Too start, I was raised Christian since I was born. Recently I have been doing a lot of questioning and soul searching when it comes to religion. I started out on my journey not because I didn’t believe in the Bible or in Christianity, but because I wanted to be 100% sure why I was following it. I wanted to make sure that I fully understood what the religion says, what it tries to accomplish, and really what the entire purpose of it is.
With that being said, I quickly ran into a few snags right off of the bat. What does the Bible say about how everything began? Obviously starting in Genesis, God said let there be light and there was light, he created Adam and Eve, and all of the animals in the world, and birds in the sky. I do realize that the Old Testament is full of very elaborate and what seem to be far fetched stories, but I tend to look at them for the morals of the stories, rather than looking at them as legitimate historical happenings. I don’t really understand how according to the Bible the Earth can be 6,000 years old, when there is obvious clear scientific evidence, that it is indeed BILLIONS of years old. This is really where I began to raise an eyebrow so to speak and I began to dig deeper in my quest for answers and understanding.
In regards to the big hype on Gay marriage, the Bible actually takes a very definite stance against many things that are common occurrences in today’s society, but no one makes a big deal of them or cares to bring them up regularly. For instance Leviticus 19:27 says, “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Luke 16:18 talks about how we should not divorce, yet it remains legal. Leviticus 11:7-8 talks about how we should not consume pork, yet we have both had our fair share of bacon and BBQ I am sure. My point is, if all sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord (James 2:10) then why are we not as adamant to take a stand against these other things as well? I hope that makes sense. I know what the Bible says about same sex marriage, but according to the Bible, lying with another man is equally as bad as telling a lie of any sort.
So I began to get frustrated with the amount of hypocrisy that comes with the Christian faith. Unfortunately, many people are quick to judge others, when they themselves have infinite short comings as well, which are all equal. So I did some research on a few different faiths and practices and I stumbled across the teachings of Buddhism.
To start, Buddhism does not denounce any other religion in any way. It actually supports all religions. It is a belief system based wholly and entirely upon love and compassion for ALL beings. Pretty cool right? Should we not love and treat everyone with kindness on a day to day basis? Buddhism also teaches that all of the secrets to life and happiness are within us all. Jesus himself said in Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within.” All of this research led me to the teachings and sayings of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is a huge figure of the Buddhist faith. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” I feel like that is the easiest way to look at our purpose in life. We are not put here for ourselves, we are put here to help each other. Only when we put others before ourselves 100% will we find true happiness. To me it all boils down to 1 thing no matter how you think of it or put it. We are all lit from within as if from a sacred source.
Remember, religion itself is a man made thing. Religion does not happen naturally. There have been rules made and stories told all by men who have spoken to God, who, we have been told by Jesus himself, lies within all of us. My entire focus in life these days is to do as much good as I possibly can. I want to help as many people as I possibly can. By making other people happy, will we find true happiness and peace for ourselves.