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Religion

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Alain DeLaCendres
Member
since 07-02-99
Posts 121
Ohio


0 posted 05-31-2000 11:59 PM       View Profile for Alain DeLaCendres   Email Alain DeLaCendres   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alain DeLaCendres

I have a bit of a question. But the problem with this question is that it may offend some people. So, before I delicately phrase my question, let me say this: I respect everyone's right to their own opinion and I have a very open mind, I ask you to do the same, please.

Okay, as the subject states, this question is about religion. Personally, I do not believe in ANY religion whatsoever. (a little word play for you: "half of every belief is a lie - beLIEf.") However, I am not an atheist; I do believe in a "supreme being" that humanity calls "God" simply because we think that by naming something we can control it. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. I am no longer a J.W., but the upbringing in that particular faith has generated a lot of confusion in me and I have totaly seperated myself from all religions in the process. But, that's not the point.

The point is that through this belief of mine, I have started writing a story about a man who, through the experiences of his childhood and his religion, becomes lost in his nonfaith and cannot find his way back to the top. I need any "subjective" beliefs of any religion anyone cane offer me for use in my story. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe Jesus Christ died on the cross, they believe he died on the stake and therefor do not believe in crosses as does the Catholic religion.

Anything anyone can offer is very welcome. Thank you.


 Tout s'en va, tout passe, l'eau coule, et le couer oublie.
Elizabeth
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


1 posted 06-01-2000 07:39 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

How are the religious beliefs going to be used in your story? Are they going to be treated respectfully or attacked? I don't mind sharing my religious beliefs, but I don't want to explain why I believe what I do only to have someone tear them down because they don't agree. I hope that this does not offend you, Alain, but I am not so great at defending my beliefs and values and don't want to open up Pandora's box here.

Elizabeth

P.S. Happy writing!


 "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!"
-The Crucible

jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


2 posted 06-01-2000 08:22 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Alain:

Religion is a delicate issue and it is best not to undertake a discussion concerning religion to delicate people.  But this is Philosophy 101 and I, for one, welcome discussion concerning religious issues that take the matter beyond "That is your opinion, this is my opinion, period".  

I am not surprised that you are disallusioned about religion in general from what I have read of your religious background.  I am not intending to single out Jehovah's Witnesses, however ... I simply believe that any religion that is overly legalistic ("Do this and don't ask why") leads to either an escape from reason or to disallusionment.  I, personally, was fortunate enough to be convinced by what I considered to be compelling facts that lead me away from the disallusionment of legalism into my current religious beliefs and practices.

"I need any "subjective" beliefs of any religion anyone cane offer me for use in my story."

Subjective personal experiences are an important part of religious practice but I think it is a mistake to ground religious belief on those experiences.  Is the burning in my bosom God's Holy Spirit or did I eat too much pepperoni pizza for lunch?  There are objective facts (speaking in legal/historical objective terms) that, in my opinion, support the truth claims that are part and parcel to my faith.  If my experiences conflict with those truth claims, then I subject my experiences AND the truth claims to scrutiny.  I prefer being wrong, now and again, to being disallusioned.

Just my opinion.

Jim

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 06-01-2000 09:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

About a year ago, I attended an introductory lecture to Buddhism with a buddy of mine. We sat in the back and began to make fun of it (both of us are fairly knowledgeable on the subject -- probably should say subjects -- it's a complicated thing) but eventually I went to my buddy, "You know, I didn't know this," and he went, "Yeah, this is interesting."

Ahh, the wonders of arrogance.  

Anyway,
I think religion of any kind should be approached as openly and as honestly as possible. Religion fulfills a number of different functions in society, not simply a path to individual, spiritual satisfaction and I don't think these functions should be discounted when discussing it.

Marx said it was the opiate of the masses and, yes, he meant that as a dismissal (but he got a lot of other things wrong too). Remember, opium is a very powerful drug (two wars were fought over it and of course the problem of addiction).

One aspect of religion that fascinates me is the intense power of ritual. The performing of ritual (I could be wrong but I think many people in the West would easily dismiss this aspect) brings and unites, changes and influences people (Yes, not always in a positive way).

It works.  Furthermore, it is a splendid example of bringing the spiritual and the material together.  This is religion's attempt and I don't think we should necessarily dismiss it as dogma.

Anyway, religion covers an extremely wide scope, not only Christianity.  You've already mentioned that you believe in a supreme being but, of course, not all religions accept this idea.  Just pointing out what everybody already knows and trying to expand the question a little bit.
  

