Monday, December 22, 2008

Choose or Lose

Below is an exhaustive but inconclusive list of sects within the world's major religions. Find yours within, and if you're up to the challenge, explain why it's the only way to eternal salvation. Obviously it'd be impossible to try each of these practices in one's lifetime, so why did you settle on your particular sect? I hope that this will prove a valuable exercise which will display the tunnel vision we experience at ground level within our religious communities and families.

Its a large world out there, and almost each of these below believe that theirs is the only way, truth, and light.

Ok, lets see how we do.

Roman Catholic, Latin Rite, Febronianism, Lutheran, Gallicanism, Church of England, Armenian Catholic Church, Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, Bulgarian Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Coptic Catholic Church, Croatian Greek Catholic Church, Croatian Greek Catholic Church, Ethiopian Catholic Church, Georgian Catholic Church, Greek Catholic Church, Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, Macedonian Catholic Church, Maronite Catholic Church, Melkite Catholic Church, Romanian Catholic Church, Russian Catholic Church, Ruthenian Catholic Church, Byzantine Catholic Church, Slovak Greek Catholic Church, Syrian Catholic Church, Syro-Malabar Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Church in Thailand, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Korea, Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church in the Province of the West Indies, Church in Wales, Church of England, Church of Ireland, Church of Nigeria, Church of Uganda, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Church of the Province of Melanesia, Church of the Province of Myanmar, Church of the Province of Rwanda, Church of the Province of South East Asia, Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean, Church of the Province of West Africa, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Episcopal Church of Cuba, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central America, Iglesia Anglicana de México, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de las Americas, Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil, Lusitanian Church of Portugal, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Philippine Episcopal Church, Scottish Episcopal Church, Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, Church of Bangladesh, Church of North India, Church of South India, Church of Pakistan, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Finnish Orthodox Church, Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Latvian Orthodox Church, Moldovan Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Chinese Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, Serbian Orthodox Church, Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, Romanian Orthodox Church, Metropolis of Bessarabia, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, Cypriot Orthodox Church, Church of Greece, Polish Orthodox Church, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church in America, Russian Orthodox Church in America, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, British Orthodox Church, French Coptic Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Sedevacantism, American Catholic Church in the United States, Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada, Catholic Church, Inc., Celtic Catholic Church, Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Communion of Christ the Redeemer, Free Catholic Church, Liberal Catholic Church, Mariavite Church, Old Catholic Church, Old Catholic Church of America, Old Catholic Church in Europe, Palmarian Catholic Church, Philippine Independent Church, Polish National Catholic Church, Spiritus Christi, True Catholic Church, African Orthodox Church, Anglican Catholic Church, Anglican Church in America, Anglican Mission in the Americas, Anglican Orthodox Church, Anglican Province of America, Anglican Province of Christ the King, Charismatic Episcopal Church, Christian Episcopal Church, Church of England, Church of England in South Africa, Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, Episcopal Missionary Church, Free Church of England, Free Protestant Episcopal Church, Reformed Episcopal Church, Southern Episcopal Church, Greek Old Calendarists, Montenegrin Orthodox Church, Macedonian Orthodox Church, Russian Old Believers, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchy), Antiochian Catholic Church in America, Oriental Orthodox, Celtic Orthodox Church, Malabar Independent Syrian Church, Orthodox-Catholic Church of America (OCCA), Moravian Church, Taborites, Unity of the Brethren, Utraquists, Waldensian-Methodist Union of Italy, Waldensian Church of the Rio de la Plata, Apostolic Lutheran Church of America, Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America, Church of the Lutheran Confession, Concordia Lutheran Conference, Evangelical Lutheran Church "Concord", Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (Germany), Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Lutheran Church of Central Africa Malawi Conference, Lutheran Church of Central Africa Zambia Conference, Ukrainian Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Evangelical Catholic Church, Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America, International Lutheran Council, American Association of Lutheran Churches, Evangelical Lutheran Church - Synod of France and Belgium, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, Evangelical Lutheran Church of England, Gutnius Lutheran