Richard you said...in above comment...
"All of you know that Shri Vishnu incarnated as Shri Rama and wandered in the forests."
Um, no All of us Do Not Know,as this is Your truth not mine nor many others here...nearly every word you wrote in your comment are but quotes from someone or somewhere else -other than a few of your own words..nothing you quoted in any way shows Me ... "To show people there is something more than just pages and concepts is compassionate, wise and righteous!!" I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by this statement?
Thank You Richard for the "With True Love and Peace".. this I return to You. And to All...
With Compassionate Love, Respect and Peace,
Religion is an expression of a belief. By definition a belief does not have to be proven. It could be exchanged with theory. To me religion and politics are about the same because they both have a group at the top benefiting from support by large groups of people. People who promote themselves as Religious Leaders tell the "followers" what they should believe. They may also impart to the followers a list of rules that will "bring them a better life"
You say religion has now become a money making scam as if this is a new idea. All that has changed is the amount of resources involved. Churches have always solicited from the followers to support the leaders and build places to gather. In many cases they collect money to care for the poor. Some churches keep very good track of money and show the followers a report each year as well as results of progress with the causes they support. Some do not. We have countries that are run according to a religion. Religions were more easily run when people were illiterate. The more education that is acquired in most civilizations the less likely it is for people to believe in only one religion. I also feel that one of the things religion does is become an excuse for people to ignore challenges. Faced with a big challenge many people will tell you that they will pray to God for a solution. This is a cop out. We have intelligence greater than any other animal as well as free will so we should be able to solve any challenge if we work as a team to discover the solutions. Religion is only one of many tools used to keep people in fear and justify discrimination which can lead to dictatorship and/or attempted genocide. War involves murder but people do not like to think about it like that. A victim of war is dead and to that victim and their family it matters little who started the war.
Very well put Deborah! ! and I am in much agreement with all you wrote here.
I have studied the origins of organized, Man made-created religions ever since I was 13 yrs. old. Looking back in history ALL the horrific things humans have done (and are still doing) to each other in the name of "God" truly makes me ill..All I learned and continue to learn has led me to believe that all organized religions were created by Man to control Man-humans. I could not and can not be a part of any Faith/Religion that has justified hate,murder,genocide,bigotry,division,wars,greed, oppression,thirst for power,etc..all in the name of their "God" or religion!
I Respect all people's choices in faith & chosen religions..I expect the same Respect in my chosen path. Though I am often NOT given this respect,even have had many people turn their backs on me once learn I am Pagan. Tolerance is also a road to Peace. In Tolerance is a road to division,anger,hate,bigotry..etc. Love and acceptance is the only true path to Peace. We are all related,We are One race-Human.
I Honor Our Mother Earth and all living beings & nature living together upon this planet -as we are all connected.
you have hit on a very valuable thought ian and much less verbose than some of us well done i must concur and controlling others is not what peace is about! letting go and living life in a manner that i can look back in the end having no regrets knowing that the world is better of for having had me in it that is my goal !
As Jesus said the second greatest law is to love our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated. Any religion that does not do this is indeed of no benefit to mankind. What bothers me is the number of people who call themselves Christians, who know that Jesus condemned war and killing of any kind (or at least they should if they read their bibles), and yet they continue to go to and support churches that support war and killing? In the bible book of Act 10:34-35 it say: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him”. How can any church claim God is on the side of their country during wars, or that God favors their country over another? God is not into nationalism and as I said on another post, the bible does not teach nationalism above Christianity; and any religion that teaches that going to war to fight and kill comes before our treating all families of the world as you would like to be treated, is a ridiculous religion that only serves the desires of that religion to manipulate the people. The bible does not teach war; at John 13:34-35 Jesus said that his true follower would be know for their love, so why do millions of people follow Christian religions that are only “Christian” in their name but hypocritical to everything Jesus taught? The so called Christian nations of the world are the ones that are the most blood thirsty there are. Could the governments of this “Christian” nation go to war if it was not for the backing of the churches?
Consider a couple of quote from history regarding war and the churches: Religion often takes an aggressive lead in mobilizing countries for war. “Even in our churches we have put the battle flags,” admitted the late Harry Emerson Fosdick, a Protestant clergyman. And regarding the first world war, British brigadier general Frank P. Crozier said: “The Christian Churches are the finest blood-lust creators which we have, and of them we made free use.”
