Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What Is Religion and What Is Worship?

Please note that since this article was written over three years ago ( Feb 2011 C.E) many dictionaries and especially encyclopedias and published dissertations on what religion is, has seen many of this been, from extensively to completely revised. Most notable is Wikipedia which had completely rewritten their entry on religion  Dec 2014 }

In a previous blog I spoke of doing some research using the accumulated knowledge from the documentations of historical records, dissertations, assertions, researches (scientific, “scientific” or totally individualistic), views and all the other stuff published on the internet.

During the weeks spent working on this research I decided to check (i.e. do an aside or another research) whether those who professed Christianity understood what ‘religion’ is and what ‘worship’is (i.e. whether they understood the concepts in those two words) as is reflected in the teachings of the Christian religious texts. Of course I also check against the views of the rest of the world whatever their system of beliefs may be, what these two words meant to them.

Yes, the views held by the great minds of our times and of the past, as well as by the common folks and not to forget the “rocket scientists”. But of course, we are not to leave out Wikipedia, an internet collaborative encyclopedia project, the collective considerations of the caring internet society that at least make some ‘attempts’ at being unbiased and objective, not to say that they were necessarily successful.

Religion (as so too, the word ‘worship’) is not a word actually mentioned in the original Christian religious text but is a translated word from a few different words in the Greek text. These words were used by the Apostle Paul and James the brother of JESUS in their writings to describe the order of conduct of the Jewish people or nation pertaining to the requirement and observation of their covenant with their GOD. There is no reference of the word religion in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The words translated as the English word ‘religion’ and also too the word ‘worship’ have been as much misunderstood as the words translated into the English word ‘God’ of the Christian Bible that were translated from several words of the Hebrew original text.

Before proceeding further I thought that it should first be addressed why there should be a need for anyone to want to understand what these two words mean.

There are three plausible reasons to want to understand what these two words mean.

Number One.

To put a definition on the word so people are clear what they mean when they used such words to communicate with one another. This is one of the plausible reasons but is not of a valid necessity. The reason I say this is because up until today even among the great minds of our time the meaning of these two words are not precisely understood much less precisely defined. With this not being done, yet everyone seems to be getting along fine using these words in whatever context that they do. So if it does not adversely impact or affect anyone who uses these words in communication without being clear on their precise meaning, therefore there cannot be a vital and thus valid need for them to be clear on the meanings.

Generally people are usually not precise with the words they use to express their thoughts andor emotions. That is one of the reasons the meanings of words changes with time and usage. This resulted most commonly from misuse, using a word incorrectly, and when the wrong usage becomes common usage the words take on the meaning it did not originally had even losing its original meaning over time if the differences were very pronounced. By putting a definition on a word will not somehow compel people to be precise when they use the word. People generally will continue to use the word as they understand it whether vaguely or clearly.

Number Two.

From a legislative and regulatory perspective there becomes a need for nations to regulate the conduct and celebratory observations of their citizenry with regards to their system of beliefs, personal convictions, fear based superstitions and taboos especially where this impact the social order. This requirement was imparted partly from the prevailing world order where the organization of nations, the United Nations, has some measure of influence through the consensual agreement of the majority member nations plus the endorsement of its security council, to allow for some regulatory oversight over its membership nations. This is applicable particularly to the word ‘religion’ while the word ‘worship’ is only of concern where it is related to the word ‘religion’ as impacted by this human rights issue.

However there are many instances (in many nations) where the ‘religious’ belief system forms the framework of the social order and do not allow for this human rights requirement to be truly expressed or realized in this practice of freedom of ‘religion’.

Nevertheless from the perspective of a world order that is quasi regulated by the organization of nations in the United Nations, the ICJ and ICC, through the agreement of the member nations, there is this endorsement of human rights of which freedom of ‘religion’ is a part of. Among these nations there is the accord on human rights under Article 18 of the UN charter which enshrined the right of every human being to freedom of ‘religion’ subject only to limitations provided by law which are necessary’ to ensure public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

Therefore because of this international recognition of this rights of freedom of ‘religion’ there would be a pertinent need from the international perspective to define what the term ‘religion’ means, especially among those nations that have formalized this right into their laws. This is so that the citizenry of these nations ‘might be able’ to exercise such ‘religious’ rights technically (from the legal legislative perspective) free from persecution and prosecution.

Number Three. [nm3]

From the standpoint of the basis of truth and facts whether there is any factual truth to these beliefs. Here is where general disagreement will abound: on whether one ‘religion’ is true; or if all ‘religions’ are true (as is the claims of those who subscribed to such beliefs); or if there is no real truth in any ‘religion’ at all as what an increasing number of those so called ‘enlightened’ members from our contemporary time have begun to subscribe to in this past one hundred or so years due to the ‘advancement of knowledge’ particularly scientific knowledge about our cosmos and life on this planet, how it all came to be.

Most who subscribed to a monotheistic religion’ calmed that theirs is the only true religion’ from the one true creator God, that they have the absolute truth from the God that they ‘worshiped’ and others are either heretical, deviant, fake or obsolete (no longer has validity).

