and all the things.

The way that religions are lumped together as being like each other and unlike any other part of life doesn’t make real sense. The first reason is that they have more to separate them than they have in common. Some are lifestyle choices, some are philosophies, some are beliefs about history, some are claimed to be either powers or messages from an unseen power, and some involve either reaching out to the Creator or a claim of the Creator reaching out with a revelation. Some have a prophetic basis, some don’t. Many religions contain a few of those things together, but still… they bear more similarities to other parts of life that aren’t considered ‘religious’ than they do to each other, a lot of the time. Not only that, but the different kinds of claims require quite different approaches to considering their ideas of truth. They don’t all fit on the same spectrum, even. And sometimes the lines between them can be blurred, especially when one group sees itself to be part of (or the true continuation of) a wider faith while the wider faith rejects its inclusion.

The other reason is that even though I believe that relationship with God is the deepest priority in life, it isn’t like the rest of our lives should be or can be completely different from that. We believe in Him as a matter of all that our experience and understanding point to, just like we believe in many non-religious things and have commitments to them, both visible and invisible; both directly known and indirectly known. Everything else, then, is part of and informed by that. It’s a very natural kind of knowledge and commitment. Likewise, loyalty to the idea that God has a special way of relating to our world through the experience of the Jewish nation is not something that is accepted or listened to for no reason, just like other philosophies, historical ideas, and such are acceptable to us and so accepted by us. For sure, there are certain biases and elements of commitment that need to be sifted through, but again, that is not unique to ‘religion’.

The search for truth and the search for goodness are both a normal part of every aspect of our lives. Our interest in the will of the one from whom we’re derived is natural in the same way. And you can’t search for goodness without searching for some kind of truth, because goodness that isn’t true is not goodness at all; it is just nothing. The question for us is what kinds of goodness we are responsible to look into, and what things we would be wise to seek our desires amidst. It shouldn’t be something we push ourselves to believe, it should be real, but hopefully we can also have the patience to wait on things that take time to unravel and dig into when there are reasons to do so. That’s just a part of realistically going about life.

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