Is religion like a physical trait

Often we hear people saying that religion is the “bad” thing of the world and causing all the wars and difficulties.

Some people regard religion as a physical trait. It is true that most often people are born with it. If they are born in a region where Hinduism is the main religion, they’ll be Hindu; when born in a region where Islam is the favourite religion, they’ll probably be brought up Muslim.

The question herewith is how many people feel comfortable by the place where they were born and the system they grew up with. When growing up we all learn things of which we can agree with or disagree, but as we become older we have to make choices of what to believe and what to accept as plausible or true. More than once in our life, we also come to see those certain things we believed to be true, or not so. And that sometimes can be very confronting.

For example,

Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels vested in a humeral veil, holding a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.

I was born in a family of the Old Roman Catholic tradition, where Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, also called Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament or the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, daily Mass or Eucharist, was the Holy Communion or Lord’s Supper and was the main Eucharistic liturgical service, whilst on Saturday nights the Rosary was used to have a prayer ritual as a religious exercise in which prayers are recited and counted on a string of beads or a knotted cord.
If I had been born in a Buddhist community then I would have used malas, the traditional tool of prayer beads in Buddhism, or as in Shinto, Umbanda, Islam, Sikhism, and the Baháʼí Faith, and some Christian denominations I would also have my fingers going over beads, used to count the recitation of mantras or to direct meditative breathing and to count prostrations.

Already in primary school I found all those actions and rites of that Roman Catholic Church not in accordance with what I could find in the Holy Scriptures of that Church. The Bible shed a whole different light on the way we have to behave and also on the Godhead, indicating there is only One true God and not a three-headed godhead, like in so many Christian churches. Getting older I came to find more and more false teachings or even lies in that Catholic Church. In the end I broke with that Church.

When coming to other thoughts it can well be that one feels very wounded. For some it even can be as if they have to be taken to IC or OQ.

Yes, a person can undergo a kind of spiritual surgery to change her faith, rather like a person can undergo surgery to change her nose. But, apart from such radical intervention, a person’s faith is the faith her parents gave her. {Going and Coming: Christian Faith in America}

But with that last phrase, I would disagree. Like I changed faith, lots of people come to believe something totally different than the faith of their parents. The majority in this contemporary age even break totally with a faith in God or gods. The majority become atheists.

People are also leaving the faith. These are people who identified as Christian in the past but no longer do so. Many have made no conscious choice but have merely drifted from the faith. Some have chosen to leave because of hypocrisy within the church. Others have left because they are uncomfortable with the church’s stand on sexuality in regard to premarital and same-sex relationships. {Going and Coming: Christian Faith in America}

In any case, people in their life make a choice to believe in something or somewhat. As such they have a faith in some one or something.

A person might have faith in his parents, school teachers, leaders of a country. He even might have faith in a certain country or state, even though there are things going on in that country that might try to destroy that faith. How many people do not have faith in a political party or in a professional sports team.

Atheists most often do not want to accept it, but everyone believes certain matters and has faith.

The question is not whether we have faith but what we have faith in. {Everyone Has Faith – But In What?}

In many things people have faith in, they notice that they are changeable and as such not more powerful and unlimited than they are. But with religion that seems to be a whole different matter. Religions seem to survive the people and have been around at ‘all times’. This makes it for some scare and a dangerous good.

The big problem in our world is that religion is often misused to get things or to convince people or other matters, like having to follow a certain group of people or religious leaders.

We can find people who murdered others so-called for the faith. Throughout the ages we have had crusaders of all sorts, be them Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, a.o.. By trying to conquer the world those people using the name of their god, brought fear over the world and made it sound as if ‘religion’ was the danger and the trait to fear. Though it is not religion, but the man whom we should fear.

All those who try to have power over others, should know that their power is limited and that those people they are fighting against do have perhaps a religion which is not a trait to their life, but a blessing. Because in the end, all people die. We can not escape death. One day, whatever we may try to do, we shall have to face death. No matter if we are atheist, Buddhist, Muslim or Christian and member of one or another church.

The cover of our 3rd quarter 2019 journal has a young lady lying on the grass reading from the Bible.John N. Clayton was an atheist who became a Christian through his study of science and the Bible and spent his career as a public high school science teacher. He, as a science teacher specialising in physics and earth science, in 1968 started a group with the purpose to show that Science and Faith are friends – not enemies. Mr Clayton has travelled around the United States and around the world to share the message of faith in the God of creation. He writes:

I am an old man, and sometimes I make contact with atheistic people I knew years ago when I was an atheist. If they are still atheists, they cannot give me any evidence to support their atheistic faith. They are opposed to belief in God, but their atheism has not blessed them. They are getting ready to die with nothing but frustration, anger, disappointment, and disillusionment. {Everyone Has Faith – But In What?}

Black-and-white photograph of Stephen Hawking at NASA's StarChild Learning Center
Stephen Hawking, the very intelligent English theoretical physicist whose theory of exploding black holes drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics, was a fervent opponent of any belief in a Divine Creator and an opponent of the Christian churches, but got in 2018 a church funeral in an Anglican church in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, people praying to that God he always opposed, to have him taken into heaven to be with that God.

Everywhere around us we can see people with no faith in God, who at the end of their life suddenly gets doubts … Suddenly everything they believed in seems not to keep them going. The whole world suddenly has become a trait…
But even ardent atheists, who all the time attacked Christianity, at the end of their life, strangely enough, get a funeral in one of the standard Christian Churches. (Like Stephen Hawking who had an Anglican burial service.)

