Taste and See the Mystery
I tasted, and I saw that the Lord was good. At one point in my life, I did take refuge in God, the Almighty. However, my solid belief in the God of the Bible underwent severe trauma that severed my connection with him, or at least the concept of God I was led to believe from my exposure to Christian theology. When you remove absolute certainty that the words of the scriptures is divinely inspired, what do you have left to hold on to? Only experience.
So the question had to be asked: was my experience of God merely emotional excitement and fervour that is part and parcel of Christian ritual and celebration? When I face most Christians with the question on how we can be sure that the Bible is the Word of God, given that it is a collection of books that a group of men decided was divinely inspired, they merely point back to faith. They suggest a simple trust in God that he did guide this group, and the widespread acceptance of the Bible as ultimate truth attests to God’s intervention. I would concur that such trust exists in large portions of the world population – not just amongst Christians, but also Jews and Muslims, who all sharply disagree on this point of their particular perspective being the only true one (not all adherents do hold this position, but the majority do very much outweigh the progressives).
It seems to me to be supreme arrogance to assert that God has chosen a certain portion of the population, and a small one at that compared with the vast portion of the other major faiths. To those who would suggest that God does not choose, but the matter of faith is of free will, I would remind them that those born into strict Muslim families will never have the opportunity to exercise such free will to choose another path. This idea of free will is a fantasy very much restricted to democratic western societies.
Did I taste and see that the Lord is good, or was I merely trying to fulfill an emotional need? At this stage, even while I do find so-called evidence of the existence of God wanting, I find myself unable to assert that there is simply no God at all. I do not buy into the notion that God (or divinity, or Spirit) must in some way be an observable phenomenon to be considered true. Yet I do think that the arguments of atheism are important as a counter-measure to fundamentalist Christianity, given that the notions of God found there are more within the realm of fantasy than speaking to Ultimate Reality.
Ideas of God, whether derived from the Bible or from other sacred texts, are psychological projections. Human consciousness considered the vastness of reality, and has always had to dream up some kind of higher beings/Being to account for the wonderful world. Have we now outgrown God, now that we have evolutionary theory to account for much of what was previously a mystery? I would suggest that we let go of these ancient ideas of God, in much the same way as we let go of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and maintain the depth of mystery that has always held us together in awe and wonder. How this works, how it will progress in my own life, is an exciting and challenging journey.