10 pages/≈2750 words
Religion & Theology
What's the Point of Religion? (Essay Sample)
The paper speaks about how Religion creates a feeling of acceptance and a connection to one’s past. Some studies believe that it could harm one's health. This, however, is still up for debate. It also talked about how Religion can foster a sense of belonging and support and provide guidance. Religious practice has goals, including obtaining redemption for others and oneself and making provision for genuine loyalty and submission to God (if one exists). source..
What's the Point of Religion? Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation What's the Point of Religion? “So the question of how to define religion is a persistent problem. A wide variety of distinctive elements of particular religions or religious traditions seem fundamental to their being religions, but religion is so diverse that scholars have been unable to develop a definition of religion that is uncontroversial and that gives us good advice about hard cases” (Dawes & Maclaurin, 2012). Religion is highly complex and diverse. This complexity has made the long-standing challenge of defining the concept as a subject of study more challenging; yet, to keep things simple, religion is defined as a belief system in which one has faith in a deity or divine entity. Religion deals with God’s existence, who rules the entire universe. Religions, in other words, are beliefs that link humans to spirituality. Individuals hold different types of beliefs and many diverse religions have sprung up as a result of this. Some have also viewed religion as an interconnection between people and what they basically consider spiritual, holy, divine, or hallowed. Most often, a system of rituals follows it to aid in building a group of worshippers sharing one faith. Lots of faiths have sacred histories, symbols, traditions, and stories that either describe the inception of life or give it a sense of purpose. Likewise, people often derive their religious regulations, morality, or desired way of living from their cosmology and human nature views. Many religions describe what defines allegiance or membership—studying their scripture, regular meetings for worship, or prayers to the Deity in holy places that can be natural or artificial. Preaching, art, sacrifices, dance, festivals, feasts, music, meditation, trance, initiations, marriage ceremonies, burial ceremonies, or any other aspect of human custom are good examples of religious activities. However, some religions do not engage in some or all of these practices, beliefs, or organizational features: “The heart of religion is worship, the heart of worship is sacrifice” (Ascension). This very word by Fr. Mike Schmitz in his YouTube channel, Ascension Presents, summarizes most religion's activities. In addition, each religion has a set of rituals that it follows. The practices are done to appease the Deity of their religion. Since time immemorial, human beings have believed that life has a spiritual side. Many communities have also left for us additional historical proof of their individual belief systems. This religious worship could be the worship of different gods and goddesses, the sun, good and evil knowledge, or sacred things. The two basic classifications of religion are monotheistic and polytheistic religions. Polytheistic religions are those that incorporate the worship of several gods, with two of the most popular being Hinduism and Buddhism. There is only one God, according to monotheistic religions. Monotheistic religions include Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Christianity is one of the most popular monotheistic religions. The supernatural birth of Jesus, as well as his adult ministry, death, and subsequent resurrection are the foundations on which Christianity is built. Jesus Christ was born by a poor young woman named Mary over 2020 years ago into a poor Jewish family in Israel or Palestine. With nearly 2.5 billion followers, Christianity is the most popular of all the religions listed above, including those not mentioned. Moreover, outside sources have confirmed the existence of a historical founder of Christianity. The story of a man named Josephus, a first-century Jewish historic writer born in Jerusalem who later became a Roman citizen, is the most reputable of these sources. He mentions Jesus multiple times in his book “Antiquity of the Jews,” both as a wise teacher and Savior. Jesus was crucified, and his followers believed he was raised to life, according to Josephus. Beyond that, history is totally mute on the matter. In no particular order, Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John are the four parts of the Holy Bible that contain the most information on Jesus. Note that these books were not written to serve as biographies, but to convince people that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and the Savior of the world. Hence, the life of Jesus and his mission are described in a manner depicting him as God in human flesh. Hence, these four books are like the written account of Jesus Christ, also known as “the chosen one” and "the anointed one," instead of a biography of the man from Nazareth called “Jesus.” Christian followers are convinced that Jesus Christ is fully divine and human; one person having