I consider myself an agnostic when it comes to discussions about god.

It doesn’t matter which god we’re speaking about – I don’t care if you’re speaking of God, Jesus, Allah, Thor, Zeus, Ra or any of the other thousands of gods that have been worshiped on this planet since humans came into being.

Do I believe there is something greater than humans and human intelligence?  Yes.

Do I believe in something greater than humans the way religion (any religion) says I must believe?  No

How can I hold both beliefs?  In my mind, it’s easy.  There is an order to our existence that speaks to something larger than what we can currently explain with logic, reason and science.  I hold every confidence that things that are currently unexplainable now, will have a logical explanation in the future.

One only has to look at history, and acknowledge it, to know this to be true.  For example, at one time, people believed the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it.  Beliefs that were held only a few decades ago are even now being challenged.  Young teenagers today have no idea what it means to wait for the internet to connect, or the meaning behind the phrase “dial a phone number”, or that remote controls (for anything) didn’t exist at one time.  Imagine what people a hundred years from now will believe about our current beliefs?

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t think someone is going to hell just because they love someone of the same sex as themselves.

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t believe that going to a specific gathering on a specific day with specific people for a specific reason and performing specific actions will ensure my soul rests peacefully in heaven for eternity.

Because I’m agnostic, I will not dismiss your claim of having an “out of body” experience of “seeing the other side” of this life and what it will offer us.

Because I’m agnostic, I find it hard to believe that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, that they won’t open to another unknown experience.

Just because I hold these beliefs for myself, does not mean I will condemn you for holding different beliefs than I do.  Just because I don’t believe the way you do does not mean that I won’t think about ways to make your spiritual journey easier for you.

Recently, I purchased a book for a close relative of mine who is just starting on her spiritual walk with Jesus.  Upon seeing the book, I instantly thought about her and how she might enjoy it on several different levels, including the religious one.  The day I gave it to her, her mother saw it and commented to me, “This is a surprisingly thoughtful gift for someone who claims to not believe in God.”

I replied with, “Just because I do not believe does not mean that I’m going to dismiss your, or anyone else’s, beliefs.”

“I know.  Just know that I still pray that you’ll change your mind one day.”

I looked at her for a moment and asked, “How would you feel if I stated, ‘I hope you quit believing in God’?”

She replied with a startled look, “I would tell you that’s not going to happen!”

While our conversation continued, all I could think was, “Ditto.”

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