I’m incredibly interested in religions and faith. My 90-ish grandmother did a Bachelor of Theology in her rather mature age (ie I was a baby… so not that long ago really), and I keep thinking that perhaps I’d really enjoy studying theology too.
Regular readers or real life friends who read here would know that I regularly attend church and am heavily involved. I wasn’t always so ‘into’ church. And when I first started attending regularly, I was very self conscious about telling anyone, lest they think I wanted to convert them!
What drew me back to regular church attendance, but also openly disclosing it, was how I viewed a colleague’s faith. My colleague is Jewish. And not once does he apologise for being so (in the way I sometimes feel I should or need to as a ‘Christian’). He embraces the commitments of his faith, and in reality, his culture. If dating a Jewish girl meant he had to (start to) eat Kosher, well so be it. No biggie. Such open mindedness to the doctrine and commitments requested by faith impressed and inspired me.
I am regularly inspired and hold faithful people in high esteem, particularly when their faith is different to mine. What I mean to say is, I don’t think it’s ‘weird’ or ‘strange’, the habits they have from their faith, whether it’s stopping 5 times a day to pray, abstaining from types of meat or meals at times or complying to dress codes.
What I struggle with regularly and continually is the differences of interpretation of the rules within my own faith community (Anglican or Church of England). My church struggles within it’s diocese, and I think this struggle is something I feel personally, as well as now being part of a larger church community that’s at odds with it’s peers.
Why can’t I see the habits of those in my faith that are different to mine as admirable, but not for me? I think I see what ‘other’ faiths do, and think “good on them, that’s their way”, even in the shades of difference between the devout and the more cosmopolitan. However, within my own, I turn each custom over and see if it fits, how it fits with others, and where I stand.
There’s a number of ‘things’ – habits, customs, doctrines, I’d like to explore over a collection of posts. My aim is to verbalise my thought process. It might not interest you – a-ok with me. (I’m as surprised as any that people continue to not only visit my blog, but comment too!) It isn’t my intent to offend anyone, and I heartily encourage counter thoughts and points, rather than agreeing. And if there’s things you struggle to understand or resolve, I’m happy to use them to spark my own point of view.
Things first on my list are
- conservative dress for Christian women
- living together before marriage
- marriage and divorce
- bible directives – Jewish and Christians
What interests you about other faiths? Are you interested in religion, or think it’s a source of more conflict than resolutions?