So Christians oppress others. And Muslims oppress others. And Mormons. And Buddhists. And Hindus. And pretty much every single religion oppresses someone. I cannot speak for every other religion out there, but I can definitely speak for Christianity, and my own experiences.
Now there are a lot of Christians out there who do not oppress others, or try and force them to believe in their beliefs. There are also a lot of Christians to do tell people who believe in other religions that they’re wrong. That their beliefs are imaginary. That they’re just going to burn in hell because they don’t believe.
I’ve walked the path where I’ve told others that they’re just blatantly wrong. I’ve told them that they’re going to hell. I’ve studied and learned the scriptures from the Bible to refute homosexuality. I’ve memorized the Roman’s Road (a set of verses chosen from the book of Romans that is used to convince people that they need salvation). I’ve learned how to refute most arguments. I’ve learned that sex before marriage is bad. I’ve learned that pornography is bad. I’ve learned that you need to read the scriptures everyday. I’ve learned that you need to have constant community with other believers. I’ve believed in the end times talked of in Revelation. I’ve done book studies. I’ve done a lot of the things you’re supposed to do (I wouldn’t dare to say that I’ve done it all).
And I’ve told others to do it. And I’ve been offended when people said I was wrong. I’ve been upset and wanted to just scream and tell them that they were wrong. This image I found, it explains it pretty damn well.
Let’s be honest. This is exactly how everyone reacts. Insult their beliefs and they’re gonna call the cops. But it’s no big deal! Until they insult your beliefs. Well then they’re just complete idiots and buffoons and some more choice and selective names AND you call the cops to complain that your beliefs are being infringed upon.
Let’s just step back a bit.
Can you remember how you felt when they didn’t believe what you believed?
Well guess what.
They felt EXACTLY the same when you didn’t believe what they did.
Let that sink in a moment.
EXACTLY the same.
Now I’m still a believer. I still believe that God is the ruler of the universe and everything in it. But I don’t walk around and impugn on others religions or beliefs.
Do you want the honest truth?
I don’t read the scriptures everyday. I don’t even really attend services much anymore. For me, most preachers focus too much on the human side of things. What do humans get from this whole religion thing. What can I do to get to heaven. What can I do to have a restful eternity. What can I do?
For me, I see God everywhere. I see him in the sky, creating the clouds and the snow that drifts silently. I see him painting the sunrise and spreading the moonlight across the earth. I see him in the eyes of my friends when they’re doing what they love. I see him in the colors that I’m privileged to witness. I hear him in the strains of music that I can listen to. I see him in the trees as they stand against the forces of nature, the rain and snow and wind.
I cannot speak for everyone else, but I can speak for myself. There is always a bit of truth in everything. For me, I believe that there is a bit of truth in every religion. I believe that there are pieces of every religion that are true and should be observed. But that’s me. Who am I to say that someone else is completely wrong? For all I know, I could be the one who is totally wrong.
The only thing I can say is that I gave up being a Christian. I gave up being a Christian because of all the things that went along with it. I consider myself a Christ follower, in my mind two completely different things. As a Christ follower, my path and ultimate belief is in love. There is power in love and acceptance that can overcome any other thing, any problem, concern, or struggle can, in some way, be overcome by love.
That is what I respect. If you can love and respect others, then we’ll get along just fine.