God or Religion: The Truth


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Introduction

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. This I know for sure, if you really come to God in a contrite heart, broken over your sin, and seek him with of your heart as the verses above state , you will find him! What is the condition of your heart? Are you coming to Him with bitterness, resentment, unconfused sin, or parts of your life you are unwilling to give Him? You must seek Him with your whole heart. God is near to the brokenhearted.

Come to Him in this way. As you do this, you must wait patiently for the Lord to act, trusting that He will. Sometimes He may wait just to see how much we really trust Him or believe in Him. Lastly, you must find a church that will teach the bible correctly. There are churches everywhere that will help you to understand the truth of the bible.

I can help with questions and I will , but you need a group of believers to walk through life with you. Your daughter needs to see the Christian life lived out. I sincerely hope this helped you. I will pray for you. If nothing else, you have at least 20 people praying for you in America now! Jake, Great article and great answer to Marion. I hope your article and answer to Marion will minister to many others too.

Jake, I just wanted to say that you have a very powerful argument here. This page really sums up the kind of lifestyle I want to start living. Thank you for the encouraging comment. It sounds like you are on the right track. If you have come to the place where you believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as God and man, that he died for your sins on the cross, and was raised again, and you have repented of your sin and chosen to turn over control of your life to him, then you already have the relationship with him.

John says you are his child. You now have direct access to the throne of heaven! No need to go through anyone else or jump through any religious hoops. Jesus alone is your mediator, your bridge See 1 Timothy Now you can work on growing that relationship, making it stronger and deeper. Spend time with him in prayer, praise, and meditation on the Word.

The Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you. Also, it is important for you to be part of a local church that believes in the truth of scripture and can help you grow. Where do you live? Perhaps I can help you find one. What you need to seek out are close relationships with Christians that can help you grow. That means spending time with you and living life with you. I have grown more in my life through the help of others than I ever have on my own. It should be available at most Christian book stores. I will be praying for you.

I am also here to help with any questions or issues you encounter. Please feel free to contact me. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Basically, the bible says the Jesus came to pay our debt for us and die in our place. We […]. You contributed your response to Marion so that it would be available to others as well for you are hopeful, I assume, that others will enjoy the gift Jesus brought you as you have yourself.

So I also would like to offer an addition that I have found most helpful and comforting. I call it an addition because it goes beyond your response and seem more radically Christian and therefore more likely, in my view, to be what Jesus had it mind.

It certainly has been a gift to me. All that is required of us is openness. Believing is not a requirement. Believing is itself a gift given by the Spirit who blows where he wills. So your exhortation to Marion to believe sounded to me like imposing an obligation. Believing will or will not happen as God wishes. All we can do is give testimony to what it is like for us and to tell the stories that have inspired us. The rest is for the Spirit to accomplish.

She is up to the task I hope I do not offend by using the female pronoun, and it is very likely that task will not be done our way. John, Thanks for the comment. Just to be clear, I totally agree with you about the Holy Spirit being a gift of God. Indeed He is God gifting Himself to us. Additionally, I also agree that even our faith in God is a gift from Him. You can see this in Eph However, I do hold that faith and belief are requirements for salvation.

While it is given by God, it is absolutely required in order to know Him. Jesus says,. But to be sure, I believe in both. I urge Marion to believe, because Jesus urged people to believe. Repent and believe the good news! While the spiritual reality is that faith is given by God, the way we perceive that faith being given is by us choosing to follow.

By this I mean to us it seems we choose even though in reality we are chosen. So by all means, I encourage people to choose God. The realization that they were really chosen by God can come later. You need to be careful about the implications of the theology you are espousing here. It has the dangerous potential, if taken to its ultimate conclusion, of downplaying the importance of preaching the gospel, sharing Jesus Christ and evangelizing the lost.

Jesus Himself commands us to go and make disciples the great commission Matt The verbs here are go, make, baptize, and teach. These actions are intended to tell us we need to do something. Paul expressed it this way:. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? My effort is to bring the good news to all who will listen.

