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Christians Don't Understand Other Religions Exist

Updated on January 31, 2019
kwade tweeling profile image

Kwade is a freelance writer who is always in pursuit of education. He feels every subject is fascinating and worth study.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Statue
Notre-Dame Cathedral Statue | Source

God Help the Outcasts

There is an attitude that’s typical among Christians, especially the more outspoken and zealous of believers. Those who have this attitude tend to be blind to its existence.

“God Help the Outcasts” from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a good example of how this pervasive confusion is in media as well as everyday life. It’s a beautiful song, and has a wonderful sentiment, from a Christian perspective. The problem is, it’s deeply ignorant.

“It’s not ignorant!” You may argue. “It’s about someone who’s not Christian turning to God in a time of crisis.”

That is exactly the problem. This thinking is exactly what I’m talking about. It comes from such widespread deep ignorance, Christians don’t have any concept that something is amiss.

“Someone who isn’t religious,” is not an apt description of Esmeralda either. Let me get back to this in a bit.

“Why Do You Hate God?”

One of the symptoms of this ignorant point of view is asking an Atheist the question, “why do you hate God?”

This question is nonsense. It’s like asking a Christian, “why do you hate the Flying Spaghetti Monster?” By the very nature of not believing in something, you cannot hate it. You may hate the idea of it or the things people do in its name, but you cannot hate the thing itself. Christians take the hate some Atheists have for Christianity or it’s believers and mistake that for hatred of God. Atheists, however, don’t believe God exists any more than Christians believe in spaghetti monsters.

“Why Do Non-Believers Turn to God?”

There’s a misconception that when faced with crisis Atheists will turn to God for help. It’s not entirely false, after a fashion but it’s not as simple as Christians think. The notion comes mostly from those who were raised in a religious culture but never had strong faith.

It’s a perfectly natural part of humanity to seek help. In times of great need that can mean turning to a “higher power”. When someone who doesn’t have a lot of faith goes through trying times, we tend to turn to what we know of spirituality for help. In our US society, that tends to mean the Christian deity. So some people who don’t identify themselves as faithful, turn to God in troubled times.

This does not mean everyone who believes in some other faith turns to the Christian god for help. We turn to the faith we know. Christians often don’t seem able to grasp this concept.

Someone who truly believes something doesn’t exist, will not turn to it for help.

Shiva
Shiva | Source

What Does “God Help the Outcasts” Have to Do With This?

The song is a great example of selflessness and compassion. It embodies many virtues Christianity poses are important. The problem is that it’s about someone who doesn’t believe in Christianity pleading to a non-existent being for help.

Esmeralda refers to herself as an “outcast” with clear implications throughout the movie that she’s not Christian. Yet, she turns to Christianity once she’s within the walls of the church.

While it may seem natural to Christians that she would turn to the icon in front of her for help, it makes no sense religiously. This is why it’s ignorant. Think about it. Would a Christian turn to Shiva for help? “I’m in trouble. Oh, look, there’s a statue of Shiva, better pray.” No. Christians don’t drop their faith because they’ve entered another religion’s church. Neither would a Hindi suddenly become Christian by entering a Christian church. You don’t suddenly decide the religion you believe in is false because you’re in the building of another religion. It’s a ridiculous notion.

To think this way is to disregard the religious beliefs of others (or lack faith in your own religion).

Why do we have movies and TV shows in which “non-Christians” suddenly turn to God? For the same reason Christians ask, “why do you hate God?” A complete lack of understanding. Sometimes it’s certainly willful ignorance. I suspect most of the time it’s a simpler, yet deeper issue. Christians cannot comprehend that other people don’t believe in their god.

This lack of understanding leads to the misconception that everyone believes in God. It also leaves a wide gap between Christians and respect for the beliefs of others. If you assume that on some level everyone believes in your god, you can’t help but disrespect other’s beliefs.

Odin would be ashamed. Of course, if you don’t believe in Odin, why should you care?

Odin, Huginn, and Muninn don't believe in you, either.
Odin, Huginn, and Muninn don't believe in you, either. | Source

Thanks for Reading!

Do you have personal experience with this issue? Do you have something to add? Do you think I’m just full of it and don’t understand Christians? I’d love to read your comments below.

© 2019 kwade tweeling

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    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      6 months ago from USA

      You are under no obligation to even reply, let alone on a timeline. If it takes months, don’t feel bad for a delayed reply.

