The Boy Teacher and the Father Student 17 (Acceptance and Rejection of Religion)

Updated on March 29, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

How Come We Make Children Eat Vegetables and Fruit?

We force/make our children to eat healthy because it is good for them. So why don't we do the same with the spiritual side of health?
We force/make our children to eat healthy because it is good for them. So why don't we do the same with the spiritual side of health? | Source

Sometimes Religion is "Weird"

This article is about a young son eight and an older son at about twenty five. In youth they have both worked at the alter in different capacities. Obviously they have both attended “regular” types of Christian church services. It is what I call the “bare bones” or “platform from which they can make there own decisions when the time is right. While their mothers and I encourage(d) participation there has never been a directive to serve in church but with our participation it was just a natural inclination at a young age.

I can tell you from firsthand experience one of the hardest things about being a Christian parent is walking that fine line between indoctrination and introduction. Mostly it is, “this is what the Bible says” along with the historical background and “this is what I believe”. At right around eight we begin to analyze what a preacher has preached and what we “took away”. I must confess I was dictatorial when it came to join in singing.

The Younger on the Trinity Notion

B: Chaddy do you believe in ghosts?

D: Son, there are many concepts of ghosts.

B: Really? What are they?

D: The first one that is common is what we call the ghosts of our past. Like if we did something wrong and the memory haunts us.

B: So like being sad that you made a mistake?

D: Right and sometimes it is more than sad and it affects us in negative ways. And then there are the spooky ghosts like in cartoons.

B: I don’t believe in those but I was thinking about what father Mai said about a Holy Ghost.

D: What do you think about that?

B: It must be something about God because it was in church. But why would there be ghosts and God? I don’t think God wants to scare us.

D: A big 10 4 on that buddy.

B: So what is the Ghost.

D: Stay with me here because it is kind of weird. God has 3 parts. Big old God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all in one.

B: That is weird. How can they do that? And are ghost and spirit the same thing?

D: When you hear it in church, yes ghost and spirit are the same thing and not at all evil because it is all part of God.

B: Come on, how can all three be one?

D: Don’t know why the Trinity and I never met anyone who knows. So we just call it a Holy mystery. I am not kidding, nobody knows.

B: That is weird.

D: Don’t blame me and some people don’t believe in it.

B: So a ghost is part of God?

D: That is a new one on me, I will have to think about it.

Life Is Good, Even For Sinners

My Boy

Brooks Dierker somewhere deep in the Grand Canyon.
Brooks Dierker somewhere deep in the Grand Canyon. | Source

Questioning

Then we switch to a conversation we had on one of our epic road trips about ten years ago. Just after my eldest graduated with a degree in philosophy from UC Santa Cruz. He also got one in art. This is significant as his mom has a degree in art and I have one in philosophy. You are probably wondering what that has to do with anything. It is significant because in a very real way he followed the path of his parents. Let us see how this pans out regarding religion.

D: Hey why did you stop going to church?

B: Straight up, because every time he preached he would spend the last few minutes with a guilt trip about donating money.

D: I hear you on that one. That is partly why I switched churches after you and your big sister took off to college. Of course there were the obvious other reasons.

D: So why didn’t you just go to a different church?

B: Because half of that stuff is bulllcrap.

D: kind of harsh dude.

B: The honest truth is sometimes harsh dad and you know it. Like not making first string in baseball, I just was not good enough.

D: So I am cool with no church but do you still believe?

B: Not the same way anymore. I see more God in nature than what people just repeat like robots. And it is pretty hard to believe in a God that directs genocide.

D: That Old Testament gives me the heebie geebies too. It kind of reminds me of the Bin Laden type. I kind of question whether all the reporting of massacre and mayhem was really inspired by God.

B: And yet you attend church? Isn’t that pretty much being a hypocrite? And aren’t you even a Lay Eucharistic Minister?

D: Clearly guilty as charged.

B: So justify it!

D: Here is one justification. Most attendees go to church once a week or even just like 4 days a year. The rest of the time they don’t give theological stuff a second thought. I mean spirituality. That is the dose they get. Without the church they would not even get that. So participation is essential.

Kind of Cool

I Just Like This picture

Love Is The Only True Church
Love Is The Only True Church | Source

Where there is Love

B: But if the dosage they get is half full of stuff what good does that do?

D: Hey, if I do half the stuff I have to do right that ain’t so bad. What percentage do you think you are at?

B: 80

D: That is because you are so young you do not have a real baseline to judge, most of your decisions have little consequence now.

B: That is so belittling and disrespectful.

D: Oh I hope I did not hurt your feelings. Not really and remember “harsh”.

