“The question isn’t so much whether we’re right, but whether we’re good.” So says Neo to Dan after Dan asks him about other religions. In this chapter, Dan and Neo have conversation about Christianity’s relationship with other religions, and it gets heated quickly. Neo recounts a story about his encounter with a Jewish man who said he had a deep respect for Jesus as a prophet but had only seen and experienced negativity from Christianity.
This agitates Dan, as he is baffled that Neo didn’t try defending Christianity to the man. Neo’s reasoning is that everything that the man said was true: many horrible things have been done in the name of Christianity. This escalates into Dan and Neo arguing, and the conversation ends with Neo stating that he believes that Jesus, not Christianity, is the way to salvation. The chapter ends with Dan losing his temper, yelling at Neo, and storming off.
Although Neo and Dan’s conversation ended in argument, I believe several good points were made in it. Neo’s line about how it’s better to be a good example of a Christian, rather than going around criticizing the beliefs of others, really resonated with me. Thinking on my own life, I thought of a group of friends that I have, of which I am the only Christian. I consider it one of my goals in life to give secular people a better view of Christianity, especially given the negative reputation Christianity has in some parts of society. Instead of telling somebody what’s wrong about their beliefs I tell them about what I believe.
After I did this, one of my friends mentioned that I was the first positive direct experience with Christianity they’ve had. I was mixed in how I felt at first, on one hand knowing I had given someone a positive experience with Christianity, but at the same time knowing that for me to be their first positive experience, there must have been many negative ones. As Christians, I think it should be a goal of ours to give our faith a better image in the eyes of our secular friends. As Neo said: it’s not about rejecting Christianity in favor of another belief. Rather, it’s about not letting the differences in beliefs get in the way of Christianity.