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Should people explore other religions?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by rpeg, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. rpeg

    rpeg Guest

    +0
    Hello. I'm an atheist. Just a disclaimer. This is the "exploring Christianity" forum however I'm curious to hear everyone's opinion on the matter of exploring other religions. Is it accepted? Off-limits? Do some Christian sects accept this? Thanks for your time.
     
  2. zaksmummy

    zaksmummy Senior Member

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    I think it depends what you mean by explore.

    When I was at school we had religious education which covered the major world religions. I quite enjoyed learning about them. I have, as an adult learned a little bit more about some of them, but honestly, now I would rather learn about what God is showing me as a Christian.
     
  3. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    It depends of the person. If it is with in you to do so you should know what the other religions say at the very least.

    Not something I would recomend for a new believer.
     
  4. rpeg

    rpeg Guest

    +0

    Learning more about religion has been extremely rewarding to me. I've started to wonder if others who are within a religion feel the same way. By "explore" I simply mean learning about it's belief structure, tenets, rituals demographics and history.

    @zaksmummy
    How do you feel about the idea of everyone studying world religions?

    @drich
    Why do you feel a new believer should not study other religions?
     
  5. Jack544

    Jack544 Newbie

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    If that's what you mean by explore then yes. I definitely enjoy learning about other religions.

     
  6. solarwave

    solarwave Guest

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    I enjoy learning about other religions (though I don't know much about them at the moment) and I would be happy to learn from them as well.
     
  7. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    Do you feel it is ok for under age children to have sex with adults? Why do you feel this way?

    Assuming you say no;

    If you are not willing to subject a young body to the perverse nature of one who preys on the young of age. Why would you subject one young in the Spirit to a system of belief designed to prey on and pervert the Spirit against God?
    Why fear/abhoar the one who can corrupt the perishable body, when there are those who corrupt the immortal soul?

    I see you claim Christianity as your faith. Do you not believe that our Souls are of a greater concern than this vessel that we occupy?

    http://www.christianforums.com/t7566692/
    The above is an example of a young brother "exploring" many different faiths and trying to reconcile them with his understanding of chrisitanity.

    His faith icon has changed many many times. The only constant is that he is moving further and further from God.

    Now tell me why you believe it is good for the young in the faith to explore different religions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  8. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    Exploring as seeking fulfillment is hardly a bad thing any more than exploring as seeking knowledge and wisdom. While the first might pose risks, engaging in the world with evangelism is spiritually dangerous as well, is it not? If you do not take risks, you do not grow in any real spiritual or psychological sense.

    There's also the notion of election, if you believe that. There might be some people that appear to be genuine believers, but are elected to damnation anyway and will fall away either by their own choice later in life or because they choose to explore religions in that they feel unfulfilled in Christianity.

    But then, if they felt unfulfilled in christianity at all, then perhaps that's a fault of the person anyway, especially if they try their hardest, right?
     
  9. LWB

    LWB Regular Member

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    I have found it a rewarding experience to explore other religions and even atheism. And by explore, I don't just mean learning about them. I mean approaching them with an expectation they might have something to teach, or might be the closest representation of truth we have access to.

    Eastern mysticism actually helped me to appreciate the mystical depths of Christ's teachings. This opened up a new dimension to my understanding.

    I disagree that all other faiths should be looked upon with distrust. Certainly some of them, like cults and sheer fabrications like Scientology, should be avoided as distracting trash. But I question how anyone could study the Noble Truths of Buddhism, the ineffable conclusions of Taoism, or the wisdom of Stoicism, and not see the Logos at work within them. I think these three point to Christ.
     
  10. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but are you seriously trying to compare someone freely exercising their right to believe or not believe anything; regardless of a state's constitution stating either way; to an underage child's inability to consent to sexual acts? Of course we agree that's a bad thing, because, excluding extraodinary exceptions, underage children do not have the maturity or the mental capacity to even understand, let alone consent to sexual acts from adults.

    You cannot compare people manipulating children's innocence about sexual matters for their own selfish sensual pleasures to a Buddhist monk, Jewish rabbi, Muslim imam, or the like teaching a curious child about their religions if they freely ask without any provocation. Child molestation by authority figures is nothing like someone who is a young adult or even an adult in general who is genuinely curious about spiritual matters exercising their freedom to investigate and exercising their reason in comparing them, as well as their heart in whether they feel compelled and/or fulfilled by those beliefs talking to someone and asking question.


    Same reason it's good for children to engage in sports or other things that might disappoint them; because without suffering some terrible things in life or at least general unsatisfactoriness, they won't come to believe in things seriously and will be less committed to anything, even if it's something you disagree with. Would you rather your friend or child just waffle between various beliefs or experience enough about various beliefs and themselves in relation to them to make a decision and stick with it?
     
  11. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    How exactly did you misunderstand this? could you not read past the mentioning of pedophilia, and then plug in your own sense of righteousness, so you could soap box or champion your beliefs over what was actually said?

    Are the young in Spirit any less subject to issues that far exceed the consequences of anything that could happen to this earthly body?

    I did not make that conclusion, you Infact did. The question was asked why should someone young in the (christian) faith not seek out and explore other faiths. I was describing the need for us to teach our young to preserve and protect their spiritual purity from outside influences at least till one reaches spiritual maturity. You are the one equating or drawing the parallel of the teachings of the other specific religions to the perversions of a pedophile.

