I am not saying one group or sect has a monopoly on the truth. And if someone wishes to base their beliefs on something other than the Bible that is their choice. My point is if someone chooses to base their beliefs on the Bible then they should research those beliefs for themselves instead of just going by what someone else has told them. If someone is going to base their beliefs on the Bible then they should read it first hand. Whatever people base their beliefs on is their business. I simply am not a fan of people coming to a position because someone else told them to. That goes for politics or anything else<quoted text>You think that only the Bible has the 'right' information, and then only if it is interpreted as you understand to be 'right'. That's what every other Christian thinks. The Muslims think that only their holy book is the 'right' one, and then only if interpreted as each of them understands it.
With 39,000 and growing sects of Christianity, I would say that it is so subjective that it is open to anyone to interpret it in the manner they think is 'right'. That's the problem with every and all religions. They are subjective enough to be individual time and again.
Christians can't even agree on basic teachings, yet they expect everyone else to worship in the way they personally think is the 'right' way.
They will make terrible remarks about how another Christian believes. They will disparage (to put it kindly) others of their own religion without a thought. How do you think that looks to those outside your faith? There are actually churches who print pamphlets degrading other sects of the Christian religion, calling them cults, idolaters, demons and such. Had they looked up the word 'cult', they would have known that they too are a cult as they worship a supernatural being. But that doesn't stop anyone from doing it.
I have no problem with someone coming to their own understanding of any scriptures by study, prayer/meditation, etc. unless it harms other human beings. Religion has harmed mankind on a very large scale for thousands of years. Not just Christianity, but Christianity and Islam have by far been the worst since their invention.
I believe what Jesus said when he said that heaven is within you (or in your midst as some people interpret it). That means heaven is in the here and now. All you have to do is recognize that the kingdom is within and all around you. So is hell. It is of our own making, not that of God. There are no literal streets paved with gold. There are no literal priceless jewels. No God would need those, unless he were only trying to attract those to whom these things are important..a bauble dangled in front of the nose of elitists. That would not comply with the teachings of Jesus, anyway.
The jewels are the things we recognize on a daily basis, and the lessons we learn. The gold is what is inside of us.
To hope, as some here do, that someone will be tortured forever just for disagreeing with them is an abomination and a God who would do that is not worth worshiping. That's not justice, it's tyranny as practiced by a sociopath.
So, interpretation is everything. It is also nothing. It is everything to those who think they have all the answers, and nothing to those who know that no one has all the answers.
We believe as we do because of our own experiences, our own study, our own ability to understand or the lack thereof. There is not a single religion that applies to everyone, proven by humanity itself. An estimated 2.1 billion Christians who can't agree is proof that no one of them has all the answers. We are left to our own seeking or following.
"I have no problem with someone coming to their own understanding of any scriptures by study, prayer/meditation, etc."
Would you consider someone coming to their own understanding if it is simply repeating what someone else told them?