The number of converts to Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Baha’ism, and Spiritualism is growing daily. People are searching for a genuine Faith that is not dominated by greed and hypocrisy. Indigenous, tribal practices are performed to this day in remote regions of the world. Shamans and medicine men continue to practice on isolated islands, in Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Atheism, a concept that any and all religious beliefs are a bunch of bunk, is also gaining support throughout the world.
Thousands of religious practices and beliefs exist across the world. The faithful proclaim that the words of their founders and prophets are uniquely inspired. Undoubtedly, the overall, core teachings of religious doctrines and adopted principles of faith are well-meaning and sincere. However, the behavior of the faithful does not always reflect those ideologies and values. Countless historical events are reminders of the ways in which nations and individuals have used (and use today) religious beliefs to justify discrimination, criminal acts against humanity, and further personal, political agendas. A bit of food for thought follows, not judging, merely stating documented, historical events and easily observed behavior.
Wealth - The majority of organized religions instruct their followers not to be concerned with material wealth and possessions. However, organized religions are some of the wealthiest businesses in the world, and they are businesses.
The ever faithful, though many live in poverty, continue to give funds to support their chosen church. Lavish houses of worship are constructed throughout the world, and church leaders live affluent lives.
Ornate churches and cathedrals around the world have been erected to please a chosen God. In many locations, right outside the boundary of a magnificent complex, thousands of people are living in squalor without clean water, food, and medical care, but the top brass live want-free lives. If God created the entire universe and this luscious, little planet, would a piece of architecture be of much importance to Him? The hoopla is for naught.
Many Christian leaders in America preach prosperity, fly around in private jets, live in million dollar homes, accept large annual CEO salaries from their charitable organizations, and become media icons. The Disciples whom Jesus called to teach His message gave up everything and followed Him. Humility has given way to celebrity in many cases.
Judgment - Each person should be free to believe what they want to believe without receiving criticism from individuals or leaders of opposing doctrines. Unfortunately, harsh judgments fly freely from the mouths of the self-righteous. For instance, some Christian evangelists publicly proclaim that devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural events are acts of God’s vengeance upon a nation of people because of their decadent behavior. Others have claimed that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were due...