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-   -   Why are there so many different religions? (https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/showthread.php?t=848427)

  • Sep 14, 2021, 09:56 AM
    Wondergirl
    Why are there so many different religions?
    "God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don't think my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God."
    --John Shelby Spong (1931-2021)
  • Sep 14, 2021, 10:30 AM
    Athos
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    "God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don't think my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God."
    John Shelby Spong

    Your title diverts Spong's comment from God to religion, but maybe that was your intention which is ok.

    The more interesting question is about the nature of God rather than the nature of religion which most people have already figured out in the sense that they're all basically similar at their basic root.

    Even the mystery of God is secondary to how humans have worked out the message of God. In other words, what is the correct way that God teaches us to live a life among other people. How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God.

    As Spong says, religion points to God. I would go the next step - God points to our connections to others.
  • Sep 14, 2021, 04:22 PM
    Athos
    Post deleted.
  • Sep 14, 2021, 08:25 PM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    Even the mystery of God is secondary to how humans have worked out the message of God. In other words, what is the correct way that God teaches us to live a life among other people. How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God.

    As Spong says, religion points to God. I would go the next step - God points to our connections to others.

    Exactly!!

    "In James chapter 3:6, ‘Among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a whole wicked world in itself.’ If anyone is going to try and convert someone to worship their God, then you would think that they would show others just how wonderful and loving their God is by being kind and showing their love for their fellowman. Be respectful towards your fellowman no matter what they believe, who they worship or how they worship.It’s not important as to what denomination of religion that one belongs to, it’s where their heart is. Smile, be kind to all your fellowmen and show them that the love of God is within you by your kindness and the words that you speak."
    https://itrustgodonly.com/different-...20be%20treated.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 09:05 AM
    jlisenbe
    Why do you accept some parts of scripture but not others? What is your standard?

    Quote:

    Even the mystery of God is secondary to how humans have worked out the message of God. In other words, what is the correct way that God teaches us to live a life among other people. How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God.
    How do you know that to be true?
  • Sep 15, 2021, 09:34 AM
    talaniman
    Why are there so many different religions?


    ​Because they are so many different humans.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 10:20 AM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Why do you accept some parts of scripture but not others? What is your standard?

    I accept Scripture as truth and that Truth is found in sermons, poetry, allegories, non-fiction stories, wisdom literature, etc.
    Quote:

    How do you know that to be true?
    It was Jesus' summation of the commandments: love God and love each other.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by talaniman View Post
    Why are there so many different religions?


    ​Because they are so many different humans.

    Perfectly stated! (Welcome back! We missed you!)
  • Sep 15, 2021, 10:28 AM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    It was Jesus' summation of the commandments: love God and love each other.
    Jesus said that to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind was the first and greatest commandment. How does that mean, "How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God?" How can we categorize loving and understanding God to somehow be inferior to loving people?

    And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth? Not only that, but didn't you take the words of Christ to be literal?

    Do you consider all religions to be basically equal?
  • Sep 15, 2021, 10:45 AM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Jesus said that to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind was the first and greatest commandment. How does that mean, "How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God?" How can we categorize loving and understanding God to somehow be inferior to loving people?

    Inferior? You're adding a pejorative into what was posted. Do we understand God? Nope. But we certainly can learn and understand how to treat others because of our love for them as fellow humans (not to mention love for the earth and all the creatures that live on it).
    Quote:

    And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth?
    Many other religions and philosophies have the Golden Rule as a central maxim.
    Quote:

    Do you consider all religions to be basically equal?
    All religions are equal in that adherents seek to connect with that Higher Power.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 10:49 AM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    Inferior? You're adding a pejorative into what was posted. Do we understand God? Nope. But we certainly can learn to and understand how to treat others because of our love for them as fellow humans (not to mention love for the earth and all the creatures that live on it).
    Inferior was simply in relationship to position. It was not a pejorative. So the question remains. "How can we categorize loving and understanding God to somehow be inferior (in rank, priority, or position) to loving people?"



