Everyone has a philosophy, whether they realize it or not.
The word philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means, those who love wisdom.
Philosophy is a particular set of ideas you have regarding what is true, and what is not; about the nature and meaning of life, how to live your life, whether you believe in God, your ethics and moral values, and so forth. Even Atheists who don’t believe in God, have a philosophy.
What religion you follow is also determined by your personal philosophy.
Do you believe your religion is the only true religion? Most people do. Why do you believe this? Ask yourself, why did you choose your particular religion over all others? Whether you follow the religion of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, or even Christianity, you chose your religion based on your own personal philosophy.
Atheists, don’t believe in god at all. Jews believe that following the Torah (the Law of Moses) merits their salvation before God. Muslims believe Allah is the only true god and Muhammad was his only prophet. Buddhists, on the other hand, rely on reincarnation (multiple lives) to purge them of imperfection and reach the supposed blissful state of Nirvana. Christians believe that salvation is only through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
So you see, everybody has different ideas about religion, God, how to live their lives, based on what philosophy they follow. Therefore, whatever you believe about God, what’s right or wrong, the world around you, and other such ideas, shapes everything about your life. What you believe determines your behavior, your behavior determines what you become, and finally, where you end up at the end of your life.
Do all Christians believe the same?
Even within the Christian religion there are many different beliefs, creeds, doctrines, tenets of faith, schools of thought, and so on. Today, there are more than 30,000* Christian denominations in the world. Can they all be right?
Are you following the tenets of the Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, etc.? Why? Because of your own personal philosophy.
At some point in your life you made a defining decision to follow your particular brand of Christianity or denomination. Was it because of family tradition? Or maybe because you studied all the others and decided your choice was the best one?
In part 2 of this message, we will further explore how philosophy, religion, and your concept of truth has shaped your life and the way that you think.
To be continued…
– Luis Joseph Castle
CHOSEN OF GOD MINISTRIES
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*Statistics from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.