Church, Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Japan Lutheran Church, Lanka Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church - Canada, Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutheran Church of Australia, Laestadian Lutheran Church, Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church, Lutheran Ministerium and Synod - USA, Lutheran World Federation, Church of Denmark, Church of Iceland, Church of Norway, Church of Sweden, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway, Lutheran Church of Australia, Malagasy Lutheran Church, Calvinism, Canadian and American Reformed Churches, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Christian Reformed Churches of Australia, Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, Congregational Federation of Australia, Dutch Reformed Church, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Free Reformed Churches of North America, Heritage Reformed Congregations, Netherlands Reformed Congregations, Orthodox Christian Reformed Church, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, Reformed Church in America, Reformed Church in Hungary, Reformed Church in the United States, Arminianism, Remonstrant Brotherhood, United Reformed Church, United Reformed Churches in North America, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Bible Presbyterian Church, Christ Community Church, Church of Scotland, Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales, Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine, Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Australia), Free Church of Scotland, Free Presbyterian Church (Australia), Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, Greek Evangelical Church, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Presbyterian Church of Australia, Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Presbyterian Church of Wales, Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbyterian Reformed Church (Australia), Presbyterian Reformed Church (Canada), Reformed Church of France, Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly, Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Southern Presbyterian Church (Australia), United Free Church of Scotland, Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Australia, English Independents, Huguenots, National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, United Church of Christ, Anabaptists, Abecedarians, Beachy Amish, Nebraska Amish, Old Order Amish, Swartzendruber Amish, Apostolic Christian Church, Brethren in Christ, Hutterites, Bruderhof Communities, Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations, Chortitzer Mennonite Conference, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, Conservative Mennonite Conference, Conservative Mennonite Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Church, Evangelical Mennonite Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, Evangelical Missionary Church, Evangelical Mennonite Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, Evangelical Missionary Church, Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches, Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, Japan Mennonite Brethren Conference, US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, General Conference Mennonite Church, Mennonite Church in the Netherlands, Mennonite Church USA, Missionary Church, Old Order Mennonites, Swiss Mennonite Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Congregational Methodist Church, Evangelical Church (ECNA), Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic, Evangelical Methodist Church, First Congregational Methodist Church, Free Methodist Church, Free Wesleyan Church, Fundamental Methodist Conference, Inc., Methodist Church in Ireland, Methodist Church in Singapore, Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma, Methodist Church of Great Britain, Methodist Church of Malaysia, Methodist Church of New Zealand, Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Presbyterian Church of Wales, Primitive Methodist Church, United Methodist Church, Wesleyan Reform Union, Bible Fellowship Church, Christian Baptist Church of God, Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A., Church of God (Anderson), Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma), Church of God (Holiness), Church of God (Restoration), Churches of God General Conference (Winebrenner), Church of the Nazarene, Evangelical Free Church of America, Evangelical Free Church of America, Harmony Society, Missionary Church, Salvation Army, United Christian Church, Wesleyan Church, Alliance of Baptists, American Baptist Association, American Baptist Churches USA, Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland, Association of Grace Baptist Churches, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Association of Regular Baptist Churches, Baptist Bible Fellowship International, Baptist Conference of the Philippines, Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, Baptist Convention of Western Cuba, Baptist General Conference, Baptist General Conference of Canada, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baptist Missionary Association of America, Baptist Union of Australia, Baptist Union of Great Britain, Baptist Union of New Zealand, Baptist Union of Scotland, Baptist Union of Western Canada, Baptist World Alliance, Bible Baptist, Black Primitive Baptists, Canadian Baptist Ministries, Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists, Central Baptist Association, Central Canada Baptist Conference, Christian Unity Baptist Association, Conservative Baptist Association, Conservative Baptist Association of America, Continental