Patheos has recently challenged bloggers to respond to the question, in 200 words or less, “Why I am a……” (whatever religion they are) Ok, so I sort of went over the word limit, and I am not sure I got my response in on time, but here it is:
Why I am a Freelance Spiritual Seeker
I have never been a detail person. I like the “big picture” story about everything from the daily news to the stock market.
The individual religions each carry a story that is too small for me to buy. “If Jesus is the only way, how would the people born before him have been ‘saved?’” “How would people born in parts of the world where Christianity is unknown be saved?” “Why would we even want a God who excluded so many people from his graces?”
It is not hard to use reason to refute the particular proclamations of any given religion. But once we take a step back from our easily refuted smaller stories, it becomes obvious that people from all civilizations, from all centuries, from all parts of the world have each developed some form of spirituality that was appropriate to that culture at a given time.
The bigger picture story is that humans seem to share a universal need to connect with something larger than themselves. It seems each individual religion was created by one group of people as their way to explain the universal human need for connection.
Years ago, when people all lived in one place all their lives, it was normal to only believe in one religion. Now, with global communications, we should be coming to see that all religions support worthwhile values, and all of them contain truths. Each religion provides details about one group’s search, but cannot provide the full picture of the spiritual reality. While each religion tells a small story, the bigger story could never fit into one culture’s version of the Truth.
Why limit ourselves to one religion, when there are so many other forms of spiritual mystery to explore?