Which religion do you follow?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Mason, Oct 28, 2005.

?

Which religion do you follow?

  1. Christianity

    23.0%
  2. Judaism

    2.7%
  3. Islam

    10.6%
  4. Buddhism

    4.4%
  5. Taoism

    0.9%
  6. Hinduism

    2.7%
  7. Baha'i

    8.8%
  8. Paganism

    7.1%
  9. Mine is not listed here.

    23.0%
  10. I'm Searching for the right Religion for me. / None.

    16.8%
  1. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Since Muslim really means something like "one who submits to God's will," I'm guessing s/he means that all humans are born in submission to God's will. We choose to mess that relationship up and become non-Muslim (i.e., not in submission).

    I don't know if that's right from the Muslims' standpoint here, but I'm currently teaching a Western religions class at the university and that's the answer I'd give to students.
     
  2. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I checked Christianity, but like some other Christians here, that's a difficult box to check for me. I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior. But... I follow very little of any Christian church's doctrine. I was raised as a mystic and continue to follow that as my primary path. I seek the experience of Christ- to know and be known intimately by God, and to gradually become better at letting this permeate my life. Since there should be no differentiation for me between ordinary life and sacred life, I'm not much about denominations and doctrines and such. I'm about a transformation of the self in order to unite with God.

    I study all the major world religions and practice Druidry. I'm a panentheist. I agree with a great deal of Buddhism and Taoism. In short, I find all traditions that espouse love and forgiveness to be beautiful and hold truth. I do think Jesus is a special divine manifestation, but that's based on my own experience and not on doctrine, and I don't find it threatening if others don't agree.

    There's a saying that "all mystics speak the same language." This is what I find to be very true. I feel that all who seek God, will find God. And I've seen far less disagreement among all the religions' mystics, who claim to experience God in some direct, personal manner, than I find among those who are concerned with doctrine.

    This means some people in Christianity want to kick me out of the Christianity camp (not here, but in general). I am not a comfortable, tidy Christian to deal with. I'd don't fit nicely into the box. My vision of God, based on my experiences, doesn't always fit nicely into their box. I don't really care about the label- if someone says I'm not Christian, I won't argue. Really, I'd call myself a Christ-following mystic. (But that wasn't an option. ;) )
     
  3. Operacast

    Operacast Member

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    Having already checked off a box here (Christianity), I may still be in a position somewhat similar to this newest writer's. That is, I'm comfortable in a Presbyterian church, but other traditions (such as Buddhism, cited above) hardly seem misguided, IMO.

    As for certain historic figures being divine manifestations, not only do I take it as a given now that Jesus probably is, but I also feel it probable that Buddha is and that even Confucius (very likely) is -- although in the earliest stratum of the Analects, Confucius is sometimes at pains to point out that his is the "second order" of wisdom, since he claims that whatever "wisdom" he has is as the result of intense study of history only, with no admixture of initial personal insight at the outset (is he only being modest?).

    At times, I've sometimes wondered if Socrates may be one too, although he does not appear responsible for any new traditions and actually says in the Apology (probably the closest we can get to Socrates' own voice) that Jove only is "wise" and couples that with a very serious approach to the Delphic oracle. All of this suggests someone who is much more strict with prevailing traditions in his community than we find in figures like Buddha (with his flouting of the caste system), Confucius (with his notion of respect for the "lower orders"), or Jesus (with his healing on the Sabbath).

    My own instinct leads me to suppose that whatever figure seems most removed in tone and temperament from those around one is most likely a divine manifestation, and that, therefore, figures like that are also more likely to manifest a oneness with people generally scorned by the community (Buddha with the untouchables, Confucius with the poorest students, Jesus with the Samaritans). Moreover, any such figure will most likely be successful at establishing an altogether brand new tradition on the very broadest scale.

    -- But hey, I could be wrong...........

    Cheers,

    Operacast
     
  4. Mason

    Mason Chin Up =)

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    I have been absent from the forum for a while and on visiting today i realised that a few posts have been made in my thread (back in may).
    Anyway, i just want to ad that i enjoyed reading your last post Path_of_one;.. it was nice.
    ^_^
     
  5. RubySera_Martin

    RubySera_Martin New Member

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    Hey Mason, I see it was a while ago that you posted this. Are you still here? How would you vote?

    I voted Christianity. Protestant. No specific denomination. I see Christianity more as a culture, a way of thinking and organizing one's thought regarding time and space, than as a set of beliefs.
     
