Being a deep thinker I often wonder where our biases and prejudices come from. 🙂 Are we born with them. Do they come from those around us or do we come up with them on our own? I kinda believe it is the middle one. If you grew up white in the South in the 1950s and 60s and most everyone around you were segregationists then it is very likely you also would become one. If the people you look up to to learn about life think one way you are probably more than likely to think that way too.
Can the same thing be said about religious beliefs? Someone, usually your parents, tell you that this is what you are to believe about God and since you are nothing compared to him you better cling to these beliefs or you will spend an eternity in agony and suffering. No one wants that so we usually take on our parents beliefs as our own, at least for a while.
As a kid I was taught that only Catholics went to heaven to be with God as it was the only true religion. But as I got older at about 10 years of age I started asking questions about God. “Why does he insist that we praise him in a language no one uses. Is that the only language God knows?” These type question were usually brushed off as infantile ramblings but that didn’t keep me from asking questions.
Now that I am a fully grown adult, that is if I ever will be, I have come to form my own views of just who God is. Since the vast majority, if not all, religions start with someone’s view of what God is. Contrary to my Mormon friends I don’t believe that God handed out instruction manual for how to live on this earth. Instead he sent the person of Jesus of Nazareth to spread the word of proper living. The problem with that was that hardly anyone actually listens to those words today.
Our Christian bible is primarily dominated by the words of Paul, otherwise known as Saul. Now don’t get me wrong, Paul had some good things to say but he never really heard anything directly from Jesus except maybe for those few words on the road. If you objectively read his words that fact becomes obvious. So, he went about making up his own rules for proper Christian living.
Some of them were necessary in order to keep this ragtag group together but they in general they still lacked the lessons from Jesus. The four gospels make up for that to some degree but it is Paul who the evangelicals have latched on to.
In conclusion, most of our beliefs in the religious are taught to us by others. I think it is about time we started figuring out that stuff by ourselves.