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Jesus isn't the ONLY way
May 12, 2009
5:23 pm
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marypoppins
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May 12, 2009
5:33 pm
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marypoppins
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http://www.adherents.com/Relig.....rents.html

(Sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number.

This list is sociological/statistical in perspective.)

Christianity: 2.1 billion

Islam: 1.5 billion

Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion

Hinduism: 900 million

Chinese traditional religion: 394 million

Buddhism: 376 million

primal-indigenous: 300 million

African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million

Sikhism: 23 million

Juche: 19 million

Spiritism: 15 million

Judaism: 14 million

Baha'i: 7 million

Jainism: 4.2 million

Shinto: 4 million

Cao Dai: 4 million

Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million

Tenrikyo: 2 million

Neo-Paganism: 1 million

Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand

Rastafarianism: 600 thousand

Scientology: 500 thousand

May 13, 2009
12:52 am
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marypoppins
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I was reading about the pope's visit to the Middle East to try to unite people of different faiths.

With his background, he really can't apologize enough to those of Jewish faith.

Has anyone seen The Reader?

Mary

May 13, 2009
1:02 am
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red blonde
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Mary

Simply want to say that I agree.

Red!

May 13, 2009
2:17 pm
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marypoppins
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((((Red))))

Thanks, Red. Obviously, billions and billions of others agree.

Hope you're well.

Mary

May 13, 2009
3:55 pm
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caraway
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Mary,

Very cool info here!

Thanks,

Cary

May 13, 2009
3:57 pm
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bereft
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Mary

simply want to say that i disagree with your opinion.

Jesus already explained all this in Matthew 7:13-14. but thanks anyway for finding these numbers. i think it's great you helped verify what Jesus said.

grace and peace

May 13, 2009
4:55 pm
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marypoppins
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((((Cary))))

you're welcome!

"Jesus isn't the ONLY way" isn't an opinion. It's a FACT according to these numbers.

Nice to remember that there's a big wide world out there with a lot of diversity.

I certainly appreciate the opportunities I've had to live in other countries and experience other cultures first hand. There is really no one and only way for many things. I feel very fortunate to have learned that lesson. I'd miss out on a lot otherwise.

I think about misguided missionaries, who took native children from their mothers in order to "educate" them. Or trampled entire cultures in the name of Jesus. How arrogant. Hitler is a horrifying example of someone who believed HIS way was the one and only way and exterminated everyone who didn't "belong", in his evil, twisted view.

Religious, cultural, political supremacy can all be very destructive - even in mild forms it is harmful. It says, "you're not good enough unless you believe as I do". Whether one hides behind something to say it or not, the message is still the same.

Mary

May 13, 2009
5:07 pm
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I'm sure the Pope understands the need to be respectful of Judaism and Islam in his travels in the Middle East. Although I'm not a big fan of the Pope, I respect that he is attempting to create interfaith peace and understanding. He'll probably not be telling people they'll go to hell for not accepting Jesus as their personal savior - whether he thinks it true or not. He will show some respect.

May 13, 2009
5:34 pm
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Question for anyone raised in the Catholic Faith? Isn't baptism a really big deal? Family is in from out of state. We have all been told the baptism is this coming Sunday, but the priest hasn't been in contact with the parents or the grandparents. This is a situation where the parents are not married and the mother is not Catholic (she is Lutheran) but is willing to raise the child Catholic

Bitsy

May 13, 2009
6:51 pm
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bereft
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Mary, are you comparing Hitler to Christ?

so when you say, "Jesus isn't the only way," you are referring to the ten of thousand different relgions whether they lead to heaven or not.
however, Jesus claims He is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to God but by Him. entry into the kingdom depends on men's response to Him alone. He even did not hesitate to call the kingdom of God "my kingdom."

this teaching of Jesus immediately sets him apart from all the other great religious teachers of the world. they say, "that is the truth, as far as i perceive it, follow that." Jesus said, "I am the truth; follow me." the founder of none of the other ethnic religions ever dared say such a thing.

when you come down to it, either you think you're good enough on your own or through your system of religion to make it to heaven, or you know you're not good enough and cast yourself on the mercy of God through Christ. those are the only two systems of religions in the world. every man makes that choice.

