A few months ago, a friend and reader of this blog suggested I was ‘sitting on the fence’ spiritually. In other words, the fact that I don’t commit wholeheartedly to Christianity or Islam troubled him, or at least that’s what I inferred from certain comments he made.
The position that I find myself in is that there are some important theological matters dividing the Qur’an and orthodox Christianity that I have been unable to resolve. The most significant of these is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and specifically the supposed deity of Jesus Christ.
Please understand that I take the idea of hell very seriously. So when I listen to or read the Qur’an and hear warnings that joining partners with God is punishable with hell and that Jesus was merely a man — a prophet — it causes me to hold back from participating in Christian worship that deifies Jesus.
The reason why I haven’t become a Muslim is simply because God tells me that this is not His chosen path for me. It is not out of any kind of fear that I haven’t become a Muslim, I believe the Qur’an is a divine revelation and the clearest guidance humankind has been given concerning matters of religion. But even above Scripture I trust in the things God says to me, and when I ask God whether I should go to a mosque and start performing the ritual Muslim prayers, He always tells me ‘no’. Instead He tells me that I am entirely free to do whatever I wish with the remainder of my life and that my past, present, and future sins are entirely forgiven.
It’s not easy for me living without a community or spiritual home. I get very lonely at times. But I haven’t felt comfortable sitting or kneeling in church and reciting liturgy that could, if the Qur’an is to be believed (and I do believe it is truly a divine revelation) be blasphemous. Religion, for me, is not about simply picking a side and sticking to it, which is what some of my Christian friends who reject the Qur’an seem to be doing. What matters to me is that I am right with God, who has the power to make me suffer. Most of the people who argue that Jesus is the only way to salvation haven’t even read the Qur’an, so they are in no position to argue that Quranic teaching about Jesus is in error.
Why would God tell me that I can do whatever I like and that I don’t have to be concerned about practising a particular religion? It’s because I have lived a deeply troubled life and God wants to reward me both for my suffering and for the devoted spiritual efforts I have made. As hard as I find it to accept, it seems that God wants me to simply enjoy life. It’s surprising to me that God would relax what He demands of me and give me this kind of freedom, because ever since I read the Bible properly for the first time around fifteen years ago my whole life has centred around serving God. But I think God’s plans involve me marrying and taking it easy, in the short-term at least.
Some people reading this may think that when I say I hear the voice of God I am deluded. Believe me, I have wrestled with this wholeheartedly. I do believe that when God speaks to me it truly is His voice and not the voice of Satan or some kind of brain disorder. I don’t believe brains cause thought; I have a detailed explanation of my views on this in my book God’s Grand Game. And I don’t think Satan would be wanting me to listen to the Qur’an and read the Bible and pray fervently to God, which I have been doing on a daily basis. So I feel it’s unlikely that every time I hear God’s voice it is actually Satan or some other demonic entity deluding me. And other people have told me that God talks to them, so I know I’m not alone.
What I always return to is my high view of the sovereignty of God. Everything that happens is willed and directed by God. The only way to truly discern the will of God is to see what transpires in reality. Once something happens, we know that that was God’s will. Until then we can speculate and argue about which of God’s revelations is more truthful, but God does whatever He will, He always has total control and total freedom.
Funnily enough, the most intuitive place I feel I would want to go to try and meet a future spouse is a church or a mosque. I have met girls that I would like to marry, but it seems God has always had other plans. I don’t know how I’m going to get married outside of socialising, but I’m not really accustomed to getting drunk and partying these days. Perhaps you could pray for me in respect of this. I was in the process of organising two events to bring together like-minded people in London but these plans have stalled, unfortunately. I joined a litter-picking group at my favourite local park, but it’s mostly older people doing the picking so I don’t know whether I’ll meet someone there. I could try dating apps again, I suppose.
But forgive my digression into matters of the heart!
In closing, I will just mention that I’ve given Perfect Chaos a redesign. I hope that you like the minimalistic approach I have taken.
Glory to God in the highest!