Religion


#1

With the passing of Pope John Paul ll, perhaps some reflection on religious beliefs is appropriate. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerned with explaining the origins and purposes of the universe, usually involving belief in a supernatural creator and offering guidance in ethics and morals. It also consists of any of several institutions with their own beliefs, rituals, and teachings. Throughout history and even still today, most religions claim to be the one true religion and all others are considered either phony imitations or some sort of heretical sacrilege. It is a sad reality that most people do not recognize the benefit of what can be learned from other religions along the way of their spiritual journey. If one studies the major religions of today such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etcetera they will find more similarities than differences. They are guides for how to live and grow spiritually. Some would argue that religion has been one of the biggest causes of humanity’s problems but others counter that it is the misinterpretation of religious tenets that causes strife. Still further, many people see religion as a form of control over the masses whereas others see it as a necessary shield against evil influences.

I had the opportunity to read a book recently concerning near death experiences {NDE}. The book was a compilation of individual testimonies by those who left their bodies temporarily and returned to tell about their experience. The author characterized their stories and then pointed out the large similarities and small differences in each of the NDE’s. Two personal friends of mine have had an NDE and shared their experience with me. I’ve also communicated with a deceased friend by way of a psychic medium. All three sources agreed that upon death of the body, we travel through a tunnel toward a bright, warm and loving light. Upon entering the light, we are given a life review. During the life review, we re-experience all the thoughts, words and actions that came from us. Anything negative is re-experienced as though we are the person on the receiving end of our negativity. For example, one of the contributors to the book re-experienced the event where he had severely beaten another man although this time, he felt the blows he had administered. The whole premise for experiencing the light appears to be an opportunity to examine what we have learned along our spiritual journey. In conclusion, it appears that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha were all very wise men who made a significant impact on humanity teaching spirituality as it applied to a specific civilization. Perhaps if humanity could somehow integrate all these religious belief systems toward the goal of one spirituality with God, we could finally begin to see the emergence of world peace.


#2

[quote=JOEBIALEK] In conclusion, it appears that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha were all very wise men.

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Jesus told us he is God, He came to earth, died a horrendous death and rose from the dead for our sins. Either you believe he was a complete idiot for telling people He was God, or you believe He was God. Logically, both cannot be true.

More information is here:
catholic.com/library/Divinity_of_Chirst.asp

By the way, I don’t think Buddha was a wise man. He hated pain so devised a way to pretend that you could escape pain and enter into, essentially nothingness. Of course this goal was unobtainable, but when it didn’t work for people he just started preaching that it would take many lifetimes for some to reach this state of nothingness. Selling ‘nothingness’ to good people is not an act of a ‘wise man’ it is an act of a good salesman.

Mohammad simply wanted to rule Arabia and figured out that the local gods were getting in his way. Many people envied the neighboring Jews who had a covenant with God. So Mohammad made one up. When people didn’t fall in line with his religion, he concurred them and told them to avoid high taxes they had to convert. To This is not the act of a ‘wise man’ it is an act of a politician.


#3

[quote=JOEBIALEK]Perhaps if humanity could somehow integrate all these religious belief systems toward the goal of one spirituality with God, we could finally begin to see the emergence of world peace.

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There are indeed many good things inherent in other religions. JPII was an excellent example on the good that can come from focusing on those similarities. He also taught that one religion held the compete truth, Christianity. The Catholic Church has faithfully guarded that truth from error. How do we know this is correct? The moral guidelines given by Christ are perfect. All other religions are based on man and fall short in one r espect or another. If we were to integrate our religion with others we would be compromising away from perfection. This will not happen.

Your heart is in the right place. Peace.


#4

Joe,
I agree with Maranatha here and I hope I didn’t come across to harshly in my post. What I wrote I have discovered over years of reading and investigating the history of Buddhism and Islam. I wish you well in your journey, and I hope your journey will lead you to the Truth and the fulfillment that is Christ. I simply warn you that you will not find it in Buddhism nor Islam, they are distractions, not assets in your journey.

Pax


#5

[quote=JOEBIALEK]With the passing of Pope John Paul ll, perhaps some reflection on religious beliefs is appropriate.
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Joe,
You must have posted this exact same article on 20 different sites on the Internet. Good luck in your publishing career


#6

[quote=JOEBIALEK] In conclusion, it appears that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha were all very wise men who made a significant impact on humanity teaching spirituality as it applied to a specific civilization. Perhaps if humanity could somehow integrate all these religious belief systems toward the goal of one spirituality with God, we could finally begin to see the emergence of world peace.

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And they would call this new religion…Unitarianism. :rotfl:


#7

some excellent points…perhaps someday religion will evolve into spirituality…btw…nowhere in any of the four gospels does Jesus claim to be God…


#8

[quote=JOEBIALEK]some excellent points…perhaps someday religion will evolve into spirituality…btw…nowhere in any of the four gospels does Jesus claim to be God…
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Let’s see you agree the the Gospels, which were selected by the Catholic Church, are authoritative, yet you choose to ignore the teachings of the same Catholic Church. I find that odd. Anyway,
Christ’s divinity is shown over and over again in the New Testament. For example, in John 5:18 we are told that Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because he “called God his Father, making himself equal with God.”

In John 8:58, when quizzed about how he has special knowledge of Abraham, Jesus replies, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am”—invoking and applying to himself the personal name of God—“I Am” (Ex. 3:14). His audience understood exactly what he was claiming about himself. “So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple” (John 8:59).

In John 20:28, Thomas falls at Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” (Greek: Ho Kurios mou kai ho Theos mou—literally, “The Lord of me and the God of me!”)

In Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us that Christ Jesus “[w]ho, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (New International Version). So Jesus chose to be born in humble, human form though he could have simply remained in equal glory with the Father for he was “in very nature God.”

Also significant are passages that apply the title “the First and the Last” to Jesus. This is one of the Old Testament titles of Yahweh: “Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of armies: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god’” (Is. 44:6; cf. 41:4, 48:12).

This title is directly applied to Jesus three times in the book of Revelation: “When I saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the First and the Last’” (Rev. 1:17). “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life’” (Rev. 2:8). “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:12–13).

This last quote is especially significant since it applies to Jesus the parallel title “the Alpha and the Omega,” which Revelation earlier applied to the Lord God: “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).

As the following quotes show, the early Church Fathers also recognized that Jesus Christ is God and were adamant in maintaining this precious truth.

From:
The Divinity of Christ


#9

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