This I Believe

brady - wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on January 14, 2008

I believe in God but not religion. I’ve been asked how this is possible many times before. It seems to me that society has grown very weary of Christianity because of what is presented to them. Staunch televangelists, uptight fundamentalist church ladies, or even conservative presidents overuse of the term “God Bless America” may appear to be demoralizing and repulsive to many people, and I can really see why they think that. They feel as if they’re not accepted in the church because of the transgressions they have committed. In fact, I am yet to find a church that I feel completely comfortable in myself. Most of the time, I find church to be quite mundane and humdrum. Voltaire once said “Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.” I also think people get fed up with Christianity because they view it as an impossible system of rules that they must abide in order to achieve happiness. In today’s society, I believe that the church has broken down our beliefs into a set of rules that we must abide.

I certainly don’t wish to harshly criticize my fellow Christians; but, I can’t help but think that Christians have created a community in which we don’t accept people for who they are. It’s been branded into the global community’s mindset that you must be a conservative Republican who must constantly validate the churches values and scorn secular word views. However, I don’t believe that’s what being a Christian is all about. Being the son of an intercultural minister, I’ve been able to get a firsthand experience of how the Christian faith works. Growing up, I would attend church every Sunday of my life. As I entered my adolescent years, I always felt an obligation to obtain a “pastor’s kid” image. To me, Christianity had become more of a lifestyle than a faith. Over time, I realized that my faith couldn’t be based on my parent’s beliefs, but that I needed to decide what I believed in on my own. I believe in God because I believe he’s the only way to escape the inevitable human downfall that I am apart of. I can’t scientifically prove that God exists, but I have faith that he does. God is like the universe: you can’t prove that its infinite, but all evidence suggests that is. God’s the same way. You can’t prove he exists, you just believe it.

People always ask me to defend Christianity and I always simply respond that I can’t. I figure that it’s simply impossible to defend billions of people’s different points of views on Christianity, especially if they all have their own opinions. All I could tell them about is why I believe in God. I certainly don’t expect them to validate my beliefs but at the same time I wish that they could keep an open mind about what I do believe in.

I wish that in return I, too, can stay open minded about other people’s views as well.

To some, this may seem like a fraud or just another way for a Christian to manipulate other people into validating his or her own beliefs; however, the fact of the matter is that I truly believe in all that I have said. All I wish is that whoever reads or listens to this article can learn to keep an open mind to other people’s views.