Religion: do you have one?

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Religion is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a system of belief.” A belief is defined as opinions and “thoughts upon which people base their actions.”
Thus, whether conservative or liberal, atheist or theist, creationist or evolutionist, you have a religion. So even if you don’t believe in God, you still have a religion. Please don’t say you don’t. You do.

Whether you believe in absolute truth or relative truth, it still goes. You have a religion. You can deny it all you want, but you do. You can deny that I exist all you want too, but I’m still here. You can also deny God all you want, but He’s still alive and well; loving you and wanting a relationship with you. I sincerely hope that your religion is the one that will lead you to everlasting life in heaven. The only true way is Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Trust in Him today.

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14 thoughts on “Religion: do you have one?

  1. chicagoja February 16, 2015 / 11:48 pm

    Actually, it is possible to believe in nothing. Socrates supposedly did. Belief systems are unnecessary, especially if the purpose of life is to observe (i.e. to allow Creation to observe itself). You can believe if you want to (most people do) but all you are doing is accepting someone else’s opinion; and usually you don’t really even know why since most “thinking” takes place in the subconscious mind. You not only don’t know why but you don’t even know whose opinion it is. That’s why most people are not really thinkers, they are followers and the bi-product of social conditioning.

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    • Naomi February 17, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you, chicagoja, for being so polite! While I disagree with it being unnecessary to have a belief system, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Even if they don’t realize it, I really believe every person has a set of beliefs that they just take for granted. It may not be a good one, and it may have been passed along from their parents, but they still have it. Anyway, thank you again for your kindness.
      Blessings,
      Naomi

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  2. PatrickCoon February 17, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    When using this definition of the word “belief” I agree with you. However, I think too many religious people tend to equate “belief” with blind faith – which is typically characterized by an unshakeable belief in something.

    I believe in a lot of things, but all of my beliefs are shakeable, they must conform to the observable and unbiased reality around me. If evidence proves them wrong, they get thrown out.

    If it can be destroyed by the truth, it should be destroyed by the truth.” – Carl Sagan

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    • Naomi February 17, 2015 / 3:44 pm

      PatrickCoon, I must say, you have some good points. However, you can’t base your belief on the realities around you. Even realities can be wrong, as evidence can be deceiving. You MUST base all your beliefs on the Word of God, the Most Holy One, who cannot change (James 1:17) and who cannot lie (Psalm 19:7). His Perfect Word is trustworthy, and breathed out by Him (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
      I agree with the quote, however, the Truth should always be based in the Word of God and not experiences that can be faulty. Remember that Satan loves to disguise himself as an angel of light or truth, and he has power -when allowed by God- to deceive people through experiences. The Truth is Jesus (John 14:6). I hope you know Him as your Truth, and the Way of Salvation that brings you Life!
      Blessings,
      Naomi

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      • PatrickCoon February 17, 2015 / 3:59 pm

        I’d have to disagree with 100% on that last comment. You said, “You can’t base your beliefs on the realities around you” and “you MUST base all your beliefs on the word of (the Christian) god.”

        Both of those claims are 100% subjective; they have no objective basis whatsoever. In fact, one CAN base their beliefs on anything they want. For that reason, we have multiple religions all claiming to be the right one. Will everyone else think you’re right? No. People tend to think that they’re right and other people are wrong. And that’s okay.

        But for me, personally, I’d rather base my beliefs on the facts that I can observe, test through experiment, and validate. Facts that come from asking tough questions and not assuming the answers. If others think I’m out of line for doing that, and would rather base their beliefs on a book that was written by humans millennia ago, so be it. “Do unto others.”

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      • chicagoja February 18, 2015 / 12:11 am

