Hi, all! I'm doing well. How are all of you? I just got a lil' Toshiba netbook computer, so I can get online more often now! : D I'm very excited about it.
But now I have a problem. A big, unsatisfying, frustrating problem. One I thought was resolved. Namely: I'm back in the intellectual and emotional debate between Islam and Christianity. I started reading the Bible - from the beginning - and have also been reading the S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali translation of the Koran. Found a couple of interesting books about the Bible, too - "Jesus, Interrupted" and "Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years".
Now, I am not one of those folks who believes the Bible is perfect and has never been changed by so much as a word. People have been involved with the Bible from the get-go, and we all know that people tend to screw things up (intentionally or not). After all, we aren't perfect. We make mistakes. So... I'm cool with people talking about the Bible having been changed. The two books mentioned previously are all about the influence of humans on Christianity and it's source and teachings.
But it's leading me to another spiritual crisis. I'm reading both the Koran and the Bible, and I'm realizing... as much as the uninformed person claims that Islam is a religion of violence, Christianity also has a violent history, full of mysogyny and war and all those other horrid things. The Spanish Inquisition, anyone? The way I look at it, in terms of violence, the actions of extremists in the Middle East are on par with those of the Catholic Church centuries ago and, later - to an extent, with prejudice, etc - the Protestant church. Hmmm, I didn't say that quite right, so please don't take offense. I'm trying to organize my thoughts on this topic, but I'm a bit out of practice on religious intellectual discussion.
To my way of thinking, the issues right now are what the Christian world was going through 2 or 3 or 4 centuries back. So are we really that different, after all? All I see is a difference in time, and maybe not even so much that, considering the 600 years between the foundation of Christianity and that of Islam - Christianity was suffering many of the same problems at the age that Islam is now.
I'm so confused... But I'll keep reading and praying and, with God's help, may finally rest 100% certain in the validity and rightness of my faith. Whatever that might end up being.
I wonder how my deployment will affect my questioning soul.
Biggest fear: Picking a religion, but then finding out after I die that it was the wrong one and that I'll go to hell for it.