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What If?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

This is a section of the ACS Cancer site. It's a place where we can more openly (I suppose) talk about how we deal with the certainty of death along with how we, as individuals, cope with it, come to terms with it, deny it will happen...whatever we want to talk about. It's also a setting that we are all aware of so if we don't like what is being talked about we can avoid it. Simple...yes.

But as I read many of the threads and posts I am somewhat surprised that there is not a wide variety of faiths discussed here. I did a few quick random searches on major religions of the world and this is the list I came up with. I know it may not be totally accurate at all but I think it may be close to being right. I do not see a "none of the above" option either.

Christianity: 2.1 billion
Islam: 1.5 billion
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
Hinduism: 900 million
Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
Buddhism: 376 million
primal-indigenous: 300 million
African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
Sikhism: 23 million
Juche: 19 million
Spiritism: 15 million
Judaism: 14 million
Baha'i: 7 million
Jainism: 4.2 million
Shinto: 4 million
Cao Dai: 4 million
Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
Tenrikyo: 2 million
Neo-Paganism: 1 million
Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
Scientology: 500 thousand

I know that the USA was founded on Christian beliefs so I can understand that the majority of posts would be based in that faith.

So here is my "What if" thought.
What if the Christian God is not "the God". Do people think that this is a remote possibility at all? Do you think that people who have a different faith than Christianity are destined to Hell? Do you think any of this really matters or that we all wind up getting whatever our belief system is? And there is of course, that life is short and when it's over it's over.

Just some food for thought if anyone if hungry.
-p

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

I believe I read somewhere that Islam is the fastest growing Religion, but not that they were the largest. That's probably true, based upon Phil's breakdown of the various Religions of the world.

I too have numerous well educated and intelligent family members, and some are believers, some not, and for all the same reasons you mentioned, some require proof in order to believe something, except of course, for the very things they DO believe in....(and those things they tend to expect everyone else to simply accept as fact, even when our own personal experiences and beliefs dictate otherwise).
They do however, seem able to conjur up enough belief in something they profess not to believe in, to occasionally blame it for all the ills of the world as though that were some sort of proof that whatever my beliefs are, could, or should have, prevented, some current catastrophe or another. Go figure.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I'm sure many people would try to blame God for bad things just as credit if often given for every good thing that happens. There is also that saying that many men find God in a foxhole.

As far as which religion is #1, I do not know how accurate the site I found was, it was a random site that I found more to get across the point that there are PLENTY of belief systems out there, not who's in the lead. I have also found that intelligence, or lack of it, really has nothing to do with religion or a belief in God. I really don't think religion has anything to do with spirituality either. There are many people who are spiritual and not very religious and those who are religious and not very spiritual. I would take spirituality over religion any day. I feel it comes from the heart.
That's my opinion...

I do not think I have come across any atheists here at all. There are a few agnostics, myself being one of them, who do not know the answer and I'm OK with that.
-p

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5604
Joined: Apr 2009

Jesus said other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. I believe God has true believes in every religion in the world. There are many good Muslim, Hindu, and Buddust people all living by what they know and believe as truth. This is why I am glad that I will not be judged by man but by my savior

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

tells me to not place another God before me, it is His intent to have no other Gods before Him , meaning that to worship anything other than Him be it material or not means that we are placing that object before Him in which breaks one of the 10 Commandments. To me He is "The God" and He is whom I shall worship ........

Buzz

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

Thanks Buzz

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Quote "To me He is "The God" and He is whom I shall worship" ........kinda sounds abrasive....wasn't meant to be, hope I didn't rub anyone the wrong way with it.....there again posting leaves out the personality so sometimes its not what it seems....:)

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

You were not taken as brash at all. It was right to the point.
I am agnostic so I don't know the answer. One reason I am agnostic is that there are so many faiths and everyone feels they are right and they have the teachings of their faith to back them up if you know what I mean. Well, everyone can't be right or can they? Maybe we all get what we believe in. It's a deep subject that is as old as time itself I think. Man (and women...) always searched for answers as to why we are here, what's the meaning of life, is there life after death, and so on.

