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Putting aside our differences.
11-17-2007, 03:08 AM (This post was last modified: 11-17-2007 03:09 AM by IronandDice.)
Post: #1
Putting aside our differences.
I have felt compelled for some time now to try and bring this up to others. I doubt this is a new idea but I also don't think there is any better time to try and make it work. I think the worlds religions need to set aside their differences and earthly problems to actually do some good. I myself tend to lean towards a Christian view point. I identify with christianity for whatever reason. Be it because I was raised in the church or because I feel the overall teachings are sound, it doesn't matter. But I have also spent plenty of my life denying that faith. Which puts me in a place a lot of church raised Christians haven't been. I have experienced many different religions. From Pagan religions such as Wicca and Egyptian mysticism and mythology to Mormonism and studies of Islam, Hinduism, etc. Not only that but I respect them all. I think a lot of followers from many religions study other faiths but only to dissect them so as to have ammunition in a debate. It seems to me that so much of modern day religion has little to do with the actual faith and ideals and more to do with trying to prove that your own particular path to God is the only one that can ever mean anything. Wars are fought because of it, people are discriminated against etc. Church is like a social gossip club as opposed to a functioning positive environment. Seriously, think about it a moment. Not just Christians but everyone. Does your church, or organization, or faith in general have an interest in helping people? And I mean just helping for the sake of helping, not to try and win converts. Now think of how much effort is put in to trying to be better than other religions.
What I want to know is why? Why be that way? I hear the same excuses all the time from the Christian end "Well, Jesus is the only way to heaven" etc. So? This means we can't do good works for those who have a differing opinion? It means we have to subjugate people because of it? When did Jesus ever do this? As far as I can tell Jesus was a friend to the downtrodden, the beggar, the diseased, even the criminal he only tried to help. So why is it that now an Islamic person, or a homosexual is just utterly undeserving of the Lords love? People wear the What Would Jesus Do accessories but I don't think they ever really stop to wonder.
And it seems to be the same for many of the worlds religions. I really think this kind of intolerance stops us from working together to make the world what it could be. Imagine all the good things that could be accomplished if we all started to work together instead of having an arrogant holier than thou attitude? I have a dream of a world in which Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, etc live and work together in harmony to raise us up. To heal the world. Not to divide it. What is the difference between religious discrimination and racism?
I am not trying to say that everyone in all religions is like this. I know more people like me exist. Maybe even a majority. But maybe the majority is to scared to speak up because of how embedded in politics and such their religion of choice is. All I ask is this: Can we not work together and acknowledge that as long as someone has a personal connection to God, no matter the path, we can accomplish good?
In my opinion all worship and faith leads back to the once central idea of a higher power. It is just how you go about connecting to that which differs among us. I know I perhaps have not worded this so well. It is late though, and I am tired heh. I don't want to sound like I am better than anyone, I am not. I just know that the world doesn't have to be this way and I want to change it. Does anyone else feel the same?
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11-17-2007, 12:52 PM (This post was last modified: 11-17-2007 12:53 PM by God Rocks.)
Post: #2
RE: Putting aside our differences.
How true. I think people often point out differences as a reason why they are right and everyone one else is wrong but don't even realize how similar we all actually are.

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11-18-2007, 12:43 AM
Post: #3
RE: Putting aside our differences.
God Rocks Wrote:How true. I think people often point out differences as a reason why they are right and everyone one else is wrong but don't even realize how similar we all actually are.

Exactly! A lot of people will say "Oh we recognize that other people can be good" but always with the caveat "but we are still a tad better". With that sort of attitude no true harmony can exist. I can't believe that Jesus would rather Christians go it alone because they don't agree with someone elses way of life than have us all work hand in hand. Even in the bible it discourages so many different branches in the Christian faith. "There should be no divisions among you." With the context of the passage I believe it is talking exactly about how these sorts of divisions detract from the good that could be done. Why couldn't this also speak to all the faiths of the world? If we can all just respect one another and work together we could live in a much better world, although not perfect. And like I said, in my opinion I think we are all worshiping the same thing when it comes right down to it. We all just connect to it in a different way. And shouldn't faith be all about finding how you best personally connect with god? Is it not better to hold a different concept that you connect with than to just heartlessly go through the motions of a route doctrine if you don't feel it?
I think the sad truth is that todays religious leaders relish their social and political power and know that such a cooperation would ruin that for them. If we all cooperated like I am suggesting no one would be able to say "Well it is Gods will that we war with you because we are better than you and he loves us more." Don't we all know that is a load of crap? Did Jesus sit people down and go "Hey....you know...Peter your great and all...but Paul gets the top bunk tonight because I love him more." So why do so with nations? Religion is becoming a political and social tool and that is not the work we are supposed to be doing in my opinion.