Baptist Churches, Convención Nacional Bautista de Mexico, Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, European Baptist Convention, European Baptist Federation, Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti, Evangelical Free Baptist Church, Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada, Free Will Baptist Church, Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America, General Association of Baptists, General Association of General Baptists, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, General Conference of the Evangelical Baptist Church, Inc., General Six-Principle Baptists, Grace Baptist Assembly, Independent Baptist, Independent Baptist Church of America, Independent Baptist Fellowship International, Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, Interstate & Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association, Landmark Baptist Church, Liberty Baptist Fellowship, Myanmar Baptist Convention, National Association of Free Will Baptists, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul Saving Assembly of the U.S.A., National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, National Primitive Baptist Convention of the U.S.A., New England Evangelical Baptist Fellowship, New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches, Nigerian Baptist Convention, North American Baptist Conference, Norwegian Baptist Union, Old Baptist Union, Old Regular Baptist, Old Time Missionary Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Progressive Baptist, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Reformed Baptist, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, Regular Baptist, Separate Baptist, Separate Baptists in Christ, Seventh Day Baptist, Southeast Conservative Baptist, Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptists of Texas, Sovereign Grace Baptists, Strict Baptists, Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists, Union d'Églises baptistes françaises au Canada, Union d'Églises baptistes françaises au Canada, United American Free Will Baptist Church, United American Free Will Baptist Conference, United Baptist, United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces, United Free Will Baptist, Unregistered Baptist Fellowship, United Free Will Baptist, Unregistered Baptist Fellowship, World Baptist Alliance, World Baptist Fellowship, The Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of New York, Inc., Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Free Evangelical Churches, Exclusive Brethren, Indian Brethren, Kerala Brethren, Open Brethren, River Brethren, Brethren in Christ Church, Old Order River Brethren, United Zion Church, Brethren Reformed Church, Schwarzenau Brethren, Church of the Brethren, Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International, Dunkard Brethren, Ephrata Cloister, Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Old German Baptist Brethren, Old Order German Baptist Brethren, The Brethren Church, Social Brethren, New Apostolic Church, United Apostolic Church, Old Apostolic Church, Restored Apostolic Mission Church, Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, Apostolic Church, Apostolic Faith Church, Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, Assemblies of God, Assembleias de Deus, Assemblies of God in New Zealand, Assemblies of God in the United Kingdom, Assemblies of God in Vietnam, Australian Christian Churches, General Council of the Assemblies of God of the United States, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Australian Fellowship of Faith Churches and Ministers Int. (AFFCMI), Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship, Calvary Holiness Association, Charismatic Church of God, Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, Christ Gospel Churches International, Christian City Churches, Christian Church of North America, Christian Congregation of Brazil, Christian Outreach Centre, Christian Revival Crusade, Church of God (Charleston, Tennessee), Church of God (Chattanooga), Church of God (Cleveland), Church of God (Huntsville, Alabama), The Church of God (Jerusalem Acres), Church of God by Faith, The Church of God for All Nations, Church of God, House of Prayer, Church of God in Christ, Church of God Mountain Assembly, Church of God of Prophecy, Church of God of the Original Mountain Assembly, Church of God of the Union Assembly, Church of God with Signs Following, Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Philippines, Church of the Little Children of Jesus Christ, Congregational Holiness Church, CRC Churches International, Destiny Church, Elim Fellowship, Elim Pentecostal Church, The Fellowship (FGFCMI), Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas, Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost, God is Love Pentecostal Church, Holiness Baptist Association, Independent Assemblies of God, International, India Pentecostal Church of God, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, International Pentecostal Church of Christ, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Life Application Gospel Ministries International, New Life Churches, New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc, Open Bible Standard Churches, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, Pentecostal Church of God, Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church, The Pentecostal Mission, Pentecostal World Conference, Potter's House Christian Fellowship, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Revival Centres International, The Revival Fellowship, United Gospel Tabernacles, United Holy Church of America, Association