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World Religions


There are many religions around the world. How do you know which one is right? There is Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. These are the major world religions. And beyond that there are different denominations that branch from these religions. All of this can get confusing. There are many pagan religions, in which people have gods for everything; trees, the sun, moon, stars, planets, and etc. But God never made religion. God showed Himself to the world and man made God a religion. God gave boundaries and then man caged himself even farther within those boundaries. All that man has done for himself is make it harder and more confusing than what God intended. But for some simple understanding about a few world religions I have made a summary of those the most popular in the world today.

If God were a fortress, religion is a wall trying to contain Him. Who can contain God? Walls are good for protection, but sometimes walls keep out those people in need of a fortress. Don't let religion confuse you or bring you down. Just because "religious" people push you away or may seem judgmental doesn't mean that is what God wants. Humans are ignorant and act on emotions to easily. It is written that a religion that God accepts is one that feeds the poor and takes care of the orphan, and the widow. Religion can lead you to God but religion is NOT God.


 

Buddhism

Buddhism was founded by Buddha Shakyamuni some 2500 years ago. It focuses on inner purity through meditation, recognizing the negativity inside oneself and turning those negative thoughts into a positive state of mind. Following the belief that by finding peace and purity within oneself will bring you a more satisfying life to yourself and will benefit others. With death they belief in rebirth, but your rebirth depends on your Karma. If you have good Karma you will be reborn as a human or a god. If you have bad Karma you may be reborn as an animal or lower life form.

Information thanks to www.aboutbuddhism.org

 


 

 

Hinduism

Hindus believe that God is one, but God is many. The One becomes many and the many have to begin a journey back to the One as a process of creation. They believe that man's ego is the root of all suffering. That the world is an illusion, and that man must detach himself from his senses to discover oneself. Hindus believe in reincarnation and rebirth as a part of evolution until the soul finds true liberation. They believe that God incarnates himself into human form to protect the weak and restore order. Hindus believe that sacrifice through surrendering to God is the basis of salvation. Hindus believe that they are an individual soul that is separated from God, is under an illusion, and is in the process of rejoining God someday. Even though Hindus believe God is one; they have many other gods they worship. They have a trinity, gods for the planets, a god who is leader over the other gods, eight gods for the directions, and many goddesses they worship too.

Information thanks to www.hinduwebsite.com


 

 

Islam

 

 Islam's basic beliefs and teachings revolve around the Quran, Torah(the first 5 books of the old testament), the prophets, and the gospel of Jesus (although they have their own version). Muslims believe in One true God, and that no one shares his authority or glory, and that none other is to be worshipped other than him, and that Muhammad was his last prophet. That he was not created, and that he has no son (Quran 112:3 He begets not, nor was he begotten, and there is none like him). They do however believe that Jesus was showered with divine grace and that he was the Christ, so it has been written in the Quran. Yet it is written in the Quran that Jesus never died on the cross but was lifted up to God. They believe in the Old Testament prophets and all of God’s teachings. They believe that to get to heaven you must obey God, and live a pure righteous life, and only believe in the Islam religion. They believe in hell and that the wicked will go there, and that anyone who doesn't follow the Islam religion will go to hell too as the supposed translation of the Quran states. (Quran, 3:85And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the Hereafter. ) I must add however that the word Islam means "submission" or "surrender" so another and seemingly better translation would be "And whoever seeks a way other than submission to God, it will not be accepted from him and he will be one of the losers in the hereafter." I say this because by the time that the 3rd scroll would have been written, Islam was not an organized religion, so the use of the word Islam would just mean submission to God as others of Islam faith would want it translated meaning their religion. I would also like to add that it is written in the beginning of the Quran. (Quran 2:62 Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.) They also believe in judgment day and the resurrection of the dead.  

Information thanks to www.islam-guide.com


 

Judaism

God exists, God is one and unique, God is incorporeal, and God is eternal. Prayer is to be directed to God alone and to no other. The words of the prophets are true, Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets. The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses. There will be no other Torah. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men. God will reward the good and punish the wicked. The Messiah will come. The dead will be resurrected. They do not believe that Jesus was the messiah, in fact they believe that the notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Even though it says otherwise in Isaiah 53:4-12, and other messianic prophecies.

