A Personal View on Religion

Chris
 January 07, 2019
Comments (3)


I grew up in a Christian home and as with everybody else I accepted Christianity as a part of my life, I was confirmed as a member of the Methodist church at age 15. At home religion was not a major issue, we went to church, said prayers but we were not fanatical. I read quite a lot and at age 16 I read about the Nazi concentration camps. The events described and the general extermination of the Jewish people came as a major shock to me, I could not understand how it was possible for people to be so inhuman.

 

I began to wonder how it was that the perfect God I was taught about, who created all humans could possibly be responsible for creating such cruel people. The God "the creator", I learnt about in Sunday school would absolutely not allow such evil things to happen. If we as people were so imperfect, then God must also be imperfect since he created us. I took my doubts to the Methodist minister and explained my thoughts, hoping he would make some sense of my confusion. This gentleman gave me a very stern lecture about blasphemy and sent me on my way, all he suceeded in doing was to create even bigger doubts in my mind, as well as a profound mistrust of religious ministers, even today I trust a lawyer more than a preacher (that's not very much). I was completely dumbstruck and could not believe that God would create me with a mind, and then expect me not to use it in connection with anything religious, this simply made no sense at all.
I began to read the bible to try and make sense of religion and soon realised that the bible is really a history book more than anything else. I read some pretty amazing stuff in there and soon realised that God was a bloodthirsty individual. It is quite amazing that the ten commandments he gave to Moses as the supreme law, seemed to be of no consequence when it suited. For instance "Thou shalt not kill" is one of the commandments, yet God actively sanctions genocide. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife" yet Uriah the Hitite lost his life because King David (one of Gods favourites) fancied his wife. This is definitly not what you hear about in Sunday school, yet the preachers must be aware of these contradictions from God.
As I read futher into the bible the picture of God began to change from an all powerfull and loving entity into something of a monster, capable of the most cruel acts imaginable, whilst at the same time guiding the Israelites with some pretty sound advice for normal day to day living. It also became clear that contrary to the teachings of the church, there were in those times, more than one God, why else would God be a jealous God, unless there were other Gods to be jealous of. Obvious to me, was that there were in fact several Gods, one in particular chose the descendants of Abraham as his chosen people. I began to wonder why he would choose this particular group. I then remembered the story of how the Lord opened the womb of Sarah, Abrahams wife ( and sister?), and that made me think that possibly he chose them because they were actually his own descendants, it depends on how one interprets the opening of Sarahs womb. The story of the nephilim would tend to confirm that the Lords were quite capable of breeding with the daughters of man, it is therefore possible, perhaps even probable that Sarahs child was fathered by the Lord.
Of all the chapters in the bible, the most fascinating is the story of Ezekiel, his description of the meeting he had with the Lord in a flying machine is absolutely amazing, from his description it can only have been a flying machine quite similar to a modern helicopter. The story of Elijah being taken up by a whirlwind makes more sense after reading Ezekiel, it must have been the same machine which took him away. There are many things in the bible which are difficult to understand, for example on page one the Lord creates heaven and earth etc and creates light on the second day, but only on the fourth day does he create the sun, moon and stars, what light did he create on the second day? The other major mystery is the nature of the "rod of God" used by Moses, this must have been no ordinary stick, it was used to open the Red sea, produce water from a rock and was apparently a powerfull weapon without which the Israelites would have been anihilated, definitly something quite special! In psalms there is the well known psalm which reads "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thy rod and staff do comfort me", is this the same "rod of god" that Moses had? it sounds like it provides some protection.
Leading up to the new testament of the bible God is portrayed in a completely different light, and it seems that he is no longer a flesh and blood being, in personal contact with his people, he seems to have become a spirit father in heaven figure that relies on prophets to convey his instructions to the people. Again in the new testament there are strange contradictions in what is supposed to be divinely inspired writings. It is quite common to refer to a statement as being the "Gospel Truth" in order to emphasise the truth of a statement, yet it is hard to understand how the nativity story can differ so much between the gospel of Mathew and the gospel of Luke. The one has Joseph and his family running off to Egypt after the birth of Jesus and the other has them going to Jerusalem and on to Nazereth, both stories cannot be true, so which one is the "gospel truth"?
