How did you decide which religion is correct?

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posted on May, 7 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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I read a book several years ago called "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. It was profound enough to me that now buy copy's to give to loved ones for gifts (b-day, christmas, etc).

To me, the book just provides simple logic and rationale that, if applied to your daily life, can greatly improve your life.

However, it is firmly rooted in Buddhism. A few years goes by and i end up reading Lobsang Rampa. It reignites by interest in Buddhism, and i start exploring the Sutra's and researching Gautama.

What sold me on Buddhism? Well, two things, really:

1. It seemed logical. Much, much more so than the rigid ceremonies and fantastical miracles in Christianity. There are no contradictions. And, as you gain more and more insight, it becomes more and more of a self obvious truth.

(I should add that i DO realize that the Rampa story is more fantastical than any miracle in the bible...however much of the Rampa story has been supported by other avenues of research I have undertaken. The bible has not).

2. It teaches equality and compassion as major tenets. Two major foundations of my own belief system. As well, it lacks control mechanisms that help to centralize power and increase control over people through purely invented dogma.




posted on May, 7 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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I was born in 1955 and grew up in the south of the 60's and early 70's.

I was raised in the Church of the Brethren which is an offshoot of the Menonites which is an offshoot of the Amish.

Both my parents went to church on a regular basis in almost a knee jerk fashion and other than what I was exposed to in church I had almost no religious upbringing except that you were somehow Christian. My grandmother on my father's side was a deeply spiritual person however.

Southern churches and especially small mountain churches and the country churches of the Shenandoah where I grew up were nothing like the mega churches of today. Everybody was poor and there was a spirit of compassion and charity in them that continues in my emotional/spiritual life even into today.

I knew something was missing in my emotional/spiritual life though from my early teens and I flirted with, as in I read a lot about other religions and their holy writings. At one point I was a Jesus freak but I quickly discovered that such fanaticism had no soul.

Then one day when I was 16 I was reading a book from the library called "Truth is One" a phrase taken from the Rig Veda's... "Truth is one, sages call it various names."

In the Back was two pages on the Baha'i' faith and I read the principles and tenants of the faith and I said to myself, self I understand that and can embrace it. One day I am going to go up to Chicago (since that is where the US headquarters are located, sure there were none in my neck of the woods) and join them. It just spoke to me.

Two weeks later there was an article about these 2 young women in the area offering lessons on the Baha'i' faith so I called them up then nagged my mother into letting me attend.

Thje fundamental principles of the faith... that mankind in one, the earth is one and God is one... that God sends messengers periodically to further the spiritual progress of mankind and that there is NO final prophet... that the founder of the Baha'i' faith, Baha'u'll'ah, is the most recent teacher and that his lesson is one of unity and the elimination of prejudice, of the equality of men and women etc. spoke clearly to me and the rest is as they say, history.

When you add to that the hippie and new age ideals I exposed myself to in my formative years... you get... ME!!!

I have gone through long periods where I was deeply involved in the faith and equally long periods when I wasn't but even when I wasn't its fundamental principles and ideals that I learned as a young man continued to inform and shape my life.

To answer your question... other than being raised in a faith the determining factor is if it speaks to your heart or not. If it doesn't then no amount of brow beating is going to change that.

[edit on 7-5-2009 by grover]



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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Awesome post, Grover.

Thanks indeed for sharing your story. I was certainly moved by its sincerity.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 01:28 AM
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Jesus' teachings are great, many would agree because we only tend to accept parts of it.

If we see the big picture however, most people would hate Christ and nail him on the cross! There's no such thing as Divorce for Christ, let's say you divorce, you re-marry, you're automatically an adulterer, that's just for starters, there's much more..



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 02:35 AM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 


Um, you missed the point of his message I take it. You know "judge not" from the guy who took his meals with undesirables of the time, etc etc etc. I'm not a Christian but I at least notice that much, and how, sadly, it is routinely ignored by those who call themselves his faithful.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 02:48 AM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Great post Indigo, I enjoyed it a lot- you've thought about the options (yes some of us have these), and I do agree with your conclusion. Well done

The only problem is......there are none so blind, as those that just will not see!



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by ahnggk
 


Um, you missed the point of his message I take it. You know "judge not" from the guy who took his meals with undesirables of the time, etc etc etc. I'm not a Christian but I at least notice that much, and how, sadly, it is routinely ignored by those who call themselves his faithful.


I know that too, but I'm speaking out of example, that I warned a few people I know, I've not even accused them of adultery just a simple warning (I could pretty much expect the reaction...) from committing the sin, quoted the specific Bible verse, and guess what? They all went furiously mad at me and the Bible!!

Here is the verse, Mark 10:10-12

10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

Maybe I'm wrong for not clearing that divorce by itself isn't a bad thing. Only until you re-marry then you sin... And for not quoting the Bible the first time, it did sound I just made it up..