One sure thing is they (that is the various monotheistic religion) can't all be true considering how essentially different they are from one another, even though some have much similarity in their recognition of some personalities from history whom they recognized as being faithful followers or agents of their Gods. These differences are especially all the more apparent since those who subscribed to this belief of a single true creator God have throughout the course of human history been in frequent conflict with one another, inflicting gruesome harm in torturing and killing one another even right until this very day.

This is not to say that there are none who makes the claim that all these various religious beliefs and all religions are all serving the same purpose and all point to the one same Creator whether that Creator is a living self-aware personage or some mindless force of good.

Whatever the case and whatever people believed, it won't matter at all if there is no truth to those beliefs. Now on the other if indeed there is a ‘religion’ that is truly from the GOD who created everything than it would really matter what HE says to us if HE said anything at all. Not surprising this is where I am coming from, that there is indeed a GOD WHO brought into existence everything that we see or know plus a lot more things we have no idea about. And that this GOD is very interested in our forever well-being despite the fact that humankind had continually and totally rejected HIM and HIS benevolent rule over them, wanting only what is good and what is forever for them.

If the all powerful CREATOR WHO created us also care about us to want what is good for us then it would be really, really important that we hear HIM out, to find out what HE have to say to us about our conduct and what HE requires from us. Because if you look at the world since the dawn of the age of humankind you got to realize that there is a lot of exploitative and abusive harm which humankind has been carrying out against one another.

Many who have understood this harm that have caused severely grievous and mostly unwritten suffering upon humankind had attributed it to the presence of evil in our societies. They have ‘apparently’ understood that there indeed is an attribute called good and an opposing attribute called evil in the hearts and minds of man. But of course there are also those who hold the view that there is really no such thing as good or evil at all that all things are just the very natural Darwinian Evolutionary mutationistic mechanism. As I have said before humankind can never fully agree on anything and generally most people believe whatever is convenient to them, whatever suits their agenda. What the truth or what the reality is, is seldom a major factor in these considerations.

But among those who subscribed to the existence of good and evil in the realm of humankind there are many who questioned the truth of monotheistic religion that if there is indeed a God who created us all and cares about us why then is there evil, so much evil in the world of humankind? They are unable to understand why if such a God is good and cares about us that He would allow (or permit) evil to exist. The answer to that is indeed very simple and should be obvious to all but for some reasons these men and women, even those great minds of humankind all these proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of the human social order, just cannot seem to understand it. However it is not the purpose of this article to discuss the issue of why if there is a God who is good, would evil not only exist but continued to abound. I have also addressed this in a discussion series that begin with the post ‘Why did GOD create Satan Part II’ as well as completed discussed it in another post, ‘Readers' Question – Why do Innocents Suffer If  GOD Is Just’.

Now then if there is indeed a CREATOR GOD who created us and everything else that exist then it would be very pertinent that we should know what HE meant in HIS words to us about what ‘religion’ is and what ‘worship’ is since both of these are connected to or have some sort of bearing on the behavior HE required from us with regards to our relationship with HIM and with one another.

When it comes to religion as pertaining to the belief in the paranormal and whether it has any implications for humankind, the only validity such held belief would have is on the basis of truth, whether there is any truth to it.

This is not to the say that the term or word ‘truth’ is precisely understood by the general members of humankind, or for that matter by most to nearly all of the proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of the human social of whatever knowledge and expertise disciplines. Neither is this to say that the simple term or word ‘truth’ is something is unclear, ambiguous or too complicated to be understood, it isn't. 

Views and Opinions on What ‘Religion’ is. [vno]

We have now available on the internet easily searchable and found, all the views of humankind, well anyway all the views of those of humankind who had expressed them for whatever reasons.

But first I need to qualify what I meant by religion. In a very general sense based on what most people understand the word ‘religion’ to mean is that it is a system of belief mainly but not solely in the supernatural or paranormal and usually also how this system of belief has a bearing on their lives for good or for evil.

Most of the published views too, say it is a system of beliefs, what people believe in. Now I won't touch this, because the truth is most to nearly all people really have no idea what they believe in or what the word 'believe' means. Many also say that religion is about some form of worship, this then brings us to the question of what the word ‘worship’ meant as used in the Christian Bible. The view and understanding of the world on what the word ‘worship’ means is very different from the word translated as ‘worship’ from the original words used in the Christian Holy Scriptures. More on this in a later part of this discussion.

Some had advocated that this consideration on what religion is should be from a publicly acknowledge perspective with a public observable or ceremonial form rather than what is the private conviction of the individual. But the problem with this view is that this would exclude those whose convictions and system of belief have no observable or a distinct ceremonial expression marginalizing them and disregarding their system of beliefs and convictions as irrelevant.

Many would go to a dictionary if they are uncertain what a word means or what the definition of a word is. The problem in doing this (which is also true with an encyclopedia), which many fail to realize, is that dictionaries are not necessarily definitive of what something is or is not. Dictionaries generally just list the commonly held, as well as the views of those who were and are considered to be the proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of each word, issue and subject; the common and the experts understanding of the meaning of certain words and their traceable origins and also how in time past these words were used. They do not attest to the validity or the truth of these commonly held understanding. So looking up and relying on a dictionary alone to find the truth or factual validity of a matter is really not a very sound idea.

