What religion fits you?

I’ve been thinking about religion today. And let’s be honest, there’s millions of religions out there. Well, maybe not millions, but definitely thousands. And as one person commented on my blog a little while ago, there are over 3,700 known ‘gods’ that people worship. I wonder why this could be?

Well, I don’t wonder actually. I think I know why there are so many religions, but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Today, I was directed towards an American article, which talked about religion, belief and faith in the American people. You can read the article here. The article talks about how Americans are increasingly tailoring religion to their needs and wants, as opposed to subscribing to orthodox faiths.

But I would go one step further than the article. I think that everyone has a religion, even atheists, humanists and agnostics. Of course, I’m a Christian. But there are many Christians who say they’re Christians, but their Christianity is a version that I and the vast majority of Christians do not follow. The tailored religion, or the be all and end all religion that I’m talking about here is the religion of self.

Yes, we all follow this religion at times in our lives. In fact, many of you reading this post may be following it right now.

The problem that I think a lot of people have against Christianity is that it demands a lot of stuff that they don’t want to believe or do. Of course, our wants don’t change the truth (but I’m not going to argue about the truth of the Christian message today). Humans are naturally selfish. That’s what my God calls sin. And it’s the reason that the Bible gives as to why sin is in the world anyway. Because the humans that God had created for relationship with him wanted to be gods of their own. They wanted to know everything. It was an ‘I’ religion.

Christianity demands a lot off of people. It demands their life. It demands them to submit to Christ. It demands them to renounce evil. It demands them to repent of their sin. And all these demands come as a result of a God who loves the person and gave their all for them in Christ. I just want to say that I’m coming from a Christian perspective, if you didn’t know 😉

But the reality is that people think they’re too good for God, and so make themselves a god. And therefore it is perfectly acceptable to live how they want, and do what they want and hurt whoever they want, because they only have to answer for themselves. It also gets rid of any conscience about God and about Jesus and it gives them comfort in their futile arguments about the technicalities of creation or Noah’s ark. It also provides an excuse to dismiss God’s dealings with humanity because of sin, or devalues the love that he shows in his Son.

What is your religion? Is it the ‘you’ religion, or ‘Jesus’ religion? I’m well aware that I may have waffled today and I may not make sense. This post is just something that I have thought of off the top of my head, but as always, your thoughts and opinions are always welcome 🙂

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • AgentCormac

    Dean, what on earth makes you think that atheists have a ‘religion’? (The clue is in the title, mate: atheism is an ancient Greek word meaning ‘without god’. Ergo, no religion.) The fact that you don’t understand this most basic premise speaks volumes about your arrogant misconceptions regarding those who hold views that are at odds with your own. As far as atheists are concerned, every single god has, by his or her complete and utter lack of presence, been proven beyond doubt to be a figment of human imagination. Yes, even yours.

    Indeed, not one of the thousands of gods that have been claimed to exist throughout history have lifted a finger to prove themselves. Of course, most believers like yourself automatically disbelieve all religious claims except their own. Atheists just do religious people one better, and make no exceptions for any religion for the simple reason they’re all the same. Fantasies.

    • Religion doesn’t have to include a god in it. If you don’t like religion, how about idolatry?

      And I think, if I were to be such, the appropriate word to use would be ‘ignorant’ rather than arrogant. However, I believe my God to have proved himself and to continually prove himself daily. Of course, to those who don’t want to know, then how could God possibly reveal himself? Unlike you, I don’t believe that my God forces himself upon people, and so he has no desire to force himself upon you, if you wish to take no part in his dealings with you.

      And for the record, I’m extremely tired of the whole ‘one god further’ quote. The God I love and worship is Jesus, a tangible Human being who, at the same time, was and is God. The one who countless people have died horrific deaths for, many of whom who saw him before and after he was crucified. The very one who has more validity to his name than Caeser himself. Now, I’m not a Christian who believes that evidence will make you believe. We can make evidence tell us whatever we want. What I’m talking about is a God who lives, breathes, and intercedes for me every day; someone I personally experience, along with millions of others too. How can you explain the gifts of the Spirit, miracles? How can you explain away the universe? There are things, my friend, that science cannot explain. And beyond us is God. And I believe that’s something that you and I will see in all it’s fullness one day. Call it arrogant, I’m only saying what my Saviour says.

