My father, being an agnostic even with a background of attending Catholic schools, still doubts the validity and perhaps, also genuineness of Christianity itself. On the other hand, Uncle Alan was brought up with deep rooted Christian teachings, to an extent of which it may seem that Christianity is melded together with him, and that the words of God, the Bible and the church are all that surrounds him.
Needless to say, when they are put together, their views clash and hence a religious dispute often rises. This time, it wasn’t about whether God was real or if the other religions are wrong. Instead, the topic was set on how my father did not understand the teachings of Christianity and that if it were so hard to decipher, even for someone having received a substantial means of education, are the Christian followers merely following without a complete understanding of their religion?
Uncle Alan then proceeded to explain, ‘Without a doubt, Christianity is something difficult to comprehend, one man is not expected to understand the complexity of which is bestowed upon God’s plan. God’s plan is mysterious and though at times it may seem flawed, we shan’t lean on thou’s own understanding and believe that God is intending to hurt his children, instead we should view it as God testing our faith, which is why it is difficult to interpret or accept. People of simplemindedness may not completely grasp the whole concept of Christianity, but so long as they understand that God is the truth and to always believe that God is the righteous path, they shall go to heaven and be granted a good and safe life.’
With the stubbornness and curiosity of my father, he questioned ‘Should there be a God, would his true religion be so difficult to discern that it is humanly impossible to wholly apprehended? Could you even call the followers ‘true’ followers if what they are doing is blindly and naively believing?’
I then decided to embark on the discussion with much candor (not to mention, my amateur knowledge of religion), ‘It might not be Christianity that is difficult to understand, it could perchance merely be the version that you have been taught (Catholicism) that seems perplexing to you. Unlike liberal Christians, Catholics lean not on their own interpretation of the Bible, rather, they are taught the definition set by their church. Perhaps it may only be their version that you cannot fully grasp the essence of, not the actual religion.’
Defending his church, Uncle Alan argued, ’There are not many versions of Christianity. There is often a misconstrued definition of ‘truth’, many seem to think that there are many ways to the truth but in fact, theres just 1 truth, the truest truth, all other ‘truths’ are false.’
I began to ponder, was Uncle Alan contradicting his faith, saying that the other branches his same religion are based on falsified ‘truth’s? (unfortunately, this question remained unanswered). Afterwards, I rebutted, ‘I don’t agree, I believe there are different ways to interpret the truth of a matter, for example, if I say the colour of that car is purple, and the person next to me says the car is a colour of the mixture -blue and red, should both of us not be telling the truth, more precisely, the ‘real truth’?’
The response of Uncle Alan was met with a disappointing sigh, followed by an exasperated yet calm reply of ‘I can only hope you study further into the religion and may your questions be answered one day and you be converted to the faith.’
I was left with the cliffhanger, ’Is there only 1 truth? Could there be many versions of the truth? Shouldn’t the truest truth be defined in only 1 manner? What leaves the other definitions? Are they lies?’