of Vineyard Churches, Calvary Chapel, Charismatic Church of God, Charismatic Episcopal Church, City Harvest Church, Faith Christian Fellowship International, Full Gospel, Jesus Army, Ministries of His Glory, Ministries Without Borders, New Frontiers, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Bible Christian Mission, Church Assembly Hall, Destiny Church Groningen, New Birth Movement, New Life Fellowship, True Jesus Church, African Initiated Church, Apostles of Johane Marauke, Celestial Church of Christ, Church of the Lord (Aladura), Kimbanguist Church, Zion Christian Church, China Christian Council, Church of Bangladesh, Church of Pakistan, Church of North India, Church of South India, Evangelical Church in Germany, Mar Thoma Church, Protestant Church in the Netherlands, St. Thomas Evangelical Church, United Church of Canada, United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Uniting Church in Australia, Evangelical Friends International, Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, post-Christian, Christian Church, Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ (non-institutional), Churches of Christ in Australia, Disciples of Christ, International Churches of Christ, Christian Israelite Church, Church of the East and Abroad, Millerites, Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church, General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), Seventh-day Adventist Church, Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, Branch Davidians, Church of the Great God, Living Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, True Jesus Church, United Church of God, United Seventh-Day Brethren, Church of God General Conference (Abrahamic Faith), Church of the Blessed Hope, Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith, Primitive Advent Christian Church, Assemblies of Yahweh, House of Yahweh, New Life Fellowship, Christian Millennial Fellowship, Dawn Bible Students Association, Layman's Home Missionary Movement, Pastoral Bible Institute, British-Israel-World Federation, Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, Kingdom Identity Ministries, LaPorte Church of Christ, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, Revival Centres International, The Revival Fellowship, Worldwide Church of God, Associated Gospel Churches, Canadian Evangelical Christian Churches, Children of God, Church of Christ, Instrumental, Kelleyites, Christian Conventions, Two by Twos, The Truth The Way, Cooneyites, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Eternal Grace, Evangelical Covenant Church of America, Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant, Evangelical Free Church of Canada, Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches, Grace Movement, Great Commission Association, Shakers, Indian Shakers, Jesus Movement, Metropolitan Community Churches, Native American Church, New Frontiers, Schwenkfelder Church, Universal Life, Yehowists, Yehowists-Ilyinites, Russian Jehovists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite), Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), Community of Christ, Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches, Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Eugene O. Walton), Apostolic United Brethren, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Latter Day Church of Christ, The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days, Aaronic Order, The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ, Restoration Church of Jesus Christ, Nontrinitarianism, Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, Apostolic Brethren, Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God, Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Church of Jesus Christ, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, House of Prayer Christian Church, House of Prayer Christian Church, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, United Pentecostal Church International, American Unitarian Conference, Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Association, Canadian Unitarian Council, Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft, European Unitarian Universalists, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Society of Spain, Unitarisk Kirkesamfund, Socinianism, Polish Brethren, Swedenborgianism, General Church of the New Jerusalem, Swedenborgian Church of North America, Christadelphians, Church of Christ, Scientist, Christian Science, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Church of the Blessed Hope, Doukhobors, Jehovah's Witnesses, Makuya, Members Church of God International, Molokans, Most Holy Church of God in Christ Jesus, Subbotniks, Unification Church, Messianic Judaism, Chosen People Ministries, Jews for Jesus, Messianic Bureau International, Messianic Bureau International, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), Church of Divine Science, Religious Science, Unity Church, Rastafari movement, Arcane School, Ascended Master Teachings, Church Universal and Triumphant, "I AM" Activity, Shangra-la Mission, Share International, The Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, The Temple of The Presence, Anago, Batuque, Candomblé, Lukumí, Santería, Obeah, Oyotunji, Umbanda, Vodou, Santo Daime, Esoteric Christianity, Anthroposophical Society, Archeosophical Society, Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Martinism, Societas Rosicruciana, Masons, The Rosicrucian Fellowship, Fiat Lux, Unification Church, Moon, Universal Life, International Churches of Christ in France, Hermitage of Christ of Peace, Association for Unification of Christianity Worldwide, Concerned Christians

Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa'h, Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi'i, Shi'a, Ithna Asharia, Ismailiyah, Zaiddiyah, Ibadi, Kharijite, Murjite, Mu'tazili, Sufism, Wahhabism, Salafism, Ahmadiyyah, Nation of Islam, Nation of Gods and Earths, Zikri, Druze, Alawi, Babism, Yazidi

Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, Smartism, Arya Samaj

Chinese Traditional Religion
Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Alchemy, Shamanism, FengShui

Sarvastivadin, Haimavata, Vatsiputriya, Dharmottara, Bhadrayaniya, Sammitiya, Channagirika, Mahisasaka, Dharmaguptaka, Kasyapiya, Sautrāntika, Ekavyaharaka, Lokottaravadin, Kaukkutika, Bahussrutiya, Prajnaptivada, Caitika, Aparasaila, Uttarasaila, Sangharaj Nikaya, Mahasthabir Nikaya, Thudhamma Nikaya, Shwekyin Nikaya, Dvaya Nikaya, Dvara Nikaya, Siam Nikaya, Waturawila, Amarapura Nikaya, Kanduboda, Tapovana, Galduwa, Delduwa, Maha Nikaya, Dhammakaya Movement, Thammayut Nikaya, Thai Forest Tradition, Prāsangika, Svatantrika, Sanlun, Sanron, Jonangpa, Cittamatra, Wei-Shi, Faxiang, Beopsang, Hossō, Daśabhūmikā, Huayan, Kegon, Zen, Caodong, Soto, Linji, Rinzai, Ōbaku, Fuke, Won Buddhism, Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu, Tiantai, Cheontae, Tendai, Nichiren Shū, Nichiren Shōshū, Nipponzan Myōhōji, Soka Gakkai, Nyingma, New Bön, Kadam, Sakya, Jonang, Gelug, Shangpa Kagyu, Rechung Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu, Rechung Kagyu, Karma Kagyu, Tsalpa Kagyu, Baram Kagyu, Taglung Kagyu, Trophu Kagyu, Drukpa Kagyu, Martsang Kagyu, Yerpa Kagyu, Yazang Kagyu, Shugseb Kagyu, Drikung Kagyu, Rime movement, Shingon, Tendai, Aum Shinrikyo, Diamond Way, Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, New Kadampa Tradition, Share International, True Buddha School, Vipassana movement

Other Religions with over a half million adherents:
Shamanism, Paganism, Diasporic, Sikhism, Juche, Spiritism, Umbanda, Judaism, Bahá'í Faith, Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Neopaganism, Unitarian Universalism, Rastafarianism, Scientology


Anonymous said...

oh my. lol. quite thankful i'm not religious....that is quite a list. i don't think there is ONE way. my parents, penecostal christians, believe the Bible word for word. it is absurd. Absurd to the point where for the sake of my family we no longer discuss religion. We will not see eye to eye or agree so we will leave it undiscussed. If it gets them through their day to day then it's okay with me. They are great people and they do great things. They work for soup kitchens and collect clothing to give away Every year my dad pours his sweat into mixing cement by hand to build proper outhouses and schools for Hondurans. Always an open door policy in that house...everyone and anyone is welcome. Of course.....i know their friends and their pastors. Believe me, they are not all such great people. They use "jesus" to perpetrate hatefulness. Signing petitions against gay marriage and supporting those who claim to "change gays back to straight"....It makes me sick.

Me, on the other hand, chemistry, physics, and biology killed any religion my parents tried to instil in me. I prefer the "do your best to do good things" religion. Living a good life is reward within itself. Sometimes a good quote says it better than you could have said it yourself:

Nietzsche: There is not enough love and kindness in the world to permit us to give any of it away to imaginary beings.

Anonymous said...

This completely applies to the paper I wrote for my philosophy course this semester, on whether or not we agreed with an essay on agnosticism. I didn't give it a huge effort, but it sums up my viewpoint.

