Living in a super conservative area in northern Indiana does have it's complications, especially if you are a skeptic when it comes to Christianity. Most, if not all, of my friends are what they would call "Christian" but that is a pretty broad statement even for a Catholic. Most of them try to attend church and live a "biblical" life. Or at least an appearance one. Their quest for religion and meaning remind me of Pascal's Wager,
- If you believe in God and God does exist, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven: thus an infinite gain.
- If you do not believe in God and God does exist, you will be condemned to remain in hell forever: thus an infinite loss.
- If you believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded: thus a finite loss.
- If you do not believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded, but you have lived your own life: thus a finite gain.
"If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation). - Keith Augustine
I am sure that most of them have no clue to Pascal's wager but they live pretty much by this rule. This seems to be the norm. A few of my friends & some relatives go well beyond the norm but I will not get into that Hocus Pocus. As tempted as I am, I will only focus on my perceptions.
I guess my biggest concern is what if they believe everything that they are being taught? Is that really faith or is it just following blindly? Even if you believe in God, how do you know it's the right one? What if you were faithful all of your life and died to find out that Baal was the correct God? Oops, that would be a real problem. According to the Bible in 1 Corinthians 8:6 NIV,
"6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
After experiencing this in my personal life for years, I have decided that it is better to be skeptical and learn than to be a sheeple and be led down a path of fear and guilt. After all, we only have one life and we need to make sure we get the best out of it. Who knows, we may all be wrong.