There are some views that ‘religion’ is just culture. These say that there really is no such thing as something that can be defined as ‘religion’ on its own but that ‘religions’ so understood were some traditions that were derived or originated from the cultures of different society through these societies ‘evolving’ with the passage of time molded partly by their interaction with the natural environment. These culture were spawned from a need to make some connection with their environment especially where their survival are dependent upon their environments. These ‘religions’ changing as these societies and their environments changed over the course of time. But of course this view is easily invalidated by the fact that quite a few ‘religions’ traverse many different cultures altering the characters of these cultures totally such many of the original cultural practices become forbidden and discarded. 

Another thing is that ‘religions’ or more appropriately these ‘system of beliefs’ seem to continuously being invented as certain people who subscribed to certain ‘religion’ began to disagree with certain aspect and doctrinal teachings of the ‘religion’ they subscribed to, having their own preferred twist to these beliefs. Then there are those who would borrow or should I say ‘steal’ ideas from a certain religion or several religions to formulate their own. All these had been happening since the dawn of recorded human history and are still rampantly happening today. It is a common practice to ascribe all these as religious sects rather than different religions but doing so in such a manner do not mean that these sects are not actually totally different religions with entirely different focus and central dogma. This is because the basis for such classification is not entirely based on clear-cut facts whether the main doctrinal focus or system of beliefs are indeed common or are they clearly differentiated. For example Judaism and Christianity have much similarity but also quite a few key differences. The same can be said of Judaism and Islam. Even Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism in their many differing practices showed similarities and differentiations, some also having aspects of ‘Pantheistism’ and Animism.

Some try to go back to the traceable origin of the word as first so used but that does not tell us what the word ‘religion’ defines except that of the opinion of someone from the past who coined the word. To use this origin of the word as a basis may seem to make perfect sense unless you realize that languages are ‘alive,’ that their proper usage in sentence structures as well as the individual meaning of the words change with common usage giving these contemporary meanings in their expressions. A question could also be raised as to how the opinions of those who originally coined the words would be more valid than the views held by the shapers and shifters of the contemporary world order. So looking at the origin of a word do not necessarily give us the correct definition or is definitive of what the word means in contemporary usage.

The supposedly unbiased Wikipedia has defined it as a set of beliefs relating to life and the universe, their cause, nature and purpose. It also had an interesting observation that in some languages there is actually no word that translates into the English equivalent for ‘religion’. All these are generally pretty close to what many people understood the word to mean but then it went on to say that people tend to derive their religious laws, morals, ethics and lifestyle choice from this set of beliefs. This is to say that the framework of the ordering of their life is derivative from their avowed religious beliefs or system of beliefs. This is getting it backwards; it is actually the other way around, mostly.

The basic difficulty in putting a definition on the word religion and also the word ‘worship’ (this is covered in the second part of this title) is that those who try to do so are looking at too wide a context from the entire perspective of what is believed andor practiced by all of humankind. They tried to take the sum total of all ideas that people subscribed to and find a common basis for this and assigned them to the word ‘religion’ and then try to compartmentalized the various system of beliefs subscribed to into different religions. The most clearly evident problem in trying to do this is that every human being perceives things ‘slightly’ differently. So when it comes to what each individual believe in as to what can be aggregated into a single concept of the word ‘religion’ well that is going to need some twisting of the facts.

The root cause of finding an appropriate summation for all system of beliefs of the myriad minds of humankind is actually in the word ‘religion’ itself. In many instances the word ‘religion’ as used as a reference to many of the more anciently established system of beliefs is translated from the word ‘law’ or sets of regulatory from their various ‘religion’ references. So it is more of a code of ‘religious’ conduct. In the Greek text of the New Testament the word translated into the word ‘religion’ came from the Greek word that speaks of the fearful respect or reverence of the people towards the gods. Now you can redefine those into something that says ‘a set of beliefs’ or ‘system of beliefs’ but what that does is it takes a word and twist it to give a totally different meaning so you end of not being sure of what you are talking about. It would have been better to coin an entirely new word to suit your need. What we now end up with is that many ‘religionbecame misunderstood to be something else from they actually were and are. And this is very true when it comes to the real Christian religion (i.e. faith and worship) as reflected in the teachings of its Holy Christian Scriptures.

Let me just list out my views or understanding of the main concepts, the underlying ideas or notions of beliefs that people subscribed to in their belief that there is some kind of connection in their life and existence that relate to the realm of their existence whether these are paranormal or totally physical pertaining to that which humankind can sense.

