Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

BELIEF AND ALLIANCE

I have recently started to say “I am a Christian”  in discussions or  posts. I never used to do so, believing that my expressed opinions were enough and that it was ostentatious and provocative to make open statements. So why make a change? One reason is the way in which the secular state is claiming a monopoly on morality, ignoring the fact that our values derive from Christianity and objecting to the expression of Christian faith by symbols. (e.g Cross worn on a chain round neck.)  I think this behaviour by the secular state should be resisted. Another reason is that our local vicar is a fine fellow who goes about his business honestly and thoughtfully, and inspires me to be more open.

That train of thought got me wondering what those four word “I am a Christian” really convey. Christians all use the same words when reciting the creed, but what they mean by those words inside their own heads can vary enormously. Every mental image of what ‘heaven’ is like (if it exists) can be different. So can personal interpretations of miracles. So if the four magic words don’t tell you what I believe, what do they tell you?

They tell you something about my allegiance, and who I see as my allies. They distinguish me from those who don’t have that allegiance. They show that I am not a Muslim or a Buddhist. They suggest that I believe in a supernatural being. They suggest that I will try to behave in accordance with some moral code. They suggest that I attend Christian religious rites.

Would it be a good idea to say more? I suspect not, for deeper discussions get bogged down on account of the fact that WE DON’T KNOW. People accepting the concept of ‘revealed religion’will argue against that, but ordinary common sense says that human understanding is limited and concepts of ‘the hereafter’ and ‘What pleases God’ can only be based on what we carry in our heads. We use the word ‘believe’ when we don’t ‘know’, so whatever is in my head is pretty fuzzy anyway, and my chances of communicating it accurately to you through words I have myself chosen is small. So the four words are enough to invite dialogue.

4 Responses to “BELIEF AND ALLIANCE”

  1. You have allies and enemies. So do terrorists. You have a moral code superior to that of “secularists”, but of course, you won’t actually come right out and say you are superior.

  2. After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on
    whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Kudos!

    • I don’t know how this happened. I sometimmes have the same experience but only get two messages – never four! I suggest you unfollow my blog to stop messages totally and then re-sign up if you wish to

  3. I think trying to expalin sometihing which is based more on emotion and feeling rather than fact is very difficult. However, an attempt to open a dialogue is always worthwhile because it may increase understanding between people with different views. I would also say I am a Christian and in fact did recenlty stated this on my visa application form.


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