The good news does call people to repentance and faith. Only God can do that. However, I must be obedient to preach the truth and call them to it. This article and the comments left have added considerably to my understanding! Thankyou very much for taking the time to write everything you have. Firstly, I have yet to understand how exactly our sins are removed because Jesus Christ died on the Cross. I feel that this gap in my understanding is indeed a huge abyss, for it is the basis of faith and belief, is it not?

I know these are probably common, rather broad and simplistic questions. I really hope I can find answers to my questions soon :! That being said, thankyou again for this article — I will hunt for more of your work to expand my knowledge! Thanks Jessica. These are very good questions. I can see that God is at work in your heart. I want to address your two questions in two separate responses so that I can spend some time on each. I only have enough time right now to answer the first one, but I will also address the second when I get a chance.

Indeed, I think most Christians probably struggle with understanding this point. I know I used to. My lack of understanding here came from my small understanding of who God is. The more I began to learn about who He is and how great He is, the more this idea of Jesus paying the penalty for me began to make sense. Let me see if I can help some. This is of course true 1 John , but it is also only one aspect of who God is. God is also just and holy. His wrath alone is mentioned over times!

But, Jesus also spoke about hell more than anyone else in the bible! The very verse people quote above that said God is love 1 John is immediately followed by this passage that talks about wrath and justice. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to satisfy His wrath and take away our sins. Did you catch that last part? In fact, the justice of God is the reason we know what love is.

We see that God is love because God is just. The two go hand-in-hand. Let me explain why. Anger is not always bad, it can be a righteous virtue. Anger is the correct response to injustice. God is aroused slowly and often withholds His response Ex and Ps but He does get angry with sin. In fact this response from Him is necessary. So why is this response from God necessary?

The bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom Ps We need to first start our understanding of God with an understanding of His justice and holiness before we can rightly know what His love is. Paul starts out his presentation of the gospel in Romans with discussing the wrath of God Rom This is why Paul starts here.

God is just or righteous same word in Hebrew and Greek. He does not and cannot overlook evil. If God did not punish all sin he would be unjust, unrighteous. He must be angry because of sin because God is good. His anger is directly linked to His goodness. God hates sin Prov and Zach I believe if we understood how holy God really is it would totally blow us away.

We would feel so dirty and ashamed of our sin. I think one day when we fully understand how ugly our sin is, we will start to grasp how we have wronged God. Both must be upheld. Both are equally important aspects of His character. One cannot be ignored in favor of the other or God would no longer be God. He cannot act outside of His very nature.

If God just turned His back on all the evil, all the wrong things done in this world and just let it all go, He would be unjust. He must punish evil or He is no longer just. It applies to my sin and yours. Wayne Grudem, theologian and Professor at Phoenix Seminary says it this way. But, the Justice of God also required that God find a way that the penalty due to us for our sins would be paid for he could not accept us into fellowship with himself unless the penalty was paid.

Here Paul says that God had been forgiving sins in the Old Testament but no penalty had been paid—a fact that would make people wonder whether God was indeed just and ask how he could forgive sins without a penalty. No God who was truly just could do that, could he? It is not helpful for us to ask which one is more important, because without the love of God, he never would have taken the steps to redeem us, yet without the justice of God, the specific requirement that Christ should earn our salvation by dying for our sins would not have been met.

Both the love and justice of God are equally important. There are some big ideas and large words in that quote. But hopefully it helps you to get a picture of the situation. God is just and therefore cannot let the penalty go unpaid. Jesus volunteers to pay the penalty so that God can remain just and display His love for us in a way that is completely unbelievable. Nope, the debt had to be paid. The only way was for God to pay it Himself. He was the only one qualified to pay it. He alone was without His own sin. It had to be Jesus or we were doomed to hell forever.

When Jesus went to the cross for us, God literally placed all of the guilt from our sins on Jesus Isa , When Jesus was on the cross He became so filthy with our sin that God could no longer look upon him. God turned away, and for the first time in history Jesus felt separation from His Father. These verses tell us that it was God Himself that actually placed our sins on Jesus.

