I have a simply question for Christians on here like Flake and any others. 90% of the scriptures out there are NOT Christian like the Avesta, Adi Granth, Dhammapada, Book Certitude, Bhagvad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Tibetan Book of the Dead, etc. etc.
Christians SCOFF at those and say "those are FAKE!". So if humans can make up ALL those other stories of gods they can make up the bible too! The bible is simply a book of allegories and parables that were NEVER meant to be taken literally! Nowhere in the bible does it say we intend these stories and characters to be taken literally!
I have told that to clergy and even they have NO answer! It's not like when you go to church they give you evidence the stories and characters they talk about are real!
That is what has always bothered me. There are all of these religions...and they all say the other is wrong. And nobody knows for sure...but they will argue hard for it. It's just messed up.
It reminds me of a one panel comic that shows a caveman or tribesman kneeling and praying to a pile of rocks that represents his God. Two other tribal members are laughing at him as they stand next to their own pile of rocks and they are saying, "Silly Grog...he thinks his pile of rocks is the real God."
I like to talk about Mythology and how folks back then who believed 100% in "The Gods" (Greek & Roman). But today, everyone pretty much laughs that stuff off as storybook stuff...but people really believed that stuff for a long, long time. Hmmm...and how is that any different than religion today? It's not. Not at all. It's exactly the same.
Religion makes a lot of people feel better about certain things, and that is fine. If it makes someone feel good to go to church and worship, good for them. That's great.
Giving a lot of money to the church? Ummm...yeah...not great. Don't do that. Some religions request 10% of your income in the offering plate. 10%. That's insane. If you want to give a few bucks a week, as a sort of admission fee, to the church because you appreciate what they do and because you enjoy your time there, and you might attend the pancake breakfast, or the fall carnival, that's fine. There is nothing wrong with that. That's nice.
Don't be stupid either. Don't give 10% or more of your hard earned salary to the church. That's insane. If you want to give a bunch of money away, give it to a charity or to help fund a disease or condition, or to help the homeless, or whatever. That's a much more worthwhile cause.
What I tend to frown on is how religion gets pushed on other people and into their lives for some reason. And it's not religion in general that gets pushed, it's a specific type of religion. And don't even think about suggesting that the focus be on religion in general so as to not offend any particular group, because then what you have is Christians (usually) outraged and up in arms because of some non-existent war against their religion.
Anyone who gets angry at someone for saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", is a baffoon.
I say both. I don't get offended at either because I'm not an asshat. The world needs to lighten up and realize that organized religion, if taken too seriously by the wrong people, can cause a lot of problems and can be very, very negative.
Tithing 10% is a commandment from God. I gladly give 10% of my money to the church, although it doesn't all go to my local church. If I see a good faith based organization that is doing good in the community and spreading the gospel, I give to those organizations as well and account that to my tithe. I can't remember the numbers but a few years ago I read an article that showed percentage of 'help' that faith based organization gave around the world and it was astounding. Our local church uses tithe and other donations to give families Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, they help people get off the street and give them a hand up in life. They assist families in need. I can think of 1 family in our church who lived in a baseball dugout every day until our church stepped in to help. They are still struggling but they have a home and food and are working. Aside from that, giving to others in general is a great thing and not foolish at all. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule of thumb but.... The money I give is helping cure a disease, its called sin. There is only one cure for this disease.
Now on the flip side, you need to find the right receptacle to tithe to and learn in. There are lots of 'ministers' out there that are not servants of God but of themselves. You may as well flush your money down the toilet if you give to them. It took my wife and I 3 years when we moved to find a church that not only could feed us the 'meat and potatoes' of the Bible that we needed but that had their priorities in the right place as servants and not bleeders and con men. If you spend just a little time and use discernment as the Bible tells you to do, they are easy to spot.
In todays PC world of appeasement and appetite, I can understand why you think religion is ok but if you push a specific religion, that is bad. Truth is constantly being misguided and construed by Satan. That
his plan, to lead you away from the truth and these other religious avenues are the perfect conduit for that. The bible states that if you are 'luke warm' that God will spew you out of his mouth. There are a lot of 'luke warm' people out there who practice the Christian faith and I disagree with you 100%. What we need is a whole multitude of people who are 'on fire' for the Lord and want nothing more than to serve and worship their creator. That would be very dangerous for sin and hatred!! People who are in the world need to wake up and take their creator much more seriously because if they don't, It could be very, very bad for them when the Lord returns.