Why I Know I’m Right About My Beliefs
My vegetarian gay cousin has a board on Pinterest dedicated to religion, where he pins atheist quotes, some of them snarky. I hate it because it confronts me and makes me think. I’ve been tempted to unfollow this particular board, but I know better. More important than the valuable kick in the pants I get now and then is knowing, albeit through snippets on a social media site, my cousin’s opinion. I don’t agree with him, but I often feel we have more in common than I do with most of my other family members who, like me, are carnivorous heterosexual Christians.
If you’re expecting a post where I lay down all my beliefs, it ain’t happening. If you’re expecting a post where I deliver indisputable proof of the Christian G_d, it ain’t happening. Neither of those probably ever will. Been there, tried to do that. They were empty efforts that did nothing for the people I talked to or for me.
I guess this post – because I really don’t have a clear idea of what it is or will be, even as I write this – is more about where I am right now. I grew up conservative, listening to Amy Grant and Petra and feeling superior because I was good at making Western meanings out of the Eastern wisdom of Jesus that impressed adults and thinking there was just one right answer and all the wrong ones had dire consequences. I, of course, believed the Right Stuff.
It probably comes as no shock if I say I don’t believe everything I used to anymore. I’m done with the fear that I won’t be right. So much of my need to be right was based on fear – fear that even contemplating another point of view was a slippery slope to certain doom, fear that all the secret questions and deepest longings of my heart were just me wanting my ears tickled, fear of disappointing people with a stronger faith than I had.
How do I know I’m right now? Because I’m willing to be wrong. In fact, I’d rather be wrong about some of the things I believe about the incredible grace and wisdom and love of G_d than I’d rather be right about narrow paths and certain brands of “righteousness”. I’m far from being perfect in love, but giving up being right gave me a greater freedom to love. And I really do think that’s what G_d cares about MOST. Not faith in a particular doctrine. Not hope of heaven and resurrection. Just love.
Not that I don’t have faith, and certain ideas of that faith. Not that I don’t believe in some kind of eternity with some measure of expectation it will be in G_d’s presence. But the particulars? I don’t know. It’s not that I don’t care, just that I don’t care as much – anywhere near as much – as I used to about the finer points.
By now you probably realized I’m tongue-in-cheek about me knowing I’m right about my beliefs. But I do believe I’m right about one thing: We’re all loved, deeply and unconditionally.