Print Edition: September 24, 2014
Every time I’ve turned on the news recently, there’s always something about religious compromise. Religious groups and leaders that were once very adamant about their beliefs are now making choices that go completely against what they used to stand for. ISIS is killing innocent people in the name of Islam, and the Catholic Church is becoming more lenient in their marriage policies.
I was shocked to learn Pope Francis had married couples the Catholic Church would never have approved of before. It’s nice to see the Church reaching out to a larger variety of people and putting into action Jesus’ teachings of loving and accepting everybody, but is that resulting in compromising beliefs and no longer standing up for what is right? In a society where we are bombarded with opposing views and opinions, it can be hard to draw the line between compromise and being open-minded.
So when is compromising your religion and beliefs okay? It really depends on the mindset of the person. I was raised as a Christian, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve compromised my beliefs a lot. Living a Christian lifestyle isn’t always the most exciting, and hey — as long as I’m a good person it’s all good, right?
Wrong. I came to the conclusion that I needed to change my attitude from “How much can I compromise my beliefs without actually doing wrong” to “What’s the best decision that I can make to help me grow in my faith” It was then that I stopped constantly worrying whether I was in the right and for once felt I was finally living a lifestyle that was pleasing to God.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong.” Okay, I get it. Maybe they’re right. But is that the right outlook to have? If we can justify our decisions and convince ourselves they aren’t technically wrong, we think everything is okay. We know that a choice may not have been the best, but we remind ourselves that there are much worse things we could be doing.
Christianity has become something people wear, rather than a personal relationship with God. We don’t mind being identified as Christians, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of what we want to do. Choices are made based on whether they suit the label that people want to be recognized with, rather than if the choice will hinder or help their relationship with God.
My goal as a believer, and a goal I encourage everyone to share, is to stop arguing over if something is wrong, and think about if it’s right. I agree there are some things in the Bible that are not always black or white, but if you need to convince yourself that your choice is right, is it a choice worth making? If you are going to take a stand for what you believe in, stand up, and stand out. Don’t settle for close enough.