Please, if you read this and you have an opinion, even if it differs from mine, lets talk about it. I very much want to know who shares my belief, no matter what religion you are from. I also want to hear from the other side. Lets keep it good natured though alright?
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11-18-2007, 12:45 AM
Post: #4
RE: Putting aside our differences.
God Rocks Wrote:How true. I think people often point out differences as a reason why they are right and everyone one else is wrong but don't even realize how similar we all actually are.

By the way, that is an excellent quote you have for your signature!
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11-19-2007, 11:49 PM
Post: #5
RE: Putting aside our differences.
IronandDice Wrote:A lot of people will say "Oh we recognize that other people can be good" but always with the caveat "but we are still a tad better". With that sort of attitude no true harmony can exist.

I think that goes beyond religion though. It's kind of ingrained in humanity to have a bais for any group they belong to. Most people think their country is better, their school is better, ect.

IronandDice Wrote:By the way, that is an excellent quote you have for your signature!

Thank you!

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11-20-2007, 03:53 AM
Post: #6
RE: Putting aside our differences.
God Rocks Wrote:
IronandDice Wrote:A lot of people will say "Oh we recognize that other people can be good" but always with the caveat "but we are still a tad better". With that sort of attitude no true harmony can exist.

I think that goes beyond religion though. It's kind of ingrained in humanity to have a bais for any group they belong to. Most people think their country is better, their school is better, ect.

IronandDice Wrote:By the way, that is an excellent quote you have for your signature!

Thank you!

Completely true! I personally think that should change as well but I want to focus on the religious aspect. I think that would definitely be a good way to unravel the rest in any case. So what's your story? How did you come to such a generally outsiderish perspective? No offense to anyone else but I haven't met many people who are as open as you.
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11-20-2007, 04:25 PM
Post: #7
RE: Putting aside our differences.
I don't think I can claim to be as unbaised as you seem to be. I am Catholic and nothing has ever convinced me of changing that. I do like to keep an open mind though. I recognize the fact that most religions are very similar. It reminds me of politics. In the United States the Republicans and Democrats are very similar and in the end have similar goals. They differ in the way they plan to achieve these goals. It is these small differences that polarize people. I recognize they are similar but that doesn't stop me from voting for the party I believe will work better.

I think the real problem arises when people use these differences in their religions as reasons for violence and for discrimination. There is no excuse for this. In the end I'll believe what I believe and you can believe what you believe and there is no way to prove who is right so we might as well get along.

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11-27-2007, 01:17 AM
Post: #8
RE: Putting aside our differences.
God Rocks Wrote:I don't think I can claim to be as unbaised as you seem to be. I am Catholic and nothing has ever convinced me of changing that. I do like to keep an open mind though. I recognize the fact that most religions are very similar. It reminds me of politics. In the United States the Republicans and Democrats are very similar and in the end have similar goals. They differ in the way they plan to achieve these goals. It is these small differences that polarize people. I recognize they are similar but that doesn't stop me from voting for the party I believe will work better.

I think the real problem arises when people use these differences in their religions as reasons for violence and for discrimination. There is no excuse for this. In the end I'll believe what I believe and you can believe what you believe and there is no way to prove who is right so we might as well get along.

See, there is no reason you should have to change your religion. If more people were like you and were tolerant of other peoples view points on the matter we could all come together without pressuring each other to change. Just because we disagree with how someone chooses to live their lives doesn't make them any less human. I mean the homosexuals are a perfect example. Here is a group of people that are essentially no different than any of us, who can love and worship just like anyone else but who happen to prefer people of the same sex. Does this really effect our lives? No, but people throw a fit about it. Would Jesus have disowned these people? Would he have said "God doesn't accept your faith"? I refuse to believe that. This is coming from a happily married straight man by the way. Seriously, people are using religion as a scapegoat for their own prejudice here. Even the argument "It ruins the sanctity of marriage" holds no water because we got a high divorce rate in the straight community and Britney Spears getting married and divorced as a lark. Wow, yeah, two loving partners of the same sex in a commited realationship is really messing us up lol. But I digress. Just an example.
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12-02-2007, 04:49 PM
Post: #9
RE: Putting aside our differences.
I think people need to take the time to understand each other because people fear what they don't understand.

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05-12-2008, 01:49 AM
Post: #10
RE: Putting aside our differences.
I Agree with both of you.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
-Buddha
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