    Quote:

    Many other religions and philosophies have the Golden Rule as a central maxim.
    But you also did not answer this question. "Do you consider all religions to be basically equal?"

    Nor this one. "And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth? Not only that, but didn't you take the words of Christ to be literal?"
  • Sep 15, 2021, 11:23 AM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Inferior was simply in relationship to position. It was not a pejorative. So the question remains. "How can we categorize loving and understanding God to somehow be inferior (in rank, priority, or position) to loving people?"

    There's no ranking involved.
    Quote:

    But you also did not answer this question. "Do you consider all religions to be basically equal?"
    Of course not, but their common theme is love, philos.
    Quote:

    Nor this one. "And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth? Not only that, but didn't you take the words of Christ to be literal?"
    You must be asking this of Athos, not me. Remember? -- I wondered if Jesus' words had been written down as He spoke them or were perhaps recorded. *smirk*
  • Sep 15, 2021, 11:28 AM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    There's no ranking involved.
    Of course there was. When a person makes this statement, he/she is clearly establishing a hierarchy. "How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God."

    Quote:

    Of course not,
    Interesting. Which one(s) would you consider better than others?

    Quote:

    but their common theme is love, philos.
    You would have an impossible time trying to establish that. It is not true of Islam, for instance, and certainly not true of Hinduism.

    Quote:

    You must be asking this of Athos, not me. Remember? -- I wondered if Jesus' words had been written down as He spoke them or were perhaps recorded. *smirk*
    I guess you are not going to answer these. ​"And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth? Not only that, but didn't you take the words of Christ to be literal?"
  • Sep 15, 2021, 11:45 AM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Of course there was. When a person makes this statement, he/she is clearly establishing a hierarchy. "How we treat others is far more important than how we understand God."

    Going along with your train of thought, we cannot understand God. We do live on this earth with fellow humans. It is in our (and their) best interests to treat them as we would want to be treated.
    Quote:

    Interesting. Which one(s) would you consider better than others?
    Better at what? I loved the samosas Shachi brought for us to enjoy at lunch break, and Manisha's Baidi roti!!! Oh, my!
    Quote:

    You would have an impossible time trying to establish that. It is not true of Islam, for instance, and certainly not true of Hinduism.
    In Libraryland, for many years I worked with and interacted with people from many different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, and religions, including, especially, Muslims and Hindus. In fact, the community was considered a League of Nations microcosm. To this day, eleven years after retirement, I am still connected to some of them via email and Facebook. Philos, always philos.
    Quote:

    I guess you are not going to answer these. ​"And in order to draw the conclusion you did, wouldn't you have to view the Bible as the final arbiter of truth? Not only that, but didn't you take the words of Christ to be literal?"
    I have no idea if Jesus actually said those exact words. I wasn't there to listen.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 11:52 AM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    Going along with your train of thought, we cannot understand God.
    That certainly was not my train of thought. Of course we can understand God. When we read the Bible, we come to a greater understanding of Him. For instance, "1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

    Quote:

    We do live on this earth with fellow humans. It is in our (and their) best interests to treat them as we would want to be treated.
    That is true. By no means, however, do all religions teach that.

    Quote:

    Better at what?
    You said all religions are not equal. Which ones are better than the others?

    Quote:

    In Libraryland, for many years I worked with and interacted with people from many different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, and religions, including, especially, Muslims and Hindus. In fact, the community was considered a League of Nations microcosm. To this day, eleven years after retirement, I am still connected to some of them via email and Facebook. Philos, always philos.
    So? When Moslems flew airplanes full of people into buildings full of people, was that philos?

