Saved? Or Just Silly?
Just ran across a Facebook status that intrigued me. With several thousand Facebook connections, it’s impossible to know everyone personally. This name wasn’t familiar, so I clicked through to their profile. What I found was bewildering…but probably not uncommon.
To begin with, her profile made several statements about her belief in Christianity. Everyone is entitled to his/her own beliefs, so, even though I thought some of her statements were extreme, hey, it’s your first amendment right.
Then came a phrase/statement/belief which I found troubling. “If you’re not saved, I can’t be with you.”
A few questions popped to mind. First, what does this person mean by saying “with you?” Is that a romantic thing? She can’t be in a romantic relationship with anyone who isn’t of her same set of beliefs? Or, does it mean I can’t be in relationship with anyone who doesn’t hold the same beliefs? The interpersonal nature of romantic relationships is so personal to the two individuals in said relationship, so I kinda get that. I know plenty of folks who will not date outside of their religion. Fine, that’s your choice. However, I know just as many couples where each spouse is a different religion. Jew and Christian, Christian and atheist, Jewish and atheist, any number of combinations.
What’s a little harder to swallow is the idea that this person means “with you” as, “We cannot have a relationship of any sort unless you believe like I do.” Really?
This is strictly my experience, but my life would be a lot less meaningful if I only hung out with people who believe like I do. One of my friends who is Jewish and I had an awesome discussion a few months ago during Yom Kippur. In a 15 minute conversation, I learned so much about Judiasm and the reasons behind Yom Kippur. For this education, I’m a better person.
Now, what if, instead of intentionally conversing, I refused to speak to this individual because he and I don’t share the same religion? I’d be the one missing out.And I firmly believe this Facebook connection is also missing out for refusing to engage anyone outside her beliefs. I understand wanting to surround yourself with others who make you a better person. I think we should all do this. But what does it say when someone refuses to interact with anyone outside his/her belief system? Whether intended or not, this person is saying his/her way is the ONLY way; that anything else is “wrong.” I don’t believe this is a healthy nor productive way to live one’s life. Do you?