Religion... Well Now, That's Actually Part of the Problem
Religion is just a set of Covenants, Standards or Rules set up by a group of people who feel basically the same way, about a deity, concept, a person, place or thing. Most every society past and present has had a religion or something like it.
The problem with religion happens when one group or person wants to exert its will or belief on another group or person. That type of aggression has happened since the beginning of time. Ask Galileo, Da Vinci, and Nostrademus. If any of these people who were born during the zenith of institutionalized religion in Europe had let on to "other" knowledge that they had they could be tortured, excommunicated, or killed. Even many of the forefathers of America had come to America to escape religious persecution in England.
The religion usually starts out as someones' idea of pure spiritual truth. Then becomes institutionalized, very pushy, and very powerful as time goes by. Why? because most religions are run by people who want money & power or have money & power. They do not care about the true reasons they became a group. As long as that group is moving toward someones' expectations (and not neccesarily the Creators' wishes) then that group has become institutionalized and cannot find true growth because they are not following the true path. Another reason why many have left the churches and some never enter the churches.
I believe in the Creator. I believe in the life of Christ and what he was put on Earth to accomplish. I do not believe in Hell nor do I believe it exists. I do not say you have to believe as I do ... but for me it is the only thing that makes sense. Many churches use the concept of Hell to scare people into the church. That is another way churches have failed humanity.
The majority of people could not read at one time and Latin was used in the churches. A lot of untrue beliefs were started that had no bearing or truth behind it except that someone had heard it said by a learned priest, reverend, or pastor trying to hold on to their congregation, especially during the plagues of Europe. Mans' interference with man has caused more wars for naught, death, plagues, starvation, and ravaging need than anyother real reason.
The Christ states that if you do not believe and if you do not Love one another as he has Loved us, then we will surely die. Not go on living forever in pain or torture, burning and such. He said you will surely die. That means dead, died, passed on to oblivion. It will be as though you never had existed. The Creator has no need to see you tortured forever. He is not a sadist. Hell is just mankind holding onto some type of sick hope of living after the Judgement.
I believe that what we call Heaven is just our Home. And, as long as we remember the promise of eternal life with Christ back home, try to love each other, and reach out to his people with the truth we will enjoy going home. And, we maybe able to enjoy the Earth while we are still here if we take the Christ Consciousness or the total love concept to every human being in the Earth.
We cannot act like we are our brothers/sisters superiors. There is only One Creator of all things. It is his wish that we live in peace and love with one another. It is his wish that we do no harm of any kind to one another.
For me religion does not solve these problems and it is the reason people keep fighting about it.
If we were more spiritual and not so much wanting of the base aspects of the world we could see this fact.
When you are truly spiritual, in my opinion, your light shines out and you become part of the good works needed in the Earth. You do not have time to criticize others for what they think or do because you are to busy trying to improve yourself so can be a tool the Creator can use in his plan.
The Bible, Torah, Koran and other religious books have all been tampered with by the powers that be many times in this world, even before you or I became a twinkle in our fathers' eye. Even the King James version is not like the Prince James bible. The King James bible has about 7-12 books that are no longer in the bible and can only be read by heads of state or the Pope and such religious powers. Those books are in the Library of Congress and you and I will never be able to see them.
If you know the part of the New Testament where Christ is calling the not yet Disicples working on their fathers' ship to follow him. In that chapter it speaks that their father was being tended to by servants on the ship when Christ called out to them to follow him.
Now every pastor I have ever heard preach about that chapter has preached that Zebedee and his sons were poor people, all but one. Even in todays' world if someone owns a ship and is being tended by servants on that ship, they are not poor. In fact, they are really quite well off. Did you know that Judas was supposed to be away at college(sent by his parents) when he decided not to go but went to follow Christ. College was very expensive then as it is now and only the noblemen's families or the aristocracy could afford it. And, did you know that most of the disicples came from noble families that had mostly lands but not much money?
The reason Christ and Disicples were depicted as poor was because the powers that be wanted the common man to be happy with their lot of being poor with no power. It is why the powers that be did not want the masses taught remedial knowledge, you know how to read, write, or count. As long as the masses stayed unlearned the powers that be could rule as they wished.
So stop fighting about your beliefs or your religion unless you have some knowledge none of us have. When you believe in things you don't understand you cause trouble, its called Superstition, Superstition ain't the way! A great singer wrote that back in the 1970s.
Peace and Much Love to you.