So I can either tell them I'm a Christian, but exclude the fact that I don't believe that Christ's death is needed to atone for sins (including that darn Original Sin), or I can tell them what I truly believe hoping that the Walls of Ignorance will stay down allowing us to have an inter-faith dialogue. It is rare to find those that are open-minded enough to sit and listen to your "strange" beliefs without attempting to convert you. I don't force my beliefs on people anymore nor do I want to convert anyone. I enjoy sharing and listening to other beliefs which tells me a lot more about a person's character than basic personal information (martial status, age, location, career, etc.).
But what is it that gnaws away at us when we meet someone with a different belief? It used to bother me that so many Baptists thought I was in an cult. I would defend my faith without ever considering that I might be theologically wrong. I was spiritually trapped in a box and the thought never occurred to me that there might be something more on the outside.
I was afraid to look outside my religious box for two reasons:
- Fear of learning "false" doctrines which would taint my spirituality.
- Fear that these "false" doctrines are not false at all but may even contain truth which then challenges my perception of reality.
I still get nervous from time to time when I have conversations on faith with other people. This is not stemmed from rejection but from a lack of connection. This yearning to connect with other human beings lies at the core of our humanity and is crucial for our existence. Let us tear down our mental walls and transcend the fear of loving one another.