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Organized Religion vs Faithby
What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? I don't know. I wonder if anyone knows. Many people seem to think they do, and some of them have convinced many other people of their beliefs, but that doesn't mean they're true, false or just very cleverly half-baked. It means that people desperately want something to believe in, and want someone else to give them the answer.
Want a religion? Pick one? You can't just go and pick what you believe out of a catalog of religions, and then call it your faith, because it isn't yours! A faith is something that you have to figure out on your own. By all means, read stuff. Borrow ideas, even. But in the end, if it doesn't make sense or mean anything to you, you don't believe in it.
Organized religion de-values the whole point of having a 'faith' of your own, because it places so much emphasis on rituals and historical traditions, and your 'standing' in the hierarchy of their 'community'. Personally I think placing so much emphasis on these things is an INSULT to God, as if He's keeping score of how many little songs of praise you sang last year, or how much you donated to the Church so they could re-paint their roof.
Organized religion is just another useful little box to categorize people by. It is a tool to keep people even more under governmental control. Many christians believe every single word uttered in the bible is the direct word of God. The really sad thing is that these people often really DO believe that they're genuinely helping others by trying to 'convert' them. All very useful facts for governments based on 'christianity' to exploit.
All the various flavours of Christians can spend their entire lives squabbling over tiny details and little differences in this or that person's interpretation of whatever part of the bible. But they're missing the point. The bible was written by petty humans over hundreds of years. Petty humans, who, just like the ones today, can sometimes like to twist stories a little to make certain sides of things look better, or for political gain.
Don't let someone else put you in THEIR box. Everything isn't either black or white, right or wrong. All that matters is WHO you are deep down, and what you do with your life. Figure out which shade of grey works best for you.
[For a lot of interesting info on the history of the bible, and who decided which scriptures to leave out, go here.]
9 April 2005