  6. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    Christian of course.
     
  7. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

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    This may be a little late, but I voted that I am no particular religion. Currently I do not feel particularly drawn to any religion or religious practice, but I have been studying a few just out of curosity.

    Right now Islam has really peeked my curosity. Certain elements of "christianity" have peeked my curosity as well (Hence the avatar):) . Reading some of the posts by members of so many different faiths and beliefs has really made me want to study more.

    Soon I will be moving into eastern thought and other religious practices.

    A little humorous side note here: Whenever some one asks me if I go to church, I say ,YES. When they ask what church I attend I say comparative-religion.com. I really get a "hoot" at the perplexed look I get.:D


    Truly, I believe that studying religious practices and taking the GOOD from all of them is and of itself a way to understand humans and their relationship with GOD or ALLAH or what ever you call the "force" (if you will) that binds and animates everything in exsistence.

    So, I leave you with this question.

    1.Could the study of "religion" be in an of itself a "religion and religious practice" and if so how would one classify it?

    2. Could being a "Watcher" like I like to refer to myself as (Hence the avatar name):) be a religion?

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. RubySera_Martin

    RubySera_Martin New Member

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    You might be interested in DrFree's thread Interfaith as a Faith.
     
  9. Operacast

    Operacast Member

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    I couldn't agree more that an intensive study of all creeds can potentially be the best way to grow. The only caveat I would add is the earnest hope that you don't view those who are not 100% enthusiastic at the idea of such study with the same kneejerk suspicion that I did. Intensive study turned me into an arrogant and suspicious son of a bitch who viewed any demurs at such interfaith study, even the mildest kind, as a tacit argument in favor of virulent sectarianism and inter-religious differences of the most violent sort. Absurd inference, of course, but I jumped into it with both feet (http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/the-ultimate-comparative-study-5496-3.html

    &

    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/the-ultimate-comparative-study-5496-4.html)

    So, although you seem a much more level-headed person than I am, I might still be useful as Exhibit A of what can happen when the idea of comprehensive study of all creeds is exalted above all else, even other people, by someone prone to raise old texts to the level of an idol.

    With sincere regret,

    Operacast
     
  10. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

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    Thanks for the thread, I wil sit down and read through it at as soon as possible. :)
     
  11. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

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    Opercast, (or exhibit A ):) I am almost sure that my temper can be just as explosive as the next persons, but I am almost certain that studying faiths would not bring that side out of someone. I would certaintly think that such an endeavor would have calming effect on a person.:)

    As far as holding it above all else was never my intent.

    I basically asked the questions that I did to see if any others felt like I felt about the whole religion and religious dogma thing.

    Also to try to see if others felt like I do about the act of the exploration of different faiths and "guage" (if you will) how "pious" that act is viewed by people who choose to practice and study only one faith.

    Which bring me to another question...


    IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRACTICE MORE THAN ONE FAITH AT A TIME? :confused:
     
  12. RubySera_Martin

    RubySera_Martin New Member

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    Some people will respond with an absolute negative and quote Jesus when he said "no man can serve two masters." They will claim that you won't be devoted fully to either one. I think, however, that I can be one of several servants serving the same master.

    In other words, I believe that all religions serve the same Master. There are vastly different interpretations of that "Master" but it does seem to me that there is enough overlap to make it work. Christianity and Buddhism seem to be combined, blended, or practiced simultaneously by quite a few people today.

    I would venture to say that these are similar enough, and also that each of these is deficient enough in and of itself, to allow people to do this. Christianity teaches the denial of self while Buddhism teaches self-emptying. Sounds similar to me.

    Christianity teaches a strong focus for one's worship and service, while Buddhism teaches the conscious awareness of reality in and of itself. It makes sense to me that a very aware Christian, or a Buddhist with a strong focus for his awareness, could fit into one person.

    All of this is just my own thinking, pulling it out of thin air as I write, just sharing thoughts and ideas. Eastern thought has had a profound impact on my awareness of the beauties of nature around me. These beauties in turn have nutured my soul. The Christian in me, however, is far stronger than the Buddhist.

    I was in class with a person for two years who said she is a Buddhist but Jesus is very important to her. Jesus is so important that she did a degree in Christian theology. All the same, it seemed to me that the Buddhist was stronger in her than the Christian.

    Cyberpi on this forum said somewhere that he goes to a Muslim mosque on Fridays and a Christian church on Sundays. If that is not an example of practicing two relgions concurrently I don't know what it is. So I think it is definitely possible for one person to practice more than one religion at one time.

