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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas: Losing my Religion but Keeping the Faith

Merry Christmas! It is Christmas time once more, and most Christians will be celebrating the holidays with their families and friends. Well, I also join the tradition somehow but I do not consider myself a Catholic or a member of any Christian religion.

Yes, my readers and friends. I am losing my religion but keeping the faith. It is my personal choice, and I am happy with it. I am neither trying to convince anyone to join me nor I am condemning the Catholic church. But I hope you do not mind if I share my thoughts here.

In my resume, I write Christian Baptist since my wife and children belong there. I have high respect for the pastor and his family, and I consider them as a family friend. Although we see each other frequently, I last went to their church more than a year ago and that was when we were new in the community.

To me, religion is different from faith. In every Christian religion, we can always find loopholes depending on our interpretation of the Bible. For example, we cannot find the term Christmas in the Bible although Catholics celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus Christ.

If we will check the real history of Christmas, it did not begin with Christ. Northern Europeans called it “Jul” (a term remembered in the English word Yule, which now means Christmas); in ancient Rome it was the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or "the birthday of the unconquered Sun”. Through sacrifices and feasting, pagans celebrated the beginning of the Sun's revival.

Well, I guess this issue is still being debated by historians. Nobody knows when it will end and who will win.

Nevertheless, I also cannot understand why Christmas is being brought up to children as a gift giving day, which is why Santa Claus is getting more popular than Jesus Christ to them. Sad to say, the tradition is being highly commercialized while the poor children feels miserable if they do not receive a new toy for Christmas.

It is also hard for me to accept that I need to pay for the wedding, baptismal, and even prayers for the dead! I always thought that the gift from God is free.

Meanwhile, giving tithes will lead us to endless debate so I will not discuss it here.

But as for me, miracles do not need physical images. I strongly believe that miracles happens everyday and it starts when we still wake up every morning. I should know, there were a lot of miracles that happened to me in which I shared one of them in an Inspirational book.

In the end, there might be no perfect religion but I am pretty sure there is a perfect God whoever He is. I only believe in the things with logical explanation, and it does need to be scientific or biblical.

I have a high respect for any religion, as long as they do not force me that they are right and I am wrong in terms of faith. Faith to me is a freedom to choose what we want to believe in regardless if it is logical or not. If we want to change our mind, we are also free to do so. After all, God gave us this gift of free willing.

Yes, I may be losing my religion but I will be keeping the faith forever.

But if Christmas is all about unconditional love, sacrifice, and forgiving; then I suppose we need to treat each day as Christmas day whatever religion we belong to.

Merry Christmas!

Related posts:
My Christmas Work Experience in Japan
My Life Story is now in an Inspirational Book

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