What is your attitude to renewing?
Are you someone who avidly looks for the best bargain every time something comes up for renewal? Or are you someone who sticks loyally with one firm, believing in the motto that ‘if they’ve done you well then you will stick with them.’
With my Dad, the idea of changing what he’d always done was more to do with effort than anything else. He’d say things like:
- “It wasn’t worth it . . .”
- “It’ll only be a matter of a few pounds . . .”
- And, “what’s happened to loyalty these days?”
I tended to think that he couldn’t really be bothered. He liked the ease, and the comfort, of simply agreeing to a renewal; job done. That was so much easier.
I think that is why most of us don’t take spiritual things seriously. You see, it takes too much effort. To be honest, it’s easier not to consider them at all. There is enough going on without being bothered about religion. And so, a bit like my Dad, a whole bundle of things come tumbling out of people:
- “Aren’t all religions just the same . . . ?”
- “And, you Christians, you’re just arrogant in asserting that your faith is the One.”
- “There all ways to the same God . . . “
- “Everyone has a bit of truth . . . no one religion has got it all.”
However, if we stopped to look, we’d find that all religions aren’t the same. Every religion is at odds with the others:
- The Hindus believe in a multitude of gods.
- Those who are Sikh’s believe in one god, their founder rejected the Hindu belief.
- Buddhists also rejected Hinduism and a belief in god altogether.
We could examine as well, the differences between the Jewish faith, Christianity and Islam. Each of us know that we disagree in major areas.
Now I’d say that we’ve all got enough of life’s learning to realise they don’t all fit together! Yet, we in the West, try and assert that they are all the same! They all believe in the same God. They are all going in the same direction.
Atheists are particularly strong on these things. And yet, according to figures in 2001, 2.5% of the world’s population are atheists. Are we to believe that they have the knowledge that the other 97.5% of people on the planet don’t?
To be truthful, we can’t be bothered to look!
Suppose I was able to convince you, through hypnosis, that the room you are presently in is the sum total of reality; that nothing exists outside the four walls. If you came to believe that suggestion of mine, even for just a few minutes, instantly your life would shrink. Your hopes, dreams, concerns, troubles and desires, would be limited to the items before you. Your social network would go! Your fashion sense, if you have one, would be reduced to the clothes you are wearing right now. Life would become incredibly small.
Yet, with all our busyness, our material possessions, our families, gardens, bikes, cars, homes, friends, music etc., we tend to live like that.
If I did hypnotise you like that, there would be things that would tend to rock that image. The sound of a voice carrying on the air from outside. The soft rumble of cars or trucks, or the sound of a bird singing, and, if my powers were good, you would suppress those sounds. Explain them away. Say they were just wishful thinking.
What about the sunlight that is creeping into your life?
I guess you’ve noticed ‘those sounds’, or to put it another way, you’ve noticed the sunlight creeping in. People talk about there being something more. About events, people come out with the statement, ‘these things all have a purpose’, and we discover in life, that thoughts of the spiritual, and the sense of something bigger crop up all over the place.
Why not try and seek to look outside the room?
Here is a challenge for you. There are three religions that you can check out to see if they are true. Unlike many other religions, the original writings, or their teachings came through dreams or visions. So it’s not possible to verify those. Who knows that what they were told was true? You can believe it, but no-one can check it out.
However, three religions can be checked out. They stand or fall by this checking and Christianity is one of those. It can be checked out because it’s based on a real man, in real time and space.
As one writer puts it, Christianity puts its head on the block for you to analyse it and see if it stands up to scrutiny. If it is found not to be true—then forget it. But, if it is found to hold water—then, it’s really worth a look.
You could check it out: the documents themselves. Do they hold up? Do other writers confirm the things the NT says? Do the Gospels have integrity? Did Jesus rise from the dead?
But, will you be bothered to look?
The ideas for this article came from reading If I was God, I’d make myself clearer, written by John Dickson. A book that is available from The Good Book Company whose link is on the ‘links’ page.