Originally Posted by revefsreleets
Since we are "coming out", I'm sort of a pseudo agnostic, but I definitely believe there is a God of some sort. Religions bother me when they force feed that ONLY their particular God is the right one. Unfortunately, that's the driving message behind almost all religions. I find it very interesting that the two most dominant religions today (Christianity and Islam) are the among the newest and the least tolerant.
I would take umbrage to this statement.
Christian is not a "new religion" Historically, it is a sect of Judaism. The only difference between the two is that we think the prophecies have already been fulfilled, and tradtional Jews are still looking for them to be fulfilled. As a result, we see the roots of our faith not in Peter, Paul, and Jesus, but in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a result, our faith is the longest standing faith tradition. Hindhuism came into its own abut 1500 BC, about four hundred years after the OT puts God as revealing himself to Abraham. Zoroastrianism was founded almost a millennium later, as was Buddhism (many would argue Buddhism is to Hinduism what Christianity is to Judaism, placing its date with that of Hindhuism), Shintoism, etc.
There is also an extreme lack of understanding in those who see no difference between conservative Islam and conservative Christianity. Christianity in its most true form is one that has NO involvement in worldy government. Its sole purpose is to reach others for Jesus Christ. As a result, true conservative Christianity will be somewhat socially conscious, but on a personal level, interacting with individuals. What you have seen in history is NOT christianity, but politicians and powergrabbers that have appropriated parts of a number of religions to themself to consolidate power. The term Christendom is best used to describe this. Christendom was used to expand power in the middle ages. It was used to justify the crusades, etc. however, it had nothing to do with christianity. The crusades were about putting down the rise of nationalism in Europe by sending the young princess off to battle in foriegn lands. It was about sending off serfs that were getting restless, in promises of land. It had nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
Islam is not the same. In Islam, even peaceful Islam, the governments and religion are combined into one as CONDONED by the Koran. Furthermore, Islam has, from its earliest days, been spread by the sword. Christianity has not. All of the ANE (ancient near east) was introduced to Christianity through peaceful missionaries. It was only after the roman catholic church (middle age church) corrupted the faith (There were many true believers as well, this is not a slight to modern Catholics who believe in Jesus) that we get what is referred today as Christianity being spread by the sword.
And about being least tolerant, that is also not true. Ask China and Korea about the tolerance of Shinto Japan, a religion which teaches that the island and its descandants are all in the line of Gods, with their emperor being a direct descendant, therefore all they do, over the 2000 years to the chinease and koreans, was ordained by God.
Ask the Christians in India what the Hindu's do to them. Ask the Seik's what happens to them in India.
Read Roman history, and learn what happened to Christians that refused to worship the emporer, or the Goddess Roma.
I believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. That doesn't mean I don't tolerate anyone else. I tolerate everyone else. I also engage them in respectful discussions about my faith. You will find that most true Christians, not those who hold to a culture of Christendom, but true Christians do the same.