8/14/08

Inferences on Christianity - Pt.2

As I read over these papers now,
I notice so many things I would change...

do me a favor: pretend you don't see anything wrong!

At least I earned an A on my writing and in the class.
That's really all that matters, right? ;o)


Then there are those I meet who get this hardened look in their eyes, as if to say, "I dare you to convert me!" Most times, these are people convicted by my lifestyle and principles; I venture to say that these people are the worst to encounter.

I say they are "convicted" because, upon talking with them, I learn of their own background. Many of them were in church at one point and no longer attend. I have found that they seem to be somewhat harder on (or more aggressive toward) me as compared to other people who do not believe as I do. Sometimes, I am surprised to find that other people also grew up with the very same beliefs as I; they decide, for one reason or another, that they want no part of church or anything "religious" in nature.

A close friend proffered the idea that perhaps they feel I might "pressure them into explaining/questioning their change to unbelief. Maybe they just don't want to answer, because unlike yourself [me], they do not know what they believe and why."

Often, I learn that some people felt "constricted by the demands and legalism" they believed the Bible to have on their lives. Possibly, they feel pressured by my beliefs, and that is why there tends to be some friction. Perhaps they feel that if I cannot withstand their opposition, then what I believe is not truly worth it; they may consider it to be grounds and justification for their rejection of the faith.

However tense the situation(s) may be, I have noticed several things through my somewhat frequent meetings with this type of person. The most important discovery being that it is good for me to be around them -- perhaps only for the simple fact that it causes me to reevaluate my beliefs. It forces me to go back to the basics and consider "Why do I believe this? Is it only because of how I have been raised? Am I just following the crowd? Do I honestly believe this to be the truth?"

Doctor Yates, founder and professor of Faith Bible Institute, once spoke on the Old Testament King David, and used him as an example of someone with convictions. To clarify the difference between a standard and a conviction, Pastor Yates stated: "Standards are good -- but a standard is something someone else has told you; a conviction is what is in your heart... A true conviction declares: "When it's not popular, here's where I'll stand! When I'll lose my life, here's where I'll stand!"

After considering my convictions, I find that I am more firmly grounded in my faith than I was prior to meeting such people. Consequently, I have learned how to "hold my own ground" with others. Instead of dreading such meetings, I have come to expect them, and maybe even wait eagerly for the chance to learn and grow in my faith.

This summer was a perfect example of such a situation: one former co-worker of mine was so shocked when I explained to him the symbolism of my purity ring and my desire to maintain s*xual purity for marriage that he incredulously asked: "WHY?!"

1 comment:

sarahf730 said...

This is really good -- reinforcement for some of things I'm dealing with in my life right now!! Thanks!