Monday, 3 June 2013

Why Christianity confuses me.

This really is not the best title for this post but it's the best I could get out of mind due to it billowing with loads of thoughts. Last week I read my friend Laura Anne's post about her quote of the week. You can check it out here.

But what she said really got me thinking about why I find religion in general quite a confusing topic, (by the way her post was not on the topic of religion, it just drew my mind to it.) As I grew up I guess I was taught that all religions have common values that are shared between the people who believe in it. Christians believe Jesus died on the cross for them. Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Jewish people believe God wants Jews to be his chosen people. I have always looked at religion like that.


But the older I have gotten the more controversial religion or relationships with higher powers has become to me. And that's why I get easily confused and also quite annoyed at times.

The best way to explain it is something that happened a couple of months back. In April the New Zealand government allowed same sex couples to marry. Was I pleased? Yes. As I think if you love someone, despite their sex, you should be able to declare your love through a marriage wherever you choose. I understand that other people do not agree and I have always been okay with that.

Then at work the following day two of my colleagues had a heated debate. They are both Christians, go to church as often as they can and always offer their prayers. They're two of the sweetest people but they believe in different things. Mark believes in same sex marriage. Edna doesn't. But they are both devout Christians, so which one is less of a Christian then?

In my opinion it does not boil down to that but can you see why I felt so confused on the subject? Should they not believe in the same thing and have relatively the same opinion based on what the Bible says? I thought the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. Mark understands that but says it is not for all people. Whereas, Edna said he is not following the word of God by believing it. They also got onto the topic of if there should be female bishops within the Catholic faith. Mark thinks they should stick with tradition and keep it solely male but Edna, being slightly feminist, believes it should be equal and break away from the norm. So who is less of a Christian now? Again, it really doesn't boil down to it. But you can see why people like me, who are atheist, get slightly perplexed by it all.

I have always been interested in what other people believe. I honestly think it is fascinating at how other people incorporate their beliefs into their lives. I sometimes wish I could be like that, but accept quite happily that I don't. I understand that all Christians, Jews, Muslims etc are individual people, with unique opinions. But I guess I grew up thinking, on controversial topics such as same sex marriage and abortion etc, that whatever your faith may be that you believe what your faith puts before you. I work with another girl Natalie, who is an atheist. After Mark and Edna had finished strongly debating the atmosphere was a little tense. She turned round to me and said 'this is why I have no interest in trying to understand other people's beliefs. They say they both have a relationship with God but how can God make them believe different things?' I totally see her point but I also think it is such a shame that she doesn't want to question it. I think it's healthy to.

I guess that's the real world. But does anyone have anything to add? To clarify? I'd love to know if I am totally off point or indeed have a point for others to think about. Please share.

N.B This post is not designed to just be aimed at just Christians. As I am sure there are confusing aspects to any faith but this is just what I have been exposed to. If you want to comment, as I'd love you to! Please do so in a respectful way.

54 comments:

Katie said...

When you get into the different denominations of Christianity, beliefs on certain subjects can vary. Sometimes it has to do with how people interpret passages of the Bible. That doesn't make one group any more right or wrong, but I see how it would also be very confusing.

Callie Nicole said...

Hey Rebecca, speaking as a Christian, I would just say that I don't believe God makes people believe different things. I believe there is an absolute truth, and God reveals that to us in the Bible, but the differences come in how humans interpret the Bible. God is perfect and knows the truth perfectly. We are humans, and not perfect, and therefore our interpretations of what He says in the Bible aren't going to be perfect, and that's where alot of the differences come in. Some people are going to be wrong on some things, and other people will be wrong on others, but that doesn't mean they aren't Christians. On some things (like homosexual marriage) I think the Bible is clear, but if there is a Christian who disagrees with me on that topic I'm not going to say they aren't a Christian. Christianity ultimately boils down to what you believe about Jesus. The core of Christianity is that we believe we are sinful and that separates us from God, Jesus is God's only Son, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again, and if we believe in Him we will be saved. That's what I look for when I ask if someone is a Christian, and ultimately only God can know someone's heart. I just want to know what they believe about Jesus.

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