two natures. Christians say Jesus is not another knowledgeable teacher or simply a divine avatar (God living in human form). Rather, Jesus is completely divine as well as a truly existing, incarnate human person in every way as seen by what he did and said. Christians describe this as "incarnation." Jesus' life, his ministry, and his disciples are crucial to a Christian's knowledge of God. Christians believe that God's essential attitude toward creation is love, and all that God does in this world is intended to reflect that attitude. Jesus is said to reflect that love in his nature and every action of his human life. Another issue about Jesus' life and ministry that needs to be highlighted is that he frequently breaks societal conventions as well as traditional social rank and power concepts. For example, he did not associate himself with the religious teachers (Pharisees) or the Jewish rulers of the day; in fact, Jesus chastised them frequently for prioritizing rules over people. Instead, Jesus Christ surrounded himself with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other shady characters, inviting toddlers to sit on his lap, healing lepers, and talking with strange ladies. Jesus repeatedly allied himself with outsiders: the needy, the unclean, the downtrodden, and the undesired. Like followers of other religions, Christians have a holy book in the form of the Bible. The Holy Bible has two sections, namely the Old and the New Testaments. The Old Testament consists of stories about Jesus and the church in its earliest era, while the New Testament contains gospels (meaning good news) that lay out the accounts of Jesus Christ’s life as well as his teachings, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The New Testament also contains the book of Acts (also called the Acts of the Apostles), covers the growth and expansion of the early Christian church, Paul’s letters to the different churches, and the Book of Revelation, which is the last Book of the Bible. The teachings of the New Testament show that salvation is only gotten by obeying Jesus Christ’s teachings and believing in his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. It teaches that redemption is a freely-given gift from God to anyone who believes in Jesus the Christ. The beginning of the church is linked to an incident recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles, in which three thousand people were converted and baptized in Jerusalem after witnessing Jesus' disciples speaking in a variety of foreign languages when they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In today's church, two elements are practiced in every Christian denomination. "Word" and "sacrament" are two of these characteristics. "Word" refers to the Bible in this usage, including Bible readings and preaching. Any group that refers to themselves as "church" meets to study the Bible to read and reflect on its teachings. "Sacrament" is another important component of the church that most denominations hold in high esteem. Augustine's concept of a sacrament is perhaps the most famous: "visible manifestations of an invisible grace." Communion and baptism, for example, are thought to be concrete experiences of God's mercy and love that a Christian receives by faith. It took centuries to iron out what Christians now consider "orthodox" church doctrine, and discussions about the same issues still rage today, even though church teachings have existed for thousands of years. The Christian religion differs from other religions primarily because of the following beliefs: God: Christian views are founded on the Bible. Christianity believes that God is one, whom they call Father, according to Jesus’ teachings. They believe God created the entire cosmos and everything that exists within it. Jesus: Christians believe that Jesus is God’s Son sent to redeem people from sin and death. Jesus Christ proclaimed himself a savior and Son of God. Jesus stated he came to fulfill rather than teach God's law. The summary of Jesus' messages is love toward God and neighbors. Salvation: Another crucial teaching of Christendom is salvation--the principal Christian affirmation is that Jesus Saves. The Christian salvation theology comprises, among other things, how salvation links to the attitudes of Christians towards other religious beliefs and traditions. Also, the traditional concept Christians have about salvation has always been that one can only find salvation inside Christ’s church. This belief drove the missionary practices of the church for decades and still drives most Christian churches. There was a significant push to convert unbelievers of the Christian faith to Christendom so that they may make heaven after their death as Christians. The Trinity: Christians also believe in the Trinity--God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, some people mix this up by thinking that followers of Christ believe in and serve three separate gods; this is untrue. Instead, Christians are convinced that God became flesh (Jesus Christ) and He is still present via the work of the Holy Spirit and believers’ activities. Sanctification and Justification: Growing in holiness is sanctification, and being justified before God is justification. They allud...
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