A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Walk In Love

Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

What a question! Let’s start with a definition, just to make sure we’re on the same page.

re·li·gion

[ri-lij-uhn]

noun

1.

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.

a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.

the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4.

the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.

the practice of religious  beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
—————————————————————————
Ok, there we go.
I really don’t know enough about enough religions to speak on this very conclusively. I grew up in a “Christian home” and went to a “Christian school” and attended church. Christianity is the religion that I know the most about. My standpoint on the religion has changed over the years. As I address this question, keep in mind that I am largely speaking from a Christian background, and do not intend to insult/debunk/disrespect any particular religion.
  • Religion is a form of separation. It’s another one of those things that forms little groups, breaking down humanity. It’s something else to set us apart from one another. It wasn’t enough to have male and female, various races, different nationalities. There’s another thing to divide us. A cause of conflict, war, intense disagreements that often lead to radical action. Difference in belief of how the world began, who God is, how He/She should be worshipped, how He/She wants us to live, etc. Religion. A divider.
  • Man-made. People, a zillion years ago, came up with the stuff that so many people insist on basing their lives on. PEOPLE made this stuff. PEOPLE wrote the books that, people now believe, tell us how to live our lives today. PEOPLE. Not God. Show me a book that God wrote. I’m not talking about God-breathed or God-inspired. I’m talking about a book that God zapped onto the planet. A book that Jesus (or whatever God walked the earth) sat down and wrote to give us direction. Please show me that book.
  • Religion seems to run nations. Countries tend to base their laws on the dominant religion.
  • Religion is the standard people use to judge others by.
  • Families and communities are often torn apart by (differences in) religion.
  • There are too many different religions.
  • There is no way to be certain that any religion is “the right one.”
  • Religion would definitely be better if there was just ONE, and it brought people together. Too many options, in this case, tears the world apart. That can’t be what God wants, can it?
  • Pretty much every religion probably has some principle or underlying reasoning/doctrine that would be great and beneficial for everyone to live by. It’s just the practices and specific requirements (like having to worship on Saturday, or having to cover every part of the body except for the eyes) that get crazy and make things so messy and disagreeable.
  • Religion would have us believe that believing and striving to do the right thing is not enough. Our daily lives are dictated in the littlest and the biggest of ways. What we eat, what we drink, how we dress, the hours we work, the ways we decorate our bodies, our relationships and interactions…
  • Religion nullifies and voids every bit of free will. It can’t be “free will” if only one choice will allow us to live without condemnation and fear of burning in a lake of fire for all of eternity. That’s coercion. Blackmail, even!
  • Religion pretty much fails to do everything it claims it is good for, and manages to do everything that it probably shouldn’t.
  • Religion is a form of control. Control of the mind, control of the body…
  • To be a part of a religion is to give up oneself. One’s freedom. One’s will. Everything is predetermined. It’s like being a machine. Imagine being of any religious persuasion. Imagine that you follow all of the rules. ALL of them. You are good enough to be a priest/preacher/teacher of the faith. Is that really living? Is there any of YOU in there?
  • All religion should be abolished. Done away with. We need to get back to the basics. Back to the principles that many of the existing religions were built upon. Love, respect, honour, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, truthfulness…
  • I believe that a few verses from The Bible are the perfect description of the way that we should live our lives with and among one another. I am quoting from The Bible not because I believe it to be superior or of higher value, but because it is the religious book with which I am most familiar. I’m happy to share some of the verses I find meaningful in the following points:
