My Problem with Christianity: Part 1 — Introduction

A few nights go some friends were talking and one of the guys was complaining about the poor service at a restaurant. He said, “I don’t know what it is about restaurants, I just don’t get appetizers.” A wiseacre in the group said “What’s to get? They are little pieces of food and you eat them.” Which struck me as a bit funny, but I was rolling on the floor when the first guy, more emphatically said, “No, I just don’t get them!”

And for me, it is the same with Christianity, for the most part. I just never really got it.

I was raised Roman Catholic and at one time would have been considered a pretty religious kind of guy. Went to church every Sunday, was an altar boy, went to Catholic schools for 10 of my 12 years and so on. Went on retreats, did the soup kitchen and social service kind of thing, read the Bible, found the New Testament pretty quotable and did so liberally and read the Catechism and other Catholic teachings and writings. Not exactly a theologian or anything, but for the most part better educated in things Catholic than most people in the pews, by my estimation.

I will be the first to admit that all this education and reading did not add up to any kind of spiritual practice. I did OK on the social justice kinds of things, both with the checkbook and volunteering, but prayer was not something I did a lot of and I never really felt any supernatural presence in my life.

To be honest, mostly what my education did for me was to make me cynical and critical, not only of the church hierarchy, but of the whole notion of God or any supernatural reality. Perhaps cynicism is just a natural state of mind for me or, as I like to think I evaluated the evidence and came to a logical conclusion.

As more of a mind clearing exercise, not thinking that anyone would actually care to read this, in the next few posts I am going to talk about some of that evidence and how I weighed it and how that has resulted in my moving away from Christianity, at least in the strict sense. Along with that I will talk about some of the aspects of Buddhism that have appealed to me and how they compare and contrast to my “street level” understanding of Christianity.

Stay tuned. 🙂

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3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, General Writings, journey into Buddhism, Philosophy & Religion, Religion, Self Improvement

3 responses to “My Problem with Christianity: Part 1 — Introduction

  1. prayindancinshari

    The reason you have moved away from Christianity, I think, is because you were taught to view it as a religion and just a way of thinking. This is a common experience for many Catholics. What you weren’t taught, or modeled by those teaching you, that Christianity is about a relationship with God, the Creator of the Universe. The One who thought you up, and made you for a specific purpose and gave you gifts and talents to use. You said you never really prayed. And I’d say forget the formal prayers you were taught, and ask God to reveal Jesus to you, and what He has done. And when He does it, ask Him to lead you and guide you, and help you fulfill the purposes you are on this Earth to do. He has a great plan for you, much greater than what you can imagine.

    shari
    http://prayindancinshari.wordpress.com

  2. I disagree, I think that the reason why so many people are abandoning traditional religions is that the leaders and the faithful of these religions often claim that religion is about having a personal relationship with God; but they spend so much time on interfering in the way others live their lives. If a religious person has a personal relationship with God, then they wouldn’t try to lobby government to make abortion or homsexuality illegal, or to try to impose their views on the rest of society.

  3. In my own case both of you are wrong. Although the political aspects of religion had some small part in my “not going to church” it had very little to with why I actually changed my personal point of view.

    And Shari, as I lay out the next several posts you will see why I completely disagree with you and why it is actually people like you that have helped me lose whatever faith in “god” that I might have started with.

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