Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The effect of the media and society on equality and faith

Nowadays employers make the decision to employ you based on your CV. But what about the stuff you can't put on your CV? Employers cannot tell if you're from a low or high income background, the amount of difficulties or privileges you've had in life, how little or much money you parents have given you. The achievements of a person from a low income background who has had difficulties and has been given little money by their parents are most probably going to be less of those of a person from a high income background who has had privileges and has been given substantially more money from their parents. A person who has faced difficulties would probably have to work harder to achieve that of what a person with privileges could achieve without much effort. Yet, an employer cannot see this. Your future lies in the hands of someone who does not know what you have been though to get where you are today. It bothers me.

As much as I would like it to be possible, it is impossible to have a completely equal world. You cannot have equality without being able to judge people equally. In order to judge people equally you need to know everything about them. In order to know everything about them you need to be God.

There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour? 
James 4:12 (ESV)

I'm a Christian. As soon as I say that, many people make the assumption that I'm going to condemn you to hell, try and covert you and that I ignore the very concept of science. I personally don't feel that I have the right to condemn, judge or try to convert anyone because I respect other people's viewpoints.

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticise their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole travelling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a wash cloth to your neighbour.
Matthew 7:1-5 (MSG)

Note: Not all Bible translations are written in old English, this translation is written in contemporary English, which makes it a lot easier to read!

As for science, it depends on the way you interpret the Bible. I take into consideration that it is thousands of years old and had to be written in agricultural terms used in those days in order for people to comprehend it. I believe that my faith can work with science.

Heaven and Earth were finished down to the last detail. By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created.
Genesis 2: 1-4 (MSG)

Many people think the theory of evolution and Christianity cannot go together because this passage states that God created the earth in 7 days: However, this passage states that God's time is different to ours:
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
2 Peter 3:8 (MSG)

If time is longer for God then it is for us, surely 7 days can mean a much longer period of time? I believe that God created the world. I also believe in evolution. I believe that each day of creation written in the Bible represents a period of time in evolution. It even mentions what I believe to be dinosaurs:

Just look at the strength of his back,
the powerful muscles of his belly. 
His tail sways like a cedar in the wind;     
his huge legs are like beech trees. 
His skeleton is made of steel,     
every bone in his body hard as steel.  
Job 40: 16-18 (MSG)

Why can't we see God?

We can see God.
If God fully revealed himself to us, how would he know who has faith in him? How would we be able to understand everything about him?
  • Through science we can see that God's creation is amazing and very complex.
  • Through miracles we can see God. These are not only in the Bible, but still exist today. I had a knee problem that was healed after somebody prayed with me.
Why is there suffering?

Suffering is not always from God and is often created by human error.
If God healed everyone and if nobody suffered how would we know the difference between good and bad?
If we did not suffer how could be grow stronger and have hope?
  • Poverty exists because humanity has not equally distributed wealth and because some countries are corrupt.
  • Natural disasters are occurring more frequently because we have not taken enough action against climate change and it has affected weather patterns.
I'm not saying suffering is a good thing. If you know me, you will know that I invest a lot of time in campaigning against poverty and climate change. I'm just saying that good things can come from suffering, even if it does not seem like it at the time. I'm quite a strong and resilient person and I believe this is due to suffering in my life, so I am thankful for it.

I believe the media is hindering equality by reporting things that have a biased viewpoint. Of course it is practically impossible to report a story without some kind of opinion, but the imbalanced views of the media are becoming ridiculous. I believe a lot of the reason why so many people are confused about politics, find it difficult to justify their own opinions and are intolerant of others' viewpoints is because of the media.

I'm a Christian. As soon as I say that, I want people to assume that I won't judge you, I want to love and respect you and I believe that science is part of God's creation. I'm not perfect and I'm not trying to be, but through believing in God, I want to be made humble and be able to recognise my mistakes and be forgiven for them. That is what my faith is about and it upsets me that it has been taken out of context and torn apart.

The case is similar for many other religions. Muslims are accused of being terrorists because of the actions of a small extremist minority. The media has often suggested that Christians and Muslims hate each other, but I have Muslim friends who I get along with really well and we actually find that we have a lot of shared values. Nobody is perfect with or without religion and there are extremist minorities for many views. Everyone has the potential to be brainwashed whether it is through reading the Bible, attending church and listening to Christian songs or reading certain newspapers, watching certain television programmes and listening to certain music.

What's important is to be open-minded. If only we could accept each other's views there would be so much less hate and war. Would it not be wonderful if we could have conversations without fear of offending or starting an argument? We should challenge our own beliefs through listening to other's opinions.

Throughout this post, I have described Christianity as a faith and not a religion. Click here to see why.

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