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Is Religion Still Needed

Is Religion Still Needed

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Is religion still needed? Who practices pure religion?
Is religion still needed? Who practices pure religion?

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Published by: Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano on Oct 29, 2007
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09/06/2012

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Is religion still needed? Who practices pure religion?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
W
E LIVE TODAY in an era where thereare so many religious groups. There are somany sects. And if we are going to consultthe dictionary for the meaning of the word“sect”, it means religious “faction.” Thereare now lots of factions in religion, which isnot really surprising. Please, do not get madat me because I am only telling the truth.
In the sphere of the Catholic Church, there areso many factions. There are various groupsunder the umbrella of Catholicism with eachfaction having its own beliefs. For example,the “Kursilista” is a group different from “ElShaddai.” “El Shaddai” is different from“Couples for Christ”, but all of them claim to be Catholics. “El Shaddai” is alsodifferent from the group of Frank Jimenez, the fat man in Channel 9. And Frank Jimenez’s group is different from Bingbong Crisologo’s group. The latter’s groupis called “A New Life in Jesus.” Actually, my fingers are not enough to count thenumber of factions within the Catholic Church alone. That is why, sometimes, Icannot help but mention also their differences in sentiments . . . differences in principles . . . and differences in beliefs. What is surprising, and at the same time,heartbreaking, is, their beliefs are different from one another, although they belong to the same religion.In the sphere of the Catholic Church, there are so many factions. There arevarious groups under the umbrella of Catholicism with each faction having itsown beliefs. For example, the “Kursilista” is a group different from “El Shaddai.”“El Shaddai” is different from “Couples for Christ”, but all of them claim to beCatholics. “El Shaddai” is also different from the group of Frank Jimenez, the fatman in Channel 9. And Frank Jimenez’s group is different from BingbongCrisologo’s group. The latter’s group is called “A New Life in Jesus.” Actually,my fingers are not enough to count the number of factions within the CatholicChurch alone. That is why, sometimes, I cannot help but mention also their differences in sentiments . . . differences in principles . . . and differences in beliefs. What is surprising, and at the same time, heartbreaking, is, their beliefsare different from one another, although they belong to the same religion.If this is the scenario, then, we must be alarmed if we accept in our heart that weare concerned about the truth, and if we are really seekers of only the truth. If weclaim that we are ONE in our faith, and yet, we are divided in our beliefs andsentiments, then, we must be alarmed, because as far as the Bible is concerned,that is not good. Please, don’t get angry, but I want you to read
 James 3:16, 15,
which says--
 
Is religion still needed? Who practices pure religion?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Thiswisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”
 It said that, wherever envy and divisiveness, or factionalism dwells, there alsodwell confusion and all evil works. And this, according to the Bible, is not thewisdom that descended from above. Instead, it is earthly, sensual, and devilish.Therefore, it would mean that, if a group is divided – if there is strife within thegroup, if there is envying, factionalism, and divisiveness – it violates the will of God.I am not here to attack anyone. I am just doing my share in eliminatingfactionalism and differences in feelings. And that is by being united as a manner that is prescribed by God. We have to look for a common point, or a commoninterest, that will bind us together, and not to further divide ourselves. Myobjective is to foster unity. Others only misinterpret me. They thought that Isimply meddle in the affairs of others. They question me why I have to mentionthe beliefs of others.Actually, in this world, there is really nothing wrong in talking about the beliefsof other people. That is not bad. Even our Constitution allows that. We have our freedom of speech; we have our freedom of religion. And when it comes toreligion, there is such a thing as “privileged communication,” especially on radioand on television. It is a form of immunity against libel. You may talk aboutother’s beliefs without being sued for libel. That is, if what you say deals onlywith the beliefs, and not with the person. You are not actually trying to destroythe person, but you are simply telling that what he believes in is not correct. Thatis what we must understand. So, please, do not get us wrong. In the studies thatwe are making, we do not have any ill intention of attacking anyone, if ever weare scrutinizing his beliefs. I am not saying anything bad about any person; I amsimply talking about their beliefs.Just consider the situation in our country today. We have a multi-party system; wehave different ideologies. The government had permitted the communists to become a legal political party. There is also the Liberal Party, and the Nacionalista Party. They all have the freedom to express the ideology that they believe in. What more when it comes to religion! There is no need to seal our mouth to prevent us from proclaiming our belief that the Bible containseverything that is good, although, of course, this might offend others. But that is biblical, nonetheless. It is not bad to compare things if we truly desire to see thetruth. This is what
 Ecclesiastes. 7:27 
says--
“Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account.”
According to Solomon, he was
“counting one by one, to find out the account.”
Therefore, we cannot really avoid making comparisons. Before coming up with a
 
Is religion still needed? Who practices pure religion?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
final choice, we cannot help but compare one thing from another. That isinevitable. In buying mangoes, for instance, you look at the mangoes closely andthen, you compare one from the other. Before you court a girl, you also makecomparisons. You compare Maria with Marie to find out who between the two ismore beautiful. When you compare them, you later realized that one of them wasvery talkative while the other was a silent type. You consider a lot of things. Andwhen you have finally analyzed who is better, it is only then that you startcourting. You are making a comparison because you are given many choices. Of course, it is a different story if only one is available. If that is the case, you do notreally have a choice.If there is but one religion, then, there is no need for us to choose because we arenot given any alternative. But the point is, there are many religions today, and allof them claim to be the true religion. But it is doubtful! In the first place, noreligious group would admit that they are false . . . and that they are heading for hell . . . and that their pastor is a liar! Nobody would say that. But take note,whenever they are introduced, they are addressed as “Reverend Pastor,” “VeryReverend.” It is wondering to note why they are using the word “reverend” whenthis word was used only once in the Bible. Just once! Unlike some terms, whichwere used for several times, the word “reverend” was used in the Bible only once.Do you know where it was used? We will read in
 Psalms 111:9--“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant forever:holy and reverend is his name.”
 Holy and reverend is his name. “Reverend” was used to refer to the name of God.But today, it is surprising to hear how pastors, who know only three (3) verses,are being addressed as reverend. Obviously, they did not even think for whom theword reverend was been used. It was used only for God. Even the Apostles didnot dare to use the word; not even the evangelists, and not even the early prophetsof God. Many people today who would like to be called reverend. They overflow.There is even one who is being called “Most Reverend.”However, if we will only think more deeply, we can already consider those simplematters as vital issues that need to be reflected on. We may ask ourselves, why arethey using a word, which was meant for God only? It was not even used by thefirst servants of God. Therefore, from that point alone—from the way preachersand pastors are being addressed today—there is already something for us to ponder on. There are also those who call their pastors “Beloved Pastor,” or “Beloved Evangelist”. There are also some who are being called “Ka Bining,” and“Ka Ramos.” But there are some who are being called “Father.” Bear in mind thatwe are just talking about titles, or the forms of address to preachers, and yes, it isalready alarming. The different names and titles that people give to pastors arequite alarming. In 1991, before the earthquake occurred, there was one preacher who was called Father Tropa. Do you remember him? After the earthquake he didnot appear anymore. He was a priest who was sporting a long hair, and he wanted

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