But how could this be? Some have objected that it was not fair for God to transfer guilt to an innocent person, but we need to remember that it was actually Jesus who volunteered to pay the penalty. There was no coercion. Jesus voluntarily went in our place. The difference, of course, is that in this situation it was an unjust debt. In our situation we owe it, big time! Hopefully that helps some. As a Christian of many years I am still so young in my journey and it is a constant learning curve for me.

Raised in a non-christian house I have been surrounded by non-christians all my life. My acceptance of Christ as a teenager was something that disturbed my non-christian family and to this day, they still question my faith. Their disbelief is primarily that God is a figment of ones imagination and is a means by which people seek solace in times of need or by which people try to control others.

Therefore they want no part in it. On the other hand they feel that in saying humans are sinful and wrong Christians are passing judgement and trying to impose their beliefs on others. We are bigots and we are doing a horrible thing by trying to indoctrinate them and most especially their children. For me to tell them in any way shape or form that they are being sinful and are doing wrong would cause them to feel anger and hatred towards my faith and to detest the fact that I love the Lord with all my heart.

Hinduism and its beliefs

Nina, thanks for the comment and question. First I would just like to encourage you to keep pressing on fighting the good fight. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to stand by your beliefs in such a hostile environment. Remember that God says you are blessed when you are persecuted for His name.

In fact He says to consider it joy! My advice to you would be to wage a campaign of prayer. Prayer is SO powerful! It is usually the first thing we talk about but the last thing we do. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in your family; to convict them of sin and prepare the way for you to share. If your family made it clear that they do not want you to try to persuade them to believe, I think you should respect their wishes and pray that God would soften their hearts. Yiu cannot do anything to save them. Apart from a work of God in their hearts giving them faith, they will not hear or understand your words.

This is what Paul tels us in 1 Cor Consider fasting in and praying. As you pray for God to work in them, also pray the the Holy Spirit will fill you with the power to live like Jesus. If they see a real change in you, how you react, how you serve, and how you love, they will see your faith as a source of strength, not a crutch to help the weak.

They will know your faith is real when they can see it lived out. Repay evil with kindness. Love when you are attacked. You cannot do this in your own power. It will have to be God working through you, this is why it is important to pray for Him to do this work in your heart. Confess your sin. Repent of anything God shows you that needs to change. Your focus needs to be on your life. As you do this eventually God wil begin to make headway into their hearts. God can use your life as contrast to theirs and point out their sin. He will guide you and show you when the proper time is to share why there is a change in you.

This part takes some discernment so pray for that as well. As a general rule, wait until they ask you what is going on.

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Is Christianity the One True Religion?

When you do speak about God be sure do do it from a position of humility, acknowledging your many faults and showing thanks for how much God has saved you from. There are times when it is appropriate and necessary to point out their sin, but if they are seeing you and Christians as judgmental, then the best approach may be to talk about your sin and what God has saved you from.

Paying or not paying taxes has nothing to do with being a religion. It has absolutely nothing to do with if they are religions or not. Is that what you think? The word religion certainly has many definitions like many words in the English language. I have done this very clearly in my blog above. Do you disagree that Christianity is not a religion by the definition that I gave? No argument there. We agree. However, this is not the common use of the word. There is much more implied there than that they believe in a god of some kind.

Also, people can believe in the existence of a god but not be religious and not belong to any religion. I believe in the existence of my wife. Belief is absolutely necessary in order to have a relationship. This is no different than the fact that I believe in the existence of my wife because I know her. That is not intellectually honest. In it, a Christian is supposed to obey God without question. The fact that we are communicating shows that at some level we ARE having a relationship. I may not be able to see God, but I can and certainly do hear Him and feel Him.

My relationship with Him is undeniably real. Since I am the only one who can testify what MY relationship with God like, I think I am in the best position to comment on it. He is very real. He speaks to me frequently in unmistakable ways. He stirs my heart and my spirit and moves me to want and desire new things that I never thought I would ever desire before. It is only someone who knows God, who has experienced this same thing that can understand this or will believe it. But, once you have, there is no doubting it.

