Does Opting For The Latter Make Me Agnostic?
It’s funny, but I think I developed more of a relationship with God as a “spiritualist” than I did following some religious cult. I felt more enlightened and understood the significance of the scriptures in the Bible better (not to be taken literally, but to serve as a guideline in our quest for moral salvation and a deeper relationship with He who dwells within us) – this made me resent religion even more. It was as if that ever-elusive truth had finally illuminated itself to me. The only problem was that my keenness and openness to the spiritual realm invited some unwanted spirits. But that’s another story altogether, one I have no interest indulging in.
There was one truth I had chosen to neglect however; as aware as I had become of all the spiritual workings occurring while we go about our usual routines, I was oblivious to what it really meant to actually know God and to have a relationship with Him. It is only after having an encounter with Him that He finally made sense to me. I didn’t have to undergo any sort of ritual or perform any religious act for Him to locate me, He just did. And that’s when I realised that Christianity and religion had nothing in common – after all, was it not the advocates of religion, the men of the cloth who prosecuted Jesus Christ, denounced His teachings, and persecuted anyone who was found to be His follower?
Christianity is a lifestyle, it’s a choice you actively make to improve and change the way you live for the better. To acknowledge that there is more to our existence than what we can see with the physical eye and being vigilant as a result. It is understanding that the battle we fight every day is not of the flesh, but of a spiritual kind. It is knowing that you are a soul kept in a physical form and that the biggest battle you will ever fight is against yourself. It is grasping that heaven and hell, like good and evil (God and devil) do exist, albeit different from what religion feeds us. And essentially, for an individual, Christianity is about understanding the following (abridged) poem by Rudyard Kipling:
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with
you, but none too much;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!”