Religion is a touchy subject. How does the meaning of life fit with the faith idea of life after death?
I went to church over the weekend with my grandparents. The congregation was studying Psalms and the sermon topic was When the Bad Guys Win; why be good if the bad guys win.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Psalms 73:3-5
Apparently not much has changed in the past 3,000 years. That's a bit depressing. Or maybe it's telling.
The pastor was doing a fantastic job working though the proceeding verses drawing parallels to our modern day life. I couldn't wait to hear the answer he was building up to. Finally it came: Get perspective.
Here was where my idea of reality and the churches went in totally different directions. I was sitting there thinking about the TED presentation by Nic Marks I posted a few days ago. Wealth and arrogance are not the keys to happiness. I was considering all the gratification that is achieved by living a good life, connecting with others, giving and doing something meaningful with our time on earth.
I was actually taken aback when the pastor said, "Our time here on earth will seem like a dream when we move on to our eternal life with God." Really, life after death, that's it?
I couldn't help but hope that no one in the room was suicidal. The pastor went on and on as if the get to go to heaven revelation was supposed to make enduring a shitty life worth while. There was no mention of bettering or making the most of our time here.
I admit that I am not actually a religious person. Answers like that are a major part of the reason why. It seems to me that God would want us to do something productive with our lives, not to simply endure them.
I believe that a better and more fulfilling use of our time would be to educate and inspire. We should be fighting to preserve the beautiful planet God gave us instead of letting the "wicked" destroy it. I don't think that we should just sit back content with our faith that we will be "saved" in the aftermath of their actions. There is too much at stake.
If you think that I am saying the Pastor was wrong with his message you are would be incorrect. I don't think he was wrong, but I do think that he missed something. He could have given his congregation hope now for their time on earth instead of just the promise of eternal happiness.
Life is precious. Living is a gift. We should rejoice in that.