That’s right, we are now located for good at…
So get on there and follow us now!
That’s right, we are now located for good at…
So get on there and follow us now!
Well, when we say ‘Your country’ , we really just mean this particular website.
So we’ve started out now on this journey… the first three parts of the book are now up on the site to read, which will probably end up as part of a first chapter.
Here’s where we really want your help.
We would love to get as many stories as we can from people of different backgrounds and stages of life, on what they think of God, religion, church and anything else connected with those things – and what your experience has been.
We will then choose a selection of these that will go into the final book when we get that far ahead! So here’s where you come in – there’s 3 things we would love for you to do!
NUMBER 1 – Promote this page to your network – on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, whatever.
NUMBER 2 – Click the ‘I’m In!’ button on the right to subscribe and receive regular updates, or you can just subscribe to the RSS feed above if you’re into that kind of thing!
NUMBER 3 – Leave your own story, ideas and feedback on the content as it’s posted up. Be brutally honest, be open, be yourself.
Thanks for being part of this – it’s only just beginning!
There’s a great quote in the film ‘Into The Wild’. It’s based on a true story, where the main character in the story, Christopher Mckandless, has given up on trudging through life, taking the path his parents want for him. He decides to give away his college fund to charity and just disappear into the wild. His goal is to get to Alaska where he can live off the land and be alone.
In one scene, he says this…
Rather than love, or money, or faith, or fame, or fairness… give me truth.
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I don’t get a straight answer. When you have an important question but all you get in return is vague comments and general ideas. Just tell me what I want to know!
I find it hard to grasp that there’s people out there in this world that enjoy maths… they actually enjoy looking at statistics, or financial accounts, and calculating things. I’m not kidding, there really are people out there who are into that kind of thing! I know, it sounds crazy. I have a friend who’s been studying these kinds of things for the last few years. And I found out there’s a reason she likes working with numbers.
With numbers, everything makes sense. To every mathematical question, there’s one right answer, and there’s millions of wrong answers. If you have the solid details, you put them together, and come out with a solution. The true solution.
It’s not mysterious, confusing or hidden away.
If you know the method, you can solve the problem.
Now I think about it, I can see why that is attractive to some people. It’s satisfying.
You ask a question, and get a solid, definite answer.
If only all questions were like that.
Q. What is 2 + 2?
Q. What colour is grass? (Usually?)
Q. What animal do we get ham from?
I’m guessing you didn’t have too much trouble with those questions. How great would it be if every question in life was as simple! How about these ones?
Q. Who was the first prime minister of Kenya?
Q. What is the chemical formula for aspirin?
Q. What song was top of the US music charts in 1952?
Those questions are a lot harder – but even if they were too tough for you, they still have one specific answer each. (Jomo Kenyatta, C9H8O4, and ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole if you were wondering.) All you need is Wikipedia!
Then you have questions like these…
Q. What is the best restaurant in the United Kingdom?
Q. Who is the most attractive film star in the world?
Q. Where is the perfect location for a holiday?
You probably found it easy to answer those questions… but it doesn’t make your answers true. It’s just your opinion. You can’t really find a ‘correct’ answer to these, because they’re personal, they all depend on who you ask. Just because your great auntie Glenys loves the local Tea Rooms, George Clooney and a weekend in Scarborough doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way. You might be more of a Pizza Hut, Angelina Jolie (or Brad Pitt), Australia kind of person.
Finally, you have questions that are so big, the answer seems beyond our reach. Like these for example…
Q. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Q. Is there ever such thing as a ‘just war’?
Q. Why is there so much suffering in the world?
Q. What is the meaning of life?
People have wrestled with these questions for centuries, debating, arguing, disagreeing, but never really coming any closer to an answer. Maybe we’ll never have an answer.
And so we come to our question, the subject we’re going to try and tackle if we can.
Who or what is God, if he exists? And why should we care?
And before you can answer that question, you have to ask yourself something else.
Is this a question that has an answer?
Or is it just a matter of opinion?
Or is it a question so big that it’s impossible for anyone to really answer it?
Because if it’s just down to opinions, then there’s no point going any further. Everyone has an idea of who God is, every idea is true to that person, so believe what you want and relax, it doesn’t matter that much anyway.
And if it’s a question that’s impossible to answer, then again we may as well stop trying right now. If it’s up there with ‘What is the meaning of life?’ then we’re never going to get a straight answer that we can settle with.
I believe this is more than opinions, and it’s more than mystery and speculation. It may be a harder question than ‘What is 2 + 2?’ but I think there is still a definitive answer.
If you’re willing to accept that possibility, then stick around for the journey.
Because like Christopher Mckandless, we want to find the truth.
I spent half an hour looking at this blog today -
It’s got so many perfect examples of what I’m talking about – that religion gets in the way of God so often. There’s some funny stuff on there (see Banana Jesus above!), some unbelievable stuff , and some pretty sad stuff too – see the guy carrying a sign shouting about everyone God apparently hates.
I’ve met so many quality people who want nothing to do with any kind of religion or God because of the things they’ve seen religious people do or say. And I find it very hard to blame them for that. Religion has often made a complete mess of things.
That’s why we need to strip God of that stuff. If there is any truth to be found under all those layers of religion and hypocrisy and judgementalism, then we have to take them off him.
Anyway… Go Banana Jesus!
PS – If anyone finds any other comedy sightings of Jesus (maybe you’ve seen him in a cucumber or choc chip cookie) then send them in and we’ll feature them in a future stripGod post!
So, like I said in the last post… why bother with God? If he’s so confusing, so hard to understand and grasp, so hidden and mysterious… what’s the point of spending time looking into this at all?
Here’s something to think about.
