so healing can take place.
Some are certain there is a God but others may find it hard to believe in an invisible God. This doesn’t mean people are suppressing what God has clearly revealed to them. There are many rational reasons why one may find it hard to believe in an invisible God. Let’s not accuse those who believe as needing a crutch and those that don’t believe of being wicked and not knowing their feelings. If it is a sin to doubt God exists, then Christians sin if they doubt God in troubled times. Not being certain about God doesn’t have to be a reason for not pursuing spirituality.
Many are certain the Bible is God’s infallible words to us through selected writers. Many non-rebellious, spiritual scholars do not believe the gospels always record Jesus exact words but writers may have put words in Jesus’ mouth to express their interpretation of who Jesus is. Most can agree what a loving God is like similar to agreeing on what is moral or immoral behavior. We don’t have to convince others of what we may believe. What we need is to have graceful conversations so to work out our own convictions. We do know any view that leads to the violation of the rights of others is wrong.
Attempts to convert others to certain beliefs are not working. Church folks often do more harm than good when evangelizing others. People leave with even more of a negative perception of God. When people have hidden agendas and conversations are forced on others, we ruin chances of encouraging others to consider the importance of spirituality. Asking one if they believe Jesus died for their sins is a much different conversation than mutually discussing our desires to love others like we want to be loved.
People are leaving churches for a reason. Church attendance isn’t rising. People are just changing churches when a new show is in town. Jesus was absolutely convinced God’s ways lead to changes in relationship and in the world. Divorce often is necessary to protect the innocent party from the guilty. Jesus though did confront the mentality that it is ok to kick your partner to the curb to enjoy your current fantasy. This is wrong in marriage, business, or friendship. Such behaviors seem as prevalent among church-goers as those that don’t go to church. People don’t need to be converted or attend a church. People need to find relationships where they can be discuss becoming the type of person we need to become and often desire to be.
What I am certain about is we must pursue being more spiritual. Such conversations must not be forced on others, but I am convinced such discussions happen more if one less worried about converting others to their beliefs. Few object to the importance of treating others like you want to be treated. I am bias in what a relationship with God can do. Loving parents, just as God, can be an inspiration and support in a challenging world. God’s love and forgiveness can be our necessary nourishment that leads to life transformations. But, all leaders of the main religions have one main message – loving your neighbor as yourself – so relationships can heal and thrive.