My relationship with Jesus is as real to me as any earthly relationship. In so many ways it is deeper. It is one of mutual love. That is what you cannot understand without experiencing it. The relationship between me and my Savior is not one of slave to master. It is one of close brother to brother. It is one of son to loving Father. I gladly choose to obey because I love Him and I know that He knows what is best.

His plan and His way is the best way. It is in my best interest to follow Him because He knows everything all ways and has chosen the best path for me. Additionally, He is continually at work in my heart changing me. He gives me new desires and I find that I no longer want to go my way. There are certainly times when I disobey and go my own way and not His. However, without fail this turns out to my detriment and to the detriment of those I love.

When I repent and turn back to His way He is always there with open arms welcoming me back and helping me want to grow. What arrogance to think that we can tell God what is right and that He is wrong. It is simply a fact that God is right. It is His very nature. He cannot be un-right. Right and wrong only make sense in relation to God. Without an external God separated from His creation there is no such thing as objective right an wrong. We would have no concept of right or wrong apart from God.

Everything would be purely subjective. So, of course God is right. I have a real relationship with my earthly Father. However, there are certainly times when we disagreed. Yes, this was wrong. There were consequences when I disobeyed. He was still my father and I was still his son. I still have a relationship with him in fact a very good one. I am not his slave just because he gave me healthy boundaries, set rules and called me to obey them. They were for my safety and well being. Do you think that perhaps my Dad may have know a few more things that I, as an 8 year old boy, did?

Is it possible he might have known better than I did if it was a good idea for me to go walking around town at midnight? Perhaps the almighty God of the universe might know a little bit more than you do? You are a sinner. Like all of us you have chosen to rebel against the holy, just and good God of this universe. You have thumbed you nose at Him and and the sound of submitting to Him is like nails on a chalk board to you.

You would rather continue to go your way because you have believed the lie that you know better than God what is good and right for you. If you only could see the truth that of what you are missing. If you only knew that the real freedom, the real joy, the real hope, the real life is only found when you fulfill the purpose for which you were created and repent of your way and let God lead.

It is my prayer that you will. There is a real eternal hell at stake here. Just as God cannot be un-right, He can also not be unjust. His very character is just. He must punish evil and sin. If He overlooked it He would be unjust. The only hope of escaping this punishment is the fact that Jesus agreed to take this punishment for those who repent and agree to let God lead. Jesus stepped in on the cross and took our punishment, the penalty that we rightly deserved so that God could remain just and so that we could live.

This was the only way both could be satisfied. If you do not repent and place God in His rightful position of Lord of your life, you will pay for your own sin in hell for all eternity. However, if you swallow your pride, admit you are wrong and that He is right, and place your trust in Him, you can live forever with Him in a love relationship that will grow and grow for eternity. This is the most rewarding and wonderful relationship you could ever have. I know from personal experience.

I was where you are now. But I gave in, I realized my way was not the right way. I realized that I was drinking out of the toilet when I was being offered fresh, purified water. I came to Him dirty and full on sin and my own pride. I laid it all at the foot of His cross and repented and it was all gone, in an instant. He took it all upon Him and suddenly I was set free in a way I cannot express. I have never been the same since. I am a new person. I truly do desire this for you.

I will pray for you and I am here if you have any questions. The greatest thing he has never known. Matiny, This is a good question. You are referring to John Ironically and most likely not coincidentally , it is a subject that was directly discussed in the sermon preached at my church on the same day you posted your comment. I highly recommend that you listen to this sermon. I think it will help answer your question and provide you with my perspective in better detail. The sermon above is much more thorough than I can be here, but I will try to give a quick summary of my thoughts.

The scriptures are very clear that we, as New Testament followers of Jesus, are not under the specific and direct commands of the Old Testament law. This can be clearly seen in numerous Scripture passages. A few are: Eph. The Mosaic Law was not intended as a universal and eternal reflection of the will of God. It was intended for a particular time, place and people.

In Christ, it is no longer binding. Abel, Noah, Abraham and many others were declared righteous before the law. Moses, Joshua, David, the prophets and many others born under the law were declared righteous not through obedience to the law but through faith in the promises of God. Now, in Christ, we relish in the final revelation of the fulfillment of the promises in the coming of the object of the faith Jesus Christ who alone justifies.

