The Serpent Poured Water
Why we believe.
The promise of a better world and limitless future is for many the oil of spiritual money making machines. The promise of wealth, supernatural power, eternal bliss or eternal punishment propels grand movements. What do these movements teach? Where do they find their revelations? How do they spread their message? Does logic, truth or fact matter, is there any truth at all in the chaos called religion?
I was never sure what happened but it seemed that almost over -night my family scattered, becoming Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, or Baptists. In a short time, the only thing they had in common was that each thought they were right and everyone else was wrong.
In time, each aunt had picked a different religion. I had: nine Seventh Day Adventists, eight Mormons, five Jehovah’s Witnesses, and six Baptists in my family. I was no longer a safe Methodist; at eleven my grandmother and I became an outside observers as Adventists, my questions about religions began early and the number of questions increased as I learned more about these and other religions. These questions and arguments became part of my life even as the proliferation of religions gained momentum, and understanding became more complicated.
This book is an attempt to help readers understand the many differences in belief among the growing number of Christian denominations and religions. My goal is to help readers understand why those who say they believe the same book cannot agree about the meaning of its contents, how that affects our goodwill, our compassion and our future.
Many groups teach that they have special insight or knowledge of the truth and they promote these beliefs in many ways including the use of their various bible aids, publications, schools for clergy and great promises. They say the Bible contains the words of an all-powerful and eternal God.
The Quran is examined and many troubling passages are quoted which explain why Muslim extremism will exist as long as people are determined to follow the original translations of the Quran.
Whatever one’s belief, it is clear; the bible’s contribution to human history is unequaled by any other work and deserves to be given serious attention, even by individuals who deny the existence of a God or a Creator.
Scholars say that every culture on earth with a written language has a bible translation available to them. Most people, skeptics and believers alike, find most of its principles easy to agree with.
John Garland Biggs
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