Saturday, September 18, 2004

Why I'm a Christian -- A Numbers Game

If we choose to be religious, we must eventually choose our religion. Oftentimes, we simply follow the religion with which we were raised, other times, we choose one that is new to us.

I am but a simple Sparky, easily overwhelmed. It occurred to me, that while I'm a Christian by birth, I choose to remain a Christian because its the easiest religion. Don't agree with me? Lets look at the numbers.

Christianity -- 2 commands: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind; love your neighbor as yourself.

Islam -- 5 pillars of faith (I'll leave that to the reader to find them)

Buddhism -- an 8-fold path (courtesy of my friend's link)

Judaism -- 10 commandments

An oversimplification, of course, but those of you who read me frequently would probably expect that from me.

Disclaimer: This post has been presented for your reading pleasure; nothing in this post should be construed as sound religious doctrine.


Anne Zelenka said...

Buddhism is, numerically speaking, even more complex than that. Here are some entries from the Table of Contents to one of my Buddhism books:

* The Two Truths
* The Three Dharma Seals
* The Three Doors of Liberation
* The Three Bodies of Buddha
* The Three Jewels
* The Four Immeasurable Minds
* The Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising

I haven't gotten past the four noble truths and the eightfold path that makes up the fourth truth yet. Although I'm in favor of simplicity where simplicity is adequate, for my psychological and life issues, I'm drawn to the more complex. My issue with Christianity has often been the question of how: how do I love my neighbor as myself, when I don't even love myself? How do I love god when I think god is not a person-like entity? Buddhism gives me an admittedly complex way of working through those issues.

Marjorie said...

I don't think Christians view God as a person-like entity. Perhaps it differs among Christians, but the gist I get is that the 'personness' is merely a symbol that is helpful to some. One woman in a Bible study noted that its hard to wrap a rational mind around the idea of an unseen God, so maybe thats where the person-like stuff comes in... Dunno, maybe Larry will weigh in on this one.

Marjorie said...
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Larry said...

I don't think it's the easiest religion; it's the hardest religion. It's much easier to be a moslem. It's easy to become a Christian, but it's damn hard to live it.

Re: loving yourself. Barely Attentive Mom needs to read Eric Fromm's Art of Loving. Fromm, an atheist psychologist eloquently proved that's it's impossible to love yourself, God, or anyone else unless you can do all three. There are people of course who have never experienced it in more than the most minimal dimension.

Let's all love one another.