I would also argue that aetheism is a religion.

Brad
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


4 posted 06-01-2000 09:55 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Interesting points, Brad, and I agree with you on several counts.  I think you are right in pointing out that many in the West frown on ritual (this is a modern phenomenon, I think ... since the early 19th century, anyway) and I think it is their mistake to dismiss the importance of ritual or liturgy.

More later when my schedule affords me more freedom.  

Jim

Alain DeLaCendres
Member
since 07-02-99
Posts 121
Ohio


5 posted 06-01-2000 11:17 PM       View Profile for Alain DeLaCendres   Email Alain DeLaCendres   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alain DeLaCendres

Elizabeth, I understand your concern about the attacking of your beliefs, and I respect that. My intent is NOT to tear down anyone's beliefs, simply to offer them to others so they may make their own opinion. I know that I myself hold beliefs many would disagree with and possibly feel compelled to attack them. No, utter scrutiny and complete closed-mindedness towards your, or anyone else's, beliefs is not my intention. If you would like to read what is completed of my story thus far before choosing whether or not to share your views, feel more than free to e-mail me and let me know, I will gladly e-mail the file to you.

jboulder, you have a good point about legalistic religions; perhaps that is just what my case examplifies. And being wrong is not exactly something most people, as a general human rule, like to be told. Disallusionment is perhaps too often accepted over the fear of being "wrong." "Subjective" was kind of used in a sarcastic way in my original message, perhaps I should apologize and clarify. By "subjective" I meant beliefs of any religion that is disputed by other religions; like the Jehovah's Witnesses and their view of the cross. Truly subjective beliefs may be helpful to me, but nowhere near so useful as generally accepted beliefs whic are "objective" to one religion, but "subjective" to another. Again, I extend the offer of e-mailing you the portion of my story.

Brad; "I think religion of any kind should be approached as openly and as honestly as possible." I couldn't have said it nearly so well. And I think I would also have to agree that "aetheism" is indeed not a religion. Perhaps a philosophy, but many who claim to be aetheists could not agrue the philosophy behind their supposed belief (or lack thereof.) My girlfriend, for example, proclaims to believe in aetheism. I have kind of tried to put myself in her place and attempt to understand why she feels the way she does about "God," and I cannot.  So many things, and one in particular screams attention, if I had been in her place, would have almost demanded the belief in "something more." My older brother also proclaims aetheism, and he had the same relgious background as I. We are only 14 months apart in age, and I have also tried to understand why he believes in aetheism. Our father was an alcoholic when we were children, and neither of us have forgiven the man for it. My brother has used this situation as a basis for his disbelief in "God." His stance is the usual, "If there really was a God, all of the bad things that happen in this world wouldn't happen." I myself do not think that the case. The hardships we endure throughout our lives are in part, I believe, self-made. I believe that while something could be preordained, not everything is. If everything were written in stone before we were even born, what would be the point of existence? I would liken it to this: Standing atop a hill with a forest spread out at the bottom of the hill. A single path leads into the forest, but in the distance one can see several, perhaps infinite, paths leading out of the forest. One must choose which paths to take, but once one decides which path to walk, they will see whatever trees (life events) which are planted at the path's edge. We can choose which path to go along, but we cannot choose which trees we will see. Does that make sense?

Okay, I've said enough for now, I think. Thank you all for your responses; they are much appreciated.


 Tout s'en va, tout passe, l'eau coule, et le couer oublie.


[This message has been edited by Alain DeLaCendres (edited 06-01-2000).]
Alle'cram
Senior Member
since 02-28-2000
Posts 1827
Texas


6 posted 06-04-2000 02:33 AM       View Profile for Alle'cram   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alle'cram

Alain,
  I would enjoy helping you. If you want to learn about salvation, (accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior into your life). Learning how Jesus died on the Cross, that we may have life and have it more abundantly (everlasting life). Gain insights how there is no penalty to being wrong if not satisfied with your results of accepting Him into your life. It really is quite simple. Nothing complicated at all. I would like very much to share how to accept Jesus into your life. I would prefer to do this in a private setting. If you have any questions you want to toss around , do e-mail me.If I do not have a answer for you, I will get you one that aligns with the Bible, which is the teachings of God, the Father, Jesus Christ the son of God and the Holy Sprit. The trinity. Doctrines in a church will not get anyone saved. Going through the blood of Jesus, is the only way to become a born-again believer. Simple. Take a step of faith, bow humbly before Jesus with a pure heart (meaning, taking the step of faith, knowing HE knows you are coming before Him as a child, ask Jesus to become your Lord and Savior. Holding onto your faith step, continue in prayer to HIM. Prayer to Him could be simply saying "Jesus, this is new to me, I do not know how to come before you, know not what to ask You, except to come into my heart. Forgive me of my sins and help me learn to live and serve You,Jesus. I am coming to You in faith, I believe, although I do not see yet, I believe and I pray you open knowledge and light unto me that I may learn about you in all ways. I love you Lord Jesus. amen

