bridges

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Some Major Religions of the World
Submitter: Craig Lock
Category (key words):
religion, religions, religious tolerance, religious unity, faith, beliefs, spirituality, spiritual unity, unity of religion(s)

Web sites:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig )
Publishing Guidelines:
These writings (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

#

SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION: Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and perhaps others). Hope this piece may be of interest to you too.

HINDUISM

The Four Holy Truths: There is pain and suffering in the world – like birth, death, sickness, old age. Root cause of suffering is DESIRE. Karma is conscious action that has spiritual results. Karma consists of a persons acts and their ethical consequences + universal justice, a kind of natural moral law, rather than through a system of divine judgement. The struggle and suffering decreases as the individual acquires merit and wisdom during their life. Release from suffering. Nirvana is a complete detachment from desires and final nirvana is attained at death. Hindus renounce worldly desires. (Release = moksha)

The 8-fold path:
right
· views
· resolve
· speech
· behaviour
· occupation
· effort
· contemplation and
·
meditation.
People attain a state of perfection. Through self effort one can attain the state of
peace and eternal peace called Nirvana. Buddha ignored the worship of Gods, but did not deny their existence. What was important to Buddha was not the worship of Gods or of himself, but the following of his teachings. Nirvana is not a place like heaven, but a state of being. It’s eternal – the end of suffering – no desires and individual consciousness comes to an end. It’s more of a moral philosophy, an ethical way of life.
#
BAHAI

The nature of God is completely unknowable – he/she/it is transcendent to the point of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers – not saviours. God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and conviction.

BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.

#
MORMONS:
Definition of the Trinity as 3 separate individuals, God the Father and Jesus Christ being physical persons united in purpose; also a belief that human beings, can, if they live the commandments of God to the full, attain the status of godhood in future aeons.

#*

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

The main purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to let it be known that he is supreme and exercises sovereignty over the universe. Salvation is only for those who believe in Jesus.
#
MUSLIMS (ISLAM)

Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Mohammed, mediated by Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation. They believe that God himself, not Mohammed, is the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. Collection of passages revealed in his prophetic life – 610-632. 114 chapters. Earliest teachings – one transcendent and personal God. Last Judgement and social and personal justice. God, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history; but having failed to reform, these nations had been destroyed. Mohamed was the last prophet. Monotheistic. Well ordered, harmonious whole – everything has its proper place and limitations. God presides over and governs the universe, which with its orderly functioning, is the primary sign and proof of God and His unity. Mohammed’s miracle is the Koran, the like of which no human can produce. Last Judgement:

The “successful ones” will go to the Garden (heaven) and the “losers” (the evil) will go to hell; although God is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness. Besides the last judgment, which will be on individuals, the Koran recognizes another kind of divine judgement, which is meted out in history to nations, peoples and communities. Nations, like individuals, may be corrupted by wealth, power and pride, and, unless they reform, these nations are punished by being destroyed or subjugated by more virtuous nations. Islamic Beliefs: ONE God. Thus it’s a monotheistic religion. Muhammad proclaimed that Allah alone is God and that other idols were not to be worshipped. Muslims believe that the faith of Christianity has been corrupted and reject the Christian concept of the Trinity. They believe in angels, who are sinless. God’s messages were brought directly to Muhammad by Gabriel. God is believed to be too exalted to speak directly with men. Belief in God’s prohets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The Koran is believed to be the exact revelation of God to humanity. Koran is believed to have taken the place of all previous revelations of God’s will – only the Koran is considered binding. A trumpet sounds – the dead will be raised and judged for their deeds – going to paradise or hell. Only those who die as martyrs slain in the battle for Islam are considered to be granted immediate access to paradise.* (see Christianity below). Prosperous and evil nations will ultimately be destroyed by God. “Islam” means surrender or submission to the will of God. Muhammad was closest to God, so his example is to be followed. Muslims believe in and honour many of the prophets of the Old Testament. But they also say that the Bible must have been corrupted; because it points out the errant behaviour of these prophets, and since no prophet of God would ever err, the Bible must be wrong. Muslims have high respect for Jesus, but the view that Jesus is divine or the son of God is, to them, the highest blasphemy. The Koran says that God is not a man, therefore he cannot have a son. He would never stoop to enter our world. Story of Christ’s death reinforces their belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Basic tenets – the 5 pillars of Islam:
· Confession of
faith
· Ritual prayer
* Obligatory alms – ‘zakat’ to help those less fortune
· The holy fast of Ramadan: a time where there is no smoking, drinking, swearing, anger, sex – use month of fasting to draw closer to God and renew their spiritual strength.
· Pilgrimage to Mecca, the “Hajj”. Every Muslim who is not sick and can afford must complete. It is a time when all are deemed equal before God, regardless of social or financial position. As part of their purification process, participation heightens their social status.

