Death of Religion 2017-21

                                           Death of Religion   2017-21

This may be controversial and debatable as an opinion on where religion is or is going in today’s time frame.

I consider myself religious.  I also consider myself as spiritual. Two different things in relationship to believing in and practicing a faith in a Divinity.

There is a whole spectrum of various things to think about faith, but I will dwell on the two terms used, somewhat, as a means of identification of how people use the words to describe their beliefs.  I will then propose the thought that religion is dying out as a means to pursue the relationship with God.

 Spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) is a popular phrase and initialism used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that takes issue with organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth. Spirituality places an emphasis upon the well-being of the “mind-body-spirit”, so “holistic” activities such as tai chi, reiki, and yoga are common within the SBNR movement. In contrast to religion, spirituality has often been associated with the interior life of the individual. This, taken from Wikipedia as a reference.  This is not the crux of what I want to discuss.

I make the supposition that religion is, in fact, disappearing in the mainstream of life, worldwide. The actual involvement of having religious feelings is not what it was in the past, and is not a factor for many in their daily lives. Some places actually have an INCREASE in religious furor, to a degree though.

Could it be that we, as a society overall, are becoming more rational in our thinking, more affluent and somewhat secure, more educated and less IN NEED of religion? Will religion become less important in modern societies and lead to secularization of life?  Will the modern world see religion as “just not that important”? That doesn’t mean religion is on its dying gasps of reality though; just a change in perspective of living.

I remember someone I was talking to recently stated, “I am not into religion!  I don’t like someone telling me when to stand up and sit down in a building like a church.” He further stated that “using the word “community” is not my thing.”  I did NOT argue with that person, but would have liked to explain what I thought about church and community. Sometime else for that subject though.

Religion is a manmade entity and not really a direct something from the Holy Spirit.  It coincides with spiritual growth between the person and God.  It involves doing.  You must work at it, it does not JUST HAPPEN.

So, what is happening? Evidence shows that fewer American adults, especially those under thirty, attend church, or even belong to a church. They say NONE, if asked about their religion and actually ignore faith and God as something to think about daily.

The NONE’s are outstripping other faith denominations and following other countries in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and other modernized places. We are becoming members of the Secular Age and it is growing. Many factors play a role in the demise of religion.

I read that 10% of adults in the U.S. are ex-Catholics, the biggest denomination in the country. The NONE’s are working at becoming the majority group at 25%,  outstripping the Catholics (21%) and evangelicals (16%).

 

WHY? Why is this happening? If you an intelligent person, which includes most of us hopefully, we have problems with religious thinking and beliefs.  I do not, but some of us do!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s less than plausible to believe in invisible gods, devils, heavens, hells, angels, demons — plus virgin births, resurrections, miracles, messiahs, prophecies, faith-healings, visions, incarnations, divine visitations and other supernatural claims.  Magical thinking is suspect, ludicrous.  It’s not for intelligent, educated people.  I believe that those that feel this way, think religion is dying due to what they feel are false, dishonest or untrue statements, that they are expected to follow without thought. 

They do not want to consider why we are here, and why the universe is made up the way it is or even if there is a purpose in life other than just living then dying and being buried.

 New scientific wonders have set the scene for a “death of a thousand cuts”, and have slowly diminished religion by extending death itself and easing our fear of mortality. Why worry about death if it lingers on? Why worry about religion that is a far reaching non-entity of life?

I am religious. I am spiritual. I am a believer of the Triune God of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. There IS a God and He is Alive, He is Aware, He is Active and He is Present around and within me.  So be it!!!!!!!!!!!!   I believe, and in the belief, I am.  I welcome your comments here or at bettsden@gmail.com

                       Den Betts

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Answers and Questions, plus Pascal 2016-15

Answers and Questions, plus Pascal   2016-15

This may be a depressing post to some, but in reality I feel that it has an upbeat and positive thought process to it. It has a point, which should be evident at the end, hopefully…..

First question: What would you do, what would you say, what would you accomplish or, in general, WISH for,  IF you knew you had only 14 hours to live? See what I mean—depressing!

A convicted person, who is on death row, has to at least think about it if he/she has only so long to live, and they may not be able to do or say the things they would like to say or do anyhow……

But in my scenario, you DO have some time to do or say something, what or how would you spend your existing time. I realize, some exotic answers are on the minds of some.

Would you tell someone how much you love them? This would be the chance to do so or tell them again!

Would you let someone know how much you are sorry for your actions in the past? Hey, you might have been holding back for a LONG time, so now would be your chance.

Before I go on, let me say that I am NOT telling you to make a decision that would precipitate this action, this is just an exercise. You are not allowed, under a decent code of deeds to willingly do something to yourself. I think of some that are so depressed that suicide is their only recourse, but they do not think of those that are left behind and their actions are a somewhat selfish act for their own purposes, which is so very, very sad. That is the disclaimer for this posting, so understand it…..,please!

