So Many Religions! How Does It All Fit Together?

So Many Religions! How Does It All Fit Together? April 4, 2024

Religious Symbols Wikipedia Commons

It is not as complicated as most people and religions make it out to be. In fact, the less we think about it the better we understand it. I like to picture all religions as branches connected to the same tree. The problem is religions end up making the branch more important than the tree it is connected to.

Can a branch survive apart from the tree it is connected to? Of course not. Yet religious people continually pick up those dead branches and use them to beat their flocks into submission. Basically, they worship the creation rather than the Creator. The reality is unless that branch is connected to the tree it is dead.

Tree PickPic

Let me go a step further with this analogy. What about those dead branches still connected to the tree? Well, they aren’t fooling anyone because the other live branches are bearing life, leaves and fruit. What happens when a good wind comes along or the gardener comes by with his pruning shears? They are cut off and burned. These dead branches are like all the religions through time that have come and gone throughout history. They had their time. They tried to prove a point and failed. They preached life for all who were part of their branch and even preached life apart from the tree, “just believe in our branch and you will live!” And many believed and even after the branch fell to the ground some still clung to it and placed it in a place of reverence while the living tree called to them in every breeze that blew and every branch that the tree shed that no longer received life from the tree.

    Jesus explained this very well as he explains in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

    Religion is basically creating God into whatever image that is palatable and self-serving to the creator of it. Fact is anytime someone creates a system for understanding God they fall out of intimacy with God. People are spiritual beings and relate to spirituality in some form or another and throughout time the more creative and influential ones have exploited this. We all were meant to connect to and have a personal relationship with our Creator but a lot of people (dare I say the majority of?) are lazy and would just as soon let someone else figure it out and just invite them to ride along; again trusting in a created being rather than have a direct connection to their Creator for themselves.

We were created to come to the table with everyone having something to contribute not depending on this person or this entity doing all the cooking and we just eat whatever we are served. That kind of dynamic usually ends up pretty fattening and unhealthy and every now and then you hear about the server serving poison like a few cults are famous for doing. Life is supposed to be like a potluck dinner where everybody brings something to eat. When people gather together even if there are only two or three the Creator is supposed to be in the midst of them all, not some individual playing like they know it all.

    Religion is a self-serving system that only benefits those in charge. Religion historically has been used to control people and stop them from thinking for themselves. And their weapon of mass destruction and control is ‘God said______’ (You fill in the blank). And it is usually pretty effective because deep down inside we have this innate fear of ‘God’ because we have been programmed and taught that this all-powerful supernatural being will punish us if we fail or if we question what he says, which is usually not what he said at all but what some self-serving body says he said. People be like ‘Well if God said it, it must be true’ and never even question that what another human being says might not actually be God speaking. People either do this out of fear or they do it because they think it excuses them from responsibility. I guess they think that if they ever stand before God they can blame someone else. But guess what? We are all responsible for ourselves, our choices and what we do and don’t believe.

People have wanted to be their own gods from the very first human beings on Earth. Think about it. Go back to the story of the Garden of Eden in the Bible in Genesis 1. It wasn’t a literal fruit that was tempting to Adam and Eve, it was the temptation to be as gods.  God, the Creator, quite literally walked and talked with human beings at one time. He taught them what was best for them. He designed them and he wrote the user’s manual. If anyone should know what is best for their creation the creator of it should know, right? That is true for a computer, an automobile or a human being. People don’t like being told what to do though. When we look at instructions to assemble a bicycle or something we don’t question ‘screw A goes in hole B’. If we try to put screw A in any other hole it isn’t going to work. We believe and could even word the instructions ‘Thou shalt put screw A in hole B’ and have no problem with it. We even welcome that the designer took the time to write instructions on how to assemble the bicycle. But you always have those few who don’t ever look at the instructions and insist they can do it themselves with no instruction. Every now and then they get it right but I wager to say that is only because of the experience they have obtained either directly or indirectly from an instruction manual somewhere sometime.

True Spirituality book
For More on this subject read Raven’s book

So, who is right and who is wrong? If you are talking about any particular religion or system of spirituality the answer is nobody. If you are talking about any given individual anywhere in time, any place on this planet who sincerely turned their hearts toward God sincerely acknowledging a Creator and seeking their guidance in how they should conduct their daily lives….then you have a winner.  That does not mean anyone anywhere can make up whatever they want and sincerely believe it and be right. I’m just saying there are individuals everywhere, even in faulty belief systems and religions that are right because their heart is sincerely toward God. For example, Native Americans did not all go to hell before the European missionaries came to North America. Even in the Bible, a well-known character named Abraham who was formerly known as Abram and was a young warrior warring for the spoils of war and paying tribute to an immoral warlord’s faith was counted as righteousness way before Jesus Christ and Christianity (Romans 4:9; Romans 4:22; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23; Genesis 15:6;). Another verse though kind of ties it all together in Titus 3:8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” See the difference? A sincere belief in God will never be selfish or harmful to other human beings it will change one’s heart in such a way that we treat others as we would treat ourselves. So any time you consider a belief system or movement that puts other human beings in a place of inferiority to another human being(s) it is not from God and should be dismissed, exposed and resisted no matter its origins. If it is being misused in this fashion it is not from God. Even Christianity has been guilty historically. Think about how it was presented to the Native Americans. They were told they were savages and until they cut their hair, stopped speaking their native language and wore the clothes the missionary wore they would not be saved. Christianity is a religion and was created by human beings based on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and was meant to spread the good news of the gospel that we can be saved and have hope in eternity. Jesus was not the founder of Christianity and he did not come to start another religion. He was against organized, controlling religion and sought to connect human beings back into a relationship with their Creator whom he acknowledged as Father. Keep reading my next blog to find out WHERE DID ALL THESE RELIGIONS ORIGINATE FROM?

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