Where I Am on My Spiritual Journey – Morality

I’m single and hope one day to get married. In the past, I was in no doubt that I wanted to marry someone who is Christian – for I’ve heard countless Christians say marrying an unbeliever is a bad thing to do. But now I’m thinking that I’d be okay with marrying an Atheist or an Agnostic – as long as they aren’t the angry, Richard Dawkin types. I would much rather be married to a kind, compassionate non-Christian than a self-righteous, obnoxious Christian. I recently read an article published by Relevant Magazine that was encouraging Christians to marry within their faith even pointed out that marry a Christian won’t guarantee a divorce-free marriage. Only a fool would say marrying a Christian means you’ll never get divorced. Divorce happens to all kind of couples no matter what they think of God and religion. I think to have a successful marriage depends on few things. In my view, Mark Manson’s article on marriage really shows how to have a good marriage. Mark isn’t a Christian yet his research and advice on marriage is superb. There’s this myth spread by some Christians that those who aren’t believers are nothing but selfish. They only get married for money and sex but reading such an article proves such a view is false. Sure there’s selfish non-believers as well as selfish Christians, I think at the end of the day it depends on what kind of person an individual wants to be. Ultimately a successful marriage happens if the right people marry at the right time for the right reasons.

I think it’s an ignorant position to have if we think someone who has no belief in God means automatically they have no morality. Yes, it’s possible that there may be some who may reject God’s existence so they can take part in debauchery, but surely no one can really think that it’s only Christians who have done good things in this world.

Let’s take the British politician Jo Cox for example. Jo was a rarity in politics because she cared more about making the world a better place than fighting against the opposition. Before becoming an MP she worked in the most dangerous war zones as the head policy and head of humanitarian campaigning for Oxfam. She lived very selflessly, serving others. But she wasn’t a Christian, she was a humanist

Sure there are Christians who have lived just as unselfishly as Mrs Cox, but no one should fool themselves into thinking that those who only have a faith live in such a way. Being a Christian doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be self-centred, nor does being a non-Christian mean you will only think about yourself. As a Christian at times I’ve been selfish and at times I haven’t. As wrote earlier, I think in the end to be selfish or not is a choice a person has to make.

Last month a tweet by Ayesha Curry seemed to get quite a number of people got worked up. In it, she said something about preferring to cover up in the way she dressed. She seemed to annoy some for not wanting to show her flesh and some were angry she didn’t cover up more. Some of the reactions by Christians involved a lot of stone throwing. A few saying she and her husband were bad Christians and that Mrs Curry was a bad example of modesty. This seems to be an ongoing occurrence – Christians getting hung up on the modesty issue when it’s only mentioned once in the Bible. It seems they’re certain individuals that seem to think there’s nothing more to a woman than her body. I’m not saying that there are not inappropriate ways of dressing in certain situations but sometimes Evangelicals can make the way of dressing a bigger issue than it should be. I remember as a teenager attending a talk (for young people) at a Christian camp. The person giving the talk touched on the subject of modesty, they were very dismissive of those who say that what’s in the heart is more important. The individual giving the talk said God looking at the heart was only mentioned once (in scripture), yet conveniently ignored the fact that modesty is only mentioned once as well. I also should mention that it’s wrong to say the heart is only mentioned once since Jesus constantly talks about the heart.

I think Christians reaction to Ayesha Curry really highlights how good Christians can be judging at other. It doesn’t stop and end at how women dress. It’s not enough to be someone who believes in Jesus, you have to dress the right way, talk the right way, do more, be better and try harder. It’s not enough to be a Christian, you need to read your Bible and pray every day. You need to fast, evangelise, watch the right movies and only listen to the acceptable music. If you don’t do these things you’re a very bad Christian, and those supposedly do such things will do their best to make you feel guilty. Thankfully not every Christian is like that but I find quite a number are. I mean really are you a moral person if you’re constantly judging people? 

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3 thoughts on “Where I Am on My Spiritual Journey – Morality

  1. I hear everything you’ve said and these are serious questions to wrestle with. A couple of points of response:

    1. Yes, you can be good without God but the morality we find in the west is dependent on a Judeo-Christian heritage which cannot be sustained with just mere humanism. The culture is currently running on a residue of it and is bound to run out should the rug be finally pulled from under.

    2. Yes, Christians can still be horrible people, there are theological reasons for that. The other reason is the nature of faith especially when married with philosophical idealism, what I mean by that term in a kind of scientific certainty that the Christian faith never guarantees.

    3. On the marriage issue. In the Christian tradition, marriage is seen as a vocation and is based on it rather than the recent shift to one based purely on “Love” which is simply not sustainable. Christians marry because they have a certain destination which cannot possibly be shared with non-believer which leads me to my final and most important point.

    4. What it means to be a Christian is to be a new definition of what it means to be human not just to be merely a “good” person. If what it means is just boiled down to a few good truths – kindness etc then sure anyone can be that without a faith. The call of Christ is radically different, the bar ridiculously high, the goal unattainable which is why the righteousness he provides has to finally be an alien one. God calls us good through Christ and we, by grace respond to this call. Christians are not called to be merely moral people the bar is higher.

    Sorry for the long response but would love to talk more. I apologise if I sounded preachy but you seemed sincere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your response. I think you put your points across in a non preachy way. I’ll take the time to respond to some of things you said now.

      You’re right about Christianity being more than just being a good person, one of the beauties of Christianity is the idea of God’s grace. But there seems to be this thinking among some believers that Christians are good, non believers are bad. If you look at a lot of Christian movies like God’s Not Dead you’ll see that most of the good characters in them are Christians and the bad people are non believers. I mean I use to think like that, but now I think such an attitude is bad. In a way I think films like God’s Not Dead dehumanise non believers.

      On the issue of marriage, I don’t know if you read the article by Mark Manson on marriage, but in it he writes about how romantic love tricks us into doing insane and irrational things, and true love is a choice and a commitment to another person. Again Mark Manson isn’t a Christian but he accepts that for a marriage to survive it needs tomore than the drive of romantic love but a commitment. I do think it would be best to be married to someone who has the same faith but I’m wondering if a difference in faith is like any other big differences. I mean what about Christians from different denominations marry? Should a Baptist marry someone from a Pentecostal church? A Catholic marry a Protestant? Shouldn’t that be just as much of an issue as believers marrying non believers? It would be great if we could all marry someone who is exactly like us but I think that’s unrealistic.

      I would say that many of the values in the West come from some form of a Judeo-Christian heritage but I think at times it’s been exaggerated by some Christians. Like democracy, I’ve heard some say that democracy is something brought about by Christians, but my understanding of the history of such a political system is that Christians didn’t think it up. Sure throughout history Christians have promoted it but at the end of the day it was the Ancient Greeks who thought it up. As far as I know democracy isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but God does say in 1 Samuel 8:7 in Israel wanting a king was their way of rejecting him. So does that mean every time any votes they’re rejecting God? If God establishes leaders then why should we be voting? Shouldn’t Christians be staying at home praying rather than going out voting on election day? Don’t get me wrong I’m in favour of democracy but I think it’s probably not Biblical, and I wonder why Christians encourage other Christians to vote.
      Another thing would be slavery. The Bible never condemns slavery. While I expect that the system of slavery in the Old Testament was very different to that we’ve had (and still have) in the West, I struggle that the New Testament never condemns it. I know many brave Christians fought against it, but the Bible’s lack of condemnation helped slave owners justify their owning of slaves.

      Liked by 1 person

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