Monday, 12 September 2011

A conversation with myself about faith!

Somebody said something to me which caused me to think deeply about the nature of my faith. She were talking about a friend. He is one of the most gentle, honest and Christian people she knew. He tried more successfully than anybody to live out the spirit of the Gospel. Now he has terminal cancer. He is in pain and tries even now to be cheerful. What my friend asked was where is God in this. Indeed , she asked, where is God in such a strife ridden and evil world.
It is very hard to answer all these questions. It is very hard to retain ones faith in the light of these happenings. However, Jesus never offered a perfect life for everybody. If God has given us free will, we cannot expect Him to interfere all the time. Another thought is that a great deal of the strife caused in the world is man made. God, in my mind, did not order anybody to crash planes into the twin towers. God did not order soldiers to bomb or kill other humans whether other soldiers or civilians. Transport accidents are caused by human error whether from the operators, the crew or the designers and builders. Even starvation in the world is to a large extent man induced. It is solvable if only we had the will to solve it. If the same amount of resources was deployed in getting help to starving people as is deployed to rain bombs onto innocent peoples heads, the problem would be readily handled. Even natural disasters have some element of mans culpability. We have the know how to be aware of where the danger lies and to mitigate the likely effects of the danger. Usually greed nd corruption play a big part in those in authority ignoring the danger signs. Again, if everybody paid their fair share of taxes including the rich who get away with things, governments would be able to afford more socially cohesive policies.
As most religions exhort their followers in some way " Do unto others what you would have them do to you. Or Love thy neighbour like yourself. If the peoples of the world followed the maxim of love and sharing, many of the problems of the world would disappear.
There seems to be a need in most people for some form of spiritual background to their lives. Let us all try to live up to those ideals of the main religions and make the world a better place.

As this extract from my novel A CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE shows.

" Do you still go to church when you are at home? " Karen asked as they climbed the stairs to her bedroom. " I can't recall you going to church while you have been at the university."
" Yes I still go sometimes when I am at home though I think it is more out of loyalty to mum and dad than out of any true conviction," Jim observed. " It is pleasant for us all to go together as a family."
He lent against the bedroom door frame for a moment lost in thought. "Actually, I suppose it is not only out of loyalty to my parents. There is something about going to church on a Sunday morning that attracts me as well. I can't really explain what I mean to anybody else. Let’s face it. Most of my friends would wince if they heard me talk like this. When I walk through the door of the church after shaking hands with the elder, a sense of peace descends, a peace that has nothing to do with the people in the church or with the building. It is something to do with the atmosphere in the room. As the elders and the minister come into the church preceded by one of their number carrying the bible, a feeling of expectation fills the air. It is not the same excitement and expectation which fills a crowd at a football match but a sense of being part of something far more important than mere earthly problems. There is a joy in the hymn singing that does not accompany even the most popular songs. It is as though the congregation is uplifted by their singing and the music, as though they truly believe in the words they are singing. During the prayers, the silence is such that you could hear a pin drop. There is this feeling that all would be well in the world if only everybody would listen to the message. It is strange for an iconoclast like me but during the communion I have felt the presence of somebody else, inside but outside of me so to speak. I know most Christians are sinners during the week and saints on Sunday but they do attempt to follow their creeds. So you see it is not only out of a sense of loyalty to my parents which makes me go to church with them while I am at home."
Karen looked at Jim, her eyes wide with a sense of wonder. " I have never heard you talk like that about anything before."

A Ceremony of Innocence 
Edmund Gubbins 
can be purchased through     Amazon or downloaded via Amazon to Kindle, iPad or PC.