This is going to be brief. I can’t possibly cover such complex questions in one article, nor am I qualified to do so. I just wanted to touch on a reoccurring topic that has been surrounding me lately. I’ve been in multiple conversations lately about the issue of God answering prayers and everything happening “for a reason.”
I just finished Christopher Hitchens’s book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and while I actually agree with much of it, we came to two completely different conclusions.
First, I want to distinguish the difference between God and religion. God is great. Religion is poison. God calls us to come to Him, through Jesus. Religion causes people to do insane things, including things like the Crusades, mass murder, manipulation, and events such as the People’s Temple leading and forcing people to literally “drink the Kool-Aid,” resulting in the single greatest loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act, prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
As I’ve traveled to many different countries, I’ve discovered that most people are nice. People want to be friendly and do good, for whatever reason they have personally.
It’s funny because we fear the unknown. When I first came to Europe, I was afraid of getting pick-pocketed, because of what I’d heard about Europe, knowingly fully that this is just as common in major US cities.
I’ve set my reading and learning goals high. The Bible is a given, and is therefore not listed. I will read through it at least once. I’ve tried to diversify the books and videos on this list. It seems like I’ve taken a particular interest in the Holocaust, the Gnostic Gospels, and evidence for the existence of God.
I’ve listed 50 books, 50 documentaries, and just over 20 debates that I want to get through in 2019. On top of that, I’ve listed the Gnostic Gospels, a few other religious texts, and some reading like the Catholic Apocrypha, which includes several books on its own. I’ll cross off each item as I make it through.
There’s plenty more that I want to absorb, but I had to cut it off somewhere. I believe a plan for growth should be intentional, and that’s what led to this list. I’m never questioning what to read/watch next; I plan ahead.
Here’s to growth for 2019!
Christianity is about grace, not guilt.
It’s about compassion, not condemnation.
Forgiveness, not forsakenness.
A short story illustrates this well…
The word “routine” sounds so mundane.
The word “ritual” sounds slightly “new-agey” to some.
I think a ritual makes more sense. If you’re wanting to start every day with God, you want to have a set way of doing things. Routines are for going through the motions. Rituals are for intentional repetition.
Let’s craft a morning ritual with God.