My theory and many others on why religion was created is because the fear of death and the unknown. Ever since man developed complex emotions, and were then confronted with the realization of death and the knowledge of what a hardship is; they needed to construct something that would ease their fears and give them peace of mind in a chaotic world. These forefathers of religion created sun gods and moon gods. They worshipped these things because they had no concept of what they were; all they knew is somehow these two things had massive affects on their daily lives. I would also like to quickly point out that many civilizations did rituals and prayed for rain. They had no concept of how rain worked so they tacked it on to their religious beliefs. Not only did the earliest man need explanations for things they didn’t understand; they also needed to find something to ease their fears of what happens to you when you die. This fear of the ultimate unknown is the sole reason we have religion today.

It takes a strong individual to live their lives knowing they will somehow cease to exist. I know all to well this is a heavy burden to bear. We all want something more to believe in. We all want to somehow feel special. We all want to know somehow we will live on. These are the key driving points for the construction of faith. To illustrate this point I would like to quote a comment from my post “Religion and Anxiety-Reduction Theories.”

“If God and religion are all man-made constructs and there is nothing after this life, then why bother?”

I think this comment illustrates my point perfectly. I have grown to admire this reader’s thoughts and opinions and in no way am I saying she is weak. She was most likely raised to believe this. I do however think this shows a small chip in the armor of her faith. I have heard this comment before, and usually follow with “Is this your driving force to believe?” I tend to stump people on this point because it forces them to re-evaluate their beliefs. If they believe simply because this is the only way to give life meaning, or the only way to quell their fears of death then their faith is flawed. In essence their belief acts as a band-aid to cover up the deeper fears they have inside. We bother because it is our moral and ethical duty to improve the lives of our fellow man. We are here to cultivate a positive way of life for other generations to come. We do not need religion to dictate us to achieve these things; we only need to look into our hearts.

Religion has evolved over time, but every religion is built upon one another. With each new version declaring they are the only version. The concept of a virgin birth was described well before Christianity was created. For example the birth of Buddha was described as a virgin birth in the “Nidanakatha”

“The Brahmans said, ‘Be not anxious, O king! Your queen has conceived: and the fruit of her womb will be a man-child; it will not be a woman-child. You will have a son. And he, if he adopts a householder’s life, will become a king, a Universal Monarch; but if, leaving his home, he adopt the religious life, he will become a Buddha, who will remove from the world the veils of ignorance and sin.'”

This is but one example;virgin births were also described in Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Mithra, Mithras, and the Greco-Roman Mythology. This is by no means the complete list I am sure it goes on and on. In addition to this Muslim, Hinduism, and Taoism also have stories of a miraculous births. The one I find most interesting is one that precedes Christianity and Judaism the ancient religion of Persia “Zoroastrianism.” In this religion it not only describes a virgin birth, but it also has the messiah, death and resurrection, a final battle between good and evil, and the resurrection of the dead to stand judgment. This and others are perfect examples to describe the evolution of religion.

Creation stories, miraculous births, the death and resurrection of a messiah, and end times are all parts of every religion past and present. Each and every religion is just built upon one another. With each new edition religion evolves into something different than what it was before. Religion is like a fable passed on from generation to generation. In a sense it is like playing telephone, with each new generation the original concept gets changed and turned into what we have today. I feel there have been no new changes to religion because we live in a society that does not allow a change to happen. Everything is set as is, and everyone knows what is on the table. Trying to change a religious concept via word of mouth is simply just not possible. Those who try ultimately end up being defined as cults. In the end the purposes to believe in religion are all the same. We ask the exact same questions are ancestors asked, and we share their same fears. We cling onto religion because it just makes sense. We tend to look at other religions and judge them compared to our beliefs. We turn our nose to them claiming we are right, and their beliefs are silly. I am just as guilty of this as they are.

