I was born in the 1960s and raised in Southern California, United States of America. During that period of time, and in the area I was raised, there was basically one religion that dominated every aspect of mine and my friends lives. That religion was Christianity. When I was in elementary school, I knew one Jewish boy and he looked different than the Christians and even talk different. He was very smart and spent a lot of his time reading, instead of playing at recess.
There were no Muslims or Hindus and it was a predominantly white environment. The first black students I seen was when I entered the eighth grade and by the time I finished high school, I could count all of the black students I had met on both of my hands. So now you have a pretty good idea of my life, living in a white neighborhood that was 90% Christian.
As you can guessed it, I was raised a Christian, but not a regular Christian, I was a Methodist and proud of it, until my parents got tired of the church elders asking for money or if my father could help build the new church. My father explained to them, that he needed to work to support his family and could only contribute, what ever he could to the church and no more. They were very unhappy and made it uncomfortable for us to go to the church anymore.
Hard to imagine, isn't it. Christians asking for money and then when they don't receive it, getting mad at one of their brethren.
Well it was time to switch churches and we are now going to the Crystal Cathedral Church in Garden Grove California. These people had everything and it was a large church. This was before they built the massive glass structure that is presently the church sanctuary. I enjoy going to this church, because we didn't have to go to Sunday school and got to sit with the adults to worship.
By the time I was 15, neither one of my parents were going to church anymore and my life didn't seem to change that much, even though I prayed every night with my brother. Maybe that was it, I didn't have to go to church as long as I prayed every night... By the time I was 18 years old, I was more confused about organized religion than ever before and this included Christianity.
How can someone kill in the name of God? The Muslims were doing it, the Christians were doing it, the Muslims were fighting the Hindus in India and it all seemed normal. It didn't seem normal to me, when I was supposed to love my neighbor and live a life like Christ who never seemed to start fights or even get mad. Maybe a couple of times, over some money, in the Temple.
I have chosen not to be a part of organized religion. I'd figured out that most of our religious beliefs came from our upbringing. This seems to have brainwashed us into believing we are better because were right and know for a fact, that we have chosen to belong to the right religion. What if were not right?
I want to ask you a question, do you think that other religions are wrong and yours is right? If you really spend some time and think about this, you will see, that your religion is not that different than someone else's and neither was their upbringing. Most religious followers, belonged to the religion of their childhood.
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Greg Vanden Berge is a published author, internet marketing expert, motivational inspiration to millions of people all over the world and is sharing some of his wisdom with experts in the fields of writing,marketing and personal development.
Greg is currently working on a spiritual videos filled with great movies on a wide array of topics, like religion, self help and spiritual changes in the world.Goal Planning For Success