I think religion is for those people who do not have a big enough sense of their own “self” to work things out for themselves.
I question believers of all faiths & a common theme is apparent – most seem to be looking for spiritual guidance or someone to help with telling them what to do or how to behave.
Personally I have never felt this need – even in times of crisis ( I have been through divorce & death of a loved one etc) I seem to be able to work things out for myself. I have certainly never felt the need to ask/blame god (of any description) for an answer to why things happen
Does this make me an atheist or just plain lucky?
I can follow your logic to a certain point.
However, for one thing, there’s the certainty of death. We know that we will all one day die. What then? If we have no faith beyond this life, then we ought to “eat, sleep and have fun, for tomorrow we die.” It seems extreme, but why treat people nicely if there’s no God? It would be easier to steal, kill, and cheat your way to the top.
And, related to that, there’s the fact that we can’t take anything out of this life. We may make billions of dollars. We may raise wonderful families. We may own homes, cars, books, games, and food. But when we die, what happens? We lose it all. It was all, in a sense, for nothing.
I trust in God because, for one thing, I can’t deal with death. When it comes, it will certainly take me. I trust God to deal with it, because I believe that Jesus Christ has conquered death. God can handle death. I can’t.
I have nothing to fear of death; in fact, when it comes, I will be on to better things. It’s not because I’m a good person, because I’m not. I merely accept God’s gift of grace, the opportunity for me to be saved.
Now all I have to do is tell others how they can be saved…
So, confess the Lord Jesus Christ with your mouth; believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.
There’s more to this… the Bible calls it grace. I don’t want to get off-topic, but if you’re interested, you can email me.
And another thing, I think you are being sincere with this question. Please don’t let people get you down on this forum who may think otherwise.
There’s a ton of helpful material at http://www.christian-thinktank.com
May God bless you.
To understand the world and the spirit of man in it; to understand the nature and the worth of religion to man; to understand how, if there were not the True Religion, the world would become the darkest dungeon and the unbeliever the most unfortunate of creatures; to grasp why it is that belief in the existence and Unity of God and reliance upon Him open the secret sign of this universe and saves man’s soul from the darkness–read this allegory:
Once upon a time, there are two brothers who set off on a long journey together. One is self-indulgent and clever. The other is self-disciplined and wise. After a while they come to a fork in their road where they see a wise old man. They ask him which way to take. He tells them that the right fork requires obligatory observance of the law which governs that road, but that this burden of observance brings with it a certain security and happiness; while the left fork promises a certain kind of freedom it represents also certain danger and distress. “Now the choice is yours,” says the old man.
On hearing this, the well-disciplined brother takes, in reliance upon God, the right fork saying that he accepts dependence on law and order. The other brother takes the left fork just for the sake of freedom. Seemingly, he is comfortable but in truth he feels no tranquillity inside. He reaches a desert. Suddenly he hears the terrible sound of a beast, about to attack him. He runs away and, happening to come across a waterless well sixty meters deep, jumps into it. Half-way down, his hands meet a tree growing out of the walls of the well. He clings on to it to save himself from falling further. The tree has two roots. Two rats, one white and the other black, are gnawing away at them. The man looks up and sees that the beast is waiting at the top of the well. He looks down and there is a horrible dragon almost at his feet, with its large mouth gaping to receive him. Having time to do so, the man looks more closely at the wall of the well and notices that it is all covered with laboring insects. He looks again at the tree. It is actually a fig tree but it is a miracle of a tree in that it has a great variety of fruits growing on it, such as walnuts and pomegranates.
There, hanging in the well, he cannot understand that all that has happened to him is in any way special or meaningful, that the scene and the events in it cannot be merely coincidental. That there should be, must be, some secret to it all, that behind the scene and the events there must stand an arranger and doer of all–none of this, alas, even occurs to him due to his lack of reasoning.
Now, although this man is inwardly distressed about this situation and his spirit and heart are complaining, his evil-commanding self pretends to itself that there is nothing to complain about and so he pays no attention to the weeping of his heart and spirit. The man pretends to himself that he is in a garden, having a nice time, starts eating all kinds of fruits–for free–but some of which, it will turn out, are poisonous and harmful to him to consume in this way.
In a sacred tradition (a saying from the Prophet, the wording of which belongs to the Prophet but the meaning to God) God says, “I will treat My servant in the way he thinks of Me.” This wretched man in the well sees every event that befalls him as no more than itself, as having no further weight or significance–and, for him, so it is. He does not die but he does not live well either. He persists merely, in an agony of suspense.
Let us now recall the other brother. He is the wiser of the two and, because well-disciplined, not suffering anxieties. He always thinks of the good, affirms the law, and feels himself to be secure and free within it. Whenever, on his journey, he enters a garden and comes across, besides lovely flowers and attractive fruits, ruined or ugly things in it, he is able to turn his mind to that which is good and beautiful. His brother cannot and does not do the same; he has concerned himself with evil and therefore cannot find ease in such a garden. The wise one lives according to the saying, “Look on the good side of everything,” and is therefore generally happy with everything.
