Sermons

Summary: Why the Christianity of the Bible is superior to other world religions.

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COMPARING THE RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

WITH TRUE CHRISTIANITY

Duane Giles, 10-19-02

IS THERE A GOD, ANYWAY?

The first step in our search for reason and truth should be for us to prove to our own satisfaction, whether or not God really exists. We were raised up as children to believe in God. Most assume that, either their God is the true one, or religion is all a fairy tale anyway. Don’t we all worship the same God, just under different names? If God did not exist, would it matter how we live? Is it all just a “fairy tale?”

THE GOD OF THE RELIGION CALLED ISLAM

As many as 750 million to one billion people adhere to the religion of Islam.

In about the year 610, Mohammed claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel with a message from God for him to bring to the world.

Most historians believe that the majority of the people who are Muslims are descendents of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and his handmaid Hagar.

They call their god “Allah,” and say that he is the creator and sustainer of the universe, the God of Abraham, Mohammed, and Jesus.

They also believe in the existence of an evil being called Satan the Devil.

They believe that those who do what they call "good" are rewarded with an existence in Heaven after their death, and that those who do evil will be punished forever in Hell.

The word “Islam” means “submission.”

Their creed: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Islam has a book of teachings, called the Koran, and they believe that Allah inspired everything Mohammed said or did.

They believe in the brotherhood of all Muslims, and that they should try to take their message to the rest of the world by gaining control of the governments of the world.

They worship on Fridays, with prayer, (5 times a day) with specific positions and posture, chanting, and listening to or giving sermons.

They are all expected to take a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during their lifetime.

In the history of Islam, some extremists have used force to gain control of others, although the Koran appears to condemn forcing anyone to be a Muslim. They call this force “jihad,” or “holy war.”

Islam believes that Jesus was a prophet of God, who taught good things. But, they don’t believe that he was, or is the Son of God.

THE RELIGION AND GOD OF BUDDHISM

About one eighth of the people of the world are Buddhists. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived 2,500 years ago in India.

“Sid” had led an indulgent life as a young man, and was pursuing a course of self-denial.

He sat under a tree, called the “Bo” tree, for 49 days, where he attained enlightenment.

This religion has no single Bible, but all Buddhists share beliefs.

They have 5 basic laws of behavior, including not killing, stealing, lying, drinking intoxicants, or committing sexual offenses.

In order to escape the self, which is said to be the cause of all suffering, an eight-fold path of (?) was established, to relieve them of their individual self.

The image of Buddha is supposed to show people what it is like to achieve total bliss.

He is said to have once offered himself as a meal for a hungry tiger and her cubs, because of their need for food.

BUDDHISM has even been modified to fit 21st century American culture and ideas.

HINDUISM

It is the major religion of the Indian subcontinent, dating back to more than 3,000 years.

Hinduism has no founder, no one holy book, but several, and there is great diversity of beliefs which are tolerated among them.

Their God is called Brahman. All other deities are said to be a part of the one absolute and unknowable Brahman.

What sets the Hindus apart is their belief in reincarnation.

What a person does in one life is said to cause an effect in the next. This is called “karman.” The goal of the individual is to escape this cycle, and become part of the absolute soul, or Brahman.

Hindu people have a caste system, which divides their people into classes, from priests, warriors and merchants, to the servants at the bottom, which are called “untouchables.”

In their history, Hindus have performed sacrifices, including the practice of the burning of widows on the funeral pyre of her their dead husband.

To Hindus, God is both destroyer and restorer. Sometimes he is depicted as a beggar, half man half female, or a dancer. They also have a monkey-god and a god of snakes.

Many plants and animals, especially the cow, are considered to be sacred.

The Hindus worship with festivals, rituals, and fireworks to frighten away the dead.

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