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Getting to know other religion

One priest in the old church had said that to know your religion, you should also know other religions. But his advice is never to compare because you would only get confused. Now I wonder why that priest had advised of getting to know other religion but cautioned that we can get confused. Maybe what he meant was to be strong with our faith in what religion we are in. Or maybe it is a guideline against the other religions whose members are radically getting recruits and converts that they never stop on smearing other religions.

Comments

  • Posts: 64
    I have studied a lot of religions, searching for truth. I always felt they all led to the same place. Strangely though, I never studied Christianity. To me it never really made sense, it felt like a fable, and it was not clear and easy to follow as I think other Eastern religions are. 

    It was only after a supernatural experience that suddenly Christianity made complete sense to me and that the crazy view of angels, demons, satan, the afterlife, prayer, the apocalypse, prophesy... it all made sense and all the pieces clicked. I don't know how I could have ever believed it otherwise. 

    Jesus is the way, and if you pray to him and earnestly ask him to enter your life, and invite him into your heart, your life will change. 
  • Hmmm... Your priest might have said that because knowing other religions, studying them, makes you more faithful to your religion. In that sense, if your faith and loyalty isn't swayed by studying other religions, then you truly belong to whatever religion you are in. 

    It's just like my aunt refraining us from reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. She said that our faith in God might be changed. But I read it and it hasn't swayed my faith in Him at all. Yeah, it makes you think about your religion but if your faith is strong, you won't stop believing in Him.
    arthnel
  • Posts: 68
    I love the way @briannagodess summed up why churches in general are scared to recommend their followers in studying other religions. If people are not grounded in their faith they develop many questions that can lead to confusion. Unanswered questions can lead people astray and into temptation. The devil likes this idea. Mankind has become so confused that to maintain their own sanity many even prefer to opt out of believing in God.
  • Posts: 40
    If your beliefs are so fragile that being exposed to different ways of thinking will threaten them then you have a serious faith crisis, just look at Pope Francis himself and all the efforts that he is making to approach other denominations of Christianity. By the way, how can you possible study a different type of thinking without comparing it to your own? How can you reach any conclusions if you don't?
    arthnel
  • I am very curious about this matter. I always liked, for some reason, Buddhism and I would like to learn about it and even practice it. Unfortunately I think that there are no temples anywhere around my city or any Buddhists  at all. In Serbia Orthodox Christianity is dominant. I guess I like how calm and peaceful people practicing this religion look like. It is like they found the answers to big questions.
    arthnel
  • Posts: 68
    I agree with @fcuco that it would be a deficiency in faith if we research or even like other aspects of a religion different from our own. For me, I just like knowing what make things and people tick. I like to understand the motivation behind how people think and behave. It really does not mean it will erode my beliefs and cause me to change.
    fcuco
    Thanked by 1fcuco
  • Posts: 68
    @djordjem87 I'm christian but I also have a keen interest in practices from the East. Buddhism and other religions from that side have led me into meditation and appreciation of life and varied things that Christianity never taught me. While I use the teaching of Jesus to understand how to deal with others in loving my neighbor, I learned about oneness and loving myself through teachings of religions from the east. Exploring other religions is not a bad thing. There are many ideas and lessons online to get you started too.
  • Posts: 40
    @arthnel yeah, if anything, studying other religions will make you realize that we are all looking for answers and that those answer can only be obtained by transcending our day to day physical life and approaching the divine, if anything, studying other religions will make you a better Christian.
  • Posts: 23
    I agree with what your priest said, if your faith or conviction is not strong enough, you might get swayed if you study other religion. I think one lifetime is not enough to study the Bible, so I just focus on studying the BIble and know our God even more. What matters is your own relationship with God, not religion. God bless you guys. :)
  • Posts: 18
    I have always had a interest in learning about other religions, but to be honest I have never really taken the time to sit down and really put the time in.  I am busy of course, but we all are and I know that it is really a lame excuse at this point, but I will still use it.  I think there is a lot to be gained from learning about them, though, and so I hope I can put a little more focus there soon.  Thanks for sharing.
  • Posts: 36
    I was baptized and raised as a Catholic and I know my faith well enough when I began to explore other related religions. I've never entertained Buddhism, Hinduism, or other Eastern religion because for starters, we've learned about them in school and these religions didn't appeal to me at all. I have explored other religious faiths claiming to be Christian faiths but these have failed to live up to what the Bible teaches. One of them claims to be literally a Church of Christ but its teachings are based on a single human being's appreciation and understanding of the bible which he claimed was 'revealed to him by God' when he was meditating. He founded a church and the church is headed by members of the different generations in his family. Monarchy in modern times? If you're a Christian who is not grounded in your faith, it will be too easy to be misled by false religions. 
  • I think this is a good idea.  I went to Catholic school and we had an entire year of study on world religions.  There are a lot more similarities than differences between the religions if one looks closely.  A central tenant of most religions is to be a good person and to help others, which are values Catholics share.  If your faith is right for you, then there's no danger of being "misled".  People tend to fear things they don't know or don't understand.  Understanding is a first step toward compassion and toward meaningful dialogue.
  • I am religious, though not Catholic, and have always found learning about other religions fascinating.  In fact, I'm working on a book at the moment about contemporary religious conversion, which is how I ended up on this forum, because a moderator suggested some people here might have some interesting stories about finding Catholicism (tried to start my own thread but I can't figure out how to do it because I'm a Luddite  :\">)  I've spent a good portion of the past six months talking to people who followed all different kinds of spiritual paths (people who became Amish as adults, Hare Krishnas, Sikhs, Muslims, Mormons, etc.) and it is indeed enlightening, but it can also be challenging!  I feel like I'm constantly taking my own temperature and making sure I am not getting defensive or otherwise trying to spend the whole time comparing and contrasting.  (To be clear, I'm not at all a combative person, but this stuff can just start to feel really personal really quickly!)  But it's also heartening because there is almost always a common ground you can find with someone––be it a cultural thing, a piece of dogma, or an issue the institution is having at the moment––no matter how different you think your faiths might be.  And usually the other person is interested in your faith, too, as much as you are in theirs, so it can be a really warm conversation.  So all in all, very rewarding, but not without its difficulty.  Doesn't make me question my choices but I think it could for a person who is already struggling, emotionally insecure, or simply doesn't want to make the effort––for instance, you could focus on something about the other belief you disapprove of, instead of making the effort to point out a really beautiful aspect of the tradition (and there is almost ALWAYS a beautiful element)!

    Or you could just read books about different religions and avoid the occasionally awkward moment all together :).
  • I don't know what that first emoji is.  Was supposed to be blushing or an embarrassed face or something like that...
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