Religion and Spirituality Research Paper
Spirituality and Religion Research Paper Due: 12/7/11 Throughout the world there are many different things that individuals tend to believe. Some people believe in luck, crediting everything that happens to them, good or bad, to their fortune. Some believe in karma, always warning colleagues about the things they may do or say to their counterparts, implying that those things may come back to them, possibly in a worse way.
Others believe in superstition, which according to the World English Dictionary, is an irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear, and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc. For example, when walking with my sister she doesn’t like for something to pass between us as we walk, better known as ‘splitting the pole’; she is superstitious in believing that splitting a pole or tree or any freestanding inanimate object will bring bad luck to either of us. A number of people believe in a higher being.
Most times the ‘higher being’ depends on what part of the world in which people live or the culture in which they were raised. Nelson states that Hinduism is best understood as a grouping of diverse Indian religious traditions around a common core of sacred writings; while Buddhism was founded in the North Indian kingdom of Maghda and the Western part of Christianity was headquartered in Rome. In some religions, parishioners believe in monotheism, which is belief in a single higher being, and some believe in polytheism, which is belief and worship of multiple gods.
They all believe that someone or something, of a non-human life form, sees all, knows all and has power over all. While believing in this higher being, they practice what they believed to have been said by that higher being and written down by a scribe of some sort. These believers live to attain all aspects of the human relationship to the transcendent, according to Nelson, also known as their ‘religion’. Believers attach themselves to their religion.
For instance, upon joining the nation of Islam some believers and followers of Allah, the Supreme Being according to Muslims, choose to obey the set rules or rituals by not eating pork as well as other things. Coming from a private school background, growing up in Catholic elementary, middle and high schools a lot has been learned about the different religions around the world; through several courses. Logistics were always covered but there were never any inferences made as to why some churches worship the way they do.
Therefore, students of a different religion were left to wonder why certain connections were made with people and God within their churches. It was especially difficult going to Catholic schools and attending mass, experiencing this different type of worship and not seeing those same connections being made as they were at the church regularly attended by myself, the student. In some Baptist churches music is loud, soulful and up tempo, complete with plenty of instruments; whereas in the Catholic Church that was attended, music was not so soulful and rarely up tempo.
Parishioners took it upon themselves during the Baptist service to shout unto God, thanking Him for the many blessings bestowed upon them. During a Catholic service it appeared as if no one had time for believers to share their good news or their appreciation for it, the sole purpose seemed to be ‘get in, handle business and get out’. Although it is very possible that all Catholic churches don’t operate in the exact same manner, they all go through the same motions from the beginning to the end of the service.
It was mind boggling to possibly deduce how a connection was made with God, other than prayer, through such strict rituals. Baptist churches let the spirit lead them through the service, for instance, if the soloist is lead (by the spirit) to lengthen the song the congregation encourages him and the spirit seems to spread like wildfire through the church. This is most likely the reason for the lengthy services, but no one objects. The Baptist religionists can be found happy and fulfilled of the goodness of the Lord leaving the church house on a Sunday afternoon.
Through the long songs and worship experiences, connections were made with the higher being together, as a church family. The Catholic parishioners and priests just seem to tap their foot and worship to themselves to an operatic hymn; possibly an explanation for the short services. In retrospect, Catholic religionists appear to be happy to leave church and get on with their day. In conclusion, people have their own ways of getting what they want or need out of any given event.
From a religious service, some may need the extra verse to a song and some may need to have the scriptures sung to them in an orchestral fashion. Some may need time to fellowship with other parishioners and others may just need to get in and get out. Some believers know what they need and where they need to go to get it. Other believers don’t feel they need to worship in a facility at all. Religion is relative to where an individual is from, the culture that was instilled in them and the good and/or bad things that may have happened during their upbringing.
God is the head of my life and the reason for my salvation, therefore religion will remain a staple in my life. Although I am not where I want to be in my walk with God, I feel that I need the extra verse of that song or those few hugs from my church family to keep me encouraged. I feel the Baptist church gives me what I need in order to strengthen my walk with God. I love to go and worship at my home church and grow spiritually every Sunday.