      Christians aren’t as uneducated, dumb and stupid as you think. Most of us haven’t been ‘bought into Christianity’ by some lie or indoctrination as you like to make out. The blogs that you come from (such as Freethinker) harbour malicious and invalid comments about religion, and in my case, Christianity. In fact, the complete heresy that you all talk about is terrible (because of course, you all deem yourselves accomplished theologians, either consciously or subconsciously). And you talk about doctrines, beliefs and theology as if you took a Phd in it. But, whilst I could write books on your very uninformed comments, I don’t reply because none of it will do any good.

      The message of the cross is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the perishing, AgentCormac. There’s not a Christian in the world, no amazing apologist or theologian that can change yours, or any other atheist’s mind into one that loves Jesus for the sheer price he paid for you. There’s no way that anyone can show you Christs love for you, the value that he places on you. And because of that, I can only tell you what Christians believe. I cannot argue with you. Because as you’ve clearly shown, along with some others on Freethinker, you’re not interested in reasonable debate and discussion. Freethinker is there to egg fellow atheists on, and to propel you all to deeper atheism. There is no place for discussion, just atheist indoctrination. It’s ironic, because the very things you throw at established churches and faiths are indeed happening within extreme atheist circles, just under a different  guise.

      Nonetheless, I thank you for being civil in this forum. And I thank you for commenting. I have more time when people are like this, rather than condescending, and rude. If you genuinely want to chat about your hang ups about faith, then please continue to interact. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  • Ray Dobson

    Dean, I’m sure you think it’s very witty and original to arbitrarily refine the word “religion” so you can say that atheists are religious, but believe me, it is very lame and tiresome. I always think that for a religionist to try to insult an atheist by calling him religious says more about the religionist than the atheist, apart from the fact that saying “atheism is just another religion” makes as much sense as saying “health is just another disease.”

    Something for you to think about: if christianity is the One True Religion, why isn’t everyone christian? In fact, why are there over 3000 sects of christianity in the US alone? Also, your religion is as much tailored by you and your community as anyone else’s. There is absolutely nothing special or original about christianity. All its core beliefs were ripped off from other religions even while the church was screaming that such religions were pagan, heathen etc. Any argument you can make in favor of christianity, a muslim, hindu etc. could make for his religion, yet you would dismiss his argument out of hand. Did you know that according to legend, Krishna was born of a virgin, wise men were guided to his birthplace by a star, the local king ordered all the firstborn killed, etc. etc? Similarly for many other supposed gods. Sorry to break it to you but your myths are no more valid than anyone else’s.

  • SJ

    I learned that a human brain which has belief in a “higher being” is a healthier brain, that our sub concious brains are hard wired to appreciate the concept. This is why some choose religions and other choose the religion of self – (whether they understand the concept or not)… I choose Christian Spiritualism, not one that you would approve of Dean, but one that has similar ideals and, in my humble opinion, is definitely is good for the soul.

    • Lucy

      ‘I learned that a human brain which has belief in a “higher being” is a healthier brain’ – I’d very interested to know where you learnt this and may I request a source or some study results/statistics please? Because there are many studies which try and correlate intelligence with atheism and theism, however every one I have seen has actually indicated the opposite.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2111174/Intelligent-people-less-likely-to-believe-in-God.html – perhaps you should take a look at this and let me know what you think?

      Also Dean, the definition of religion is ‘The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods‘, so I think you’ll agree atheism is not a religion :).

  • Lucy

    Hi Dean! I’ve just come across an article which I found very interesting and I thought of you as I read it ha. I was wondering, as a Christian, what is your opinion on this? I’m not out for a disagreement or anything, just genuinely interested in what you have to say about it, if that’s okay?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128302.900-stamp-out-antiscience-in-us-politics.html

    Regards, Lucy 🙂