Today I got into a rather interesting dialog with someone about religion. Now I know some will say that is a dangerous topic to have since most people have very strong feelings about their religious denomination or tradition. The interesting thing was that we both came from very different backgrounds and it was a lively discussion.
One of the points that we talked about was whether or not people should question their faith. Now I am not trying to argue that there is or is not a God (or whatever word you like to use). That is a personal thing and I respect whatever one believes. What I was talking about was questioning the rules and norms of a given faith tradition. Next week will be lent in some Christian traditions depending on what calendar you follow. With that custom there are a number of things that people will do during that time period. I am not going to go into all of those customs here since it would require a lot more time than I have to create this post.
What I question is why people do those traditions. One I will mention is the tradition of giving up something for lent. Now I have known people who would give up alcohol or smoking for lent. Once lent was over with they were back to smoking or drinking as they were before. Nothing changed in their lives after the time period. There was no growth in the lives of these people. I feel that as a person I need to continue to grow as a person. That should apply in our faith or spiritual life. If we do something in a faith tradition why don’t we ask what we will be getting out of this action. For some they go year after year going through movements of a faith tradition and nothing happens.