I came up with the quote “conceived in the weak” not because I am calling the religious weak. I am illustrating how our beliefs at their core are because of our fears. I think I am the perfect example of this. Right now I consider myself as being weak, because I have lost the strength to accept the reality of nothingness. Once this fear crept into my conscience I immediately sought out religion to ease my fears. I am searching for answers to questions which cannot be answered. If I were to latch on to Christianity to make myself feel better I really wouldn’t be a Christian because the only reason I am a Christian is because I fear the great unknown. I would be a fake; a liar, and a coward. I desperately need to find faith, but I am hindered by my reasoning and logic. Perhaps all my new religious readers who have offered me guidance are the sign from God I have always asked for, but perhaps it is all just a coincidence. These are the questions I ask myself. I ask them because of the intense fear inside of me. Perhaps God is placing this fear inside of me, and delivered me my readers to bring me to God, but perhaps the fear is there because death is really f’ing scary.

If we did not fear death, if we did not fear the unknown, if we didn’t need to see the light within chaos there would be no need for religion.

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Comments
  1. Brandy says:

    Very interesting thoughts! I appreciate your candor and honesty.

  2. buttermilk80 says:

    From the mind of man, you’re right. From the mind of God, no man is right. You say that it takes a strong man to conclude that he will one day cease to exist. How is it our strength that we admit we will die?

    The true strength is found in admiting we are incapable of any strength.

    By His Grace.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Buttermilk,
      Welcome to the community. I look forward to any future comments. I was a bit fearful I would receive a large backlash from this post. I appreciate your kindness. I am intrigued by the comment “The true strength is found in admiting we are incapable of any strength.” very interesting.

  3. Johanna says:

    Alot of thought went into this post. Good question. If we were not afraid of death and eternity, would we feel the need to believe in God?

    I believe we would. St. Augustine said it well. “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

    I believe we long for true love and meaning and constantly seek it out. We search throughout our lives and will never find perfect love here on Earth. All love here is flawed by human nature and human experience. (We are all damaged or hurt by our experiences with love and cannot then give love perfectly) We can only find perfect love through God.

    I need God now and for eternity. My life is not complete without God in the picture. Others may call this a weakness but to deny our need for God is prideful. Pride is what caused the fall of Man. I am weak. I am nothing without God. Only with Him do I have the strength to live each day.

    My earlier comment you posted was only part of my argument for God. Weak, yes. Human, yes.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,

      Sorry I didnt post the whole comment. The St. Augustine quote is wonderful! This is the very reason why I enjoy blogging about my internal struggle because I learn so many things which help me on my journey. You have said so many things which help me put things into perspective and the St. Augustine is by far the greatest!!

  4. buttermilk80 says:

    If what I believed was only religion (man’s attempts to please his version of God), I would gladly agree with you; that religion is manufactured by man’s weakness. But I know He who made me in a very personal way.

    Father, You are perfect in all Your Holy ways. You have left us as a testimony to the work You do in Your children. I ask Your mercy in this place that we might speak of these mysteries by the strength of Your hand.

    I present myself to this place by the power of Jesus in me.

    By His Grace.

  5. buttermilk80 says:

    No one in their right mind would call me young anymore. But age doesn’t equate into righteousness, wisdom, or power among the elders. Yet there is something to be said of those who have searched and found what is sought by all.

    We speak of the unseen by tongues of flesh. And we speak to those who’s ears hear only sound. If you will bear with us, we can tell you of great things. But it is the power of the Holy Spirit in us which will speak. Though He has allowed that His testimony resides in frail minds, we struggle to convey wonderous things to our brothers of flesh. Patience and understanding might be the banner of the day here.

    http://buttermilk80.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/the-old-man/

  6. Johanna says:

    St. Augustine lived in the year 354 and led a sinful and immoral life. He struggled with questions about faith and struggled with giving up his lifestyle to turn to God. He wrote a famous book called “Confessions”. Interesting reading.

  7. buttermilk80 says:

    I’m not familar with very many writings. I know of a few. But the Bible is my central source.

    I struggled also with great sins. It was not until Jesus came close enough that I could hear Him speak that I found the strength to follow Him.

    By His Grace.

