Friday, February 06, 2009

Arrogance

Every so often, I end up discussing religion, usually with people who have a strong faith of some sorts. These days many people seem a little gun-shy when discussing opinions about things other than the weather and the reality show on TV last night. Us Canadians don't want to offend each other. We don't even want to disagree with people around us. Not polite, you know. Personally, I love discussing topics with people who disagree with me. The best way to clarify your own thoughts is to try and present them intelligibly, especially to a mildly hostile audience.

When it comes to trying to cipher whether I believe in a higher Deity or not, I get stuck at the same place. However we got here, the answer is too fantastic. I chose to spend my time trying to figure why we are here and what can we learn from being here.

I have no trouble with people who have very definite thoughts on this subject. I love the whole concept of evolution, and I enjoy reading about it wherever I can. I read Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle" and it blew me away. Evolution doesn't preclude intelligent design in my mind.

From my experience, there are two main elements of a person's religious beliefs when they profess to be a strong Catholic, Muslim or whatever. One, that you believe in a single, overarching creator and two, that your path is the only right one. You know, your typical
“No one approaches the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)
That's where I get really hung up. Does your average Christian really believe that there will be no Muslims in their Heaven? How can this be? Surely there are many paths to this one God.

By stating that your chosen path is the only one, you are effectively dooming millions and millions of people to some lesser after-life (if there is such a thing). I know people, very good people, from various religions. Do you expect me to believe that the Christian goes to Heaven, and the Jew somewhere else? How can this be true?

Is God so petty? Surely, we are all on the same path headed towards the same goal.

As nice as my friends are, the only word I can come up with to describe this attitude is arrogance.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

arrogance yes, but only in part i think. many are hoping real hard, many are very afraid, most are just stuck in whatever their parents and family raised them to be. the fanatical ones develop arrogance for sure. and need to justify to "nonbelievers" so that they can be right (a common enough human failing).

i've met many "cult" christians that are actual believers (my definition) but still accept the various teachings of their respective cult...but they actually know god. any jew, muslim etc can be a real believer without getting the details right. even those who have never been told about christ can be saved and know jesus...they just won't be able to put lables on what has happened to them.

all the above is what i know to be true. this may seem arrogant, but only if i'm actually wrong. if i'm not, and i know it...then maybe i'm one of the few that are justifiably compelled to hold to the truth and have a commission to tell others. and this causes despair, sadness and deep sorrow...definitely not arrogance. but it probably looks very much like arrogance i bet. unfortunately there is also a mandate to do the lord's work as well which translates into salemanship, fanatisism and other over the top stuff. no one likes a pushy salesman wideyed or not. my problem with "religion" is that if it's manmade it oftentimes leads all the way to killing for the sake of God. catholic, offshoots (protestant,etc), muslim etc fanatisism has led to an awful lot of that kind of Holy Terror. how many have killed or been killed in the name of Love?

arrogance? i agree. justification, fear, brainwashing, upbringing, hoping. all in the bag. two thirds of the world is steeped in this nightmare of God\allah\cosmic father\traveller and i hate it with a passion. it means that i can't speak of a truly loving being who gave everything for me. who saved me from suicide, saved my wife and child from me and gave me a reason to want to live. and freed me from fear and death. i can't speak of this pure good being because most of the world is arrogant etc about Him. it causes great sorrow and sadness not to be able to tell others that Jesus really exists and he died and lives to draw everyone to himself. everyone without exception. sad.

no one who has actually met christ can possible be arrogant about that knowledge. no one.

Delta Dave said...

Wes, simpler is better.