        Yes, Satan could disguise himself as an angel… or even as God. How could we ever perceive the true reality of an infinite being whose existence is totally beyond our ability to comprehend it properly. For that matter, how do we know that the Bible is the Word of God? Which Bible, as there are so many to choose from. Some of them are quite different from the others. Certainly, the Bible you are reading from is not the original compilation and translation of the Bible. Therefore, your Bible could hardly be considered to be the authentic Word of God, now could it? Assuming that the Bible was inspired, how do we know who did the inspiring, God or Satan? With the exception of Paul’s letters, most historians/theologians agree that we don’t even know who wrote the Bible. The roots of Christianity invariably lead back to Paul and Paul’s ministry hinges on one thing, and one thing alone – his vision of Jesus. How did he know that it was Jesus, a person he had never met (actually Paul didn’t see anyone, only a light and a voice)? Perhaps the vision was produced by Satan. How could Paul possibly know and, in any event, why should we believe him? Paul wasn’t even a holy man. Indeed, he was an agent of the Roman emperor.This is the point that Patrick was trying to make, I believe. That is, one needs to use their god-given ability to think to distinguish between something that is possibly true, probably true or not true at all. Of course, there are things that we cannot determine are true or not which we accept on “blind faith”. Religion is one of those belief systems. You may be right about everything that you say, but there is no way to know for certain. The Bible, by the way, is not proof. It’s use as a proof certain is simply the bi-product of “circular reasoning”. So if you want to believe as you have, no one is going to stop you. We’re simply pointing out that there is not a reasonable basis to do so other than faith.

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      • Naomi February 18, 2015 / 1:02 am

        I would not try to defend a lion, I would simply turn it loose. Likewise, I would not defend the Bible, I would let it speak for itself. Its words are living and powerful enough to separate marrow from the bone.
        As to whether or not my Bible is the actual Bible that God wrote, I firmly believe and trust that it is. I use multiple versions such as the NKJV, KJV, ESV, and NASB. They are each carefully carefully translated from the original language, and I normally stay away from such paraphrases (or in my opinion, man’s rewritings) such as the Message ‘Bible’. I am very careful when studying the Bible, realizing that the translations have minor errors, but God cannot lie, even through the small misinterpreting of a few words here and there. We must only be careful how we interpret it and be careful not to twist the meaning and take it out of context.
        I am thankful that I do not have to rely on mere human reasoning, and instead have been granted faith in God. It is a true gift! Of course this does not mean I ignore the gift of reason, on the contrary, I use it quite frequently. We will all know for certain what the Truth is the moment we die. If I am wrong and we simply die and go in the ground, fine and dandy. If atheists are wrong and meet God face to face… wow. I would not want to join them.
        Thanks again for your courtesies.
        Naomi

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      • chicagoja February 18, 2015 / 3:17 am

        Thank you for your reply. Of course, none of those bibles contained the following books: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticas, Baruch, Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, 3 Maccabees, 2 Esdras and 4 Maccabees. Those books were in the original Bible and were the Word of God for the first 1,000 years of Christianity. They still represent the Word of God for some Christians, but not for others – like you.

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      • Bear February 19, 2015 / 9:27 pm

        Patrickcoon The living God is not just a Christian God, he’s the God of everything that is Created, God chose the Jews as the starting point, of his plan, to save the whole world from sin and Death, regardless what mankind thinks, God does exist not just in the Hearts of man but in all that is Created and seen through the eyes of man, what you see has been designed by an intelligence that cannot be matched nor understood, and God is provable without the Bible or Torah. One must ask himself, if God does not exist, then why do I exist, and why am I alive? God Created everything because we have a Purpose, God created us to have dominion over the whole earth, and to have a Relationship with God himself, you may not care to believe that’s fine God doesn’t mess with free will for a reason, but the choices you make, and decisions you act on determine what path to take…

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      • chicagoja February 20, 2015 / 10:04 pm

        Bear: Some great thoughts there but you’re mixing in your own theology and belief systems. For example, God did not “choose the Jews… to save the whole world from sin and Death.” God is the Absolute, he/she it does not choose anything (that is the thinking of religious dogma). Religious dogma is also responsible for the concept of saving man from sin. While I agree that God exists for some of the reasons that you stated, that does not constitute proof. In reality, God is incomprehensible to man and therefore there can be no proof certain.

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    • Faith Blum February 18, 2015 / 12:53 am

      Patrick,
      You said, “I believe in a lot of things, but all of my beliefs are shakeable, they must conform to the observable and unbiased reality around me.” I must disagree with this. People fake their reality all the time. A friend of mine has had depression for many years, but I never knew it until just a few days ago. Even her closest friends didn’t know it because she hid it behind a facade of cheerfulness. Maybe sometimes, that facade was real, but much of the time, it probably was her fake reality.

      People can fake reality in the way they feel and also in the way they represent some “fact” about something. Even observable things look different to different people. In the Dutch Blitz game, Mom contends that the reddish cards are orange and the rest of the family contends they are red.

      In science, a Creation scientist can observe a fossil and see one thing while an Evolution scientist can observe the same fossil and see something different.