If something is worth knowing about, then no matter how hard it is to get there, no matter how confusing it can be at times, no matter how many dead ends you may find on the way, it’s still worth knowing about.
And sometimes the answer is alot simpler than you expect.
At the end of last year I was in Australia with some friends on a three month holiday, which was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my life. It was the middle of the summer, we had no worries or responsibilities… just thirteen weeks of sun bathing, adventuring, wake boarding and snake catching. Good times!
One day, we decided to take a trip out to Frazer Island, the largest sand island in the world just off the coast of Queensland. It’s famous for it’s rainforest, dingos, wildlife and amazing scenery. I don’t want to make you jealous or anything… but to give you an idea here’s a picture of Lake Mackenzie where we spent a few hours relaxing on the sand.
On this particular trip, we didn’t have any of our Australian friends with us. It was just the four of us – a welshman, an englishman, an irishman, and a swiss girl. It would be the perfect setup for a joke. And soon it felt a little bit like a joke too.
We had been given a 4×4 jeep – otherwise known as the Troopy – to drive for the day (only 4WDs are allowed on the island for reasons you will soon understand) which none of us had any experience driving. The fact that we had been trusted with this automatically lead us to believe we were easily able to handle it. So after a short ferry ride from the mainland to the island, we set off along the sandy roads.
It wasn’t long before we noticed that the maintenance of the roads through the rainforest wasn’t at a very high level of excellence. In fact, they were just deep and narrow sandy trails, wide enough for one vehicle at a time, twisting, climbing and dipping steeply over the rough terrain. Not only that, but they were full of holes. I’m not talking tiny holes here – I mean big gaps, some of them two or three feet deep. Some parts of the road just looked like a series of gigantic steps. It wasn’t until afterwards that we learnt of the large number of deaths and accidents that had occurred on the island over the years, most of them being inexperienced young drivers. Only a few weeks after we had been there, there was another fatal jeep accident not far from where we had been.
But we were blissfully unaware of any of this, and so we set off through the rainforest, feeling confident and invincible, enjoying the wildness of it all.
About five minutes later we were stuck in the soft sand.
We jumped out, slightly worried, and took a look at the wheels to figure out what might be the problem. Not that we had any idea what we were looking for. One of us suggested deflating the tires, but we didn’t like that idea. Eventually we managed to achieve a suitable combination of revving the engine and pushing the jeep hard enough to get moving again.
For about ten feet or so anyway.
This is when we started getting a bit worried. Revving the engine wasn’t working any more – in fact, we could all smell the smoke coming out from under the bonnet. We tried placing logs underneath the wheels to get some grip, we tried removing the sand from around the tires, but we had no luck.
It wasn’t long before the next jeep turned up behind us – and on those narrow roads, when one jeep gets stuck, every jeep behind gets stuck too. Soon there was a small crowd of people gathering to offer help. There were ideas and opinions flying around everywhere about what to do.
Some people tried pushing the Troopy, but it wouldn’t budge no matter how hard we tried. Some people asked about the condition of the vehicle, others tried getting in the driving seat themselves and playing with the gears… someone else wondered whether we needed to be tugged out with a rope… some people were laughing about it, others were annoyed and wanted us to get out of the way. Some people obviously thought we were just stupid. Some of the more experienced drivers couldn’t understand how we could be so stuck, and stood around pondering. But none of these ideas and views were actually helping the situation. I just felt a bit useless and tried to look like I was figuring it out.
Then, somebody leant down by the front wheel, turned some kind of nut, and said “That’s your problem. The 4WD manual hub wasn’t engaged. And also you may want to deflate your tires a little.”
Well, if we didn’t already feel stupid, then we definitely did now. After all that discussion, confusion and frustration, the problem was that we hadn’t twisted a locking nut on the front wheel. That was all we had to do. It was so simple, none of the onlookers could believe we had missed such an ‘obvious’ thing. But nobody had suggested it up to that point, and we had never been told about it by anybody beforehand either.
After that, we got out of the sand with no problems. We did get stuck a few more times along the way, but we managed. It was a bit unnerving at some points, and we had a few bumps and bruises by the end of the day, but you’ll be relieved to know we made it out alive!
It would definitely have been worth us knowing about that sneaky nut before we headed out to the island that day. It definitely would have saved us some problems, time and embarrassment. But it was so ‘obvious’ that nobody thought to let us know.
And when we were trying to find out about it, there was so many different opinions and ideas and thoughts and views, so many frustrated and confused and impatient and ‘know-it-all’ people around, that it took what seemed like forever to find the problem.
If it wasn’t for that one man looking for the simple answer, who knows how long we could have been there.
That’s what happens so often when we try to figure out this God thing. There are so many different opinions and ideas and thoughts and views, so many frustrated and confused and impatient and ‘know-it-all’ people around, that it can take what seems like forever to find the truth.
And if we don’t look for the simple answer, we could be stuck here forever.
That’s what stripGod is really about. It’s about getting rid of all the unhelpful, confusing things that get in the way of our search, and getting down to the simple truth. And why bother? Because if there is a God, I believe it’s important enough to be worth knowing about. No matter how many things may be in the way.
…this is going to be interesting.
Before you start it might be helpful for you to read the ‘What is stripGod?’ page of the site (the link is over on the right). It will help you make sense of exactly what we are trying to do here. After that, get your mind ready for some fresh thinking, read the posts and the comments that are on here, and get involved in the conversation.
You can subscribe over to the right if you give your email address, which means you’ll be notified every time a new post goes up.
Thanks for your input and ideas – the more you get involved, the better this is going to be. Get the word out, let people know this is here, tell your friends. In fact tell your enemies, strangers, anyone you can get your hands on.