Shias in Karbala. This is one way of
suffering for your religious beliefs which most of us would have difficulty emulating.
My question though is, in your opinion, is it necessary that a religion has some sort of trial or element of sacrifice for the adherent to show their total commitment? Have you ever fasted for example? Did it clarify your thoughts?
I believe that a lot of churches in Germany were built on the highest land of the town, with flights ofsteps to the main doors; This was done to
ensure the attending congregation had to make a physical effort to attend services.
Regards the Bear
Or to keep out the rif-raff
To sacrifice a lamb for a religion is killing for a stupid reason.
To kill a lamb for food is necessary to survive.
To sacrifice a child for a religion is (murder) and nothing more.
It's all killing for a stupid reason. Some idiots are brainwashed into doing this, due to religion. If you want to get on your knees and pray to your God, then thats upto you. But to sacrifice an animal or a human being to your God or whatever is stupid and wrong Well that's my opinion for what it's worth.
Regarding 'Fasting' I have never done it and never would. No point!! No reason!!
Maybe fasting is not such a bad idea. At this time of year at least.
My denomination requires some form of personal sacrifice on Fridays...
Not eating meat is hardly any sacrifice for me; I often go without meat during the week simply because I'm eating something else.
However, going without music *is* a sacrifice for me - so on Fridays, no music from the computer, or in the car, during the day. I find it helps me to remember a lot of things - the value of having music around, why I'm willing to make this sort of sacrifice, etc.
I don't believe in any form of religious sacrifice. I believe this world is a gift given by our parents to be enjoyed to it's fullest and life
should be about making sure everyone is enjoying it as much as they can in their circumstances. (Sometimes just by being a good friend)
I have never seen the need to fast and deny myself something to show my gratitude. Then again, I don't believe in a God that "Made" the world or provides for us.
I DO believe that God is part of us all, and unable to be seperate from us all, so we must share all the best things in us to be better people.
This links to my beliefs about what happens when you die.
I've never seen sacrifice as a means of gratitude.
The word, sacra fice - means literally "to make holy".
I fast (when required or when I chose to) for many reasons, among them to remind myself that while I have food readily available to me at all times, many in this world do not; to remind myself that there are things other than the physical in this world, and so on.
I know many people who fast far more regularly than I - it's often a significant religious practice in the Black led Pentecostal churches. Again, it's rarely done out of gratitude - in fact, I've never heard of it used that way.
Typically, in Pentecostal circles, fasting is a tool of meditation, to bring you into a closer relationship with God. In that circumstance, it is a
valuable tool, as it serves to remind us of the gifts that we have in this world. Food, fresh water, medicine, and so forth, some countries are lucky
to have any water, let alone fresh.
In any vocation, be it religion, work, or sport, there is an element of sacrifice, and, with it, suffering. To be an Olympian, requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice, a body builder will fast (to "cut" for the next comp). That sacrifice will also require some suffering. Anything worth having is worth a sacrifice, that includes your religious beliefs.
Everyone is different. I'm happy to be reminded of how much better my life is than it could be.
I didn't *earn* being born in the industrialised West, nor to an educated family that valued education - nor to a family that was happy to support me in my own education.
I didn't *earn* the love of a good and wonderful man; I didn't *earn* my children, I didn't *earn* most of the good things I have in this life.
To me, stopping to remember that is a useful thing.
As I say, everyone is different.