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What Value Is Faith?

I’ve been accused of not having faith, because I don’t attend church services. Its usually said with a bit of derision, or pity it seems. It’s true I don’t attend anymore, this is because I found way too much hypocrisy and self righteous judgment going on in the church for my taste.

Faith isn’t about perfect attendance to services or how much money you put on a little plate, or meditating each day on the divine. Its about what you believe in.

In my life I’ve come across way too many self proclaimed “faithful” that are out and out jackasses, or incredibly unethical, or bigots, or even criminals. These same people seem to be the quickest to accuse me of not having faith, in what appears to be an attempt to show me what a better person they are than I. I have to ask what value is your faith if you live your life this way? Having faith obviously (to me) is not what makes us a good person as some would have us believe. Conversely, lack of faith by whatever definition you choose for it doesn’t make you a bad person either.

More important than faith is a inner desire to be better, and nobler and kinder than you are. It’s about making sacrifices for others, its about being selfless and doing what is right, even when there’s not going be anyone telling you what a hero you are. It’s about having ethics and morals and integrity, even when it means taking the hard road.

This is what I teach my children. I encourage them to attend church services (of all denominations) and find myself in discussions of religion and faith with them from time to time. I also encourage them to think for themselves, to be responsible for their actions, and to carry on through life in a way they will be proud of.

Far too many people seem to think that having faith and attending services justifies their living their life selfishly, or worse. If you want to fault me for not going to Sunday services you have every right do so, but no freaking way can you tell me that you are a better person than me because you do!

Church is a positive thing for many many people. I recognize this, and agree with it, but to say someone’s lack of religion (or, heaven forbid following the “wrong” religion) is overstepping the bounds.

I know who I am. I am mostly happy with who I am. I sleep very well at night with this knowledge. That’s what really matters.
daltxn daltxn 46-50, M 5 Responses Sep 20, 2012

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Lovin' this...and I totally agree^^ I love that who know who you are and aren't afraid to show it:)

OK, my latest. Someone had the nerve to chastise my daughter for having the "wrong" bible. What kind of narrow minded bullshxx is that? Now I do understand that people have their favorite bibles, but give me a break. Have some respect, whether it's King James, the the Bardo Thödol, or the Torah, or the Koran. You have every right to practice your faith the way you want.

I'm sure I've offended some people even acknowledging these other religious tomes, but I truly believe everyone should be able to believe whats in their soul. The billions of people on this earth that believe in non-traditional religions can't all be going to hell for it. Maybe that's taking the criticism of a particular bible version a bit far, but lets show some tolerance here.

I agree with you 110%.

I agree with everything you said. God knows where your heart is. You definitely do not have to attend sunday services in order to prove your faithfulness toward the most high. The so called "church congregation" are nothing, but hypocrites to pass judgement upon you anyway. I attend church services for the word. I have yet to feel a spiritual connection to anyone in the church I used to attend. They were to busy tearing someone down instead of lifting them up
Well done! Continue to sleep good @ night. God bless.

Well said. Found myself agreeing with what you wrote, paragraph by paragraph. When my kids were in grade school, we didn't attend any church. They did come home and ask why were they going to hell, as we didn't go to the catholic church. Lived in a predominantly catholic neighbor hood. We went and visited a number of churches, and found one that for us taught good values. They also did some comparative study, looking at what different religions were about. For me, the big thing they taught the kids was to question everything. And if don't get a good response for you, go some where else. I attend a church, not for religion, but for community. Believe in good works. The church of my childhood was okay up until about 8 or 10, then the hypocity got me. Never got that god was watching everything that I did. Thanks for you post.