God & Religion

Things seem to be going pretty well right now, though I do tend to have my own problems, one of which I had to somewhat express to the people that I was doing that church publication for.

For now, it seems that I can get back to focusing on mainly what I enjoy doing, such as the reviews that I have been known for, as they might let me go, realizing that I am not exactly an ally of the church I belong to.

However, as they have kind of gotten the wrong idea about me, mainly due to the fact that I could not go into the kinds of details that I present in my reviews, such as why I think that my thoughts now are closer to the truth, they thought that it would be a good idea for me to do some opinion posts here, even though they either had no idea that this place existed or, if they did, what it really contained.

Today, I thought that I would try doing an opinion piece not related to either of the three kinds of things I would normally talk about, especially because I suspect that they might be visiting the server this week.

In a recent church service, people were going on about how the religion helped them out of their predicament and that god was real, as well as the fact that the teachings of that church are the only way back to god.

While I enjoyed hearing about how it has helped some people, as a church should, otherwise, I would not have recommended a few people go to just talk about their problems, I do not really subscribe to the idea that it is the true church.

First off, what makes me believe this is verse 8 of chapter 55 of Isaiah in the King James Version of the Bible, which says, “For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

In the many years I have been in that church, at least prior to learning what I know now, I never really understood what this meant, because I was much more naive in thinking that there are not people like Yokoya and Harimoto from Liar Game, who do things in order to get what they want, and that people can actually be happy.

However, recently, I have realized that that church cannot really make people as happy as the characters I have come across in my readings, such as Kotomi Ichinose from Clannad, who was abandoned by her childhood friend and left alone by all of the adults in society after her famous parents died in a crash, and Oz, Gilbert, and Alice were finally together at the end of Pandora Hearts.

Instead of the kind of happiest that I see from them, I see the church that I belong to guiding people into the worst state of apathy possible, because every Sunday, they espouse how great the church is and that the fifteen people with the most authority in its organization really are called of God, when many of the recent conference talks of the century, if not the recent decade, seem to be trying to persuade people to do what they want them to do.

Unfortunately, this not helped by the fact that the church I go to talks about doubt way more than apathy, when the latter ends up being far worse, especially since the mother of Shinichi Akiyama, from Liar Game, fell victim to that worst form of apathy, which Akiyama later comments on by saying the following:

I got to see many terrible people inside the giant MLM I once worked to destroy. But the worst of them all were the vast numbers of people in it who really believed they were doing good, when they were actually deceiving others. They hadn't the slightest clue what they were doing. Simply because they were trying to avoid picturing just how much pain they were inflicting on others by their actions. Not giving it a single thought, a state of complete apathy. The true evil is becoming apathetic about other people.

Like what was being warned about, the fifteen or so people that have the most authority in the church I attend tends to think that what they are preaching is really out of love and that doing what they say actually makes people happy.

Unfortunately, there are some that were considered quite loyal to the church, even going through the less widely known ritual called the second anointing, such as Tom Phillips, according to his home page on MormonThink, who ultimately learn things that shatters the beauty they thought they knew, especially considering that even chapter 19 of the Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual suggests that the church does not want people to know about it, even though it kind of also acknowledges that it did exist.

The thing that I suspect might be going through your head now is probably a question wondering about what religion is actually correct.

Unfortunately, because I get visitors from around the world, and I kind of have an idea of how churches like the one I attend actually work, I cannot really recommend one religion over another, or even tell you which one you should not join.

All I can say is that despite the many different beliefs out there, even the ones that I actually like about the church that I attend, such as actually striving to be a better individual, there is no church, or even human being, that is any closer the truth than another, especially ones that claim they have the complete and uncontaminated truth, like the church I attend claims.

Many of you might be saying that I should just pray and that I will find out for myself what is true, much like the quote from the first chapter of James in the King James Version of the Bible found in what the church I belong to considers the official account of it's founder's inspiring vision, when it even acknowledges in an article on its site that there is more than one version of the story.

However, from my own experience, doing things like this is not good for individuals like me, who have to be aware of our emotional state, and know that the feelings that the church I attend says is the Holy Ghost can be mimicked by our emotions, thus the answer that we think we may have received might be our own will, instead of God's.

This will lead me, and everyone else who knows about this issue, to wonder then how one can really know if the answer is of God, of the Devil, or of oneself.

When I posed this dilemma to some people I know, I received two different kinds of answers, and even a third one, when a church leader brought up the question publicly.

First, I was told to pray more than once, but obviously, considering that humans are highly emotional creatures, since an article by Jim Camp on the Big Think website and another article by Michael Levine on the Psychology Today website suggests that our emotions play an important role in decisions, this is actually going to make us further believe that our answer is what God wants.

Second, I was told to try to determine whether what I thought was really in line with God.

However, this poses two different problems.

First, what if my answer was already in line with what God's will?

As we are taught, at least in the church I attend, that we literally came from God himself, this is not something that would be unusual, because many of us grow up to have some of the same, if not the same, beliefs as our parents.

On the other hand, this also leads into the second problem, which wondering is what exactly is God's will.

While many from the various religions will say that one can learn God's will from their scriptures, the scriptures themselves can be interpreted in various different ways, including ways in which it is suggested that that church may not actually be as true as they claim to be.

Still, if I were to give my take on what God's will is, I would say that it is a combination of the things that I know that the church I attend got right, such as the fact that we need to strive to be better people, with the following letter written to Kotomi Ichinose from her parents in the Clannad visual novel:

To Kotomi.

The world is beautiful...

Even if it's filled with tears and sadness…

Still, open your eyes…

Do the things you want to try…

Become the person you desire…

Go and search for friends…

Don't rush things and grow up slowly.

It's the teddy bear we found in a gift shop. We searched and searched, but this was the biggest one we could find.

We did not have time so we couldn't send it via the airport.

Our lovely Kotomi.

Happy Birthday.

From that letter, and the fact that the church that I attend teaches that we are children of god, the message presented is one that I think that a loving god would feel for the people he put on this planet, not one in which a person is told that they are not spiritual because they are much more introverted than extroverted.

After all, in Silver Spoon, which I reviewed on the last day of 2015, Aki Mikage expresses admiration in horses because even though they are timid, they understand humans very well, and they care about those close to them, which is something that one cannot do if you act like an extrovert and try to gather friends without even learning about each one, which can also help in giving them meaningful gifts.

The third thing suggested then was to just act upon the feeling.

While this is the much more practical approach to find out for yourself, it presents another problem, as it encourages us to act on impulse.

For example, let us say that I am out on the street and a person talks to me and, some time later, I feel like punching the guy in the face.

If I act on it, it would be considered assault and I would have done something wrong, but because it was something that I felt I should do, I could also say that I was prompted to do it.

Likewise, if I were to take a scenario where I felt like doing something for somebody, and I choose to do it, I could say that I did it because I was prompted.

In either one of those cases, I would be acting on impulse and acting on impulse is not always the right thing to do.

By knowing all of this, I have resolved myself to actually do what I feel is right, not because it is something that somebody told me that I need to do, and I would find out if I was actually in line with God or not, because even though I do not think there is any religion that is correct, I do believe that God does exist, especially considering that one must define what is a miracle to say what is not a miracle.

What are your thoughts on God and religion? If you believe there is a god, do you really think that there is a religion that teaches the complete and uncontaminated truth or are you a deist, who does not think any religion will get you closer to God? Leave a comment below.

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.