Spirituality and Belief Systems: Litmus Tests

It is not engagement in intellectual discussion of merits of different religions that constitutes religious intolerance. Religious intolerance is evident in intentional discrimination against a person merely because they subscribe to a particular religion.

Suppose we compare religions on basis of historical evidence. Christianity and Judaism win easily within the historical context because the Christian God, who also is supposed to be the God of Judaism, is well documented within context of actual historical events.

History outside of the Bible proves David, Solomon etc. famous kings of the Jews and Jesus are historical facts.

In the historicity of characters such as David, Solomon etc., we find historical evidence of the God of the Jews. That is, since David was picked by God and David was not the founder of Judaism, in the actuality of history of David, there is historical evidence of the God of Judaism. In the sacking of the Kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, an event predicted by the God of the Jews long before it occurred, again we see participation of Deity in course of history. We see then the God of the Jews acting both as benefactor and disciplinarian towards His people within course of socio-political history.

The Judaic code reveals understanding of importance of remedies, as opposed to punishment for management of interactions within society.

Islam’s focus on punishment as opposed to remedies induces civil laws that are not as robust as Judaic civil law for maintenance of an equitable capitalist society.

The additional (character) evidence needed: the power of a changed life (for the better) and principles that provide one consistent prism for decision making and daily life.

In respect of the character evidence, Christianity beats Judaism and every other religion hands down because,

an important objective of Christianity is access to power to do good, and power to resist evil.

Christians meet in church services to encourage one another not to appease God. The relationship with God is personal and is enjoyed primarily at home and at work as opposed to within context of some religious service. In most other religions, it is difficult or impossible to worship the deity without participation in religious services. In respect of worship of God, with focus on a verse that uses the word ‘worship’ and with no sexist pun intended, the Bible states (1 Timothy 2:9):

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety,…with good deeds appropriate to women who profess to worship God.

Christians worship God in their actions (good deeds) not via congregation in a place of worship. Christianity then is designed for the spiritual non-religious person. Practiced rightly, Christianity never can be characterized as opium for the religious.

Does Christianity change lives? Absolutely. There is lots of evidence of changed lives among people that give themselves totally to Jesus Christ.

Jesus declared, Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem (interpretation: there will come a time when location in a temple or holy site will become irrelevant to worship of God). God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

If Christians practice love, they will seek to meet together to love and encourage one another. This is the motive for church services, not a demand from God for worship or appeasement.

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If you would like to find out more about relevance and authenticity of Christianity for spirituality, as opposed to a code for the religious check out a freely available excerpt from my book In Jesus Name titled, A Reason for Faith.

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Oghenovo Obrimah, PhD

Oghenovo Obrimah, PhD

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos