Man is a religious creature. No other animal looks up and sees anything other than stars. Being a religious creature is not necessarily a bad thing, but being an arrogant religious creature is the problem. Religion grows in stages. It goes from good, better, best, to better than thou. Moses was very aware as he climbed Mount Sinai that he was able to look DOWN on the children of Israel. You don’t believe in evolution? Take a look at God, or rather man’s concept of God. He has evolved from El Shaddai to Jehovah. As man understands more about his universe his concept of God grows. God’s up there saying, “Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed.”
I love it when religious groups pretend to get along. Take the term, “Judeo-Christian,” for instance. I can’t imagine a wider gulf than the one between Jews and Christians. What has made them odd bedfellows is a complete horror at the Muslims. A Jew will celebrate Christmas but will NOT even go near the Kabba, if he were even allowed to, because the Muslims hate the Jews, too. The Christians have taken the most revered part of the Jewish faith, the Torah, tore it up, and replaced it with their own condensed version of “the truth,” yet we still have the Judeo-Christian link.
Within Christianity are sub-sets. I call them sub-sets because they all have a common root, no matter what the two young men at your door tell you, but as the years rolled by the teachings of Jesus just weren’t complicated enough so you got “theologians” to tell you what the teachings really meant. A simple statement of, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” got all the way to, “Don’t eat meat on Friday.” I’m sorry, but I just can’t connect the dots. The subsets come in layers. There’s the Catholic, which evolved into Lutheran, and then the Protestants who sprang out of that idea. Then, long about 1850 or so America got involved and here come the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, and all the rest. Each layer of the onion got spicier as they were peeled back.
Each one of these groups has their own version of “the truth” and don’t argue with them because you’ll go to hell. They have all the answers and all the keys. The next layer is the non-denominational, and the church can be several hundred members to just one or two people meeting for “Bible Class.” Oh, and all these folks are waiting for the “end times,” which they are sure is NOW. They take every word of the Bible as literal, except when the Catholics are involved and then it’s all up for interpretation. I think the only thing they all agree on is “If it feels good DON’T do it!”
Then we come to the Muslims. Talk about evolution? These guys went from funny little men selling rugs to a full blown international force! Not all Muslims are fanatic, then not all Germans were Nazis either, but they had more than enough to get the job done. If you have fifteen sheep and one wolf, who’s gonna win? Mohammed went tearing across the Middle East and his sheep followed right behind him. Everybody wants to be next to a happening guy. And if you think the Muslims are crazy, just take in the Westboro Baptist Church some Sunday and see how that works out for you.
Then you have the Atheists, humanists, and all the other flavors of the “dig myself” generation. I personally do not believe there is a such thing as an Atheist. You may not believe that God is an old white man, but dude. . . look up! Can you do that? You can’t make one atom. Somebody made Brittney Spears, and did a darned good job, too. Myself, I’ve always had this fantasy about Marie Osmond in those special underwear, but I digress. The secularists maintain that everything comes from the natural order, but they never say where that order came from. Fact is you can’t “Prove” God. The realization of God is within. Once you’re convinced no one can take if from you, and if you’re never convinced no amount of logic will demonstrate great spiritual truths to you.
I was blessed with a very astute mother. She didn’t believe in Adam and Eve, thought Moses waded across a muddy marsh, and the miracle stories in the New Testament were literary devices to demonstrate great spiritual truths. She also blew a trumpet for the Salvation Army, go figure. I put my own mind to these things and came up with my own ideas which somewhat mirrored mom’s. I’m not crazy enough to think the earth is only six-thousand years old, but I am smart enough to know that for thousands of years we ate our cousins and then, in the flash of a moment we suddenly knew that was wrong, started writing, sailing and wearing all kinds of clothes. I don’t believe Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, but I believe they were the first man an woman with “realization of self.” They were the first man and woman infused with a human soul. God looked down and said, “Let us make man in our own image,” which to me implies that man was already down there scurrying around the rocks when God “breathed” that very special part of the human psyche into him. So, do I believe there is an actual entity that did that? Absolutely. Do I believe Jesus was a tad bit more than just a clever Rabbi? Yep! If I ever do meet Jesus I only have one question. Why did he ever put up with me?
So, that’s this Sunday run down on religions of the world. I missed some, I know, just highlighting the ones I think I understand. Take your choice of one of the above, and if none of them work, will Voo do?