      Often, life is circles until we get the lesson we need to learn. Conversation is no different. Rehashing ideas happens because, like learning any subject, our minds like to take the scenic route. Sometimes it’s to reinforce our own ideas and others it’s to better understand ideas outside our normal thoughts.

      “Christianity as a religion is unique.” Just like every religion. Everyone feels this way about their belief system. It’s part and parcel to having one.

      “He alone… He is the Author and Finisher of faith in God.” This notion asserts: “To understand” is to believe. Therefore either one believes the religion or is ignorant of its message. Period. We could argue the same about any religion. For those who still believe, this leaves no room for someone to come to the conclusion their belief was incorrect. Instead, defectors could only be those who hate God or never understood. It dismisses any possibility that another set of beliefs could be the truth. Again, this is typical of religion. Whether or not you consider it a bad thing, this is what many see as a failing of religion.

      Judgment is indeed part of life. How we apply it is what causes arguments. Especially when we consider our own judgments superior to another’s because of subjective beliefs. We tend to feel insulted when another regards our judgment as inferior.

      If you can’t see how believing in your version of God can be equated to someone’s belief in Odin, it’s exactly that disconnect I was talking about.

      I don’t have much to say about the rest of your reply. To address the dogma would just be a back and forth about a religion I don’t believe in.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 months ago from the short journey

      Sorry to take so long replying to this post. First, neither of us wants to just go in circles but discussions sometimes require a bit of repetition. Also, I am not trying to convince you of the essence of Christianity as a religion because I cannot. However, discussing the topic is a joy both for opportunity to have it unfold more deeply in my own thinking and to provide you and/or other readers more opportunity to ponder the discussion.

      Christianity as a religion is unique. It is unlike all others because its life is Jesus the Christ, God’s chosen manifestation of the perfect sacrifice for human sin. He alone gives power and upholds willingness to communicate with those who either do not understand, who understand but are unequipped to communicate clearly, or those who do understand it but who hate the truth of how He is the Author and Finisher of faith in God.

      Christians who study various religions have a respect for them that is far deeper than many understand and we never wish to disrespect the people in them. People in other religions wanting to discuss a comparison of their religion with a true Christian have more opportunity in this day and time than ever before. Though I know that not understanding Christianity causes some to call it disrespect, saying that Christians are disrespectful when they offer the good news of the gospel of Jesus the Christ to anyone is to say one is disrespectful if they judge a situation and pulls another back from busy traffic to a safe sidewalk.

      On judgements, everyone makes them all the time. Judgements range from trivial to serious. If we make judgements on insignificant matters, it’s obvious we need to make them on vital matters. Those who do not know God’s Word often take a passage out of context, separate it from His entire counsel, and say that God says we are not to judge other people when nothing could be less true. Definitions of the word used in this topic are well covered in other places, but judgement calls are required in life. A Christian can sin when judging others, in arrogance for example, but to categorically state that God says judging is wrong is error.

      In God’s sight the issue for Christians is their response to the counsel of His Word. Christians know that just as God deals with people on corporate levels He is also at work dealing with people in very personal and individual ways. Our time in history is one of offered grace through Jesus the Christ. When we prayerfully take opportunities to explain His grace to others the offer is in His hands. He is clear about what people’s response to His offer means for them. If they refuse to hear His Word it is with God they argue.

      On the idea of deciding to be a Christian, many speak of it that way, even some Christians, but when these Christians give it serious study they come to realize that God reached out to them before they reached out to Him and they stop speaking of it that way. They learn that the wording is actually taking God’s glory for themselves for without His grace and left to themselves people rationalize the entire matter of Christianity/salvation away (for example, with thoughts along the lines of God being so good He would never judge...).

      God, in His grace, granted me faith to believe Him. After “hearing” His Word (verbal and written) His grace gave me faith to embrace what He says. I am filled with gratitude for the great mercy of His working in my heart, mind, and life. As for what professing Christians tell you, it sounds like they encourage you to prayerfully study God’s promises regarding how those who will earnestly seek Him will not be rejected by Him for He offers faith to people. In context the word seek is an interesting study. I confess I also encourage you to continue seeking Him if you are not doing so.