[edit on 8-5-2009 by ahnggk]



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 05:41 AM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 


Religions that demand subservience, and cringing obedience are undesirable- they teach you nothing but to lay on your back like a dog waiting for your next kick.
Hindu religion is best: find out what is meant by Bhakti.
At least some philosophies accept that we are not all a carbon copy of an ideal, but that we actually have the power to exercise our own ethics, and learn lessons via or own merit.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by KRISKALI777
At least some philosophies accept that we are not all a carbon copy of an ideal, but that we actually have the power to exercise our own ethics, and learn lessons via or own merit.


I agree with the rest of what you said. But I have to partly disagree with the text I quoted because it's dependent on our quality of upbringing and vulnerable to the evils of this society. There are many things considered good by the secular world but can be destructive in the absolute sense.

It can be good if we spend some effort in analyzing the consequences of our actions, not just accepting what is good and what is bad without even thinking about it.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 


As Aristotle wrote in :Ethics, all so long ago; there is no means to a mans personality: not all men have the same ethical code.
So to goes with the representatives of our religious factions; mere Humans that devote their lives to austerity (priest, monk ,nun-alike); they after all are only Human.
They are not divine, as the ideals of their philosophy makes them strive to attain- but alas, because they are only Human, they cannot usually grasp it.
This is why we have such rife peadophilia, general sexual misconduct, homosexuality, general corruption; with religious hierarchy- bottom to the top.....they are only Human.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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I am just now waking up to the fact that if my slave master wasn't a christian, I wouldn't be one either.

I've always had a pantheistic way about me, loved the woods, trees, nature etc.

I was raised Christian, but have studied many different belief systems. Over time I have come to understand that what you believe forms your reality.

Thus I stopped believing anything. I began to work with my own consciousness where belief is a program, not a matter of identity.

Before my motives were formed by my beliefs.

Now, my beliefs are formed by my motives.

Believe what you want, but be careful because rigid beliefs can trap you.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by KRISKALI777
 


Made by a people that still practice the caste system.
No sure where I was going with that though.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Yeah, look I don't condone the caste system!
The fact is that caste is only a small part of Hindu culture. Hindu is so ingrained into Indian culture, that it is more than religion. Caste governs what community status one has, through birthright due to family pedigree.
It is a primitive concept, I agree; yet through the slow implementation of capitalist western values (and the arrival of corporate interests from abroad in India)- caste is becoming a thing of the past.
For the new cashed up Indian, caste is no longer an issue- yet they may still follow their devotional practices to their God of choice. The new movement of corporate opportunities allows less fortunately born (due to caste) individuals to embrace the spoils achieved by money.
When a society operates in the same fashion for millennium, it has no real need for drastic change- usually inflicted by war, etc.
Hinduism as religious philosophy and is quite beautiful- the practice of Bhakti allows one to venerate their God or Gods of choice.
This, therefore, is not as rigid as some philosophies.
The Buddha was originally a Hindu man as well; which is why some ideas from Hinduism carry into Buddhism.
In conclusion, the caste system is no more draconian than the capitalist system of the west; where usually, rich get richer and poor just stay that way- its just a littler more simplistic.



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:16 PM
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Hey I'm a Christ follower i.e. i follow the teachings of Christ and the Bible, I believe the Bible is inspired by God is an accurate historical document and that Jesus is the fullfillment of the old testament. I became a believer for reasons that can be classified in 2 categories:
One - Subjective as in personal reasons (experiences, etc)
Two -Objective as in through resasoning (like philosphy), science, prophecy etc
I will go through those reasons soon, forgive me for my grammar. Its not that great but ill try my best.
I REALLY agree and encourage that one should really know what is truth out there, is there one correct religion or truth? etc or are they all wrong bla bla bla...I loved that the Christian faith was really really open for questioning and criticism.
I was brought up in a Christian family did the whole going to church etc, but never actually considered myself saved/born-again/christian because of that. I guess that could've stemmed from my parents telling me that its about the decision i make between God and myself. Later as i got older (as with most humans) i began to think for myself and study the world around me and question things, including God, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, Bahai as well as other scientific theorys etc.
I came to the conclusion that God is real, that he created the world, that the Bible is inspired by Him and that Jesus is- as the Bible says - God incarnate- as in God as a man coming to restore the crap we got ourselves into. I also realised how Christianity stuck out from other religions in that our way to heaven/paradise was through the acceptance of Gods actions in Jesus Christ rather than our actions to save ourselves.

