Christianity

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Christianity

Abstract

Despite sharing a similar religious affiliation, the modern-day Christians seems to differ on numerous Christian doctrines and beliefs. What may be seen to have come with the emerging modernity issues, the changing world continue to influence people’s beliefs independently based on the personal experiences and encounters.  The major contributing factor, however, is science which continues to contradict some of the very fundamental tenets of Christianity to which Christians have always subscribed. In the same vein, it is common to find different religious beliefs across the generations majorly due to differing experiences over the years. It is on that note that it is advisable that interviewing people on religion should consider all the factors like age and occupation since they influence the changing beliefs of people concerning Christianity. The following discussion is presented in two sections. The first section presents an interview featuring four Christians from various backgrounds while the second section comprises an analysis of their viewpoints. The interviewees include a Priest, Grandparent, Parent, and a Teenager. The titles are capitalized since they will be used to identify the interviewees throughout the discussion as per the requirements of anonymity and confidentiality. The interview questions included:

        i.            Please list the extent of your religious education.

      ii.            While going through religious education, were there times in which your faith wavered? If so, please describe the specific items that sparked questioning in your mind. If not, please describe your reaction to learning about your faith.

    iii.            Do you consider yourself religious at this time? What is your definition of “being religious”?

    iv.            Do you believe that the Christian Church is the One True Church? How would you answer the question, “Can non-Christians experience salvation in the next life and/or enter Heaven?”

      v.            Do you ever doubt the existence of God? If so, could you tell me when? Could you give me your definition of what God is? What is the purpose of human life?

    vi.            Which current controversial topic is the most challenging to Christian believers?

  vii.            How do you define the Trinity? In other words, how do you understand the Christian belief that God is “Three Persons in One God”?

viii.            Do you go to Church on a regular basis right now? Why or why not? What is the purpose for going to Church?

Tabulation of Interview Responses

The responses to the interview questions are tabulated for ease of analysis and comprehension.

Question

Priest

Grandparent

Parent

Teenager

        i.             

Extensive. Went through formal religious education and is yet to complete his Masters in theology.

No religious education background

Limited. Never went through formal religious education system, but has gained a lot from the religious education programs at the church.

No background in education. Only has insights from verbal engagements during peer-to-peer discussion.

      ii.             

Yes, Numerous. Among the items that made me re-evaluate my position includes the constant troubles I faced despite praying fervently, the chaotic situation of the world despite our God being a God of order, and the claims about the inexistence that continue to dominate the world in the face of advancing science.

Yes. Never went through formal religious education but admits she had faced tough situations in life which made her question the existence of God. Despite striving to do good, plagues after plagues befell her.

Yes. Always prayed for Global peace but nothing seems to come from the prayers. The Wars have, in fact, worsened. The death of two of his children in a tragic road accident also made him reevaluate his Christian background.

Yes. No formal religious education but feels the numerous temptations and delinquency among his peers makes him wonder whether there is a supreme being that controls the world.

    iii.             

Yes. Being religious is having a deep-seated belief in, and constant allegiance to, a supreme being who controls the World, specifically God, and shunning other gods.

Not sure. Follows Christianity faithfully.

Yes. Being religious is a belief that there is a God that created and continues to reign on the Universe, maintains peace and organizes things according to His will.

No. Believes in humanity which champions for respect and equality of everyone. Strives to do good amidst a blizzard of temptations. Thinks that religion spreads hatred and division.

    iv.             

Yes. Non-Christians can never experience salvation in the next life since they do not believe in one True God.

Yes. Non-Christians are going to hell.

Yes. Non-Christians can experience salvation if they repent now and accept Christianity.

Not really. Does not know about salvation.

      v.             

In the past, Yes…but not now. God is the righteous supreme creator and ruler of the world. The purpose of human life is to serve God with everything they got.

Yes, often. In the face of numerous consecutive life challenges where God does not intervene. The purpose of human life is to live according to the will of God.

Yes. When I have Problems and God does not come to my rescue. The purpose of human life is to do good, and advance the work of God through procreation.

Yes. When comparing scientific narrations with those of Christianity. The purpose of human life is to preserve humanity, help others, and make a positive impact.

    vi.             

Euthanasia.

Not sure.

Not sure.

Homosexuality.

  vii.             

The trinity is utterly confusing. It entails God existing in three persons, basically, God is everything.

Not sure.

Not sure.

Not sure.

viii.             

Yes, because the Bible recommends it. To replenish my faith through frequent Biblical teachings and also saving souls.

No. Too old to move frequently, but prays each time. The purpose of going to Church is to join other believers in worshipping God and sharing His word.

