Title: Seek Ye First
Tags: Eunice Crankyponts God Atheist Agnostic Church
Blog Entry: I am a writing fiend these last few days! Here is another blog from my website: www.crankyponts.com I have not attended church in nearly a year now. For some reason, I feel guilty about it, too! Then again church is just a building and faith is a state of mind and spirit. I can honestly say that I have been spiritual in the time it has been since I set foot inside my church. I am always seeking the kingdom of God because it is not just behind a door or confined to a building. It is in every sunrise, sunset, rainstorm, child’s eyes, and well, you get my point. God and Christ are everywhere! Now, some out there who are atheists or agnostic would challenge me to prove to them that God and Christ exist; however, I do not feel that I have to prove anything because these are my beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Many would say that atheists worship the devil but I know differently. My brother espouses to be an atheist. An atheist is someone whom in a broad sense, rejects the belief in the existence of deities. This does not mean that they are evil. It is just that they do not believe that God or Christ exists. Agnostics are people that hold the view that any ultimate reality is unknown or unknowable. Essentially, they want proof that there is a deity or higher power, if you will. Again, everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions. For me, I hold no malice in my heart for atheists and agnostics because that would be un-Christian of me. I believe that they are still God’s children and have every right to believe, not believe, or reject the existence of deities. Now, Christianity has a long history. Christianity has many branches and I could not begin to list them all. For now, I will say that Catholicism is its own branch and there are no other sects underneath the heading of Catholicism. However, Protestantism has many branches under their heading. I could not begin to list them all but for now, I will say that I am Protestant who worships as a Methodist. There are other sects out there like, Congregationalists, Born again Christians, Lutheranism, Evangelists, and Episcopalians. The way in which, each church under the heading of Protestantism worships can be a little different but for the most part the core belief is that there is a loving God that watches over us and his only begotten son died on the cross so that we may live without sin. Yet, we all still sin. Heck, I am a confirmed Methodist and know that I have sinned greatly in my lifetime. Though, the premise in the Bible states that those who commit sin and ask God for forgiveness is relieved of that sin. Catholics hold confession to absolve themselves from sin by admitting to their priest (behind a curtain so the priest doesn’t know who they are talking to) and the priest tells them to pray, say a few hail Marys, and their sin will be absolved. I’m sure an atheist or agnostic might think this is ridiculous. I attended a comparative religions class while working on my bachelor’s degree and I found it very interesting that Buddhism, Taoism, Muslim-ism, and Judaism acknowledge the existence of Christ but there were very many interpretations of what Christ’s purpose was. Most held the belief that he was a prophet who spread the word of God. I wish I still had that textbook but when I moved to where I live now, I inadvertently donated all of my textbooks to the goodwill. OOPS! Incidentally, I find it very interesting that all of these religions do not reject the belief that Christ existed in history. They just have different beliefs of what Christ’s purpose was. I am a firm believer that he died on the cross so that we all shall live. Many people followed Christ. He espoused that all of us are children of his Father, God. I know it seems absurd that an immaculate conception could occur but it is my belief that it did. I cannot remember but one of the religions that I listed above has a story about Mary and states that she was raped and that is how she became impregnated. Being an educated person, I will not denounce that the miracle of immaculate conception occurred. I can only say that I believe because this is what I believe. People can argue with me but they cannot change my beliefs and in turn, they can believe what they want to believe. Though I am educated and believe that it is right and true to question many things but one thing I do not question is the existence of God and Christ because this is what I believe. Many theorists throughout history have questioned the existence of God and Christ. Many theorists have denounced the existence of both whereas others held tight to their beliefs that we are all innocent when born in to this world and that God and Christ exist. I’d list a few names here but I am at a loss right now. This is becoming a sermon on the mount-type blog. Incidentally my whole point in this blog is that I believe in the Holy Trinity. God, the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Though we do not hear much about the Holy ghost in sermons. The holy ghost is a spirit – a feeling, a mantra, if you will. It is an integral part of the Holy Trinity. I truly believe that I am being watched over by all in the Holy Trinity. My Christian beliefs guide me in my every day decision making. Heck, our government is based on religious beliefs. For instance, pull a dollar bill out of your pocket and look at the back of it; clearly, it says “In GOD we trust”. Many laws that have been invoked in our society are based on religious beliefs. Thou shall not kill; murder is illegal. Thou shall not steal; stealing is a crime. I could list many more legal issues that are based on the 10 commandments but they are escaping my mind at this point. I started this blog saying that I have not been to church in quite some time. This does not mean that I no longer believe that congregating with people means that I am not religious or spiritual. It merely means that I have formed a habit of not going to church. I believe that God is calling me to church. Not attending church does not take away from my Christian belief system either. I am learned in the Bible and could probably quote until I am blue