What does it mean to be Christian today?
What does Christianity require today?
The bible is still the bestselling book in the world. There has to be something behind why so many people are drawn to this beautiful literature. But, is it just entertainment? Was it created merely to control the masses?
For a new believer the world comes with heavy questions ready to interject doubt into one’s feeble foundation. When to begin the steps to opening your beliefs up to Christianity, there are things to consider. It takes a lot for a person to stand against the world of non-believers and proclaim your religion supreme above any other religion.
In the information age where anything is a fraction of a second from being revealed, it is easy to lose faith. It feels better to be agnostic than to have faith in something without solid proof. It is not easy to get out of one's own ego to have faith in something other than the self. Frankly, it is hard to be a believer because you have to have faith in areas where no answers are fool proof. The holes inside a belief where doubt lingers and questions form can be as deep as the Grand Canyon.
What is 100% factual anymore?
You can hope to know without a shadow of a doubt something is what it is. You can claim faith as your solid proof. Try explaining that to a disbeliever.
Education is at the touch of a mouse now. Science is consistently being challenged just as must as religion is with the power of the internet. Through knowledge comes doubt. With doubt comes the ability to turn away from your belief. It is easy to quote scripture and bark belief down someone’s throat; but to truly understand this religion and believe whole heartedly can be a challenge, no?
Many scholars have stood on opposite sides arguing their beliefs only to come the same fate as their opponents - death. The only thing the non-believers and believers can agree on is that birth begins one's journey and death ends it; everything else is up to be individualized. Do you just die, go to heaven, reach nirvana, or etc. It is all up to the person who has found comfort inside that belief system. The question comes when doubt surrounds those belief systems. Which then causes a person to ponder who is right and who is wrong?
To start this kind of a debate, a non-believe could start with the base of all information is tainted because it is man's concept. And, man's concepts are imperfect and therefore unbelievable. As the non-believer draws this conclusion, the believer could state that man was just a tool used to relate a grander topic.The question would then be, if the believer is not to trust in a book written by man, then what should one believe in that has not been touched by man? Everything has man's influence. The solar system is known because of a man. The moon is understood because of man. The way we interact is better understood because of man. Everything in our world is touched by man. Therefore, if we are to argue on the side of rejecting things because man has touched it, then what can we really know?
The agnostic argument would be to laugh off this line of questioning. It is far better to believe in what we know, i.e. the sun is required for growth, the seasons change, age comes upon us all. Which is a very good argument stance to begin with. However, the issue is not about what we know. The question is about what we do not know. If we knew God existed because he was tangible, we would not have a debate or the need for seeking answers. Since we cannot prove with tangible, we must study the facts we know through our very out experiences and methods of understanding reasoning verses imagination.
On the scientific position, it is far easier to stop believing because you don't have to worry about doubts. You asked for assistance a couple of times, and when you didn't receive the millions of dollars, you just quit. You gave up. All the while, you have this yearning to know deep inside you if you are making a mistake. You feel as if you are, but you can't know. So, you decide the feelings of emptiness are just hunger pains. You want to know what you are to believe in or not believe is the right side of the answer. Why can't you just be shown the correct way to be a human without doubt? You swear you would get in line if you could just know without a doubt.
But, since it does not come, you choose to not believe. You take the stance of so many others before you, to wait for the God to present himself in the flesh. The question would then be, if he did and was in front of you, would you not question that as well? The point to this side of the issue is not that you desire proof of a living God, you desire knowledge of your idea of what a "God" would be. That's truly what you want - to know your God is the one God. You spend many hours searching for your God you cannot find in any of the many variations of religions. Therefore, you choose to stand on the complete opposite side of the argument waiting and monitoring all religions in order to jump in upon the arrival of a God. Then, you would become a believer.
Which is fair, right?
Disbelieve until proven wrong, and jump on the bandwagon just before you are damned. Sounds like a save plan, no?
It is not easy to be on the side where a choice has so clearly been made. To stand up inside the world with all the information and declare that Christianity is the one true religions. A decision that does not come easy to many of its followers. The religion has been tarnished by greed and corruption. There are many examples of people who "claim" to be christian, who do awful things. It is very hard to wrap one's "Worldly" mind around forgiveness in the light of some of the transgressions humans claiming sanctity under the veil of Christianity do to others. Forgiveness and faith, the base for Christianity is something that is taught because it is understood that no human is perfect and pain can be caused through interactions. Believers are to turn cheeks and allow for a higher power to deal with wrong doers because it helps to resolve a situation better than us taking it into our own hands. The golden rule does not apply because God's rule succeeds it. What is God's rule, "be like him and forgive your enemies."
When someone comes against you, you turn towards God.
When life gets the best of you, you turn towards God.
No matter the crime, you turn towards God.
The body wants to deal with being attacked. The mouth wants to spat words of equally vicious in nature as the attacker's. The mind wants to outsmart the enemy's next move. The eyes want to keep a close watch on the danger of the advances. The senses want do anything but turn away from the fight. Everything human teaches us to defend ourselves. Everything Godlike teaches us there is no need for defending oneself because God has the ultimate judgement. So, the question then becomes, do you pick your belief system based off what you like or what is written? What is written was man made. What is taught is man taught. And, that has flaws in it. But, the message still have power.
And yet, there are aspects of believing that are not explainable. There many parts to this that cannot be proven or disproved by critics or followers. God comes and goes without warning or prediction. You cannot know if asking for what you desire will bring it, just like you cannot deny that it doesn't. There is something powerful in a human who believes. When grouped with other believers, the energy felt is intoxicating and uplifting. You feel as if you are in the presences of family and you have been plugged into an energy source unlike anything else.
Does this prove the existence of one God? No. It merely offers an explanation to why it is acceptable.
A believer who suffers calls out to God and finds themselves free of suffering. Life does not mean God steps in always to grants us whatever nonsense we ask for. To be a believer means suffering, at times, just as much as the non-believers do.
What's the difference?
What's the Difference, Then?
The difference between a believer and non-believer is when the hell on earth comes into one's life, the believer does not have to take on the burden of the suffering alone. There is a perceived presence to turn too, to cry out too, to curse and plead with in the moment of need. The believer can beg for mercy and find healing inside the arms of their God. Comfort can come around them in the knowing they are not alone during this time.
The non-believer only has themselves in these same moments when all others have gone away. Lying in a dark room, with nothing but their own thoughts to face the music with. It is a brutal moment experience, being alone without the comfort of anyone, when all you want is to be loved. To call out to thin air and here no answer in return. That is what non-believers experience - being truly alone.
Does this mean it is right to be Christian? No. It is not right for everyone. It hopes to be. But, there are many other religions also claiming to be right for everyone. Therefore, it is up to the individual, what do you feel most comfortable with? If you could not communicate with anyone else for the rest of your life, would you want to do this alone or with the thought a God being available to hear your pain to help with it?