by CHI LENG
There is a struggle in apprehending religion — a very thin line between seeking the truth and blasphemy. I ask myself “the big questions” sometimes like, “Is God really there?” or “Why do You permit bad miracles to happen?” or “What is the criteria of a ‘bad miracle’?” There is faith in religion, in existence. A preacher once shared a story with me, that even as we sit on the second floor of a building, we have faith that it will continue to support all of us and would not crash down. There is faith and there is logic in it too: the architecture of a building or the materials used. That is why we have faith that the building would not collapse.
The following was a snippet of a conversation between a philosophy/theology professor and me. I share this, despite risking oversimplification (he wasn’t giving me a lecture after all), because it made sense to me in relation to our subject. My interest in Christianity could be that I have been influenced by the “West”, where logic is indispensable to apprehending anything, including faith per se. There are reasons for a beginning, a middle and an end. It is a framework for thought that I am accustomed to. This is in contrast to the “East”, whereby the things (the natural, the spiritual, etc.) can exist in contradiction and is seen as a whole. The context is not important because it is always about the future. Similar to the Chinese culture, for example, where we hope for wealth and good health (which are of the future). The past is of ancestors we hope that we would be able to please and honour; it is of fear. The present feels like a bubble being stretched at both ends, where one end is the past and the other the future.
So is it wrong to search for logic in Christianity, in religion? Is it wrong to search for the truth of the truth? It has been difficult for me to discuss such philosophical questions with people who have only chosen to see faith. Partly because I was afraid of offending them and I was afraid that I might insult his/her God. But now I believe discussions like these are important to understand your faith. It is not that I doubt the existence of God. It is a way, a rational way, for me to reaffirm my beliefs. It has been, and still is, my journey in seeking the truth.