Since the beginning of humanity, people have debated the existence of God. Wars have been waged and lives have most certainly been lost over conflicting religious views. Philosophically speaking, there are three premises from which to examine the existence of God: Theism, which supports the existence of God, Atheism, which denies the existence of God, and Agnosticism, which neither accepts or rejects the existence of God and therefore suspends judgment (Klemke, 1994). In his essay “Why I Am an Agnostic”, K.D. Ellis suggests that since “there are good reasons for the belief in the existence of a god, but none of these are compelling reasons” (Ellis, 1994, as cited in Klemke, 1994 ), the acceptance of the existence of God should be suspended. This agnostic view is one that I agree with.
Having been raised by two parents who are both atheists, I was never exposed to religion as a child. I’ve never been to church, and I’ve never read the Bible. Nagel argues that “a child who has received no religious instruction…is not an atheist – for he is not denying any theist claims” (1959, p. 274). He also suggests that any adult who does not believe in God simply because of indifference is not an atheist, since atheists disagree with the claims of theism. Given this information, I would not be able to call myself an atheist as defined by Nagel, since I never received religious instruction.
However, after reading E. K. Daniel’s essay “A Defense of Theism”, I now have a much greater understanding of the theistic premises. In his essay, Daniels proposes the 7 classical arguments for God’s existence: ontological, cosmological, contingency, design, moral, religious experience, and natural law (1994). While all of these arguments seem to have some merit, there are a few which I feel are more deserving of attention than others. The second version of the cosmological argument, which suggests that every event has a cause, and that there must there must be a being which is the ultimate cause and itself is uncaused, is a strong argument for the existence of God. Another classic theological argument is the teleological argument, which is based on purpose and design. Daniel uses the example of the way planets move in the solar system: the way the planets move is purposeful, never random (1994). Other examples of purpose exhibited in our world are the tides, or the rising and setting of the sun. The second branch of the teleological argument is based on living organisms. The fact the life exists suggest that there must be a creator or designer which brought this life into being, and the teleological argument suggests that God is that creator. The third argument that I agree strongly with is the moral argument. Many people have strong morals and feeling on what constitutes right and wrong. This feeling is often very strong, and many feel this obligation “as coming from outside of themselves” (Daniel, 1994, p. 261). These arguments are the ones I feel most strongly support the existence of God.
While the classical theist arguments are effective in providing reasons why there must be a God, I still don’t find any of them to be conclusive enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists. For instance, Nagel proposes several relevant points, which challenge the theistic premises (1959). Regarding the cosmological argument, Nagel suggests that “if God can be self-caused, why cannot the world be self caused?” (1959, p. 276). I agree strongly with this argument. If theists believe that God is uncaused, then why couldn’t the world itself be uncaused? When studying Daniel’s “Defense of Theism”, I found his analysis of the cosmological argument very convincing. However, after reading Nagel’s “Case for Atheism” I now feel Daniel’s argument is not conclusive enough to merit my full support.
I have examined both arguments in support of the existence of God, and arguments denying the theist claims, and while they both provide valid arguments, I cannot find either of them conclusive enough to take an atheist or theist stance on the issue of God’s existence. Regarding the classic theist arguments, Ellis remarks that there are “grave flaws in all of [them]”(1994, p.299). For this reason, Ellis is not a theist. At the same time, Ellis also finds the entire premise of atheism unwarranted. While both theists and atheists argue their positions strongly, neither is convincing. It seems that theists want God to exist, and use those hopes to propose plausible reasons for the existence of God, but Ellis points out that these hopes “do not entitle us to know that a god exists” (Ellis, 1994, p. 300) At the same time, those who want to deny the existence of God are similarly incapable of doing so. It seems that we may never know whether or not God exists, but I feel like I cannot fully support the theistic or atheistic view. At this point I will embrace the agnostic view: “it is impossible to know whether a god exists…therefore we should suspend out judgment on this issue and neither accept nor reject the belief in the existence of a god” (Ellis, 1994, p. 296)


Daniel, E. K. (1994). A Defense of Theism. In E.D. Klemke, A. D. Kline & R. Hollinger (Eds.), Philosophy: Contemporary perspectives on perennial issues (pp. 259-273). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Ellis, K.D. (1994). Why I am an Agnostic. In E.D. Klemke, A. D. Kline & R. Hollinger (Eds.), Philosophy: Contemporary perspectives on perennial issues (pp. 295-301). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Nagel, E. (1959). The Case for Atheism. In E.D. Klemke, A. D. Kline & R. Hollinger (Eds.), Philosophy: Contemporary perspectives on perennial issues (pp. 274-283). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Anonymous said...

I have never believed that there is only one way to eternal salvation. Though I was raised to believe there was only one way, I didn't, and don't believe God would be so narrow and hold it against someone that they were raised to believe something else. I believe that as long as you live a decent life, showing kindness and generosity to others, you are on the right path.

kd said...

I have a hard time believing that such a thing as "eternal salvation" even exists. I suppose I just don't really see a reason for it. I understand that many people feel uncomfortable with the idea that there's nothing beyond this current life. That's okay with me. I can't knock people for feeling like they need something to hold on to.

For me personally, I am perfectly happy with just existing right now. This life is all that I have. I am not counting on anything beyond what I have right at this very moment. My plan is just to do the absolute best I can in life. When I die, I want to leave a legacy; I want to be remembered for doing something good. What good does it do me to have eternal salvation? What does it do for me, for the world, for me to end up in heaven or hell? It makes no difference at all what happens to me after I die. I can't count on anything for eternity. I can only count on myself, and what I am capable of doing right now.

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