By this time I was extremely sceptical about religion in general and Christianity in particular and I was having serious doubts about the existence of God, the Devil is an equally vague persona. I started reading about how the church came into being. It seems that in the middle east region there were quite a number of religions with quite large followings leading up to the time of Jesus, quite a few of them featuring "son of god" deities who were born of a virgin, died on a cross and were ressurected after three days, it is quite odd that Jesus should then have these same features. The more I read the more I began to realise that all of these religions ( Christianity included), had more to do with astrology than actual reality. One explanation of the nativity scene with sheperds, wise men etc, was that the whole scene is actually a description of the horoscope of Jesus and that all the star alignments depicted in this nativity scene occurred on the 7th of July in the year 7 BCE. If this is true or not I really don't know, but considering the obsession people of those times had with astromony and astrology it is quite possible. More recently I came across a reference to an ancient Egyptian story about the sun. It seems that the movement of the sun throughout the year was carefully noted by the ancients and they observed in particular the point at which it rose in the morning. It seems that they observed the sun rising further and futher south after the autumn equinox until it reached a point at which it ceased to move southward, at this point it would rise in the southern cross constellation, there it would continue to rise for three days before moving noticably northward. Thus they surmised that the sun died on the cross and was reborn after three days. It is not hard to make the connection to the religious stories of dieties that died on the cross and were resurrected after three days, especially when the rebirth of the sun takes place on the 25th of December which in Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus, coincidence? This was also the birth date for Mithras and Dionysus as well. Because of a phenonem known as "precession" it should be possible to establish, to within a few hundred years, when this myth came into being. The tradition of the virgin birth may also have had its origin through astromony, with Jupiter rising inside the constellation of Virgo and then coming out of Virgo and thus can be said to have been born of the virgin. This would explain why there is such a long list of deities who were born of a virgin, died on a cross and were resurrected after three days.
The above paragraph deals with the origins of the various myths surrounding various religions but does not explain how the Christian religion came to be so widely believed. From my reading of the new testament, after the death of Jesus the Christians were a relatively small cult section of the Jews, until Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, involved himself and started to actively market the new religion amongst all people in the mediteranean region. Paul, it seems, was a pretty good salesman and he built up a substantial following by including gentiles. Even then Christianity was still a relatively small cult often the subject of persecution, but they were apparently quite devoted to the religion of Jesus. The cult around Jesus grew in spite of the persecution and this became a problem for the Romans who used religion to control people and the Christians (were they even called christians?) were then not under their control. About three hundred years after Jesus the Roman emperor Constantine seems to have decided that "if you can't beat them, join them". He then established the Roman Catholic church and took over the religion of Christianity and adapted it to his needs, attributing to Jesus many of the existing myths already in existence connected to other deities. From that time onwards Christianity (or the Roman Catholic version of it) became the official religion of the Roman empire and all people within the empire had to believe it, or else. It is then that the destruction of all things which might support the "pagan" religions were destroyed with much vigour, much to the detriment of our current knowledge of ancient times. Anyone not conforming to the new religion was labelled a "heretic" and was dealt with severely. Many of the existing "pagan" festivals were simply relabelled as Christian festivals to make the transition from paganism to Christianity smoother. So succesfull was the Roman Catholic church, that it managed to survive the fall of the Roman empire and continues to this day to have a huge following around the world. Several groups broke away from the roman church but still followed the same basic religion ( roman version of christianty).
