03
Jul
09

Jet Li on Religion

Read this article from an actor that for some reason I have always had this respect for inside me. There was always something different about him. After you read this, I just have some questions and ideas that I would love to throw into the mix. After reading this and some of his other short essays, I would love a chance to converse with him. So many of the ideas I agree with, but the areas of difference I think would be an amazing conversation.

my commentary is in italics

“Is there a religion that is superior morally and spiritually with respect to all others?

I strongly believe the answer is no. Sure, religions differ from one another in their outward trappings, in the Gods their followers worship, in the customs and rituals which their practitioners observe. But upon closer inspection, the underlying heart and central principle in every religion is the same. Every religion boils down to love, to a respect for all living things, to choosing peace over violence as a means of resolving a conflict. The essence is universal; it is only the means to the end that varies.”

– True religion does boil down to what he states here, ” boils down to love, to a respect for all living things, to choosing peace over violence as a means of resolving a conflict.” At the same time, religion, is a form or structure that is void of life by itself. Not all religions truly preach and display this universal essence. Not even all the people that exist in the religions that preach this message live this message. It gets surrounded, diluted, with life experiences and personal thoughts; instead of leaving it up to the author of it to explain for himself.

“If intrinsically all religions preach the same thing, then why all the different world religions and their numerous offshoots?

The explanation, I believe, lies in the fact that people across the world live under very different circumstances. Depending on the cultural, historical, and geographical background of the individual, some religions are easier to understand and practice than others. An individual may opt to follow a certain religion because it falls in place with the way he or she interacts with society at large. Perhaps the religion helps foster and protect the pre-established living patterns along which the individual is used to following. Or maybe the religion helps the individual confront a longstanding fear or personal weakness.”

Why there are many branches many reasons have breached my ears and many thoughts have swam in my mind. It still kind of boggles my mind about the reasoning for branching. All that I have seen is that one person got the idea in his head that this ‘new’ or ‘rediscovered’ idea is what the Scriptures really meant. Now a new branch is born. Some have been needed like Martin Luther to the Catholic Church. Brought the original message of grace back to the forefront. Thanks Papa.

“I like to explain the technical side of the proliferation of such a wide variety of religions through the concept of Bagua, a Chinese form of mathematics. As I’ve already pointed out, the common denominator of all religions is the concept of love and forgiveness. A tree trunk grows branches; in the same way, the major world religions (such as Buddhism and Christianity) spring from the root source of love. From these major world religions other smaller sects and subdivisions arise, like twigs from a bough. Populations in different regions throughout the world put a differentiating mark on what is otherwise the same religion and make them into unique ones, out of cultural, moral, or sometimes even political reasons. For instance, the Buddhist sects found in India differ from those, say, in China. And from those sub-religions arise another smaller and more specialized set of other sub-religions. It’s an infinite process of divisions and offshoots. But if you reverse the process of proliferation and retrace the paths of all these religious sects, you find that they all boil down to one common root – love.”

– This is with the understanding that all humans completely understand love. But do we really? How do we truly know something unless we are first shown it? Can something like love, which no one can really define, be understood so easily? We can see acts of love, thoughts of love, words of love, but what is love… really? Like a man named Jesus once said, “Judge a plant by it’s fruit,” well if the root is love, but not the true love of Papa and his Spirit, is this really love? or someincomplete picture that still has hints and stains of brokenness and pain involved…..

“Why then, one might ask, are there religions that preach evil deeds? Why has religion, in numerous historical instances, been used to promote and justify the acts of terrorism, political propaganda, cult suicides, and so forth? Here, I think it is crucial to draw a distinction between the religion itself and the way with which an individual or group of people may choose to interpret or use such a religion. Sometimes, for political motivations or for a personal agenda, a group of people in power may choose to distort a particular religion to serve their own self-interest. In that case, the essence of the religion – love- is no longer pure and has been warped by a negative outside factor. In the continual proliferation and outgrowth of so many different religions, it is inevitable that distorting factors such as self-interest are introduced and divorce the resulting new “religion” from its original intent.”

– 100% agree. With one question, has the love ever been pure? I thought purity was tested by fire….

“Hence, it is important to remember that religion, per se, is a good thing. When one practices a religion, one should be aware of what it is ultimately about and not be misled into blind practice of its specific tenets. I always believe it is important to develop such an awareness. Rote memorization and recitation of a religion’s principles and ideas, and perfunctory performance of its rituals mean little if one doesn’t live it. Only through a lifestyle of generosity, kindness, and love, and a positive contribution to humankind can one consider oneself a true practitioner of any religion.”

– Yet once again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Thanks The Message. Yet this attitude not just to the ones that treat us well and love us, but ultimately the ones that don’t love us, use us, and treat us terribly.

03
Jul
09

Faith Healing or Death Certificate?

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/07/ava_clearly_showed_grave_illne.html


Read this article first.

There really is a lot to talk about in this, but I don’t think that no matter how much God wants us to trust Him, have faith in the process of Jesus in our life, and the move of Sarayu around us; that he ever intended for the death of anyone, let alone children. I am not trying to cast a stone at this guy, I am sure that he believed he was doing God’s will for his life and what Papa wanted from him. That doesn’t excuse actions that bring destruction. Faith healing is great, it shows the power of the Spirit and the miracles it can do. At the same time there is a place for the wisdom of medicine in our lives. That information is just as much a miracle as the prayer that brings back the dead or heals the man of lung cancer.

I feel remorse and sorrow for the situation they must be in. 1. The crisis of faith they may be going through. Everything they knew about God, how he worked in people’s lives, and what they were being taught about the bible, is now in question. On the other side, society is attacking these people as monsters and being prosecuted as criminals. How is their church responding to them? From my limited experience with the teaching that surround faith-healing only, there is a great chance that their own thoughts and the voices of people around them are betraying. Saying that the parents did not have enough faith, that they did not pray enough, that they did not fast enough. Total B.S. If anyone really is a follower of Jesus then how do we move forward in this situation in a spirit of gentleness?
I have also heard some people start to rail on these parents because, “The testimony of other christians is now damaged.” When will we get our minds off of our work, how we look, or even what affects us? Would Jesus have been more concerned with how other people’s choices affected him or how he could bring about healing in their life while drawing them closer to Papa? Was his identity based in other people’s actions and choices or in his relationship with his own Daddy?
Is their anyway that me, us, can extend forgiveness to these people for their actions and ask them for forgiveness of us? Forgive us for the judgement of their hearts and the malice contained there in……
And birth is the greatest miracle of all. Followed closely I imagine by parenthood. 😀

This one is intended to start a discussion. I may add more of mine own thoughts here in a bit, but I want everyone to openly discuss this topic and everything around it.



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