A Sunday Sermon for Atheists and Christians and Muslims. Right here and Right Now. All about doubts and Love!
Ironic that there would need be a church in these heavens
Life is long for most let us take time to question!
(a special invitation to Buddhists, Native Americans, Hindus, and Jews)
The Sunday Sermon found here cannot be found in a church. The Sunday Sermon here cannot be bought in a book. There is no copyright on thought. We will require that Atheists and Christians and Muslims hold hands at least metaphorically.
“So pull up a pew and get ready to question what you know. Get ready to doubt. Leave your guilt at the door.” That can also mean grab a blanket, or rug, maybe a sun umbrella or stool for we really are going outside under a great big tree and just gathering around.
Let us start with some announcements. Each person here is the cleric, I will just be doing the talking. There will be refreshments at the end of the sermon: inside yourselves. Our soul/sole purpose for gathering is to share some moments of reflection and to question our beliefs or lack thereof.
First let us talk about the individual rights of all of us.
We all have the right to believe in what we believe. We all have the right to doubt. We all have the right to question. We all have the right to love. And in fact we all have the right to Hate. And we all have the right to speak and act on our thoughts.
So we are not talking about commandments here. We are talking about how we exercise our free will. Yes Fatalists are welcome here too in order to examine.
We are free to be here reading this sermon and free to question and doubt it and even refute it. All of you have scripture for you to rely on whether it be a book on physics, the Koran or the Bible. These scriptures should be read by all and all of them in order to gain understanding and raise doubts. For me to quote one would be to pull it out of context and use it for my purpose and not yours.
Doubt, Who me?!
Do you let another know of your doubts?
What we have in common.
There are two things that everyone here has in common with their brother or sister or child or elder sitting next to them. This is an absolute truth of man. Of course there are exceptions even to absolutes so we could spend four days debating and limiting that but for now let us move forward that it is absolute.
We all have love somewhere within us. Whether it be divine or chemical reactions or a Darwinian trait for survival, we all have love.
We all have doubts somewhere within us. Even if it is a doubt that we have doubt. Whether it be justified, from fear, from ignorance it does not matter. We all know that we are not perfect. And so therefor we doubt. Perhaps we are so strong that we do not even doubt ourselves but we doubt truths or others or theories or faith and belief. We all have doubt.
Love has many colors sorry but blue is one of them.
In several years of pastoring and raising children and managing people I find an almost hypocritical denial of the above two truths.
So many people on so many levels deny that they love and deny that they doubt. Here is how it separates us from each other. We hide it. And we even mock those that reveal it. Please look at your friend and tell them. I love you. I have doubts. 90% of us have never done that with a friend. Do not worry what kind of love and do not worry what kind of doubt. Admit it to another that you have them.
You are now vulnerable.
A student says “I know that”, then the teacher is done teaching to that student. Likewise when we do not tell our friend that we love them and have doubts that friend cannot help to teach us further in these areas. That is how we act even though all of us have love and doubt.
The wonderful traditional “head of the house” is stoic and shows no fear and no doubt and too often no love. He creates a security for the home and family by appearing invincible. And indeed he has made his home safe and can control the home and keep it in order. And he just taught his family never to show love and doubt. How sad is that? He did wonderful to protect the family from the outside. But he did not teach how to protect his family from the inside.
Please do not let the world see you like this.
Invite the stranger in to your personal home.
Yes we get burned showing this love through acts of kindness and vulnerability but it is worth it. I have had my heart broken so many times and have been betrayed so many times that it is hard to trust. Trust is wonderful, but lack thereof creates a prison within us. Do not let disappointment and heart break build bars and chains to you love.
Admit your doubts in yourself. For so many years I showed no doubts to my wife. She began to criticize and tear me down. I told her that all she did was tear me down and criticize. And she told me that I did not need support and a cheerleader. And it finally hit me that I had not confessed my doubts to her and so she did not know my needs in this manner. What a fool I was. Pretending to be iron when I was just bamboo.
After a week of hard negotiations I finally admitted to the corporate attorney on the other side that I had doubts about the deal and our capacity to meet obligations. He smiled and said “me too”. So for just 1 hour we addressed our doubts and made a great deal. That was in 2000 in a foreign land and the contract remains intact to this day. Because by admitting our doubts we got rid of a lack of trust and the bars between us vanished and we had trust. And I will just go ahead and say it, to this day we have love.
(the company negotiator on the other side of that deal struck in Saigon(not the attorney) and I have now been married 10 years with a wonderful young boy)
So let us end with a devotion:
I promise to love more deeply, doubt more sweetly and to recognize that others share in those qualities.
Refreshments: Please join your fellows or sit alone and read your scriptures. Perhaps the "Ascent of Man". Perhaps the Dharma. Perhaps something written by Descartes or the Dali Lama. And refresh your faith in what you choose.
Next week we will have a guest paragraph from a very exciting person. -- to be revealed later.
This week is we begin and let us hope that next week we begin again.
Keep reading something new and something old
© 2014 Eric Dierker