  8. It should go without saying that I agree with your basic premise 150%! The basis for religion has and will ever continue to be “the opiate of the masses”. It is not a sign that particular individuals are themselves weak, but the collective human consciousness is weak and frightened of the unknown.

    So, our species has spent much of its history creating bogeymen and benevolent spirits to serve as placeholders for that which cannot be known. We have invented various purposes for life when, in fact, one of the chief purposes is right under our proverbial noses — to live. The purpose of life is life itself.

  9. Leianne says:

    This answers my previous post then. Thanks! 🙂

  10. DP says:

    It’s funny, I just posted a massive post on religion and my view on it on my blog (not too far from your topic). Albeit not written as eloquently as your post, check it out.

    I agree with you 100%, I’m also a Christian. Religion most often used as a band-aid and the way that you responded to the “What’s the point” was perfect – because you are SPOT on.

    I understand your fear of the unknown, but maybe that unknown could be a catalyst for greatness? This is how I’ve chosen to view things… again surprised that you posted about this today given that I literally just posted about this today as well. Let me know what you think…

  11. DP says:

    Thanks Tim, I’m really glad you thought it was helpful/awesome.

  12. ram0ram says:

    dear and divine….
    Understanding energy equation of atom we can understand God?. as energy equation of atom is zero? what is zero on earth?. the water……..calorie zero or neutral in character…….so with heat the water turns invisible…and eternal…. the soul part.. represented by right brain..that is why our body remains warm till soul is there…….with cold water turns into ice…….the visible..and non eternal…..the body part…..represented by left brain…..

    Either people believe there is current or people do not believe there is current…. Knowing the current is religion ,……. knowing the use of current is science,……. Believing and not believing ……….both are philosophies.

    the cosmic intelligence is beyond every known and unknown dimension but with in love of no dimension….

    the dimension of oneness is science of macro vision…..and modern science is micro vision…..

    vision of two eyes merging only brings the dimension of depth….similarly God or cosmic intelligence will appear only with oneness of emotional intelligence….right brain…our soul…the eternal part…and logical intelligence….the left brain….our body…the non eternal part….

    After 30 years of research great scientist Albert Einstein commented the entire cosmos is governed by a common law….means truth applies to all…including humans and God alike…. so why we fear death because we want to know whether we are eternal or non eternal…. so when we see body which is in the dimension of time becoming dead we wonder and fear death …wonder lead to modern research and death lead us to follow enlightened masters who went beyond fear of death…..visible as peace and serenity as balance of two brains….balance of two brains is oneness or union of transforming soul’the eternal, the transparent and body, non eternal , non transparent forming mirror to universal spirit….many refer as God..

    as in the sleep we travel from time to timelessness everyday with body mind ‘soul and spirit producing different wave lengths of brain waves….

    as one become aware of this dimension of timeless in waking state….we call those human enlightened…..the fear of death to freedom.

    Breath is truth….like God…
    neither attached nor dettached….
    breath in… love….
    breath out…. happiness….
    true ends of life…..

    every breath invaluable…
    earns… invaluable happiness
    learn = l earn = love earn
    happiness of body..mind..soul..spirit.

    right hand …body
    left hand ….soul
    bring them together…
    mirror of God…
    minimum for 3 minutes
    like prayers…..
    balance of mind……
    mind to no mind…
    stress….zero..
    life = dance of zero
    love all…
    so simple

  13. bip0largrl says:

    I disagree with you, Tim.
    I do not fear death any longer because of my faith – because I know that in God I have everlasting life.
    Before I came to God I feared everything. I had so many questions and no one could answer them for me. I felt completely lost and very depressed! I was constantly searching for something, but I didn’t know what.
    Then I started exploring Christianity and finally found what I’d been searching for for years.
    I don’t believe in God and Jesus out of fear – on the contrary I am now ‘fearless’ because I know God will never forsake me. He has already done so much for me and my family – prayer really is a very powerful tool!
    If you can, you should get hold of a copy of John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart”, it is quite profound and might answer some of those questions you have.

