When Your Faith Lies Beyond Classification


There is a lot of rancor out there for those of us who seem to exist in in what I would call “faith limbo.” I’ll admit I’m one of those people floating in spiritual purgatory right now. I’m either coming out of the fog of religion or I’m lured by the call of the Spirit, but those who tug from either direction telling me to either “shit or get off the pot,” are driving me batty. Why are people so certain about what they believe that they insist you believe it as well?I don’t put much stock in certainty. I am neither a committed atheist nor a balls-out believer. I have faith in a spiritual presence and/or a universal soul inhabiting the world in an Emersonian Transcendental, immanent sort of way, but I deny the punitive, transcendent, contradictorily, omnipotent interfering God that is depicted in the bible or that is exhibited by His extremely certain followers. This is what drives people crazy. Even Jesus said that he’d rather we be cold or hot but not lukewarm (Rev. 3:15,16). Well Jesus had better start spitting, because I’m taking the Aristotlean Mean here. Moderation in all things is the wise course because I know my own sins. I know that scrupulosity breeds contempt. I know that believing in Original sin breeds misanthropy. I know that suppressing my own inner demons drives me to demonize another’s sin disproportionately. So, I choose to be neither cold nor hot rather than obsess about personal holiness.

In a way, I believe that the faith I have generated in my own mind is hardwired in my genes, which explains my sometimes unwanted, but inexorable bouts of extreme faith. I am descended from a long line of Baptist preachers, men who took the hard, strong Calvinist or Primitive Baptist road. The women in my family chose the more comforting Christian Church (denomination) and they presented a live and let live sort of attitude to faith. Like any physical affliction, I have learned to recognize and cope with this faith disposition that intrudes into my regular life at the most inopportune times. I have learned not to put much credence in what extreme believers have to say, because frankly, I’m too busy living life to argue about intellectual matters anymore. I’d much prefer a good book, a bottle of wine, a good movie, or romping in the throes of matrimonial bliss than worry any more about where my soul may end up after I die. Whatever’s going to happen will happen.

So for now, I am content to wallow in a quasi-religious state and remain uncertain and unconcerned for the time being. I’ll let the rest of you worry about the state of my soul for me. πŸ™‚


8 thoughts on “When Your Faith Lies Beyond Classification

  1. I’m in the same limbo, and I’m starting to realize that maybe I’m just not a religious person. I mean I believe in God and have inner faith, etc., but I’d definitely say I’m in limbo with regards to the larger religious picture.

    I’ll worry for your soul if you worry for mine!

  2. Chickpea,
    I would love to worry for your soul for you! πŸ™‚ But maybe we should stop worrying and start enjoying what he have.
    Thanks for the comment. πŸ™‚

  3. Suresh,
    You know that’s easier said than done. In fundie faith you are to have NO faith in yourself at all. All good is credited to God and all bad is credited to you, so you can’t win. My goal is to start giving credit where credit is due! πŸ™‚

  4. ggwfung,
    My DIY is no different than anyone else’s of faith. We all pick and choose what we believe in whether we think we do or not, even those who claim the bible for ultimate authority. This is why slavery is no longer an issue, although Paul commands obedience of slaves and why all the OT laws aren’t followed such as wife killing and stoning for minor offenses. Only the sexual laws seem to capture everyone’s attention.

    I’m just more conscious of the hypocrisy of some who blame others of picking and choosing and know the reasons behind it: spiritual pride. I refuse to meekly and obediently take another’s word for my faith. It’s all mine.

    Hey, but thanks for that kick in the head when down. That’s precisely what I was referring to in my post. πŸ™‚

  5. You’re either with us or against us! Join now! I love it. That’s one of the primary reasons why I pursued science and eventually left religion all together. Then hovered around agnosticism and finally bit the bullet after I was converted by Richard Dawkins.

    Now I wish he would just open a massive church in the middle of London where I could donate my disposable income. πŸ˜‰

  6. Nimbu,

    You know I’ll probably eventually join you but in my infantile need to be comforted, I can’t seem to shed the faux parent that is called God. I need some enlightening so I can quit hovering.

    Thanks for the comment. πŸ˜€

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