  • I Corinthians 13. The entire chapter. Some of it seems a bit mumbo-jumbo-ish, but if you read it from a place of openness and honesty (with yourself), you will see what I see every time I read it. I know it, now, by heart. Every time I think of love – what love truly is – this is what automatically comes to mind. Not from a religious standpoint. Not as a born-and-raised Christian. As a person with a true understanding of love. True, unrelenting, for-no-real-reason, without-fail, undying love. This scripture is the reason that I say my religion is LOVE. And my mantra is WALK IN LOVE. If we all lived this way, and loved this way, can you imagine there ever being war? Debilitating sadness? Anger? This is the way to live. Without envy. Without pride. Without keeping score. Just patience, and kindness.
  • Matthew 22:36-40. Love God first. Easy enough. Whatever/Whoever God is to you. Love THAT. And then, almost to prove your love to God, love your NEIGHBOUR. But don’t just love your neighbour like blaaaah. LOVE your neighbour. Like you LOVE YOURSELF. What a concept! Love the people around you. The people you come in contact with. Love them with the same love that you love YOURSELF with. HOLY, everything! Imagine living in THAT world. Where that’s the religion. IMAGINE IT!
  • Romans 3:23. So simple, yet so profound. No one is greater than another. ALL have fallen short. This is so well coupled with Matthew 7:1-5. Do not judge. Focus on yourself. Get your own life together.
  • Phillipians 4:8. I guess this is where the law of attraction stuff started. Think positively. Focus on the positive. Put your energy into the things you want. Think on the things that you WANT to happen. Not the things you hope do NOT happen. This reminds me of the Buddhist quote: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
  • The Beatitudes (Matthew 5). It’s cause and effect. Be good, and you will attract goodness.
  • The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). All of the things that would make up the perfect religion way of living.
We need a “religion,” as people. We need something or someone to tell us how to live. We need a measuring stick. We need instructions. By nature. We need to know what is right and what is wrong. We need a separation. We need a way to know who our friends are, and who our enemies are. We need to make distinctions. We need to make clear the differences. We are not content with the fact that we are all the same. We are people. Cut from the same cloth. Yes, we all look different. We are of different complexions, have different hair colours, different shoe sizes… We favour different colours. We cook different foods. We like different movies. But at the core, are we that different? We all need food and water to survive. We are linked by our needs. We need the same things. We long for the same things. The ways we go about getting them may differ. The ways that we live may differ. What we believe may differ. Is that so wrong? To have differences? Especially when we are so very THE SAME. Strange, isn’t it?
It’s past the time that we should have shed these silly hatreds and superiority/inferiority complexes. It’s past the time that we should have been finding a way to live amicably. We all inhabit ONE earth. That’s all we have. The land that we live on. The way we treat it, and the way we treat one another is what tends to define us as people. If we want to be GOOD, then we need to BE good. EXUDE GOODNESS. Know love. Live love. WALK. IN. LOVE. I believe that love is paramount. I practice love daily. (Look at definition #2.) That’s my religion. What’s yours?
In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. – Buddha
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Comments on: "Walk In Love" (6)

  1. I grew up in a religious home, and became a very religious person. Once I found Jesus, I lost my religion and gained a relationship with the Most High. My religion was useless, but my relationship with Jesus is priceless.

  2. I had to go to sunday school as a kid and was made to go to church up until the age of 11. Once my mom stopped making us go I stopped caring. Then as a young teenager started going again. By the age of 18 I was over it. I don’t think I ever really believed in god or religion, I just thought I did because I was told to.

    Generally I’d say if it works for you then go ahead but leave me completely out of it. Also, there should always but a strict divide between church and state. I think it would be great if humans could evolve past religion, but I doubt it will happen.

    • I can’t really say I was forced to go to church, but it was an expectation, and I didn’t challenge it. I didn’t particularly like it, but it certainly wasn’t my favourite thing to do. Then I found a church that I liked, but the service was always SO long. From 9:30 to about 1:30. They’re online, so I just watch now and then, in my pajamas, as I eat pancakes. These days, I prefer watching Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen online. They focus more on being positive, living your best life, etc. Religious or not, we could all use a little of that, right?

      The second part of your comment. Oh, man. AGREE, AGREE, AGREE! If only!

  3. My mom really likes Joel Osteen. I do appreciate his positivity.

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