The Theology of Religion and Science, Misconceptions and Effect on the World.
In time past, man has always embraced religion. He had seen and taken it as the most important thing or part of life, which determines other areas of his life. Most men in time past who embraced religion did it in honesty and sincerity. But at a point insincerity came in, so that men hide under religion to exploit others. Some used the name of religion to enslave, confuse, deceive, and even kill their fellow human beings. At this point also, religion was strongly interwoven with politics, there was no separation or distance from both. So that the religious leaders or elites were also the political leaders or elites. With religion, men claim the possession of the spiritual and/or supernatural powers, and with the same religion, they were able to hijack or possess political powers.
However, a time came when a group of men rose up and questioned lots of things about religion. They question what religious leaders told them that religion and the god of the religion or behind the religion demands that they do. These groups of men were able to convince a multitude of people in their time to buy this idea of questioning religion and religious leaders. They resolved to find things out themselves instead of asking religion and relying on religion through its custodians all the time. With these, men develop the hunger to find things out themselves and solve their problems outside religion. Anything that man cannot understand or solve he calls it mystery and terms it impossible and attributes it to nature. Since men can now solve certain things without asking or depending on religion and her custodians, they call it, "The age or period of Enlightenment", and at this age or period, a phenomenon called "Science" was born. Fulfilling the words of prophet Daniel "...many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). This hunger to be free from religion and religious leaders helped men to discover lots of things for themselves and solved lots of problems, and the process these problems were solved was referred to by man as "Science". This also helped men to make life easier and comfortable for themselves to a certain extent or degree. Science conquered religion to an extent and brought about the independence of politics from religion. Freedom of thought, desire, and actions were born.
These, however, were still not enough to solve the problems of the world. It was not without disadvantages. Questioning religion and religious leaders, especially false religion and religious leaders, grew to question God Himself. Men came to psych the brains of others by trying to convince them of how evil, bad, inhuman, and unreasonable religion and belief in it is. Using the wickedness of most men in the cause of religious histories, and its errors these sets tried to prove and convince others how wicked and inhuman God is, and how to believe in Him is unreasonable since He is the originator of religion. All the wickedness of men and the evil unsearchable hearts of men, especially, those done in the name of religion was blamed on God. It grew to the point where a group of men believed that they believe that there is no God. And the same they teach others, especially, the younger generations. What they can't do or undo, they attribute to the Universe. Instead of submitting to God, and acknowledging Him and their belief that He is, they rather call it the Universe and teach their children likewise.
The errors of religion, however, has been man's effort to find God on his own, through his own means and with human understanding. This led man to begin to imagine vain things, and trying to imagine what God is or look like. To quench this hunger, the man began to make himself gods of different forms and shapes, as his eyes see and his mind imagines. With these, man created for himself lots of religion and religious beliefs until he got confused and lost in religion and/or religious activities. Though man became so religious and even a religious being himself, he, however, lost the nature of God. The man became very religious, but void of virtues, godliness, and divinity. The man began to covet the position and power of God. He saw himself as God and others his subjects, servants, and even slaves. This imagination made man unkind, inhuman, and brutal to his fellow human being. The man began to enslave others and extort from his fellow man, man became extremely wicked and continued to kill one another.
Men became too religious without practicing the true religion. And by so doing, they brought a bad name to true religion. Men introduced so many practices, dogma and rituals, interwoven in culture, and forced it on religion in the name of God and used them to control others, influence their mindsets and actions. When people look at the errors men infused in religion and look at the wickedness and inhuman behavior of most religious people, they conclude that all religions are bad, and are the problem of the world. And since God is the author of religion, it is either He is bad, evil and wicked, or He is just a myth, who does not exist.
It has, however, been the plan of God right from the fall of man to reveal Himself again to mankind. To correct the religious confusion of man, and call him back to the True Religion, the essence of human life. God came down in the form of a man in order to find man, identify with him, reveal Himself to man, and call him to the knowledge of the Truth. Sadly enough, men have continually denied God and rejected His offer of salvation, even though some have put up the form of religion in an ungodliness. This gave rise to three different types of people:
1. Men who are religious, but deny the power and the person of God.
2. Men who use the wickedness of religious people as excuses to reject God, abuse Him and true believers in Him, make a mockery of His sacred things, and use it as a medium of introducing their evil, demonic or selfish ambitions and ideas to the minds of men. So that by discrediting God using the wickedness of men who profess religion as evidence, they will promote their evil agendas.
3. Men who have seen the Truth, accept, believe, and follow Him.
Men agitated against religion, they fought it and propagated freedom from it. Saw it as their problems and the cause of the lack of development, and/or advancement. The cause of laziness, idleness, lack, and poverty. They rather submitted to Science and technology, believing, hoping, and even trusting their true freedom and help will come from them. Instead of gaining a solution from science and technology, men were plagued with deeper problems of war and massive killing, and waste of valuable properties. Men lost their freedom and rights to their fellow men. A few groups of men hijacked the world, its power, riches, and freedom at the expense of a greater number who became slaves and lost their rights, riches, and freedom in the hands of these microscopic few. Science and technology liberated politics from religion and empowered it to enslave, extort from, and execute mankind at will. With this, a few became very strong, rich, and powerful and the majority became very weak, poor, and powerless. This shows that, though man-made religions have been the problem of the world, however, the problems science and technology with politics have caused men since its takeover, are immeasurable as compared to the man-made religions. Hence, the problem of the world is not (true) religion, but man-made religions and the knowledge men have acquired for themselves (science and technology), and how they have used this knowledge in the cause of time.
True religion is not ascertained by the act of men, but by the act of God. True religion is both vertical and horizontal. That is, being in a good and right relationship with God and man. Reverencing God, acknowledging Him as our maker, and living according to His commands (holy living) is the right vertical nature of true religion. And being at sincere peace with fellow men, visiting and/or helping the poor, needy, widows, orphans, etc with gifts, and not oppressing them or depriving them of their rights is the horizontal nature of true religion.
The problem of men is that they rejected God and made themselves gods and religions. Religion is man's effort to seek, find, and worship a supernatural being he considers a god. He convinces himself of what the god is or is like, what he/she wants and how to appease him/her. All these religions are bad because they are manmade. This was why God ended all religions on the cross where Jesus died and called it "Time of ignorance". And through Jesus Christ, God gave to man, not just a religion as a secular mind will call it, but a heavenly culture- a way of life, which is True Christianity. The Christian Faith in its real sense is not a religion, but a way of life. It entails the lifestyle and teachings of the Trinity in the person of Christ Jesus. Brought to mankind from God through the person of Christ. Christian Faith is the will of God in heaven which is to be done on earth, hence, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". It is not religious, but a worship and an intimate relationship with God. Selfish, hypocritical, immoral, and dubious actions in/with religion are void of Christianity, therefore, not Christian Faith. Christian Faith promotes positive development and advancement. It encourages hard work, innovation, and invention, as well as morality, Holiness, and righteousness. It makes a man heavenly (God) minded and earthly relevant and/or useful.
Religions have actually caused harm to the world, and have given birth to other phenomena, such as politics, science, and technology and philosophy, which though have contributed positively to the world, have at the same time caused lots of harm to the world. But God who came seeking for man and reveals Himself for man has given man a way of life, a culture, call it religion if you like. This way of life absolutely has no harm to man or his world. It is entirely to God's glory and the blessedness of man. Quit insulting God because of the evil and wickedness of men and the erroneous religions they established for themselves. God loves and cares for you far much more than you can do yourself.
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Nwoko Solomon Ikechukwu.