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Aug 11 16 12:37 PM

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The world has many gods and believers in gods, natural elements, political systems or themselves. all religions have gods or forces who are transcending man, determine the course of its existence and give meaning to man's life.

In most religions there exist a pantheon of gods. The Abrahamic religions (Jews, Christians, Muslims) and sikhs are so called monotheists, though in Christendom there is the majority of Christians who believe in the Trinity, which really means they believe in three gods (who supposedly would be one and the same) God the Father, god the son and God the Holy Spirit. Real Christians should be those who would be following Christ Jesus, the master teacher who lived about 2000 years ago and who was an Essene Jew, believing in the Only One True God of Israel. Therefore people should distinguish between Christianity (the ones who keep to the teachings of Christ and are non-trinitarian) and Christendom (all who believe in Christ, inclusive those who believe in the human doctrine of the HolyTrinity).

In the world there are also people who believe there are supernatural beings, invisible beings who have all sorts of powers which man lack. The idea of animism is that in all cultural systems people experience phenomena such as dreams, visions, sudden insights, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and trancesthat simultaneously conjoin perceptions of being "elsewhere" with the knowledge of being "here." Some thinkers explain this experience through a belief in the human soul, which they envision as distinct from but inextricably attached to the body until death do they part, so that animistic belief in the soul becomes part of every cultural system.

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Animism and animatism are often not clearly distinguished, both believing in souls and spirits being ubiquitous and even spirits having souls whereby male shamans and female potters can interact with. Spirit essences are hierarchized into four essential tiers, easily represented as spheres encompassing one another.

According to animism, all phenomenaeverything that is seen, heard, touched, or felt; every animal, plant, rock, mountain, cloud, or star, and even tools and implements are believed to possess a soul, which is understood to be conscious and endowed with an ability to communicate. Considered the original or first human religion, animism originates from the Latin anima, meaning soul, which comes from the earlier Greek word animus, meaning wind or breath. It is defined as belief in spiritual beings or entities that are thought to give all things, both animate and inanimate, a certain kind of potency or life force.

Animism is a primal belief system dating back to the Paleolithic era, yet it is estimated that 40 percent of the worlds population still practices some form of animism, often in syncretism with Christendom and Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Contemporary people find animism a belief system that infuses their real-life situation with the sacred and provides guidance in addressing everyday problems, concerns, and needs, such as healing sickness, bringing success, or receiving guidance. Also today we still find many who acknowledges the existence of spirits, also those who have no affiliation with an organized religion who practise animism.

More and more we also find several religious systems made in a new system, making it them to be part of syncretic religions. Religious syncretism happens quite commonly in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function actively in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices.

In several religious beliefs as in certain phases of Hinduism (there is also the tendency to identify the many gods as so many aspects of the Supreme Being); sometimes the gods are considered as less important than some higher goal, state, or saviour, as in Buddhism; sometimes one god will prove more dominant than the others. For certain religious groups there is one Supreme Ruler, whilst others may have in their pantheon of gods, certain gods who may have rulership in certain periods, or being connected with a Supreme Power or under a Supreme Maker.

In the Abrahamic Faith religions there is One Supreme Intelligence, Maker of everything, a Being Who makes the being of others, and therefore is also called the "One Who is" or "I Am that I am" or just "I Am". This God is a unique God above all the other gods, unilaterally, omnipotent and immeasurable, the Almighty greater than all other gods and Host of hosts, Who gives signs and produces wonders. He is the Most High Lord God of gods, King above all gods. He is there for every body, but because mankind has chosen to go away from Him, He has made a berith or covenant with His chosen people, Israel (the Jews) and has given them rules or commandments, which they should follow.

