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Switch to Forum Live View My Parents don't Approve of my Choice to Convert to Shinto
6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2009 - 2:38AM #1
Skitzy
Posts: 2

I'm 15 and decided to make Shinto a part of my life. When I try to tell my christian parents of my discussion, they just say stuff like "Oh, but I bet if you came to church with us, you'd love it again." and "But you baptised so you accepted Jesus as your savior." I'm finding it hard to practice daily shinto activities, even praying, hard with my parents constant watching over me to make sure I'm not praying "shinto ideas" as my father puts it. I would appreciate some help in my predicament.

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2009 - 2:46AM #2
Deas
Posts: 24

Have you tried discussing with them why you feel Shinto fits you and Christianity doesn't?


 


Good luck.Smile

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2009 - 12:54PM #3
Skitzy
Posts: 2

No, I guess I should add that to my disscussion next time. Thank You.

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2009 - 9:40AM #4
Shamanmystic
Posts: 620

go Koshinto ie shamanistic pre shinto...

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2009 - 1:11PM #5
Mason17
Posts: 9

Skitzy,


I know how you must feel, changing your faith while under parents who do not approve is never easy. But it is important that you be a part of whatever religion you choose to be, becuase if you want true happiness and inner peace, you need to accept whatever spirituality suits you. We can't all be Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or Shinto, we are all different and we should learn to tolerate diversity and individual uniqueness.


I would recommend that your respect your parents beliefs, but don't try and mix Christianity and Shinto, the fundementalists won't like that and you won't feel very free if you change what you like simply for your parents approval. Also, discuss with your parents a bit about Shinto, why you enjoy it, but as I said, be respectful.


Please keep in mind that one day, your going to grow up, go to work or college, get married, so on and so forth and some decisions you make they won't like. Tough. They have to accept that you are who you choose to be, if they don't like it that's their problem, not yours. If your parenst REALLY love you and care for you, they'll allow you to engage it whatever you choose to do, so long as it is not harmful, which Shinto is not, it is very peaceful.


Bottom line is that your growing up and your opening your mind o new ideas and beliefs, they might not like it, but if it gives you peace, go for it. I am 18 years old, and when I started Buddhism, my parenst did not approve, but they really couldn't change my mind. Then I found Shinto and I've been with it ever since. It's not easy being different, but you have to be yourself and your parents have to accept your freedom to be whatever you want to be. Don't worry about slavation or damnation, just live a kind and righetous life and you need not worry about the dogmas. My prayers will be with you, by the kami's blessings, I wish you well.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2009 - 10:35AM #6
Katsuninken
Posts: 67

There's a bumper sticker on a car here in my neighborhood that reads, "Going to church makes you a Christian like going to the garage makes you a car." It does not matter where or how you pray, nor does it matter the language. The kami speak the language of the heart, and they know your intentions. So if you are forced to go to church, you can still pray to the kami. Besides Shinto holds that everyone is Shinto anyway, much like Buddhism holds that everyone is already a Buddhist.


If that doesn't work for you, you could always practice Shinto the old way. If you have a wooded, secluded place near you that makes you feel at peace and close to nature, build a small shrine. It doesn't have to be a feat of engineering, just something that you can pray to and leave offerings on. I am of the personal opinion that you better appreciate the kami by going to them where they live, but that's just me. It might give you the added benefit of getting away for a little while and being able to do your own thing without any pressure.


One of the many things I appreciate about Shinto is that there really is no "way" to practice. There are those that get caught up in the trappings of their faith. Shinto has quite a bit of ceremony and regalia to it, and it can be easy for these things to become the focal point. There are those that believe you should be able to speak Japanese and intone your chants in the native language of the faith, that any address to a kami should be in full seiza, that shimenawa must be made of rice straw, that sake must be the only libation. Purists maintain this stance because they believe it preserves the integrity of the faith. However, not all of these are possible with all Shinto-ka, but more to the point, these ritual trappings do not the faith make. If the traditional rites do not work for you, then all they do is detract instead of enhance. So do your own thing. The ultimate purpose of Shinto is to be pleasing to the kami, and you do that by living to your fullest and being who and what you were made to be. Fulfilling your purpose is fulfilling your obligation to the kami, and to the world of which you are a part.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 26, 2009 - 9:27PM #7
Mason17
Posts: 9

Also, if you were baptized and a young age, I don't think that should count as an actual committment to Christianity. I believe we should make religious choices ourselves after we've educated ourselves on the subject, not simply by our parents own personal beliefs.

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