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Religion and How Jake Sees It

1 June 2009 31 Comments

Well it's been a while since I just started typing about something and not really having a specific direction that I want to make a point about...  So since I've been thinking about "Religion" and what it means to me, I thought I would just type out my thoughts.  Not necessarily to see what kind of reaction I get, if any, but just to see my thoughts written down.  Seems like I always learn something from myself, and about myself when I do that hahaha

First things first, I don't want anyone to think I'm bashing YOUR beliefs... what I talk about is how I feel and how I see it...  errr, remember the name of this blog?  "My Life as I See It"?  ha  well there ya go!

Where Two or More are Gathered

Seems like I get invited to church at least once or twice a week.  And that's cool... I don't mind people inviting me to church.  What bothers me is when folks ASSume that I'm "not living right" because I don't visit a church building three times a week, or once a week for that matter.  When folks ask me where I got to church, I tell them "The Church of Jeff".  Which basically means I read and study on my own.  And yes that means I watch preaching or listen to it on TV or the Internet.  Why?  Well there's several reasons...

Oh and where did Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night come from anyways?  Anybody know?  The Bible?  Society?

I really enjoy MY time each morning.  I feel I get so much more than I ever did from "dressing up" and being a part of the congregation!

What is The Church?

The "church" is really the people right?  Not the building...  Soooo I wonder...

  • Why are MILLION dollar churches built for everyone to come and sit all comfy when that money could be used to help MILLIONS of people?  Is that really what the church was meant to be?  A nice big phat place to hang out with your friends and family?  I mean seriously, is that what a church is for?
  • What's with all the "dressing up"?  I never really understood why folks had to "put on their Sunday best" ?  Just where exactly does that come from?  How many folks won't even attend church because they don't have the nice cloths that others do?  I know for a fact that it happens.  I mean at Easter so many have to have a new dress or new whatever...  WHY?  Is that what church is about?
  • Is church about going to the service, yet standing IN and outside the church before and after and gossiping about everything under the sun?

I dunno... just all seems to "commercialized" to me.  Too many distractions, too many hypocrites.

So many people don't even know WHY they believe what they believe.  For so many, it's just what mama and daddy always believed, or what they've been told.  So many never try and learn on their own!

Some of you are probably already fuming or maybe you do agree with me who knows?  BUT, I will say this... if you feel you need to be in a church building 1, 2 or 3 times a week to make sure you are "ok", by all means do it!  I think attending a church building and being around others is just what some folks need... but for me, at this point in my life... I'm learning more than I ever have doing what I'm doing!

I realize that all the folks that visit this blog probably have many different beliefs.  Heck even if 100 of us were of the same denomination, we would probably interpret most things differently anyway.   Isn't it crazy how many different ways we as humans can look at the very same thing?

Who's Right?  Who's Wrong?

One last thought before I end this blog post...  I was having a discussion with someone not too long ago, a discussion I've had many times with different folks.  I never seem to get an answer though so I'm gonna toss it out here....

First I'll say this... I have my beliefs and I LOVE the relationship I have with my God.  I'm not perfect and I never will be while here on this earth.  I know what I believe in my heart and I'm secure in what I believe.

Having said that...

I was born here in the good ole Bible belt.  I've always known about Christianity and what the beliefs are since I was a child.  One day someone made a comment to me that all Muslims were headed to hell.  Along with that, they said that anyone that didn't have a Christian belief was headed to hell.  My question to them was this....

If I were born in a Muslim country (btw, I'm ONLY using Muslims as an example because that's what the person said to me) and I grew up Muslim, and ALL I ever knew was the Muslim way...   now just think about that for a moment and put yourself in that person's shoes.  And you can choose ANY other belief...  what about a remote tribe in the far reaches of the earth... what if I were born there and was taught to worship cows, or the moon or whatever?  That's ALL I've ever known.   When I die, I'm headed to hell because of where I was born, how I was raised etc etc?

When I ask that question, people will usually quote a few scriptures about different things... Most of the time I'm told that those folks will have a "chance" after they die to accept the truth.

Hmmmmm...  sooo some folks can be born in another land, in a different culture and live the ONLY way they know how, and they are doomed to hell because that's all they ever knew?  Or they'll have an opportunity to "make it" after having lived a life of "whatever"?

Maybe I'm missing something somewhere.....

I also feel like many folks are afraid to talk about things like this?  Why?  What's wrong with having questions and discussion?

Before I end this, I want to again stress that I am NOT bashing anyone for going to church or for any belief they may have.  These are just my thoughts!!   GOT IT?  hahahaha

Oh well... I've rambled enough... feel free to comment!

