Religion. One of the topics most people clash in. Always up to debate and discrimination. One of the topics where there's no right or wrong, it's completely up to what you believe; everyone will say what they believe is correct, so by definition no one is correct. One of the topics people sometimes don't like to talk about because of all the different ideas that might arise.
Well, my intention is not to flame or rant (unlike my other posts), I just want to mention the position I stand in. I will always respect all different ideas and opinions other people hold, religion included.
I live with a religious christian mother. Because of that, the topic has been of importance to me, my entire life... but I didn't turn out as religious as her.
When I was a kid, my mom, of course, took me to church regularly. At first, when I was around 5, I was completely fine with it, like... I understood what it meant to be a church-goer, good kid everyone will compliment. But when I discovered videogames (or well, when I really focused on more things), at around age 9, I started to dislike going to church, because I considered it a waste of time. What that means... even though I had gone so many times to church, nothing really got into me. I wasn't a christian at heart, so it was very easy to discard that activity. Yet, my mother never really respected my opinion, and kept forcing me to attend biblical summer school and things like that. Up to today, my mom still mentions to me every day that I need to attend church regularly. I understand she only wants the best for me, but she shouldn't push so much for something that every person has the right to choose. I haven't attended church since a long time, and that, today, sits completely fine with me.
So what does that make me? What do I truly believe in? Well, it's not like I hate religion. Christianity, in particular, has been the one religion I've found to have most sense of all, and the one I'd definitely get in if I ever wanted to. But if I had to mention my religion, I guess it'd be most appropriate to say I'm an agnostic atheist, or something along those lines. I believe in God, but don't wish to follow any kind of religion or church.
I do believe in God. It just makes sense, doesn't it? How everything, from the beginning of earth until each one of our lives, has turned out... it's far too perfect to have been a coincidence. Perhaps it's the church I don't believe in... because I often feel like each church has its own rules and customs, and teaches what it wants to teach, not what the religion really is about. It's just a weird sensation I have, just a gut feeling; I don't really have any evidence to support my claims, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable every time I attend church now. Considering and comparing what each different church has to offer, feels to me like a very complex and time-consuming task, that shouldn't even be there.
Among the other reasons I have for not going to church, what I want to be the least is a poser. I don't want to be a hypocrite, in any situation, ever. I want to be myself, and I want people to meet me for what I am. That's the main reason I don't attend to church - I don't think I can call myself a "christian", with my low level of compromise with the church.
Besides, I like to have an open mind. Religion will, by definition, limit itself to its own beliefs, which of course clash with others. I don't like that; I want to listen and consider every possibility before I conclude something, every time open to new ideas. For example, let's say someone discovers that Adam and Eve were actually chimpanzees; that's a crazy new idea that explains the beginning of times, both for christians and scientists, yet I'm sure christianity would reject the idea right away. I'm not saying I'll believe without thinking twice that it was really that way, but I want to at least consider the proposition before I reject it.
The way I see it, I feel like God has given everyone proper judgement to do as they see fit. It's up to each and every one of us to follow what we have to follow, do what we want to do, feel what we want to feel. Regardless if it's right or wrong - you choose how you want to live your life. I will do my part, and give you all the respect you deserve. For now, I haven't felt a strong urge to become a follower of christianity, so it's my decision to stay this way, which should be okay for everyone.
In any case, I don't need to feel afraid of going to hell to make good deeds, or to be a good person. I think if you have "going to heaven" as a reason of going to church every week, it's a selfish reason. You need to really get into it, believe in what God tells you and obey every single thing he tells you, not just do it to save your own ass when you die.
I don't need to consider stuff like drugs, violence, or porn as a sin to avoid doing them; I just need to know the adverse effects each one of these things have. It's not that I'm afraid of committing a sin by doing drugs, it's just that I don't want my brain to deteriorate. And, in the same manner, I don't need to consider that doing good things is going to let me in heaven, I just need to really care about what's happening in the moment right then and there. I'm not being generous so God considers me a good person, I'm doing it because I really care about people. If I give someone food, it's not because I want to be called a christian, it's because I care that he's hungry and don't want him to be. These reasons are good enough for me.
Living by your own terms is the best gift God's given to us. I feel very grateful!