B: But that is your opinion not a truth.

D: Got you there because it is the truth of my opinion. And that brings us back to church. I suppose that is another thing about church, I think they should change it from “sermon” to “opinion”.

B: Dad I still believe I just don’t believe in church. I mean like some people think God resides in their building but God is in the wave and the canyon and in the birds.

D: Well you know my mantra straight up from Jesus “God is Love”. You know that in all my travels I have never found a place without love. Sure there may also be hate and apathy and pain and suffering but there is still love in those places. I suppose if someone were condemned to something it would be because “they have not love”.

B: Hey you quote the Bible all the time so how come you do not know the name and numbers of the verses for most of it.

D: Danged Bible Thumpers memorize instead of synergy with God.

B: I figure just the two of us in the car talking about this stuff is a whenever two of you are gathered in His name, and because we love each other so much this old beater of yours’s is a church.

D: Amen to that. And you are wise beyond your years.

There was an easy quiet after that for quite some time. I suppose we were lost in thought. But my son remembered it to me all these years later. I reckon somethings and some moments just create a space in our brain where somethings just remain as clear a yesterday.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 5 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is a wonderful truth for us today Dianna. But we must note that Christ taught in temples. And that he promised to take down that building. And then turning the money changers tables. There is a lingering importance to a structure. I cannot resolve it totally.

      I prefer to think of church as you do. That wedding notion of Paul's of "whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name". Sits well with me.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 days ago

      Church should not be defined as a building. People are the church and should live it's message of love as God intended. Love your picture of the little one too. Sweet child.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Nikki, In writing this series it is really fun going back years or just hours to recreate.

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      Nikki Khan 3 weeks ago from London

      Wonderful read Eric,, loved the pictures so much.Some great things to learn.

      Bless you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I thank God for the blessings. especially these ones that keep my faith new.

      Thank you Manatita

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Brian. Yes speculations are fascinating and actually fun for me. Maybe I should do one that shows my full convictions rather than speculations.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A big apology for not getting to this sooner. As is my want, I forget to go slow for the first few days of gardening (every year it seems) and got a great tweak or two in my back. Sitting at my computer for anytime was not an option.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chris there is that passage about when you helped the stranger.... I cannot help but think of my children as angels.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, thank you for such a comment. For me, tomorrow may have me disagreeing with my theology today. I hope it is not because I am a man without conviction but rather one open to learning.

      Yes the book/compilation is very slowly taking form. So many questions how that I am stuck using indecision to justify my procrastination.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is awesome my friend. Yes!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 3 weeks ago from Washington DC

      We can say it like this - as I had intended to:

      A basic Atom has 1 electron, 1 proton and 1 neutron; the neutron without a charge like photons is all knowing god, the proton (+) attracts our attention the son and the electron that draws man-en-mass into the the "dominion" ability is the holy ghost who lives the way before main mass so they can have the knowledge of how he achieves it, yet, it takes the 3 to make up a complete basic atom.

      Try that on for size, Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like the light within us concept regarding a quantum of photon(s). It is a great example of where science and spirit can come together to explain both. I have no problem with breaking down the thought that love is in fact a particle with no rest mass. And how that connects us all and to God.

      But I do not appreciate the notion that it is the same regarding the Trinity. (read appreciate in it's true sense not modern cliche.) This is to say there is nothing special there. Perhaps we could agree that it is through the three in one that the photons get their light. Taking us full circle to the creationist explanation of something like a "Big Bang" theory.

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      John Hansen 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Some great lessons to be had here, Eric, from listening to the different (somewhat,age-related)viewpoints. I can see where both your sons and yourself are coming from. We are never too old to learn, and God speaks to us all in different ways.

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      William Kovacic 3 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Eric. Not sure I agree with all of your theology, but nevertheless, it was an interesting read. just curious - have you ever thought about putting this series in book form? Or is it? Just a thought!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 3 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Okay Eric, we will call "existence" God which makes everything within it to be its like our organs, blood, food, oxygen and all of the other minerals found in our bodies, are us and our individual life-forces also permeates them therefore god's life-force permeates everything within it. I call photons "the god particle" so every photon within god are all interconnected by a "silver thread" which communicates with the "photon" particle around which god is built. Via that "Silver Thread" everything in existence has access to all knowledge known to god in that one photon it is built around since everything, such as our organs, blood and the like, within every object has their own individual photon they are built around. That is how Christ is able to say "I'm in the father and the father is in me" as well as how everything in you can say the same about you as their father.

      Does that make sense?

