My friends religious views?


#1

This is exactly what my friend has to say about his thoughts on life and religion… can any of you plz tell me what you think, im tryin to turn him to Jesus Christ, any help would be appreciated… thx God bless

About religion- My religion is the same as the trees out there. It’s the same inspiration. Whatever moves them, moves me. I believe that we’re animals. I know we are because we die and we eat . And all modern religions to me are false. All modern religions come from a time of what we call civilization. Civilization has only existed ten thousand years among millions of years of man being on this planet. Everything before civilization is called prehistory. The reason that I don’t give credence to modern religions is because they are only partially true. Because they were started from after civilization. Therefore they all start from a place that’s not already to me natural. So if you want to know what my religion is, it’s the same religion as the native American, same religion as the Aborigine, as the Maori in New-Zealand, as the Kahunas in Hawaii. I believe in beginnings."


#2

I’d ask him how much he has actually researched not only his presumption (which sounds like nothing more than an excuse for his unbelief than truly compelling) but if he has any real knowledge of the beliefs and practices of the “natural” people he claims to admire or the true history of any of the world’s religions. If he had I very much doubt he’d be spouting such silliness. People who talk in such generalities usually don’t really know what they are talking about but are using such ideas to fend off any efforts to evangelize them.


#3

The real question is what is your friend’s definition of Nature? When does nature truly begin? Does it begin before or after the big bang? That is if he believes in it. And if not, what created nature? As a Christian we believe that God created nature, so therefore he is the essence of nature. And since God precedes nature, so do his rules. The fact that our universe follows a set of rules, implies that something has to supersede all of these rules. Since the rules of God are what define a church, then God’s church existed before the universe. And knowing that God’s rules introduced nature, then Gods church also precedes nature.


#4

Your friend has hit upon something very important. When he says that he thinks all religions are bogus and all are equal he has hit the paradox of religious federalism.

If I were to say that all religions are equally true and valid I am speaking nonsense. For example, Judaism teaches that Jesus was not Messiah, Chrisitanity teaches that Jesus was Messiah and Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet but not Messiah. At the same time, Christianity teaches that Jesus is God incarnate and all other world religions refute this claim. So what can we make of this.

  1. Since all religions don’t agree on all thier truth claims it is possible that all are false.
  2. Since all religions don’t agree on all thier truth claims it is possible that one is right to the absolute exclusion of all other religions.
  3. It is impossible that all religions are equally true and valid.

Your friend understands that all religions are equally true and valid but only if they are also all false. Such an idea of religious federalism is essentially a statement of disbelief and not of tollerance.

I am happy you are turning to Christ but don’t fall for this line of malarky dressed up as tollerance. You were right to question.


#5

I can see several avenues by which you could talk to your friend about Jesus Christ—advantageous for you, he has actually made the situation easier for you because his statement contains several factual inaccuracies.

“Civilization has only existed ten thousand years among millions of years of man being on this planet,”

This statement is factually incorrect. The current form of man, *Homo sapiens * first emerged approximately 250,000 years ago (this is the earliest best estimate) in Africa. Homo sapiens first appeared in Oceania approximately 40,000 years ago and in the Americas approximately 10,000 years ago.

So if you want to know what my religion is, it’s the same religion as the native American, same religion as the Aborigine, as the Maori in New-Zealand, as the Kahunas in Hawaii.

Perhaps your friend might come up with other, more ancient peoples after whom to model his religion, but these three peoples he has chosen all arose significantly after the 250,000 years ago benchmark.

[LIST]
Per the native Americans, Homo sapiens first appeared in the Americas (not including Hawaii) approximately 10,000 years ago–the same date range your friend gives to the rise of that civilization which he rejects. So the native Americans can hardly be said to significantly pre-date civilization by millions of years. [/LIST]

[LIST]
Per the Aborigines (assuming he means those of Australia), Homo sapiens first appeared approximately 40,000 years ago. Again, this is hardly millions of years. [/LIST]

[LIST]
Per the Kahuna of Hawaii, the earliest hypothesized date for human settlement in Hawaii is AD 300–500, but more likely near AD 800. Considering that Constantine had declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 311, one could hardly argue that Christianity was unknown or unestablished in the world at the time of the establishment of the Kahuna religion. Although Kahuna may share the pagan aspects of pre-Christian religions, Christianity itself predates it. Wouldn’t this make it more authentic than Kahuna? [/LIST]

Next, your friend rejects religions born of “civilization” in favor of the “natural” ones. From the examples he gives, my best guess is that he believes that the religions of nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples are more authentic or true than those of the agricultural, sedentary peoples; because hunting-gathering predates agriculture, hunting-gathering is superior or more “natural.”

However, many native American tribes were sedentary and practiced agriculture (for example, the Pueblo, Hopi, and Cherokee), although others were more nomadic. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to argue that all native Americans did not have civilizations. Yet I doubt there are many religious differences between sedentary and nomadic native Americans–both practiced some sort of paganism (animal worship, totems, spirits, etc). Furthermore, paganism flourished during the pre-Christian (but post-civilized) era, so he could hardly argue that paganism is the sole domain of the pre-civilized societies (that is, paganism has existed and flourished whether there was civilization or not).

Finally, one could argue for Christianity by looking at the longevity (or lack thereof) of the pagan religions. The aborigines, for example, may have practiced a form of paganism 40,000 years ago, but as of the 1996 Australian census, 72% listed some form of Christianity as their religion. Ergo, once the European settlers arrived with the knowledge of Christianity, they began converting until a majority practiced the religion. So if the original religion of the Aborigines is the one to be trusted as more “natural,” surely your friend would find it a poor argument for the superiority of paganism that most of the original practicers of the aboriginal religion have converted to Christianity? Perhaps they know something more than he does?

I hope this is of help in talking to your friend. Good luck and god bless.


#6

ur friend wouldnt happen to be serj tankian would he ?


#7

Your friend holds to the same religious beliefs as Australian aborigines living a strictly traditional faith practice?

Then he must a cannibal - at least some aboriginal tribes ate the deceased.

C’mon, even Australian aborigines now know better than to hold to such practices even if their own ancestors did so. That’s why they no longer eat their dead.


#8

Dear brother pharoaogc,

The thing to do FIRST is not to criticize, but to find common ground. Take the example of St. Paul, who was a Jew unto the Jews, while a Greek unto the Greeks, all things to all men so that he may draw all to Christ.

First, let him know that aboriginal, indian and native religions ALL believe in a Supreme Creator, just like Christianity (St. Paul recognized as much even with the Romans - see Acts 17:22-31)

Second, let him know that NONE of the religions he claims to adhere to believe that man is an animal (your friend said, “I believe that we’re animals”). Rather, ALL the religions that he professes to adhere to - be it Aborigine, Maori, or Kahuna - believe that man has a supernatural soul.

See what his reactions are to these points, and then get back to us. Needless to say, pray for him.

Blessings,
Marduk


#9

thank you all for the replies they all make good points and a good way to defend christianity i will tell him what you guys wrote and ill get back to you


#10

Ok, these religions are different. And perhaps we could be enlightened as to why religions of nature or religions “in beginnings” (whatever that means) are the TRUE ones. When dealing with this person (or anyone) the emphasis should always be why is that “True”? They can’t just respond because it’s from “nature”.

From your standpoint, you should understand that all of this is code for “My religion is whatever I think”.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.