Information thanks to www.jewfaq.org

 


 

 

Paganism

Pagans believe in the existence of Gods and Goddesses that affect our lives. Paganism tends to be polytheistic (belief in more than one Deity). Individuals often follow a specific pantheon such as Celtic, Norse, Greek, etc. Some Pagans worship the whole pantheon while others choose to direct their worship to a few or even one of the deities. Some Pagans consider the deities to be aspects of reality or personality, which helps them to focus on specific attributes of life or the self such as strength, learning, or love. Other Pagans consider the deities to be external beings who embody certain traits again such as strength, learning, or love. Pagans have very Personal relationships with their deities and so how they perceive them is very personal and individualistic. Most Pagans believe that after death, the spirit is reborn in another body. Again, beliefs in exactly what happens and whatever or not you are punished for your wrong doings in this life or the next, vary. The ability to use your will to effect real and positive changes in your life is magic. You do not have to practice Magic to be Pagan but many Pagans do practice Magic in one form or another (actually, much of today's modern medicine was once considered to be part of Magic until science explained how it worked). Magic is, of course, controversial. Magic, and the fear that it caused (and still causes in some situations), is what led to the persecution of Pagans. Like the rituals in most religions, Pagan rituals mark changes and events in human life: birth, death, marriage, and so forth. Ritual can be a ceremony of celebration (as in the holy days) or a way of honoring the Gods and Goddesses and thanking them for Their blessings. Offerings made to the Gods and Goddesses often include things of beauty, flowers, art, stones, crystals, or things of art made by the practitioner, poems, songs, and dance. These offerings demonstrate the level of dedication and devotion of Pagan worshippers. There are usually eight major holy days, or holidays, in the Pagan calendar. All are agrarian, four relate more to plants (planting, harvest, etc.) and four relate more to animal husbandry (cycles of fertility).

Information thanks to http://pagansa.org.ohio-state.edu/beliefs.html

 


 

Christianity

There are quite a few different denominations of Christ’s church (his body). They all believe basically the same thing, that Jesus is the son of God, came to die for our sins, and was resurrected the third day and is now exalted in Heaven beside the father. They all use the bible although the Mormons have the book of Mormon also. Some worship differently and some highlight certain teachings more than others. In the end they are all the same church (body of Christ) but they are just different parts of that body whether they are the hand, the foot, or the stomach, they are all part of the same body. Most of them just do not realize this, and many of them criticize and categorize the others as a different type of religion or cult instead of as a follower of Christ. It is not what denomination you are, but it is your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with God the father that will save you. Read the bible for yourself and search out all things so that you are not led astray.

To learn more about the different denominations of Christianity visit the websites below.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Information thanks to http://www.watchtower.org

Mormonism

Information thanks to http://www.mormon.org

Lutheran

Information thanks to http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/lutheran.htm

Protestant

Information thanks to http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/protrefo.htm

Catholicism

Information thanks to http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/ccfjeff/

7th day Adventist

Information thanks tohttp://www.adventist.org/

Methodist

Information thanks tohttp://www.umc.org/

Baptist

Information thanks to http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/baptists.htm

 


 

Acts 17:22-23

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

(The Greeks worshipped pagan gods, gods they made up themselves, and they worshipped statues of these gods. Some of these statues still remain today and can be seen throughout Greece.)

 


Hebrews 10:11

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

(It does not matter how religious you are, there is only one way into heaven and that is faith in Christ.)

 


Hebrews 13:9

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.-

  (It is not the teachings in scripture or even the Quran that are strange. It is those who distort them, or twist them to fullfil selfish ambitions. Scripture says what it says, there are no hidden meanings in scripture except for in parables or prophecies. So do not look for a secret answer when reading scripture or you may be led astray.)


James 1:27

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.