8/12/08

Inferences on Christianity - Pt.1

I found some of my old college notebooks (from Eng101),
so I thought I would transfer my term papers for "safe-keeping."
These are pretty lengthy... just thought I'd warn you! :o)


October 2003

Inference is defined as being "the process whereby one belief is formed from other beliefs." It is further explained to be "one of the chief methods through which we construct knowledge of and explanations for our understanding of the world." Between my last two jobs (The first: cashier/server at the snack bar at the base Golf Course. The second: working in customer service department at the Navy PSD), I found this definition to be true. Even though I came in contact with a good deal of people every day, I discovered only a portion of the myriad of inferences made on Christianity and Christians.

Because I came face-to-face with inferences on an almost daily basis, I realized that many people have very specific ideas of what a Christian should and should not be, and each person will respond differently when faced with the idea of Christianity.

Some people, upon discovering my "religious" background, tend to shy away from me. I often wonder why they do so. I feel certain there must be a specific reason for this feeling; fear is rarely unfounded. Maybe they had a bad experience earlier in their life and this has caused them to "put up their defenses" at the mere mention of religion.

A close friend of mine once shared with me that, "People could shy away because religion is one of those 'don't mention' topics... it usually can cause conflict." She continued by asking me, "Have you ever heard that if you want to start a conflict in a crowd, just mention s*x, religion, or politics? "

"Perhaps they were forced to attend church while being raised, and were dropped off by parents who stayed home and did something else... This gives deeper meaning to that old saying: 'Do as I say and not as I do.'"

Maybe they felt bothered by the idea of hypocrites in the church, and seeing so-called Christians who were "someone else" outside the building's doors.

Whatever the reason, when I meet such people, I do try to put forth a conscious effort to dispel their fears; I endeavor to show them that Christianity is not about shoving doctrine down another's throat. After a time, I almost always find the person to become more comfortable around me; I think the person realizes that I am different from his original expectations.

Some people have no problems whatsoever with me and my beliefs. One such person was a former co-worker of my father. He was raised in church -- his father (or was it grandfather?) was a preacher, actually -- but, after he left home, he decided church was something he wanted out of his life. Although I do not know the entire story behind that decision, I did notice how he was never rude toward my father or my family; my father and he became good friends. He believed church was a "nice thing" for other people -- just not for him.

1 comment:

roanne said...

Where'd the rest go? You're going to post it, right? I was just really interesting reading and I wanted to finish! Haha =)