The Hardcore/Punk Guide To Christianity

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3. Conformity and Faith

“The man who seeks truth calls on reason; the man who seeks conformity calls on faith.” — George R. Smith

Ultimately, the question of God’s existence (plus his characteristics, actions, and responsibilities) comes down to faith. Since it cannot be proved through logic or common sensory experience that the Christian God exists, Christians must rely on the concept of faith to assert their beliefs.

The practice of merely accepting important matters on faith is wholly alien to hc/punk. We are a notoriously skeptical and cantankerous lot, always demanding answers and never settling for an easy out. Try convincing a punk rock girl that she should simply accept the authority of ignorant cops or leering teachers as natural and benevolent. Or you could try telling a vegan straightedge boy that he must accept a carnivorous diet on faith. It won’t work. People within hc/punk are constantly questioning accepted dogma of all kinds, which is why hc/punk has evolved as much as it has since its origins over twenty years ago.

Faith is a faulty tool used by those who cannot provide any real explanations, and while it is not the exclusive tool of Christians alone, it is one that they must frequently fall back on in order to justify their beliefs and values. When you ask a kid in the hc/punk scene why she believes in Do It Yourself, she may offer you a litany of firm reasons. When you inquire about someone’s dedication to veganism or straightedge, she may explain exactly why she has made those lifestyle choices. But when you ask hc/punk Christians why they believe God exists, then their answers ultimately boil down to faith — frequently summarized as “I just do, that’s all.” Such an excuse should be unacceptable as a justification for anything else within hc/punk. It should be unacceptable in this case, too.

Something else to consider is the fact that most Western Christians do not come by their faith the hard way, i.e. through soul-searching and conversion. Most of us inherit our beliefs from our families. We are Christian by default. We are raised to believe in God, so we do. The faith of most Christians is ingrained but weak, resting as it does upon tradition or habit and not genuine spiritual conviction. This is exactly why they often cannot give convincing reasons for their beliefs: because they themselves don’t know the reasons. They were raised in their beliefs without ever considering or questioning them once in their entire lives.