Thursday, December 13, 2012

About Me/A Break from Thesaurus Thursday.

Hi everyone.  I didn't have any words that really inspired me to put them in Thesaurus Thursday today, so I thought today's post might let you get to know a little bit more about a facet of myself that I don't often talk about publicly.  I could even get a bit of flak for it, considering the climate of the internet (universally troll-ish).  All I ask is that you read it with the intent of learning about another individual, and not with the intent to deride, degrade, or insult.

I am a Christian, and I don't hate you.

This is, unfortunately, a message that people don't get very often from those associating themselves with an organized religion.  Of course, it doesn't help that the people who naturally enter the spotlight are doing or saying something supremely controversial; your average Christian certainly doesn't wind up on the 6 o' clock news.  I think everyone has the right to his or her own opinion, and I don't think that any part of the Bible can be interpreted only one way (Jesus spoke in parables, after all, didn't he?).  I believe the New Testament trumps the Old Testament because Christ died to save us for our sins, and thus the Bible sends a message that every single person on this Earth is loved by a God of mercy and grace, not a message of "an eye for an eye" or "stone the adulterer."  In my personal view, you don't even have to believe to be loved by God.  You don't have to go to a certain church; you don't have to hold certain political views; you don't have to be or act a certain way.  You are loved.  And if Christ loves you, then I will do so as well.  The one thing Christ made clear when he spoke was that the first and foremost commandment was, "Love thy neighbors as thyself."  Oh, how sad He must be to see our world today.

I am a Christian, and I believe in modern science and history.

No, I don't believe the world is 6000 or 7000 years old.  I believe it has indeed existed for millenia.  Yes, the Bible says the Earth was created in seven days, but it also says that a day is as a thousand years to Him.  It gives the distinct impression that time as we know it is something humans care much more about than God.  Who can truly say how long seven days is to God without seeing through God's eyes?  I also don't think that the Big Bang theory rules out God's existence any more than saying we have a common ancestor with monkeys means that we are monkeys and thus He didn't create us.  I don't really find the idea that we are "related" insulting or extreme.  If He is omnipotent, He could have created a common ancestor just as easily as anything else, right?

No, I am not "shocked and disturbed" that Christmas was deliberately scheduled on an old pagan holiday to garner interest.  This is something people like to point out and always seem to say "Christians HATE it when you tell them this, because it shows that their religion is a fraud."  I don't really understand this logic.  I don't hate it, and I don't know many other Christians who particularly care either, besides the ones that like to roam the internet riling up people (and there might be some doubt as to the true beliefs of many of these...).  If you do not believe, that is up to you, but I would hope that it was a very personal choice and not one made just to feel superior to "the ignorant religious people." Do people really think that Jesus will believe that we are celebrating the solstice instead of His birthday?  I cannot be 100% certain, but my heart says no; if I am thanking Him in my heart for coming down and being born to rescue me, I don't think it really matters if we celebrate on the "real" date.

I am a Christian, and sometimes I am afraid to admit it.

I do not think that Christians have been nearly as persecuted throughout history as other groups, although there has been quite enough of it.  I do think that Christians nowadays are automatically at a disadvantage, not economically or politically, but as people who want to live freely, because we live in a culture that implies that simply stating our beliefs to others is "pushy" and "insensitive to the multicultural world in which we live."  So we cannot very easily do what we are told to do, which is simply to share the good news.  Nowhere does it say "Thou shalt convert everyone to whom thou speakest or thou shalt goeth to Hell."  Just share the good news, that's all.  If others don't want or choose not to believe it, again, we love them and move on.  But that is rather difficult if we can't speak up in the first place, or if people do not listen to us without jumping immediately to the conditioned response- and I believe it is conditioned- "this person is forcing me to believe his/her opinion."

I think that we should all- religious or atheist or otherwise- be able not only to practice our religions or spirituality in peace, but also to share and explain them in peace.  This is becoming increasingly difficult.  And peaceful interaction between a lot of people, especially groups of people, is often in short supply.

I can only hope that kindness and love will triumph in the end.  No matter what you believe, I hope you can agree with that.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You have just eloquently stated everything that I feel about being a Christian. It does not mean to judge, but to love and show kindness. Amazingly enough, being Christian does not preclude beliefs in science, and in the rights of others to believe as they wish. Brava!

    Even though it's 4+ years later, I hope you see this and know you really resonated with another person.