Thursday, November 12, 2009

In pursuit of The Way, The Truth and The Life.

It is a general perception among non-believers that religious people have 'loose screws' somewhere and are wasting their lives by leading boring lives. I beg to differ. The Catholic group at the University is an amazing fun filled group. I see the true joy in their lives. It is a joy which feeds on the eternal source, Jesus. I pursued material things to keep me happy. I went on trips, I hung out with friends, I wanted to be cool.[:D] But I knew something was missing. Not that these things are bad, but at the end of any event I would feel low and look forward to the next dose of entertainment to give me that high. I was restless. But now I am at peace. I am happy to have found true eternal happiness in God. I wanna learn more about God, how amazing He is, about the awesome things He has in store for those who love Him.

So what do I know about Him? God is love. Plain and simple. God loves us and we must love him. Through love we have a living relationship with God. Sadly, this relationship is broken by sin. But Jesus Christ has died for our sins and saved us. We have to believe in this, repent for our past sins and lead a new life with Christ at the center. All three are important. The first is about faith. We have to believe that Christ is our savior. He has bridged the chasm that separated God from humanity.

The second step is repentance. Repentance begins by acknowledgment of sins. We are human, we are weak, we are fallible. But we have to accept our mistakes and be sorry for our failures. We have to express our sincere regrets for our misdeeds and vow to do our best to lead better lives. We must ask God for forgiveness and he will definitely forgive us because we are his children. This sequence is beautifully pictured in the parable The Prodigal Son.

And the third part is leading the new life. We have to trust God with our lives and our future. God is our father. He loves us and wants us to live a full and happy life. He has good things in store for us. To quote from the scripture, Jesus says, (Matthew 7:11) "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" And when we believe in God, it’s not about us anymore. It’s about others. Greed for power and wealth, the root causes of the world’s miseries, will vanish.But leading a new life will be tough. We can’t fight temptations by ourselves. We need God’s grace and all we need to do to get it is to ask God. And we can be sure God will never test us beyond our limits. And when we are doing this because we love God, Christian life is no longer a set of rules and regulations. I am sure we are ready to do anything for the people we truly love. And that makes Christian life so easy!

I thank SPO, especially Jimmy for taking me to the Fan Into Flame retreat. The focus of the retreat was to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to fan into flame the embers of our faith. People think being religious is an inborn thing. It isn’t. We have to cultivate our relationship with God. He is knocking on the door and we need to open it. He extends his hand to us, we have to accept it.

I ask you then, what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36) It is your life, what are you going to do it?

Ref: Fan into Flame Retreat booklet and the Bible!
Picture credits:


  1. Sorry, but I beg to differ. I've always found it tough to strike any religious conversation with a Christian/Muslim because they're either the very devout followers or outright atheists, but now that you've blogged about it, that gives me a good chance.

    It is harsh to categorically state something, but I can't help it. Religion is the reason for differences than unity. You claim what you feel in the Christian way of life, Islam claims for Moslems, Zillion gods for Hindus, etc etc. Thats where it all starts. You feel some 'void', and convince yourself that some God heals you. What if you were born in some other religious faith? It all comes down to the brainwashing of beliefs from childhood. It starts with your parents molding your mind on what they think is right, and you carry it on. Thats the sole reason religion succeeds. I'm not saying that science explains everything. There 'might' be some superpower, but giving a form to that belief in the forms of temples, churches and mosques, is the mistake. Look at history and education. It has religion written all over it. The fact that it is imparted when you're so small, and don't question certain things then, is the only reason one believes in them. This is gonna spark a few extra posts, but its gonna be 'fun'

  2. I am open to discussion. And i admit I am still new to my faith. Yeah, I know I am 22 years old and have been a Christian since I was a month old. But i didnt know God for a very long time. In your words, 'my parents molded' me to be a Christian. I being an obedient son, never questioned. I just went with the flow. But now its different. I have started building a personal relationship with God. I have taken the first few steps in this very long journey.

    As for the point about people from other religions, I can never answer all the questions. I know God has a plan. Maybe they are there to test me in my faith. Maybe they are there to test me in the way i live my life, in the way i try to proclaim the Good News to all mankind. I mean i would never be tested in the fundamentals of my faith, that is loving my neighbour if all my neighbours were nice. The test comes when you have the not so nice near you. Do you still love them?

    Having said that I know God is infinitely wise and I am not meant to be as wise as Him. I hope i have answered your doubts.

  3. I am so happy to see u have written this blog!
    God Bless and stay focussed on the right things........wishing u success all the way!

