Posted by: dacalu | 14 March 2015

Why I Believe?

A friend of mine just posted an essay about the question “Why do you believe in religion?” I think it’s an interesting question and one we ask to rarely. More rarely still, do we reply with affirmative statements. Hence the challenge to briefly say why I think what I think about religious-y stuff without talking about what I don’t think.

Why do I believe in God?

Same reason I believe in my mother. First because we talk. Second, because other people report talking to her. Third, because I really can’t imagine how I came to be without thinking about her.

Why do I believe (Anglican) Christian doctrines?

Same reason I believe in gravity and evolution by natural selection. They provide a good systematic account of what I experience in concert with what other people experience. They allow me to do work in the world. As with gravity and evolution, there are some fuzzy bits around the edges that I can’t say what exactly they do for me or anyone else, but I accept them as part of a whole system of theories that seems to work.

Why do I do (Anglican) Christian activities – rituals, etc.?

Same reason I brush my teeth and do martial arts. They keep me healthy and encourage me to pay attention to details. I don’t like doing them every time I do them, but I like the effect of doing them regularly. Also, as with martial arts and science, they keep me learning new things.

Why am I part of The Episcopal Church?

No comparison here. I try to be part of groups of people that help each other. Those groups work best, in my experience, when founded on love, curiosity, and growth. The Episcopal Church has served me well in this regard, with a very high percentage of healthy communities. Many other groups serve similar functions for me, but the Episcopal church is the largest-best one for me so far. I feel a need to balance my desire for inclusion (as many people as possible involved) with my desire for health (or my perspective/experience of health). It matters to me to be in communion with as many people as possible, but only if it’s a reasonably healthy relationship.

Why am I a priest?

God asked. My diocese asked and my local congregation and larger denomination agreed. It allows me to serve others as confidant, facilitator, and educator in ways I could not, otherwise.


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