I’m beginning to dislike the word ‘religion.’ Whenever I see the word ‘religion’ in an article, I think of all those religions of the world; Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc., as a choice one makes to accept, to believe in, and to follow those ways and means. Is choosing a religion the same as the choice of a Chrysler over a Buick, a Ford, Chevy or Volkswagen? A cup of coffee in the morning instead of hot tea or milk. What basis do we use when choosing which to follow? Do we have to accept one or the other? Or, nothing. Atheism is considered a religious belief.
So let’s start by looking at how Webster defines ‘religion.’
- a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
- a body of beliefs and practices regarding the supernatural and the worship of one or more deities.
- the service and worship of God or the supernatural
- commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.
We don’t and can’t see the law of gravity, but we see its effects when a coin falls out of our pocket. We don’t see, taste, smell, feel or hear the air we breathe, yet it’s there. We don’t see the waves of sound moving from the lips of another to our ears, yet it happens, and we don’t feel it either. We don’t see the aroma of a rose bud reaching our nose. These sensations are invisible, but yet, they are just as real as these fingers of mine pushing on the keyboard. Are these sensations we don’t see just a system of religious attitudes?
Jesus was a real physical human being in a body like ours: two legs, two arms, eyes, ears, a nose as part of the head with hair, two lips, all together connected by a neck to the shoulders, chest, hips connected by bones, arteries, muscles to the knees and the same to the ankles and toes. He breathed, ate bread, and smelled the roses just like we do. His seed was planted inside a woman’s egg to make a human, which grew as you did within your mother’s womb. He was born and given that first breath of air. After some thirty years of physically moving here and there upon this planet, He was whipped and hung on a cross, where He gasped and exhaled that last breath of air. His life-less physical body was wrapped as the custom was then, laid to rest and secured in a tomb.
But then that unseen dimension, the spiritual element intervened, and the spiritual Jesus entered that same dead body. The stone rolled away, and He walked and talked again on this physical earth. There are eye-witnesses to it. We have their testimony. We can read about it, just like we read about Thomas Edison and the invention of a light bulb. It’s historical. It was real. His life changed the world and people like us for the last 2000 years.
Christianity is more real than a system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
Author: Arnold R. Kropp
About Mr. Arnold.
Back in the days when I was a kid growing up in south Chicago, freely roaming around the neighborhood was common, and just a part of life in the late '40s and early '50s. A train track was less than a mile away and a favorite place to walk along the rails. A large city park was a bit closer with areas of dense trees and areas of open grassy picnic grounds. A public golf course was just two blocks away, but the famed 4-lane busy Western avenue had to be crossed to get to it, and we crossed in the middle of the block running between the cars and trucks. We knew the risks. In the winters, we would climb that fence making our way to one of the ponds, we’d push and shovel away the snow and play a spontaneous game of hockey, or bring a sled and slide down the hillside ; no adults, no special padding, just a group of kids enjoying the contest.
Dad was at work. Mom was home tending to the laundry and preparing the family meal for promptly at 6 pm. Life was good. It was fun. Sunday mornings were dress up in suit and tie, polished shoes for Sunday school and the worship service, then to a restaurant.
Arnold went on to college immediately after high school, but could not find a subject, a major that was really up his alley, so he enlisted in the Army and served in Germany during the years the Berlin wall was built. Seeing what effects Soviet communism had on the people of East Germany left an impression on him. During those years, he would write many long letters home starting a desire to write more than just letters. Many years later Arnold developed a blog where he posted hundreds of articles on the political side of American life. Some of those are available in the collection named "Ramblings".
Today, Society is totally different from that of the '50s, a whole lot different.
Today, it has become scary to let the kids roam. Today it has become organized to the hilt with 2nd graders playing organized football. In my present relatively quiet neighborhood, I do see kids walking the streets, but there is a difference as the kids seem to be apprehensive and on guard or intently operating a telephone as they walk, not running after each other playing hide and seek.
Today, the above freedoms of the '50s are suspect and avoided as being dangerous activities. And that is sad. It's sad that today's kids do not have that freedom, and it may be having a direct effect on their development. Consider, one fact that is readily apparent today compared to yesterday; the preponderance of overweight and obese kids, even pre-school kids are heavier than we were, and this has to be affecting the rest of their daily lives. No doubt about it. But, I'd better hush, can't talk about those things.
Yes, in the '50s there were Semi-trucks, public transportation, murders, rape, robberies, house fires, sickness and diseases resulting in death, and yes, there were deadly vehicle accidents too. There was even poverty and homosexuals too. We went to public schools, and the high school was integrated. This was Chicago, but those events did not make the headlines, as news was only broadcast at 6pm and possibly 10pm nightcap. Days of the cold war kept us together as a nation. We saw the "Victory at Sea" war clips before the main feature at the theaters.
And now technology dominates life. A cell phone in every handy pocket posting selfies. A computer saving everything to one of those cumulous clouds. Room size TV’s broadcasting everything 24/7.
This is more information than I want.
Let me decide something.
I think. therefore, I am.
I was born a male, therefore I am.
I was born-again, therefore I am.
I have life within, therefore I am.
The news is not my guide.
The TV is not my Sheppard.
View all posts by Arnold R. Kropp