A blog reader, Rebecca, emailed me with some questions, and after answering them, I though I'd share my answers here. I decided to post the Q&A in two parts, because it was simply too long to read at once, in my opinion. Thank you, Rebecca, for taking the time to write – you made me reflect on some things that have been lurking at the back of my mind for some time. Here goes…
1. "Was your discovery of God a gradual thing or did you just one day wake up and realise He was there looking after you?"
I don't think I ever thought there is no God, even in my most secular periods of life. It's just that there were times when I didn't know how to get close to Him; gradually, step by step, I opened up my heart to Him and allowed Him to speak to me and direct me. I stopped rebelling and devoted my energy instead to developing a close relationship with Him and learning from what He taught me. This journey has been more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.
2. "How do you read the words of the Bible? Which sections do you read literally, which figuratively? What is your favourite book of Scripture?"
I try to dedicate time every day to read and meditate on the Word of God. I take what is written literally unless it's clear that there's a deeper meaning behind the words, like often in Proverbs, which is my favorite book of Scripture, packed with pearls of wisdom!
3. "Do you think it is right to base Western law upon the Bible's teachings when not all individuals believe in the Bible?"
This is a tough one. I don't believe we can make people righteous by forcing it on them, and indeed, there have been outlaws and outcasts at all times. However, I think there's no better basis for laws than the Ten Commandments for Jews, and the Laws of Noah for non-Jews, the most basic moral and ethical code that will never expire.
4. "How would you like to see progressive leftist individuals change to become more tolerant towards members of the religious right?"
I wish there was less legislation to make abortions easier and to pull women out of their homes and into workforce. I wish leftists were more respectful and less arrogant towards the religious community; I wish we weren't treated like oppressed, narrow-minded idiots who don't know what's good for them.
5. "How do you think of people shunned by some of the Christian conservative groups (alternative religions, feminists and homosexuals for example)? Do you think of them as people with their own lives, loved ones and dreams?"
A very good question. I believe each and every person, no matter how deeply immersed in sin, is precious to our Father in Heaven, and should therefore be also precious to us, if we aspire to reflect His love. I used to be a feminist. I used to be sexually impure. I used to practice very sinister dark rituals. God loved me all the way, and continues to love me and guide me every day of my life. He loves everyone! And therefore, even if I disagree with certain people's actions and find them sinful, I still regard these people as precious children of God.