Originally posted by _LalithaJanaki_
Not just sending out missionaries...those missionaries bribe people who are 'less fortunate' than others with things they lack in return for practicing their religion. How is that right?
Those missionaries themselves do not know the true meaning of their religion, because religion is not just chanting a bunch of words like they bribe these people to do, but actually meaning
them and understanding them. I doubt even 1/4 of these force converts understand what they are forced to chant. They just do so for daily necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. I don't understand how those kinds of missionaries can be called sinless.
I do not think it would be fair to unfairly categorize all missionaries like this. A large number of missionaries do what they do because they truly and honestly, believe in what they do. Not all missionaries are all about conversion.
We are good friends with a missionary family here. They used to run a missionary in Pakistan. They were the first to invite us to Thanksgiving. The amazing thing why I respect them a lot is, not for one moment have they brought up conversion. Even though we have had several discussions on religion, never once had they ever asked us even indirectly about changing faith. The principle of missionary work is often a simple one. They believe compassion is a part of God's plan. They believe true faith is in serving people. That is why they serve people. If people ask them why they serve or display such compassion, they share their beliefs. Some of their kids are younger than me and have worked in remotest places of the world and done genuine hard work that I could barely dream off. Now if someone sees their work and is inspired to follow a faith that drives it - then its not a bad thing is it.
See when a person is facing hard times - that person loses faith in life and in God. All that they see is the unfairness. In such a situation - why should it matter what religion it is the person who helps them. Rebuilding a broken man and reinstating his love for life is perhaps one of the noblest achievements, if someone has a hidden agenda of religious promotion so be it.
Ultimately faith lies in the heart. You can engage in rituals, say something with your mouth. But what lies in a person's heart is the truth. Thats why I do think conversion is a pointless endeavor - because faith will always be a personal truth. Even people within the same religion hold different beliefs in their heart.
Sadly its a lost cause on another friend a Southern Baptist minister who seems to have taken it up as his life mission to save me. I'm grateful to him for he has been my proctor and helped me through school, but it gets perturbing when every conversation ends up about getting me converted. I always explain that while I share many of their beliefs, I do not interpret them exactly the same way or share all of them. Also that I can follow whatever I beleive of their faith without ritualistically proclaiming it. Of course some people in my place would get really upset, for many a reasons - but in the end I don't mind. Everyone is just trying to be good in their own way. I cannot hate people for trying to be good, even if it pi$$es and offends me.
I actually feel deepest sympathy for those who think they can save me.