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Does religion hinder spiritual growth?

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posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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I ask this from the standpoint of someone who was raised Catholic and now currently attends a nondenominational church that preaches literal biblical beliefs, including not believing in evolution. There are some really good people here and they genuinely believe they are on the right path. I explain why I’m here despite my doubts in another post.

I started out and continue to look for true understanding. Trouble is I just don’t have confidence in the bible. For me, if part of the bible contradicts itself, it’s a bit flawed, I then have to question all of it because a divine being would obviously not make a mistake. I began by simply questioning certain parts and wanted a convincing explanation for things that didn’t make sense. Unfortunately I never seem to get that. For those that have tried, the vast majority eventually circle back around and use the bible itself to answer questions about its own validity. I respect and appreciate the messages that make sense and even those that don’t quite yet but some are blaringly obvious and many are just not meant to be taken literally. And yet some say they are.

My issue with religion and its teachers, especially this flavor of Christianity, is the necessity for blind faith. Frowning on all other faiths as either being evil or misguided, using fear and bribery based motivators, are these really the designs of a supreme being? The simple act of asking hard questions and challenging things is almost universally frowned upon. You can ask “a” question, but if you challenge a canned answer, you see the frustration form on faces and anger on others that you would dare question “the word of God” beyond their first or second attempt.

I’ve asked how anyone can be sure that the bible or any scripture is the true word of God many times. It’s a fact that men wrote the bible and all other scripture, so are we to trust that they were somehow inspired by God himself in each case?… well, what if they weren’t? What about all the inconsistencies? Why is it that asking the same question of ten different preachers or experts gets you ten different answers, all equally vague and unfulfilling? Is guilt and believing yourself a “sinner” at all times really healthy? Is being asked to kill anyone in the name of God ever not a heinous act? Is there really such a thing as mind crimes? There are so many rules and just as many exceptions to them. I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like without religion. It might not be the paradise or hell on earth people believe it would be.

Researching, really going through the history and views from various points, even more problems arise. The universal faith based answer to these is that somehow “Satan” is involved or in time it will be shown to you. Beliefs that teach against basic science and common sense like claiming evolution is a parlor trick I just don’t find credible or believable. It goes against every fiber of reasoning I have and just don’t understand why I’m required to have such deliberate ignorance in order to be “saved”. It makes me question their judgment on everything.

I understand spiritual development beyond the norm isn’t for everyone. I don’t believe it’s important or necessary for everyone to experience. When I subjectively look at ALL religions, I find them more and more unfulfilling for me personally. I know there are powerful forces out there, both good and bad, I’m not sure exactly what they are but I do feel they exist. I think religion makes superficial attempts to explain or use them along with building in social controls. They can’t all be right, but they could all be wrong.

Without the limitations or confining nature of most religions, I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if everyone had the freedom to really grow. If knowledgeable teachers actually taught you how to open your mind and soul to things without expectation or commitment.

From where I’m sitting, I see religion as a real hindrance to true spiritual development. Which is a connection to whatever spiritual forces are out there and not a fear of the unknown. Understanding the positives and negatives and your role in both minus all the ceremony and ritualistic addons given over the years. A feeling of satisfaction, peace and awareness in knowing at least some small part of your true purpose. It's as if we’re stuck with the Fischer Price version of spirituality and a lucky few continue to grow in spite of religion not because of it.

Or is it just me?

edit on 16-3-2012 by Paschar0 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-3-2012 by Paschar0 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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Yes

so thank God for Buddhas




posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:29 PM
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Religion hinders PERSONAL growth.

It hinders true spiritual growth.

It hinders scientific growth, and it hinders advancement in general across the board.

It achieves this by influencing its cult-members to question NOTHING and make them believe that they have all the answers via some "holy ghost" character possessing them
and via a pathetic MAN-made fictional book that is 100% inspired by MAN, edited by MAN, and peddled by MAN..

If there is a "god", one thing that I am CERTAIN of is that he/she/it DESPISES religion and its hypocrite non-thinking cult members along with their inexplicable behavior on this planet.

Everyone thinks that THEIR religion is the ONLY one that is the RIGHT one while considering all others to be false. Unknown to them is that ALL of them are FALSE and are nothing but a DISSERVICE to any real "god" or higher power.