The biggest trait for man is mostly the want of power of others. It is the greed of people which brings them to conquer land belonging to others.

Let us hear if faith was a physical trait for John N. Clayton who in his life had found a religion which he trusted to bring him more than ordinary life could.

My atheist friend admitted that being an atheist had not improved his life. He then challenged me to show him how my faith had improved my life. That was easy.
My faith led me to a wife who was a blessing to me. There was never any evidence in our 49 years of marriage that she even thought about being unfaithful. When death took her from me, my faith sustained me and led me to a second wonderful woman who has blessed my life. My faith has caused me to have an excellent relationship with my children. It has helped me find joy in a son who has sustained multiple birth defects. {Everyone Has Faith – But In What?}

I myself also had some terrible experiences in my life, and with my near death, my family had to wait two days before they knew I was going to survive. Those worldly matters, of illnesses, accidents, near-death experience, could have been a greater trait to my faith and to my life, but the opposite, by my faith in the Only One True God, I got strengthened and became more convinced to go that certain way of faith and way of life, believing in That Only One True God and His only-begotten son Jesus Christ, who by God was taken to be our mediator and spokesman by Him.

Perhaps more people should look at religion as a way to come clear with themselves. In case the path of religion would be straight from beginning to end it would not learn us to ‘drive’ our way of faith. Mankind needs trigger-points, things to think about, matters to work around.

People also should understand that the world can still exist in a way where religion and state are considered separated. Much more people should come to understand that it is best keep to the separation of church and state. In a way, a secular state shall be able to protect better, people who think differently than a state which is governed by one religious group, be it a Muslim, Christian or other religious group. It is in such states where one religious group has all the power that problems of discrimination arise. Certainly when in such instance those religious groups are going to decide the laws and prosecutions, than there shall be a great trait. In such instance, there shall not be the only problem of them pushing their religion or their religious opinion, but them bringing a dangerous pressure and censor on everyone because many shall not dare to speak or express their own feelings anymore.

It are the godless people who are able to destroy others. The ones who really love God shall show respect to God’s creation and God’s creatures, where non-believers are also part of. The ones who have chosen to follow Christ should not be the ones to fear, because they should live consistent with Jesus Christ his message, following his guidelines for what would make our world a world of brothers and sisters, who are allowed to have other ideas and thoughts.

By looking at religions that attack others, one shall come to see which are false religions. Such religions without good fruits are the religions we should not become partakers of. Keeping away from such groups we shall keep ourselves safe, even when they try to attack us. Because in the end, they all end up like bullies who do not get a response from the one they attack. As long as the bully feels people are following him (because they fear him) he shall feel powerful, because he is forcing the other kids to do what he wants. As soon as the bully shall not be able to force others to do what he wants, he shall lose not only all power but also confidence in himself (which was already so weak and therefore a reason to bully others).

By dismantling the true motives of bullies, insurgents and attackers, others will also come to see that it is not their religion that brings them to the point of oppressing others, but their desire for power over others. That ‘want for power’ is the real trait for mankind!

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Preceding

  1. When Bad Things Happen
  2. Ability (part 2)
  3. Gradual decline by American Christians
  4. Living in faith
  5. Background of Faith
  6. Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  7. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  8. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  9. A Living Faith #8 Change
  10. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
  13. Autumn, Life and death, grace, regeneration and sanctification

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Additional reading

  1. Death – dead
  2. A brief history of Stephen Hawking: A legacy of paradox
  3. Gospel or Good News
  4. God is One
  5. Only One God
  6. Jesus son of God or God the son
  7. Jesus son of God
  8. Was Jesus Religious
  9. One Mediator
  10. First man’s task still counting today
  11. Straight roads can’t make you a good driver
  12. A Million Ways To Live: Al Muhyi (The One Who Gives Life)
  13. Unwrapping once faith
  14. Not waiting until something serious happens in the life of those around us
  15. Those who choose to glorify God, and those who choose to go their own way
  16. Today’s thought “The help that comes from God” (May 11)
  17. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism

+++

Related

  1. There’s no such thing as truth? A poem.
  2. Nietzsche: The King Of Atheists?
  3. Evolution?
  4. It Makes Us Special
  5. A Brief Note on Stephen Hawking
  6. Stephen Hawking’s final theory of black holes -The Hawking radiation
  7. Katherine Ryan was ‘pied’ by Stephen Hawking after trying to chat him up
  8. A Brief History of the Most Unread Book of All Time.
  9. When atheist Stephen Hawking died . . .
  10. Silence is Power & A True Faith Will Control the Tongue
  11. Becoming Resilient: How to Recover When You’ve Lost Faith
  12. The God Abraham Believed In
  13. Regarding Atheism: Should an Atheist Believe in God to Avoid Despair? Do Atheists Agree that the Four Horsemen of Atheism is Dead?
  14. Way. Truth. Life
  15. The worst mistake you can make when defending the Christian worldview
  16. Faith In Universal Truth
  17. Dealing with your fears
  18. Church Of The Living Dead
  19. 23 November, Tuesday — Remembering that all things shall pass
  20. Religion: Sharing vs Pushing It
  21. Of Heathens and Atheists
  22. “Treasure Trove of Information”
  23. Is serving the Lord a bore
  24. How to get closer to God.
  25. To know and love God
  26. Becoming immune to deception
  27. Counting the Cost of Following Christ
  28. The testing of our faith
  29. God provides a way of escape

Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

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