For the first time ever, I actually read a “Your Place of Worship” column by Pastor Theo Hoekstra.
It was a revelation to me to hear that, as an unbeliever, I hate Christians. I thought of the Christians I know, and have known, who were humble, gentle folk interpreting the words of Jesus in such a way as to practice kindness, compassion, and tolerance toward their fellow humans. Surely I don’t hate them, do I?
Pastor Hoekstra’s “walk through history” seems to have been done blind-folded if he thinks that Christians have never killed the innocent in the name of their god.
The Inquisition, the witch burnings, the imposition of Christianity on indigenous peoples through military force, all spring to mind.
Pastor Hoekstra talks of those who “refuse to come into the light”, as if belief were a matter of choice. I recall, in my youth, trying quite earnestly to believe the Christian version of reality, but finally failing to become convinced that a collection of ancient writings was the word of the creator.
At age 22 I had a spontaneous (no psychedelic drugs involved) spiritual experience, seemingly about the ultimate nature of reality. It was full of light and love but had nothing to do with belief in any particular dogma.
Personally, I have a problem with all belief systems, be they Christian, Marxist, Capitalist, New Age, what have you. (For instance, I do not believe that beaming “white light” toward politicians will convince them to save our forests.)
There is no “one size fits all” belief system.
All major religions preach love and peace and all fail, at times, to practice them.
Anne Miles, Gibsons