On September 17, 1939, over two weeks after Germany invaded Poland, the German bishops issued a joint pastoral letter in which they said: “In this decisive hour we admonish our Catholic soldiers to do their duty in obedience to the Führer and be ready to sacrifice their whole individuality. We appeal to the faithful to join in ardent prayers that the Divine Providence of God Almighty may lead this war to blessed success and peace for our fatherland and nation.”69
In the summer of 1940 Catholic bishop Franz Josef Rarkowski said: “The German Volk [People] . . . has an untroubled conscience . . . It knows that it is fighting a just war, one born of the necessity of a people’s self-preservation.”70
The New York Times in 1939 noted: “Periodicals of the German Protestant and Catholic Churches are now publishing many exhort[at]ive articles explaining the duties of soldiers fighting in the defense of their country and admonishing the German soldiers to fight in the spirit of Saint Michael for a German victory and a just peace.”71
Is it not apparent where the churches were leading the German people? Professor Gordon Zahn wrote: “The German Catholic who looked to his religious superiors for spiritual guidance and direction regarding service in Hitler’s wars received virtually the same answers he would have received from the Nazi ruler himself.”72
The religious guidance given is evidenced by the total support of the war by church members. Professor Heer explained: “Of about thirty-two million German Catholics—fifteen and a half million of whom were men—only seven openly refused military service. Six of these were Austrians.”73 The situation was the same with German Protestants.
So in each country the churches led their members into the war. Catholics slaughtered Catholics on the battlefields. Protestants killed Protestants. And church leaders on both sides prayed to God for victory!
How dishonoring to God it was to link his name with such horrible deeds! Certainly the Bible words are well applied to the churches: “They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by the works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort.”—Titus 1:16.
So until the people listen to the bible and quit listening to their churches that take them to war how can they say they support peace? This does not make the bible or God wrong, only the churches that claim to speak in his name but obviously don’t and are lying and misleading the people.
Like any tool or technology, Religion can be used for good or evil. Religion itself is neither......it is a body of knowledge and wisdom that has been accumulated. It has and is being used by some for their own selfish purposes, but that does not make the religion wrong, just the person who is abusing it.
By definition, religion is about spirituality, and the more we focus on our spirit and the connection between us all, the better off we are. As soon as hate comes in to the picture this is not religion....that is not spirituality, that is someone using the religion for their own means.
Smile! We are all in this together. We are HERE to help each other and to find common ground to promote peace throughout the world.
Richard I apologize, I read your post through twice and I still do not understand the exact point that you are trying to make? But lots of people have that trouble with me too :). Jesus indicated that there was absolute truth when in prayer to his Father he said at John 17:17: “Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth”. Also at John 8:32 Jesus said: “And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, 32 and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.” So not only is absolute truth available, it is recognizable to those that hear it.
It is not that truth is not available but most do not want to hear it. Why? It makes them responsible to God, to listen to Him and to apply His word in their lives and to do His will. It is like the scripture at 2Tim 4:3-4 that says: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”. (NIV) People try every way they can to make they way they live their lives “fit” what God approves instead of changing their lives to fit what God approves. Matthew 7:21-22 says: “"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”.
At Mt15:12-14, Jesus also referred to blind men, it reads: “Then the disciples came up and said to him: “Do you know that the Pharisees stumbled at hearing what you said?” 13 In reply he said: “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. 14 LET them be. Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” The same is true today, so many follow their choice of religious teacher, but if in effect he does not have the truth, he is a spiritually blind person who is making others blind by his teachings. Following a blind teacher may be excusable if you have no way to tell if a teaching is true or false, but Jesus gave them, in his teachings, directions to God. If everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus read their bibles for themselves it is pretty plain. He said at Mt 7:15-20: “
15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men]”. If they don’t have or teach real Christian principles; they are false profits! Here is an example, same one I gave in another post, Jesus said to love your enemies and to even pray for them (Mt 5:44-47). The churches of Christendom are the most blood guilty organization there are; they are false prophets by definition. Yet they try every which way they can by twisting the scripture (see Act 20:28-30) to make their unchristian conduct appear to the world to be approved by God. But the trouble is God can’t be fooled neither is He blind to their wickedness. Their day of reckoning is coming.