Why Do Many Christians Believe Their Religion is the Best?

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1 Why Do Many Christians Believe Their Religion is the Best?

2 Part 1 Background, definitions, clarifying concepts, the spectrum of possibilities

3 Q: First, let's define: what is religion?

4 A1: Religion is the Relation of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural. Archaeological evidence suggests that religious beliefs have existed since the first human communities. They are generally shared by a community, and they express the communal culture and values through myth, doctrine, and ritual. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions also constitute elements of the religious life. Religions attempt to answer basic questions intrinsic to the human condition (Such as 'Why do we suffer? Why is there evil in the world? What happens to us when we die?') through the relationship to the sacred or supernatural or (e.g., in the case of Buddhism) through perception of the true nature of reality.

5 A2: Religion, in common English usage, may also be used to describe any set of allencompassing beliefs or practices that are similar to a religion as described above, but not necessarily with respect to anything spiritual or supernatural. An example sentence - Golf is his religion. In this sense, Marxism may be a religion, atheism may be a religion; but these groups would likely disagree with that definition.

6 Q: In what ways are all religions the same?

7 A: Similarities include - Spiritual words such as God, life after death, purpose of life, etc. Belief in a standard set of unprovable things (compared to science) in the spiritual world Ceremonies, rituals, buildings for religious purposes Religious holidays and events for reinforcing remembrance and belief Standards of behavior consistent with the religious beliefs

8 Q: In what ways do religions radically differ?

9 A: Differences include - Which Holy Book is correct, most correct or dominant? Which historical religious leader is to be followed? Disagreement over the nature of a religious leader esp. Jesus. What are the most emphasized characteristics of God, or What are the most important principles of the spiritual realm? What is evil, why is there evil, and what can we do about it?

10 Q: What attitudes are common based upon the above comparison/contrast?

11 A: Responses include - See all the disagreement? All religions are equally bad they are just the leftovers of primitive, non-scientific thinking. Morality being a good person is the main thing all else is various degrees of superstition or maybe at best a help to positive thinking. All religions are good systems for supporting morality, society, mental health, personal development Some religions are clearly more advanced than others and are more suitable for all people in this day and age. One religion encompasses or includes all the other religions. One religion is unique and superior to all other religions.

12 Q: So, Why Do Many Christians Believe Their Religion is The Best Religion The Only True Religion The Religion that Everyone Should Convert To

13 A: Possible reasons include - Ignorance Bigotry, Pride Lack of appreciation of needs of different kinds of people Logic or Objective Truth

14 (Illustration: which automobile is the best?)

15 Part 2 Christianity's viewpoint Is based upon accepting the Bible as being from God (a major subject for further study)

16 According to the Bible Its major themes

17 God is your creator; and you must actively deal with this fact. God made you and designed you to establish a good, dynamic relationship with Him called knowing God. (John 17:3) Each individual will ultimately choose to move forward or backward in the above.

18 Two fundamental characteristics of God as described in the Bible God's love God is unimaginably above this world and our concepts of Him (God's holiness)

19 The most important thing for us humans is NOT about us at all it is about accepting/embracing God Himself esp. His love This love revealed historically in God giving His Son to make payment for our sins. (Sin is our failure to live consistent with our designed nature to be in God's image and likeness so that we can have relationship with Him.) This love is unimaginably beyond any other religion's description of God's love.

20 How important is love? Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. C.S. Lewis The course of true love never did run smooth. William Shakespeare

21 Scale Degree of Love Genocide (typically, killing vast numbers of people) Killing a number of people (typically, serial killers, sociopaths) -100 Killing one person. -50 Severely taking advantage of one or more persons (being a kind of parasite) -10 Being a negative influence on others (doing bad things and encouraging others to do the same) 0 Being a loner and having nothing significant to do with anyone. (This represents neutral in this scale.) 10 Being a good person with a few friends. 100 Being a person in your family and community who does a lot of good for people 1000 Living your life for the sake of the good of others 10,000 Giving up your life for the sake of others (Soldiers must consider this possibility, even though since they are young, most of them don t so seriously believe it will happen to them. ) 100K 1M 5M 100M Giving up your child s life for the sake of others. (Parents of soldiers must consider this possibility) Giving up your child s life for the sake of people who don t care about you or who hate you. Giving up your child s life for the sake of criminals. Giving up your child s life for the sake of inferior beings you created (like robots or computer compared to humans) 500M Giving up your child s life for the sake of inferior beings you created who won t obey you, etc. (See Romans 5:8 for the inspiration for this. )?? Giving up your child s life for the sake of a SINGLE inferior being you created who won t obey you, listen to you, etc.. (See Galatians 2:20 for the inspiration for this.)

22 God wants us to be convinced and certain of His truth God is a rewarder of those who seek Him Hebrew 11:6; Acts 17:24-28 God gives wisdom James 1:5 We can KNOW that we have eternal life 1John 5:11-13 Takes trust more than intellect - Matthew 18:3 May take work on your part - Matthew 7:7 Take a lesson from research and job hunting

23 Suggestions? Questions? Ross Haselhorst

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