Why I’m a Christian (And Continue to Suck at Being One)
Benjamin Sledge

Glad you found your meaning in Christianity! Religion often gets a bad name but it truly can be a powerful force for good too.

To correct one of your points: Other religions say: “This world is going to hell …”

Actually Judaism is only concerned with this world. The number one obligation is Tikkun Olam which means repair the world! And there is no big deal made of the “next world”. You have to do your bit in this one!

Like you I got turned off my religion (I am Jewish) when I saw these so-called religious Jews doing all sorts of bad things — but then I realised

  1. they aren’t truly religious — it’s just them defining themselves that way and
  2. we should look at the teachings not at the teachers. (Not to say there aren’t lots of righteous AND religious Jews, and there are righteous secular ones too!)

In fact we are just celebrating a festival which sums it up for me. Succoth. Every day for 8 days, we have a ceremony where we hold together in our hands four things — a palm frond, a myrtle , a willow and a special citrus fruit called an etrog. We have to shake them to all four points of the compass (the world) and up and down (heaven and earth). I love the significance (which many “religious” on one side and “non-religious” on the other ignore!)

The plants represent Jews of different kinds. The willow which has no taste or smell is the one who doesn’t obey the commandments and doesn’t do good deeds. The palm branch which has a good taste (dates) is the one who follows the commandments but forgets the good deeds. The Myrtle which has a good smell does good deeds while being rather lax on the commandments. Of course the best of all is the etrog — good smell, good taste — good deeds AND follows commandments.

But the point is we hold them all together! Unity and acceptance of each other; not judging or being superior!!! Just hoping that we can all become like the etrog in the end!

There was a famous rabbi who summed up Judaism in one line. Do not do unto others that which is hateful unto yourself. (That certainly makes you stop and think before acting mean!)

Good luck with your rediscovered faith and thanks for sharing your story.

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