What does religion actually do for you?



My grandparents both recently died. My grandma’s heart / lungs slowly let her down over a 6 month period. My granddad needed 24 hr care so spent his last few months in a care home which he described as a hell hole’. Finally he became trapped in the care home lift (which was always a bit dodgy) and it is thought to have panicked and had some kind of seizure. He died a couple of days later.

Both had been fairly religious people all their lives. I fail to understand however what religion did for them over a non religious person?

So what exactly does it mean / do for you?



Did you expect that their faith would prevent them from dieing? We all die. I’m not sure what your question is really driving at.

Faith in God isn’t about what one “gets” or “does for you.”

Faith is a response to God’s invitation to abide in Him.


The answer lies in the root definition of the word religion - to bind oneself to God.


God is Love, Andy… once you have tasted it you can’t say no it because everything withers next to it… You know that love is what makes you raise every day… Its that love that gives meaning and light to all things, it gives perspective to everything…
secular world will trivialize all things… faith/love does the opposite… all things become things of immense importance… Life intensifies … it is filled with beauty and meaning…
But not in a way that I could imagine. No… Christ seized me… and since that day everything appeared in a different light to me.

Once I existed. Now I live.

As for a rational notion: there is nothing that I see around me that indicates to me that there is no God.

In the presence of suffering it is the immediate feeling that accompanies it… the feeling that suffering has indruded into that which is good, that should be under your loop.You call suffering an intruder into the realm of normal joy… But why? why dont you call joy the intruder? why do you take it for granted that we have to justify the existence of suffering but you don’t have to justify the presence joy?

You know love… and I must say: By leaving your girlfriend I have grown in my respect for you. You have, in that act, become a man who sought the good of another person above his own… right? You loved her so you were man enough to sacrifice her … Yes man… human, created in the image of God. That means… capable of choosing, feeling, loving, weeping.

If it was not for love … the world would stop… look at the world around you. It does not make much sense… but its the love that is the focus and goal of every human being.
God is Love… if we dont believe in Him we become less than what we were created to be… We loose our selves when we loose God. We slowly become beasts…

Living God… for me… has meant…living in the Fullness of Life.
Ask for His Grace… also for me…


…the real question is: what does atheism do for you?


Faith and the search for God is like falling in love. You can’t always see or feel love, but you trust that it is there, and it gives you the hope that no matter what happens in life, there is Someone who made you, has plans for you, and loves you dearly.

Religion is the way we express our faith in God. It’s not for God, because God does not need anything. It’s for us, to live as God had made us and to draw closer to Him.

There have been things that have happened in my life. I could not control whether these things happened or not. But my faith in God is what carried me through them and helped me deal with and acknowledge certain events in my past.


It helps me to see, and be a part of the big picture, keeps me from being too tangled up in the pettiness of the world and too wrapped up in myself. It gives purpose to the struggles in my life, encourages me, and bring me joy and peace.


By the way… you cant talk about religion in a fragmented way.
God is a Person who initiates a relationship with another person… a creature of His. its not in our power to choose to believe in Him… His Holy Spirit lets the veil fall from our eyes when God wants us to know Him.
Religion can be defined as the response to that initiative from God’s side where He makes Him self known to us…

Faith is a gift. Its a mystery, even to ourselves.

Peace to you. I hope you find something good on the pages… even though the circumstance of coming here was a tough one for you.


Religion itself does nothing for me. The Living God however, and my faith in Him sustains my very existence.


Well, Andy, I understand where you’re coming from and so I’m going to give you a viewpoint a bit different from the others here. I was raised a Christian, converted to Catholicism when I was about 32. I was seriously considering being a nun when, out of nowhere, I had a breakdown of sorts and ended up suicidal, had to check myself into the psych ward for 2 weeks where I was diagnosed with bipolar (manic depression) disorder. The interesting thing is that while I was there I experienced what I can only call a total absence of God. In my darkest time, I felt nothing. Was it all a chemical imbalance? If so, isn’t God stronger than brain chemicals? Suffice to say I sort of lost my faith. I did, over a decade later, go back to the church. Something simliar happened again. In the depths of depression I asked “if God is really there why doesn’t he at least give me some peace of mind, some comfort?” I could come up with no good answer. When your brain isn’t working right it affects your ability to think rationaly. Why would God do this? Don’t know. So my short answer for you is this: Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spiritualit is for people who’ve been there. By which I mean that I seek to progress on a spiritual level but I do not adhere to any religious doctrine. Religion has not helped me. Spirituality, a relationship with the higher being I believe to be there (tho not necessarily the Christian God) and an attempt to better align myself with the universe created by this higher power, is my goal. To whit I study Christian mysticism, Buddhism, Shamanism, etc. I take truth (that which helps me on my quest for spiritual advancement and enlightenment) wherever I can find it. Death is as natural as life, just part of a process in which our cons:) ciousness moves to another plane. Life will go easier for us if we can grasp that concept, IMO. Religion, IMO, seeks to limit God to a strict set of rules (it also limits us, God’s creation, in the same way). Again, this is very esoteric and no doubt anathema to most of the folks on ths forum, but your question seems heartfelt and as I’ve often asked myself the same thing, I wanted to give you my thoughts. Peace.