    The only thing I borrowed from this analogy is that those "other faiths"(such as atheism or the religion that surrounds scientific discovery and belief) are much more mature and sophisticated that anything the young christian has in his arsenal that he can use to protect himself with, and i also gave an example of a young man who is struggling with this very issue.

    My message was of preservation of the spiritually young, not labeling what others believe in specific religions. You made that observation on your own.

    This enlighten approach can be taken from any position outside of Christianity, because no matter which "faith" one decides on. the ultimate goal has been accomplished in that the "believer" is no longer worshiping the God of the bible.
     
  12. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    The reason we don't let under age children have sex is because it would psychologically damage them. Letting children explore other religions in some basic sense or letting mature adults explore spiritually distinct religions is not even close to letting children experiment with sex.


    Just because there is a risk does not mean you should shelter them from everything as if they are made of paper/glass


    You hardly made it absolutely clear you weren't implying that underage children having sex was due to pedophilia or due to their own desire, which is much rarer, I'd wager. Spiritual purity is hardly something you can ever maintain, far as I'm concerned. To expose children to other religions and their teachings at a young age will not be a problem. If the child makes that choice when they grow up to be a young adult, it is their choice, and not yours or even the parents' to try to change if they are of a mature enough age to discern these things as individuals.

    If you let someone explore things and then maintain the general teachings that those things are bad, the previous exploration will not be a corrupting influence, but an influence of experience. People don't necessarily get so influenced that they will not break tradition and choose other belief systems. Even children who are raised just in Christianity may eventually apostatize from that religion even when they had not been exposed to other religions or been allowed to explore.


    You have no justification to say that every new person of other religions are more sophisticated than a new person in Christianity. In fact, it would work teh same way with other religions. They would claim Christianity might lead Muslims from Islam, or Jews from Judaism, or the like. Then again, not every religion cares whether the person makes such a choice, since they value the person's individual search over their affiliation or lack thereof with some spiritual "Church" (e.g. Buddhism or Hinduism).

    One example does not a consistent principle of caution make.


    A fair mistake. But you still seem to misunderstand the intents of other religions. For one thing, not every religion is evangelistic, so it's not as if exploring it will actually suck the person in, unless they are gullible and susceptible to begin with. You could have a very discerning or skeptical Christian that could nonetheless explore other religions and still maintain their faith even if they were new. You're presuming every new Christian is the same, which hardly seems fair.

    You are painting every non Christian religion or lack thereof with an unfair stroke. Just because someone chooses a different religion does not mean that there was some conspiracy or agenda behind it. The individual's choice is only partly influenced by others.

    If I choose to be a Buddhist because of its feeling of fulfillment and compelling reasoning in contrast to other religions, including but not limited to Christianity, then there is no reason for you to say I was motivated by hatred or agenda against the God of the Bible in my conversion and apostasy from Christianity.

    And when did I claim it was "enlightened" or implied "enlightenment" in any way? I was affirming that this approach is considerate of every individual's inalienable right to choose their beliefs without pressure from outside or guilt at feeling like they're letting people down if they decide they can no longer believe in Christianity/native faith.

    Are you really saying that a young Christian who is uncertain and waffles between Christianity, Judaism and Islam is better than a committed Buddhist apostate from Christianity who has done much contemplation and finally made the decision based on various factors?
     
  13. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Oh I've been up and down that road many times...

    Yes, we should know what those of other religions believe, how they worship, history, etc etc etc. However, I personally believe that it should be done only when one is strong in one's own faith.

    EDIT to add: Frankly, I would not be where I am now if I had not studied other religions. Thus, it can be beneficial, but depends almost entirely upon the individual.
     
  14. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    That seems to be a practical consideration. If there are people that are gullible and easily swayed, perhaps it would be best to merely educate them about the beliefs and not let them look into it for fulfillment, but not everyone is so sucked into this that they can't say, "Maybe Buddhism has something for me, but maybe it's also in Christianity" Not to mention the whole attitude of not letting people search religions seems to just violate the idea that people are free agents and are not to be coerced into believing a religion out of fear of any kind
     
  15. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Allowing and advising are two different things. Personally if I had children of my own I'd allow it, but not advise it until they were older and mature enough. I say that because I only began to research things when I was mature enough for it and had I not been than the consequences would be, simply put, disastrous.
     
  16. ToHoldNothing

    ToHoldNothing Well-Known Member

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    Gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet, hm?
     
  17. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    Something like that! :D
     
  18. elman

    elman elman

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    Perhaps our theology is not as important as our actions on behalf of others in need.
     
  19. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    The book burning days are past, thank G-d. Someone seeking the Lord, or even just Truth, may find some in almost any belief system worldwide. They will all have some elements of the gospel, with the only exceptions being those with values, like satanism.
     
  20. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    *Sigh*

    1) Comments inappropriate for this forum. In this thread, by placing it here, our OP is seeking Christian input. Could you maybe respect that? You are arguing NC positions here.

    2) The analogy made by Drich is actually QUITE pertinent! The union of individual with G-d is even more intimate than sex. Obviously you don't know this first-hand
     
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