    Back to what Jesus says about serving two masters. He said you can't serve God and mamon or material wealth. Neither Christianity (outside the prosperity preachers) nor Buddhism focuses on material wealth. As far as I know, all religions emphasize the spiritual. In my mind, the spiritual=God.

    Nowhere in the NT does Jesus condemn other religions, and we know that other religions abounded in his day in the Middle East. He does say that God is spirit. Even the OT with all its condemnation of ancient Israel for not serving God only, does not condemn the rest of the world for serving their own gods. There is condemnation but not because they failed to serve the only true God.

    Of course, some people will say that these ideas all come from the devil. So be it. Some versions of the devil are more benevolent than certain versions of God.
     
  13. Operacast

    Operacast Member

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    I imagine it usually does -- unless you're me............

    I realize/realized that. I am/was describing me................

    I am almost (not entirely) allergic to religious dogma, if by that one means various traditions within one tradition that tend to spring up generations or more after the initial impetus proveded a discrete creed by its original inspirer/founder/conceiver/seer/prophet. Such subsequent traditions as do spring up under one ostensible umbrella strike me, as often as not, as efforts at keeping and maintaining earthly power (frequently brutally so) than efforts at sustaining enlightenment. This is why I can be so impossibly prickly at the least implication that the original texts that embody any creed's original insights might be equally or less critical for deep study than the lazy assumptions and frequently more familiar (sadly) traditions that people default to when glibly summing up a creed.

    I'm guessing I feel precisely how you do about "the act of the exploration of different faiths". Unfortunately, no matter how often I've encountered people of one faith who smilingly assert the validity of studying all faiths, I've invariably found it to be the case that only the smallest give-and-take will inevitably reveal that smiling individual as one who ultimately views multi-credal study as distinctly less than pious after all -- if not downright detrimental to one's spiritual enlightenment altogether! Hence, my extremely bitter and jaundiced and untrusting attitude these days.....

    Of course, it's possible to practice more than one faith in a way. But perhaps that one way isn't really practicing any single faith as such at all. In other words, one could make a lifetime study of as many different creeds/faiths as possible, studying strictly their earliest texts only, and then extracting only the heartbreaking abundance of similarities among them (assiduously ignored by 99.9% of the most orthodox "believers" in all the faiths on this planet), and then applying what has been extracted as common to all faiths to one's own life. But that hasn't yet been done, for the simple reason that there's just too much to read and to assimilate now for any one individual to take it all in efficiently, unless that individual starts in at a terrifically young age.

    Instead, it would need a huge panoply of scholars and specialists and cultural historians from every conceivable background, all working together, to accomplish such a task within a reasonable time period...........

    Operacast
     
  14. Pope Jaimie

    Pope Jaimie New Member

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    None of the religions I follow were listed.

    I usually identify myself as either a Discordian or a Subgenius, or both. If I'm feeling somewhat misanthropic, I'll occasionally consider myself a Satanist (LaVeyan), but usually I love everybody so that doesn't happen much. :D

    By the way, new to these forums. My name's Jaimie and I'm a chick. I mention that because people always think I'm male. I guess it's the "Pope", huh?
     
  15. Ddraig44goch

    Ddraig44goch Heimdall's Girl

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    Hail and Greetings

    I'm new to this forum and so far, I likes what I sees! :D

    I'm a little ol' Heathen girl. Used to be Russian Orthodox until this summer. Discovered that Asatru makes more sense and appeals to my sense of morality. My patron is Heimdall, the watcher of Bifrost and sounder of the horn which will mark the beginning of Ragnarok. I'm beginning to learn about the Prose Eddas and the Havamal. Good thing I love to read, because much of being Asatruar is studying.

    Hail the Aesir; Hail the Vanir
     
  16. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercur├Žn Buddhist

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    :D Fnord! :D
     
  17. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Popette ? Welcome....flow...:)
     
  18. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

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    The pope with a skirt???
    Nice!!!!!:)
     
  19. Pope Jaimie

    Pope Jaimie New Member

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    Like I said, I'm a Discordian. :D I use the sn for secular forums as well, though. (Google "Pope card" under images, it's a business card-looking thing)

    Technically, women have the option of using "Mome" instead of "Pope", but I don't like doing that. No one knows what a "Mome" is.

    :D
     
  20. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Is a Mome anything like a Meme?

    Glad you're here !

    flow....:p
     

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