Total disservice.

edit on 16-3-2012 by HangTheTraitors because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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yes...it seems that they do.

religions were built to acquire power; free energy or something.

the moment that your spiritual growth interferes with the acquisition of power...you will be inhibited..

its at that point you realize you are dead.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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The nature of religion and spirituality is faith. Faith is blind.

Virtually all religions have components and practices that can enhance the spiritual nature of an individual. The two aspects of religion that can be a problem for spiritual development are 1) if the practice of a component of the religion is detrimental to the individuals spiritual enhancement (i.e. honor killings) and 2) the nature of one religion to forbid the acceptance of the ideas or practices of another religion.

As we cannot verify the first, we can only address the second. Thankfully nowadays, we are not limited to a local or single source for spiritual information.
edit on 16-3-2012 by Wolf321 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:37 PM
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Does religion hinder spiritual growth?

In my opinion, Hell yes!! just look at muslims and how they treat woman, christians and how currupt their church is and all the intolerance and hate they spread.

I dont mean to stereotype, those are just my observations, im sure not every christian or muslim is like that. etc/ If they just all followed the ten commandments they would be sweet instead of taking things just way over the top and involving all this ego over which is the best religion.

Religion =



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 


Yes it does hinder spiritual growth after a point...

Religion does bring people to God... but it will only give you a certian amount of understanding, depending on what the "preacher"(?) minister/ pastor... or whatever they call them decides to preach about.

Once you realize God does truely exist... Seek him on your own terms.

BTW... there is ONE guy in the bible that is "the truth"...

Check him out before you discount the entire bible...




posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Paschar0

From where I’m sitting, I see religion as a real hindrance to true spiritual development. Which is a connection to whatever spiritual forces are out there and not a fear of the unknown. Understanding the positives and negatives and your role in both minus all the ceremony and ritualistic addons given over the years. A feeling of satisfaction, peace and awareness in knowing at least some small part of your true purpose. It's as if we’re stuck with the Fischer Price version of spirituality and a lucky few continue to grow in spite of religion not because of it.

Or is it just me?

edit on 16-3-2012 by Paschar0 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-3-2012 by Paschar0 because: (no reason given)


Ignorance and intolerance are huge obstacles to spiritual growth. Both of which exist in the world's more popular religions. However, religion is a great tool to focus your faith when used with pure intentions.

Think of it like reading music to a musician. A person who learns to read music will learn faster and be sooner accomplished than a person who learned on their own but that's where the advantages stop. The one without the formal sheet music training will be much more versatile and creative than the average trained musician.

Religion is a tool, nothing more. A hammer is a tool and it can both build and knock down a house.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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Does religion hinder spiritual growth?

I believe it limits it in those who are not inclined to grow beyond their faith.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by rtyfx
 


if you are a serious member of a religion...i think your leaders will make it their personal business to keep you confined.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:11 PM
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I think Judaism was a holding pattern for degenerate tards, designed by 'good Archon' YHWH.

Christianity is a mish-mash of ideas put together for political/social puposes by the Romans - then co-opted as Catholicism by the illuminists.

And Islam was designed as something very sinister by 'bad Archon' Allah, aka Satan, aka Iblis.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 


I felt the same way as you until I did some soul-searching and other research. I looked at these things (Bible, history of Christianity, the Church) and realized they're based on fear and control, and you really need to sift the sands to understand the righteous and metaphorical messages behind all the dogma and politics. No it's not healthy thinking/being to believe you are some imperfect sinner that is nothing without the ransom Christ, and if you don't accept it you are cast into eternal damnation - more of the fear campaign to keep the masses ball & chained. First know that you are superior to their notions of what mankind is. When you belittle yourself you belittle everyone else and you belittle God because God is everything.

It's the design of men seeking to "control" their subjects. Blind faith is not a good thing: it's lazy, weak, and destructive to your spiritual growth, like following the herd without realizing that's it's just running around in circles. That's what they are doing. It's anti-productive when you take it all literally like a fundamentalist/fanatic. The frustration and everything you see is an example of them afraid to break free - you try to shine light at them and they hiss right back at you. So much fear. God is love, not fear.

