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Communication between different paths

Posted by markdohle , 07 January 2013 · 246 views

It is always a struggle to communicate ideas.  For instance, when someone tries to express their faith, lack of, or some other way of looking at the world that I find 'strange…. And by that I mean a way of life that I have not studied, pondered or actually really talked to someone about.

There are times when I am at peace with the difficulty in communication.  At other times, It makes me want to pull what little hair I have left on the top of my head.  Ideas about others are often based at least on some level, on stereotypes.  They are needed, but they are also blocks to deeper understanding of how others look at the world.  

For instance; in Christianity, there are, like in any group, different ways of looking at the faith, at scripture, tradition and yes, in the end God.  For most people as they age, this deepens and for many if not all, it also broadens.  That does not mean it waters down faith, it is just seen from a point further up the road.

For instance, some seem to think that all Christians believe that just about everyone goes to hell, non Christians all go there and only a few are saved.  Well I was never taught that, and even if I was I would not believe it.  Not sure that salvation is about that, it is more about God grace reaching down to us, to lift us up.  Jesus became man to save the world, so God is not the problem, it is us I believe.  So that is why I am not a Calvinist for example....though I believe they are brothers and sisters in Christ.  In other words, when I use a word like "hell" it pushes a lot of buttons, that have nothing to do with what I and many believe about hell.  For instance it is not a prison; it is a state of being self created, outside of grace, freely chosen.  So hell is not some place to escape from, but what one is.  I know many can't see this and that is fine, it is the lumping that perhaps causes so much difficulty in communicating.  Bottom line, I know very little, I just try to take one step at a time, and to slowly learn to understand beliefs that I find repugnant, but that does not make them false.  It happens because of my own perceptions.  I believe that religion calls us to ponder what is taught, the good and the so called bad and stick with it.  For me to walk away would not allow me to seek deeper understanding.  Sprituralty flows from this seeking deeper insight.

I am sure that most of us experience frustration, no matter what our belief, from this difficulty.  No one wants to be reduced to a stereotype, but I guess most of us do it at least to some degree.  There is some truth to stereotypical thinking but it has severe limitations.  

This does not lead me to take the position that I want to give up trying to communicate, as it does not for most who write and post here most likely.  Perhaps the good thing about this is that it allows, or forces those of us who do write, to try to respond the best way we can to questions and also interpretations that really are not what was meant, and be at peace about it if there is no success.

Is this an issue others here deal with?  I think it is just a human problem, one that is not all bad, if the different parties try to listen and understand each other....if not....well we all know what that is like.  I just tend to withdraw when that happens; it gets old and actually boring.