Thursday, May 3, 2012

To Save a "Wretch" Like Me

Trey Smith

Back in my younger days -- when I was a Christian and considering a career in the ministry -- I struggled with certain aspects of my faith. I've discussed some of these struggles before, but one I don't think I've touched on is the concept of worth.

From the Christian perspective, no human being is worthy and the only way to escape our unworthiness is through the grace of God. Though I genuinely tried to embrace this concept, it simply never clicked in me noggin. To my way of thinking, it really doesn't make a lick of sense.

As the belief goes, we are each born unworthy. Nothing we do will change this fact. We can lead the most exemplary of lives and yet, at the end of the day, we are just as unworthy as the day we were born. The only hope we have for escaping the fiery pit of hell is through the beneficent grace of the Heavenly Father.

If God is the epitome of perfection and HE created us in his own image, HOW could he create unworthy beings? Even more important, WHY would he create unworthy beings, ones who are powerless to cleanse our own unworthiness?

That doesn't sound like the actions of a loving and merciful creator. No, that sounds more like something an evil mad scientist would conjure up! Not only does it sound like something an evil mad scientist would think of, but an evil mad scientist who was an egomaniac as well!

Since I could never reconcile the idea that I (or anyone else) was inherently unworthy, it dawned on me that the Christian framework wasn't for me. So, in conjunction with several other basic disagreements with this belief system, I happily chucked it aside.

I like the Taoist framework much better. Rather than look at the whole of creation as unworthy, the Taoist goes in the opposite direction: Everything has worth in and of itself. If everything is a manifestation of Tao (i.e., the source of Being), how could it be otherwise?

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