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31 Comments »

  • Donna said:

    AMEN!! I feel like you. And let me repeat what you said, I am not bashing anyone for what they believe or what they do. I think a lot of people think they have to go because their parents always took them when they were small. But I think there are a lot that go and then gossip & talk behind people’s backs. I just don’t care for people that act like I am all wrong because I don’t go to church. Just like I have always said, “Just because you go to a garage doesn’t make you a mechanic” so going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.

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  • Normal Joe said:

    Good stuff brother lol. You know u gonna get beat down for this one. Folks will be coming out of the woodworks lol.

    I do not “go to church” every week…I have studies with my wife and kids…and on my own

    Mainly because we have not found a “church” we really vibe with.

    As for the “upbringing” thing…nature itself points to the existence of God…a cow did not create the universe, that’s plain to see, it is too fine tuned lol.

    History points to God and the existence of Christ…not just the bible, but real factual historical evidence…so even if a person wasn’t “brought up” that way…the data is there.

    Maybe folks think I’m a fanatic lol…but the bible is clear…there is only one way, through Christ…

    however, I don’t believe you MUST attend a building, nor do I believe everyone in the “church” is a Christian

    I do think if you find a good family or “church” to fellowship with it can have a good impact on you as a person.

    I could go on for days, there are some things about myself that may surprise you to know lol…hit me up man, I’m def open to discuss.

    But…

    good post :)

    I don’t want to keep going on for days lol.

    peace brudda!

    Normal Joe’s last blog post..Automatic Video Distribution and Autopilot Video Blogs

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  • Ashley Jayne said:

    what I’ve always thought about… if Christians wanna be like Jesus… why aren’t we Jews?

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  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Donna – Yeah I think I just hate being judged… that’ll be up to God to judge me. And like I said, if folks need that, then by all means DO IT! But don’t act like the big sinner because I’m not attending a church building! Churches have a lot of great ministries and I know many churches do a lot of good. BUT, I’ve never read where I “have” to be a member or attend or I’m headed the wrong direction!

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  • Normal Joe said:

    @Ashley Jane….

    Jews as in ethnicity or relegion? The Jewish religion was before Christianity and pointed to Christianity. Christianity is the “follow up” or the “fullfillment” of Jewish traditions.

    We don’t need to be jews because Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the jewish laws for us, so that we can worship in relationship with him freely, jew, gentile, male, female, everybody :)

    Normal Joe’s last blog post..Automatic Video Distribution and Autopilot Video Blogs

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  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Joe – Hahaha… well I can take it.. I agree with you Joe but I still have questions… I mean you and I know a cow didn’t create the universe haha.. But seriously.. what about those folks that have NO CLUE about Christianity and never have? Folks that were raised as strict as maybe you and I were in their own religion and they don’t know any different?

    I’ve been told that God will put the truth in their hearts and they will know and have a choice but I dunno.. it’s just wild to think about how God will deal with all the people that never lived in an area like me, where Christianity is so prevalent, after they’ve lived a life of “whatever” because that’s all they know…

    But yet according to some, if I don’t attend a church, if I drink beer, if I have tattoos, etc etc etc… then I’m not living right and I’ll be judged for that.

    Hmmm, now you’ve got me curious.. things about you that may surprise me? haha BRING IT! :)

    And no worries about going on and on about it.. that’s what it’s for.. to discuss and learn and see different views from different peoples!

    Thanks for the comment dude!

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Ashley – Hmmmmm… Even more to think about huh?

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  • Normal Joe said:

    Hahaha, well…I wasn’t raised strict actually lol…but you are right, in America Christianity is “around” way more than many other places.

    You’re always curious man hahahaha

    lol at going to hell for your tatoos hahaha, that’s hardcore man! lol.

    Normal Joe’s last blog post..Automatic Video Distribution and Autopilot Video Blogs

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  • Philip said:

    First, let me say that I agree with most of what you said…”church” has become too commercialized and obsessed with numbers. But we can’t forget that the Apostles were commissioned with starting churches and they met on the first day of the week (which is Sunday)…that were that came from…the rest is man-made. Speaking of man-made…Religion is man-made, following Christ is not a Religion, it is a choice. The Church, as you said is a body of believers, the body of Christ as the Bible says. As such, we are charged with spreading the gospel to the, “Uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8)…so, my point in saying that is, yes, if you believe what the Bible says, then all those people who do not believe that Jesus died and resurrected will not go to heaven. Tough truth to swallow, but so is God taking my 2 month old daughter. The “Church” has failed these people who do not hear the truth. As for people in remote, or tribal locations, the Bible also says that God put enough of Himself in creation that no man could have an excuse not to believe in Him (Romans 1:20). There’s a lot that is hard to understand and a lot that people think is unfair and for that reason, give up on religion…well…I say good; just don’t give up on God (don’t try to think for God to make Him fit your ideals…let God be God and follow Him). It’s a shame that churches in this area have caused so many people to turn away because of legalistic and, frankly, ignorant teachings; because the Church is meant to be a place for people to interact, love and help one another, and help heal broken people…which most churches seem to have forgotten. Thanks for the post…maybe it’ll get folks to take a look inside and think about some things!

