Many people wonder what religion they are. Beliefnet has a slick tool for figuring it out called the belief-o-matic. If you want a shorter and simpler version before trying that out, this little quiz might help. Our church has been doing a series for the past month called SMORGASBORD: THE ALL YOU CAN BELIEVE BUFFET. I reduced all the religions and philosophies down to 5 choices. To make it fun, I picked a food to represent each one. There are six basic questions each of us need to answer in life: Who is God? Who Am I? Where do I Come from? Why is there suffering? Is there a solution to Suffering? What Happens When We Die? Read each of the questions and pick a food to represent your view: Tomato, Potato, Cheesecake, Hamburger, or Bread. An agnostic friend of mine was on stage with me two weeks ago discussing his answers and mine to these important questions.
Alright, now that you’ve read them over, pick a food.
Now which of these statements best represents where we came from? Take a mental bite out of the food you picked.
Which of the foods best represent your view of who we as human beings are in our essence?
Every religion and philosophy must deal with the problem of evil. These are the cliff notes of all the world’s religions and philosophies. Which explanation on the problem of evil and pain do you believe?
It’s one thing to explain the problem of evil, but all the religions of the world give explanations for the “solution” or lack of solution to the problem of evil. Mark down which food represents your view on the solution to evil.
Last one, pick the food that best represents your view of death. Are you a tomato, hamburger, or bread? Once you have it locked in, add up all your selections.
Alright, here are the 5 basic philosophies in the world. While the tomato and potato seem similar, they are not. Even the words sound the same: Tomato and Potato. The difference between religion and the Bible is as different as oil and water. One focuses on what we do for God while the other is about what God did for us. One is about an external change by works while the Biblical world view is about an internal change by grace. In fact, Jesus was hardest on the religious world view. Jesus, Paul, and Peter constantly critiqued religion and contrasted it with the message of God’s grace. The religious worldview is a strain of gnosticism that produces guilt, fear, and pride. So, pick your spirituality at the smorgasbord, and realize that religions do not even remotely teach the same thing or lead down the same path. As you look over the different answers to the basic questions of life, perhaps you want to dig deeper. This simple MENU is a great way to figure out what the options are, where you are at, and where you’d like to go.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com. Here is a clip of me contrasting the differing views of God and suffering