Pretty Cool to Design Your Own Religion

“My religion is a religion of love and my god is a god of love”.

Response: You seem to describe a “designer religion” – the notion that each of us can fashion our own god or gods to suit our wishes and desires.  We thus create god in our own image.  Here are some clues about choosing (or designing) our own gods:

  • Did your god create the heavens and earth, or did it all just happen by itself? 

Some religions, like Hinduism, are based on evolution.  And yet there are 10,000 scientists in this country who see evolution as an unproven theory, with stronger evidence for creation than evolution.  An example is the fossil record, within which the missing links are still missing.  (By the way, both creation scientists and evolutions embrace micro-evolution, such as changes in moths or birds.  It is on macro-evolution – the notion that a whale can evolve to a bear – where they disagree.)  There is even an emerging Intelligent Design movement of scientists who have abandoned evolution because the evidence of intelligence in design is too compelling to ignore.

  • Where do you want to end up after this life on earth?  

Every religion has a distinctly different ending for life.  So you might consider the following:

  • “Good” Moslem men go to paradise with 73 virgins and “bad” Moslem men go to hell;
  • Hindus believe that the end their life on earth leads to being reincarnated as a person, animal, or perhaps a mosquito, and (hopefully) eventually escaping reincarnation to become one with the All;
  • Mormons – get their own planet if they are good Mormons;
  • Atheists – turn into a pile of ashes and are buried or blown away by the wind;
  • Christians – go to heaven to be with the Lord; those who reject Christ and His offer of eternal life spend eternity in Hades; and    
  • Universalism – everyone gets to go to heaven, whether they want to or not.

NOTE:  These different perspectives raise these provocative questions:  

  • Are they all true?   (Is it even possible for all of them to be true?)
  • On what basis do you assume that we get to select the ending we want (paradise with virgins, have our own planet, one with the all, go to heaven to be with the Lord, etc.)? 
  • Are there clues as to which of these is most likely to be the truth?
  • Have you considered the evidence for Christianity: 
  • The Bible:  Written by 40 authors with widely differing occupations from 3 continents over 1,500 years, the Bible tells an integrated story that is woven together in a progressive story of human life, with God’s involvement over the centuries.  This unity is evidence of a common author (the Holy Spirit), who inspired and guided the writing of the books of the Bible, in contrast to other religions.
  • Fulfilled prophecy – Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection fulfilled dozens of prophecies, the odds of which happening by chance are truly astronomical.
  • The Flood – Over 130 cultures have stories / myths in their history that they are descendants of a family who was saved in a boat from a world-wide flood.  This is best explained by the story of Noah – that he really did build an ark, the Bible story is true, and these stories/myths are exactly what we would expect.  This is in contrast to evolution, which claims that a fish can turn into a bear if we just wait long enough.
  • Vast archaeological evidence that testifies to the historicity of the Old and New Testaments, rather than being merely an inspiring book authored by a charismatic religious or cult leader.  There have even been expeditions that have found Noah’s Ark, and brought back physical evidence of the ark’s existence. 
  • Evidence Consistent With Rules of Evidence – From a legal perspective, what does the evidence tell us?  Simon Greenleaf was the nation’s greatest legal scholar on rules of evidence, with his work known as the standard for rules of evidence, even by the U.S. Supreme Court.  A person of Jewish descent, Greenleaf was challenged by his students to examine the evidence for whether or not Jesus Christ was indeed the savior of mankind, or a great imposter.  He accepted the challenge, and after much study, became a Christian, compelled by the evidence before him.
  • Coming Back From the Dead – Evidence comes from many different sources.  Dr. Maurice Rawlings was a non-Christian cardiologist who lost many patients.  As his medical skills improved, he was able to bring many of them back from the dead.  About half of them did not want to come back, as they were experiencing great bliss.  About half of them were absolutely terrified that they were to die again and once experience hell.

A Personal Relationship with the Sovereign, Living God of the Universe

Christianity is unique in that it offers the opportunity for a personal relationship with the sovereign, living God, unlike other religions.  The sovereign, living God of the universe created us in His image, with the capacity and yearning to know Him and walk in His ways.  The Word of God reveals that He knows each of us, that He created each of us with unique gifts and talents, and that we have a purpose in our lives.  Furthermore, we will never experience true joy and peace (that transcends circumstances) unless we discover and live to carry out that purpose.  Have you discovered your purpose or mission in your life?

The central question for designer religions:  Anyone can develop a philosophy or religion – a conceptual framework for life and what happens after we die. 

  • But what is the source of their knowledge? 
  • Did they receive some revelation from the sovereign, living God about life and death (the only true authority about life and death), or did they just make it up? 
  • If you take a little from this religion and a little from that religion, to create a new (synthetic) religion, is it valid? 
  • Does your explanation for your eternal destiny explain what will really happen when you die?  The stakes are very high, as eternity is a very long time. 

Political Solutions to Spiritual Problems

“If we could only get the right people in Washington, our nation could be turned around.”

Response: There are many pundits and political animals who contend that the real battle today in our nation is between Democrats and Republicans, or perhaps the establishment parties vs. the Tea Party.  Is that really true that the profound challenges facing our nation are merely political in nature, and therefore can be solved by getting the right people into office?

Perhaps, but ultimately the leaders of our nation reflect the values of our citizens.  We elect people who espouse our vision for America, and we vote out those who don’t share our vision, or are inept at implementing that vision.  Look at what has happened in our nation in recent years:

  • The seven leading problems in public schools in the 1940s were chewing gum, talking, running in the hallways, making noise, getting out of place in line, wearing improper clothing, and not putting paper in wastebaskets. Seventy years later, the seven leading problems have become alcohol abuse, drug abuse, pregnancy, rape, suicide, arson/bombing, and assault/burglary. We’ve gone from gum chewing and talking to rape and school bombing. But what do we expect when we teach our kids they are just smart animals?
  • Our nation has engaged in continuous warfare against other nations, promoting regime change in multiple countries (such as Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Ukraine, Syria, and Iran) and killing millions of innocent people (over 1 million people have died in Iraq because of “weapons of mass destruction”).
  • Our political leaders have created a federal debt that is so massive, it will never be repaid, and will burden our children and grandchildren for generations to come.
  • Over 50 million unborn babies have lost their lives since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  This is the equivalent to an atomic bomb wiping out the population of the states of New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
  • Our nation promotes abortion and homosexuality in our foreign policy, often tying foreign aid to other nations’ willingness to adopt policies supporting these practices (Kenya is just one example).
  • President Obama, the most pro-homosexual president in our history, was re-elected, in part due to a solid voting bloc of Christians.
  • He also stated that we are no longer a Christian nation, and “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”.
  • Over 30 states (and many churches) have now embraced homosexual marriage, in spite of the Biblical admonitions against homosexuality.
  • When the planes hit the World Trade Towers on 9-11, the response from the American people was righteous indignation, almost a demand that “God bless America”, and a religious service for our leaders in the Washington cathedral that featured leaders from Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths.  Incredible.  The most prestigious center of commerce and our defense establishment are attacked by unknown forces, and we respond with the religion of universalism!  What did not happen was the people of our nation crying out to God, repenting of our sins, and seeking the protection and guidance from the sovereign, living God of the universe.

So it appears that we have the leadership that we want, and are moving along the path we have chosen.

From the Word of God we read:

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”                                                                               I Peter 4:17

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”                          II Chronicles 7:14

The Word does not say “if you elect the right person to be your leader”, or “if all of the people”; it says “If My people will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways…”

We need to repent, to turn back to the Lord, and pray for our nation, for God is just.