*awkward* : explaining myself to christians

13 02 2007

It’s odd, because every Christian who’s asked me why I’m converting has always said that they want to be sure they’re not offending me.  I still feel a bit out of place.  I mean, I’m the one telling them that I think their messiah is bunk, not the other way around.  At the root of it, they’re asking me to tell me why I’ve rejected the very beliefs that they hold near and dear, and I can’t for the life of me figure out a way to do it without feeling like I’ve shoved my foot in my mouth as far as it will go.  And they want to make sure that I’m not offended by a simple question?  I suppose I should give them enough credit to realize what they’re asking and not to be offended when I answer, but it still feels odd to me.

In sort of the same vein, last year one of my friends suggested that I should get a shirt that says “Jesus used to love me”.  Amusing, but for some reason that strikes me as offensive.  Just because I grew up Christian, and have issues with the idea of Jesus as the messiah, doesn’t mean that I define my faith in opposition to Christianity.  Christianity defines itself in terms of it’s decent from Judaism (Although that is a fairly loose connection if you ask me).  To define my beliefs by what they’re not feels demeaning both to what I believe and to what I’m comparing it to.  It turns my faith into an attack on other beliefs, not a confirmation of mine.  I can believe in Judaism, and my close friends can believe Christianity.  Those two things can only coexist as long as each belief is self contained.  As soon as I start believing “not what person A believes” then everything I say about my beliefs is automatically contradicting what they believe.   I suppose this is why atheists always come across as so militant, since they tend to talk about what they belief as “not G-d” rather than talking about it in a more positive way.  (Although I’m not really sure what more positive self referential way there is that they could talk about what they do believe, or don’t believe as the case may be.) 




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: