Post Reply
Page 3 of 7  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
Switch to Forum Live View What is the purpose of religion?
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 4:16PM #21
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,547

May 6, 2012 -- 2:53PM, newsjunkie wrote:


May 6, 2012 -- 2:07PM, jlb32168 wrote:


May 4, 2012 -- 2:27PM, newsjunkie wrote:

What's wrong with working together, for example doing charity work or participating in faith-sharing groups, and building relationships with people at church? Surely there's no obligation to participate in church activities outside of formal services, or to even speak to people, but what's wrong if people think that's a valuable part of their experience?


I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people working together, but does that constitute “religion”?  If we wish to define religion in some other manner that’s fine but the classic definition of the word is that which binds us together with a deity or with deities and I think its purpose is to assuage the fear of the unknown, specifically, what happens when we die.


The Christian religion presumes to know the answer and I believe it has it right.





Well, OK, point taken. I've been out of Christian religion, for a couple of years. Is Matthew 25:31-45 still part of it? Maybe feeding the sick, clothing the naked, etc. don't have anything to do with Christianity anymore. I'm not out to redefine anybody's religion. I'm wondering what the purpose of religion is. I guess according to you, it doesn't have to do with building relationships with others or helping them.




Well, it does.  But not so much anymore.  The Welfare State has arrogated this task for itself and discourages private efforts.  The big movers and shakers in liberal protestantism consider the lobbying of government to be the meaning of feeding the sick, etc.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 4:37PM #22
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,744

May 6, 2012 -- 4:16PM, SeraphimR wrote:


Well, it does.  But not so much anymore.  The Welfare State has arrogated this task for itself and discourages private efforts.  The big movers and shakers in liberal protestantism consider the lobbying of government to be the meaning of feeding the sick, etc.




Well poverty hasn't been eradicated around the globe, so I'm not sure how Christians can use such a lame excuse as "I don't need to help the needy because governments do." Unless, of course, they're looking for excuses not to help others. Or they're just whining about the 'gubmint' again.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 4:41PM #23
Buggsy
Posts: 4,731

Talking about feeding the hungry . . . Couple years ago I read Hitchins' book on M. Teresa.  He points out in blunt terms that while she and her Order had hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, government grants from all over the wolrd and she hob-nobbed with royalty, presidents and popes and flew around in private jets giving shows to the wealthy in cities all over the world . . .  she built no orphanges, no schools, no shelters and no food banks.  In fact she kept most of her poor and sick in concrete shacks with little food and clothing - preferring to boost her own image as the caring missionary.


And this is a person who has been elevated in the ranks of the saints to 'Blessed'.  Is this what the highest level of missionary Catholicism really looks like?  

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 5:42PM #24
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,547

May 6, 2012 -- 4:37PM, newsjunkie wrote:


May 6, 2012 -- 4:16PM, SeraphimR wrote:


Well, it does.  But not so much anymore.  The Welfare State has arrogated this task for itself and discourages private efforts.  The big movers and shakers in liberal protestantism consider the lobbying of government to be the meaning of feeding the sick, etc.




Well poverty hasn't been eradicated around the globe, so I'm not sure how Christians can use such a lame excuse as "I don't need to help the needy because governments do." Unless, of course, they're looking for excuses not to help others. Or they're just whining about the 'gubmint' again.




Secular liberals use that excuse all the time, too, and more often.  In fact the idea that it is government's job to help the poor is the sin qua non of liberalism.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 8:34PM #25
ed3
Posts: 77

I would simply say that the purpose of religion is to assist and enable us in realizing our purpose in this life -- our purpose being to know love, and serve God.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 9:22PM #26
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,701

I would say the purpose of religion is to show us what sin is and why certain actions are sinful. Since sin takes us away from God we need information on what is good action and what is forbidden action.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 9:38PM #27
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,744

May 6, 2012 -- 9:22PM, williejhonlo wrote:


I would say the purpose of religion is to show us what sin is and why certain actions are sinful. Since sin takes us away from God we need information on what is good action and what is forbidden action.




OK, thank you. I thought that would be a common response, but you're the first person to say that. I do think that religion can play a role in instilling moral values in children.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 06, 2012 - 9:40PM #28
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,744

May 6, 2012 -- 8:34PM, ed3 wrote:


I would simply say that the purpose of religion is to assist and enable us in realizing our purpose in this life -- our purpose being to know love, and serve God.




Thank you for your response! Do you feel that serving God involves serving other people? 

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 07, 2012 - 7:52AM #29
jlb32168
Posts: 13,339

May 6, 2012 -- 2:53PM, newsjunkie wrote:

Well, OK, point taken. I've been out of Christian religion, for a couple of years. Is Matthew 25:31-45 still part of it? Maybe feeding the sick, clothing the naked, etc. don't have anything to do with Christianity anymore. I'm not out to redefine anybody's religion. I'm wondering what the purpose of religion is. I guess according to you, it doesn't have to do with building relationships with others or helping them.


Of course feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned is a part of the Christian religion since one is supposed to treat others as he would treat Christ, but atheists can do that as well w/o having a religion, NJ.


The fact is that religions don’t just exist to establish altruism alone – at least that’s not the only purpose for Christianity’s existence.  If the Christian religion existed for that purpose alone then there’d not be an appreciable difference between it and Buddhism or Hinduism or any other religion that teaches us to put our neighbor’s needs above our own.  The Christian religion exists for the purpose of man binding himself to God and presumably he does this through selfless love shown to his neighbor, which demonstrates his love for God since one cannot say, “I love God” while not caring for the needs of his neighbor.

Victim of this, victim of that, your mama’s too thin and your daddy’s too fat, get over it! - the Eagles
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 07, 2012 - 8:09AM #30
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,744

May 7, 2012 -- 7:52AM, jlb32168 wrote:


May 6, 2012 -- 2:53PM, newsjunkie wrote:

Well, OK, point taken. I've been out of Christian religion, for a couple of years. Is Matthew 25:31-45 still part of it? Maybe feeding the sick, clothing the naked, etc. don't have anything to do with Christianity anymore. I'm not out to redefine anybody's religion. I'm wondering what the purpose of religion is. I guess according to you, it doesn't have to do with building relationships with others or helping them.


Of course feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned is a part of the Christian religion since one is supposed to treat others as he would treat Christ, but atheists can do that as well w/o having a religion, NJ.


The fact is that religions don’t just exist to establish altruism alone – at least that’s not the only purpose for Christianity’s existence.  If the Christian religion existed for that purpose alone then there’d not be an appreciable difference between it and Buddhism or Hinduism or any other religion that teaches us to put our neighbor’s needs above our own.  The Christian religion exists for the purpose of man binding himself to God and presumably he does this through selfless love shown to his neighbor, which demonstrates his love for God since one cannot say, “I love God” while not caring for the needs of his neighbor.




I never said there had to be only one purpose to religion. I just asked what people thought the purpose of religion is. We've seen a variety of answers here. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 3 of 7  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook