I realized today that maybe I am addressing my faith incorrectly. I have always said that I am Christian. I have faith in good and evil, in justice and in the strength that one gets from belief. I believe in the concept of morality and law, and I understand that our concepts of these things are set in ancient traditions. I believe that the Bible has many wonderful things in it (bad things too, but I look at these more as a sign of societal evolution than as unalterable fact). I have many of the qualities of a Christian. But I fail at being a Christian because of one core concept, and I realize that now.
Here’s my “problem:” While I DO put all of my faith in the concept of a higher power, I realize now that it is not any deity to which I entrust life’s greatest achievements. I’m supposed to put my faith in God first and all else second, but I don’t. Instead, I realize now that I put all of my trust in the greatness of Humanity. Humanity is the higher power that I believe in most.
You might say that Humanity is not a “higher power,” but I disagree. Humanity is the all-encompassing entity that resides within each of us. It is the thing that makes us more than animals and (depending on your definition) the equivalent of gods. It is everywhere, in everything. It is inescapable in its magnitude and awe-inspiring in its greatness.
At the core of my beliefs I think that there is goodness in every person and that that goodness overshadows our evil tendencies. You do not need to have faith in order to love. A man need not be religious if he chooses to be generous. Altruism does not have a holy work as a prerequisite. These are things that religions teach, but they encompass more than any specific doctrine, and that makes them greater than any singular creed.
No. My faith is in Humans. I believe in God, and have faith in Him, but when there is a natural disaster in Japan, I do not tell myself that “God will save them” and turn back to the TV. Instead, I declare that “People will pull together. We will fix this.” And we do. Some of us might do it for faith or politics or personal reasons, but that does not change the fact that we as humans have acted. That Humanity and the millions of ideas, thoughts, beliefs and dogmas that humanity entails encompass more than just faith or pride. Humanity is bigger than any of these individual pieces. So why would I not put my faith in the greatness of our species first and theological concepts second?
I know what some of you might be thinking. I have often heard people say that “God is working through those people! It’s still Him!” I understand this idea, and am even willing to accept it, but it seems unfair to the people themselves. Do they not deserve the credit for their amazing, loving deeds? If my car breaks down on the side of the road, and someone gives me a ride into town, I DO thank God for that—but I thank the person first. If a firefighter saves a child from a burning building, I praise God with all of my heart and soul—but only after I praise the hero. Humanity first. God second. Does that make me a bad Christian? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. But I have faith that some of you will tell me.
Let me be clear on this: I do have faith. The thing that makes me different is that I have faith in Humanity before I have faith in omnipresent creators. I do believe there is a God up there, but I believe more strongly that people are down here, and they are awesome. Maybe that is blasphemous. A lot of things I say are blasphemous. But I have faith that people will judge me for it. They might make their judgments here in the comments, or on one of my social media sites, or maybe just silently. But humans will judge. I have faith in that, too, because it is one of the things that make us human. And I love it. I have complete trust in the ever-fluid, always-beautiful interpretations of the world that we feel so inclined to share.
My trust in any eternal verdict based on this post alone, however, is comparatively shaky. 😉
Author’s Note: If you liked this, you may like my other post: My Thoughts on the Human Collective. If you read this and immediately thought about how you can save or pray for me, please also read Two Questions About Faith I Hope Someone Answers first so that you can hit as many birds as possible when/if you decide to act. Thanks!