      So, yes, lies are inferior to truth. Many argue that Christianity is just another religion. There are understandable reasons people in different religions come to such conclusions. Several things play into the lies, all to varying degrees. Whether a particular person is outright lying when they say Christianity is the same as other religions or they are just repeating what they’ve heard without understanding who Jesus the Christ is and what it means to follow Him is always important to any discussion.

      Though people lean towards emotiveness, more often than not how we feel about any issue is irrelevant. Left to myself I would come up with rationalizations that fit my feelings about how to respond to what God says to me as a Christian. If I were not a Christian I could come up with all sorts of ways to rationalize dismissiveness about what He says to people, ignoring, for instance, history’s recorded facts (Bible and secular histories) in my refusal of His offered help for this life and eternity.

      Christians know that Christianity is not an ideology. Others call it that, but being a Christian is not an art, nor a science, is not based on a formula or icons, it is not made of any effort by human hands. The breadth and depth of the relationship truly is amazing grace and there is no room for a Christian to think more highly of him/herself than they ought about anything. A Christian is called to remain mindful of what God says re their constant need before Him.

      Christians unquestionably need to be vigilant against human nature’s pride of life when thinking about ourselves. Being faithful to God’s character is a tall order for a mere human, but He gives the needed grace to understand His Word, follow His counsel, and be motivated by His revealed purposes in Jesus the Christ. The idea that “God, the way I see Him” is what Christianity is about is opposite of true Christianity.

      Many kinds of people try to make God into what they think He should be, twisting what He says, refusing to trust Him, even cursing Him with the mouth He gave them. A Christian does understand that others faithfully believe in their religious ideologies. Again, Christians also know they cannot persuade them to believe otherwise. A Christian shares God’s Words, then must prayerfully leave it between them and God.

      Yes, a compassionate plea to give God a hearing is part of the conversation, but the convincing is up to God. He promises not to turn away any who seek Him according to His Word. Out of love He warns against refusing His offer, and out of compassion a Christian may be compelled to repeat His warnings. Calling that an insult is the freedom of any hearer.

      Though to a Christian it is beyond understanding for others to choose to reject God’s Word, He tells Christians to expect rejection (even abuse) for sharing His truths. He specifically prepares His people not to be surprised when it happens, but to be faithful in patient, loving communication of His truths.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      6 months ago from USA

      I’m not at all irritated by bullet points or your use of them. They are wonderful for separating ideas and addressing them in an organized fashion. They do, however, make for a much more complicated conversation with many more ideas to deal with and express at once. I’m also prone to be vociferous in an attempt to give each idea enough attention. So, I try to keep conversations on one topic at a time and address a single idea when possible. I’m going to try and trim things down if they don’t NEED a lot of response right now.

      1. Change the names and the same can be said of any religion.

      2. I wasn’t addressing motive at all. Having pity for someone because of their beliefs is regarding those beliefs as inferior. The very act of pity is a clear declaration of that. Having the motive of helping others does not change that.

      3. Then you have a healthier outlook than the majority I speak of. It isn’t easy for one to see pity as anything but a judgment upon them and feel insulted. Indeed, considering a religion false is a judgment call.

      4.a. It is a normal response to feel insulted by pity. Thus, the mockery. I never said it was healthy, just don’t be surprised by it. Though, I don’t feel pity for other’s beliefs is healthy either.

      4.b. There’s the rub. You are certain in your truth. You say it is "God’s truth," because you believe it to be true. As you say, “I can only urge you to be willing to ask God to unfold the concept to you. He gives you freedom to prayerfully read His Word and honestly ask Him questions about it, or to refuse to do so.“

      I have done so. My own experiences with the same process came to very different results. Telling self-professed “True Christians” this has always resulted in the same response: They declare my own conclusions MUST be false, while theirs are truth directly from God. According to them, of course, I did something wrong and I must repeat the process.

      Then follows the how-tos of reading the bible the right way and properly praying.

      5-7.b. If I went point by point I would repeat myself a lot. All of this is what I was talking about in the article and what I’ve been trying to get across in the comments. These thoughts are the embodiment of the notion that; “God, the way I see him, is true and anything else is false. Period.”

      You’re telling me any religion but yours is inferior. Important only because they lead people away from the truth. Are lies not inferior to the truth?

      According to you, everything but your way of belief in Christ is “unworthy.”

      For example; “All ‘religion’ is empty if He is not central to it for He alone is worthily sufficient.”