Onward!!! I probably can think of a good many things I would do or could say in the time period I would have left here on Earth. Death is a certainty for all of us at some time. We all think we will live forever, in our mind; especially this thought was true when I was much younger, and I believe this is a normal thought process.

Now to the crux of this discourse: Life on earth is usually less than 100 years.  That is such a small amount of time in the whole concept of how long Earth has been around. Modern conveniences are relatively new to us; again less than 100 years.  We will probably NOT see Mars being inhabited or a Star Trek type space ship being manned, going through space, so those things are future things beyond our reality of happening.

Next question— For those that have doubts or think they are certain and KNOW there is NOT a God,  I ask — REALLY, what IF they are wrong? Eternity of life is on the line!!!!

BUT, what is eternity? That is a very, very, very long time period. Some could say it is forever. IF those that do not believe in the hereafter or of a God that promises such a long life, then it does not matter to them. I brought this subject up before and will do so again, namely Pascal’s Wager.

A French philosopher (1623-62) Blaise Pascal came up with the thought that humans all bet with their lives, either that God exists or that he does not. Life ends abruptly or continues. If it is based on the assumption that the stakes are infinite if God exists and that there is at least a small probability that God, in fact, exists,  Pascal argued that the stakes are infinite IF God exists and that there is at least a small probability that God, in fact, does exist.  (Whew, long sentence!!!)

He argued that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. The neat thing is, if God does NOT actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (such as pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

Pascal’s Wager was groundbreaking because it opened a new territory in the “Probability Theory”, but that is another matter for another time.

The possible answer could be in Pascal’s Wager where he used the following logic based on a God and used Christianity as a measure, but other religions also have the same thought process:

  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game– where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain. Confusing? Think about it for a moment or so!
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then “at least learn the inability to believe…” and “Endeavour then to convince themselves!!!!”

That’s it!!   Choices in life; to actually believe or to at least wager if you have doubts and if all else fails convince yourself that you are taking a chance in a lifetime to live forever or not. When the time comes, the countdown time will end.

In the meantime, I pray that belief in the Triune God of the Father, The Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will be with you in the reality of your mind. I have a another question then: “If you do believe in the Triune God, how are you living your life to get Closer to God; and with that thought, I will be posting another blog to address this last question just made……………………………………………….

Den Betts

What is a Christian? 2015- 79

What is a Christian?  2015- 79  

Christian, what is one?

The easy answer is one who believes in Jesus Christ and practices the faith of a believer of Jesus. A Christian is a person that is a follower of the world’s largest religion with about 2.4 billion adherents.  Christians believe that a man named Jesus is the Son of God, and was fully divine and fully human and became the savior of humanity. His coming as Christ or the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible. To my non-Christian followers, let me expound on this subject for a moment.

Christian theology is expressed in ecumenical creeds. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father, and that he will return to judge the living and dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are often referred to as “the gospel“, meaning “good news” (Greek: εὐαγγέλιον euangélion). The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus’s life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are considered canonical and included in Christian Bibles.”   This per Wikipedia Click on blue words for more info on it.

Many people say they are a Christian without really knowing what a Christian is and the history of the religion. The Bible New Testament was compiled from writings and sayings of those that lived after the man Jesus died. Jesus is quoted from what is believed He said to them at the time. Most Christians have not read the Bible in its entirety, or usually read portions of it as deemed fit at the time. Some of the Christian thoughts have come from those sayings in the Bible and the Bible is used to make certain points or so in daily life.

The feeling of how Jesus relates as the Son of God, in relation to God and the Holy Spirit is not easy to fathom for some. This concept is sometimes hard to understand and to some, to accept. Other religions do NOT see this concept, as a fact and deny the Christian beliefs as not worthy of respect and these differences of opinion have created much discord in the world today.

“The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The Christian concept of the Messiah differs significantly from the contemporary Jewish concept. The core Christian belief is that through belief in and acceptance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, sinful humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life.

While there have been many theological disputes over the nature of Jesus over the earliest centuries of Christian history, generally Christians believe that Jesus is God incarnate and “true God and true man” (or both fully divine and fully human). Jesus, having become fully human, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, but did not sin. As fully God, he rose to life again. According to the Bible, “God raised him from the dead”, he ascended to heaven, is “seated at the right hand of the Father” and will ultimately return  to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and final establishment of the Kingdom of God.”  Per Wikipedia

I cannot add to what I have shown above, but as a self-admitted Christian, I believe in what I have written. To those of other faiths, I do not care what you believe or do not believe. This is not a cruel thought, just a fact. We all have beliefs! Some people do not have a belief in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit and that is a belief in that way of thinking. So be it if that is the case. Others of different faiths believe in a different God or many God’s and if so, that is your belief. When we can get together, talk, discuss and acknowledge our differences without discord we will be on a path of understanding that will go beyond belief; and that will be great.

Den Betts