1. Monotheistic  belief in a single Creator God andor the oneness of the Creator.
2. Polytheistic  belief in many Gods, none of whom, one of whom or a few of whom brought mankind and/or the physical cosmos into existence.
3. Pantheistic  belief that God is the combined total of everyone and everything, that everyone and everything is a part of God.
4. Animistic  belief in soul essence of all things. At its most basic it holds to the belief that the soul is indestructible. This non-destructivity of the soul whether uniquely human or common with all things living or even also to those non-living, seems to be the most commonly held belief in nearly all the system of beliefs that are subscribed to.
5. Atheistic  with Pantheistic inclinations.
6. Atheistic  with Darwinist inclinations.
7. ‘Materialistic’  Focuses on the harnessing of paranormal and environmental forces for personal and material advancement. This includes those who believe in items or rituals that bring them luck, success, safety, health, well being or good fortune.
8. ‘Darwinistic’  belief in the mindless Creator Evolution.
9. Scientific  worship of science as the answer and solution to all things. The common discipleship of this order held the implicit belief in the infallibility of science as the new god.
10. ‘Mefirstistic’ or ‘Personalistic’ – the worship of the total narcissistic advancement of the self and includes the egoistic, parasitic and predatory. This is manifested in the get what can be gotten even if involves cheating, stealing, robbing, harming and killing others as long as there is an even chance or half a chance of getting away without having to face the consequences for a certain period of time.

So there you have it, the main frameworks of belief systems that I considered are truly what humankind subscribe to. If you can see it, the problem mainly lies in the fact that if those that I have listed were boxed under the word ‘religion’ then we will have many, many people who are multi–religious, who subscribed to many religions all at once or when the situation suits their agenda. The vagaries within each definition item itself will make for a hard time to demarcate the boundaries of one set of beliefs from the next.

What we have is some over six and half billion individuals and even if we were to exclude those who are too young to be able to understand fully the matter (not to say that older people understand) we would still have some three to four billion views to reckon with. Another major considerable which many who try to analyze what religion is, but never factored into their consideration is a  trait of the human psyche which I called the ‘pick and choose’ mentality. Human beings basically pick and choose what they want to believe in. This is most commonly from the perspective of their personal agenda and the things that motivated or drives them. At the very fundamental level the forces that drives humankind are the same but the intensity of each component of these forces vary in degree at different time, situation, individual status, knowledge base, and reality awareness level of each individual.  Personally I feel that trying to understand the word ‘religion’ from the system of beliefs of all these people most of whom are essentially unstable in their real convictions is just an exercise in futility.

How I would prefer to define religion.

In my writings I have basically used this word ‘religion’ in all the three different contexts of: as religious beliefs, personal convictions and school of thoughts reflecting the most common usage of this word by humankind in general. Since I am communicating my thoughts to others it is needful that there should be some common understanding on the terms I used so that I am understood. Even so I need to stress (as I do in all my writings) that when used in the Christian Bibles as a translation of the Holy Christian Scriptures from the Greek text, the word ‘religion’ do not carry the meaning of the common usage of the word by humankind. And thus from this, it should be conveyed, that the true Christian religion (i.e. faith and worship) so described and defined is not a religion in the full sense of the word ‘religion’ as it is generally understood to mean.

The reason for this discussion was started by my wondering if anyone out there among all those who professed Christianity really understood what the Christian Holy Scriptures, that is the calmed basis of the Christian ‘religion’, actually taught concerning the concepts of religion and worship.

For the discussion of what the true Christianity is and how it is not a religion in the strictest sense of the word as understood by all of mankind including all the proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of all the schools of knowledge discipline, please read , ‘Christianity Know The Basics’ in the discussion on why would GOD create life on earth through the process of evolution in the post, ‘Why Create Life Through The Process Of Evolution’.

Many may say that such a view is narrow–minded, seeing the definition from the perspective of only one of the many systems of beliefs that humankind subscribed to. Very logical right — one perspective equates to narrow minded view?

Not if there is only one true GOD who created everything and one true ‘religion’ as defined by HIM! Of course there will be argument about this but then again as I had said — man can never fully agree on anything and with religion it is no exception. But have you considered that (aside from the first too reasons that I discuss earlier) if there is really no true GOD or some paranormal entities exercising oversight over humankind and the universe, why then should we want to be concerned about what religion means, if there is no truth to it? If you don't believe in GOD (if you know what that words ‘God’ and ‘believe’ means) why would you want to be bothered with who or what GOD is or what religion means? Why would you want to be bothered with any consideration of religion at all? Surely you have better things to do with your life considering that your time here is a scarce resource in that you have just got so much of it and no more and very often even less than what you think you have.

Let me qualify myself on what I mean when I say religion and religious beliefs are two different concepts.

For me ‘religion’ is what the Judeo–Christian Scriptures testify to as the word so translated from the Greek texts which is about giving due (i.e. to express both in words and in deeds) obedience, reverence, respect, honor, and gratitude to our MAKER GOD and OWNER SOVEREIGN, whereas 'religious' beliefs are the belief systems in the paranormal especially relating to some divine deity or deities or spirits that people of the world subscribe to and their respective conducts with regards to these beliefs. I have used the word ‘religion’ in both this context because generally everyone else holds to the view that religion and religious beliefs means the same, and are the same thing. At the same time I needed to stress so there is no misconception, that in the true Christian faith and worship which is the true Christians' commitment to the Covenant they have entered into with GOD, the FATHER, what is considered by all humankind generally (including most if not nearly all of the Elect of GOD both inside and outside of GOD's Church today) as the Christian religion (i.e. conviction and worship) is not the same thing as what is considered by nearly all of humankind to be a religion, anyall other religions of this world including the so called Abrahamic religions.