      In the article, I was talking about the way Christians and “True Christians” I’ve met don’t really understand that other people truly believe in other ideologies. In the comments here, I’ve been suggesting it’s likely to be related to unflinching faith and compassion for “non-believers.”

      8.a. The only comment I’m aware of that could be construed as me making a degrading comment was: “So true it’s not even a religion because all religion is BS.” I said this referring to the attitude that one’s own belief system is so superior it should be referred to as a “relationship” instead of a “religion.” It requires the context of the whole paragraph to make sense. It requires understanding that (and the context of the whole paragraph) to make sense.

      8.b. Agreed. We all experience everything through our own filters. It’s very easy to turn our “adversary” (as we could consider each other) into an enemy and look at everything in the worst way. In truth, we can all find common ground. Always.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 months ago from the short journey

      Reasons religious discussions become complicated are countless. In retrospect I see how using the bullet points verses conversational style could come across as irritation, but I also am glad for this exchange. I’ll follow your items in suit to hopefully make tracking the discussion easier.

      1. “Christianity is about a relationship, not a religion” does have more truth than error in it. I know that it truly is more about a relationship with God through Jesus the Christ than it is about any sort of religious activity in a building, or out. The quote isn’t meant to cover the topic. Mainly, it is an attempt to say in simple terms that Christianity is not something people “join”.

      2. Fair thinking requires facing the probability that in assigning a negative perspective to Christian compassion one is dismissing other possibilities for Christian motive.

      3. If someone regarded my religion as something to pity me for I would not be in the least insulted. I would be willing to have a mature discussion with them for as long as they wished. The quote “beating people over the head with the Bible” reminds that there is an inappropriate method of discussion, but for this one I note again that we are called to reject in ourselves any hint of arrogance, particularly when it comes to spiritual matters.

      4. Certainly there are those who find the approach you mention insulting, but not all do. (In fairness, a Christian may err in approach because it is impossible to know what another is thinking, though it is inexcusable to offer someone information in an insulting manner.) True Christians know that a superior attitude re their religion/denomination is a major failure in their practice. It is a disgrace that some who profess Christianity degrade God’s glory and grace in the sight of others by exhibiting personal pride.

      A completely different issue is that the theme of His Word from Genesis to Revelation is the superiority of His glory and grace toward people through Jesus the Christ. I understand your complaint but it is not myself or any other Christian you actually argue the point with. I can only urge you to be willing to ask God to unfold the concept to you. He gives you freedom to prayerfully read His Word and honestly ask Him questions about it, or to refuse to do so.

      5.a. The differences of the leaders in various religions as opposed to those of their followers, and the differences between the religions themselves would be off topic so I’ll mention again that true Christians take all religions and their followers’ fervor very seriously, in no way disregarding them.

      Left to themselves all people will fall for the concept surrounding statements like “all religions are the same but with different gods”. In God’s mercy He gives belief of what He says in His Word to hearers who will hear, so to speak. Arguments against this cannot change any of what He gives a person when they go to Him with a humble heart.

      5.b. Defining Christianity as a religion can only be done via acknowledging what God says about Himself, Jesus, His Spirit, people, the world...and that includes that He says there is no other God like Him. It is God people argue with when they refuse Him. Re thinking that non-believers turn to God in hard times, well, sometimes this does happen but in many other cases, not so much. The tendency of the human heart is to harden itself toward God.

      It is His grace alone that has transforming power. People do have good reasons for believing what they do, but God’s grace is beyond human reason. In re-reading that last sentence I can see how it could be taken as evasive but I hope you will take me at my word that it is not, as I have taken you at yours about being angry. The grand design of the Christian faith is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is certainly nothing for anyone to be personally arrogant about on any level.

      Anything is possible but I’ve never heard of a Christian pitying a religion, only having pity for the people putting faith in a false religion. Yes, I know some call that arrogant, but this compassion is the enabling part of Christian faith offering good news of the Christ’s gospel to people.

      6.a. Surely one can have an attitude of superiority with realizing it, but what people who interpret true Christian compassion as arrogance do not understand is that it isn’t a religion that makes them compassionate, and it is not about deciding our faith is the only true one. We do not decide for God. Besides studying His Word for ourselves there are good discussions on that truth. For instance, God’s clarity on the topic is usefully discussed by C.S. Lewis in his The Four Loves.

