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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

Do you ever wonder why there are so many religions, so many gods, so many varied ways of reserving your seat in the 'live forever club'? I know I do. Each and every religion is completely and without a doubt convinced that their belief is the right one, the only right one. Some are more obvious about this exclusive conviction than others, but it's there. Why would you follow a religion if you thought it was the second-best one? It wouldn't make any sense because, in the end, you wouldn't make the cut. The Jewish Torah is basically the first five books of the Bible which, according to Jewish tradition, was revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, so, no Jesus, no Messiah. Christians, on the other hand believe that Jesus came along, changed all the rules and pretty much made the Old Testament irrelevant. They believe that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus, cutting out all of those of the Jewish faith. Muslims don't believe that Jesus was the Messiah, they believe that Mohammed was the true prophet, so, that excludes both the Jewish and the Christians. Each one of the three religions based on the Abrahamic god excludes the other and aren't even really keen on sharing space in this existence, much less in heaven. So...who gets to go to heaven? Depends on who you're talking to. It is probably hard to get Western minds around the concept of Hinduism as a religion because it doesn't adhere to one concrete doctrine, there is a lot of diversity and tolerance for differences in their philosophy, but according to the three Abrahamic beliefs, they're excluded. The one thing that Abrahamic followers do seem to agree on is intolerance of conflicting beliefs. The LDS believe in a new New Testament of Jesus Christ, I'm not sure where LDS fits into the hierarchy of exclusions but I'll bet they're excluded by somebody, especially since, in some circles, Mormons are dismissed and just considered 'cultists'. It could go on and on, but I think we understand that there are an awful lot of religions out there that don't agree with each other.

Religion is, for the most part, hereditary. People typically follow the faith of their parents and the way they were raised. Many people never give the options very much thought, if any. They assume that the way that their parents worship is the right way, the only way. Some of it is cultural, where you were born and raised. But why do men make religions? I imagine that when man was in a primitive state and was just becoming aware of the world around him he must have needed some way to explain these things. Why does the sun rise and set? Where do the moon and stars come from? What are those things? Why is the weather warm part of the year and cold part of the year? What is it that moves the grass and leaves that I can feel but can't see? What happens when someone who was alive stops being alive? Mythologies and superstitions were created to explain these things before people began to understand how our universe operates. These tribal primitives passed these myths down in their verbal traditions and its reasonable to believe that these stories grew and changed a little in the telling and were passed from one area to another and expanded in scope each time. The ancient Sumerians had a polytheistic religion which included a creation myth, a flood (deluge) myth, a death and resurrection myth. One of the Sumerian's main cities was Ur, that was where Abraham was born. It's very easy to see that he probably grew up hearing these stories and carried them with him. Many religions older than the Old Testament had similar stories of paradise-like gardens that man was driven from, beguiling serpents, virgin births, floods, death and resurrection, etc.

People are very reluctant to let go of certain ideas, one being the chance for eternal life. No one wants to die, that's a very basic, primal fear. There is comfort in believing that you can somehow continue on in a supernatural state after your body has died. That is a pretty easy sell but how can it be justified that of all the different people in the world, with all of their different beliefs and cultures, that only a select few qualify? That business about all gods being the same god with different names just doesn't wash. There are drastically different ideas in religions. Muslims and Christians can't even agree among themselves which version is the correct one. Do you really think that a person could live a good life and be the best person that they know how to be, giving, loving, generous, yet still be excluded from heaven because he chose the wrong prophet or handbook or chose not to follow a religious doctrine at all? Does that really make sense? Recently in the news it was alleged that Mormons had posthumously baptized Anne Frank so that she could get into heaven. The Jewish community takes great offense to such acts and this not the first time that this practice has come to light. It shows great compassion to want to allow someone from a different faith into your private heaven but also it shows a great disregard and disrespect for other people's beliefs. Basically, it's insulting.

What the....I don't recognise any of these people!
I feel that, for the most part, I am a good person. I don't want to hurt people, or steal from people, I am generous and honest but it's not the fear of punishment in hell or the hope for eternal life in heaven that makes me the person that I am. It is just the way that I am. Conversely, I know some people that I wouldn't trust as far as I can see them who are absolutely convinced that they're going to heaven because they have accepted Jesus as their personal savior but they think that I don't have a chance because I'm an atheist. I guess the best that I can hope for, in that case, is that the Mormons will slip me in while nobody's looking.

Anne Frank article


  1. Good read.The part about primitive man needing an explanation for his existence is basically what I've thought also.I won't say that everything in ancient writings is BS simply because primitive man had no other way to explain the occurrances other than by god/gods.I think some of it could be other worldly advanced life forms(no I'm not wearing a foil hat).Angels have been explained as men flying in steel chariots that had tremendous trumpet sounds.Sounds like some kind of aircraft to me.Anyway,I really wanna sit down with you one day and have a deep brain trust kinda talk,lol,we could bring our kids too,possibly my oldest sister Donna McGregor,she shares a lot of my same beliefs.

    1. I'm very happy to see you blogging again. I need to get back to mine. Enjoyed the read.