Along the way in my quest resolve the question of religion in my own mind, I came across some pretty strange concepts which form part of the Roman Catholic religion. I had never understood the term "purgatory", apparently this is a sort of "way station" you go to when you die, there you have to spend some time being judged and atoning for minor sins, before going on to heaven. However in times past you could purchase a discount on the time spent in purgatory while you were still alive. A priest could give you a discount of up to month, a bishop was able to give a discount of 6 months, from a pope you would probably get direct access to heaven, all for a fee of course. " Limbo" is another strange concept which is little understood, apparently this is an area around the edge of heaven to which unbaptised souls of babies and others are sent to who are not evil enough to get into hell, but not baptised so they don't get into heaven. This conjures up an image of heaven being like a large pudding bowl surrounded by an area of souls gazing wistfully into the bowl from the edges. This is part of the Catholic doctrine, and since all the Christian churchs stem from the Catholic church, one must assume they also believe in these concepts. Christianity today is still influenced by astronomy in that the date of easter is decided by the occurence of the full moon. Most churches seem to regard astrology as the work of the devil, they seem to have forgotten the influence of astrology on their own religion.
Although I had discovered a lot about how Christianity came into being, there were still a lot of unresolved matters, mainly how the Jewish religion got started, and since Christianity stems from the Jewish religion, this was quite important to me. Reading was always my main source of research and I still continue to read a lot. One author whose book had a big influence on my thinking was Erich von Daniken, whilst I don't agree with his theories, he did inspire a different way of looking at things. He has been, and continues to be, much maligned by many, but his theories actually make more sense than anything you hear from the church, so it is not surprising that he has a large following. At the time when he wrote his book "Chariots of the Gods" it took a brave man to espouse his theories of ancient astronauts. I personally do not agree with the idea of aliens coming to earth and starting civilization, but I also don't discount the idea. I suspect that there were on earth earlier civilizations far more advanced than we are today, and that they were aware of a catastrophe which would happen and destroy their entire civilization. They seem to have made as much provision for saving humanity as they could, as evidenced by the very extensive underground living spaces on every continent. In this connection, it is interesting that the Mexicans, who became the Aztecs, have a tradition which has them coming out of caves at the start of the current era, the Maya and Inca have similar "myths". It is also possible that there were many catastrophe's down the ages. This would make the "Elohim", or lords, in genesis the survivors of these higher civilizatons. I suspect that these survivors went about the business of recreating humankind "in their image" from whatever genetic material had survived the catastrophe, and proceeded to educate them. This would explain why our civilizations came into being so suddenly.
The huge and unexplained buildings around the world, could be remnants of buildings and installations of these previous civilizations, the pyramids of Egypt for instance. These pyramids in Egypt, we are expected to believe were built by the pharoahs as tombs, using manual labour, that is simply not credible. The fact is, we don't know why or how they were built, or by whom or even when. What we do know is that they were very carefully engineered to very exact standards, which we cannot duplicate even today. The idea of these massive structures having been built merely as a tomb for a pharoah is an insult to the original builders, and such ridiculous ideas should be banished from our textbooks. I have read about many different theories about the function of the pyramids and perhaps the most plausible is available on line at nuclearpyramids.com, I don't know if they are correct or not, since I am not a nuclear physicist, but the theory of pyramids being a nuclear reactor of some kind, makes much more sense than tombs. In this regard the author William Gleeson has some interesting ideas in his book "Before the Delusion" which sound quite plausible, it would be up to the reader to accept or reject his ideas. Interestingly there seem to be pyramids all over the world even under the sea, I am inclined to think there is a connection between all of them, exactly how, why or when nobody seems to know.
There are of course many other religions around the world apart from christianity, Islam is another major religion to surface from the middle east region and I was quite shocked to discover that they actually worship the same God as the Hebrews, the God of Abraham. This is absolutely amazing considering the animosity between Christians, Jews and Muslims. How is it that they are at each others throats all the time and actually worship the same God. The mind boggles. Islam was apparently started by Mohamed in the 7th century AD, but according to some researchers was actually started by the Pope of the Roman catholic church who was looking for a means of controlling the Arab nations in order to gain their assistance in conquering areas of Africa and the middle east and thereby expanding the influence of Rome. In support of this theory is the fact that Jesus and Mary are highly regarded in the Koran, which does point to the influence of the vatican in the writing of the Koran. I cannot imagine why Mohamed would even want to mention Jesus and Mary, who had died some 600 years before his time. If the vatican was involved in the founding of Islam, then this plan very seriously backfired and Islam became the RC churchs worst nightmare. Since I am not fully informed on Islam, there is little else I can say except that the divisions within Islam seem to be very serious and the various sects seem to have little tolerance for each other, the exact reasons for this are still a mystery to me and likely to remain so.