I only read the beginning post then stopped. I wanted to share this with you. I only want to share truth and light as I know it, in serving Jesus. If I read the post above me, I may not have taken this opportunity to share with you something so glorious, so real and One who is always there. Always!

I hope no one finds this offensive. I would not have honored the best thing in my life,
my salvation, given freely from Jesus to all that knocks, the door will be open.

This is simple. Do not be offended. Salvation is simple. I would be glad to share personal testimonies of how Jesus answers prayers, heals and works miracles; gives good gifts, blesses His children. amen
snuffy
Junior Member
since 04-01-2000
Posts 19


7 posted 06-04-2000 11:47 AM       View Profile for snuffy   Email snuffy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for snuffy

Hello!
I totally loved the way you explained people's destinay or paths.....(trees being there, but you might see them or not, depending on if you were looking!).....
I would love to read what you have wrote.  Do you think you can send it to me?  My e-mail is dasl@hotmail.com
I am very interested in one of the most powerful things in this world : Religion.
It controls our life (we live by it), and it can lead to really great things, and really bad things....thus, I think it is extremely important for people to question their belief, to know why they have accepted (for example) Jesus Christ as their savor, or mohammeh as the last prophet.  I was born a christian, raised as a christian, and I have been what you would call an agnostic, for over a year now, and I am a changed person!  I am much more confident in myself, and more logical, and question everything to better understand things....
There are so  many things that were extremely confusing to me in christianity.  Like how we are all born sinners and how we need to be saved, and the only way is through Jesus.  First of all, why are we condemning a baby from the second he was born?  If it is a sin, then we shouldnt have kids anymore.... no more sex.... can you imagine how guilty I am of having sex?  Secondly, by saying that Jesus is the only salvation, that means that 1 billion people are going to "heaven" and the rest (almost 6 billion), are going downunder!  no, not australia    I wonder if hell is big enough for that many people!  
I think I wrote too much, sorry!  So, I truly hope that you will send me your writing!  
Elizabeth
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


8 posted 06-07-2000 09:51 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Well, let's see here. This will be especially interesting considering there is a thread in OP#7 that discusses my religion, except not in the nicest terms.

I am a Catholic. I believe in 3 persons in one God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I beleive Mary was the virgin mother of Jesus and that she should be honored. Not worshiped, honored. (When a Catholic prays a rosary or the Hail Mary, they are praying to Mary but in praying to her, they are simply asking her to pray for THEM, not treating her as if she were God.) I believe in the existence of heaven, hell, and purgatory. I believe in saints and angels, but I do not believe that people become angels after they die. I believe they become saints. I believe God created all the earth, seen and unseen as stated in the Apostles' Creed. I believe Jesus was born of Mary and that she is the Mother of God, and that Jesus died on the Cross to save everyone. I believe in the infallibility, but not perfection, of the Pope.

I do not believe that everyone who is not a Catholic is going to go to hell. I do not believe God is female.

I believe God loves us all.

Elizabeth


 I'm grabbing my hat and coat
I'm leaving the cat a note
Quick call me a ferry boat-getting out of town!


JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


9 posted 06-08-2000 01:10 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Alain,

Take some time and read a book called "Pilgim's Progress".  Very much the same lines as what you are writing, and could provide some key insight into the idea of belief vs. religion, and the concept of god (oops, that should be capitalized shouldn't it?)

Religion is a funny thing, you have a group of people who believe a certain way, based on  another human's interpretation of the writings of centuries ago.  You example of the cross vs. stake is just one branch on this tree of discombobulation - the translation of the same word by different people causes a stong point of contention from two religious factions - neither one has any bearing on the fate of humanity or God's (or the gods') plans for said humanity.

My belief's?  I believe that religion has no place in the hearts of those who truly believe in the gods or their God.  Personal interpretation of the scriptures (whichever scriptures you claim) are far more valuable to a holy life than the interpretations or misintrepretations of others.

 Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP

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