      6.b. Care for others’ spiritual needs is not arrogance. Christians do understand that others do not believe in God, but it isn’t about our view of God, it is about what He says to all of us about Himself.

      6.c. It is true that an arrogant person may say they are not arrogant, but determining whether a Christian is arrogant goes far beyond defining the word arrogance (unless they are sadly being a jerk about it, thereby calling their profession into question). Unwillingness to consider all possible motives is unwise on a few levels, including that it is choosing blindness in a situation.

      7.a. True Christianity is Christ Himself. All “religion” is empty if He is not central to it for He alone is worthily sufficient. This merciful truth is good news for the human condition. Any who argue with it are in an argument with God, not Christians.

      7.b. All religions have consequences both for this life and eternity.

      8.a. Yes, you wrote a degrading comment about all religion, but to be fair I found the section confusing. In rereading it seems you may mean that I say degrading things about all religions, but nothing could be further from truth, so I am still unsure.

      8.b. Yes, there are disadvantages to written discussions even when we work to be careful with our wording. It is always important to give others the benefit of the doubt as much as possible.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      7 months ago from USA

      Lyrica, thanks for your contribution. I read your article and can identify with some of what you spoke of. It's always nice to hear about experiences and how they effect the way people see the world.

    • Lyrica Cranston profile image

      Lyrica Cranston 

      7 months ago

      Dang-it! I wanted to post a reply, but apparently I am too long winded to fit my reply in here. Personally, I think it is a great piece to read, and should be read in the proper order in it's entirety..... I think I shall make a new post and add the link!

      Please go... here---https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/My-Religi...

      However, as I am VERY new to this website, it may take a few days to get through "customs." Thank you for your patience.

      Thank you Kwade for writing this post. Thank you RTalloni for participating in a wonderful discourse.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      7 months ago from USA

      In a discussion about religion, simple hardly seems possible to me. Can of worms opened in points(emoticons seem inappropriate on these comments for some reason, or I’d put a smiley here). I’m going to try and keep it on the article’s ideas as much as I can. I’ll number them.

      1.“In most discussions a popular quote ‘Christianity is a relationship, not a religion’ has far more truth than error in it.”

      My apologies. I took this (and other statements) to mean you subscribe to the idea that “true Christianity” is a relationship and not a religion. This is not a new idea to me as many others have said as much. If you don’t believe that, much of my last response would not be appropriate.

      2. This idea of compassion requires one to consider theirs as the only truth. It’s related to the idea I talked about in the article.

      3. I was specifically talking about turning to another Deity in the article. In my comment, I was talking about compassion for beliefs to address what you said. Offering compassion to someone who is going through trying times is not the same as offering compassion for someone’s beliefs.

      I’m not saying someone offering you compassion when you need help would be insulting. I’m saying someone regarding your religion as something you should be pitied for is insulting.

      4. Approaching someone and telling them they need to find God (or Shiva or Odin) is often taken as an insult. To offer unsolicited advice is generally taken as a statement on one’s judgment. So, it’s a clear indication that one believes their religion is superior. Saying you don’t see your religion as superior when you are trying to “share God’s truth” is silly. If you didn’t feel your religion was true (a.k.a. “superior”), why would you share it?

      If someone comes to you seeking answers, it’s very different than if you approach them. Part of why I felt you were proselytizing unsolicited advice is because I didn’t think of my open invitation to comment as an invitation to offer religious advice. Obviously, you are quite right that I left that avenue quite open.

      5.a. I used the word “disregard” it in the context of “refusing to acknowledge.” Believing your beliefs are superior to the point of calling your's a “relationship” and all others “religion” what I was referring to. Believing all other religions are unworthy of the status of one’s own is very much disregarding them. As I said, if that’s not how you view it, this doesn’t apply.

      5.b. The idea I am putting forth is this: Right or wrong, believing Christianity is the only truth and non-believers turn to God in hard times is arrogance. It and comes from a lack of understanding that other people actually believe in things with the same fervor Christians do. I’m also suggesting thinking other beliefs aren’t as compelling to them is why Christians think entering their building inspires people to worship the “one true God.” People have good reasons for believing what they do.

      It’s not that other Christians put this in a poor light. It’s the view that people who believe differently are worthy of pity. Pretend all you like, feeling you have answers and someone else does not, is superiority. Pride, if you prefer. There’s no way I know of to convince someone who feels superior that they are acting superior. If one feels they’re right and there’s no room for someone else to be right, they are disregarding other’s “truth” whether or not they’re right.

