I've been up for about the last hour now, thinking and I felt compelled to get them out.
I get so tired of hearing people say they're open minded about things, religion in particular, when what they say and do is quite opposite.
For example, I'm tired of hearing things like this:
"I hate how some people are so close minded about religion, and how they think their religion is the only one and they can't be convinced otherwise. They should be open minded to the fact that not everyone has the same beliefs as theirs and accept that what works for them may not work for someone else."
Anyone else see the hypocrisy in this statement about being open minded?
If you truly are open minded about religion then why are trying to convince others that their beliefs are wrong? Aren't you just doing the same thing that you're complaining that they do?
You're clearly not accepting that their beliefs work for them if you're trying to get them to share your way of thinking. If you really were being open minded you would probably think something along the lines of "Okay, that's what they believe and I accept that... not sure if it works for me, but it's something to keep in mind. Moving on then..."
Being open minded means that you're open to the ideas that others have - if you're not open to the possibility of ideas that differ from your own then, in reality, you're being just as close minded.
I've stated before on here that I'm a Christian, I believe there's only one God, I believe there's a heaven and a hell and I believe that as a Christian the Bible is a sort of instruction book for us.
Feel free to call me close-minded when it comes to religion - by many people's way of thinking, I probably am, as I feel strongly about my beliefs. But please don't go around calling yourself open minded about religion, stating you belief that what works for me doesn't work for you, if you refuse to accept that I believe what I believe. You only make yourself sound like a hypocrite.
Why do people feel the need to share with others? Well, the Bible says to "spread the good news of the Gospel to all" and I'm pretty sure the books of other religions say something similar.
Me personally, I share because I care. I really do care about what happens to my friends, family and those I've come in contact with regarding their eternity in the afterlife. I would HATE to die and find out that my beliefs were right, having not shared what I believe with those in my life and risk never seeing some of them again in Heaven. Yes, it is an individual choice to make, but having made my beliefs known, at least I know they've been given the opportunity to at least consider what I believe. I'm sure there's plenty of others who also share for this same reason as well.
Now I'm not one to often go out of my way (I prefer to lead by example, as I feel strongly that actions speak louder than words), but if the topic comes up, I have no problem sharing, however if you disagree with my beliefs, don't start calling me pushy and get all upset at me because I shared them. Occasionally, like now, I feel compelled to make a religion-heavy post, but again, this is MY blog and I can post/share whatever I feel like - you're not being forced to read this, I'm pretty sure no one's putting a gun to your head, telling you you must read what I write - it was your choice to click the link to this post/blog and continue reading, so don't get upset me for posting something I felt compelled to post on my blog - I'm not forcing you to read it.
Some people are very passionate and excited about what they believe. It's just like in businesses like Mary Kay or Avon - many of the sales reps just love the product or the business and what it's done for them and are excited to share it with others; if you don't care to try it or already have and aren't interested, that's your choice, but don't get upset at them because they're excited to share. And yes, there are some that come off as being pushy and it tends to turns people off completely, but know that not everyone is like that - that usually tends to be the minority.
Now in both real life and online I've come across plenty of people in my life that don't have the same beliefs as me - whether they've tried it in the past and lost their faith or they just come from a completely different background or culture. I'm all for sharing and discussing beliefs - while I personally am not interested in changing my beliefs, it is good to discuss and gain knowledge of what others believe so that you are at least informed.
Do I agree with their beliefs? Based on what my beliefs are, no, I don't. But I'm sure they don't agree with mine either based on what they believe.
I do, however, accept that their beliefs are what they chose for themselves, as ultimately it is their choice to choose what they believe.
To be honest, like many, I don't agree with a lot of things that are happening in the world right now, but I have to accept/tolerate those things because in most cases, there's not really anything I can do about it. Take the BP oil spill for example - like many, I'm not very happy with the way the whole thing is being handled, but there's not really much I can do to change that - it's up to the government and the other officials in charge to make sure it gets stopped and taken care of. All we can do is hope and/or pray that they have the guidance and wisdom to make the right decisions.
Point of the Post:
If you choose to be open minded about religion that's your choice. But the next time you hear someone talking about religion, don't step in and tell them to be open minded and to accept that what works for them may not work for someone else if you yourself aren't going to accept that their beliefs work for them. If you really are open minded and feel that way, you wouldn't be trying to convince them otherwise about their beliefs - you only make yourself look like a hypocrite.