Please read the discussion, ‘Christianity Know The Basics’ in the post, ‘Why Create Life Through The Process of Evolution’ of the blog, ‘The Holy Bible Expounded’ to understand what true Christianity and the true Christian faith and worship actually is, and how it is really not a religion at all in the full sense of the word as have been understood by all humankind irregardless of the ordinary lay person of the man in the street, or the super education and intelligent geniuses of the proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of the human social order.

Here is the main issue: what people subscribe to is as different as people are different. We have over six billion people (and closer to seven billions as of 2011 C.E.) and if you want to know what are the belief system that each of these subscribe to you are going to end up with three to four billion different sets of religious beliefs because no two person can truly completely agree on what they really, really totally believe in. The fact is the majority of them don't even know what they really believe in. So even as they may claim that they are of this or that religion, most will not be in full agreement what that religion is about. So me, I stick to that which is clear and unchanging.

If you want to know what the law of your country says the crime of murder is, you go to the law so enacted by the legislating authority. If you want to know what a ‘religion’ as defined is, you go to the religious text of that religion. It can't get any simpler than this.

As for what people believed in, well that is mostly their business and I have better things to do than wanting to try go figure these out. But here is a hint for those who got nothing better to do and wishes to find out. Go with what they are preoccupied with, what they spent their lives being focused on and in continual pursuit of. That is really what they believe in, subscribed religious beliefs not withstanding. Sure some do spend a considerable amount of their limited resources pandering to their religious beliefs but most if not all do this mainly (but not only) to get what they really want as in, ‘God give me this or give me that or bless me or prosper me;’ or when they get into trouble, ‘God save me or protect me or deliver me.’ It is a bit like buying some lottery tickets hoping that you will win the jackpot. Others do so to get some cheap insurance hoping to secure their next life after they die. Others still just want to feel good about themselves, that they are good people and that they will go to some paradise or heaven when they die to get all that they lusted for in this life but have not been satisfied with. Few indeed are those who are truly really (meaning their are in delusional pretense of being) dedicated to living by the standards that their ‘religions’ advocated.

The problem with all these brilliant minds was they ascribed system of beliefs as religions and that got them all into a quagmire. Imagine trying to qualify and then summarize what six and half billion people believe in. This when they haven’t even got the granular, the human psyche, figured out yet. And as for the religious texts well here again you got to know which tree to go to get the apple. They should have just left the word religion totally out of it and stick to the phrase ‘system of beliefs.’ There is just no way you can take all the varied beliefs of every individual and ascribe it as religion unless you redefine the word into something else altogether. In so doing they have twisted the concept in that word so that many system of beliefs that are subscribed to had become totally misunderstood from what they actually advocated and practiced.

I do understand the need from a legislative perspective to define what religion is so as to allow for some legislative control over the activities of the citizenry and residents from the perspective of order (as opposed to chaos), to prevent criminal activities or that harm (physical or psychological) from being inflicted (in acts of commission or omission) on others through these subscribed religious beliefs. But aside from a disciplinary specialization requirement to redefine the concept encapsulated in the word religion; the true meaning of the word as defined by the ONE true GOD should not be corrupted so that we cannot understand what HIS message to us is about.

Now if these legislative authorities sincerely and courageously want to put a definition on the word ‘religion’ as to allow for the protection of those who subscribe to differing beliefs from being unjustly (because of just their beliefs and no other reasons ended up being) persecuted, or from persecuting others (from holding and seeking to enforce their beliefs and themselves are supreme to all others), the simplest way is to ascribe it as a system or set of beliefs and to ensure that: no such per defined system of belief is allowed to force anyone into adhering to its beliefs or to use its ‘religious’ basis to harm another human being; all practices of beliefs should not have their beliefs be the basis to cause harm to (to do damage to the person or property of) another person whether young or old; all those practicing their beliefs must recognize that beliefs are personal convictions and should not be coerced. This, the United Nations and many of the ‘developed’ nations seek to do but obviously just can't.

Because to do so in such a manner would make some globally recognized religions with multiple millions to billions of adherents to become illegal. So we have a global system that says preaching falsehood as religion is ok and acceptable. Because near every major globally recognized religions make the claims (through those who practice them) that they are for good, for justice, for peace and for truth but many of them are just lying through their teeth. That is the fact and truth no shadow of a doubt about it.

Some may protest and say that even the Judeo-Christian religion does the same. Well that is one of my points; that the mainstay of professed “Christianity” just isn't Christianity (as defined by the religious text) at all but an evil counterfeit fraud. Also that Judaism so called and so claimed in all the years it was “practiced” by the ancient nations of Israel and Judah for the most part of these nations existence were never true to their subscribed ‘religious’ belief which was in the covenant they made with the MAKER, the GOD of all things. That is what their religious text as well as the records of the Christian (the New Testament records) religious text testified to if you can believe these texts. Now if you can't believe these texts then how would you convince yourselves that these religions’ are true? Further, if these religious texts are not true what sort of validity does the religion then have as a system of beliefs unless you considered believing in lies a wise and valid way of life. 