    • Going in, I know this reply will rub some people the wrong way, but here goes…

      It could be argued that the acceptance of religion to allay fear underscores fear itself. Initially, you state that you went searching for answers that you were unable to find. Absent definitive and concrete answers to the unknowable, you latched onto a belief system that provides placebos, speculations or pseudo-answers.

      So, you now think you are less fearful because you can hang your hat on particular myths and fables. It is this very desire for myths and fables that shows you haven’t conquered your fears at all. You’ve merely buried them in layers of hubris, so you don’t need to confront them in their rawest state on the surface of your consciousness.

      Whether or not a person is religious, spiritual, agnostic or atheist, fear of the unknowable grips us all. I personally don’t believe ANYONE who says they are completely fearless of death. Regardless of our beliefs, none of us knows what is on the other side of the mountain, IF there even IS another side.

      And none of us will POSSIBLY know until we individually step through the veil and even then we may not know.

  14. brendamarroy says:

    Hi Tim,

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. You’re right on the money with each religion being built on another, and each thinking they’re the only one and the right one.
    Just look at christianity and their holy days or holidays. They’re based on pagan beliefs, just changed to insert jesus in place of goddesses and/or the sun(not son).
    Religion is fear based and the christians’ god is an unmerciful, violent man, who ordered murder and theft against those who didn’t buy into him. Too bad they took the prophet and master, Jesus, and made him into God. He had a powerful message to convey and the majority have missed the message in their quest to hold on to the religion.
    People all over the world commit atrocities in the name of their god, including christians.
    I do believe in god/goddess energy..I just don’t believe in the religious teachings of a patriarchal god and society.

  15. buttermilk80 says:

    It was the judgment of God against people that they read the scriptures because they thought they held eternal life by their knowledge. It is the same with you folk. You think that by your mind you hold what is true. The judgment against the religious was that they refused to come to Jesus that they might have eternal life. The judgment against you will be the same. You debate and debate, but you refuse to go to Him.

    All men know that what we are is a mystery. Yet all men are blamed for not seeking Him who made them. You have gone a step further than those who were condemned for worshiping words. You have created ungodly words with an ungodly mind. And in your ungodly manner, you accuse the Holy God of every wrong.

    I don’t judge you. That will rest in the hands of the One you say is only a mental drug. What I’ve said to you here will stand against you on that Day. But it doesn’t have to end that way. If you will swallow your pride of mind and consider more deeply, it is possible to redeem your years.

    Jesus is the creator, sacrifice for the ungodly, and redeemer toward the holiness God demands from all.

    By His Grace.

    • For starters, you ARE judging us (based on beliefs written down by nomadic tribes over 2,000 years ago). I have no problem with the judgment itself — everyone makes judgments each and every day — I just wish you were more straightforward and honest about it.

      Here’s the another thing. According to you, God is our creator and he created us with rational minds. However, when it comes to matters of religion, using that so-called God-given rational mind becomes a big no-no. So, why would God give us intellect in the first place IF he didn’t want us to utilize it? If all he wanted was blind obedience, he could have made us so we all behaved as if we had lobotomies.

      Finally, you talk about pride. I could easily counter that you have exhibited extreme pridefulness in the above comment. You are prideful that you have it all figured out and need to inform we heathens of our “evil” ways.

  16. buttermilk80 says:

    you can easily do anything you want for today. I won’t argue with you about this anymore. You’ve already got a reply for everything I might say. The world is yours. Heaven is not. If you live for 60 more years like this, this is all you have. I won’t muck up your puddle.

    By His Grace.

    • Read above. This is the very essence of a judgmental, self-righteous and pride-filled response.

      • brendamarroy says:

        I wonder why “christians” think they have the right to judge and condemn anyone who does not share their belief. It’s like their job is to “save” everybody and if they can’t save them, they condemn them. Buttermilk’s comment is a perfect example of self-righteousness and serves to remind me why I walked away from that religion. Jesus is probably turning over in his grave at comments like these.