in the face but I do not like to force my beliefs on anyone. I have had long conversations about being a true Christian with friends of mine. I grew up going to church, I sang in the church choir from the time I was eight until I graduated from high school. Then, I stopped attending. I had some things that had happened to me that made me question my faith but I never lost my faith. I just had to realize that I was being tested and had to rejoice in my adversities. I had to rise above them. I had to remember that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost had not abandoned me but they were with me every step of the way. I still have adversities but always rest assured in the knowledge that I am truly a blessed individual that has many friends, family, and my faith to support me. I’m sure many of you out there have heard of or have read the poem footprints in the sand. If not, check out this link: Footprints in the Sand . (hopefully the link will work here, on redhedd, because I am having a hard time inserting links). It is a beautiful poem in which, the narrator states she was walking with the Lord and at one point she had to overcome some adversity and looked behind and only noticed one set of footprints in the sand. Incidentally, she thought the Lord had abandoned her but when talking to the Lord, He stated that was the time in which, he was carrying her. Beautiful poem that speaks to me on so many levels. I am going through rough times right now and I cling to the belief that the Lord is carrying me through. I also know that he will lift me up out of this pit soon and at just the right time. This is why I need and want to go back to church. I want to shout from a mountaintop “Praise, God!” I am blessed in my life. Though things sometimes seem bleak and overwhelming, I know He is there and will bless me over and over again. There is a passage from the Bible from the book of Matthew 6:33 which talks about seeking the kingdom of God and all things with be given unto you. I attended a United Methodist summer camp from the time I was about 13 until I graduated high school and we would sing gospel music around the campfire. The one that stuck with me and reminds me of my faith the most is the following one which is an adaptation of Matthew 6:33. I will list it here: Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness And all these things shall be added unto you Allelu, alleluia Man does not live by bread alone But by every word That proceeds from the mouth of God Allelu, alleluia Ask and it shall be given unto you Seek and ye shall find Knock and the door shall be opened unto you Allelu, alleluia The essence of the Bible passage and this song is not that everything will be given to you if you pray or if you wish really hard, you have to seek out the kingdom of God, you have to seek out his righteousness. In other words, believe and do God’s work. Something as small as donating to your local goodwill, food pantry, volunteering at a homeless shelter, is doing God’s work and in that you are seeking the kingdom of God. You are not just working for God, you are seeking the kingdom of God. As I said in the fore mentioned, God doesn’t just reside behind the doors and under the roof of the building known as a church, it is the whole entire world. I seek God every day. I do his bidding. I give until my heart cannot give anymore. I may not be rich in financial matters but something as small as helping a neighbor plant their garden, lending an ear to a friend in need, assisting a friend in getting an apartment, and so many other things are being Christian. Christians are not evil (for those out there that are atheists and agnostics), we are just very giving and loving people who want to help because our faith has taught us that it is important to be this way. We are not doing these things because we believe it will get us in to heaven or that we will go to hell if we do not do these things. We just do it because it is the righteous thing to do. One last thing before I end. I want any atheist or agnostic out there to know that I know it is hard to hear or read that people believe in something that you question or reject but that does not mean that I, as a Christian, think you are going to hell. It just means that I think that maybe you not have not experienced the true miracle of God and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what you believe, disbelieve, and/or reject. Honestly, I do not believe in people that go from door to door espousing things from the Bible and I do not believe in those people who misquote the Bible and its teachings. I truly believe the Bible is a compilation of stories handed down from generation to generation and eventually it was printed for people to read. The true meaning of BIBLE means a series of books within one book. So, there are many authors, etc. and it is unacceptable to me that some people are so radical that they use the Bible to justify their actions. For instance, saying that being gay is a sin or blowing up clinics all because those radicals believe it is a sin to have an abortion. These people are not sinners and according to the Bible, people should not judge other people because according to the bible, God makes the final judgement of people. I would quote another passage but I am too lazy to look it up – its somewhere in the book of Matthew. Overall, my faith and beliefs say to me that God is loving and would not condone persecution of people. Christ was persecuted from the time he was born until his death on the cross for the sake of all of humanity to be relieved from sin. Nowhere in the bible have I read that God condones violence toward and the persecution of others. Okay – this blog is about 2,300 words long and it is time for me to stop even though I can go on ALL day. I only hope my message doesn’t get lost in translation. Essentially, I am just justifying my actions of returning to church and all the reasons why I want and need to. I hope no person who reads this is offended in any way, shape, or form because this was not my intention. Love to all who read, Eunice Crankyponts There were no animals harmed in the making of this blog; however, I hear a dog barking in the backyard.
VIEW FULL VERSION: Link