Religiocentrism: The conviction that a person’s own religion is more important or superior to other religions.
Missionaries take great pride in traveling the world to share the Word of God with those who’ve had limited to no access to their faith, perhaps the canonical Gospels of Christ, particularly in their native tongue. They set up churches, schools, medical clinics, et cetera. And while doing so, they tell them, essentially, how backwards their traditional, original faiths are, and why they should follow their own God, because look how happy He makes them!
While on the surface, this probably seems to lie somewhere between miraculous examples of faith, and innocuity, I honestly find it all a bit offensive. To presume that your 2,000 year old religion is more “right” than a faith, or culture, that’s quite possibly as old as that area’s peoples is so incredibly egomaniacal, I cannot fathom this behavior.
Many missionaries are of some form of Christian faith, and it’s relatively common knowledge that Christianity is somewhere around 2,000 years old. So, what religions are older than Christianity?
- Jainism – 84,785 years old
- Hinduism – 5,000 years old
- Judaism – 4,000 years old
- Buddhism – 2,500 years old
And those four are only a mere fraction of religions and cultural beliefs practiced in this world. Essentially, a religion younger than at least four major religions is domineering religious piety and righteousness? Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe anything is wrong with Christianity; I’m a follower of Christ and His teachings, among other things. However, I don’t presume that my faith, what works best for me, is the religious lucky charm. Not only is that brazenly disrespectful and audacious, but it’s also inane.
Now, I’m all for faith, if that’s what makes your liver quiver, but I’m also a strong proponent of entering into faith from a logical standpoint. If you’ve never challenged your beliefs, how do you know you actually believe them? But, I also believe that spirituality and faith are a very personal road one needs to walk, and imposing your personal journey on someone else, or groups of people, is just wrong. There’s no other way to put it.
If you can’t see where I’m coming from, imagine a world where, oh, I don’t know, Scientologists attempt to convert people in underdeveloped countries. Oh, wait. You don’t need to! I have already done the proverbial leg work for you! Yes, you read that correctly (assuming you clicked the hyperlink): Scientology does missionary work everywhere from the United States, to Ghana, to Malaysia. But, I mean, you support missionary work, right? So, this is completely acceptable, nay, praiseworthy and laudable, right?