Inviting You All to a Religious Discussion

Pardon me if by posting this, I’m opening a can of worms. I’m curious to see where on the religious spectrum you all lie.

Which do you agree with more, the first quote or the second? Why?


 

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” It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”

– Pope John Paul II


 

 So, tell me your story!

If you are a Christian, what brought you to your faith? What would you say the strengths/weaknesses of the “Western World’s” Christian community are?

If you practice another religion, how did you come to it? What would you say the strengths/weaknesses are of being a believer today?

If you consider yourself an atheist or agnostic, what are your thoughts on religion as it affects the world around us today?

10 Comment

  1. Atheist.. raised a Northern Baptist. In my personal experience and witness, I see religion/belief generally used as a tool to escape personal responsibility or to control other people’s free will.

  2. I was born into the Christian faith and have kept it’s tenets ever since. The problem with the “Western World” it follows and success over religion.

  3. Walter Schenk says: Reply

    To be honest I can’t remember not believing in Christ. As long as I can remember I went to church and learn about Christ, me being a sinner that needed a Savior. I remember singing, ” Come in to my heart, Lord Jesus”and I meant what I was singing.
    Around kindergarten I hated the idea that Jesus died for my sin and I would try my best not to sin but I failed every time. I would confess it and the next day I would try again. This went on for a few months and i finally gave up. Then when I was in the second grade the church I went to was having the Lord’s Supper. The pastor said if you believe in Jesus and have confessed and repented of your sins your can stand you to receive the cracker and juice. So I stood up to receive the elements. After the church the pastor said that I took the elements in a “unworthy manner.” That I had not made a public profession of faith. So I waited until someone else came forward at the end of a service one Sunday. The pastor asked the person Who do you say Jesus is? The person said, the Christ the Son of the Living God. I thought to myself I believe that; so the following Sunday I went forward. The pastor said I was to young to know what I was doing, but that the church would be praying for me to come into understanding of the Gospel. So I waited until the Sunday after my 9th birthday and I went forward again. My sister and other people in the pew I was sitting in told me to sit back down but I didn’t listen I kept going forward. The pastor said, “Walter seems really determined to become a Christian so I’m going to ask him, Walter who do you say Jesus is. I said, Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God!!
    I was told that my testimony is really complicated and when I share it with others I should just say I realized I was a sinner who realized he needed a Savoir. I felt that was not really my testimony.

  4. It’s true… of all the great moral questions of our age, slavery, rape, the abuse (sexual or otherwise) of children — none of it has been forbidden by the Bible or Koran. In fact, both have been used to justify these things.

    I’m atheist, and have been atheist since a child, even though I was raised with strict religion. I just couldn’t get past the many contradictions of the god they worshiped… among other things. supposedly infinitely good, but to me, obviously evil enough to condemn people to hell. I am raising my wonderful, moral children without religion; they frequently shake my head at all the craziness of it and thank me.

  5. Grace says: Reply

    I’m Christian, or more specifically, A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (Also commonly known as “Mormon”.)

    I love what Walter said. We believe Christ to be the Savior of the world, and the Son of God.

    There was a period in my life where there was little to no faith. As you can imagine, darkness and hatred were waging a cruel war on my heart. Then one night, I decided to pray. I don’t remember what I prayed for, but I remembered I felt a feeling that I hadn’t felt for years: peace.

    I am a child of God!

    If you want to know more about what I believe, feel free to go to: http://www.mormon.org

  6. Wow! this is too intense of a discussion topic to have in the comments area of a blog. At least for me it is because at age 58 I have followed a long circuitous route. ;) Tell you what: If you come visit your Indiana grandparents soon, have them contact me. I’m 10 minutes away from their place. I’ll come up, we’ll have one of their famous pizzas, and I’ll try to tell things in a way that makes sense.

  7. Yeah, wow. I’m with Russ. It is rather an intense discussion for the comments section of a blog. Given that, I’m spiritual in a rather eclectic manner. I believe that all religions are essentially one, they are just called different things by different people. The basic idea of most of them appear to be the same though: The Golden Rule, The Law of Three, Karma, etc. I believe there is something to learn from each religion and from each person. I believe there is something to learn from Earth and Nature. I also believe that, as applied to organized religion or churches, the first quote is correct. More atrocities have been committed in the name of church than anything. It’s more complicated, but those are my Cliff Notes I suppose.

  8. Edna Malone says: Reply

    I am a believer in something more powerful of myself. What to call that power I do not know for sure. Since the dawn of man and through out the world we see that there is always faith (even if it is the faith of nothing! ). I find myself talking at times to myself and asking for guidance on the way to live a good life and to not hurt anyone by my actions. Right now with our family dealing with my husbands cancer I find myself questioning my beliefs all the time as well but I am only a human being, i have a soul, I generate thoughts, I am a cluster of energy. So I ask thinking more and more about the afterlife as well lately what is ahead. I have always viewed life as having two choices with every step you have in life. Neither one of them are wrong they just help to define which we you will be going at the present time. I feel that these plans are definitely designed for us from somewhere, where i don’t know but somewhere. And I feel at the end we revert back to that energy we came into this life with and we are taken to another realm, what realm who knows I am sure someday I will find out. I believe that those who have passed are always leaving signs of their existence out there just that we cannot see them where we are now. So kiddo I hope this gives you some enlightenment on my part. Life is our journey we live it everyday just always trying to enjoy it! It truly is a short time we all have.

  9. Ansley says: Reply

    At a year old, I was adopted from Vietnam into a loving Christian family. As a child, I took God for granted, not fully understanding His significance. I attended church, prayed before meals, and thanked Him for the blessings in life. I am presently seventeen years old, and a non-denominational Christian. I have since realized that Christianity is more than just simply “doing good works” and maintaining righteous “morality.” While those things are essential, true Christianity must come from a relationship between you and God. Christianity is not about a strict set of “rules” to follow, or atoning for your sin so you may do it again. Christianity is being so in love with Christ that your entire life pattern follows His teachings, believing in Him and telling others of His profound love.

    These are my beliefs, yet I understand how difficult it is to believe, as human nature does not want to believe in what one cannot see. I live in a world that would rather believe in the power of oneself. And while the sins of the world are painful to bear, are they not made in human decision? Sin is a choice. If God prevented all sin and the suffering it inevitably brings, He would essentially be taking away our free will. He loves us enough to allow us to choose our own way in life.

    It grieves me when people take the Bible out of context. I see so many turn away from God because they believe He is a proponent of rape, abuse, slavery, and evil. However, unless one rigorously studies the Bible, who can claim to understand it’s teachings?

    That being said, I cannot claim to understand everything about God or the Bible; but I claim my utmost faith in Him.

  10. Bryan Tuggle (Qadir Asad) says: Reply

    Where in the Bible does it say that the disciples believed that Jesus (peace be upon him) is Almighty God? I ask this question because according to John 20:17 Jesus (peace be upon him) said to Mary Magdalene, “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Now, many Christians believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) is Almighty God incarnate. But according to the above Scripture he said that the God of his brethren (his twelve disciples) is his God. Therefore, where in the Bible does it say that they believed that Jesus (peace be upon him) was Almighty God?

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