Questions

God thought.
Thinking…
Reacting.
Responding.
Loving.
Trying to understand it all.
Trying to keep up
With the Joneses?
Give it up.
The Joneses in your “church”
Are not in the “Church”.
What is the Church, anyway?
What does that word mean?
Today, there are so many
Different kinds of churches,
That the word is in danger
Of losing its meaning.
And with all the hypocrisy,
That may just be a part
Of being human,
Any idealism about it
Suffers dramatically.
There was a time
When the Roman Catholic Church
Was the Church.
Some still think so.
But “catholic” means
Universal.
There is nothing universal
About the Roman Catholic Church,
Or any church, for that matter,
Except as it is a part of
The greater Church.
But, enough about church.
Back to God.
What if Jesus
Was just a man?
Or, better yet,
What if there is a bit of God
In all of us?
What if we all
Have the potential
To be as close to God,
As fully God,
As Jesus?
And, what if
We can do this
Through a range
Of religions,
Not just the ones
That our culture
Approves of?
What if Muhammad,
Buddha and Jesus
Were all men
Who were very close to God,
Perhaps,
As much Son of Man
As anyone?
Perhaps,
After all,
There was more to Jesus,
Than we know?
Maybe Jesus
Was as human
As anyone else.
You certainly wouldn’t think so
By reading the Bible.
What were his weaknesses,
His faults, his doubts?
What were his sins?
How could he be fully human
If he never sinned?
And did he really claim
To be God,
Son of God, Savior, Lamb of God?
Or were these just terms
That were applied to him by others,
Like John the Baptist,
The Apostle Paul,
John the Beloved Disciple,
And others in the Roman Catholic,
Protestant, and other parts
Of the Christian church?
And what about the Jews?
After all,
Jesus, his disciples, Paul,
And all the patriarchs
Were Jews.
Why don’t they agree
With what Christians say
About Jesus?
Is it because of how maligned
Their history
And religion was by us?
Is it the evils done
In the name of Jesus?
Or is there more to it than that?
Perhaps,
The same thing
Is happening to Muslims today
By our supposedly
“Christian” nation.
It is very sad, really.
Why can’t we love and respect
Each other, instead of always
Fighting?
Why can’t we learn
From each other?
We could be blessing each other,
Instead of killing each other.
So much blood
On all of our hands.
The history of the world
Is a sad, sad story.
So, where is God in all this?
Is he everywhere,
In every person?
Or is he nowhere?
Or is he only revealed
To a select few?
Is justice coming?
Is love here?
Is there going to be
A New Jerusalem,
Or has it come and gone already,
Condemned to be
A war zone?
Where is truth?

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Author: Gordon S. Bowman III

Writer, Visual Artist, Blogger, Advocate

6 thoughts on “Questions”

  1. Many times I think Churches are really private social clubs with select members and get rich quick schemes trying to convince the desperate poor, sick and disenfranchised that God can be bribed with X amount of $ to heal, deliver, pay their bills and drop BMW’s and Flat screen TVs out of Heaven. Do they see homeless, poor begging on the subways and streets? Albeit there are some churches that have soup kitchens and food pantries. But the churches influence and power for good should be so much more. A place of refuge in neighborhoods plagued with drugs, gangs and abject poverty. A church that reaches out to young women and men who have lost hope as opposed to preaching against gays or others who don’t fit into their narrow viewpoint of righteousness. Will there ever be religious leaders who understand that from many cultures, faiths and belief systems lead to one God.

    1. I agree. Sometimes it seems that way. I have a church that I attend, and they do have several good programs, but sometimes it seems that they are out of touch to a certain extent. I don’t attend that much, and maybe if I was more involved, I could try to change things, but I’m so skeptical and frustrated about things, I’m afraid I wouldn’t fit in. I’ve tried to join groups in the past, tried to lead a group, and tried to start a group, but either it didn’t happen, or it didn’t work out very well. I guess I’m just one of those that fall through the cracks. I don’t accept the pat answers that are given about questions and doubts I have either. I think in some ways it is best to struggle on my own. At least I am free to be myself and I don’t feel any pressure to pretend to be something I’m not, or believe something I don’t believe.

      1. Gordon,I have felt the same way. I rarely attend church but when I do go I visit one in Harlem that I really enjoy. However I have not been moved to join. At least not yet. In 2013 I realized my need for spiritual nourishment and the need to contribute so when I Japanese girlfriend invited me to her Shinnyo-en Temple I felt so at home I joined a month later. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The meditation and chanting help me with my anxiety and nerves plus I enjoy volunteering at various community events. On the surface Buddhism may seem like a radical change from Christianity but I’ve found some many parallels and similarities I was astonished. Actually I read my Bible and pray more consistently. Shinnyo-en is like a supplement and they encourage members to keep to their ancestral/family faiths.

        As I’ve gotten older I can’t commit to anything I don’t believe in or feel comfortable with. I’m not about the fake, phony, or following a philosophy because it’s popular or pleases other people. I allow God to guide me on my spiritual journey though it may take unexpected detours. Growth comes through asking questions, searching and reflection. I still have a long ways to go but at least I’m further along the path than before.

      2. That’s great. I am happy for you that you have found a good source of peace and belonging. Maybe one day I will as well. You seem to be more in a melting pot area than me. I’m in the Bible Belt, but there are still alternatives. I am married, and my spouse is more conservative about religion, and she is visually impaired, so relies on me for transportation. She and I do not agree on everything, but we do our best to compromise and support each other when we can. I am very thankful to have her, and she is more important to me than joining a group. She supports my blog and other writing activities, so that gives me a good outlet, at least.

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