the FACT of the numbers bares out what Jesus said, "there are few who find it," meaning the way to life. the response to Christ is small because men would rather hold onto their own sin. Jesus said many will go on the road to destruction as the numbers show.

grace and peace

May 13, 2009
7:34 pm
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SpecialK
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Bitsy, I was raised Catholic and most of the baptisms I've seen have consisted of 10-15 people -- babies, kids, adults who are converted -- having it done at the same time. For a baby, the parent or parents (I had a friend who was a single, never-married mom have her child baptized -- that was not a problem in any way) contacts the church and there is a mtg with the priest, the date is set and that is it. On the day of the baptism, the parents are usually given sheets that tell what to say when, and the responses for the whole congregation are usually printed in the program. All this stuff is usually printed in the missallettes located in the pews, as well.

My sister had her two kids baptized when one was a baby and the other was 4. The 4-year-old was from a different father. I've never heard of anyone turned away who wanted to have their child christened. I'm pretty sure the child you speak of is "on the list", but I don't see the harm in the parents making a call tomorrow to ease their concern.

May 13, 2009
7:40 pm
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SpecialK
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Oh, and Bitsy -- I just reread your post and wanted to answer your first question: is it a big deal? In my experience, Catholic baptism, communion, confirmation...tend to be MADE big deals in terms of the parties and things in some circles, much like with weddings. That wasn't the case where I grew up, but it was where my boyfriend grew up.

May 13, 2009
7:47 pm
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SpecialK
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Mary, this is a fantastic list. I've never even HEARD of some of these faiths. I'm going to look at the site more in detail another time -- thanks so much for posting it.

May 13, 2009
7:59 pm
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soofoo
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Bereft,

You are incorrect in that "I am the truth" has not been stated in other religions, by other religious figures. There are many, many examples of this.

I will give you just one such instance of which I am very familiar. In the Bhagavad Gita which is of the Hindu religion, Krishna (God) states to Arjuna (man) "I am the Truth and the Joy forever"

If you read the Bhagavad Gita, which is just a very small portion of the Vedas, (which are much, much longer than the Bible) you will see striking similarities between the words of Krishna and the Christ. The Bhagavad Gita was written before Christ came to earth, by the way.

Now remember, I tell you this as a Christian myself, with complete faith and respect for the integrity of your soul.

Is Christ the only way? Yes! But who is Christ? Is he just a man that lived 2000 years ago? Of course not. We know that though He died on a cross, He still walks the earth today. Christ is more than the word Christ, although that is a holy word. Christ is more than the man Jesus, although He was a holy man.

May 13, 2009
8:09 pm
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soofoo
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SpecialK,
I was baptized Catholic as a baby. I was not married when I had my first child, and the priest I asked to baptize my child said no. It does happen.

Bitsy,
According to the Catholic religion, anyone can baptize a baby. Nurses in hospitals often did it, just in case, since at one time, it was believed that unbaptized babies went to Limbo if they died instead of heaven. The church has since declared that all babies go to heaven, but that was very recent. Baptism is important. According to the Catholic religion, once you are baptized a Catholic, you are always a Catholic, no matter what you decide for yourself.

May 13, 2009
10:19 pm
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red blonde
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soofoo

Was baptized a Catholic when I was born, baptized a Methodist when my parent for some weird reason decided to change religions when both sides of the family are totally Roman Catholic...and then was rebaptized Catholic before my first marriage. So there is some leeway or are loopholes (lols).

May 13, 2009
10:52 pm
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marypoppins
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((((SpecialK))))

Yes, it is very interesting, isn't it? So ridiculous to think that because someone may be born in a country in the world without Bibles in motel nightstands that their religious and cultural beliefs are any less valid. Oh, well.

Let me know what you discover on that site. I plan to go back to it as well to learn more.