The reasons i came to this conclusion are below:
OBJECTIVE REASONS-
-The issue of morality. I.e, how we all have an in built understanding of good and evil, no matter what culture you go to. (will talk more on this later)
-The complexity of life screamed 'creation by a master designer' to me!
-the perfect placement of our earth in relation to the sun and the perfect set up for life to exist
-the authenticity of the Bible
-the authenticity of Jesus' life, crucifixion and resurrection
there is more historical documentation on the Bible and the existence of Jesus Christ then any other ancient piece of literature. Basically if you dont believe the Bible is legit (just its historical writings) you are going to have to say that Julius ceaser, plato, socrates and many many more people in ancient history, did not exist. Jesus' life is written about by Christians of the time, non-Christians and earliest copys found date back to as close as 30AD, earliest of any ancient documentation to the source.
-the accuracy of Biblical prophecy in relation to Jesus
-the accuracy of Biblical prophecy in relation to current events and history
-how the Bible was written over something like 1400 years by 60 different authors and yet all points to one man, Jesus Christ.
-Straight reasoning. I see Christianity as the most reasonable and believable faiths. The Christian faith and reason go hand in hand. I would encourage readers to read a book called "Christianity for Skeptics" by Steve Kumar. He is very polite and talks about how God, and the Christian faith are VERY reasonable. He uses very little ref(as in quotes) to the Bible and the only reference he does is just to show that the Bible backs up his reasoning (i.e. to affirm its athority to the reader). He tackles 7 different issues using quotes from christian, non-christian and atheist philosphers.

SUBJECTIVE REASONS-
-my own relationship with God/Jesus Christ and the workings of the His Spirit in me.
-His leading of my wife and myself to each other. bare in mind we had both (before we knew each other) given that area of our lives completely to Him as we figured he knew us better than we knew ourselves. The confirmations that followed after we met were too numerous to count. Prophecy from people who didn't know us etc
to be cont.



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by mafster
Hey I'm a Christ follower i.e.



m, Sweet-well-thought-thru post!!!!!!

Welcome to ATS!!!!

Don't expect any love from the skeptics....

OT



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka


Now, my beliefs are formed by my motives.




Motives? That's a good thing...

Ever heard of Lawrence Kolberg?

He's got some great teachin's in that regard...

OT



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by KRISKALI777
reply to post by ahnggk
 


Religions that demand subservience, and cringing obedience are undesirable-


K, great point...remember JC who said..."For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


Matthew 11:30

light!!!!

Good thang!

Research on my boy Matthew, not the most holy dude...but CHANGED!

OT



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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continued SUBJECTIVE REASONS-
-getting to know His voice slowly and more clearly, his leading (i.e. the school i should attend for 3d aniamtion)
-prophetic words and encouraging words (sometimes corrective words) from people i dont know, and people i do know about things in my life that i havent told anyone about.
-instant healing of my knee, while at lunch break at my high school (non christian high school). Got my friend to pray for it. it was a thing that had been causing problems for my knee since i was in primary. Its gone now which is great!
-instant healings of many of my friends around me.
-prophetic words for people i have constant and close contact with.
-having random prophetic words for other random people i dont know. And they confirm it was spot on, extremely helpful, encouraging. Someone once said something like yeah God's been telling me that but i keep putting it off, thanks.
-the presence of God. This can only be explained by experience i think, its like being in the presence of a being who has unconditional Love, but that doesnt give it justice by a long shot.

I understand subjective reasons may or may not be as compelling as objective reasons.
i would be more than happy to expand on any of the points ive put in this long reply

One last thing id like to say, i think it gets over looked a lot. Some people see Christianity-as in alot of religions-as being "dont do this! do that!" kinda thing.

From my personal growing with Jesus and getting to know Him as my Lord and Friend and Saviour. And now just being married...

I dont do bad and do do good because of my love for God, just as i tell my wife i love her, do the dishes for her, dont be unfiathful to her, dont hassle her or any other sick thing because i love her not because a rule book says i should.

When i was young and didnt think for myself as much i followed rules, much like u do at primary school. But now i follow out of love. Thats why the Bible tallks about freedom in Christ. God's Grace isnt just God saying i forgive you your clean now, its God saying i forgive you and now i give you power to overcome all those habits and things that are tying u down.

In the end i see it, if in the impossible chance that Christianity is wrong and theres nothing out there. I would have lived a life with tonnes of freedom and strength to do right and good, serve others and enjoy real joy and peace, die and lost nothing (gain nothing either). But if Christianity is right i have evrything to gain and missed out on a huge loss.

Sweet as
laterz guys
Jono

[edit on 10-5-2009 by mafster]



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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"
m, Sweet-well-thought-thru post!!!!!!

Welcome to ATS!!!!
"

thanks bro! still trying to figure out how to do profile and also quote peoples stuff in that little grey box lol noob...



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by mafster
"
m, Sweet-well-thought-thru post!!!!!!

Welcome to ATS!!!!
"

thanks bro! still trying to figure out how to do profile and also quote peoples stuff in that little grey box lol noob...




that's alright....


hit quote.....


put your cursor AFTER [QUOTE]

and type away....


see OT's thread under profile for more info....


urdaman!!! prayin for ya....on this battleground!





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