Posted in Religion

Unpopular Opinion: The Psalms

As I’m reading through the Bible everyday, I have finally made it to the Psalms. I don’t like this section that much because it’s not really a story, it’s just songs and prayers to God from (mostly) David.

Which is great, yes, David loves God and the Psalms being included obviously is a major stem from the Christian idea of worship and praise to the Lord. Those I agree with.

My idea here is that the Psalms don’t really need to be in the Bible. They’re important but they don’t really fit in. However, I suggest that they still need to be important to the Christian faith and they should be included in worship but as a separate book, like a hymnal.

There are more things about the Bible that have raised some good questions. Why is it out of order? Where does Job come from and why is he selected to be tried? Why is Leviticus still relevant at all?

I plan to talk about these topics in the upcoming weeks.

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Posted in Religion

End of Summer Update- Religion

Now this category is not one that is updated that often. About mid to early Summer I finished my book on Buddhism. Now I am reading through the Qur’an and I am still making progress in the Bible.

In the Bible I am in the books of Psalms. They’re okay but I prefer the stories of the Old Testament to these songs. The book of Job was not very enjoyable either. When you hear that story it doesn’t seem that bad but the book is mostly just him complaining about his life with his friends. At the end it seems kind of rushed that God gave him back everything. There was some mentionings of a Leviathan, which ended up being described as a dragon and I feel like that is extremely overlooked.

The Qur’an so far has been decently surprising. It only calls for violence so far if they are being persecuted and talks a lot about giving to charity and learning the Qur’an. The biggest downside that I have seen is the belief that all religions are stems of Islam, just misinterpreted by various prophets and that it blatantly states that women are not equal to men.

Posted in Religion

Buddhism

Today I finished my book on Buddhism: In The Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. This was not as straightforward of an introduction to Buddhism as I would have liked.

It seems to me that the basics to Buddhism are: Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to stop being reincarnated and then you will achieve Nirvana.

This is of course followed by many rules and parables about how one should live and what they should and should not do. The Buddhist holy texts also include messages written as they were spoken to the monks and often include repetition.

The Noble Eightfold Path is as follows: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

I don’t know many Buddhists but when I went to Cambodia I did visit the famous ancient Buddhist temples at Angkor Wat and I would also see monks on the streets of all the cities that I visited. Buddhism is the religion of 8% of the world (as of 2010), but 98% of all Buddhists live in the Asia-Pacific or South Asia region of the world.

Buddhism never calls for violence and is more of a focus on your inner self and the way that you live your individual life, with no call to attempt to convert or recruit other members. It does tell you how you should treat family members, neighbors, and servants close to you however.

This may not be the religion for me, but I feel like all people, regardless of their beliefs, could take some ideas away from this religion.

Posted in Religion

A Little Background

I have at least one post in all my other categories so I had to make a post in here but I wasn’t sure what to talk about, so how about why I made religion a section in my blog.

About a year ago it occurred to me that there were many Christians (oh, I was raised Protestant by the way) that had probably never read the Bible, at least not all the way through. I wanted to change this. People use their religion for many of their political and social values but often overlook why that is the way that their religion does that in the first place. So I set out to read the Bible, front to back, in order.

I now realize why most people wouldn’t read it in order (mostly because it’s not in chronological order), but I have already started and don’t plan on changing at this point. I have already made some good discoveries and even questions that I don’t know how to get answers to. Currently I’m in 2 Chronicles.

In addition to that, I have also decided to learn more about other major world religions. This started when I took a politics and religion class in college. We spent the first portion of the semester learning about Islam, which for me was very enjoyable. I was amazing at how little I knew and how I now had such a better understanding of all the conflicts happening in the Middle East. Currently I’m close to finishing a book on Buddhism, which was not as interesting as I had hoped.

But more on that when I finish the book.