This wasn’t the post I had planned for this morning. I was actually going to write something very different.
But before settling down to write, I stumbled upon a video by SoulPancake. Those of you that have been with me for awhile know I really like this organization, and I often look to their book for prompt ideas. This particular video is titled “Do we need religion?”, and well, it made me happy.
As a Christian, I believe it is important to hear other people’s perspective on religion. I think it is important to understand why they believe what they believe.
Do we need religion?
You know, I think human beings, in their very essence, desire something to put their faith into. People put faith in science, in reason, in other people, even in the human race, and in god-like deities. And its from that faith that religion is born. I understand religion to be the act living out that faith, and doing life with other people with the same faith.
I am not a Christian because my parents are, or because my grandparents are. I’m not a Christian because I’ve been going to a church my whole life. I am a Christian because I, myself, have faith that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. I am a Christian because I, myself, have faith that the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God. And I am a Christian because I, myself, believe in God.
Like many of the people in the video, I believe that religion helps people make sense of their world, and it adds meaning to their life. And I believe that religions helps anchor people. My life has felt rather messy and out-of-control at times, and other people can be really quite mean about religion (particular Christianity). And when I question and doubt, sometimes seriously, there is always some indescribable thing that calms my mind and heart, and guides me back. My faith in God and living out my Christian religion always seems to re-balance and re-settle me.
And I am sure that is the same for every other religion.
The conversation of religion always opens the door for “right” and “wrong” labeling. I know some Christians who are content to adamantly claim other religions (or lack thereof) are wrong, and are more than willing to say so. This is not meant to be a theological discussion, or a lesson on evangelism. But no one wants to be told what they believe is wrong; they stop listening to what you have to say.
Yes, as a Christian, I believe my faith is “right”, and I believe that there is ample enough proof, outside of the Bible. But Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, even Agnostics and Atheists believe their faith (or ideologies) are “right”. If they didn’t believe that, they wouldn’t have faith in it, right?
I believe in God, and at my former job, I have a friend who believes there is no God. We know each other’s beliefs, but we are still friends. I think this is so important, because at the end of the day, we are just trying to understand our world, all the horrible, tragic, and good.
In Christian teachings, we are supposed to bring unbelievers to God, but we are supposed to do it through love. We believe our faith has eternal consequences, and if we ask you to come to church with us, it isn’t (mainly) because we think what you believe is wrong. We ask you because we love you and care about you, and we want to spend eternity with you. We pray for you, because we love you. We do life with you, because we care about you. And we share our faith with you because we want you to experience Heaven with us.
Do we need religion?
I think so. I think religion gives us hope. It gives us something to look to when life gets hard and bad things seem to press in from every side. It gives us something to put our trust in when people do bad things.
I think we need religion because we need faith.
What do you think?
Ciao for now,
(P.S. I apologized this felt rather unstructured. These are my unfiltered thoughts. Plus, the more I wrote, the more I realized I could probably split this topic into a few other posts. We’ll see what happens.)