Christianity in Context
Christianity is not the same from other religions. All religions have the same focus, even though no two religions are the exact same. They all have the same focus of spirituality and faith. Each religion has a purpose; they all have something unique about what they believe in. As Christians, we may not always understand or see eye to eye with these other religious views and that’s okay. God did not want us to be like everybody else. Christianity appears to be so simple and smart because it is all we know and it was how we were raised. Other religions we often might think how dumb their beliefs are. Christians should always remember to keep an open mind while learning about other religions. We would not want to hear others mocking or making fun of our God, so we should not to that about their different ideas and beliefs.
In Christianity God is the Ultimate, he is the personal creator and he is known by us and knows each one of us on a personal level. Whereas in Taoism the ultimate is not personal at all. They are to align themselves with the Tao but they do not get to know it on an interpersonal way. Our God is very personal; he knew us before we were even born into this world. The Tao makes no personal relationship or bonds with its people. Another way that Taoism and Christianity is different is based upon their views of nature. The Tao believe nature has always existed and it is and has never been created. They also believe that nature is moral; moral laws are like the laws of nature. “Taoism does not have a God in the way that the Abrahamic religions do. There is no omnipotent being beyond the cosmos, who created and controls the universe. In Taoism the universe springs from theTao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way” (BBC Gods and Spirits, 2009). The laws are impersonal and have a cause and effect consequences. In Christianity, we believe that nature is a creation of God. Nature is morally neutral and people of God are moral. The two aspects differ because Christianity believes in creativity and a neutral moral. Where
Taoism believes in the existence of nature and there was no aspect of creation. They also believe in a cause-and-effect of consequences of moral. Although these religions share great differences they do have a bit in common. For example, their love and strength for what they believe. In both religions, the follower will do what it takes to make everything right and be accepted. They both have an end-all goal they are trying to reach to live a happy and healthy life and after life.
Taoism is not the only religion other than Christianity with several differences. Shinto is the religion practiced throughout Japan. Unlike in Christianity Shinto has many Gods; the Kami. Shinto believe kami are imbedded in material objects and the natural world. “Shinto (“the way of the gods”) is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people and as old as Japan itself. It remains Japan’s major religion alongsideBuddhism (Japan-Guide Shinto, 2007). Whereas Christians believe God transcends the world in his natural being. Another big difference between the two religions is that kami can be both helpful and hurtful. God is loving and is full of good. God never has the intentions to harm us but only to help us and make us better people. Shinto believers can complete their daily duties while following their own life agendas. However, in Christianity follow God when they fulfil Gods agenda and will. We live our lives for God. Everything we do we do for him, as he is the one who has given us all the opportunities we come across in life. We do not choose one or the other, they both go hand in hand, we complete our daily duties as we follow God and live in his image. No two religions are the same, and Shinto has many very different perspectives and beliefs than that of the Christian culture. One if not the only thing the two religions have in common is their belief system. They both believe they are doing what they should be to get the outcome they are hoping to receive. They both fulfil their daily duties in the manner they believe would make their God or Gods the happiest. This is okay because there are multiple religions for a reason. If each one was the same, then there would only be one religion and one God being worshiped around the world.
Religion is such a big part of many lives all over the globe. Many people believe it is what brings them happiness and safety. Sometimes religion can be a human construct even if we do not always realize it. For example, in some religions the believe in sacrifice, it can be an animal sacrifice or the sacrifice of blood. To those who do it might think it is completely normal and think nothing of it. But to Christians that is what we consider animal cruelty. Another example is in Christianity, lying is a sin however we make up all these lies to tell children to go along with Bible stories and Christian beliefs. Such as the Easter bunny. We took the story from the bible and made a big fantasy ordeal to tell children to get them excited about the religious holiday. Or the story of Santa clause, and how he brings the good boys and girls presents to help celebrate Jesus’ birthday. There was no such thing as Santa even in the Bible. It is just a lie we tell our kids to get them to behave for the two months leading up to Christmas. This is not a big deal, this is not truly harming anyone, but in my eyes this is a small form of human construct.
I have always been very open minded to other religions around the world. To learn about the way other people, live and to hear what motivates them in the way God motivates Christians. Christians would agree that we want to spread the word of God to every person on this earth and wish they would listen. That is just impossible. That is okay, not everyone on this earth should be the same, we do not all have to believe the same thing. I think Christians should support those with different beliefs than ours. It is what makes that person happy, it is what gives them hope. We look to God in our time of need and other religions look to their God or Gods to help them. Why should we take that happiness away? Not every Christian wants to grow up and do the same thing because we have our own minds and thoughts and dreams and I think religion sometimes works the same way. We must be open to the fact that people believe and want different things with their life.
Religions can often be very different from one another, but they can have a small bit of similarity as well. Not every person was made the same way, not every person was born into Christianity. If God wanted everyone to be a Christian, he would have done that. But he did not, he lets us look around and see that we love what we believe in and we love the God that we have faith in.