Why Faith Is Better Than Religion
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Why Faith Is Better Than Religion

There is a difference.

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Why Faith Is Better Than Religion
Fernando Brasil

Before you say that faith and religion are the same, expand your views and think about it. They are different from each other. Faith is more of a feeling and expression, while religion is an organization with set ideas.

Growing up, I went to a Catholic school. I went to church a decent amount of times. I followed many teachings the Church said when I was young. But, after graduating from middle school, I turned away and did not look back.

I do not affiliate myself with any religious institutions or organizations, mainly Christianity. I no longer believe in the teachings and their books. When I did, I felt pressured and limited.

That's why I push faith further.

Why I No Longer Believe In Religion

I. Back Then & Hypocrisy

To me, religion is a concept in which there are qualifications or expectations a person must follow in order to be "good" or "perfect," which guarantees him or her paradise in the end. It starts out as faith, but ends up being strictly structured and limited.

This is mostly pure speculation on my part, but looking back at history, Christianity already lost its ways during the Middle Ages (around 300 CE to 1300/1500 CE). Throughout that period, funding and money were being used towards the arts and architecture, rather than helping the poor and needy. We see beautiful and tremendously well-made architectures all around Europe and the Middle East. They are filled with great wood, ivory, gold, jewelry and marble, and they stand hundreds of feet tall. The reliquaries and altars are gilded and radiant, and so many wonderful sculpture came out of the period, but at what cost? Maybe we gained innovated skills. But was it worth it?

It practically became a propaganda tool, and with that, the religion was able to garner a massive following. People at that time were mostly illiterate, and therefore, many religious officials commissioned art and imagery to reach out to people. Many of them were convinced by the miracles, the promises of paradise and the fear of hell, and as a result, the Christian empires grew powerful. In a way, these empires were already exploiting them. They used religion as a way to silence them or keep them in check. One could speculate that the bibles were fabricated for those who were literate. An example is the "Render unto Caesar" phrase, which many scholars argue over its interpretation about the relationship between the Church and government and submitting to earthly authority.

The only way to know whether these events happened is to actually live in that time. Christianity did not became legalized until 313 CE when Constantine converted to the religion after a Christian vision of his victory after a battle. Whether Jesus and his miracle were real or not, he lived almost 300 years before the legalization; therefore, many accounts telling his story could have been lost, fabricated, or destroyed.

II. Present & Hypocrisy

Today, many people use religion as an excuse to get what they want, gain power or justify terrible acts and beliefs such as rape, racism and isolationism. Others use it to deny truth and factual subjects such as science because they defy their religion, and they feel oppressed and threatened by something that they don't agree with, even though it's true. As a result, progress cannot be achieved. At the same time, they use religion to oppress others. Many people rely on God or an all-powerful for something, rather than standing up for themselves and getting what they want. In other words, they rely on that being to solve their problems. There are many scandals and corruption within the church today, such as pedophilia, sexual abuse, and embezzlement. Many churches do not pay taxes, but most of their buildings are still gilded and bejeweled. Yet they keep asking for more money.

Now obviously, this does not account for all religion in the world, because there are people out there who stay "true" to what the religion is supposed to preach. But in the end, there are a grave handful of bad apples that give it a bad name.

You can be religious and not have faith. In other words, you can become a blind follower regardless of what is right or wrong.

No matter what the case is, I just do not want to associate with a religious organization (Christianity). It sets boundaries and borders upon one another, and separates us. It is somewhat contradictory and hypocritical in its teachings. It can limit our ideas and experiences, and can block us from our potential. The safe way for me to approach this is just to not associate myself with religion.

Faith Reigns Over Religion

With that, I believe that faith is much more powerful than religion. I believe that people should follow their own faith rather than a religious affiliation and its teachings.

You know that "gut feeling" when you are faced with a dilemma of right and wrong? That's basically your faith.

To me, faith and spirituality are powerful feelings and expressions, religious or not. You can have faith and not believe in a being or an all-powerful person. Faith is an inspiration and hope within yourself that drives you to be who you want to be and not be oppressed or looked down upon. It takes faith to do what you love and not care what anyone else thinks. Faith holds the key to what you feel is right and wrong, not your religion. It expands your ideas and viewpoints in life. When you fall down, faith is what brings you back up. It allows you to become your own Supreme Being to yourself to dictate your life and choices.

Religion should not dictate if you are a good person or bad person, or whether something is right or wrong.

This is where it gets tricky. If your faith turns to religion, you are pretty much in a religion even though it starts out as faith. But in the context of the whole article, "faith" is used in a much broader sense as an open-minded attitude or feeling to push forward.

You are not a perfect person. I am not a perfect person. No one is perfect. Even an all-powerful being is not perfect. But go out there and do what you love! Put your faith into it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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