What I Believe (Tom Spurgeon)

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Tom Spurgeon is one of my favourite writers and thinkers about comics. He asked to be identified by his full name.

Among the many things Tom has written is Wildwood, an enormously enjoyable Christian comic strip drawn by Dan Wright.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

I’m a born-again christian. I’m not sure that I’ve found the particular “brand” of christianity that appeals to me, but I’m sympathetic to elements of the catholic, methodist and quaker traditions.

2. How sure are you that those beliefs are true?

I’m not.
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What I Believe (Susy)

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Susy is a school teacher who lives in New Zealand.

1. What are your spiritual beliefs?

I believe in a “creator” for want of a better word, who continues to interact with the world in a way that influences human beings towards good rather than evil. I believe that this deity is present in the world, and the story of the incarnation in Jesus Christ and the subsequent activity of the Holy Spirit comes closer than any other religious story to providing a suitable metaphor for this presence. I know that there is a presence that continues to be in the emptiest of moments.

2. How sure are you that those beliefs are true?

I find the concept of truth a difficult one in relation to spiritual belief. These beliefs are “true” in so far as they are helpful to me and to many others. I do think they are “true” in a sense that they must be adopted by anyone for whom they are not self evident. I also believe very strongly that the moment anyone tries to force their understanding of spirituality onto another, or even to persuade them, those beliefs lose whatever claim to “truth” they might have had. For me spiritual belief is something that finds you as you need it, and can take many forms. No particular story is more “true” than another. I remember the story of the American woman seeking enlightenment as a Buddhist, who was told by her spiritual teacher to return to her home and be the best Christian she could. Then she would be a Buddhist. This epitomises for me the relationship between religions. If you wish to identify with a spiritual tradition, choose the one closest to home and follow it well and with integrity. This is similar to the Jewish concept that the righteous of all nations will be saved. In the end it comes back to “the fruits of your life” to use a Christian metaphor. Spirituality is meaningless unless it makes you a better person and the world a better place for you having lived. (Not that I can claim to necessarily succeed in those lofty ideals!)
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