  17. bip0largrl says:

    Brenda, our ‘job’ as Christians IS to try to ‘save’ non-christians. God tells us to “spread the good news”.
    Here is a message straight from Him:

    My Child, You may not know me,but I know everything about you.
    Psalm 139:1

    I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
    Psalm 139:2

    I am familiar with all your ways.
    Psalm 139:3

    Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
    Matthew 10:29-31

    For you were made in my image.
    Genesis 1:27

    In me you live and move and have your being.
    Acts 17:28

    For you are my offspring.
    Acts 17:28

    I knew you even before you were conceived.
    Jeremiah 1:4-5

    I chose you when I planned creation.
    Ephesians 1:11-12

    You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book.
    Psalm 139:15-16

    I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.
    Acts 17:26

    You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

    I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
    Psalm 139:13

    And brought you forth on the day you were born.
    Psalm 71:6

    I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me.
    John 8:41-44

    I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love.
    1 John 4:16

    And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
    1 John 3:1

    Simply because you are my child and I am your Father.
    1 John 3:1

    I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
    Matthew 7:11

    For I am the perfect father.
    Matthew 5:48

    Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
    James 1:17

    For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
    Matthew 6:31-33

    My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
    Jeremiah 29:11

    Because I love you with an everlasting love.
    Jeremiah 31:3

    My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.
    Psalms 139:17-18

    And I rejoice over you with singing.
    Zephaniah 3:17

    I will never stop doing good to you.
    Jeremiah 32:40

    For you are my treasured possession.
    Exodus 19:5

    I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
    Jeremiah 32:41

    And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
    Jeremiah 33:3

    If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.
    Deuteronomy 4:29

    Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart.
    Psalm 37:4

    For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

    I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine.
    Ephesians 3:20

    For I am your greatest encourager.
    2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

    I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles.
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you.
    Psalm 34:18

    As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart.
    Isaiah 40:11

    One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes.
    Revelation 21:3-4

    And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.
    Revelation 21:3-4

    I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.
    John 17:23

    For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
    John 17:26

    He is the exact representation of my being.
    Hebrews 1:3

    He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you.
    Romans 8:31

    And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
    2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
    2 Corinthians 5:18-19

    His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.
    1 John 4:10

    I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.
    Romans 8:31-32

    If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.
    1 John 2:23

    And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.
    Romans 8:38-39

    Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.
    Luke 15:7

    I have always been Father, and will always be Father.
    Ephesians 3:14-15

    My question is… Will you be my child?
    John 1:12-13

    I am waiting for you.
    Luke 15:11-32

    • Actually, NOT ONE of the various lines you quote above are from “God”. Each word was written by a fallible human being. Of course, none of those words was originally written in English either. Even worse, we do not possess the original documents nor a copy of the original documents nor a copy of the copy, nor a copy of the copy of the copy, etc.

      Basically what we have here is an institutional recruitment tool developed by MEN (from a very patriarchal society) to try to bring more people into the fold. More new members equates to more earthly riches for the religious big wigs and more people to domineer (lead around by the nose).

      If you want to be dragged around at the end of a “holy” leash, be my guest. But you can leave me and other non-Christians out of it.

  18. bip0largrl says:

    U have it all wrong! True Christianity has got NOTHING 2 do with us, but everything to do with God! Being a true child of God has nothing to do with “power”.
    We aspire to do everything He asks us and to live a ‘holy’ life. God wants us to love one another, forgive and not pass judgment.
    Anyone who calls himself a Christian but does not abide by these things, is a hypocrite! Those who judge and hold grudges, those who treat others unkindly or dismiss those who don’t fit our description of ‘normal’; they are NOT true Christians.
    It is not my job as a Christian to condemn or judge others for their non-belief. It is my job to share the Word and testify to what Jesus has done in my life.
    Those who believe and open their hearts to the Lord, they will be truly blessed. For those who doubt and choose not to believe, I pray that God will reveal Himself to you in a way that you can’t ignore.

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