Religion binds when it is nothing but a stringent set of rules/laws to live by. It sets free when it becomes a knowledge of the truth...a fulfillment of law. When we know the truth it sets us free. It goes from rules to follow to a love for God that gives itself up for others in acts of selfless surrender...because it was loved in such a way by God. (Jn 8:32-36)
It doesn't. Religions only divide people.
Is that why there are over 38,000 registered Christian denominations alone, because they are all united? That doesn't even consider the Christians who aren't part of those denominations.
So? Yes religion is large-scale divisive but any set of beliefs can bind people together, even if its only one little weird denomination in a tiny country town.
Religare---to rebind, to find connection in midst of overwhelming diversity, the ability to thread meaning between an infinite expanse of unique consciousness. (Taking it back to the Latin roots of the word, religion's, etymology.
When the term "Religion" is used, it is an exceptional broad subject because we can become faithful to almost anything and turn it into a Religion. However, followers of Christ are bound together through belief that He is the "only begotten Son of God" and because we believe have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We believe this in our hearts and confession is made with mouth. Romans 10:10
Very good question.
Interesting that you "bind" yourself to those who attack and despise homosexuality and defend child abuse.
Sorry, Mark Knowles, but these are some "pop" presumptions and misunderstandings. Nowhere in the Bible is "child abuse" condoned, and, could it be possible that God does not condone homosexuality because it is detrimental to life in general (both the lives of the practicing individuals and society as a whole, in that if everyone were homosexual, humans would become extinct). God loves His creation and He loves us infinitely more than we could understand or imagine. He loves you infinitely more than you love yourself. The point is that He knows what is good for us way, way more than we ourselves do. It's just like a parent-child relationship. Kids want to eat candy all day and avoid vegetables, but parents know that if the kids do they will get sick in the short run and become extremely unhealthy if the behavior continues. God tells us what is good for us, and not good for us, just as a loving parent instructs his/her child. Yet, we stubbornly refuse to see the truth and, instead, go on chasing after our desires only to finally come to a point where we realize (hopefully) that it was nothing more than chasing after the wind. None of these earthly pursuits will ever satisfy. When we finally get fed up with ourselves and come to the realization that our pursuits our meaningless and empty, that nothing in this world can truly satisfy, we are at a place where God can finally reach us...and then, we find fulfillment.
Have you read it?
He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. -- Exodus 21:15
He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. -- Exodus 21:17
Children who mock their parents will have their eyes plucked out by ravens and eaten by eagles.
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it: Proverbs 30:7
The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.... And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead:Exodus 12:29-30
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones: Psalm 137:9
I'd call of the above child abuse.
Yes, and those are the types of verses I was referring to. Nowhere in the verses from Proverbs does it say that God condones child abuse. It also doesn't say that any of the consequences will come upon a person when they are a child. They could just as easily (and more likely) refer to adults, or, for that matter, the consequences that come about naturally due to cause and effect. God is teaching us good from bad, and instructing us on how to live a full and happy life. When a child or adult speaks abusively towards their parents it is detrimental, is it not? I know that if my children have no respect for me, they'll have no respect for authority and will end up getting themselves in trouble. Ultimately, God's law is good, even when it's hard to hear or understand.
As for the verse referring to Pharoah and the Egyptians, that was not child abuse, it was a plague, for the purpose of God demonstrating who He is to all of mankind. God has an eternal perspective, so what appears as horror to us is not necessarily truly that to God and in light of eternity...but understanding how that can be so is not an understanding that we cannot possess this side of Heaven. If we are eternal and death here and now is simply taking us from one reality to the next, then our understanding of death is extraordinarily limited. I won't argue this point, though, because I understand that no amount of my explaining my perspective will help you understand where I am coming from. Thomas Aquinas stated this best, "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." I agree.
Perhaps you don't deserve respect. Do you abuse your children with this nonsense? Killing witches is good? How so?
What if you are abused by your parents, not only as a child but in your adult life as well? Physically, mentally, verbally, neglect, etc. you name it as a child, if it was any type of abuse, it was done to me by those very parents that the Bible says to honor. Then as an adult, they abuse you still the only way that they can, hate you, talk about you negatively to others, use you financially until you stop giving to them, mock you, ridicule you no matter what you do for them...what then? I should honor these people because the Bible says that I must?
This describes not only myself but others I would bet. Well, I REFUSE to honor those people. They have done NOTHING to deserve my honor or respect and if that makes me "bad" in the eyes of Christians, then so be it I suppose.
I am so, so sorry for what you went through. Those Bible verses are true and applicable, but I have to say that appropriate parental behavior is of the first order of importance to God. How can a parent doing all the wrong things teach a child to do what is right? God sees your circumstances and knows your past and your hurts. He knows all of our hearts perfectly. He has deliverance and healing for you. I don't know why something so awful would be allowed to happen to a child, but I do know that when we allow God to heal our brokenness and our hurts, we possess an understanding and ability to care for and help others who have gone through similar experiences, that is not of this world. Remember, that it was humans who hurt you, and while God does allow humans to have free will, he does not allow sin to continue forever, and he is a just and loving God who will defend the cause of the poor, innocent and needy. He will defend your cause and he knows exactly how to do so perfectly. You are precious in God's sight and He loves you dearly. Your parents were very wrong and I can't help but feel extremely angry at them for hurting you. Trust Jesus, He will put all things into a right and healthy perspective. I believe He has a wonderful plan and great purpose for you. You are not worthless, discarded, lost, forgotten or forsaken. You are loved dearly.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. "
"In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you."
When we trust Jesus, he provides us with freedom and healing. This is what he says he came to earth to accomplish:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor."
Thank you for your kindness, christiecue, and for taking the time to respond. Yes, I do understand that it was humans that hurt me and not God. They chose to do what they did to me and that it was their free will that allowed them to do so.
My issue is when God's people tell me that I should turn the other cheek and still honor my parents, no matter what they've done because that's what the Bible says I should do, that I should still do whatever I can to have a relationship with them, treat them kindly, etc. I admit, this really puts me off...this is how religion binds me. You see, I'm a believer in treating others as they treat me. This thinking, too, is not popular with Christians. Again, this is how religion binds me...
Thanks again for your encouraging words and thoughts, they are appreciated.
The soul is from birth a curious creature: it's hospitable the globe and desires to be told everything regarding it. this can be a awfully dangerous quality to people who needs to suppress others. this can be wherever faith comes in: faith introduces that your curiosity should result in a solution. faith preaches that you are looking for one thing, and who's got the answers? the faith, of course. Most of the answers in any faith is wrong. in order that they need to blind you, to create you stop being interested by the globe. many folks feel quite snug regarding that: typically it's exhausting to be curious. It's easier to quiet down and say: i do know all the answers already, no matter science would possibly conclude.
Religion binds only if it first does away with ego. That requires humility and love. It requires responsibility and a perfection of confidence.
Some may say that religion divides, but they are perfectly wrong. Why? Because they are looking at corollary effects, rather than root causes. They are looking at a corruption of religion, but that same corruption has occurred in science, government, science, family and all other aspects of human interaction. The source of that corruption is ego.
This is not "ego" as described by Western psychology. This is the false self described by Buddhism. This is the source of all suffering (samsara). Ego is the source of all evil. It is the source of separateness and divisiveness. Ego says that it is right while it says that others are wrong. Ego is vulnerable, because it is a physical cog that obeys the laws of physical reality. But spirit is invulnerable.
With humility (the antidote for ego), and love, religion (spirituality without institutionalized dogma) can bind us as one.
Institutionalized religion is full of ego. It says, "We are right, and you are wrong." That is the essence of ego.
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