Science deals with the material creation but it has no answers concerning spiritual or moral values. One’s religion gives him a world view, a belief as to the source of the universe, moral values, and a belief about the afterlife. One’s religion may have been inherited from his parents or have been a choice later in life. Most people find it difficult to live life with all of its trials and difficulties without some faith. If life is meaningless, suicide becomes a viable option.
All religions are not the same in belief or practice.
Hinduism believes in pantheism and consequently everything can be worshiped. Hindus have thousands of gods; for example, the farmer will worship the manure before he spreads it on his fields. All animal life is sacred, and no meat is to be eaten. Hindus will allow rats to eat their grain and go hungry. The animals around may be the reincarnation of one’s relatives. The caste system is justified; their position is the result of Karma, the penalty for one’s past life. There is a passive acceptance of life.
Islam has its philosophy of life, too. It is an aggressive, missionary religion and has often been spread by the use of the sword. Convert or be killed. One needs to understand the beliefs of those who are called terrorists by the West. They are fundamentalists in their belief in the Koran. Their goal is world domination. They regard this as a holy war and those who sacrifice themselves are heroes. To understand the violence of these men, read the Quran and you will understand where they get their fervour. However, many today are secular Muslims adopting the materialistic philosophy of the West.
Atheistic evolution is a religion, too. The god of this philosophy is an impersonal “force” which operates by chance and over time to create new forms of life. Design and beauty have all come about by chance. This philosophy permeates the thinking of many. If this is true, there are no moral absolutes and morality can evolve over the years.
Divorce used to be considered a tragedy; today it is commonly accepted. Abortion used to be a crime; today it is a woman’s right. While in the womb it is legal to kill a baby; after birth that is murder. But that too can evolve so euthanasia will be acceptable.
Homosexual behaviour used to be a crime in many states; today it is accepted and openly paraded. Paedophile conduct is today a crime but that too may evolve. There are moves to make it legal, as it was in ancient Greece.
A prominent medical doctor was defending animal rights. Arson of buildings where animal research is being conducted is thus justified. All life has equal value and should be respected. A dog’s life has the same value as a man’s. If all have evolved from the same simple forms of life, then all have equal value. Extreme environmentalism has the same philosophy. Some are going back to the worship of nature, to Wicca.
Christian beliefs are very different. Christians’ God is all wise and powerful, the Creator of the universe. His wisdom, power and design are seen in all of creation (Romans 1:20). Man, while sharing certain physical characteristics with the animal world, has a spiritual nature, a likeness to God. This is seen in His massive intellect; a prominent psychiatrist stated, “Man does not have a brain able to understand his brain.” Look at the accomplishments of man in technology, in literature, in art and music and marvel. Man has a conscience with a code implanted which tells him to do what is right (Romans 2:14-15).
And man everywhere is incurably religious, revealing a heart hunger to know his Creator. These are some of the things that place man far above the rest of creation and make him a steward of the beautiful world in which he lives.
Because of this God-likeness, man has special value. To take human life is to merit the most extreme penalty (Genesis 9:5-6). All men and women bear this spiritual image of God. God has also given special revelation to man in the form of the Bible. This gives mankind a fuller knowledge of God and of His moral laws and goals for the world.
The Christian God is a moral, compassionate God. He has provided a way of forgiveness for all through Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty of sin by His death. But He is a just God who will judge the rebellious sinner who continues in sin and does not turn to Him. The terrible evil in the world will one day see justice before a holy God. A Hitler and a Stalin will one day go on trial.
So, what is your religion? What you believe will form your world view and will mould your conduct in this life and will determine your eternal destiny.