How to Compile Your Religion

Ellena Arroyo

Organized Religions such as Islam and Christianity are already established in the world with millions of followers. Surely there is no need to compile your religion when you can simply join one of the established ones and have the entire belief system already created for you. Most people are handed their religion by their parents and stick with it all the lives, passing it on to their future generations as the true path to God.

But what is the true path to God? Is it Islam or Christianity? Muslims and Christians will tell you their paths are the right ones, but yet they both have different teachings. The Christian will tell you that the only way to God is by Salvation through Jesus Christ while the Muslim will tell you it is by performing good deeds. Because of the many differences and arguments that come up, it’s no surprise why most people either stick with the family religion or ignore religion altogether.

There is a common belief that you have to choose one religion and stick to its teachings only. To find one with all the answers. In reality, there is no such religion, and here is the reason why.

Religions have different sects. Islam, for example, has Sunni and Shia. Both sects follow Islam but there are differences in their beliefs. Added to that are fatwas (religious rulings) that are established to deal with various situations – such as Can Women Drive. One sect will call something Halal (allowed) while another will call it Haram (Forbidden). The average Muslim takes the easy solution by just accepting what his Imam tells him to believe, whether or not the Muslim agrees with the ruling. Christianity has the same problem with many churches such as Protestants and Catholics having similar teachings and differences on certain subjects. So with so many paths on offer how can you find the right one?

On various occasions, I have been asked questions on religion that I usually have a set answer for. Therefore I am usually prepared. However, I have been blown over by unexpected questions that have caused me to panic. Questions that have had me doubting my faith. Questions I have been unable to find a logical answer for in my inherited beliefs. This was because I never tried to find errors in my beliefs, nor did I want to accept there were errors. Here are a couple of example questions.

1. For a Christian: Why does a kind and loving God need to have his son tortured and killed in order to forgive sins? Why can’t he simply forgive those who repent?
2. For a Jehovah’s Witness: If your son needed a blood transfusion to save his life, would you let him die to obey your Jehovah’s Witness teachings that blood transfusions are forbidden?

These are difficult questions to answer. A Jehovah’s Witness would probably say yes to the blood transfusion question rather than admit that part of his religion is wrong, and secretly hope his son never needs one.

Now we see the problem of sticking to the beliefs of the one religion. Therefore the best solution is to compile your own beliefs – ones that you can accept as truth without error. Ignore all these teachers that tell you that you need to stay with one religion and what they say. Spend time comparing the different teachings and select the ones you are happy with. This doesn’t mean that you should stick with that teaching forever. Finding the true path means always tweaking parts of your beliefs that you find errors with. Here is an example for you.

I am a Muslim but there are things in Islam I don’t accept. This doesn’t mean I am going to leave Islam. It just means I reject certain teachings until someone convinces me that teaching is correct. I accept teachings from both the Bible and Koran and choose the most accurate teaching from any that contradict the other.

One teaching in Islam I don’t accept is Apostasy. I don’t believe someone should be killed for leaving Islam. The reason is that there is always a possibility that a person may come back and killing them makes that impossible. The bible teaches the parable of the lost sheep which not only allows people to return to God but there is great rejoicing in heaven when they do. As you see, this is a more acceptable and logical answer.

Therefore, there is no need to leave your current religion if you would rather stay in that community, but I recommend you don’t blindly follow things you don’t accept as truth. By all means, ask questions until you feel you can either accept or reject that teaching. Remember it doesn’t mean you have to give up your entire religion, just certain beliefs. You will probably find that there are many people in your community who can honestly say there are things they don’t accept. Therefore, start compiling your religious belief system and start your journey towards the truth.

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