On his way he too reaches a desert, just as his brother did, and a beast shows up. He too is afraid but not as much as his brother, because he is sure that the beast must be in the service of a certain master. This disciplined man also jumps down a well that happens to be there and, halfway down, catches hold of the branches of a tree. He too notices a pair of rats gnawing at the two roots of the tree. Looking down, he sees the dragon and, up above, the beast still waiting for him. Just like his brother, he finds this suspense a strange situation to be in. But because he is wise and self-disciplined, he infers that all these strange happenings are arranged by someone and constitute a sign. He thinks he is not alone and that he is being watched and examined by someone. He understands that he is being directed and guided in some way as a test and for a purpose.
He is curious about the one who arranged all these events and asks, “Who is it that desires to make me know him?” Even in his curiosity he is patient and self-disciplined, and so this curiosity arouses in him a love for the owner of the sign. This love, in turn, builds in him the desire to understand the sign and meaning of these events and the will to acquire good qualities that will please the owner of the sign.
He observes that the tree from which he is suspended is a fig tree but one that bears almost every kind of fruit. He is no longer afraid; he understands that this tree is actually a sort of catalogue of samples of the fruits belonging to the unseen owner, which the owner has prepared for his guests to his garden. Otherwise, one tree would not bear so great a variety of fruits as this one does. He starts to entreat earnestly and, as a result, the key to the secret is inspired in him. He declares:
“O owner of all this scene and these events, I am wholly in your hand. I take refuge in you and I am at your service. I desire your approval and I desire to know you.”
Following this prayer, the wall of the well unexpectedly parts and a door opens onto a wonderful, pleasant garden. Indeed, the dragon’s mouth has been transformed into the door, and both the dragon and the beast become two servants inviting him in. The beast even changes into a horse for him to ride on.
not having any believe in god is as sad as totally set down and wait for the help of god cos god only help those who help them selves .
first of all God exist not because all religion say that ,man should not believe in god cos he was told that there is god but because every time you look around you ,you can see millions of proves that he is there looking for us .
you say you’re able to work things out for myself and without felling the need to ask/blame god for an answer to why things happen, IMHO that’s a good thing lot’s of people blame god for every bad thing they case to them self …and others set down just waiting god to help them instead of trying to do what they have to do . however i don’t think there is some thing wrong in asking god the guidance or the help god is very merciful and capable unlike man who always need to feel that god is by his side not for that he can be able to blame him or set down and count on him but to guide him and help him when he is in a need
Forget religion and concern yourself with truth. Religion is man’s regimented system of rules and regulations. The truth sets us free from all that.
Like you, I’m confident in my capacity to work things out on my own. However, after careful study, I also happen to think that the Bible is true. This is not religion. I am against religion in all forms. But my self-reliance cannot change truth, whatever that truth is. I happen to be convinced that the truth is properly conveyed in the Bible.
Jesus Christ founded a religion and a Church. Why should I go against his instructions? Jesus commanded this Church to “preach the gospel to all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” How can we fulfil that mission unless we are organised as a religion?
We need both religion and spirituality in our journey to the kingdom of God. Imagine the cross of Jesus. Spirituality is the vertical beam that reaches out to God in prayer and worship. Religion is the cross beam, your love for neighbour which is an expression of your spirituality. It is also your belief system, which you share with your brothers and sisters as you walk towards the Kingdom of God.
Peace and every blessing!
You are both. I’m a fellow atheist, and it’s not a dirty word. Religion can be a good thing for some people, make them less scared of death for example, but unfortunately many religious people use their religion to put and down others and start wars. I don’t need religion to tell me how to live a good life, as a person with feelings and a brain that can think about the consequences of my actions, I can work that out for myself. I think the world would be much more peaceful without religion.
Check out The God Delusion by Richard Hawkings if you haven’t already
I think I know who I am without Christ and I know who I am with Christ and I like me much better being with HIM. So you are telling me that you are your own God and you are all sufficient? You have control over your life and never needed someone higher than you? Let me just make a prediction that if you had been one of those people in the tower on 911 you would have hoped for a power higher than yourself. I guess you just haven’t suffered enough to know how small and helpless you are….
Religion is an abdication of personal responsibility. God told me to blow myself up in a crowded market, whilst shouting God is Great. God told me to give you this daily christian reading booklet so that your soul can be saved. God gave me cancer. Religion sits well with the Nanny State that we are currently enduring in the UK. We need to come of age and take back our world from the fanatics and fundamentalists. The bully boys who know what is best. I believe in the God who created this world and us. Time to let Her get a word in before it’s too late.
Religion means “retie.” I’ve read a description of Buddhist meditation that seems to be talking about dealing with fragmentation of the mind and worldview and finding oneness in yourself. Otherwise, religion can put a bind on people’s tongues, or release it (Mark 7:35). Food and clothes can be used as a binding force (Isaiah 3:7). Religion can bind up the broken-hearted.
Cults, on the other hand, appeal to greed. They promise friends, wealth, careers, access to “secret information”, moral guidance in terms of ideals such as confidentiality and how to treat your marriage mate. Those things are supposed to be practised in the sight of God with reverence. Paid work can be like this – you need to give over information about yourself and then you are promised “interesting times.” I don’t believe it. I’d rather put effort into myself as a spiritual entity. That is the basis of the slave relationship with Jesus, rather than slaving for men.