Hinduism originating in India is also a major religion and probably far older than other religions, I have heard it criticized on account of their having a large number of Gods. Personally I think they probably have less deities than the Christians if you include all the various Saints and Angels. India was spared the zealots of Christendom and they still have most of their ancient writings. I am almost totally ignorant as far as the Hindu religion is concerned, but I have read that their ancient writings include stories of the Gods flying around in flying machines so perhaps the machine Ezekiel describes comes from the same Gods, and possibly the origins of the middle east religions is actually in India, that would not suprise me at all. Buddhism also originates in the same area, but I am not sure if it should be classified as a religion, or a way of life, the main goal in Buddhism seems to be the reaching a stage of enlightenment and inner peace and they also believe in reincarnation. To my ignorant mind they seem to have the only sensible religion on earth, at least they are not hell bent on forcing everyone to believe their religion.
On a lighter note perhaps I should mention the FSM church, anyone with a sense of humour should take a look at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I think its quite funny. They even have a reformed FSM church, although what the difference is, I don't know.
The concept of heaven and hell is something that has always intrigued me, where exactly is heaven meant to be, we know that outside our sky there is a seemingly limitless space, so where do you put heaven? Hell is an equally vague area so where do modern Christians put heaven and hell, perhaps on other planets in other galaxies. When someone can answer all these questions I may even become religious again, but that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon.
Meanwhile the world is afflicted with religious fanatics, some openly wanting to kill those that don't believe their particular brand of religion, others trying by more subtle means to regulate the lives of others. I have to ask myself, why do people in this socalled enlightened age still believe in religion? It seems we believe what we are taught believe, we are also taught not to question religion and society tends to ostracize those who ask difficult questions, this I know from my own experience. It still never ceases to amaze me that many well educated and obviously intelligent people still profess to believe religious doctrine and seem to be completely unable to use their intelligence when it comes to their particular religion, some even trying to prove their religion by scientific means. Mainstream archeology has its roots in christianity and they have been influenced by the need to support biblical texts, which is why there are so many misconceptions surrounding archeological theories, any archeologist who attempts to introduce a different idea is ostracized by his peers. Whenever archeologists come across something they don't understand, they place a religious significance, or theory on it, In this way religion has had an adverse influence on many spheres of life.
Instead of teaching our children religion, it is perhaps time to explore the full capabilities of our minds. Most people seem to agree that the human brain is capable of very much more than we actually use them for. There are many reports of various people having the ability to manipulate inanimate objects using mind power, if this ability is real perhaps we should try to expand on such ability. Telepathy is another aspect which would be to our benefit if we could learn to use our minds to communicate, even if it puts telephone companys out of business.
After all of the above, one question remains, is there life after death? If there is I am sure that whatever such existance is, it is nothing like what we hear from the religious people. There are many stories about people who have communicated with the living after their death, most of which seem to be fancifull, a few however, seem credible.

 


Personally, I'm dying to know the truth.

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Patrick
April 04, 2019
I posted a comment but the web page only agreed to send it if it was modified. Why?. It was not inflammatory but agreed with your conclusions. Is this another example of censorship.
Chris
April 08, 2019
Chris
Hi Patrick, There is no question of censorship involved, comments are moderated and not modified. The reason for this is to prevent offensive and hurtful comments being posted. I have just not checked my email for a while, my apologies for the late posting of your comment. Any comments made will be posted provided they do not contain profane language or racism etc. Thank-you for your comment.
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Patrick
April 04, 2019
Clever thinking and much food for thought and agree with many of your conclusions. However as I don't subscribe to any of the "modern" religions, following the old ways of respect for the earth etc, I count myself lucky not to be brain washed by these contradictory and suspicious religions. Keep delving and good luck!
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