Every religion incorporates three aspects: the ideal, the quest for attaining the ideal, and the theology, which is the worldview that explains its existence in relation to the world.
Whether you like it or not, you are inherently religious. Religion is inescapable.
People claim they are not religious but secular. However, secularism is a really a substitute religion, only it does not appear to incorporate a distinctive set of institutionalized values or rituals or rites that can be identifiably recognized as belonging to every person who adheres to secularism. Yet secularism does have certain identifiable traits and values which are peculiar to its identity, otherwise we would not be able to define secularism.
Secularism is distinctive from Animism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Including Secularism, one could say there are six religious expressions to which most people on Earth today belong; each claiming around one billion adherents.
Essentially there are really two types of religion. One is man-made and the other is true religion.
Man-made religion is a substitute for true religion. It is based on the philosophies and imagination of man and incorporates all sorts of worldviews, rituals and rites. Some are seemingly innocuous but leave participants psychologically scared, while others are bizarre.
It is said that if you want to train people how to recognize counterfeit money, you get them to become so familiar with the real money that when they encounter a counterfeit it is immediately recognized. With this in mind, we will look at what true religion should look like and then you will know any counterfeit variety immediately.
Like every religion there are three aspects to true religion: the ideal, the practices for obtaining the ideal, and its theology or world view.
The ideal for true religion is eternal life. Eternal life simply means that you will never die, that is, have ceased to exist. Death means the cessation of life.
Eternal life for some is considered to be transmigration or a series of reincarnations in new bodies through a process of birth and rebirth. For other people eternal life is living in the memories of their descendants. Some people see eternal life as being born never to die in their physical bodies. Some more view eternal life as becoming spiritual creatures. Jews, Christians, and Muslims view eternal life as receiving resurrected bodies from a Creator.
Just to be born only to die means a futile existence. Once you recognize this fact, you begin to wonder how it is possible to avoid death, or, in other words, how is it possible to gain eternal life.
Life itself is defined variously as a state of activity, or avoiding death through the exertion and appropriation of energy, or an existence which incorporates the reproduction and growth of an organism. But life without meaning is not really life.
Apart from being eternal, the ideal life is one of bliss, full of love, joy and peace, where new discoveries and wonder never cease. But is this possible on Earth?
Those who believe it is not possible to have a blissful life on planet Earth look forward to such an existence occurring after death. On the other hand, humanists like to think a life of bliss is possible on Earth, and have rejected traditional religious values in order to bring this about through secularism, but unfortunately have not really been able to make any progress.
The Bible teaches there will be a life of bliss on Earth when Jesus returns to reign. The Bible also teaches that those who desire love, joy, peace and a life of wonder in this world will also be satisfied. This is contrary to what is often taught by those who claim to follow the teachings of the Bible.
If anyone today desires to experience the ideal life of love, joy, peace and the wonder of new discoveries, then this is possible.
Jesus said that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The ideal of true religion is an abundant eternal life that can be attained by anyone on Earth.
The practices required to attain to the ideal life on Earth now and forevermore are all bound up in truth and truthfulness.
The theology concerning the true religion is simply known as The Way.
Jesus essentially claimed that HE is the answer to all your problems and all you had to do is become like a little child. A little child innocently accepts the guidance of his or her parents. In like manner, all you need to do is meditate upon Jesus teachings, be honest with yourself, and place childlike trust in Jesus, and you will find your problems begin to be solved.
Unfortunately, many people think that being a Christian means being born into a country or a community who claim to be Christian, just like Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists claim their faith as part of their cultural heritage.
True religion is about you seeking to discover the truth for yourself and once having discovered what is true, then living a life of truth.
The first truth everyone must seek before they can begin their journey of discovery is why we are born into this world when we did not ask to be born. This is the beginning of true religion.
The answer can only be found by establishing a relationship with the Author of Life. This is the Way. The way to eternal life only comes through discovering the truth.
True religion is so simple and easy to understand and does not involve complicated explanations. It is all about you and your relationship with the Creator, not how you identify with a man-made system of beliefs.