      It would be like me wearing your glasses (assuming you have some) and you wearing mine for a couple hours. The world would look very different because chances are, the prescriptions are completely different. The world around us is the same world, but the images are distorted depending on the glasses we are wearing. The same is true of the way we view the world. We may not even be fully aware that we are wearing glasses, but everybody is.

      I pray this makes some semblance of sense. I don’t expect you to believe because I’m sure, like me, you are set in your ways, but you are in my prayers that God will touch your heart to see His truth.

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      • PatrickCoon February 18, 2015 / 3:16 am

        Hi Faith,

        I appreciate your response! I agree with you regarding subjective realities, like the depression example you submitted. However, I was referring to objective truths like the age of the earth, the age of said fossils, etc. Those are facts that can be determined through unbiased scientific methods. I’m concerned by the misuse of the term “science” though when referring to “creation scientists” and “evolution scientists”.

        Science is a means by which we ask questions, suggest hypotheses, test our hypotheses through practical experiment, and post our results for peer review (whether they agree with our hypotheses or not). This enterprise leaves no room for separate ideologies regarding fundamental facts. Of course, there are questions that science cannot answer at this time, and may never be able to. Religion tries to answer many of those questions, like how did we get here? Where do we come from? Was there a beginning of time?..et cetra. However, there are many religions in existence today, and many that aren’t practiced anymore, that all have different answers. The key point though, is that all religions attempt to answer these questions without any practical experimentation involved. They require you to take their point of view on blind faith and reject all others. Science asks the questions, and gives us the answers – whether we like them or not. Additionally, science shows us exactly how the answer was arrived at, and allows us to replicate experiments so that we may “see for ourselves.” That, to me, is the most beautiful thing in the world.

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      • Faith Blum February 18, 2015 / 7:26 pm

        Even in the fossil record, there are differences of opinion. Let’s take Carbon-14 dating as an example. Certain assumptions have to be made in order to date a fossil or the rock around the fossil.

        1. The rate of C-14 decay (half-life) has always been the same.
        2. The C-14/C-12 ratio in the Biosphere (equilibrium) has remained constant.
        3. The specimen was in equilibrium with the Biosphere when buried.
        4. The specimen had not gained any carbon since it was buried.
        5. Today, we can measure the correct C-14/C-12 ratio in the specimen.

        These assumptions are based on what is believed to be true. There is no way to know for sure what happened in the past to change the #1 assumption, not to mention the other four assumptions.

        In any science experiment, a scientist is going to be at least slightly biased toward what he wants to find at the end of the experiment or by his beliefs. Yes, it is possible he could change his mind about his beliefs after an experiment challenges his thinking, but most of the time, he will see what he wants to see whether he is an atheist trying to prove there is no God and that evolution is true or a Creation scientist trying to show the world didn’t come about by chance evolution.

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  3. Naomi February 17, 2015 / 11:05 pm

    Okay, I understand. I chose a poor use of my words. What I meant was that as a Christian, in order to be correct in my thinking, the Bible has to be my basis. I know that many people don’t do that.
    I realize that I am in a minority of my way of thinking. It’s not really okay, because God is holy, and cannot tolerate sin, which is anything that we think, say or do that breaks God’s law. It really makes me sad to think of all the people out there that are destined to be separated from a God who loves them and did everything necessary to save their souls, if only they would believe. I pray that your eyes would be opened to the truth.
    I admire that you are asking tough questions, and are looking for the answers, and I don’t think that is at all out of line.
    But when it comes to the Bible being written by humans, that is not entirely accurate. The Bible was breathed out by God, spoken directly to godly people who carefully wrote it down, not changing a single word, and thus it was preserved through the ages. God says His words shall never perish (Isaiah 40:8).
    I hope you know the rest of the verse you quoted “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.” PatrickCoon, I am really trying to do that. I am warning you, because I care about your eternal soul. I want you to have a personal relationship with Him, because that is what God desires. He created you for a purpose, so that you can glorify Him as the amazing God He is. What is keeping you from that? Do you have any contact with a good Christian who believes in the Word of God? I pray that you do, so that he/she can witness carefully to you and answer your questions from the Bible.
    Thank you for your polite comments, and I hope God will grant you the grace of conviction and salvation. Everyone, me, you and anyone else on this earth needs His salvation from our sin nature (Romans 3:23). He granted it to me, and now I hope and pray He will do so for you as well.
    Blessings,
    Naomi

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