How has the study of religions affected your view of religions?
I was raised in a Christian home with religious moral values. I participated in communion on the first Sunday of every month. I celebrated Easter and Christmas and helped serve dinner to those less fortunate on Thanksgiving. I attended bible study on Wednesdays and enjoyed vacation bible school in early June. I am by no accounts a scholar on Christianity. I have never read the bible straight through from beginning to end. Sometimes, I sleep in on Sundays and I never attend Sunday school service at 9:30a. But I do believe in a higher power- God. I believe in the bible’s teachings in morality- the Ten Commandments are meant to be followed. My mother says, “God has the power to show you who God is.” She has read the bible straight through- several times.
Growing up, it never occurred to me that everyone didn’t share my religious beliefs. I thought that the book of Genesis was pondered by many and believed by all. There was one God and He is the Almighty. Everyone had to know that Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins. My bible says, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be tested in due time (Holy Bible, 1Timothy. 2:5-6). Didn’t everyone know what sins were? Don’t we all appreciate being “saved”?
I thought if I studied another religion I was in some way turning away from my own religion. Maybe God would think I was questioning Him or that my faith had weakened. There was no way I was directing any energy to a religion I knew was wrong. Isn’t that blasphemy?
I believe Christianity is a religion of love. It uses love and sacrifice to restore relationships between people in the love of Christ. In truth, this was the main purpose of all the teachings and deeds of Jesus. Love. The bible says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely,...