Most may consider my views extreme or even fanatical. Everyone has his own opinion as is his GOD given onus to decide on what he wants to believe in and how he wants to conduct his live framed by those beliefs. I believe there is ONE true CREATOR GOD as also a greater majority who subscribed to a few of our world's main bodies of religious beliefs. Why would I even want to consider the teachings of religions that I considered to be false.

Consider a moment, the only one religion’ that tells it from the beginning is the Judeo-Christian religion. Sure other religions may have some vague accounts of some beginnings but do they make logical sense to explain why the world and social order is in the condition that it is today? Judeo-Christianity has the longest ‘continuous’ chronologically recorded history of some four thousand years and it would be over seven thousand years if you would count its prophecies which are the advance record of history before it happens. The Judeo-Christian Scriptures had been recorded by more than forty different authors through hundreds of years, all faithful adherents of the same faith. These authors referenced the works of their predecessors by name and accorded them testimonial authenticity as GOD's words (that means supporting and collaborative testimonies). These authors not only recorded on matters relating to their faith but also on events happening during their times which had been directly collaborated by humankind's secular historical records (more supporting and collaborative evidences). These records have the longest and most complete accounts of historical events and also prophetic events. Many of these prophetic events had already been fulfilled or had taken place as prophesied. Many of these fulfillment are evident today and can easily be verified to be true, some of these occurring as recently as only a few years ago. There may be numerous religious beliefs in our world today but tell me which can hold up to the track record of the Holy Christian Scriptures translated into the Christian Bible. I let you draw your own conclusion on what all these mean.

But among those who subscribed to this Christian religion who are considered authoritative or who considered themselves authoritative there was not one that I could find in my internet based research who understood what is actually taught in this Holy Christian Scripture translated into the many versions of the Christian Bible today. I was not able to locate on the vast worldwide web, a single correct and accurate view from all these experts on the GOD of the Christian Bible, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with regard to the words 'religion' and 'worship.' I know many who professed belief in this GOD will dispute what I say. But to all those who disagree this I say, read what I have to say and then thoroughly check with the Holy Christian Scriptures against the Hebrew and Greek text so translated, then and only then decide if what I say is true or are all I write just another ramblings of a craze religious fanatic of radical Christianity. If you believe the latter to be true then disregard me and everything I write, I have not forced them on you. But if you find what I say is true then you should know that the Word of GOD has come to you. (Please note that what I have testified to in all my writings are time sensitive which mean they are true at the time of their publications. Over time many of whom I have written about may change their views and what they currently advocate even as many had done so in the course of the last fifty or so years plagiarizing many of the teachings and methods of the Church of GOD incorporating them with added twists and spins into their subscribed system of beliefs).

Here is What Got all those Brilliant Minds Confused.

Let me now give you my assessment on why most of these brilliant minds just are not able to precisely put a definition on the word religion.

Firstly they have religion, religious beliefs, personal convictions, superstitions and taboos, and school of thoughts as the same thing, which they are not, not entirely. Let me use a few illustrative examples (parable, allegory, analogy) to show you what is wrong with these considered opinions by these brilliant minds, these proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives of knowledge and ‘enlightenment’.

A little boy who doesn't know what an apple is.

One day a little boy of nine was sent to his grandfathers orchard. This little boy had spent his entire life behind a computer screen playing computer games because his very self centered parents just didnt have anytime for him being too busy pursuing after material wealth and all the things that titillate the senses. So they loaded him with all the toys and gadgets to keep him occupied while they pursue their fixations, obsessions and addictions.

The grandfather asked the boy, How would you like a delicious apple? The boy answered, What is an apple?

So the grandfather sent the boy into the orchard to find out and to pluck one from the trees. But being old and forgetful he didnt describe to the boy what an apple looked like.

Now from having lived such a closeted life the boy just didnt know that there were many types of trees or that each tree had its own kind of fruit. So he looked at all the trees and fruits dangling from their branches and pluck the first fruit that he saw and found to be appealing, which happened to be a lemon.

And that is the reason why all these great minds just doesn’t have a real clue what religion is and what worship is. They are basically looking up the wrong trees. They gather all the facts from the various ‘religions’ and from these they try to get some common ideas to deduce what religion is, trying to come to some conclusion through considering all of these. Wrong premise is where the problem lies.

Let me give you another example. A murder has been committed and you as the detective investigating the case have twenty suspects. But the truth is only one person alone is responsible for the murder. Now if you believe mistakenly that all of them were part of the conspiracy and you investigate based on that premise you are never ever going to catch the real culprit.

This is just one example of how gathering the facts, the wrong facts, are going to throw you completely off the truth.