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  • Philip said:

    @Ashley…the first Christians were Jews.

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  • Philip said:

    Let me clarify that last one…Jews are a race…not a religion..like Arabs are a race; so saying Christians should be Jews is like saying Muslims should be Arabs. There are christian Jews (Messianic Jews), that do believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

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  • Normal Joe said:

    @ phillip, correct man…

    I wrote out a response to that statement, but somehow it didn’t go through! lol

    basically I assumed she was referring to the jewish religion, or juddiasm….

    which was basically the old testament religion, pointing to Christ.

    Christ fulfilled all the laws, requirements, and regulations of juddiasm, and established the “new testament” or the “new covenant” of Christianity.

    there are still jews that practice juddiasm and do not believe Christ was the messiah…they are still waiting for the messaih.

    some people use jews/jewish to refer to the actual religion they practice and not the actual race of people.

    so, that’s what I assumed Ashley was referring to.

    which is why Messianic Jews are referred to as such, because they do not follow the default jewish religion of juddiasm but still hold on to their jewish roots

    the religion up until Christ established the “new way” was juddiasm…but it was never meant to be the end…only the shadow of what was to come…everything in juddiasm points to Christ, and thus Christianity is the “fulfillment” of juddiasm…however…many do not see it, as the bible says, and remain blind to this revelation…so they continue to look for ‘messiah’

    sorry lol…hope I made sense as to what I was trying to say

    you are correct jews are a race, but some people use jew to refer to jewish traditions/religion

    Normal Joe’s last blog post..Automatic Video Distribution and Autopilot Video Blogs

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  • Ashley Jayne said:

    I get it I get it geeez everyone pick on the dumb kid :P

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  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Joe – yeah I wasn’t brought up that strict either.. I think my thoughts were leaning toward the environment I grew up in and just living in the “Bible belt” that made me say that..

    Yeah I’m definitely curious George man.. ha.. I’ve got more questions than answers and LOVE to pick peoples brains!

    Yeah my tattoos… don’t even get me started.. You’d be amazed at the things I was “taught”.. felt like i was brainwashed there for a while :)

    Dude we need to meet up and talk it up for a while.. So when you gonna be in Mayberry? haha

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    Lydia Leftwich Reply:

    There is no scripture in the Bible that says we will go to Hell for our tattoos. In fact my next one is going to be a religious one! So there for all you who like to judge us!
    No scripture about drinking beer…..after all, He gave us wine as His blood and bread as His body!
    No matter what we do in this life, someone will always be waiting to sit in God’s place and judge us.
    If you go to church every Sunday, you will get talked about for not wearing the right color dress……ha ha

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Philip – Great points bro… I still have a hard time with the fact that just because someone was born in a different culture and all that, that they don’t have the same opportunity as I do? I dunno man..

    Kind of along the same lines as the discussion I had with someone a while back about the Bible.. Telling me I needed to read a certain Bible and that was the ONLY Bible I should read..

    I’m like.. what about the Chinese or Japanese or whoever that don’t even know our language etc etc.. They suppose to learn OUR stuffs just so they can be right? ha.. just crazy to me..

    I just always try and take a big step back, out of Mayberry, out of NC, out of the USA and look at the big picture..

    makes you think… maybe I think too much? haha

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  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Ashley – Girl, you never know till you ask :) And there’s no such thing as a stupid question! :)

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  • coffee tables said:

    Jake i think you have to check this site esoriano.wordpress.com you can also ask him about your questions about religion and im sure you will be enlightened. Check it and you’ll never regret. I’ll wait for your feedback here…thanks.

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  • Mitch said:

    And here I come to enter the fray! lol

    Truthfully, I don’t trust religion because it produces many of the fanatics that decide they need to go out and kill people. This is all religions, so I’m not singling any one religion out. I feel, however, that there’s a place for it, because many violent people have found some kind of religion and turned their lives around also.

    In the end, it’s more of a sociology experiment that’s ongoing. Most people will say they hate being trapped around a bunch of people, but when all is said and done, most of us like to feel like we belong somewhere. Church gives people that, and it also gives them the feeling that they’re doing something right in their lives, even if it’s only for an hour or so. No thanks; I’ll volunteer and give my money directly to a cause.

    Great post!

    Mitch’s last blog post..SEO & Common Business Sense

    [Reply]

  • coffee tables said:

    mitch check esoriano.wordpress.com maybe he can help you with that problem.and surely you will be enlighten.