Yes since I want to praise the Lord alongside other believers who share my religious subscription. The purpose of going to Church is to praise God in a holy place, His house.

No because I do not see any reasons I should. If anything, if God is everywhere, then He can be served from anywhere. The purpose of going to church is to serve God.

 

Analysis of the Interview Responses

Evidently, different Christians have varying beliefs on Christianity concepts. However, it is important to note that the above interview features people with different religious education backgrounds; a fact that may have extensively influenced their standpoints concerning the various questions asked. Contextually, regardless of their religious education background, all the interviewees contend that their faith wavered at one point. Remarkably, even the Priest admits that life challenges made his faith waver. While that may not be expected of a person with extensive religious education background, it is important to note that constant suffering has a way of changing the human beings’ outlook of life and their general perceptions. Therefore, the Priest, Grandparent, Parent, and the Teenager alike, are bound to doubt the use of their faith in times of acute suffering. Also, two of the four interviewees (the Priest and the Parent) consider themselves religious while the Grandparent is unsure, and the Teenager refutes any thought of him being religious. The two religious interviewees, despite different wordings, have the same definition of ‘being religious’- belief in the existence of a God. Probably the confusing Grandparent’s answer stemmed from the fact that she did not understand the question since she asserts that she follows Christianity faithfully, and Christianity is founded on the existence of a God. The Teenager, on the other hand, is not religious but believes in humanity. His views reflect the free-will that has come with modernity, or modern Christianity where people are free to express their beliefs and practice their religiousness in a manner they see fit. Importantly, the Teenager notes that religion spreads hatred and division. Regardless of his standpoint, the insinuation may be valid to some extent- religious affiliations may induce a condescending feeling on other religions, thus, create a situation where others see their religions as the most superior and deserving of all glory.

In fact, that assertion is proved in the next response where three of the interviewees (Priest, Grandparent, and Parent) believe that Christian Church is the one true church, similarly, the Pries thinks that the non-Christians can never experience salvation- the Grandparent thinks that they are headed for hell. It is such extreme views stemming from the pious that Teenagers and the younger generation witness which makes them view religion as a source of hatred and division. Even the Parent implies superiority of Christianity over other religions when they assert that non-Christians have no other way to experience salvation save for ditching their religions for Christianity. Just like the question about wavering of their faith, all the interviewees admit to having doubted the existence of God at some point. Similarly, they have only doubted His existence when they have problems or life challenges, except for the Teenager whose views have been largely influenced by the scientific literature to which he is exposed. The fact that the respondents only doubt the existence of God during trouble can be interpreted to stem from the widespread Christian view that God is only associated with good while evil is linked to Satan. Similarly, while the first three respondents agree that the purpose of human life is to serve God, the Teenager thinks that the purpose of human life is to make positive impact in the lives of other people.

On another note, none of the interviewees gave similar answers concerning the contemporary controversial topics. The Grandparent and the Parent were unsure. The Priest cited Euthanasia while the Teenager cited Homosexuality. It is difficult to predict the factors behind this difference, however, the Teenager, being well-versed with the common social issues readily cited homosexuality. On the other hand, the Priest is extensively experienced and has knowledge of such complex controversial topics like euthanasia which seem to be out of reach for the Teenager. Agreeably, both homosexuality and euthanasia top the ranks of contemporary controversial topics. Surprisingly, the trinity is confusing and difficult to understand for all the respondents. The Priest was the only one who attempted to define the concept, while the remaining three interviewees were unsure (could not define) the trinity. Justifiably, several questions have risen concerning the trinity in the past, which are both confusing and complex even to those who have advanced religious education. Concerning the last question, only two respondents (the Priest and the Parent) agreed to the fact that they go to church regularly. Even then, their reasons differ. While the Priest notes that the Bible recommends regular church attendance, the Parent simply wants to praise God alongside other believers. On the other hand, the Grandparent is too old to move frequently which may imply that she would attend church regularly if she could move. Instead, she prays regularly. On the other hand, the rebellious Teenager sees no reason in attending church regularly. In fact, he thinks that being that God is everywhere, He can be praised from whichever location one prefers. Regardless, the Priest, Grandparent, and Parent, and the Teenager acknowledge, either directly or implied, that it is important for one to share spiritual nourishment with other believers, which is the general purpose of going to church. Conclusively, people have differing views concerning Christianity, which can be attributed to two factors: the uniqueness of human nature, and the factors influencing such beliefs. The above interview and its subsequent analysis has proven this difference in religious beliefs.       

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