What is Convergenism?

Convergenism is derived from the word convergence which in turn is derived from the two latin roots “com” and “verge”.  “Com” meaning “together” or “in association” and “verge” meaning “to tend” or “to incline”.  Put them together, and we have my new word.  Except for one small part.  I’ve thrown in a powerful little suffix called “ism”.  I had a hard time justifying to myself that I wanted to turn my word into an “ism”.   Isms are are distinctive theories, practices and doctrines.  I think by doing so, I’ve clubbed this set of beliefs in with all other religions.  However, my goal is not to define a new set of religious practices, theories, and/or doctrines.  I wish to share my hypothesis. 

First, a little background.  I grew up in a semi-orthodox Christian home.  As of the age of 11, I thought I was Christian.  I remember sitting on the swing in our backyard with my dog, Blackie, and explaining to him why I wanted to be Christian.  When I had convinced Blackie that I really wanted to be Christian, I prayed “the prayer”, and I must admit that a soothing calm came over me.  Almost a sense of relief (or realization) that my life was no different than it was 10 seconds ago.  So that’s my testimony. 

 Now I have a little bit of a different testimony.  When I was in college, I took a class on Eastern Religion.  This class was supposed to be an easy mythology class.  After all, I was Christian and firmly believed that the Bible was the truth and all other religions were as mythological as Zeus himself.  After the first week, I started to realize something amazing.  The other students in the class actually believed in the stories we were hearing.  How could they be so irrational?   In high school when we study Greek and Roman mythology, no one stood up and vouched for the existence of Apollo.  No one said that they were firm believers in the story of Hercules.  But here in this Eastern Religions class, people were defending their religions with as much zeal as I would use to defend my own.  Now, despite being utterly religious, I pride myself in being rational and logical in my thought process.  At this particular moment, it struck me that ration and logic dictate I question my own faith. 

Faith is one of the most powerful concepts in the world.  Our society and civilization is built on the shoulders of those that came before us.  Faith is the belief that those shoulders are able to support us.  Contrary to popular belief, religious faith has nothing to do with a belief in a God.  Faith has everything to do with a belief in men and their completely human interpretation of what they perceived to be God. 

My faith dictated that all other faiths are wrong.  My logic dictated that my faith was crap.  Thus, my logic won out and I became an agnostic.  Agnosticism is the belief that you don’t have a belief.  This is the equivalent of saying that I do not trust the “shoulders” in my analogy above.   This is perfectly fine if you are in stasis.  At some point, one realizes that stasis is boring as hell, and one tries to find some support (some faith) with which to build.  But my faith had to be founded on logic in order for it to be real.  In the past two years, my search for support has led me to convergenism, and I am almost ready to start building with it as my foundation. 

Convergenism is the hypothesis that all followers of the major world religions are, in actuality, studying and worshipping the same God.

4 thoughts on “What is Convergenism?

  1. Religion is something that can affect you. You can effect faith in religion. See, faith is a verb and a noun. It depends on how someone uses their ‘faith.’ People need to know what faith is for themselves before they can figure the rest out. Something in you makes you know what your faith is. Is it a simple noun, something that hangs in the background and is always there? Is it active, a motion, a movement that is always churning? I feel it is a work in progress, never-ending and always learning. Without faith, how can you establish your faith? You cant piggy back on other’s faith, you need to define it for yourself. There should be a desire to discover things on your own, but the lazy following of other’s faith will only turn into ignorance and false hope at best.

  2. I continue from my last post. Kido, you discussed how logic “won out” and you became agnostic. Is this because you lacked what you define as faith? And if you lacked it, did you really want it to begin with. It seems you contend that faith and logic cannot coexist and thus logic won. Active faith is believing, believing when things don’t make sense, where things don’t seem logical, yet they exist. Does this make you see others who are “faith-dominant” as not being logical? Of course, logic can be relative…just curious how you view other’s beliefs regarding faith and logic.

  3. VOR, leaving out the first statement on religion, I agree with your first comment completely. Faith is what you accept as true and use as a foundation for understanding. The difficulty lies in the fact that what you believe in is typically handed to you by other people. In most cases, it’s spoonfed to you as you grow up.

    The problem is faith does not necessarily equal truth, and when truth is proven through some other means, then faith must adapt. For example, a few hundred years ago, every scientist had faith that the Sun revolved around the earth. Then a few individuals proved them wrong, and their faith had to change. People tend to cling to their faith and ignore logic. In the above example, the individuals who proved the established faith wrong were placed under house arrest for the remainder of their lives.

    I read somewhere that there are three logical methods of believing/determining something as true. In order of reliability and accuracy, the first is empirical evidence meaning you observe it through your own experiment. The second is if you prove it through logical reasoning. The third and least reliable method, is if someone else has told it to you. I believe that 99% of religious faith (scientific faith as well) in the world is based on the third method alone. And yet, we go to war over the faith founded on the third method.

    Regardless of which method we choose, logically we must accept the fact that our faith itself might be flawed. That is not the same thing as saying God is flawed. It is just saying that our understanding of God may be flawed. As a Christian growing up, the Bible was the “inspired” word of God, meaning God would not allow it to be flawed. In addition, anything outside of the Bible had to be flawed. That was my faith, and my logic had an issue with that when I finally faced individuals who had conflicting but equally viable faiths. Imagine a few hundred years ago, I might have been the one saying the Earth was the center of the solar system and putting Galileo under house arrest just because he defied my faith. That is why my logic won out. My logic had to assume that it is possible that my faith was flawed. I became an agnostic not because I stopped believing in a God, but because I was no longer able to blindly accept the faith that was spoonfed to me growing up in a Christian family. I’ll talk about being agnostic in a later post. As you mentioned in the first comment, the next step for me is to correct my faith and that is what I am trying to do in this blog and my research.

    Not sure if I really answered anything for you. I believe faith and logic CAN exist, but faith must be adaptable based on the three logical methods. If I “observe” God, and he is different then my faith understood, then I must definitely correct my faith. If I logically deduce that God must be different, then I should verify my logic and again correct my faith. If someone else tells me that God is different, then I should validate the source and if validated, I should correct my faith. In all cases, faith must adapt given a conflicting, logically-determined argument.

    I view others who are “faith-dominant” and NOT “faith-adaptable” the same as I view the people who put Galileo in jail. They are emotionally tied to their faiths, and it hurts their own quest to understand God because they are not willing to adapt when it turns out that God isn’t exactly what they thought. In another post I’ll discuss religion, but basically religion tells people what to do with their faith. I especially have a problem with the Christian religion and any other religion that says if you truly have faith you will force your faith down every other persons throat. Just like the leaders who imprisoned Galileo.

    I do think that one day soon I might believe in God, but I will never call myself a Christian and tie myself to that religion.

    Did you know that the word Christian was not coined until much later when an opposer to Christ used it? Even then, the “official” definition was given in the Nicene Creed almost 300 years after Christ by “scholars”. The original followers simply called themselves “believers” in Christ. I like that much better. If you have time, read this page: http://www.mb-soft.com/believe/txh/chrisdef.htm
    He adds a lot of his opinion in there, but the history and origin of the word Christian is universally agreed upon.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment VOR, I might cut-and-paste all this into another post down the road.

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