    [Reply]

  • Philip said:

    Don’t get me started on the whole “Which Bible to use” thing…that’s the dumbest argument I’ve ever taken part of. I grew up hearing that the KJV was the ONLY Bible we should read…but I always had this question in the back of my mind…”What did people do before 1611?”
    I know that it’s a tough one regarding different people in different parts of the world, but I choose to believe that I serve a God that is bigger than that and can reach those people too; otherwise, He wouldn’t be all that great.

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  • Philip said:

    Ash…didn’t mean to make you feel dumb…you aren’t, and Jake’s right…the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask!

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  • Make Money Online said:

    Woooooow Jake, you seem to have struck the right chord here. I feel more important then religion is humanity. Before you think about some ones religion, you need to think that they too are human and they too breathe the same air as you.

    Just my 50 cents.

    Make Money Online’s last blog post..Some Ideas for Choosing your PC’s Motherboard

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ coffee tables – thanks for the link.. i’ll chk it out.

    @ Mitch – If you trust “religion” then you are trusting “people” and in my opinion, that’s where it goes haywire haha

    I also agree that there is a place for it and some folks do need it and it has helped many folks.

    AND, I’m also with you in that I’d rather give my $$ to the cause and I also would rather just study on my own..

    It never ceases to amaze me how many different views (and growing) that there is on any given subject that is related to Christianity, or any other religion for that matter.

    @ Philip – yeah… it’s all crazy to me.. And the way I hear people tell it.. the ENTIRE WORLD needs to learn English.. and on top of that, if you weren’t born in this country where you have more resources than anywhere else, then you’re chances are worse at “making it”. I’ve said it before… I just don’t get it haha

    @ MMO – Very good point! We definitely need to look at each other as individuals!! That’s why I’ve tried in the last few years to step back and look at the world as a whole, not just my little world I live in..

    [Reply]

  • Andrew said:

    Jake,

    I think that you are exactly right in one respect – the church is a congregation of people who come together in order to worship the lord together as a group. It is not about buildings, and whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with having nice facilities, there is something going wrong when the facility becomes the primary focus, as opposed to the collective worship of the lord and the sprit of community which any true church embodies.

    With respect to your comments about people those who are born in far away countries and brought up with different religious backgrounds, I can most certainly see your point of view that condemning such people to be destined for hell seems pretty harsh.

    That said, my understanding is that the bible does say that: (a) every single person on earth has sinned against the lord at some point in their lives; and (b) that the only way to receive forgiveness of our sins from god is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior.

    These are not my words, and it is not my business to act in a judgmental fashion in any way toward those who do not believe in Jesus as their savior – heck I have enough trouble looking after the matter of following the lord myself to cast judgment on others. But this is my understanding of what the bible says – god’s word, not mine.

    Andrew’s last blog post..Climbing to the top

    [Reply]

  • The Almost Millionaire said:

    Deep thoughts there buddy, thanks for pouring your heart out. Here are my thoughts on the subject matter in case you care. http://brandonansel.com/?p=110

    The Almost Millionaire’s last blog post..Why does the Stock Market Keep going up?

    [Reply]

  • coffee tables said:

    if you don’t believe religion you don’t believe God, and if you don’t believe God then your dead. its just like “to see is to believe”. You don’t see God but you believe it, like your shirt, you don’t see the maker of your shirt but you believe that somebody made your shirt.

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Andrew – Very well put.. I think that IS one of the biggest problems, in my opinion… Too much focus on things that don’t matter. I agree that it’s great to have that time together and as I’ve said, some folks really need that and it can be a wonderful thing. But where there’s people there will be problems haha.. no way around it!

    And you’re also right in that none of us are perfect and none of us should judge..

    AND, yes that’s what the Bible says, but I’ll still be very curious as to how those situations will be handled when the time comes! :)

    @ Brandon – Yeah like I said man.. I’ve got way many more questions than answers! haha

    I read your post you linked to and it was very well written and I enjoyed reading it. I hope others have went to read it as well.

    @ coffee tables – I have to disagree with ya on that one. I don’t think “religion” has a thing to do with my personal relationship with God.

    [Reply]

  • coffee tables said:

    oh its ok since all of us has freedom, i believe religion helps me and my relationship with God. And, i like what andrew said there, i believe that too.

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ coffee tables – yup, that’s what it’s all about.. a “personal” relationship! I’m glad you have that!

    I’m also thankful that we all have the freedom to discuss it, and learn from one another!

    [Reply]

  • coffee tables said:

    Im so thankful you opened up this kind of topic on your blog. I look forward for reading this kind of post here in your blog. Thanks a lot jake.

    [Reply]

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