We are not under the law but under grace Romans However, this is not a passport for living how we want and thumbing our nose at God. But what is the law of Christ?

Connecting with the Divine

This can be answered by looking at a few verses. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. The law of Christ is love; love for others and love for God. Jesus tells us that love fulfills the whole law Matt We are called to love. By doing so, we fulfill all the intent and purpose of the rules of the law without needed to obey the letter. Jesus actually modeled this for us when He was on earth. That is where the passage you asked about comes in. Look at the verse the immediately follows the one you quote, John You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us with this commandment to love. Thus it is actually His work, not ours. The Holy Spirit empowers us and helps us love overcoming our selfishness. He says that if you try to obey part of the law then you are obligated to keep the whole thing. As we place our faith in God, he changes our hearts. The Holy Spirit helps us to genuinely love God and love others. This faith works itself out as love in our lives. Therefore, those who have faith will love, and thus, fulfill the law of Christ. Not sure i understand your post. These things themselves have no moral implications.

They are just things. Consequently, beliefs were considered to be the defining core of any religion. Religions, however, entail also liturgical, contemplative and moral practices.

If the question of truth of religion is to refer to any type of religion and not only for instance monotheistic ones, it must be considered on a broad basis. First, if such a broad basis is to be developed at least four categories must be correlated: religion, truth, truth of religion religious truth and study of religion. None of them is unambiguous or obvious and this fact makes it practically impossible to discuss all possible combinations of their meanings. Even if in everyday life people in the western culture have no significant problems in using competently the term "religion" and at the bottom of their use there is common human experience of the world, we seem to have no satisfactory, scientific or philosophical, definition of religion which would cover all situations and ways of speaking about religion and religious phenomena.

When sociologically considered, religion is a complicated cultural state of affairs constituted by cult rite, worship , a doctrine and an institutional organization. The doctrinal aspect of a given religion is equally difficult to determine for it consists of a complex and extensive system of beliefs developed throughout the ages by generations of believers.

The whole issue is further complicated by the fact that debates on truth of religion and on the way in which religious truths must be interpreted are going on not only between different religions but also within some particular religion: between churches, denominations, religious groups, sects, etc. The philosophical nature of truth is equally difficult to explain. When asking about the truth of religion the researcher has a choice between many competing philosophical theories and definition of truth, both classical and non-classical.

According to the classical correspondence theory, truth consists in adequacy between things and intellect. According to the coherence theory a proposition is true if it coheres with a system of propositions. According to the pragmatic theory truth is what fulfills our practical interests and human praxis is the criterion of truth.

Today there are more popular alternative theories of truth, generally labelled "deflationary", which challenge the classical theory and claim that truth is a theoretically insignificant concept. All those definitions of truth can find in various degrees applications in studying of religion and each of them gives rise to specific problems. The issue is to find such a definition of truth of religion which could be applicable to any religion. Let us notice at the beginning the following ways of speaking: religious truth, truth of religion, true religion, truth question in religion, truth about religion.

Each of them presents difficulties. In the domain of religions "truth" can mean very different things. Religious truth can be treated a feature of religion in general or of a definite religion. In the case of religious truth one deals with a propositional truth, i. Thus, the problem here arises: how to conceive the truth of religion taken as a doctrinal system in the same manner as the truth of a scientific theory is conceived?

In the study of religion we find a distinction between intra-religious and extra-religious truth of religion.

A complex God: why science and religion can co-exist

The extra-religious truth concerns historical events whose truth can be determined from outside also by a person who is not a believer of that particular religion, e. The intra-religious truth concerns the supernatural content of religious beliefs and its truth can be determined only from inside of a given religion by a believer through one's own revelation of God or through appeal to the authority of the divine founder of that religion. The truth about God in Christ is not a statement of a historical fact but the article of faith.

The question of truth of religion acquires different meanings which depend on religion under consideration. That is its meaning depends on whether we consider religion in general or a specific type of religion such as religions of tribal culture, non-literate religions worship of ancestors, Animism, Manism, Fetishism, Totemism, etc. It is relatively easy to apply the notion of truth to monotheistic religions.

