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The difference between God and religions
Religion vs. God
For many people, God and religion and basically synonymous words. But it is very important to point out the difference between both, because not all non-religious people may necessarily believe that God does not exist, and many religious people may not actually know what God is and what He represents.
Religion exists since the beginning of history, as stated in my previous hub, and in every religion, its followers have the belief that they are right in what they are believing. Christians believe their faith is the right one, so does the Muslims with theirs. Disagreements and the inability to harmonize the faiths cause serious trouble, and you know from history that many of these have caused wars and conflicts in which many people have even died.
But religion is human, it does not necessarily come straight from God, or the Supreme Energy. Have you wondered why are there so many religions? If the differences between them have not been harmonized, and there is no sign of a future harmonization, then what is the real purpose of religion? If we believe that God is pure, good, and perfect, then why are we so imperfect in trying to understand who He is, because our defense of our religion blinds us?
Let’s get real. There is too much error found in religions today. For example, Christianity seems very contradicting the way most Christians interpret the Bible. There are many laws in some Arabic countries that allow for inhumane actions, that it looks to me and many people, that the Qu’ran has also been misinterpreted. These errors are not God’s fault. People have a belief in which they get stuck, and does not allow them to open their minds to analyze much more on what they read or listen to. It is not my right to defiantly say that what pastors, priests, and Muslim leaders preach and believe is wrong, but something that causes confusion, mistakes, and fear cannot come from God. For example, the belief that people who do not believe in Jesus are going to perish in hell just because they did not believe - which is the main message of Christianity - is confusing and induces fear. This I learned from logic and deep analysis cannot come from God. Some people may say that they cannot follow Christianity in the basis that God is wrathful and intolerant to other people. And they may have a valid point. But the truth is that this message has been induced to us by other people, and it comes from the interpretation of people, not from God.
Some people tend to be authoritarian, and like to control others, and some develop the skills to know how to convince people to follow them. These are what we call leaders. They develop the necessary charisma to talk and preach in front of people, and speak in a way in which others cannot resist but to like what they hear. We got some of these in the government. But these also abound in churches and religious institutions. But the truth is that some of these church or religious institution leaders do not really know what they are preaching. They are following an interpretation that comes from a culturally accepted point of view; they do not question it. As a child I used to be a devout Christian and believed Christianity was the sole right faith to be saved. But I have to say that within me, something was wrong with this message. And it is very possible that most Christians also share the same feeling. The difference is that many do continue to believe what they believe out of fear. Fear to be rejected by others, to be rejected by friends, family and society. Also, fear from causing God to be angry with them, they are not sure they are right or wrong on their feeling that what they believe may not be necessarily true.
The path to understand God is very, very complex. If we stick with a specific religion, we ignore many questions that will simply not disappear. We just cover them, try not to think on them, and follow the faith our of fear or because we simply feel nice about it. I respect people who are devout Christians, or Muslims, or Jews. Religion has been found to make people feel closer to God- and certainly, religion has been always the way people have tried to understand God. But even if religion has to do a lot with spirituality, it’s still pretty human, that is, it is full of mistakes and through the centuries, it has been corrupted with different human thoughts that do not allow people to really search for God as supposed. The truth is that many people culturally follow the tradition to go to church, and even pray and read their religious books and have their religious rituals, but they still do the same mistakes all over again and many mistakes include damaging others. There are many religious service attendants that are greedy, lusty and love to practice their specific sin. Of course, humans have limitations and are not perfect. But there is a major difference in being imperfect and being deliberately imperfect. Many priests have been found to abuse children, and many pastors have been found to steal money and use it to their own satisfaction, as examples of this deliberate imperfection. This is what I have reasoned: although not all leaders are this way, the truth is that some leaders do what they do because they know they have the talent to fool people. Many of these leaders are sexually perverted, cheaters, expert liars, manipulative, and have a mind full of deception and corruption, so they use religion as a mechanism to go to people and fool them enough to damage them. This… is not God’s fault, this has nothing to do with God.
So the question is, why does God allow this to happen to different religions? Why does He allow religions to continue their erratic nature which has caused so much trouble? Many atheists may have a valid and respectful point in that all of this religious stuff, including God and spirituality, is nonsensical. In my personal opinion, this mindset raises so many questions, many which become unanswerable, that I conclude not convincing. After all, why has religion always existed? Where does this thought of God come from? The there is also a valid point in which some people- me included- believe that God is far different from what religions reach us, because human minds have made it very difficult to know who God really is. Not that He is bad, or evil, or imperfect. But that God is so complex that we must always ask if what we learn about Him makes sense. If God is love, peace, eternal life, and is there for us, then something that is not fair in any way, cannot come from Him. In other words, if we want to get closer to God, we have to follow a path in which we have the less problems possible with people, society, and in every sense. Many people do not seem to really have that spiritual side of them developed maybe because deep inside there are many doubts and questions that makes them much more interested in the physical world. When they go to church, the ask if what they hear makes sense. Using examples from Qur’an or the Bible without actually using a real example to sustain what they preach makes new people who go to church skeptical and eventually not interested in whatever is spiritual. And the lesser the person is interested in spirituality, then obviously the more interested they become in what is considered mundane or secular.