Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Religion gives a particular feeling of belongingness and personal identity. It manifests the way a person thinks, intends, and acts. In this respect, as a Christian, raised in the Baptist Church, I feel a particular combination of the eight elements manifested in the religion. It is more about my spirituality, sacred nature of each sermon and anointing given from above. In fact, our community shares strong points on the belief system relating to the way we interpret the Holy Bible and worship God and the Trinity. There are other different features characterizing Baptism in terms of Christianity. However, all of them need a better understanding so that to introduce their relation to the eight elements of any religion. Therefore, for me, a belief system, community, emotional experience, and sacredness have more weight over central myths, rituals, an ethical system, and material expression of religion.
First, it is important to state that I am likely to delve deep into the power of sacraments highlighted and highly supported in the church. For me, it is exactly what makes people strong and self-assured. Christianity highlights human belonging to the social life in terms of the social institutions of education, family, religion, and others. In this respect, the mystery of marriage highlighted by the love shared among people and given from above by God is very important for me. It is what constitutes the guidelines for both spouses in their vision of the future life until the end of their days. On the other hand, sacredness is also apparent in the sacrament of baptizing. In fact, it refers more to the belief system of who is likely to be a child of God: only those who came to Him through baptizing. It makes the community stronger in terms of supporting and inspiring one another on a daily basis with every revelation and/or good thing happening in peopleв lives. It is like the revelation of John the Baptist when he saw a white dove ascending to Jesus in the Jordan waters. Each time I see new people baptized, it overwhelms me with strong and distinct emotions of joy and happiness. It is like the whole community experiences the same emotions, and I feel it without even asking others about it.
By contrast, features of central myths and rituals are familiar to me since childhood. It is all about keeping up with the tradition highlighted in the exact verses in the Bible. The same is for the material expression of Baptism and an ethical system. The latter can even be a drawback for people who overemphasize the religious views and arguments, becoming too religious and uninteresting. I am trying to be far from suchlike sensations, keeping up with the progressive trends in the Christian life. However, it does not mean that I ignore these features. They just stand a bit lower in my hierarchy of virtues and values referred to the manifestation of Baptism. I also adore the material expression of Baptism through the sacrament of the Lord Supper with the wine as His blood and the bread as His flesh shared once a month. It really supports the community of Christians in our church.
Among various new religions and alternative paths, Scientology is one of the most sophisticated today. It refers to the scientific explanation of the higher creatures that once fulfilled ancient people, giving them enough intellectual capacity for the growth and development in the future. In this respect, Scientologists tend to respect and support their community, keeping every member of their congregation as close to the main center of their religious prospects. They also put emphasis on the rituals of measuring their proximity to the church through the material expressions of religion (special electronic testers) and an ethical system. Every manifestation of a religion seems interrelated in Scientology, as they also pay much attention to the sacredness and central myths constituting their belief system through the philosophy of Dianetics. Nevertheless, they rely heavily on the strength and power of their community dependent on the rituals. These two elements are paramount for them. Definitely, having Tom Cruz and John Travolta in their cohort, Scientologists have a good chance to attract more fans of these celebrities.
Therefore, contemporary religions face both support and resistance from both other religions and society overall. However, based on my experience, I see that there should be a particular social equilibrium in both religious and denominational diversity of churches. Along with the main eight manifestations of each religion, people should be aware of humanity and morality as the main postulates of being a righteous person. Although there are many influential trends coming with the new religions and alternative paths, a person is up to decide what his/her heart is longing for. For Baptism, like for any Protestant Church, it is important to draw parallels between the biblical postulates and teachings and modern world so that to make them clear to the progressive humankind. I believe, the same approach is apparent in Scientology, as well as other religions aimed at finding God or Higher Powers, so to speak.