Monday, October 24, 2016

Failing Christ: Why Some Christians Have Trouble Saying I'm Sorry

Christians believe that their God, Jesus Christ, was executed not for having ever committed any of his own sins, but for the sins that everyone else in the world had, was, and would eventually commit; even though Jesus himself was completely free of sin. Put another way, Christ offered himself as an apology for the sins of humanity. And since Christians claim to be following in the footsteps of Christ, you would think it was their duty to be willing to say they were sorry, even if, like Christ, they had not done anything wrong at all. But the reality of Christianity is often the very opposite of that.

Rather than being able to say they are sorry for the things they have done (or even, like Christ, say they are sorry for the things they may have not done in order to actually "be like Christ"), many Christians tend to find it practically impossible to say they are sorry for almost anything. This is probably not just the result of their having to constantly tell themselves that they are right to conflate their "beliefs" with "eternal, everlasting truth," but also because of the need to hold on to something that they can depend on to never change. 
But either way, given their need to constantly defend their "belief" as the indisputable "truth" of reality (despite the two things being polar opposites in fact), being unapologetic in their religious devotion to conflating the two may spill over to their personal dealings with others, even when disagreements arise on subjects that are wholly unrelated to issues about religious beliefs. 

The deep emotional investment and connection that many "believers" have for their beliefs, along with the willingness to completely identify with such beliefs, does not always produce the kind of selflessness that Christians claim their religion helps to encourage and instill. Instead, it can just as often prevent such "believers" from ever considering that they could be completely wrong about the sacred "beliefs" they hold  (and indeed, who could ever be wrong about something as subjectively fickle as one's "beliefs"?), and by extension, about any other emotionally charged position they just happen to identify with it. 

In this way, the need to be right about one's religious beliefs can spill over into other areas of their lives, and replicate itself in a need to be right about virtually everything else. But this is the very definition of ignorance. For ignorance is not the result of what we do not know - since there is always far more that even the most brilliant mind does not know than it ever could know - but from the "belief" that we know far, far more than we actually do. It also comes from the inability to admit that no matter how much we do know, it is always just a drop in an infinite ocean of knowledge, and a single perspective among an infinite number of different possible perspectives - none of which can ever hope to be more "right" or "wrong" than another, when interpreting something both infinite and eternal  

And anyone who pretends that their "beliefs" or their subjective understanding of "objective universal moral truths" is anything other than that, is not exercising any degree of humility, but is only presupposing they have been granted special access to knowing the mind of god. No wonder they so often find it impossible to admit they are wrong or say "I'm sorry." 

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Christianity teaches people to believe that the best in life comes only after you die.