The purpose of religion is determined by the practitioner. Most usually people join or remain religious, I think, to quiet the conflict within themselves that is God. Not God’s self, but the individuals confusion and puzzlement about God. Puzzling God, if it is not a casual pastime, is often a calling. Religion seems a good place for those of us who have this interest. For many religion offers a continuing opportunity to serve God through service to community. The doctrines and dogmatic nature of religion tend to bind people in harmful ways and some practitioners corrupt the value that might otherwise be found in religious doctrine.
Religions are human institutions. It is unfortunate that we insist that they carry the authority of God. Why not allow God to represent God’s self without this intervention? Can we find the confidence for that or is an intermediary required? My interest in God has given me no satisfaction with religion. A complete lack of confidence in any religion leaves me only one discipline, to experience God empirically.
In writing of purpose and religion of course I am not writing about the purpose of life, the purpose that a person finds that is their life. I am writing of purpose as it relates only to religion. It is easy to confuse life’s purpose with religion. God and life’s purpose are bound together nearly as one but religion and God are not so closely bound. Omnipotence allows that no matter our community God’s presence is discernible. It is equally true if God does not exist. That then would be the omnipotent dictate. God’s existence or not is of little importance. The value lies in asking that this question would give us its answer. In being confident and satisfied without predetermination. Only in this way can I find and be confident in God.
I have no question in my life concerning the existence of God. I have an answer that satisfies me, and so the question has been answered. I am sure that there is nothing that does exist that has not always existed and always will exist. There is an underlying origin or source, an omnipotence, God. It is not something I have to own by definition. I am confident God self represents. What is true is God. I believe in creation, not as described in text. I believe it is how things are and that it is something we can understand if we do not define it before hand. I expect that I must discover for myself what would otherwise remain a mystery. So dominate is this sensibility in my life that I consider it my purpose.
The Mystic Tourist