  4. I don't see where you've answered my doubts. I frankly don't get the love thy neighbor thing in Christianity. I mean, yes, there are REALLY nice people, like those I've met here, who've been so very hospitable. But I don't like to attribute it to a religion. Why? Lets assume you weren't Christian, would you still not be so comforting to a complete outsider like me? Does any other religion say treat outsiders like bull crap?

    If you noticed, I just started comparing religions. This is what the world really is. If all Christians followed 'Love thy neighbor', then what is the meaning of war? Do you say that the Christian soldiers aren't devout Christians?

    Religion is the biggest money minded bankrupt system since time immemorial. Anyone who raised a voice against it was a victim. Why do you think the Vatican is concerned with the current situation in Europe?

    I say it again, I don't have anything against any particular religion. I'm equally opposed towards everyone of them. I might seem foolish to some, but tell me danny, somehow, put into words the difference you've noticed in your belief in God after having come here. I would really like to know, now that you're open to discussion.

    Your religion might preach something. But I don't see how that has made you better/worse. Had you thought that way earlier, you wou What I'm saying is its all in your head.

  5. I dont know what the other religions preach and whether their fundamental teachings to love thy neighbour. So no comments on that.

    War is a complicated issue. And i definitely won't comment on how others are leading their Christian lives. I have no right to judge others. As for me, i will never take the violent way. And i will never join the armed forces mainly because i am not brave enough!

    As for the Vatican, I am not sure what's the issue at present. But everyone at the Vatican is human and they may make mistakes. Yes, the Dark Ages was the biggest mistake by the church and I hope it never happens again. I pray that they always seek guidance of God in their activities.

    About my belief in God after coming here, i would like to talk to you directly. Its tough to put it in words in the first place. But to make it short and compact so that it fits as a comment here, is next to impossible.

    And i think you missed some words in the last para..

  6. hi

    I found the discussion rather interesting, please allow me to butt in and keep a few points of my own

    "Religion is the reason for differences than unity"
    That might very well be true, but does that mean it should be abolished? Whom do you blame for such a difference,
    the people who follow religion or the religion itself ? Television and video games are the major cause for the obesity in american kids.
    I dont see atheists banning televisions. Why so? because it is also the source that provides useful information/healthy entertainment.
    It solely depends on the discretion of the user as to how he/she uses the things that are available.
    Similarly, despite the differences that are
    arising out of the misuse of the religious teachings, one must not blame religion itself, and one should not forget too, what purpose religion serves.
    It teaches about a higher purpose. Something different than the complete animalistic activities like- eating, defending, sleeping and mating.
    Religion is what differentiates between humans and animals. The only difference between the atheists and animals is the so called scientific thinking.
    Science provides comfort, not happiness. It is an agreed fact that despite the high disease and mortality rate, our previous generations were much more happier than we are today. I have seen many leading a blissful religious life, but not a single soul who is blissful because he can fly roung the world in an aeroplane or has laptops to watch movies.
    The void Raja talks about is actually nothing but the inquistiveness of this higher purpose and more than that the requirement for bliss (not comfort) that animals (athiests) do not possess.
    One might say, that there might be a supreme power , but whats the need of giving it a form of temples, churches and mosques? What is the need of giving it a form at all?
    Well then, theres plenty of water all around in the atmosphere, so why dont people stick there tongues out and drink when they feel thirsty? Giving a form is something which provides accessiblity. Temples churches and mosques
    provide a form that is accessible for people to think and ponder about god. The worst of the criminals would never think about commiting a crime while worshipping in a church or a mosque, but do people believing in only a "supremepower" who is all pervasive and should not be looked for in a temple or church think about good things all the time? Definately not.
    Also, the reason most atheists (not all, but say..99.99percent) dont believe in god, is not because of lack of any scientific proof but because they wish to do all nonsensical activities and not feel remorseful about it. How else would you explain the recent athiest groups roaming around in buses in europe with slogans saying: "theres no god, now go live".
    What the hell does that exactly mean? Does believing in god does not allow you to live? No,what it does not allow people to live with is unrepentence for the misdeeds they have commited. Continued...