Joseph Campbell wrote many books on religion, theology, and myth and it's importance in the life as all of us as human beings. I've enjoyed reading his book "the Power of Myth" and how he explores common themes in religions (and myths) like virgin births, crucifixion and resurrection, original sin, and other topics that I used to think were strictly Christians beliefs but are universal and timeless.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5604
Joined: Apr 2009

Buzz I too agree and believe very strongly that as Christians we should keep Gods Ten Commandments but I question if they will save anyone by keeping them.

The book of Ephesians tells me, by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: I guess my question is, are only Christians going to be saved, then I wonder what is to happens to all the innocent people in the world who never had a chance to know him.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

The 10 Commandments are a tool used to be "as like" God as possible. These are how He wants you to be at all times...Free will he gives you causes the interruptions that cause sin and the reasons to sometimes stray from His commandments ...We are as Christians being devout to God, suppose to share the teachings of His Word through ministries and everyone on the face of the earth should know about God and Jesus Christ or have been told of them at some point. Then if they "with open mouth admit that He is their Lord and Saviour then they shall be saved", only those that have "never" been introduced to His teachings either through ministry, missionaries or other ways will be saved by grace from the Lord. But, He wants His Word to reach all ends of the earth, the reasoning for ministries and missionaries etc...

Interesting Hondo...you are very versed with the Bible and eloquent speaker as well..Thank you.....I never try to argue my beliefs for they are just that, mine. But, to have a talk about them and not a squabble or debate, it is very very filling...Thanks for giving me things to think about..It keeps me "on my game", as an elder I need to stay focused as well.......Buzz

and thank you too as well Phil, for starting topics like these...it does make me dig a little deeper in the well, makes for good study guides for me.....:)

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5604
Joined: Apr 2009

The first 4 commandments teach us who God is, what God did, and what mans duty is to God, the last 6 teach us our duty to each other. It is hard to understand how our government must write thousands of new laws every year and God just 10, if we can all learn to live by just those 10 there would be no need for any other laws.

I believe before the end that every man and every woman will have a chance to know who God is as stated in Matthew 24:14. As you said our job as Christians is to take that massage to the world, I to believe in his mercy people who never had a chance to know Him will also be saved.

I must say you are a very wise man, arguing about religion is exactly what Satan wants, he loves nothing more then to see God people pulling apart, it is the main reason what people give up on religion. If we as Christians could all come together and study His word and His word only, and lay aside our traditions and personal opinions what a revival that would be.

I am only a fisherman the only training I had was by studying, Cancer has taking a lot of my memory away and the dyslexia I had growing up is returned I guess do to the radiation to the head. Now all I have is his Holy Spirit to guide me and his words to confront me. I still work full time and I too am an elder of my local Church. Satan tried to kill me with Cancer three times, but God used it as a blessing to draw me closer to Him.

Take care my friend and may God continue to bless you

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

Well the Sufis say that there are as many paths to Allah/God as there are hairs on ones head. And there are 70 000 veils between us a Allah/God, the work of a Sufi is to remove these veils (also known as aspects of the ego). I admit I like this aspect of the work, that is the removing of the veils, looking deeply into my own physche to understand what is obscuring me from Allah/God.

While Sufism is not a religion but rather the mystical aspect of Islam, personally I resonate with the tolerance of the Sufis in that whatever your religion let us remove these veils and stand naked in the presence of Allah/God, let us remember Allah/God. After all we are here because of Allah/God.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I have heard a similar saying although not quite but that way.
I believe that must be may paths, at least about the knowledge of our existence.

It is refreshing to hear an different point of view here.
There seems to be a lot of baldness here at times
;-)
peace
-p

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

"He who comes to believe, even against against his will...is of the same opinion still", I guess that probably applies to strands of hair as well, or even cage fighting....if that's what it takes.

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