“Religious beliefs are very controversial and there are tons of religious groups. The more I care about is to live peacefully and consciously. The truth can be found within your heart and your divine formless aspects…”
I, too, hope you have a peaceful life. As I noted in reply to your blog, 2+2=4 but the one who answers 5 is closer to the truth than the one who answers 37. There is much that is true in the sayings of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers. There is much one can learn by reading the four Vedas of Hinduism, the Gathas of Zoroaster, the Agam literature of Jainism and the Muslim’s Quran. Even the Book of Mormon and the Satanic Bible have rules, many of which can help someone live a good life (though I do not recommend any of these until one has a clearer understanding of the Bible).
Buddha and the other philosophers never claimed to be religious. They simply described how to improve one’s life by various means of self-discipline and learning. The religious literature all show ways that one can reach Nirvana, mystical absorption into the Infinite or find acceptance by God. The answers to 2+2 vary in accuracy from 5 or 6, or in the case of Mormonism 37, and in the Satanic Bible 5,489! 😨
The apostle Paul said to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). So there is nothing wrong with reading or studying teachings of philosophy and religion, but there is much “testing” that needs to be done when one reads these texts. They are not all good and at best will only give one a better life here and now, if that is all for which one is looking.
However, I genuinely fear for people looking for answers in religion. They will find at the end of this life that they have been deceived. The Bible has very little to say about religion (check an online resource for how rarely it is mentioned), and Jesus had his biggest problems with the religious leaders of his day. In fact, it was the chief priest and the religious legislative body, the Sanhedrin, that first condemned Jesus to death before handing Him over to the Romans. The Romans did not allow the Jews to commit capital punishment (though this was disobeyed at times with stoning [see Acts 7]). Unless it interfered with Roman governance, they tended to disregard anything the Sanhedrin or the Jewish leaders did.
Recognize first what constitutes “religion.” In dictionary.com’s definition, the operative phrase is that it “usually involves devotional and ritual observances, and often contains a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” Thus religion is basically the human attempt to do what is right, and the popular view, even among many “Christians” is that this is what will make one okay in God’s eyes. To summarize, religions are human attempts to please God.
Being a Christ-follower does not mean I am not religious, but it means that religion is a very minor part of life. The central issue of following Jesus is to know Him as one knows a friend or brother. This can be difficult to get our heads around, because we cannot see Jesus in His flesh as we would our local friends or relatives. But that is where becoming “born again” comes in. Jesus told a good Pharisee that in order to enter the Kingdom of God he had to be born again.
The old man had some difficulty getting his head around this concept as well. It is not just taking on a different point of view or disciplining oneself to behave differently. That would be religion, and Nicodemus knew all about religion. It was that on which he had based his life!
Jesus said that he did not need to go back into his mother’s womb and be reborn, but rather to be reborn of the Spirit of God, like a wind over which we have no control. It is a yielding of ourselves to the divine in a way that we do not fully grasp just as an infant does not understand what is happening to him when he is being born.
You say “the truth can be found within your heart and your divine formless aspects.” But Jesus’ claim is that we cannot find truth on our own because we have been deceived from our natural birth. We are condemned even before we start searching! Just as the arithmetic illustration shows, if one starts with wrong premises, one reaches wrong conclusions. If you understand 2 is simply one plus one, you can begin to add correctly. But if one does not understand the basic of what 2 IS, wrong conclusions are certain to follow.
The whole of the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us, because He is SOOO different from us that we cannot grasp who or what He is apart from Him telling us. Like a parent cuddling his baby saying, “Hush, little one, I know what you need,” He will guide us to understand, if we begin with what He tells us about Himself. And you will not find that in religious literature, nor in yourself, because religion is simply our attempts to find God or to please Him, and we are insufficient to grasp who God is because we are NOT divine. Just as the babe does not understand who his daddy is, he must grow into that understanding by living with him.
The only place you will find peace that lasts is in knowing The God Who Is. The only place you will find The God Who Is will be in the Bible. The only way to get to know Him is through prayer. And I genuinely wish peace for you and for your beautful country. God knows you have had such strife, it is difficult to imagine it getting any worse. The peace you seek can only come with the changes in human hearts that occur when people are “born again.”
your friend, always,