Mary

May 13, 2009
11:17 pm
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bereft
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thank you, Soofoo, for your correction about Krishna. however, there is a distinction. Jesus is truth incarnate (John 14:6). He declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (1:14), and the life of God.

krishna was a manifestation of brahman, a hindu deity, in human form. brahman is not a person. Jesus, however, a real man is God, not a manifestation of God.

and with all due respect, i don't think the Bhagavad Gita is the authority here. i don't believe that is the holy book written by God. i'm not the authority either, by the way.

it's not a question of comparing people's beliefs. it's a question of what is the authority, and the Bible has stood the test of time and been affirmed ever since Moses as a divine word from God (before the Bhagavad Gita, by the way).

as i have pointed out before, hinduism teaches that the earth rests upon an elephant which in turn is supported by a tortoise. such errors regarding the material world are common in eastern writings. but there is not one such mistake in the Bible.

fifteen years before his death, Gandhi wrote, "I must tell you in all humility that Hinduism, as I know it, entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being, and I find a solace in the Bhagavad and Upanishads that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount." then, just before his death he wrote this: "My days are numbered. I am not likely to live very long--perhaps a year or a little more. For the first time in fifty years I find myself in the slough of despond. [evidently, he must have been reading the Christian classic, Pilgrim's Progress.] All about me is darkness; I am praying for light." even Mahatma Gandhi, who seemed to have his life in order, saw his confidence falling apart as he began to face the inevitably of death. where is the truth and joy in that?

i am confused by your question, who is Christ? and your statement that Christ is more than the man Jesus. could you clarify for me what you mean? the title “Christ,” or Messiah in the Hebrew, means “anointed one.” Jesus clearly believed himself to be the Messiah the Old Testament predicted.

i have really enjoyed your input. please post here often.

grace and truth

May 14, 2009
12:21 am
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red blonde
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Sheesh!

May 14, 2009
8:34 am
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thump thump thump

May 14, 2009
9:50 am
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Mary,

I had a conversation much like this last night with my best friend of 41 years (we have been close since we 3 or and I can't recall life before him). We were both raised in the same way, but he has completly given up on what he calls the fiction of the bible. I still beleive in God, a supreme being, etc.

The very idea that one religion thinks they have some inside tract on how to get to "heavan" or staying out of "hell", is just NUTS!

Cary

May 14, 2009
10:32 am
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I may sound like I've lived under some rock or something but I truly never knew there were so many differant beliefs.

Thanks for sharing this MaryP, I was amazed of the numbers and so many differant beliefs.

May 14, 2009
10:40 am
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red,
I didn't mean to say that it usually goes that way. I know of many babies who were baptized Catholic even though their parents were lapsed, unmarried, etc. In fact, I think priests will usually baptize anyone who asks. I just meant that sometimes, they do say no. That priest, BTW left the cloth and married a woman with whom he had fallen in love. I am surprised though, that the Catholic church would see a need to baptize you a second time.

Bereft,
If it is not against your religion to read the Bhagavad Gita, I highly recommend it. It is a very interesting part of Vedic literature.

Of course, the personal trials of Mohandis Ghandi are not a reflection of the validity of his religion just as the personal trials of any Christian are not a reflection of the validity of the Christ.

I will try to explain what I mean, when I say that the Christ is more than the man Jesus. Jesus was the Christ. That man is not here, but the Christ is very much here. The Christ is more than the culture of Christianity. When I say culture, I mean all of it. All of the physical culture, the churches, the bibles, the language, all of it. The Christ is much more than this. Jesus is the word I use to refer to the man who walked here 2000 years ago. Every word He said was true because He is God.

What does it mean that there is only one God and that we should not put any other gods before Him? It means there is only one God! If you are praying to God, you are praying to that one God no matter what language you speak or what culture you use. How do I know this? Jesus told us, seek and you shall find. He told us that God would not give us a stone when we asked for a loaf of bread. God does not send demons and devils to those who ask for Him by a name other than Jesus Christ. The Christ is not solely inherent in the word Christ. This does not take any power or validity in praying in the name of Jesus Christ. It is just to say that when He said He was the way he wasn't talking about culture, He was talking about Spirit.

So what does it mean, do not have other gods before me, since there are no other gods? It means placing the things we know are NOT God before God. Money and sex are common culprits. For drug addicts, it's always drugs. If we try to use these as our fulfillment and center, we will always be disappointed and will wind up empty, lost and immoral.

May 14, 2009
10:44 am
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soofoo
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Woops I really wanted to say also that I think codependency (as far as I understand the term) is usually about putting another person before God.

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