Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

the contradiction in Christianity that's bugging me the most

It freaked me out to write down that the older I get, the less religious I get, but it's true. I still go to church a lot on Sundays, I like learning things and discussing issues of the day that we need to know about to be good people. My church is fairly liberal so it's a lot of social justice topics, we're basically one step to the right of the Unitarians in that respect. We read quotes from all the world's religions, not just Christianity, there's just a basic understanding that we all still believe Jesus rose from the dead.

The problem is that I used to think "the other side" was made up of people who believe Jesus did NOT raise from the dead. I could agree to disagree with them, and we'd all move on. But there are bigger issues that non-believers and atheists bring up about Christianity as a whole, and I'm struggling with those issues myself. Their qualms aren't about some need to convince us Jesus wasn't resurrected - to them, that fact has no bearing on how we live our lives.

Instead they're concerned with the overall effect of Christianity and the harm our philosophies could do in the world. Writings of native American writer Vine Deloria Jr. first brought it up to me - the fact that western religions seemed crazy to the Native Americans because if you believe in an all-important afterlife, what's the point of all this that's happening to you right now? What's to stop you from just hating or even tossing away all of it?

And I have to admit, there's some evidence for what he's talking about... that heaven causes us to less-than-treasure what we've been given here:

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
"Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25
"Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own." - Arnaud Amalric, 13th century Cistercian abbot

Christians are interested in arguing semantics - how old the earth really is, whether the Virgin Mary ascended directly to heaven or not. Non-Christians are more concerned with the glaring contradiction right in the middle of our living rooms: is life precious, or not?

If you throw Christianity out and believe this life is all you have, then just like that it's precious, because your set of experiences will never be re-created again, nor will your connections to other humans or place in this world. You play a tiny, well-defined part that we can all plainly see. Whatever this world has invested in you, and you have given back to this world, that's your worth. There seems to be very little place for that concept in Christianity, and some would argue that that's unhealthy... the fact that we think our worth comes from God, who's mainly concerned with heaven anyway. Why spend time here? Why love people who won't be joining you in heaven? Just because another verse tells you too? And yet another verse says your mistakes will be forgiven, just confirming that it doesn't matter...

I think if something is a bad idea, then it might also be wrong. That's my concern.
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