The thing about beliefs is that they can truly be ANYTHING.
If you or I want to believe that ultra-terrestrial beings are fueled by black licorice and ride interstellar unicorns that gallop on multidimensional energy fields, we can believe it. No evidence is necessary. That’s why it’s called “make-believe”.
In similar ways…
I can believe that racism is ridiculous. Or real.
I can believe the earth is flat. Or round.
I can believe in evolution. Or not.
I can believe in binaries. Or nuance. Or both.
I can believe that quantum mechanics disrupts my perception of reality. Or that we’re all living in a simulation.
I can believe 10,000+ statements are void of truth. Or not.
I can believe that morality doesn’t matter and power is the only truth.
I can believe that my beliefs in the afterlife will determine my afterlife.
I can believe that my beliefs should not be questioned or interrogated.
Belief can become more of an idol to our imagination than a concept tethered to reality.
Belief can become a justification for amorality and a pantheon of privilege.
Belief can become the impenetrable fortress of any ‘true believer’.
When Belief is confined to a mental exercise, it stays behind its prison bars and throws away the key.
At least that’s what I believe.
Jesus didn’t elevate Belief as the highest value or virtue.
Belief helps start the spiritual journey, but is not a destination.
Belief provides an outline for growth, but is not an anchor for self-rightness.
But Religion has morphed beliefs into a litmus test of belonging, an arbiter of community, and a sanctuary for my preferences.
Religion has reinforced the view that a verbal testimony is sufficient to represent one’s unquestioned truth.
Which leads me to believe that we are horribly missing the point about Belief.
Try to listen closely to the language frequently found within religious circles…
: what do you *believe about ‘X’?
: how did you come to *believe in ‘Y’?
: why do you *believe that ‘Z’ is true?
Now consider some alternatives…
: how does your belief in ‘X’ nurture healthier relationships?
: why do you choose to pursue ‘Y’?
: what can we do to solve problem ‘Z’?
You can ask me about my beliefs, but I’d probably tell you what I wish to be true.
I think it’s wise to recognize the limitations of asking people what they believe.
I think a truer reflection of my beliefs are my actions, and better understood when observed.
Maybe the most precise way to critique my beliefs is to hold up a mirror to my conduct.
Maybe the healthiest way to repent of my beliefs is to start living the better way.
Maybe it’s time to live my way into a more ethical and moral belief system.
Hmm, maybe it’s time for make-believe to transform into do-believe.
Otherwise, I could believe that Love is only found in silence and faith is the sound of one hand clapping.
I could believe whatever affirms my biases and find myself deceived by a con man (or woman).
I could succumb to the power of my beliefs instead of convert towards living my beliefs.
And though I can believe (or make-believe) ANYTHING, I can’t do EVERYTHING.
At least not ride a unicorn on multidimensional energy fields.
But that would be kinda cool.