why does it matter?, I mean dont catholics, and christians beleive in the same thing?, dont most people who beleive in god beleive in the same god ? Why is that used as a tool to hurt others, and why must people have to convert others. why isnt it jsut you either believe in a diety or you dont, none of these churches or whatever?
Religion is important to different people for lots of reasons. It's a way of preserving power. People are much more willing to follow somebody if they believe that person is ordained or chosen by a god. It's the reason ancient Egyptians followed the pharaoh, and it's the reason consevative American Christians follow George W. Bush. And if people believe their nation or culture has a special relationship with the divine, they will be more likely to support war against someone of a different culture which they believe does not have that special relationship.
Religion is also used to enforce social order. If someone believes that sex outside of marriage is a violation of their religious beliefs, they are less likely to commit that act (assuming they actually practice their religion). Religious beliefs for some people give legitimacy to laws and social norms.
Another reason people think religion is important is because they think without it, their lives are empty and meaningless. Organized religion gives people a set of beliefs to explain why things are the way they are. It's not just about believing in a god or gods, it's about understanding why there is suffering in the world, or how the universe came to be. Religion tries to prescribe answers to these questions, and since people would rather believe in those answers than find things out for themselves, they go along with it.
Religion in fact does not matter at all. I hate religion and in fact jesus hated religion too. Jesus loved that the people loved him and loved god but the religious people back then thought that they were better and that if you wernt that type of religion than you were going to hell which isnt the case. When you have a specific religion that you belong to it just puts your relationship ina box. YOur relationship with GOD should never be placed in a box---becuase thats all this life is about. I LOVE god and I have totally accpted jesus as my savior and I follow no religion. God died for us on the cross so that we could be with him one day if we followed all the ten comandments and just loved him and preached the good news. After 6 hours of suffering on the cross when jesus finally died the grounds of the earth and the curtain in the chappel split stating that we would never have to talk to jesus/God through anybody that he is always there for us and that we can always talk to him. Religion is lame but it can be good if you like structure but you alwyas have to remember that the only important thing is YOUR relationship with GOD.
god bless you!
If this discussion was happening in Europe (instead of mainly among North Americans, I believe) then the only common thread would be amongst the atheists and regarding the wealth of the Catholic church. The obsession with evolution being non-Biblical and the obscene wealth of some mega-church pastors (some only) is a very American thing.
Whilst it is right for North Americans to be concerned about what is going on within your own culture, I would recommend that you look wider and note that the Christian church on other continents is following some very different patterns of behaviour, and whilst some of the trends (both the good and the bad) do cross the Atlantic and influence the rest of us, we have different concerns regarding organised religion.
The doctrine of Salvation through Faith is established in the letters of Paul and the balance between faith and works is discussed wonderfully in the letter from James, mjax1979, so although I agree that the balance shifts every now and then in Christian history, I don't think you can claim that the doctrine is a Protestant invention.
"The doctrine of Salvation through Faith is established in the letters of Paul and the balance between faith and works is discussed wonderfully in the letter from James,"
Paul and James also both refer to the necessity of good works and the role they play in salvation and judgement in other parts of their writings. Paul also seems to indicate in 1 Corinthians that salvation is an ongoing process, which points toward good works. There's also the issue of baptism and it's role in salvation. Most of the early Christian writers such as Augustine and Justin also talked extensively about how a person could be saved by good works, and both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions teach that salvation is something that happens over time. The doctrine of salvation happening exclusively by faith and belief in Jesus Christ did, in fact, become prominent during the Reformation. It was rare for people to believe that during most of Christian history. Protestantism "individualized" Christianity.
well, evolution hasn't been proven as a fact yet.
Catholics and christians do not believe the same things,
Catholics:pray to Mary
Confess sins to priests
have 7 sacraments
don't quote me on this, but I think they believe they need to do good works in order to get into heaven
Christianity:well there are many different kinds of "christians" but I go to a Baptist church so I'll just what we believe:
Jesus is the only way into heaven(so good works won't do it, now don't get me wrong, doing good works is something we're supposed to do, but it won't get us to Heaven)
Our church is Bible based(also, our Bible is different, it doesn't have the apochrypha(spelling?) but you may have known that)
we confess our sins directly to Jesus, because in the Bible(not sure where) it says that we are the priests
No, muslim God is Allah, who is way different than Christian God.
We try not to use it to hurt others, well, we in the Bible it says to preach the word to every creature.
Well, churches are important because they are places for people to come together and learn about God. As far as the denominations (Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, ect.), they are just different typs of Christians with different beliefs and different ways of doing things. Some people just decide to be prejudiced against others and use their religion as a way to hate and cause violence against others. That doesn't mean all people of that religion are like that. Just a handful of them are. Religions is important because it gives people hope and faith in a being higher than themselves. It also helps focus beliefs into seperate typs of religions, so that instead of everyone have scattered ideas, they can all be followers of different religions. It's very confusing, I know, but it's just how religions are. I think of myself as a Christian, but I don't belong to a certain denomination. I have my beliefs and I don't need to change them to fit into certain categories of Christianity.
The best reason I've found for why religions tend to be so self serving, is explained in "The Selfish Gene". Once you get your mind around the idea of replicators, it's easy to see that the same principles apply to thought processes as well.
Religion is effectively a mental virus (meme). The ones that have self serving traits come to dominate because they replicate the best. So what do the most popular religions have that tend to be self serving?