Mohamed was a prophet, yet he never performed a miracle. He was not a mystic; he had no formal schooling, consequently Mohamed had no gift with words. In addition, he did not begin his mission till he was age 40. The impetus for the rise and raid spread of Islam was three-fold: Based upon the power of words, the efficacy of prayer and man’s kinship with God.
Mohamed observed the decline of
Christianity into warring sects (it’s the same today!). The archangel Gabriel appeared to him and said that he was to be the Messenger for God. Mohamed had invited the Jews and Christians to join him, for he was not building a new religion – Mohamed was calling all who believed in ONE GOD to join in a single faith….
but that vision never materialised, as the Jews and Christians did not want to pursue that path.

Mohamed’s legacy is that of persistence. Because after he had been preaching for ten years, he had nothing to show for it: but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet before another ten years had passed, he headed the rise of a new religion out of the Arabian desert, a faith spreading rapidly westwards, a flame which would not be extinguished.
Persistence changes the course of history

From ‘The Last Great Prophet’
Reviewed by Thomas Sugrue (as published in ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill)
#
CHRISTIANITY

Christianity and Islam are missionary religions. Both faiths believe they have a monopoly over the truth. Both want to share their version of truth with others and both compete in seeking converts. However, there is a fundamental doctrinal incompatibility between the major faiths of Islam and Christianity. Together with the Jews, they worship the God of Abraham. These three religions have many prophets in common and consequently have “shared values” that have shaped societies over the past two millenia.

Most “informed” Christians, however, do not believe the Koran is the un-intermediated word of God. Simply put, the faith of Christianity exists solely on the basis that Jesus Christ is the ‘son of God’*; whereas the faith of Islam exists purely on the basis that God dictated his laws to Mohammed and that the Koran contains God’s actual words.
* (And Christians may take this literally or “metaphorically”, symbolically, depending on their interpretation).

The concept of salvation (instant) coming purely through faith in Christ and not because of one’s life works is unique to Christianity (because there is no guarantee of salvation with Islam…unless one dies as a martyr). It’s the notion of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), which Islam and rationalists find to be the most implausible aspect of Christianity.

This debate of religions is really a battle of ideas, a ‘clash of ideologies and civilisations between east and west’. Catholic Cardinal Ratzinberger once said: “Islam simply does not have the separation of the political and religious spheres which Christianity had from the very beginning. The Koran… insists that the whole order of life be Islamic. One must understand that Islam is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.” True Muslims cannot accept either the separation of powers or the freedom under the law which are the hallmarks of Western civilisation. *

* From an article in ‘The Independent’ by Dominic Lawson.

*
A few personal thoughts to end off..

Everybody’s truth is different, because our experiences, our environments, our cultures, our life paths are different. So every person’s faith is different (even the state of having NO faith). Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the Absolute Truth (because ‘Absolute Truth’ has a degree of subjectivity – at least I believe so!). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God, Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer, the Essence of Life at the centre. (Like spokes leading to the hub, the Ultimate Source of Life). It’s up to YOU to CHOOSE your set of beliefs, those which fit best with YOUR truth, your being.

I am motivated to share these sets of beliefs, these “eternal truths” with others, so people may benefit and enhance their lives in a meaningful way…if they so CHOOSE. I hope that this information may be of interest to you… and that’s my reason for sharing.

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes UNDERSTANDING.

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder… and a ‘passionate moderate’ for religious tolerance”)

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls.
Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace.
Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are,
but what they could one day become.”
– craig

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

“”God’s greatest gift to us is allowing us to find, then choose to follow our own truths.”

“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope” – craig

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

This piece may be freely published, electronically or in print

About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4
http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html and http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.comwww.breakdownwalls.wordpress.comhttp://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.comhttp://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Together, one mind, one heart, one life, one small step at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

 

Advertisements