We are living in the 21st Century , When , Are We Going to Bury Religious Superstition ? Once and for all ?
The Christian Bible / Cannon is different , depending on what Religion you profess ,around the world.
Russian Orthodox ,Greek Orthodox ,Christian Gnostics ,Roman Catholics , Polish National Catholics ,C.of E , etc,etc,
The very many Christian Bible Translations that exist today differ according to different interpretations of the translators.
The Jewish translators of the Hebrew Scriptures add a whole new concept to the traditional interpretation by Christian translators of the Old Testament..
Throw in the mix all of the fundamentalist Religions that have sprung up these past couple of Centuries including the J.W.`s , S.D.A.`s , Mormons , T.V. Evangelists , etc, etc,
Islam also has it`s roots in the Bible , along with Jews and Christians.
And that is only showing a glimpse of Christianity`s Religions ,
without mentioning the thousands of non Christian Religions that exist in the world today , all claiming a direct channel to GOD. Which number in the billions of people .
My point is this :
This has been going on for thousands and thousands of years , and there has been no GOD or HIGHER POWER that has ever tried or even attempted to set the matter straight as to what is the true Religion he/she wants people to follow , nothing , zilch.
The only explanation religious people give is "FAITH" , you must have faith , nothing concrete or solid evidence , certainly no word from GOD , yet he was supposed to communicate audibly with prophets thousands of years ago , but apparently we are too educated for a GOD to converse with us with all the technology we have available today.. maybe we will see behind the curtain .?
I don't know Smiddy - I've had a gut feeling all my life that there is something, a power....I don't want to put a name to that in this thread.
The urge in me to 'search' has been so strong - it's hard to put into words.
Faith and hope seem to be part of the human condition....and not just amongst the ignorant or uneducated, by any means.
It's what it is.....I guess.
Somehow, I have faith it all means something.....I'm not preaching at you nor laying out everything I believe...it's an evolving process right now :-)
I think I know where you are coming from
, I don`t dismiss some force in the universe , even some spiritual aspect at work , however I do not accept an all knowing all powerful GOD who is controlling all things here on earth ,blessing this person or that person for such mundane things , when children are dying of starvation in so many lands.Just to name one thing.
There are many more .
And of course if such a being GOD even existed why so silent for so long,
And please don`t give me that crap about having " Faith."
Jehovah`s Witnesses have put there faith in the WTB&TS for well over 100 years and NOTHING they have ever predicted has come true , and still the faithful believe in them
How sad is that .
I hear ya.
I have some thoughts about these things......don't laugh, but somehow, I don't blame 'the higher power' - it's our man made foolishness that creates the stuff that hurts and betrays.
Sometimes I read a beautiful book or a stirring piece of poetry, 'scripture' is everywhere .....the heart has a desire and joy in the spiritual, you know?
Our myths, our collective stories since the time we could first record human experience calls for life, for future life untainted, a paradise/ heaven if you like.
My gut feeling says keep searching, keep faith.
The JWs are tiny, absolutely a tiny, tiny episode in the history of mankind - the hard part is having trusted so much, in the face of such spiritual deceit and bullying of our consciences.
But really, the WT is only as big and significant as they perceive themselves....my bad for listening and ignoring warning bells.
But there just a 'convert's' experience. Different to one who was born in.
And of course if such a being GOD even existed why so silent for so long,
I think there is a theory called block time. where the past, present and future all exist at once. So maybe God if he has spoken in the past it still exists today. It's all relative to where you stand.
A sense of spirituality is a human experience, and how it gets expressed is ripe for exploitation by constructed belief systems. Anyone can sit in a field away from light pollution look up and be blown away by the immensity of it all and ask the question 'why am I here?'. Love what Alive says about 'scripture is everywhere'. So true. It's a sense of wonder we experience as part of being alive.
Some people are comfortable with there being no answer, comfortable with making their own meaning. Or in channeling that wonder into asking questions about the 'why' and the 'how' of things. Others seems to prefer having an authority figure give them answers. I guess my view is that as long as people want to have someone willing to give them all the answers, someone who doesn't ever say 'I don't know - have a theory but it's not proven', then there'll always be some form of religion which will play the role for them. It's comforting I guess to have the eternal godparent who'll tidy up any mess created along the way.
A quote of Lucius Annaeus Seneca:
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
And as old Rutherford famously said....religion is a snare and a racket!
It was true then and ironically true today!
But some aspects of some religion will produce acceptable and productive things.....
Personally, I'm not searching for a religion or clean cut answers, not in the JW way that I was falsely led by....my goodness, wasn't that Watchtower Revelation book a disaster?
Alive! - "...my goodness, wasn't that Watchtower Revelation book a disaster?"
There's no way in hell they could ever use it as a study aid now.
The sequence of events in Fred Franz's Cold-War-centric End-Times script would be virtually impossible in the current socio-political climate; no one would take it seriously.
In fact, I think that's why they discontinued it.
A sense of spirituality is a human experience,
People just believe in a higher power. And those who claim that they do not believe will try anything in a helpless situation. The recipe or snake oil that people use in the form of method and ritual to attempt to reach out to that higher power is taxing, very expensive and time consuming. A lot of people are finding that they are short on time and cash in our modern age and so are cutting time consuming and expensive religion as part of their schedule and expense. This results in empty churches which will force the churches to close. Many people have realized that the potion they have been using or that their parents used does not work and don't buy it unless they absolutely have to, like for a wedding or a funeral. In some countries in the past, the church was part of people's daily lives, and who would ever think that it would be possible for Spain, a fanatically catholic society, to cut religion from their culture -but they have.
In Islam and Judaism, religion is integrated into the culture and it is just the way people live and who could ever think that it would be possible to disintegrate these respective religions from people's lives and culture and customs. And in the US, religion is integrated into the Constitution and it appears impossible to ax religion. Green backs are baked by the US army and a trust in god declaration ( just in case.) Hence, besides people not needing snake oil anymore, religion is woven into the fabric of society, government and economy and that is why it can only be surgically removed, it cannot disintegrate on its own even if it dries out .Yet, even without expensive potions being sold, as long as there are people, people will always believe in a higher power and attempt to reach out to it.