What Is Religion


What is religion? According to an Oxford dictionary, religion is the
belief in the existence of a supernatural ruling power, the creator and
controller of the universe, who has given to man a spirtual nature which
continues to exist after the death of the body. Religion appears to be a simple
idea on the surface, but in reality it is a very complex system of ideas that
many base their lives upon.

There are many religions in the world. Christianity seems to be the one
religion believed widely in the modern world. However, this is not the case in
a group of five people in a World Religion class. These five people share
common knowledge on several aspects of religion, yet they have some major
conflicts. The focus of this paper is to explore the ideas and beliefs of the
group, analyze the importance of religions dialogue, and to discuss the
challenge of religious pluralism in the contemporary world.

The first group member states her firm Christian views. Melissa
recognizes all the religions of the world, but she holds Christanity to be the
only true religion. To her, Christianity is the only way one person can attain
salvation. All other religions are false and those who do not follow
Christanity are misguided and will not attain salvation. It is only through
Jesus Christ\'s death on the cross that one can repent, be forgiven, and attain
salvation.

Melissa feels that others who are non-Christians believe that their
religion is true. Afterall everyone is brought up to believe in the faith or
religion they are taught. If this was not the case, no one would have any
beliefs. Although their religions are not true religions Melissa respects their
views of being true.

Quite similar to Melissa\'s opinion, Jason feels that there is only one
true religion in the world, which is Christianity. However, he recognizes that
there are many other religions in the world in which their followers believe are
true. He does not believe that one should criticize others for their beliefs,
and that they should respect each person\'s beliefs even if they are different
from his.

For Jason, Christianity is the true religion. It is the only religion
that he believes Has the right answers for life, and the correct way to
salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. So his position is that there is only
one true religion in the world, but that there are other religions in the world
that people follow and their followers hold their religion to be true. Jason
feels that other religions of the world are important and are held true by their
followers. If this were not so, then why would anyone follow a religion that
they did not believe was true.

Michele believes Christianity is the one true religion. However, she
recognizes that other religions exist, and they are held true by their
respective adherents. She does not believe that non-Christian religions are
right, but she respects other people\'s rights to choose whatever faith they want
to follow.

Michele has been raised a Roman Catholic and is checking out other
Christian religions to see what they offer. She still believes that
Christianity is the one true religion, but she is curious to learn more about
the other Christian denominations.

Lori believes that since there are so many diverse religions today that
it is impossible to say that only one religion is correct. Lori feels that if
she said there was only one true religion she would be forcing her religion onto
others. For her, religion is an opinion. If you were to ask almost anyone
which religion was the one true religion of the world, they would say their
religion. She also feels that there are so many unanswered questions in every
religion therefore, she can not justify saying there is only one that is right.
She does believe that there is only one true God. Overall, she believes in one
true God, while recognizing the fact that there are other religions besides the
one of which she is a part.

Finally, Tony expresses his views which are quite different from the
rest of the group members. A few years ago Tony was a Christian and believed
that the god he worshiped was the one and only true god. He not only had a
strong faith in his relgious beliefs, but also felt that all the other religions
in the world were false, and that the followers of these teachings were
misfortunately misguided. He was going to heaven because he was right and they
(those of other faiths) were wrong and unfortunately going to hell.