Andy, have you ever seen this poem? I have no idea who wrote it, but I have a feeling they may have left it anonymous on purpose, to give glory to God. The first time I read it, it had a profound effect on me, it was then that I realized just how much God loves each one of us, especially in our darkest times.
Footprints in the sand–
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to him and the other set to the Lord. When the last scene of
his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was
only one set of footprints, he also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest moments in his life. This really bothered him and
he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I deceided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way, but, I have noticed that
during the most troublesome times in my life that there was only one set of footprints in the sand. I don’t understand why, when I needed you
the most, you would have left me.” The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of
trial and suffering, when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
So Andy, to answer your question, He walks with me through my life and sometimes He carries me. Your Grandparents live on with Him and someday I hope to too. For now though, we have things that He wants us to do here. I will keep you in my prayers on your journey. (To me, Religion is the worship of God.)


Most people, and mankind in general, ask the question, “Why am I here?”. We wonder what purpose our lives serve and if it really matters if were exist or not. We are plaqued with questions about things we can never understand.

Religion is one way of seeing anwers to those questions. Why am I here? To glorfy God. wha tis my purpose on earth? To glorify God and serve my fellow man. What is demanded of me? To do justice, love goodness and walk humbly with the Lord my God.

Religion is a human institution; that’s why there are so many of them. It is a way of explainign the unexplainable, living through the unlivable, and accepting the unacceptable. Our religion tells of a God who became man to live perfectly under the law and suffer enormously to redeem His people.

Religion will not “do” anything for you. It will not save you from heartache; it will not spare you cancer; it will not bring back a loved one. Religion cannot take away your sorrows or keep them at bay, but the one-True religion can show you a God who loves you and has a plan to redeem you from your sorrow.

My religion means that my life is worth something because I am created in the image of my God, was redeemed by His one and only Son and am adopted into His family. By myself, I am nothing. God shines through my muck and slime and makes my priceless.



I’ll give you a different take than some of the others…

Even if I was atheist, I would still be Christian. Why?

Having lived in Asia, on a very religious island full of Muslims, Hindus, and Bhudists, I can tell you that Christianity is orders of magnitude higher in terms of humanity and civilization.

Growing up in the US, I thought concepts like charity, equality, generosity, random acts of kindness, humility, civility, community responsibility, love of neighbor, service to mankind, etc were just human nature. Living here in Asia, I have found out that these concepts are not human nature, but are infact the legacy of a country build on Judeo-Christian values. In Asia, the hierarchical culture insills a prevelance of a Me First, Win-Lose, Rich are Powerful, Poor are servants at the mercy of their employers, who can be cruel, employees are at the mercy of their bosses, woman at the mercy of their husbands. Parents actually use their children for financial profit. Widows are actually forced to live a life of isolation, and neglect. Orphans are left to beg on the street, the thinking is that any person born into a bad situation is paying for evil done in a previous life, so there is no motivation to help someone in need.

I am shocked and saddened at the human condition without the guidance of the Christian philosophy. “Love God above all else” - makes us humble, “Love your neighbor as your self” - makes us fair and kind. Jesus Christ, even if you don’t believe was the Son of God, you must know he was a philosophical genius.

What did religion do for your grandparents? It gave them guidance to make wise and proper choices with their life. It helped them live a life that they could look back upon and be proud of. When they were within seconds of their death, they could remember the life they lived, and die at peace…they were good people, they loved others and tried to help, they led a good and decent life.

And, since they weren’t atheist, they could also die with the knowledge and peace that they would be living an eternity in paradise with their heavenly father.


My religion. Let’s see. It allows me love God, know God, and serve God. I can go and see him anytime I want in perpetual adoration. On the secualr side it gives me a good education. There is also this great family feeling in my parish that lets me know that they are always there for me. Everyone dies. What religion did for your parents was probably kept them from hell.




Good post! :thumbsup:


I had no idea that was the case. Thanks for the info.


Whoops, meant to quote this person. I thought the same as you did. This makes a good argument in talking with atheists. In the few conversations I have been in the atheist assumes this too.


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