Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Studying Religion leads to More Questions

I've been studying on religion lately, and I'm not sure if I've come to any conclusions. I know the internet is not a valid substitute for a lifetime of learning and devotion, but gathering information from friends (especially of the pastoral type), books, and websites, I feel as though I've scratched the surface in understanding some of those foreign words.

Don't worry, I'm not about to go all Bible-thumper on you. I found what I read to be interesting and question-provoking, and I hope to continue learning about the different branches of Christianity and Islam.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that I'm not one of those biased people who believes that anyone that doesn't think like I do is wrong? I don't know much about other religions, and I don't see a problem with reading or learning about them. From what I've been able to discern, most modern religions have similar beliefs, if not even the same God (whatever His name may be): it's not nice to kill people, be nice to your neighbor, the man rules but should treat his wife kindly, and have lots of kids.

Aside from those broad and sweeping generalizations, I focused heavily on the bits that separate out the different Christian denominations. As I was not raised going to church every weekend, my parents did their best to instill good values. I have a hard time buying into certain faiths and don't appreciate other church traditions. I strongly dislike people who have a "pick and choose" mentality when it comes to faith, however, and resisted doing that myself. My faith is hard-won and more than once battle-tested.

So far, all I have is that I'm half Catholic, half Methodist. Which would sorta make me Lutheran, except I don't like the idea of closed communion. Close communion, perhaps, but not closed. I'm not a devout Creationist, but I am not a staunch [human] evolutionist either. I have intensely mixed emotions about infant baptism. While I think I've formed a stance about grace and how we obtain grace (or not), I still have some learning to do. As in all quests for knowledge, I've come up with more questions now than when I started. However, my questions are becoming more specific.

What does this mean for me, a churchless follower of Christ? It means I'm having a damn hard time convincing anyone that, although I don't go about things the same way, my faith is just as strong as theirs. I can explain why, but that's for private discussions. Because I'm not out knocking down doors or beating people over the head with a Bible, because I'm not sitting in church singing songs or witnessing to every person I meet, somehow I'm inferior. While you may not think that's true, I've found quite a few that do--some of them friends.

More questions in need of more answers. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

rider said...

Religion gets ya out of dying.
People fear death.
Know some kind of God?
No death.
Hmmmph.