- an emphasis on belief first and formost
- unverifiable punishment for failure to follow
- unverifiable rewards for compliance
- a social structure that ostracizes anyone who leaves
- an emphasis on raising children with belief
It's an insidious virus that uses every psychological trick in the book to spread itself.
"well, evolution hasn't been proven as a fact yet. "
True, totally unlike creationism, which is firmly grounded in numerous scientific studies and backed by thousands of the brightest scientific minds from across the globe.
Oh wait, no...that's evolution.
"Jesus is the only way into heaven(so good works won't do it, now don't get me wrong, doing good works is something we're supposed to do, but it won't get us to Heaven) "
Your views differ greatly from the earliest Christians who believed that good works and moral purity were necessary for salvation. It amazes me how little Christians know about their own religion. The view that salvation is based purely on faith and an individual acceptance of Jesus Christ as the savior figure did not arise until the Protestant Reformation.
Silverwings said; "We would be a pretty selfish bunch of people if we kept our knowledge to ourselves. Many find very satisfying lives based upon the bible. God commands that we share the truth that we have received. "
There are very few people here who have not heard of, or have no knowledge of christianity. You are not trying to educate, you are trying to force feed. Your knowledge is completely limited, as you refuse to accept facts (like evolution) that threaten your belief system.
Knowledge is not static, and does not begin and end with one book. If that were the case, you would be still be writing on papyrus, and not on keyboards over the internet.
the evidence for the $$$ is everywhere you look- is your church a modest structure?
the catholic church is one of the richest organizations in the world.
I have seen these big grandiose structures popping up everywhere I look- the evidence is all around you- open your eyes.
more people saved = more followers= more money in the collection plate= a bigger church= an extravagant lifestyle for the people in charge.
the televangelists are a very good example of this.
churches are not modest structures, but cost a lot of money, and in a way are like 'bait' to try and bring in more followers.
Good point about the 'individualisation' of faith, mjax1979. I think the justification for it is there in the Bible (OT but NT especially), but it's true that things can really go too far and the loss or erosion of the 'community of faith' can be a disaster. I am personally getting really fed up with songs, books and Bible Studies which focus on my personal fulfilment. How much more personal fulfilment can a happily married Christian mother with a great job need? I want to serve God and see the world through His eyes, not feel even better about myself!
The bible tells us to contend for the faith, meaning to strive to keep it pure. That has always been the mandate. Also, to share the truth with others.
We would be a pretty selfish bunch of people if we kept our knowledge to ourselves. Many find very satisfying lives based upon the bible. God commands that we share the truth that we have received.
It is up to the listener, what he/she does with that truth.
And if you ever truly come to have a personal relationship with the Lord...
It will be the single most important thing in your life.
"well, evolution hasn't been proven as a fact yet."
Excuse me??? I thought you were one of the more open-minded ones el ricardo..
Saying evolution hasn't been proven is like saying gravity isn't proven.
Evolition is still considered a theory in that we don't completely know everything about it, but it is not a theory that all living things on this planet have evolved, and continue to do so. It is a fact that has been proven over and over again.
Religion is a means of grouping humans. We have a natural tendency to want to be social, and loved, and accepted and religion can do just that. Also, religion can "answer" questions that we are unable to fathom. Religion can be a positive and it can be severely negative. Take your religion with a grain of salt and do what's best for humans, not what's best for your ticket to heaven.
But you say "organized religion is all about the $$$"
Bullsh*t , honestly I can't believe people think that. Im sure it has happened, but then what you NEED to say is..."organized religion is SOMETIMES what it is all about" It's not right for people to assume that is the case everywhere when you obviously have not experienced what a REAL church is about.
the larger a congregation in a church- the more money can be collected- so they can build bigger churches, and the pastors can drive jaguars, and stretch limosines- I am not making this up- seen it right here in my town- a jaguar (and now a limo) with the plates pray for us- organized religion is all about the $$$.
Cathlics believe in the virgin mary
and christians dont
As a christian myself I think
that we shouldnt worship
her because clearly it says in the bible to dont any gods but him
if he would have wanted us to worship the virgin he would have said something.
and the virgin mary iws dead.
and jesus is not.
***evolution rules, and I people are like we didnt evolve from monkeys, whic isnt waht was said in the first place, darwin stated that we might of evolved from a common ancestor.***
You have no idea how often that has to be REPEATED.
Hey, baldwinwolf that may happen where you live but doesnt mean it happens everywhere. The church that I go to, Is NOT about that. So you cant base your experiences on every congregation.
evolution rules, and I people are like we didnt evolve from monkeys, whic isnt waht was said in the first place, darwin stated that we might of evolved from a common ancestor.
I think the catholic church is a scam.
the vatican is the smallest country, but also the richest.
I'm sorry if I offended any of you but that is my belife.
baldwinwolf I'd say someone forgot the purpose of religion in your town and started worshipping themselves.
***organized religion is all about the $$$.***
That DOES happen. Not everywhere though.
I think all churches are scams, and you dont have to have a religeon to be good btw.
it makes you want to go in the right direction of life and do good and get good
thanks jimahl, I just didn't know what a theory meant. sorry bout that.
Good grief, I do sound po-faced on the above post! Sorry, folks.
because life with out of religion does'nt make any senes.