Ashta jaharam.


Like I mentioned in my last post [since deleted. sorry!], I have lately been feeling a reconnection with Christianity, specifically with the character of Jesus. This is all well and good, because Jesus was a great guy, and I think he had some really good ideas and a firm base in God. But in the past few days, I have made a terrifying realization: the idea of returning to the blind faith of Christianity has become appealing to me. Well, no, that’s not exactly right. I do not want to go back to that world. Ever. Still, the idea of belonging to a religion in which I don’t have to think for myself seems so much easier than what I am doing right now. No more moral dilemmas or questions of theology or philosophy, because all the answers are conveniently found in this one book! No more floundering for answers when asked what I believe, because the Church tells me what I believe. So simple. So easy.

And therein lies the problem. I have always been a pretty lazy guy, which explains why I am 20 years old and still living at my dad’s house. I don’t know how I have managed to learn the languages I’ve learned, I find it miraculous that I was able to go teach English in Japan, and coming this far from my old religious beliefs has certainly been a long and arduous journey. But now I am getting tired. I have tried to find God in books and Wikipedia articles and classes at school, but I’ve never really put into practice anything I’ve learned; if anything, it has just made me more cynical. The only religion I have ever fully embraced is pop-Christianity, and it terrifies me to think that I might ever regress to that. There is a fear deep inside me that if I ever fully transition away from my old ways, I will somehow lose not only a part of myself, but also some kind of divine favor. Am I afraid that by moving away from mainstream American Christianity, I will also be moving away from God? And if so, doesn’t that mean that I’m not ready to move away?

I hate so much about what I see in the Christian church, specifically the mainstream conservative evangelical Protestant church here in the United States. I hate the hypocrisy, the exclusivism, the ignorance, the elitism, and the way they are always playing the victim. But most of all, I hate the hate. I can’t stand the way Christians claim to follow Jesus’s teachings of love and peace, yet they can’t seem to actually put them into practice. They hate Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, gays, and everyone else who doesn’t fit in with their narrow, restricted notion of who and what God loves. I hate the ethnocentrism. Every picture I see depicting Jesus has blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin. I also hate that even Jesus taught a literal eternal hell prepared for Satan, the demons, and “unbelievers”. I hate that so many Christians are so ignorant about their own religion! Many of them have never heard of an ecumenical council, they think Jesus preached that he was God incarnate, and most have no knowledge of any of the myriad books that didn’t make the cut when the books of the Bible were officially decided.

So if I hate so much about the church, why, WHY do I suddenly feel like returning to it? Maybe it’s because I feel like I don’t have a distinct religious “place” anymore. I can find God anywhere, so why do I feel like I should be sitting obediently in a church on Sundays? Maybe I just need to finally put all I’ve learned about God and religion into practice. Maybe I should embrace what I love about Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and yes, Christianity, and not worry about giving it all a name or a justification. Maybe I need to get rid of my worries about what people will say and think of my beliefs. But most of all, I think I just need to stop talking about it too much, stop thinking about it too much, and just do it.

– Reynvaan


One Response to “Ashta jaharam.”

  1. 1 hughstan

    How blessed you are, even by the fact that you don’t recognise that you are blessed.

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