      So we will say, via meditation, Christ found access to his photon's photon or god which makes god and him one. So, when the "holy ghost" comes, during what is called "the second coming of Christ," he will find his god photon and the son's photon by being conscious of his own photon by way of meditating "day and night". That means the only way we can become consciously connected to god is to learn to live ecologically, i.e, "go through the flaming sword and re-enter the garden" where we are able to stay in constant connection with god 24/7.

      Try that on and see how it fits.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah I spent 4 years preaching, (Lutheran) one year as a canonical lawyer (Episcopal) and I am on my forth year of Catholic Bishop approved Catechism studies. I just love the study of doctrines which is really a subset of Theology. I have also studied Hindu, Ancestor worship, Buddhism, Shinto and Southwestern Native American spiritual concepts. I am not "accomplished" at any but for me the study is as fun as a great novel.

      I start most days with scripture reading, prayers and meditation.

      None of this is done for achievement or to increase my spirit with love. Some guys like to watch football or basketball and baseball. I like to read and write about spirituality and theology. You can understand why I have no friends ;-) But my wife and children are down with it.

      So more often than not I need to be careful in going on and on. My youngest calls me chaddy instead of daddy.

      So in this series I try to stay away from answers that reflect my views and rather the views of my two wonderful Boys.

      As to the trinity. I think most views are said in different ways than yours but align with effort. I see no problem in understanding each. The mystery is how they are one.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 3 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Sometimes Religion is "Weird"

      "D: Don’t know why the Trinity and I never met anyone who knows. So we just call it a Holy mystery. I am not kidding, nobody knows."

      After my "New Conception" in late 1973 I said "god, I'm going to consider everything I know to be in error and I want you to teach." When I got to the "trinity" I questioned it and was inspired to defend all of the terms, father, son and "holy" ghost and "holy" spirit. It was slow coming and I came up with.

      Father: the begetter of all animated life-types.

      Son: the offsprings of animated life that will become begetters.

      Holy: derived from "whole and wholly" meaning complete.

      Ghost: aspiration of a discarnated person, the life-force.

      Spirit: relating it to scripture I used "the real meaning or the intention behind something as opposed to its strict verbal interpretation."

      So my findings became "god the father" is the begetter of all existence and all knowing who begets "god the son" or an incarnate being who will eventually replace the father, explained in my hub "Existence Explained Via Numbers." With "holy" meaning complete and "ghost" being a "life-force" a "holy ghost" would be a whole man able to do what ghosts do as demonstrated by Christ's entering the locked upper room and "holy spirit" the complete INTENDED interpretation meaning concerning every scriptural passage as "let him who have ears hear what the spirit say" imply.

      Questioning

      "B: And yet you attend church? Isn’t that pretty much being a hypocrite?"

      That is why I chose not to remain a church-house preacher but a nomadic seeker of truth who kept what I believed but didn't understand until I obtain an answer or proof (Hebrews 11:1) of its non-existerncence. Being a non church goer nor worker for money allowed me to meditate night and day in my search, explore all manner of non-religious and religious doctrines (Psalm1).

      Where there is Love

      I believe you will find love called "in love" is nothing more than "hating another's liberty" whereas love representing "unconditional love" or "Indifference = in the difference between love and hate" is respecting everything/person's right to be what/who they are while inspiring, if possible, other life to be who they are independent of controlling or owning.

      Aloha

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, I have an eight year old and sometimes when I write here in this series the discussions are just hours old. Like yesterday I quizzed him on our mile walk home from school about states and our government. He has yet to have a clue but could name the top boss.

      I understand this is actually at least 30% of adults also. We happily trudge.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      Nice interactions between you and the kid and sometimes funny too. Good old memories. they help us to channel the positive into new life. Have a good evening.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora. A wonderful "side effect" of this series is that it really has resulted in more appreciation of our relationships.

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      Dora Weithers 4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      If we listen to the children carefully, we find opportunity to reflect and renew, if necessary. You are blessed with children who communicate with you. Maximize the experience!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I just just adore that phrase. My youngest and I have started a dialogue on afterlife - good to do while we are not mourning a loss.

      I of course do not believe in "after" life. It is just a different life that our souls move onto.Hard for me to believe there is better than this life on earth.

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      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I am a spiritual being having a human experience. Those are my feelings towards religion...with on cherry on top....LOVE!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And they are fun with someone who likes the exercise rather than winning. Thank you Brian.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Theological speculations are ever fascinating.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. I have been and continue to be blessed by an incredible journey. It is fun to write about things that did in fact happen. (although I did not take notes so accuracy often eludes me ;-)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 weeks ago from Shelton

      Eric, I still find this series to be captivating... thoughts, conversation and just the concept makes it a must read!!!!

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