2cornucopias

Is Any Religion True? Part 1

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/09/17 at 1:01 AM

One of my memories of childhood is the time a friend and I were taken to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass. In front of the building, there is a life-size statue of an American Indian astride a horse with his eyes cast upward and his arms outstretched in supplication. The inscription on the base reads: “Appeal to the Great Spirit”, a testimony to the innate tendency toward religion in human nature. In fact, archeologists have discovered only two small groups of people who did not seem to have religion as a part of their culture.  Throughout human history, religion has been a part of culture.  Religion seems to be as natural to man as thinking.

Not only do religions abound, but they come in many forms. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are monotheistic. Greek and Roman mythology were polytheistic (many gods) as were the Arabs prior to Islam. Hinduism is both pantheistic (all is divine) and polytheistic (300,000,000 gods). Buddhism, often called a religion is actually non-theistic; it has no real concept of a deity. It is more of a philosophy of behavior.

In the modern world we make up quasi religions and worship ideas rather than deities. Professional atheism has become a religion. Darwinian evolution has ceased to be a part of science and has become a religious cult totally intolerant of opposing views. (The science of molecular biology has devastated the theory of evolution, but you will never hear this from the media, the education establishment or science partisans.) There are also “religions” based on tolerance, relativism and determinism, among others.

While the Creator may have instilled a penchant toward religion in human nature, man has certainly distorted and denigrated the religious tendency. Human religion is full of contradictions, absurdities, irrational beliefs and, sometimes, downright evil activities.

The world is awash in relativistic and political-correctness claims that we should not pass judgments on any religious beliefs because that would show bias and prejudice, the great sins of the modern Western world. We are told that we can never use such terms as: “better” or “worse”, “good” or “bad” or “true” or” false.” The result has been that since we cannot deal with religion in any rational or responsible way, it should be relegated to the level of a personal hobby with no societal impact or importance at all.

Ideas have consequences, and the abandonment of age-old religious standards in the West has led to a precipitous decline in rational and moral behavior in general. Watch any newscast and you must conclude that the world is going insane. For example, the Federal Department of Education has decreed that one need not know grammar, spelling or be able to write coherently to be hired to teach English. Multiplying this over and over, the insane are running the asylum. Wars, crime, economic collapse, moral perversities, gross incompetence in government at all levels haunt our waking moments.

The questions now must become, “Can there be a true religion amid the mishmash of contemporary religions?” And, “Did the Creator intend something other than the religious cornucopia of today’s world?” If there is one thing that is evident in nature, it is that the Creator is rational and set up the universe in an orderly and systematic way without conflicts, distortions or contradictions. He surely envisioned the same with regard to the religious tendency He put into human nature.  If so, there must be a form of religion that is also orderly and rational, and, therefore, in accord with the divine plan.

To assert that the Creator intended that mankind live in a religious hodge-podge is to deny the goodness and wisdom of God. If He designed man to be religious, it means that humans were meant to have some relationship with God. If this is so, there can be only one way to attain that relationship, and anyone serious about it will want to find that one way.

The belief that God may have set up a particular way to reach Him gives man a goal or purpose in finding that way. Man, by nature, is an explorer and discoverer, but modern man says there is no true religion. Modern man picks whatever one appeals most . . . or, better still, he simply doesn’t pick any religion. Who cares!

If the Creator ordained that man should be able to learn something about Him, it becomes incumbent on God to make it possible to do this. If humans could not perceive and find a true way to God, it would mean that God is demanding what humans cannot do which would be a gross injustice. Fortunately, that is not the case because any normal person can observe nature, its workings and arrive at a logical conclusion that nothing so intricate and complex could ever have created itself, and from there, one proceeds to the idea of a true God.

Objectively speaking, man is a religious creature; however, humans can and often do suppress this tendency. Millions do it every day. It also does not guarantee that humans will find the true path to God. Millions are members of contradictory faiths. To those who do believe there is a God and are sincerely attempting to find Him, He did make available to them a sure way to Him. The Indian sitting on the horse did not have the benefits of later philosophy and theology, but he did know there was a Being to whom he owed allegiance. This understanding put him miles ahead of the arrogant moderns who dismiss the very idea of a Supreme Being, who reject the transcendent, who have all the important answers to unimportant questions, whose ignorant egos direct their superficial lives and whose ultimate fate may not lie with The Great Spirit.

(In part 2, we will try to find that unique religion.)

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