Now here is my take on what the Christian faith, worship and religion really is from the perspective of the Scripture of Truth:

It is all about relationship generally and specifically a covenant relationship to become the citizenry of a country - the Kingdom of GOD. The context of relationship is in how we conduct ourselves in our relationships with one another whether to do good or to do evil, to act in good faith or in bad faith, to act out of unselfish love or out of selfish self expediency. That is the sum of it, the overview of it. It is really not about worship at all, not as the word worship is defined by the world. Call this relationship’s specifications morality if you want. But morality is not what the Christian 'religion' (i.e. commitment to the Christian covenant) is about.

The ancient Jewish religion (so called Judaism) is not so much a religion as the word is understood today. It was about nationhood and their covenant with the LORD GOD (who was later born as JESUS a SON of man) of the Scripture of Truth to be HIS people accepting HIM as KING, MASTER and GOD over them for them to become HIS nation on earth. That covenant defined the relationship requirement or terms of engagement between the Israelite and their GOD KING and between their fellow citizenry as the property of their KING. That is the reason JESUS CHRIST during HIS first advent to institute the New Covenant came proclaiming the message of the coming Kingdom of GOD. This New Covenant is as much about nationhood (a future nation at JESUS Second Advent) as the Old Covenant was. This Old Covenant was ended when JESUS CHRIST died on the cross, murdered by the Jews and the Romans. You can read the discussions on both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant of the Christian Holy Scriptures which will begin publishing next month in three installments at the blog, The Holy Bible Expounded.

If you have the eyes to see it true Christianity just like ancient Judaism so called is not something you can box under the current understanding of the term ‘religion’ because it was never intended as a system of belief but an obligation through a binding agreement or covenant to be the citizenry of the Kingdom of Heaven or the nation of GOD on earth that is now being prepared to be soon ushered in to rule over the entire creation forever.

What is Worship? [wiw]

Many of those experts and masters of philosophy and religion especially among those who professed the Christian religion quoted Scriptures in their attempts to define what religion is and what worship is. Now if only they understood that what they were quoting was the collective guide to the conceptual meaning, they might have been able to understand the ‘forest’ instead of ‘looking at each individual tree and have no idea what the forest is about.’ Below I quote an extract from an article by a Dr. Campbell who seemed to have understood the requirement of putting all the relevant Scriptures together:

If it were not for the traditional use of the word 'worship' amongst Christians, substantial arguments could be raised against its continued use. For one thing, the denotative meaning of 'worship' is different from the related Greek and Hebrew terms. For another, the connotative meaning of 'worship' in the Christian community is substantially different from the biblical teaching on the topic. Since the evangelical Christian community is committed to the use of the term worship, it certainly bears careful examination so that we mean what God intends when we use it.

Quoted from What Is Worship, an essay by Lee Campbell, PHD.

Correct me if I am wrong, Dr. Campbell wrote saying the word ‘worship’ has been used by the “Christian” community to say something else from what the word that was translated as ‘worship’ in the Christian Bible actually mean. He also said that the meaning in both the Greek and Hebrew texts do not agree with word translated as ‘worship’ in the Christian Bible. That the translations were not accurate, not appropriate or were in error. And that is similar to what I am saying. You can read the full discussion on this and many (yes there were many, and now more than before, in the newer versions of the Christian Bibles where the works are not translation anymore but outright brazen interpretations to suit the doctrine biases and agenda of the translators) other erroneous translations of the Holy Christian Scriptures from what was recorded in the sourced texts, the original Greek and Hebrew in the blogs of this work.

I am sure Dr. Campbell is a highly educated and intelligent person. But unfortunately Dr. Campbell could not come to a right conclusion despite getting the premise correct. This I suspect is because Dr. Campbell had either been converted to the Christmas religion or he has been using the Christmas religion as the basis to understand the Christian ‘religion’, which as I said is looking up the wrong tree. This is the main reason (from the Spiritual perspective) the Christmas religion exists, as a vehicle of Satan the Devil to confuse sincere and intelligent men and women so that when they read these very simple words used in the Holy Christian Scriptures they become unable to put two and two together to understand the message of these Scriptures. That is one of the many reasons I have put forward to testify that the Christmas religion is not Christian at all but Antichrist.

For all these proclaimed and acclaimed Superlatives experts it is like they are all looking at all these passion fruits, lemons, grapefruit, mangoes and durian and all they are seeing are all these passion fruits, lemons, grapefruit, mangoes and durian. They just can't seem to put two and two together and say, ‘Ahhhh, fruits that trees produces as a vehicle to disperse their seeds, their progeny, by making them desirable food for animals through whom their seeds are carried far away.’ (This of course is only from one perspective – the scientific evolutionary perspective and it is not all the reasons tree produces fruits).

The word ‘worship’ as used in the Christian Bible is neither per se ‘adoration’ (though there are elements of that involved but not of the word adoration literally) nor as many claimed as ‘to ascribe worth or value to something or someone.’ It is also not ‘giving praise’ or ‘offering’ or ‘presenting sacrifice’ whether in words or deeds. These are just expressions of ‘worship’ and not the definitive act of ‘worship.’

Others have said that it is about devotion. Well sort of, that is if they know what that word means which they apparently don’t. Also some viewed worship as serving GOD, doing things to please GOD. Which again is a sort of, if they know what it means to serve GOD or to please GOD but again apparently they don’t.