How can one however apply that notion to ancient religious myths? And how can one apply the notion of truth to contemporary atheistic "religions" which lack any transcendent object of devotion and to those which only function as religions Scientology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy? The problem of truth of religion becomes even more complicated in the case of esoteric religions Buddhism, Wedanta, Christian Gnosis which assume the existence of two kinds of truth: surface truth and deep truth.

The latter kind includes truth which cannot be expressed in any discursive language and is accessible only for the initiated. Articulation of supernatural religious truth also presents difficulties because of its transcendent object of reference that may need the language of analogy. The question of truth of religion, especially of Christianity, involves numerous presuppositions: ideological, philosophical, theological, religious, etc. It can also acquire different meanings: cultural, epistemological, sociological, psychological, historical, substantial or functional, objective or subjective, etc.

In what follow I explain these meanings but I do not determine their mutual relations. Each of the past and contemporary religions is true in the trivial sense that it came historically into being and has a history. More specifically, historical truthfulness is understood as genesis, identity and institutional and doctrinal continuity of a given especially oral religious tradition determined by the historicity of its founder and its Holy Scriptures.

At the beginning of religious community we usually find a charismatic leader, like Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Zarathustra, Jesus Christ, Mani, Muhammad, gathering disciples who then strive to keep faithfully to the teaching of the master. This kind of historical truth of religion concerns only a limited group of traditions with well determined origins and well documented history.

What is often meant by truth of religion is the doctrinal dimension of religion: the subjects covered by oral or written tradition in the form of more or less systemized religious statements about the supernatural and natural world. Every religion is a confession of faith for in each of them its believers foster some hopes about the hereafter world.

Truth of religion is here identified with religious truth understood as knowledge orientated towards the ultimate deepest reality called by various names: God, Dharma, Tao, the Sacred, etc. A religion is true in the sense that it states that the transcendent, supernatural, sacred reality exists. Moreover, the object of beliefs consists of religious truths considered as infallible and eternal and hence fundamentally different from hypothetical scientific statements, truths that promise something that can be fulfilled only in the supernatural life to come.

There is also a problem of orthodoxy heterodoxy and its criteria. Orthodoxy with respect to religious life means the correct beliefs coming from a sacred, more or less institutional authority. All main religious traditions know the idea of orthodoxy although it is expressed in various terms. Each tradition is interested in its own orthodoxy and has established its own criteria for acceptance of orthodoxy and rejection of heterodoxy. It is usually the Scripture that serves to delineate what is acceptable and unacceptable in a religious tradition: insistence on infallibility of the Bible and of the canonical text of Koran but also of Buddhist or Christian councils, acceptance of the bishop of Rome as the primary authority, etc.

There are such religious traditions which employ very strict criteria of purity and conformity. On the other hand there are religious traditions which have no officially established creed Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam and also such traditions which stress not orthodoxy but morality and ritual. All religious traditions allow for variety of beliefs within a bigger unit and tolerate some deviant beliefs. The traditional Chinese saw nothing strange in the existence of more than one religion in his life. Furthermore, the degree to which unorthodoxy is considered serious deviance varies both across traditions and also across the history of a particular tradition for in the same tradition the beliefs stressed as having vital significance differ in the course of time.

In one of its meanings credibility refers to religious statements concerning the hereafter life. It is not sufficient to prove the historicity of a given religion for instance that Christ existed and founded the Church. What remains is the problem of whether and how that religion is able to keep its eschatological promises: individual resurrection and life after death. Hick in life after death provides at least partial solution to the problem of truth of Christianity. This truth consists in its redeeming power that really ensures friendship with God and eternal happiness through liberation from sin.

The credibility of religious truths is determined by arguments immanent to a given religion and by use of theological methods. The strength of faith which is expressed in every life of the believers and sometimes in martyrdom of the saints can also be offered as an argument for credibility of a certain religion. Here the question is how to distinguish genuine authentic religious phenomena from para- or pseudoreligious ones.

