Let’s do a SoulPancake page, shall we? This is a good one.
[Please see this post for information on SoulPancake and the awesome book I’m pulling these questions from.]
*Why is talking about God so awkward?*
*Why is it so difficult and weird to talk about something many people believe in?*
I have many ideas. I think, by talking about God, we are opening ourselves up for criticism. I don’t think we as a society like being vulnerable. We don’t like talking about the things we believe in. I think this is because we are, in maybe a small or even big way, afraid of being wrong.
Christians especially, in wanting to reach people, are afraid of being wrong. I am a Christian, but I will admit that I don’t know much theology other than what’s discussed on Sunday mornings. So I am very afraid of opening up about my beliefs in God when I know that the person I am talking to may have questions I can’t answer.
Though The Washington Post explains that Christianity is the largest religion in the US, this doesn’t seem to making conversations any easier. Is it because, in the Christian faith, there are people from different denominations and different beliefs, thus making conversations about God a tad touchy?
For example, when I was at ‘Together’ at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., there were fire and brimstone speakers preaching to/ yelling at us as we waited in the line to get through security. There was even two unfortunate souls who took things a bit far. One was running around without a shirt, going on about abortion. He was singing ‘Jesus loves the little children’, but he replaced the line “all the children in the world” with “all the children in the womb”. His friend was holding a gigantic sign, proclaiming Pope Francis was the Antichrist. Yet they, me, and all the people at ‘Together’ fall under the Christian umbrella.
I applaud those Christians that are not afraid of talking to Christians from other denominations and beliefs. I think that is so important for us all to do, whether the person we are talking to is a believer or not. But I don’t think it makes the conversation any less awkward, maybe just a bit more comfortable.
I also think that nowadays, with such a stress on being politically correct, people are afraid of stepping on other people’s toes or offending somebody. First off, I think it’s good to be offended every once and awhile. It makes us stop and think about what is making us offended.
But with all the insensitive names and labels being thrown around, I think it’s making Christians afraid to speak about their faith. They don’t want to be called a name, or ridiculed, or made fun off, or even deemed rude for offending someone.
Plus, with Westboro Baptist church being the main example of Christianity (though it isn’t a good nor even Christian example), Christians don’t want to be associated with that church by claiming to be a believer in God. I am a Christian, but I am as far from Westboro Baptist church as a Muslim is from ISIS.
Piggy-backing on this, I think fear plays a really big part in making conversations about God awkward. In this time where Christians are being persecuted and killed, I think people are choosing to stay silent over loosing their life. But that begs the question: why are people choosing this life over the life they have with God if they are a believer? (But that’s a whole other post.)
Also, because of Thomas Jefferson’s famous ‘separation of church and state’ line, conversations about God are becoming more and more awkward. People are becoming more and more reluctant to have religious conversations in regards to politics, and I think that adds to the awkwardness. As more and more moral dilemmas are brought to the forefront of political discussions, less and less people want to have a religious conversation about it.
In conclusion, I think less and less people are interested in hearing about, or having God be apart of their everyday lives. They want to save Him for Sunday mornings and conferences. Christians are humans, and like humans, we want comfort, and I think this is why talking about God is so awkward. It is hard for us to be bold for God, even though it is God who makes us bold.
I think, as long as we live in this world, talking about God will be awkward. Only when Christ comes again will we talk freely and openly about the God we serve.
What do you think?
Ciao for now,
P.S. Where should talking about God be strictly off-limits? With whom would you want to have a real conversations about God? What topics do you wish were a little less taboo?