The reason I say they don’t is because many seem to think that murdering people and intentionally telling all kind of lies about GOD are devotion to GOD or serving GOD or pleasing GOD.

What Religion And Worship Is. [rnw]

In the Christian Holy Scriptures' perspective, as with religion so it is with worship, both are about relationships. Worship defines the proper and correct relationship with the CREATOR GOD our CREATOR, OWNER, MASTER, PROVIDER and SOVEREIGN (the governing RULER of all). It is about our speech and conduct first, but that is not all because conduct comes from attitudes and intents. Worship when used as a summation of all the words used in the Greek and Hebrew texts is meant to spell out the proper approach in our relationship (both attitudes and conduct) and interaction with the CREATOR GOD. It is much more than proper speech and conduct towards GOD. It involves the very intent in our hearts, our attitudes towards GOD. And what are these attitudes? Read the full discussion in this blog: Living By Every Word.

Just like the word religion as ‘defined’ in the Holy Christian Scriptures so also is the word worship, both focused on relationships, and in both these cases our relationships with GOD and our fellow man, how we are to approach and have interactions with GOD and with our neighbors. These are through our attitudes and conduct towards GOD and man through all aspects of our relationships with our MAKER and with our neighbors. All that is needed for both is just proper decorum and good faith expressed in our acting from complete trust and sincere love. But again not the love of the world or as the world understands the word to mean. But let me say this, if we can't act appropriately in our relationship with one another to always act in good faith (that is fulfilled or performed by being motivated through real sincere caring love) towards one and another, there is no way we are ever be going to be able to get our relationship with the CREATOR GOD of all things right no matter what we sacrifice in our 'worship' of HIM (1 John 4:20; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Similarly the Ten Commandments which many of the daughter harlots of the Babylonian Mystery religion have been teaching as no longer relevant because of the New Covenant (and never mind that they have never entered into or kept or honor this New Covenant) whereby they claimed that the laws and the commandments of GOD are written in the heart of their disciples, well these Ten Commandments are about the same thing - relationships. They defined as a summary the right relationship attitudes towards GOD first (commandments one to five) and then towards all those of our fellow mankind who we deal with and come across in our daily lives (commandments five to ten).

The problem with our relationship with both GOD and our neighbor started with the failure of the first family to have the faith to trust GOD completely. They just did not trust GOD at all, that was why they believed a strange talking serpent who sounded convincing, to choose to believe that GOD was lying to them. That led them to act deceitfully, to act in bad faith. They chose to believe that GOD was short changing them, lying to them, and denying them what is good and desirable. They chose to believe that GOD did not want them to be as knowledgeable as GOD. As with sin so it is with bad faith once it entered into the world, like a disease it infected and contaminated everyone that followed from Adam and Eve. Bad faith is the mother of all sins. That is why faith, which is another word for complete conviction and the complete trust from this real conviction (i.e. to believe for a certainty), and acting out of faith from the same complete trust is crucial for a trusting, caring and loving relationship with GOD and also in our relationship with one another. You can read the full discussion on this in the chapter ‘Sin, Grace And The Commandments of GOD’ of Bible 101 – The Holy Bible Expounded by this author.

If you can understand the above paragraph you would (or should anyway) appreciate the fact that there is no such thing as imputed sins in the teachings of the Holy Christian Scriptures contrary to the doctrines advanced by mainstream “Christianity”. The fact that much of “Christianities” for near to two thousand years (as also most still do today) held to this ridiculous blasphemous idea of imputed sin clearly proved that these “Christianities” really have no clue at all what sin is and equally no clue what the Genesis chapter one to chapter three accounts actually recorded and taught.

Religion then when used as a reference or a term to refer to the true Christianity is about our rightly fear to respect, reverence and honor of our GOD, FATHER, MAKER and PROVIDER, and of our MASTER (LORD) and KING (SOVEREIGN) JESUS CHRIST our eldest brethren who is the FIRST BORN from the dead, the pioneer (beginner and leader) and the finisher (completer) of our unwavering belief and conviction (faith).

Whereas worship refers to our sincere attitudes in seeking to totally love and completely obey our GOD (and FATHER) and LORD JESUS who is the redemption and salvation of the FATHER according to HIS Sovereign Grace.

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Special Note
Please note that all discussion by this author are based on a general non expert assessment of information gathered from material published in the public domain (i,e, readily available to members of the public). All of this author's discussions are presented as material for any and all lay person with no special expertise. Anyone twelve years of age and older, who is not mentally incapacitated in some ways, would (or should anyway) be able to understand any and all the discussions of this author. You do not need to be an expert or a genius to understand the simple and straight forward truths discussed by this author.
All “proclaimed and acclaimed” super mega brilliant supremely intelligent geniuses leading experts, defining master authorities, super holier than GOD man, women, entities and beings of whatever godly glorious illustrative mega holy and reverent titles, please go somewhere else to announce and proclaim your supreme superiority and lowest humility over all other members of humankind.

Last Updated (YMD): 2015 05 03
First Posted: 2011 02 22

© 2011 - 2015 Quah . All rights reserved.

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