Do we agree that most writings / scriptures are very similar? Yes.
So I ask, is that really what makes one religion really different from another?
I am jewish. Our religion, in my eyes, only has two major differences than other religions that guide themselves by the new/old testaments.
1. We only believe in one GOD, and do not have vision of Jesus Christ as our son of GOD/savior. Let alone believe in Mary etc.. Nor do we allow idolatry to blind the eye.
2. We believe in only the old testament.
My point being that of all the old/new testament followers view/interpret them ever so slightly.
Is this what makes the major difference between religions.
I hope no one minds me saying so, but I see the followers of both the old/new testaments, really going off the deep end and interpreting this series of passages across a very wide scope. This really makes me wonder about the followers of any given faith. No in the sense of bad/good people, or right/wrong but overall divine direction.
Whereas Judaism, and I might be wrong, views the old testament one way, and only one way.
The different strengths of Judaism like Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. They do not interpret the Lods word any differently. They just apply themselves with different intensities. Please correct me if I am wrong.
So that really doesn't make me knock other peoples beliefs, and I shouldn't, that is very wrong. It helps me reaffirm my faith in mine.
It's a scarry thing, to me anyway, to see one religious sect knock another believer or non-believer, Damming them to Hell if they don't believe in that specific way. A belief is just a belief. Nothing more. That is what I do think is wrong, incredibly wrong. Why a group of believers, who firmly believe that their religion is the only way to "Be Saved".
I came up with a Theory, which later became a belief (not yet a solid faith), many years ago. It simply states how GOD came to be. Now that insinuation is outrageous to some people. They think I'm terrible and should die for thinking such a thing. When in actuality, I never intended to knock my or any other faith. Just complete the puzzle so to speak. I don't know if it's correct. How could I know. It, the way I thought about it, made total sense to me. It has made me a firmer believer in GOD, and NEVER questions his teachings according to our faith. As a matter of fact it help me make sense of passages in both the old and new testaments even though I should really, according to the Jewish faith, only believe/follow the old testament. I felt that I have become more open minded, and have the ability to accept things as possibilities with respect to other faiths.
When I first started conveying, not preaching, my thoughts regarding this, I was approched by some born-again-Christians. They simply told me that if I didn't believe what they believed, that I would burn in hell. How fair was that? I have come to believe that any religion that guides itself by the old and/or old/new teastaments, no matter what the strain/path, is a religion who firmly believes in GOD with a deep love for GOD/People/Life, and also has the power, I will call it, to have understanding. Not to wish anyone/thing to a life in Hell as a punishment for not following a certain path.
We are a scared people, I see. So I can, even though I don't like it, understand maybe where they come from, I just have a difficult time accepting it.
Why are we so scared. Is it because we don't truly have the answers. Ya know, I'm gonna get weird here for a moment. If you remember the movie "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", you will probably remember the part when Abraham Lincoln said "Be Excellent To Each Other, And Party On Dudes". What did I take that to be. Be good to one another, live life to the fullest, and let nature take it's course. Be accepting/understanding of things we cannot change, and change ourselves (from an individual stance not others), Goodness, and love will guide the way. Maybe that's going overboard, but it seems to be a decent path to follow. Hows that for an interpretation. Once again others interpreting that characters spoken words, might simply say "That was just a line in a movie" what are you getting all gung-ho about?
If you are interested, and I would be lying if I said I don't want you to read it (I just don't want you to feel pushed into believing something), this so called theory/belief of mine is a discussion thread called "Something from Nothing". To me it's an awesome step into a somewhat forbidden area. The possibility that there was an absolute beginning before GOD/TIME. Kinda stepping out of the bounds of faith (for myself), for a moment to ponder the thought. You will probably interpret it differently with respect to what I tried to say. That's absolutely fine. I hope you, at least, understand what I try to convey. Please ask questions about it. I will only answer with respect to understanding what I wrote, and not in the sense of trying to get you to believe it. That is up to you...