Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Monday, April 16, 2018

Does It Matter If Christadelphians Don't Have The Truth?

As someone who grew up in a Christadelphian environment I understand how compelling the religion can feel, and how it all seems to make so much sense of the world and of life. It provides an all-encompassing narrative that informs not only your purpose but also the purpose of the entire cosmos as well as your place in it.

I also understand the benefits of Christadelphian life, having many friends with similar values and goals right across the world, the support networks, the camps, the outings. It can be great, although of course like any community there can be downsides as well.

It can be tempting to feel that even if the core of the religion turned out to be false, the lifestyle is still pretty good and worthwhile on its own. Some Christadelphians have indeed expressed this view to me, and if that's how they truly feel then I would encourage them to embrace it.

But what about you? What if the religion turned out to be false? Would you be happy to continue following a religion that you knew to be false and based on nothing more than man-made stories? Would it be worthwhile pretending to believe, just so as to continue enjoying the material benefits of the religion? Would you be happy to lie to everyone about your beliefs, in order to maintain the status quo?

If you're like me, this line of questioning may bring you to realise that the truth of the religion actually does matter, and it matters a lot. As nice as the community is, and the shared goals and purpose, if it was just the result of people forming mistaken beliefs about a collection of ancient writings, wouldn't those goals and purposes seem arbitrary? Without a real afterlife to look forward to, would you still choose to stick with your religious activities, effectively just "pretending" in order to conform to social norms and go along with it all? For what? Would the lifestyle really still be enjoyable without the promise of a better life in the future?

What you may cherish as the greatest promise of eternal life in a future paradise could actually turn out to be the greatest lie that robbed you of your life now. It all hinges on whether or not it is actually true.

I think the truth matters greatly because many Christadelphians might actually choose to live differently if they someday discovered the religion was based on falsehood. The world is huge, and amazing, and there is so much more to discover beyond the Christadelphian walls!

Why confine yourself to one tiny sect, when you would almost certainly find a more fulfilling life elsewhere? Why conform to the strict rules and regulations invented in past eras when you could follow your own path instead and seek your true potential? Why follow ancient rituals if that's all they are?

Why pray, if no one is listening?