For many this God of gods is so important they do not want to pronounce His set apart or Holy Divine Name, and therefore they describe Him with many titles, which made that by the years many people got confusing His titles with His Name.
He is frequently invoked as Adonai (Master, Lord), Elohim or Allah (God) or by descriptions Ha-Kaddosh Barukh-hou (the Holy blessed She-He), Ribbono shel Olam (Master of the world), Avinou She'Ba-Shamaïm (Our Father who are in heaven), but most often just called Ha-Shem, The Name. Though He has a name and later in time He had sent His only begotten son to seal a New Covenant by which people where asked to know and use God His Name also as a proof of their relationship with this God. Therefore those who are under that blessing of the New Covenant have to use that Holy Name of the Most High, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

In the Book of books, the Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures and Messianic Scriptures or the Old Testament and New Testament) the higher persons are recognised as such to be gods, like we do find Pharaoh, Moses, Jesus, and angels called gods alongside those gods who were worshipped as god or goddess, like Ammit, Anubis, Astarte, BaalBa'alat Gebal, Ra, Thoth, Attar, Chronos, Dagon, Moloch, Gaia, Uranus, Thalassa, Apollo, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Minerva, Zeus, Beelzebub, Satan a.o.. Nobody in Christendom, except from a few exceptions, are going to take them as the Divine Creator, Most High Maker of everything. Strange then that they took one figure to become the equal of the Most High God. This came from the measures taken in the 4th century when the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great with Licinius in Milan developed the Edict of Milan and took care the Christians should be allowed to follow their faith without oppression on the condition they accepted also the Roman deities and made their main figure, rabbi Jeshua, into the personification of the chief deity of the pantheon, child of Cronus and Rhea, Zeus/Jupiter. in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld. From this they had to call their pioneer or cornerstone "Hail Zeus" or "Issou" which became "Jesus" in English (Isi, Ishi, Jezus, Chesu). By accepting the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, also allowing to have pictures of him, made commerce flowing again when they had to make their master teacher into a similar three-headed god, which became the so called Holy Trinity, and nothing stood in the way to make pictures or statues of him, to bow down for.

Though the God of Israel was very clear that His people should only worship One God and did not have to have any other gods before them or should not make any graven image of Him, the Only One True God.

Throughout the ages people kept making themselves gods and idols, which they praised and also worshipped. Still today we do find in the West also lots of people who take themselves idols which they call god. Idolatry, the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god has been of all times. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although views as to what constitutes idolatry differ within and between them and in many denominations we can find people bowing down in front of sculptures or graven images, pictures and even books or burnign candles and bringing offerings to statues or representations of so called 'saints' or holy people (an abomination in the eyes of the God of the Bible). In some other religions the use of idols is accepted. Which images, ideas, and objects constitute idolatry is often a matter of considerable contention.

Daikoku is one of the Shichi-fuku-jin (Seven Gods of Luck: Bishamon, Daikoku, Ebisu, Fukurokuju, Jurōjin, Hotei, and the only female in the group, Benten.) (kamis) the Japanese god of wealth, or of the household, particularly the kitchen, and guardian of farmers. He is depicted in legend and art as dark-skinned, stout, carrying a wish-granting mallet ( an Uchide no kozuchi) in his right hand, a bag of precious things slung over his back, and sitting on two rice bags, with mice, as his servants, nearby signifying plentiful food.
Daikoku is generally associated with the Indian deity Mahākāla (the Hindu god Śiva in his aspect as time, the great destroyer), who travelled to Japan along with Buddhism. In Shintō worship, he is often identified with the deity and mythological hero Ōkuni-nushi, whose name written in Chinese ideograms is pronounced Daikoku.

Benevolence for a deity is also symbolised in the fat belly of Ganesha (Ganesh), also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka,    Ganesha [Credit: Pramod Chandra]elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, who is traditionally worshipped before any major enterprise and is the patron of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. His name means both “Lord of the People” (gana means the common people) and “Lord of the Ganas” (Ganesha is the chief of the ganas, the goblin hosts of Shiva). The son of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, and his wife, Parvati, Ganesha as the god of good fortune and wisdom is one of the most popular Hindu deities. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.
Ganesha emerged only late as a distinct deity in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors.

This brings us to Buddhism of which many say it is not a religion or they do not worship gods, though we should recognise that also in that tradition they have also figures to which they ascribe supernatural powers and honour. The term Buddha usually denotes the historical founder of Buddhism, the Indian prince Siddhártha Gautama. Scholars generally deem Gautama a historical figure who passed along to his followers the foundations of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Frequently referred to as the Buddha, or the Enlightened One, most Buddhists believe Gautama to be the Buddha for this age (though there have been numerous buddhas throughout history).

