Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I Feel Inspired!

To make the debate public!

So here's my "creed" (as it were):

I believe that there is a perfect Creator of the universe. (Belief, not fact, and really not affecting any public policy decisions that I know of, since that's always the first thing people fret about: belief in a Creator is not tantamount to study of "creation science" and does not need to be discussed in presentations of "science.")

This Being is guided only by perfect love for the Creation S/he has made. (A harder one to swallow, I think, but one that is heavily reinforced by the point following the next one.)

I fall so short of this Being that I can never return to Him/Her on my own. (I don't see too much argument with this one, given my own behavior, or a more general theory of human nature. And I only make this assertion for myself. Other people may, indeed, be perfect, for all I know - though the ones who claim to be automatically fall way down on the list of the elect, as far as I'm concerned)

Yet, because I'm made in this Being's image, and live in His/Her love, I can't help but want to be with Him/Her; it's a part of me I can't deny. (A lot of people attest to a similar compulsion, and I feel it very strongly, even in my most skeptical moments, though I have to trust people who deny ever having these feelings, that they are telling me the truth, even if I can't fully sympathize with them.)

But because of this Being's Love for me, S/he will provide some means for me to return to Him/Her; this means will be so mysterious that it will not really make sense to human minds, but I have trust that such a means is available and my Creator would never abandon me. (This to me is the real content of "faith," not some adherence to a particular scripture or church - the trust in one's Creator as ultimately being able and willing to save one, despite all seeming impossibility.)

And although I find this creed compatible with Christianity, I don't think anything in it is exclusive or unique to that religion.

Can I get a "Whoa, Bundy!" ?


Blogger Matt Cardin said...

Very clearly stated. Well done. Such attempts to articulate one's personal creed or belief system are deeply helpful. Once, in the mid-1990s, a new friend at a Southern Baptist church where I ended up playing the piano for six years challenged me to come up with just such a statement of my own philosophy or belief system, since he and I had been engaging in extended philosophical conversations and he had felt, on the one hand, dazzled by my ability to quote at length from scores of writers, but, on the other hand, frustrated because he couldn't figure out what I actually thought.

It won't surprise you to hear that I ended up devoting a week to typing up what turned out to be a 15-page document. I titled it "My Search for Certainty." The experience was quite fulfilling and self-educational. Of course, I think my friend was somewhat surprised when my explanation of my Christian spirituality expressed profound disagreement with institutional Christian doctrine and dogma, and sounded as much Buddhist as Christian, with a good measure of classical skepticism thrown in to boot.

Again, thanks for this post, which states things with admirable clarity and brevity and is therefore entirely amenable to interfaith and interphilosophical application and discussion, exactly as you state.

I noticed that there seems to be an unstated assumption between your second and third points, specifically, the assumption that some sort of disruption or disjunction has occurred between the creator and the creation that necessitates a return movement to begin with.

8:59 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

you caught me, MattC! For all my heterodoxy and eclecticism, I do deeply believe in original sin, which I tried to contain in a muted form in my statements.

10:12 AM  

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