Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christian Factions - Their Own Interpretations

Christian Factions - Their Own Interpretations

By asking a seemingly simple question - "Do you eat meat on good Friday?" - I opened a can of worms.

This particular question doesn't pose a problem for me as I am a vegetarian but I was trying to identify the link between religion and eating meat. Could scripture be used to sway an individual towards a vegetarian diet?

What confused me at this point was nothing to do with the original question. One of the people I asked said "I'm not a Catholic! That rule doesn't apply to me.".  Clearly, I did not understand the many factions of Christianity when I asked the question. A quick look at Page 98 of Information Is Beautiful confirms the many factions of Christianity and World Religions.

How is it that factions of Christianity can exist? Isn't "The Bible" the one true word of God? These factions give themselves the liberty to choose a different interpretation or implement different rules for their followers.

Continuing on this road, I was watching "Bill O'Reilly - Is There A Hell" and thought again about the factions of Christianity.

I think it is a fairly well accepted fact that if you don't worship the Christian God, you will burn in hell. As an Atheist, I will surely burn in hell, if it existed. Bill O'Reilly asks "Which church teaches that?" and goes on to say "My church doesn't teach that.". Does Bill not know the teachings of The Bible or is he part of a special Christian faction that chose to implement a different interpretation of The Bible?

Further to this, just because your Pastor doesn't say it, or teach it, doesn't mean it isn't in The Bible or isn't a core tenet. Stoning your children to death probably isn't taught in this church either, but essentially you all sin if you don't follow the rules as outlined in The Bible.

Irrespective of what level you apply an interpretation or differing rules, be it at the faction level, church level or at an individual level, it all originated from the same Bible. If you are not following and adhering to the original Bible and living by the rules of this Bible, then the unfortunate consequence is that you will suffer the same fate as the rest of us.

Near enough isn't good enough for your God.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fascination with Religion

Fascination with Religion

Over the past year, I have become fascinated with religion and it all started with a book.

I made a decision and judged a book by its title and I picked up a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

I knew the book wasn't going to be some kind of fluffy bunny, sugar and spice encounter, and in my subconscious there was a tiny pang of what I thought was guilt.

I now recognize this feeling. I feel it when I am trapped in an argument and I am wrong or when my basic idea of the world is challenged. An emotion of confrontation that results in me admitting and accepting I am wrong and having to revise my world view and opinion.

In this case, a book called The God Delusion was confrontational to my world view as I had not yet formed a specific idea of where a God fits into my world.

I read this book over three nights and was intrigued and engrossed. The arguments in the book were impeccable and made sense to me. Given a mindset of logic and reason, which I need to use in every day life, I found the book connected with me and has essentially affirmed my underlying atheistic mindset.

My interest and fascination has been perked and I have since discovered The Four Horsemen, The Atheist Experience and many brilliant, logical and reasonable blogs.

I recommend that everyone reads The God Delusion.