Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Qualm with Christians

I had to rename this post. At first it was "My Qualm with Christianity," but then I realized that it's not the institution of Christianity itself that I take issue with. I must say that I am not on of those people who are anti-Christianity. I am not trying to convert anyone to anything else, nor am I pondering another religion myself. I'm not downing anyone's beliefs, nor am I condemning or making fun of Christians. Shoot, I am a Christian (by belief more so than lifestyle)! But there are some things that so-called Christians do that baffle, disgust and embarrass me. So here are my top three.

1. Not admitting that some stuff just doesn't add up.
One thing I learned from my finance professor last semester (the only thing, actually) is that it's okay to say "I don't know." But for some reason, a lot of Christians seem to not accept this. I mean, let's be real. There is quite a bit of stuff in the Bible that contradicts itself. And considering the fact that A) it was all written by men, despite being divinely inspired, B) it was written by many people over the course of many years, and C) we may not have every book that was intended to be in the Bible, it's not hard to understand why. But it's better to admit that you don't understand some things than to try to explain things to others and let them trip you up (or even worse, tripping yourself up). Even according to the Bible, right now we only see things as "through a glass, darkly," (I Corinthians 13:12) meaning we don't have full understanding. And it's okay to admit that, I promise.

2. Christians are too quick to condemn others.
Different religion? Going to hell. Gay? Going to hell. Greek? Hell. Listen to anything other than gospel or Christian music? You, too, will burn. It seems as if so many "Christians" are focused on condemning those that are not like them or those that they don't understand, that they fail to actually exemplify the love that is supposed to draw others to Christ. I'm not saying that nothing should be taught about hell. After all, if we truly believe that it's the consequence for not following the right path, then by all means we should warn against it. But there is a huge difference in warning against hell and dooming everyone & everything you don't like to hell without even offering a better way to them. If you've already made it seem like there's no help for me, like your God can't save me, why should I come to you or Him for help? A lot of Christians don't see that their attitudes and actions are more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to drawing people.

3. Intolerance, intolerance, intolerance

This kinda ties in to the second point. I know Christians are taught to believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. I don't disagree with that at all; that's what I've been taught and that's what I believe. However, that doesn't mean that other religions are without merit. For example, I've heard people argue up and down that the idea of Karma, at its core, is the same as the Golden Rule. Although they both deal with the fact that what someone does to others will come back to him/her, some Christians will say that it's pointless or even evil because it is a part of Hinduism. And amazingly, Christianity is one of the few religions that I've found, to be so absolute in its rigidity. While many others encourage enlightenment and doesn't condemn one for learning about and incorporating elements of other faiths, Christians feel that religion is very cut and dry. It's a very "my way or the highway" type of mindset. But what about the passage in the Bible that says, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16) I've heard this scripture in reference to different Christian denominations, but who is to say that this doesn't extend to other religions as well?

I don't know, maybe right now I'm having a slight conflict with my faith. The older people in my church would say I've gotten too smart for my own good since I now question and disagree with certain things I see and hear. But it's not just thinking I'm too smart for this, or rebellion, or anything of that nature. I just don't understand a lot of things within Christianity, and especially with Christians themselves. I want to understand. After all, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)

I like your Christ. It's your Christians that I disagree with. Your Christians
are so unlike your Christ.-Ghandi

*Note: Although I reference other religions and make some broad comparisions, I do not claim to be an expert in religion. I've done rudimentary studies into other religions for my personal enjoyment, but I could very well be wrong about some things. If you have an opposing view or can clear up anything I may have muddled up, feel free to comment. I always welcome more knowledge!

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