    Quote:

    I have no idea if Jesus actually said those exact words. I wasn't there to listen.
    So we can place no real confidence in His words, and can therefore draw no reliable conclusions from them? Interesting.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 12:07 PM
    jlisenbe
    This is another of my favorites by which we gain a much fuller understanding of God.
    Quote:

    This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
    Even in your reference to the two great commandments, we gain a fuller understanding of God. We are to put Him first in every way, and we are to love our neighbors in the same way that we love ourselves. Those two commandments are of upmost importance to Him.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 12:07 PM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Of course we can. When we read the Bible, we come to a greater understanding of God.

    Maybe. Or maybe our limited understanding of God gets all confused in our heads, especially when we listen to a one-trick-pony interpretation of God.
    Quote:

    You said all religions are not equal. Which ones are better than the others?
    As I said in my previous post, Better at what? I loved the samosas Shachi brought for us to enjoy at lunch break, and Manisha's Baidi roti!!! Oh, my! Definitely the foods of other cultures deserve applause!
    Quote:

    So? When Moslems flew airplanes full of people into buildings full of people, was that philos?
    So we damn all Muslims because of a few? In the same way, let's damn all Christians because of Jim Jones and Benny Hinn.
    Quote:

    So we can place no real confidence in His words, and can therefore draw no reliable conclusions from them? Interesting.
    Read the entire Bible and get the drift.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 12:14 PM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    Maybe. Or maybe our limited understanding of God gets all confused in our heads
    Has that happened to you?

    Quote:

    As I said in my previous post, Better at what? I loved the samosas Shachi brought for us to enjoy at lunch break, and Manisha's Baidi roti!!! Oh, my! Definitely the foods of other cultures deserve applause!
    Never mind. You've put on your evasive motif again.

    Quote:

    So we damn all Muslims because of a few?
    No. And we also don't pretend that all religions teach philos because you met some people in a library.

    Quote:

    Read the entire Bible and get the drift.
    That won't work. You weren't there when any of the Bible was spoken or written down. Remember that it was not recorded? So how can you trust any of it if you cannot trust the words of Jesus which, you said, you did not hear and so quite naturally cannot trust? (I have no idea if Jesus actually said those exact words. I wasn't there to listen.) Doesn't that render it all unreliable?
  • Sep 15, 2021, 02:05 PM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Has that happened to you?

    Nope. I'm in regular contact with learned Christian professionals who keep me on the narrow road.
    Quote:

    Never mind. You've put on your evasive motif again.
    We'll find out in the afterlife. The answer will undoubtedly surprise you.
    Quote:

    No. And we also don't pretend that all religions teach philos because you met some people in a library.
    I worked with those two and others for years. Yes, the Golden Rule is a central teaching in many religions.
    Quote:

    That won't work. You weren't there when any of the Bible was spoken or written down. Remember that it was not recorded? So how can you trust any of it if you cannot trust the words of Jesus which, you said, you did not hear and so quite naturally cannot trust? (I have no idea if Jesus actually said those exact words. I wasn't there to listen.) Doesn't that render it all unreliable?
    You were there?
  • Sep 15, 2021, 02:12 PM
    jlisenbe
    Quote:

    Nope. I'm in regular contact with learned Christian professionals who keep me on the narrow road.
    That's so funny. Everyone is confused except, of course, you. You need to get in contact with the Bible.

    Quote:

    We'll find out in the afterlife.The answer will undoubtedly surprise you.
    You giving an answer would have surprised me.

    Quote:

    Yes, the Golden Rule is a central teaching in many religions.
    Fraid not.

    Quote:

    You were there?
    Miss Evasion strikes again. I read this passage this morning and it reminded me so much of you. "Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet.” 27 And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.”

    It reminded me so much of the two of you. You are plenty smart enough to see a challenging question for your belief system, so rather than answer it, you just walk around it. Too bad. I've often felt that any belief I have which I cannot defend should be discarded. Better to find out sooner rather than later. That's why you don't see me running from questions.
  • Sep 15, 2021, 02:50 PM
    Wondergirl
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    That's so funny. Everyone is confused except, of course, you. You need to get in contact with the Bible.

    Meaning what? I'm not?

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