My Belief in God & Why I Listen to Christian Music Even Though I'm Not a Christian

Image Credit: Sounds Like Nashville


As long as we're not hurting anyone with our chosen beliefs, it doesn't matter what we believe; it's the application of the belief, and not the belief itself, that matters.

I grew up in a hazy religious environment.

My father was a Muslim, although he was non-practicing until I was in my teens, and then he got like...really into it.

My mother was raised Roman-Catholic, although she was also non-practicing, and then at some point she started to follow Buddhism, off and on. (It's complicated.)

There was an overall belief in God, but we didn't celebrate any religious holidays. (Only the commercial ones; Jesus who? Santa for the win!)

Image Credit: iStock

I'm non-religious, but I believe in a positive energy that unites us all, and I'm comfortable calling that energy God.

I've heard it said that religion is for people who are afraid of hell; spirituality is for those who've already been there.

I've been through hell, and that's where I met God. Standing on a balcony ledge, asking why I ought to go on. I'm not emotionally there anymore - thank GOD - but I've been there so many times that I know the way.

My point: I know hell and it's a lonely place. It's a place where there is no joy, and most importantly, no hope.

Every day when I wake up, I have to work for my positivity and work for my hope. I grew up in an environment of negativity and physical abuse, so darkness is easy.

I'm currently estranged from my family, and although I have truly wonderful friends, I feel moments of profound loneliness. I suspect we all have those moments, regardless of our life circumstances.

Through my spirituality and my belief in something greater than myself, I find hope, I touch the light, I can smile, I can feel as though someone has my back. 

For those who are non-spiritual, they might say "Belief in God is nonsense; it's like believing in fairytales and unicorns." (They look pityingly at anyone who believes in anything other than the tangible, as though one must be mentally challenged to believe in a higher plane.)

To those people I would say: "If what we believe helps us in some way, then does it matter what we believe?"

We all get to choose what we believe, and, with all due respect, no one is right; they're only right about what works for them.

As long as we're not hurting anyone with our chosen beliefs, why does it matter what we believe?

I would argue that it's the application of the belief, and not the belief itself, that matters.

Example: if we use a belief to exclude or to discriminate, then our beliefs aren't helping. If we use our beliefs to include and unify, then our beliefs are helping.

It's the application of the belief, and not the belief itself that matters.

Some beliefs might sound ridiculous to those who hear them and who believe differently. But if they help the believer, then it just doesn't matter. It really, really doesn't.

I need to believe in something greater than myself. With no family around me, I need to feel that someone has my back.

Putting our faith in people is unwise; people are flawed. We are all flawed and fallible. That isn't a criticism, it's the nature of being human, and it is what it is.

Yes, we should trust those who have proven themselves worthy of that trust. But a total and complete faith in any human? That's an impossible ask and a recipe for disappointment.

I need to lean on something that isn't fallible, and for me that's a non-denominational God.

God has my back; there have been so many times in my life where I've thought "Well that was some kind of miracle right there" that I have no choice but to believe that something is out there, and it doesn't want me to die prematurely.

I've wrestled with this idea though because of my past; I've asked "If there is a God, how could he have allowed me to suffer through the abuses I went through for so long?"

The answer to that question lies in another profound truth about being human, and that's the reality that we've all been given the gift of free will. No one can choose for us, do for us. We choose. NO ONE ELSE.

No entity has control over our free will.

God doesn't allow bad things to happen; he's given everyone free will to do with what they want, and then people make the choices that they make.

(Why do people choose to do bad things? That's a topic for another day.)

I'm comfortable with my belief in a positive energy that unites us all which I'm comfortable calling God.

And that's why I listen to Christian music; it reminds me that I'm not alone, it reminds me that I can rise up from my past, it reminds me of my true worth. I need those reminders because I know the road to hell, but at this point in my life, I'm ready to stop living there.

Love songs fail me because they're often based on idyllic and fallible human love; some of the lyrics actually scare me - the ones that talk about any other person "completing us" or lines like "I can't live or breathe without you" - that doesn't sound either healthy or realistic to me. No human should have that much power over us.

I'm in my early 40's and have been disappointed too many times in my life to take those songs seriously. I need something else, something bigger, something that allows me to commune with the eternal.

And that's why I listen to Christian music; because the lyrics lift me up and remind me of the everlasting quality of my soul; they remind me that I'm not alone.

I need that, and I won't apologize for needing that.

I'm not saying I'm right in my beliefs; I'm only saying that this is what works for me right now, because my beliefs make me a better, happier person.

And that's a good enough reason for me to continue believing what I believe.

Lyrics from songs by For King and Country; currently my favourite Christian band.

Mirror, mirror
Mirror on the wall
Telling those lies, pointing out your flaws, that isn't who you are
That isn't who you are

It might be hard to hear
But let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see
I know you would believe that isn't who you are
There's more to who you are

Oh, it's time to
Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon our heartache, yeah
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships
And don't you look back

When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
'Cause I know that You are near

My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness
All on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

Fight on, fighter
Don't let anyone steal your fire
Fight on, fighter
The Spirit is alive inside ya, yeah

Stronger than you than you ever thought
I know you're stronger
Braver than you were before
You know you're braver

Oh, no, you don't have to be afraid
Together we'll face it
So don't ever stop no matter what
'Cause you're gonna make it

In Alcoholics Anonymous, they call it a “Higher Power.”

I’ve never been completely comfortable with that term.

But I certainly believe that the Material Dimension, upon which you and I dwell, is not the only level of reality that exists...

So let me exchange “Higher Power” for “Higher Dimension”—­a sphere of reality that exists “above” the Material Plane but that permeates and interacts with this plane.

Still with me?


Popular Posts