      Again I say, pitying other people’s religion is disregarding them, whether or not it's right to do.

      6.a. Indeed, arrogance is the opposite of the humility Christians are supposed to espouse. “Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.“ It is, however, part and parcel to deciding one’s faith is the only true one. Because you are not a jerk about it, does not make this untrue. One can be arrogant and superior without realizing it’s true (that’s usually how it works, really).

      6.b. To define superiority; “higher in rank, status, or quality.” Being the “only truth” is a clear claim to superiority. In this case, it’s not about the person, but the religion. If you can’t see how you’re saying your religion is superior, well, that’s exactly what I’m talking about in the article. The superiority is so blinding, Christians can’t understand other people don’t believe in their view of God.

      6.c. Likewise just because one says they are not being arrogant or superior does not make it so.

      7.a. “Trite” is only appropriate if you truly consider other religions unworthy of the same label as your own.

      7.b. Determining another religion is going to have “eternal consequences” for its believers seems a pretty clear inference that their choice lacks wisdom and good judgment to me (i.e. my choice of the word “foolish”).

      8.a. What? Did I use a degrading term? What are you talking about?

      8.b. I’m not at all angry. I’m actually quite enjoying this discussion while disagreeing whole-heartedly. You sound upset to me as well. I figure it’s one of the disadvantages to writing back and forth and being accustomed to seeing other’s responses too often be angry.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 months ago from the short journey

      To keep this reply simple I'll use points:

      • True Christianity is not defines as having a relationship with God and Jesus. That is a misunderstanding, at best.

      • The compassion true Christians have for those who do not have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus the Christ, according to His Word is not based on understanding any or all religions but in understanding God's revealed Word to the world.

      • If I were in trouble, facing a problem I did not see, for instance, and someone had enough care for me to help me see it, then gave me information to use so I could turn to a source of real help, I would consider it a great honor from them. I would appreciate the compassion even if they were mistaken.

      • Perhaps it is best not to say to another person that you have compassion on them for they may not understand. I don't think most Christians approach people by saying, "I have compassion on you", but rather offer information to them, usually in the form of literature, conversation, or an invitation to visit a church service.

      • Truly pitying another's belief system (having true compassion for them) is not the same as disregarding them. It is sad that some people who call themselves Christians have presented the Christian faith in a disrespectful manner (both disrespectful to the other person/people group and disrespectful to God Himself), but the fact that this has happened does not make true Christian compassion for people of various religions wrong.

      • An attitude of superiority in any who call themselves Christian seriously calls their Christianity into question. Arrogance is opposite of what Christians are called to by God's Word for our faith and practice. The New Testament makes it clear that there is no justification for a superior attitude in the Christian faith. That said, though, just because Christians are accused of it does not make it so. Some who accuse Christians of it do so because they do not want to hear or read of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and there are other reasons for the accusation, again, including the fact that some who call themselves Christian do not behave like a Christian should.

      • True Christians do not consider other religions foolish and trite, but the very opposite of what you write. Christians consider them very seriously because of what God says about the eternal consequences (not disregarding the consequences in this life). I often think of how freeing the Christian life is compared to other religions, but it's difficult for unbelievers to see the freedom because too many who call themselves Christians use the label to be self-indulgent, or worse.

      • To use the degrading term for all religions that you used below and then to claim that I have a superior attitude about them is curious. This might be a wrong take on what you've written, but you seem angry. I apologize if any of my response has encouraged that feeling in you.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      7 months ago from USA

      “I responded to your closing questions”

      Fair enough. I suppose I simply didn’t expect a testimony as a response, though I should have. Thank you for the clarification.

      As for the rest of what you said:

      You’ve demonstrated exactly what I was getting at.

      In a nutshell: “True Christianity” is having a relationship with God and Jesus. It’s not a religion because all religion is falsehood and therefore irrelevant. True Christians have compassion for any religion (or lack thereof) because they’re all wrong. Those people are to be pitied for their misfortune in failing to have a real relationship with the one true God and Jesus.

      If you actually understood other religions, you would never tell their believers you have compassion for them. Imagine someone else told you they felt bad for you believing in a fairytale. Would you feel honored to be pitied? Of course not. To pity one’s beliefs is to disregard them. THIS is why such compassion is mocked. You’re disregarding the others belief and declaring your own as superior.