This distinction presupposes already the notion definition of true religion which could serve as a litmus test for identifying phenomena which are in fact religious. An unauthentic religion can have functionally some features of an authentic religion but for some other essential reasons it cannot be seen as genuine religion. Unfortunately, there is no agreement between scholars as to the criteria of true religion, especially as religion constitutes an integral part of culture. The problem of the definition of religion consists in the question of what distinguishes religious phenomena from other cultural phenomena.

The distinction between culture and religion is characteristic for the western culture but there are other cultures, such as Islamic, which do not make this distinction very sharp. There is such an understanding of truth of religion which connects it with uniqueness and exclusiveness. A religion which sees itself as absolute takes other religions to be false, i. This type of exclusiveness characterizes Christianity and to even a greater degree Judaism and Islam.

The Catholic Church, seeing in the person of Jesus Christ the divine revelation of God, believes that it has the full truth and proclaims as dogma that extra ecclesiam nulla salus. From this position the Catholic Church fought in the past against all other forms of religious tradition. In contrast the historical-religious school E. Troeltsch that arose within liberal protestant theology at the end of the XIX century postulated incorporating Christianity into the general history of religions because God's revelation is found in every religion and the relative absoluteness of Christianity can be proven only by way of historical comparison.

Hinduism and its beliefs

Since religious beliefs constitute an essential element of almost every religion the question of truth of religious beliefs dogmas amounts to the question of their rationality. The consistency of beliefs propositions is a distinctive expression sign of rationality.

However, a religious system might be perfectly consistent and yet have no appreciable degree of coherence L. But how can one consider beliefs of a given religion as a coherent and consistent system? If untouchability could be a part of Hinduism, it could but be a rotten part or an excrescence … What was the meaning of saying that the Vedas were the inspired Word of God? If they were inspired, why not also the Bible and the Koran? This proselytization will mean no peace in the world … My position is that all the great religions are fundamentally equal. We must have innate respect for other religions as we have for our own.

When C. What the Bhagwat offers the Bible also offers. You have not yet made the attempt to find it out. I could not endure this … I heard of a well known Hindu having been converted to Christianity. It was the talk of the town that, when he was baptized he had to eat beef and drink liquor, that he also had to change his clothes, and that thenceforth he began to go about in European clothing including a hat. These things got on my nerves. Surely, thought I, a religion that compelled one to eat beef, drink liquor, and change one's own clothes did not deserve the name.

I also heard that the new convert had already begun abusing the religion of his ancestors, their customs and their country. All these things created in me a dislike for Christianity. He did, when he discovered the New Testament and the Sermon on the Mount which went straight to his heart. And if they would help us to get rid of the admitted abuses and purify our religion, they would do helpful constructive work which would be gratefully accepted.

But so far as one can understand the present effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from the very foundation and replace it by another faith. For both the terms presuppose equality of status, a common platform. The thought in its purity is before you. To ponder over, to imbibe. Comment is superfluous.


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Even if comment be superfluous, lets end this communication with a story. Once a man and the devil were walking down a lonely street on a moonless night. As they went along, they saw another figure in front of them. The Truth picked up my man, institutionalized and often fossilised by him into religious dogma and creed, is subtly worked over by the devilish intentions of bigotry and obscurantism. Let the devil look for other avenues to exercise his powers. Man being what he is, and his predilections being what they are, he will give the devil plenty of other places to work very hard over, for sure.

Gandhi's thought may provide man the necessary strength to pick up the Truth once again. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Mens Sana Monogr v. Mens Sana Monogr. Ajai R. Singh and Shakuntala A. Singh Find articles by Ajai R. Shakuntala A. Singh Find articles by Shakuntala A. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract Gandhi believed in judging people of other faiths from their stand point rather than his own. Introduction It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, but am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. On Religion Gandhi of course was born a Hindu but his interpretation of Hinduism was his own.

A story Even if comment be superfluous, lets end this communication with a story. They then saw him pick up something from the ground. The man was stupefied. Let man pick up the Truth again. Let the Truth reside in temples once again. And let the Truth be perceived there by men all around.

God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth
God or Religion: The Truth God or Religion: The Truth

Related God or Religion: The Truth



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