  7. And what exactly the people who just say "there 'might' be a superpowert somewhere", have done apart from questioning others beliefs? Have you ever yourself tried to find about this superpower? Obviously not.
    They are just waiting for a scientific evidence to prove or disprove god. Well let me tell you , it will be a really long time (or eternity) if science comes up with anything remotely to do with the presence of god.
    Religion begins where science ends. Are you going to wait that long or do something about it? People question all the believes that promise this understanding. Why not accept it for a while. why not give it a benefit of doubt? Why not can you give benefit of doubt to the existence of god and its form just like you give it to the imaginary number iota?You may not be able to explain iota's existence but it surely exists and helps solve a lot of problems too. Why dont you first start believing and then go about proving it? You simply do not believe and thats the end of it, now thats not very intelligent is it? One may spend a life time doing something as mundane as blogging or research in some very abstract field but when it comes to religion which promises of a higher understanding and life they are not ready to give it even slightest of their time.
    Looking forward to your constructive criticism and feedback.

  8. thank you nitya for those profound thoughts.. and i wanna add a small point about the religion cause disunity issue.. religion only divides people when it is looked upon as an 'identity'. Being christian is a way of life.. its not a culture or tradition.. and i know a zillion other things that divides us.. color, money, language, politics, even sports!! those who want to be divided will always stay divided..

  9. Hmm. First of all Nitya, I don't claim to be an atheist. I just do not believe in the concept of 'religion'. This does not mean that I do not believe in a higher power.

    You say "The reason most atheists (not all, but say..99.99percent) dont believe in god, is not because of lack of any scientific proof but because they wish to do all nonsensical activities and not feel remorseful about it."
    Really? Do you think only religious folks feel remorseful? Just becoz they go around showing such signs doesn't mean this. What do you attribute to killing of people who stood up for what they thought is right? If you spoke against a particular religion in the past (it exists even today in certain countries) , the next thing is your execution.
    Is this what your religion taught you? Slay someone who is entitled to his/her opinion? Do you mean to say you can kill someone like that, and then go to your building of God and then remorse for your sins? Does that even remotely make sense to you

    You compare 'TV and obesity' to 'Religion and War'. I don't deny that. Misusing something meant for good is sadness. At the end of the day, people judge how much good came out the 'concept'. I don't see how you can overlook history, a lot of which was fought over religion.

    You compare atheists and animals, barring the sixth sense. Seriously, that is just pathetic.
    You talk of happiness as a void that can be filled up only by religion. That according to me is only because you make it that way. Science provides comfort, not happiness. Agreed. Nobody claimed science provided happiness, but you claim religion provides this ultimate happiness in your life. I'm not going to question that, but saying people who do not believe in religion do not attempt to be happy (or blissful as you put it) is ignorance to say the least.

    One thing that strikes me when you mentioned atheists parading around with boards saying such stuff, is what the fanatics of different religions do. During the satanic/anti-christ concerts (which a band has the sole right to believe in), what do you see outside the concert building? Google and see for yourself. Fanatics are prevalent in everything, be it religion or atheism.

    Religion begins where science ends? How about Science begins where religion ends? Both of them are equally true and misleading :-)

    I honestly liked the part of 'providing a form' for the temples, mosques, churches, etc. I agree with you there. But this 'giving access' sounds really good, but the reality is that a lot of these holy buildings are used to 'force upon' you the religious thoughts, or at least they were in the past.

    As for your last post on 'why not accept or give in to that iota of doubt', well that is what differentiates people and their beliefs doesn't it? Everyone grew up accepting the faith running in their family, isn't that 'accept and give in' for u? Its only after you cross a certain stage that you wonder why all this is needed in the first place, and what good has it done, accepting the fact that religion was meant to be 'good'?

    How much of accepting has already been done now?
    Haha, though many atheists would love scientific truth, that day is no where near. Well, that is true, but what is the use of believing so many different stories that were apparently 'handed over' by God? I mean who are we kidding here? Worshiping elephants and cows, how do you assume it all started? Myth? Or just the plain shock of seeing such a beautiful creature? Idol worship makes no sense to me. If you could enlighten me on that, it would be great.
    And yeah, I really liked to hear your views :)

  10. Nice discussion goin on here.. thanks raja.. i jus want to point out the fact about religion being used for violence.. i think that happens because religion is confused with identity, culture and/or tradition. I think thats where the problem arises.. Many ppl think being christian is like a tag with their name.. its not!! christianity is a way of life.. its not supposed to give u that 'holier than thou' attitute or that feeling of superiority.. and sadly most of these self proclaimed and self appointed religious leaders have forgotten what religions is!!
    So i state the basic purpose my post again.. When you come to know God, who know you have found everything..

  11. partly true and unfortunately, these religious leaders play with the minds of people so easily, which is the cause of so much chaos. i'm ignorant of why these religions came about, but i still don't get their necessity in life.