The human touch

In her comment below, Diane makes an excellent point.

I agree with your views of taking what you need from each religion but that leaves you so alone, doesn’t it? We are social creatures – we need interaction. So I need a church to be my ‘family’ and if I can’t find one that fits all of my beliefs (which I never will) then I need to compromise a little.

So true. The syncretist approach that I’ve described is a lonely one, and perhaps an unreasonable one. I think that’s why I got so excited about the Quakers. Their silence and avoidance of creed (up to a point) makes them a good candidate for a spiritual home for me, and that’s why I plan to go back. So check it out! I may have found my spiritual home, and you were all right here to see it!

In many ways, my desire for the social and my intellectual/spiritual disagreement with most faiths is at the crux of my agnosticism. It’s hard to join a faith community, even if you really want one, when you can’t get down with some major part of their core beliefs. But it’s hard to be without one.

In a way, it’s like choosing who you’ll marry. You can’t just make it work. You have to find the person you can love all your life, and who you can change with, but you can’t expect them to be perfect or you’ll be in Breakupville. But you also can’t settle. You can’t let go of your beliefs because you’re tired of being alone.  But there are times when it’s hard to tell whether you’re compromising – in the knowledge that you can’t have the exact image of your ideal – or settling, because you’ve decided to stop working at it.

Unfortunately, I expressed this much better in a brilliant post last night. But I also accidentally deleted said post because I was too tired to manage technology appropriately. Sigh.


6 Responses to “The human touch”

  1. 1 tobeme February 8, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I think that you expressed yourself well. This has always been my struggle with belonging to a church, I always end up having an intelectual battle with myself because I do not buy into the core beliefs of the church.
    You are on the right path, one where you should not compromise yourself.

  2. 2 rjlight February 8, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    i mentioned to my brother the other day that finding a church was like dating–by the 3rd visit (3rd date) you know you aren’t meant for each other. it’s exhausting and very lonely.i’m not ready to marry any i have dated so far. don’t know much about the Quakers, but have heard some things that i liked. maybe i should check them out

  3. 3 diane February 8, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Hey – I can’t believe you quoted me! Wow! I think I need to go back and read your posts about the Quakers – I sort of joined you midstream on your blogging and may have missed something great. I have friends that grew up Quaker and really repect their outlook on God/the earth/etc. I live in a small town, though, and different religions are few and far between – its pretty much a Methodist or Baptist County, so these are the choices for me.

    And I didn’t mean to compromise Core Values – I meant the little, “non-essential” things. Of course you can’t compromise Core Values – its who you are. (I may not have communicated that clearly the first time).

    Good luck

  4. 4 paulpeterson February 8, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    I am the pastor of a church and interestingly enough I’m not a huge fan of “churchy” people. I often wonder if I would even go to church if I weren’t a pastor… at least church like most people “do it.”
    Can you help me understand more about your frustration with the church?

    Isn’t this an ironic twist… a pastor asking an agnostic for a diagnostic on the church?! 🙂

  5. 5 Diane February 9, 2007 at 2:06 am

    You inspired me to try blogging…give me a few months before reading. I’ll either be really good by then or have given up (and if my history is any indication – it’ll be a latter!)

  6. 6 Gary February 9, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Quakers Rock!!! As does Quaker’s Oatmeal, Oh crap I lost my train of thought…mmmm Apple Cinammon

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