But OP, use religion for what it is: a tool. Ultimately, everything you need is within you, but you have to start somewhere to get either into a certain mindset or to acquire techniques. For example, all religions at the core preach "love", and you cannot lead a spiritual life if that core isn't lit up in you as well. Take the sayings of like Krishna, Jesus, and Gautama, and let them inspire you and maybe change the way you approach things if they feel right to you and suit your common sense. Learn the techniques of other religions and try practising them for a long period of time with true integrity and compassion to better what you are. A spiritual path is to help yourself first, so that you can help others. Keep that in mind.

You don't NEED to follow a certain religion, just follow your heart and the love that permeates the cosmos. The cornerstone of your faith/belief should not be blindness but should be wisdom, and religious texts have quite a bit of that (some you have to look harder than others) but they are not the only source of wisdom.

You are not alone in how you feel though, rest assured with that.
And no it's not the boogeyman aka Satan the Scapegoat aka the human ego that makes us think this way. We question because we are conscious - an unconscious person questions nothing. The only way to learn is to ask those questions. All things evolve and grow, including our spiritual understanding.

If you want to, start to look at some of the Gnostic scripture as well as Buddhism and Hinduism. It'll really get your motor running. It's up to you whatever you do - Buddhism is probably the purest religion in the world right now though, but no one is fully right and no one is fully wrong. They are all just paths.
edit on 16/3/12 by AdamsMurmur because: bit more



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by JohhnyBGood
I think Judaism was a holding pattern for degenerate tards, designed by 'good Archon' YHWH.

Christianity is a mish-mash of ideas put together for political/social puposes by the Romans - then co-opted as Catholicism by the illuminists.

And Islam was designed as something very sinister by 'bad Archon' Allah, aka Satan, aka Iblis.



Judaism is a religion of money for gain.
Christianity is a religion of running your mouth for gain.
Islam is the religion of murder for gain.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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Religion is like planting a seed in your mind, then its up to the individual to control how that seed grows. Will it grow on into infinity by questioning it and building upon it? Or do we have a growth where it gradually stops growing and levels off like many religions are today. You can't understand something completely without asking questions. Problem is questioning the authority is frowned upon in most religions. Not to mention how religions have been used throughout history to commit horrible acts in the name of God.

So I look at religion as the first in many stepping stones on the path to infinity.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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In my opinion, a key part of the spiritual enlightenment process requires a personal connection with my God. I believe that my God wants me to seek, ponder and truly understand why I'm here on earth. Religions don't want me to seek out my own answers, instead preferring to tell me what to believe rather than allow me to make that connection on a personal level. By doing this, religions are removing my connection to God. If that doesn't hinder my spiritual growth, I don't know what will.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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"Religion Divides People.
Spirituality Brings Them Together."



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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Simply put; I am ready to argue that it does not.

More clearly, religion does not hinder spiritual growth.

If this question is to be taken seriously, let us not pretend that we generally don't all have tons of baggage in our minds when we think of "religion."

Yes that goes for you too.

"Religion" requires careful definition, and not some academicians' proclamation of what religion is.

When I define the terms; it is not religion that fails; it's the person.

It is far too easy to drop the tonnage of blame for the grotesqueness of human conduct on religion; when in fact the failure was of men and mankind. And it's usually on purpose.

Religion as an excuse is not religion.

Name me any religious atrocity perpetrated by one religion upon another, and I will be able to demonstrate the work of the egotist, the oligarch, the power mad,and/or the vainglorious narcissist at work. We blame politics. ideology, race, gender, age, schools, for all sorts of tragic nonsense in our past, present, and 'planned' futures.

But in the end it usually boils down to a source of evil which numbers very few indeed.... funny how "good" can't work that way, isn't it?

Flame away.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


No flames from me, nicely stated
Could one not apply the same argument to capitalism and democracy or even government in general?...Curious.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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Some really interesting responses, I see a practical attitude of personal responsibility and some confirmation.
Aside from sites like this, I've had trouble finding others knowledgeable and open minded enough to even discuss things with.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by Paschar0
Some really interesting responses, I see a practical attitude of personal responsibility and some confirmation.
Aside from sites like this, I've had trouble finding others knowledgeable and open minded enough to even discuss things with.


have you ever asked yourself...why is it that only on sites like this are people knowledgeable and open minded enough to discuss such topics?

my guess would be because religion has made it uncomfortable perhaps dangerous to have such conversations in a casual face to face setting.



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