Bret Hamilton died last week of an apparent heart attack. His blog entry just a month ago gives you just a glimpse into the thinking of many who grew up Adventist.
“I am not a Bible scholar. Haven't picked one up for years. I often find humor in people that take themselves and their beliefs much too seriously. I was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, but found the fundamentalism and the core belief that we are all "unworthy," destructive and at times life threatening.
“I describe my religious views currently as a "Salad Bar." I like to pick and choose from the various doctrines out there to make my own personal guidelines that have worked really well for me...They are as follows:
1. I like the Zen philosophy of relaxation and self discovery. I use meditation and relaxation.
2. I like the life of Christ. Not the whole smiting and burn in hell stuff....but his actual life. He went to the people that needed him most....prostitutes, fishermen, sick, poor and blind. His message was love....period....I like that
3. I like the Catholic idea of confession. The rest of the theatrics are confusing and puzzling, but I like the idea of getting things off your chest and having a place to dump your shame.
4. I like the Mormon's idea of emphasis on the family and the one day off a week idea. I don't think it has to be "holy" but I think everybody needs to take at least a one day break every week.
5. I like that the Lutherans drink at their fundraisers. I don't drink (anymore...long story) but I think it lightens things up a little bit.
6. I like the Alcoholics Anonymous or any 12 step approach to living life, examining and trying to right wrongs and trying to live better and spread love.
7. I believe that we are not the end all of the universe but part of something bigger. I don't necessarily believe that there is a white haired harp distributor living on a cloud, but that the universe is too complex to have us be the very best there is. I often fantasize that we are a cancerous cell that is part of some larger entity. After all....size is relative. When I need to put a face to this something bigger....it is Jerry Garcia.
8. I tell my children to question everything as they have been blessed with brilliant minds. I also tell them to be wary of anyone that claims to have all the answers as every religion is an interpretation....
9. I believe that life is about loving your children, petting your dog, walking in the sunshine, picking up hitchhikers, holding hands, smelling newly mown grass, and loving each other. The rest is all just muck.
10. I believe that if I have lived my life with love and compassion, that the rest doesn't matter and in the end if something else awaits, whatever that is, I will go where I belong.”
INNOVATIONewsletter - April 7, 2010