The world’s oldest monotheistic religion is Judaism. Christianity is a direct continuation of that cultural and historical heritage. I’ve always had faith, but I’ve recently met some weird men of faith who argued that people have always known about the Judeo-Christian God.
Their answer came after I questioned what people believed during paleolithic times. They must have had some religious customs and beliefs, but I doubt their rites were the same as ours. If God was an unknown concept to them, would God punish them for their sinful ways? And, why didn’t God reveal himself to humanity until 5-6000 years ago? (Genesis is now thought to be written in the 6th and 5th centuries BC.) The simple answer is: we don’t know.
I don’t have the answers. One argument would be that we don’t know when and how God revealed himself to us for the first time. We trust the written sources, while oral traditions can’t be accounted for. Science and religion share the quest for knowledge, but they try to gain that knowledge using different prerequisites.
I consider myself a man of science, and my scientific curiosity has guided me through much of adult life. My faith in God has also been a large part of my identity, and I’ve never once questioned God’s existence. I can’t, however, explain God, nor can I challenge the evolutionary timeline. The two do not contradict each other if you read the Bible as a narrative.
We’re still scientific infants. We try to understand our place in this vast universe, but we cannot explain what sparked that initial Big Bang. I believe that God is beyond time, matter and space, but I can’t make my belief scientific because I don’t understand my metaphysical beliefs. I neither comprehend the brilliant theories that Einstein put forward, but just because I don’t understand them doesn’t make them invalid. I put my faith in the great minds, much like I trust God.
The Kingdom of Unixploria does not have a policy yet. We consider life to be holy, and as such, no man should interfere in the natural process of life and death. However, members of the royal family have experienced family members who would willingly end life to avoid terminal diseases that cause them nothing but pain and suffering. All such decisions must, of course, be made with a sound mind and sound judgment. It would not be taken lightly and would also affect others. It might not even be a decision that one person can make alone since it would involve other family members.
The validity of religion depends on how you practice it. I have no problems at all with my Hindu neighbors or my Muslim students. We may not share views on everything, but we respect each other’s belief systems. The main problem is when people treat religion as secular law, i.e., something that everyone is obliged to follow.
Western secular law was a product of Enlightenment to separate the two entities into a private and public sphere. I, for one, think we should do our utmost to keep it that way.
That being said, it does not mean that you, I, or any other person, are silenced; we just have to treat each other respectfully. You have a right not to believe, and I have a right to think. Conflicts occur when secular law interferes with religious commandments. Marriage is the most apparent problem. It is a sacred made secular and nonreligious
The Kingdom of Unixploria is a nation built on Christian values, culture, and heritage.
However, like most Western countries, our legislation is not based solely on the Scriptures. The Christian covenant stresses certain behaviors as sinful, but the Scriptures also say that love is the highest commandment. My example is hard for some to grasp. How can you love someone yet at the same time condemn their behavior?
Much like a parent rebukes a bad behavior of their child, we as Christians must look at sin in the same fashion. A reprimand from a parent doesn’t equal a lack of love. It’s quite the opposite. Love is what makes us good parents. The core of the faith can be summed up in “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”
The Church of Unixploria certainly won’t sit idle while being attacked but never argue over religious matters with heretics. The dividing line seems to be about whether there is such a thing as truth. If you believe there is an eternal truth in our disoriented postmodern era, you will be able to separate truths from lies.
I got a Wolf Cross from Åsa for Christmas. I’m both humbled and proud to have it hanging around my neck. The Wolf Cross is supposed to be the oldest Christian cross found on Nordic soil. My cross is a replica of the first Wolf Cross excavated on Iceland in 1910. The original crosses date back to approx 900 AD.
Some believe it to be a transfer from the old way to the new. Keeping the shape of a necessary pagan Thor’s hammer, but adding a distinct Christian design. Even though the cross itself resembles the hammer of Thor, it can be interpreted as the cross St. Peter. An unusual cross to be worn as a necklace today because of the postmodern connotations.
Others, myself included, think this is the first sign of Christianity becoming the predominant religion of the Nordic tribes, i.e., Norsemen left their old faith and adopted a new.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a reminder of my Christian faith and my cultural origins. I’m proud of both.