“Buddhism” is a Western term for the immensely diverse system of beliefs and practices centred on the teachings and person of this historical Indian (present-day Nepal) philosopher Buddha, who enunciated his message of salvation in India over two millennia ago. The general concept easily lends itself to a false sense of empirical unity remote from the complex history of the tradition and the varied faiths of the individual believers. In the centuries following the promulgation of the original teaching and the formation of the earliest community, Indian Buddhism underwent a massive process of missionary diffusion throughout the Asian world, assimilating new values and undergoing major changes in doctrinal and institutional principles. Today, under the impact of conflicting ideologies and of science and technology, Buddhism, like all the great religions, finds itself, amid the acids of modernity, undergoing vast internal changes which further prohibit simplistic stereotypes and definitions. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008}

Buddhas teachings reflect the influence of Hinduism, the Buddha thoroughly modified various Hindu concepts and did not embrace the Hindu caste system. The theme of his teaching revolved around the Four Noble Truths. The first Noble Truth stipulated the reality of suffering. Put simply, suffering persists throughout all the various stages of life. The second Noble Truth indicated that desire (trsnā ) originated from ignorance (avidyā ) and inevitably caused suffering. According to the Buddha, humans mistakenly posit the existence of an autonomous, permanent self (ātman). As such, they inevitably experience suffering as they try to maintain a permanent hold on things that are constantly changing and impermanent. Instead, the Buddhas teachings advanced the doctrine of no-self and insisted on the impermanence of all things. The third Noble Truth, the cessation of suffering (nirvāna, literally blowing out), claimed it was possible to eliminate desire and ignorance and free an individual from suffering. Finally, the fourth Noble Truth pointed to the path that brings about the cessation of suffering, often referred to as the Eightfold Path. The path includes (1) right view, (2) right intention, (3) right speech, (4) right conduct, (5) right livelihood, (6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness, and (8) right concentration. This Middle Path avoids both the extreme of self-denial and the extreme of self-indulgence, and leads an individual to recognize the impermanence of all things. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008}

Indian thought has been concerned with various philosophical problems, significant among which are the nature of the world (cosmology), the nature of reality (metaphysics), logic, the nature of knowledge (epistemology), ethics, and the philosophy of religion.

The North American Indians have more than 500 divine and ancestral spirit beings who interact with humans. Each Pueblo culture has distinct forms and variations of kachinas (katsina). Unlike the God of the Arahamic Faith these gods (Kachinas) who dwell in sacred mountains and other sacred places, are believed to reside with the tribe for half of each year and will allow themselves to be seen by a community if its men properly perform a traditional ritual while wearing kachina masks and other regalia. A kachina can represent anything in the natural world or cosmos, from a revered ancestor to an element, a location, a quality, a natural phenomenon, or a concept. The spirit-being depicted on the mask is thought to be actually present with or within the performer, temporarily transforming him.

The transformation is by many people a very loved attribute of deities for their religious practice. Also the representation by dolls or little figures and jewels are loved by many in different religions and are often considered to be general religious symbols, like wearing a cross of a fish declaring yourself to be a 'Christian'.

In most religions people are looking for luck and for support in their daily work and suffering. They do hope their gods or the Only One God can bring them the things they need and often they have for each particular field a god or saint who can bring comfort in that area or field. Many belief in a hierarchy of deities or saints or servants under gods. We also can find such servants and saints in Catholicism. Christendom was not spared from pagan influences and use. This should be on our mind when we are looking for God and how to worship which god or The God of gods.

Christianity, namely, presents Only One God Who is One, Who is a God of gods and the God of clarity, love and order, Who does not tell lies and brings salvation. This God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples, should be the God of the Christians and strength of all. He provided that His Words that would survive all opposition and remain unchanged, and His actions would be known all over the world, throughout the ages.

When people would take up that Word of God, provided in an assembly of 66 books in the Book of books or the Holy Bible, they should be able to get to know more about gods and God. That library of set apart (holy) books, written to whom it is about to be reckoned, declares the beginning of the times, universe and earth, the reasons why we live in such world where there is so much trouble and how we can get rid of all that trouble. All over the world people shall have to come to know that there is and shall be glory of only one God Who gives his Word.


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Last Edited By: christadelphian Aug 12 16 7:58 AM. Edited 1 time