From religiōn-, the stem of the Latin religiō (“scrupulousness”, “pious misgivings”, “superstition”, “conscientiousness”, “sanctity”, “an object of veneration”, “cult-observance”, “reverence”), from religō (“I bind back or behind”), from re + ligō (“I tie, bind, or bandage”).
1) A collection of practices, based on beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred.
2) Any practice that someone or some group is seriously devoted to.
3) Any ongoing spiritual practice one engages in, in order to shape their character or improve traits of their personality.
4) An ideological and traditional heritage
**The above information is from the Wiki on-line dictionary.**
There was a recent article that was brought to my attention, that stated “Religion may become extinct in 8 different countries”. The article read that the number of people in these particular countries who claimed “no religious affiliation” had grown at a large rate, and that religion will soon become “extinct” in these countries. Just for the record, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland were the countries that the article was about.
It has been an on-going concern with many religions, that attendance has been dropping in all other countries too! I heard several years ago of concern of the Catholic church, and I’m sure that just a little digging around would produce plenty of articles on the subject.
Why the decline? I can only speak for myself and give my own opinions, but fear, guilt, and shame based religions just don’t work anymore the way they used to. Many people of my generation, and younger generations, just don’t buy into the idea that
if we are “saved” we will go to Heaven when we die, and if we are “sinners”, we will burn in Hell for eternity. Even at the age of 8 years old, I knew that this idea was crazy. Then there are these little what I call “pods” of people who get together and figure that they alone have it “right” and if you aren’t like them, you are “wrong”. The Baptists, the Catholics, and the rest of the long list. Wars have been fought because some people believed differently and were “sinners”. We all know history and all the atrocities that have gone on, some still to this day.
That’s it??? The human need to be “right” and “better than” has been the needless death of many. Has seen the rise of billions of dollars worth of places of worship, when billions of hungry people could have been fed, housed, and clothed with that money. Seriously, do you think Jesus would have agreed to spending even a measly half million dollars to build a church? Jesus in fact warned us of such places, yet still they have risen through the years and are still rising today. They were obviously present even during the time of Jesus, and they were oddly enough, the same people who crucified Jesus. The same people who crucified Jesus are building the church’s, standing up there in the pulpit preaching to you and reading to you from the Bible, as if you cannot read for yourself. These people and religions have always made me feel sick to my stomach, and angry in my heart, but let us remember that it was Jesus who told his disciples “They do our works”. Jesus basically said “Let them kill me, it is okay.”
SPIRIT lives in us all. The Great Creator created us all and all that we know. We are not to join together and make our own little “pods” of “right” and “wrong”, we are to just love. We are to love all. The Creator created it this way. We can only work on ourselves and that work is inner. An inner transformation and joining with the SPIRIT leads us to see that all people are joined, the “good” and the “bad” the “right” and the “wrong”, we are all UNITED by a common thread, and that is the thread of our Creator.
I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything special to talk to my Creator. The SPIRIT is with me always in I AM. I do enjoy being with a group of people who are worshiping together, even when I know that each different person may have a different idea of what we are worshiping. I will end this writing with what has been revealed to me in the stillness of meditation: “When you walk into a church, you walk into a place of business.” THUS “What is the business of your church?”