God takes a selfie

"God's Selfie" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“God’s Selfie” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I’m often asked if I believe in God.

Surely that’s no longer the question. What has belief done but produce more religions, followers, temples and holy books? It certainly hasn’t produced unity in the world, but instead division and violence.

Is not belief the problem? Isn’t belief a substitute for knowing whether there is or isn’t that which we call God?

Few people are willing to walk away from all the traps of religion and its beliefs to truly find out for themselves, to find out if there is something… God, Truth, Reality, whatever… beyond the ideas and the words.

Can we passively wait for truth to come to us? But of course this would require tremendous courage and energy to be in such peace where what is true may reveal itself.

*If you want a safe, protected space to question your beliefs, join us at the table of The Lasting Supper!*

SHOP

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27 Responses

  1. Bernardo says:

    Dave, Being a rather “new kid on the block”, I would like to know, do you believe is god? Yes or No would suffice.

  2. I guess you didn’t read the post.

  3. Gary says:

    “Yes or No would suffice.”

    Now that’s funny right there…;-)

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    In a culture where “believing in God” still is a signal for “I am a good, trustworthy person”, people are very hesitant to say they don’t believe and so set up all sorts of complicated caveats around the issue. I understand that self-protection.

    If we define “God” as an all-powerful, all-knowing, intervening, all-loving being,

    Then I certainly don’t believe.

    If you define “God” a mystery beyond what we see in our understanding that created the universe.
    Well, sure, I may believe in that. But it means nothing to believe or not believe.

    If you define “God” as that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I experience awe, expansion, depth and yuan — well, hell, yeah, I believe in that.

    If you define “God” as a hope that if I talk to the air hoping that will heal my daughter of disease, increase my finances or let me live forever.

    Well, hell no, I don’t believe in that.

    But to make matters more complicated. I don’t think any of us hold consistent beliefs. Our minds hold contrary beliefs all the time. Striving for right belief can be pretty silly for such matters.

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    So, David, I think it is fair to ask, “Are there any gods you don’t believe in.” But I also think it is important to understand how “belief” works in the human mind. And most folks don’t — the religious or those who are religion-free.

  6. It’s fair to ask, but again my point is that belief is the problem, not the content of it.

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    Alliance to beliefs about untestable things is indeed a problem.

    Testable things may matter, however.

    If you believe that “God” is someone who saves believers from snake bites and loves them more when they prove it, well, to NOT believe in that is important. [as your cartoon once showed]

  8. Bernardo says:

    Dave,

    Of course I read your comments and nothing there indicated what your true beliefs really are. So again, starting with the basics of all beliefs, do you believe in god? i.e. Are you an atheist?

  9. You don’t seem to understand that I’m not concerned about that question and especially not the answer because that is the problem. You are looking down the wrong hole. If I said yes I believe in God this might make you feel assured in your beliefs, and if I said I don’t believe in God that might too. And for others likewise or differently. And what does that do? Absolutely nothing. It changes nothing. It only perpetuates and compounds the problem.

  10. purvez says:

    David, your post and an earlier one seem to be implying that once ‘belief’ is removed then the people of this world with unite in friendship and love towards each other.

    Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion that even if you could remove ‘belief’ there are a myriad ‘other’ reasons people would use to both clan together and equally want to exclude others. The more obvious ones are skin colour, sexual orientation, nationality but they go all the way down the spectrum to hobbies and ‘tastes’.

    So although, ‘belief’ is a big problem it is by no means the only one and it is part of human nature, in my opinion, to find ‘common’ ground for excluding ‘others’ that are ‘different’. So unless we can alter human nature we are stuck with ‘strife’ in the world.

  11. I don’t mean to say that the removal of belief is the solution, but that belief is not the solution.

  12. purvez says:

    Aah I get the message now. Thx for the clarification.

  13. Bernardo says:

    To clarify my situation. I am atheist and I live in a sea of red-neck, believing Catholics to include my wife. Fortunately, one of my sons and my son-in-law see the truth in atheism. So Dave where do you stand in your life situation? It appears you l arestil holding on to some belief in the supernatural..

  14. Bernardo says:

    Resending:

    To clarify my situation, I am atheist and I live in a sea of red-neck, believing Catholics to include my wife. Fortunately, one of my sons and my son-in-law see the truth in atheism. So Dave where do you stand in your life situation? It appears you are still holding on to some belief in the supernatural..

  15. I’m not sure why what I believe interests you so much. Belief no longer holds meaning for me because I’ve come to discover that it was the problem preventing me from knowing, or experiencing, what is true. Even the word “supernatural” suggests that there is a separation, a division, between nature and what is other. This conflict… such as the conflict of the notion of soul and body… is the problem perpetuated by belief. Somehow we must transcend this.

  16. Bernardo says:

    So let us transcend to the truth (or is it a belief?) that Dave is an agnostic.

  17. Chris says:

    I am aware of my (spiritual) experiences, but I only have guesses as to what may have happened (if anything at all apart from my subjective “engagements”), no less accurate language to begin to articulate that which I’m pretty sure I had little clue as to what actually may have happened. Okay, that made my head hurt!

  18. Chris says:

    When you get down to it, are we not all truly agnostic, and from their this or that?

  19. So is your obsession with labeling me at a happy ending?

  20. Mark says:

    “Belief no longer holds meaning for me because I’ve come to discover that it was the problem preventing me from knowing, or experiencing, what is true.” OK. So, how do you distinguish between “belief” and “truth?” If the nature of belief itself is problematic for you then how do you “know” what is true?

  21. Good question. We know the word is not the thing. Neither is the idea the thing. Can we experience something directly, without thought, and in this way know truth?

  22. Chris says:

    When it boils down to spiritual beliefs and spiritual truths, are they not most importantly subjective in nature, Mark? Does it really matter beyond that whether or not something is actually “objectively” true, being that we have no direct access to such Truth, or do we? Do you?

  23. Chris says:

    As much I love thinking, I believe when it comes to especially spiritual matters, such a capacity is way overrated. Direct (as direct as is possible) experience is something I highly desire and remain receptive to, especially regarding (in my case) the “numinous.”

  24. Bernardo says:

    Dave,

    Yes, a happy ending now that we know the truth

  25. Chris says:

    What EXACTLY is The Truth, pray tell?

  26. Gary says:

    Bernardo, Seriously. Try to actually read the words. It is not that hard.

  27. I’m glad you think you know the truth Bernardo.

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