I read the article by IKIM yesterday “ Is religion a matter of taste?” with great interest and perhaps would like to share a perspective from a different religion. Christianity also ‘does not compel’ its faith on believers . In fact , we believe that man is created with intelligence to make choices /decisions and to differentiate between good and evil. In the matter of faith, human are called to be believers and it will be a conscious decision of repentance , acceptance and renewal. It is a matter of choice, not taste. We also belong to a majority of faith in Malaysia that does not believe that one is born into a family of the said faith. In fact , we also do not encourage conversion through marriage as the decision of faith is between individuals and God and not through social expectations. In a way, all Christians are convicted and converted by God. Thus , I can understand with the writers definition that a “ true Muslim is the one who submits go God consciously and willingly “. Again , it is a choice.
Secondly, people do have different view and standard on absolutes or ‘truth’. Depending on where one stands , absolutes may looked different and is correct to one person and not the other. In Christianity we have our absolutes like our belief in God, Bible , Jesus Christ etc. which are not compromised. I agree that education serves an important function to teach the relevant knowledge. Yet at the end of day, the acceptance of ‘absolutes’ happen because God works and not man’s inferiority and action. Even so when “ law and punishment” does not seem to work.
I wish I have more space to share my layman knowledge on this interesting issue. Choices are inherent in every aspects of our life and need to be respected even if different than what we believe is truth. It is easier to understand if spoken in the context of a service or product that is purchased , but I believe that faith is another area that needs more understanding. Which brings me to another question ; can ‘apostasy’ be a choice as well ?