      “Your relationship” as you put it, is one way many new age Christians, or “True Christians” justify superiority and think it’s understanding. “Relationship” is simply the new word for “religion” since “religion” is so stigmatized. You feel you are correct and everyone else is wrong. The only difference is that YOU believe it. You feel your religion is true. So true it’s not even a religion because all religion is BS. Anyone else’s belief is so foolish and trite, it’s not even in the same ballpark as yours. It’s the same attitude as scientists who refuse to see anything outside their own belief system. Their theories become gospel, in a way, as full of zeal as any religious zealot. “It’s not a belief, it’s the truth with evidence!”

      As you said yourself, you have pity for others misfortune to not believe in the one singular truth. This is exactly the arrogance and lack of understanding I was talking about. I’ll say it again: The compassion for other religions and your relationship you cite is exactly the symptom I was pointing out. Just a slightly different way of saying it.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      7 months ago from USA

      "Another example of how important it is to proofread carefully!"

      LOL Oh, so true. I thought I understood what you meant, but I am glad you clarified. Something we can easily forgive.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 months ago from the short journey

      Of course, in the second paragraph I meant to type ",,, true Christianity is not a religion, has nothing to do with turning to icons for help, and is not a group of people who hate other people in any religion."

      Another example of how important it is to proof read carefully!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 months ago from the short journey

      There is no denying that as a Christian I am always interested in sharing the good news of what God offers to people through Jesus. But after reading this hub I responded to your closing questions: Do you have personal experience with this issue? Do you have something to add? Do you think I’m just full of it and don’t understand Christians? I’d love to read your comments below.

      Using the context of your several mentions of atheists I responded to some of what you wrote. In an effort not to side step anything in the post I now add that another facet of the issue you are concerned about is rooted in not understanding that true Christianity is not a religion, has nothing to do with turning to icons for help, and is a group of people who hate other people in any religion.

      Professing to be a Christian does not make a person a Christian. Belonging to a religion that claims Christianity does not make a person a Christian. Being a member of a church based on Christianity does not make a person a Christian.

      In most discussions a popular quote "Christianity is a relationship, not a religion" has far more truth than error in it. The truth of this quote is in the lie of saying Christianity is like all other religions, just with a different god. Nothing could be further from truth. All other religions say there is some way to earn salvation for eternity and be in the god's good graces in this life. True Christianity is unlike all other religions.

      I do realize this post is not just about atheism but I did not think it necessary to mention that true Christians would have the same compassion for people in other religions as they do for atheists. This compassion is why any comments on Christians not understanding that people in other religions do not believe in God are incorrect.

    • kwade tweeling profile imageAUTHOR

      kwade tweeling 

      7 months ago from USA

      Thanks for chiming in, RTalloni.

      Your comment seems to be coming from someone who wishes to share a message of love. That’s something I always appreciate. After reading it, however, I am left wondering a few things.

      It feels like you side-stepped the point of the article to “share wisdom with a lost lamb.” Did you simply mean to proselytize?

      Do you realize the article isn’t about atheism? Atheism is used as one example, but it’s about Christians seeing the world with blinders on.

      Overall, I feel your comment is a strong example of exactly what I was talking about. A failure to see other religions don’t believe in the Christian God, the same way Christians don’t believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster, Shiva, or Odin.

      You seem like a nice person and probably a shining example of what a Christian should be like. I don’t want to leave you feeling frustrated or belittled. Please understand I’m just trying to share a different point of view.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 months ago from the short journey

      You offer some thought provoking comments yet the true definition of a Christian would be helpful. May I please suggest reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and The Transforming Power of the Gospel by Jerry Bridges?

      Part of all the misunderstanding is that some who call themselves Christians do not respond to atheists according to the gospel, actually calling their own Christianity into question. They have not prayerfully studied the New Testament or followed the promised coming of Jesus the Christ as Savior from Genesis throughout the Old Testament.

      It is true that professing atheists have grounds to say that some professing Christians do not understand them but Christians who have prayerfully studied the Gospel compassionately understand them. Of course, everyone is unique and no two situations are the same so this is not to say that Christians perfectly understand all about every atheist.

      When it comes to atheism as opposed to Christianity, though, true Christians who know God's Word have great compassion for atheists. Christians are often mocked for their compassion, but that does not change the truth of honest compassion.

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