Why are people Christian? Why are people Islamic? Why are others Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etcetera? Usually because they and those around them grew up being taught, and automatically accepted those beliefs: they began with no other foundation for their thinking except what they were given.
For most people religion and spirituality are a social, family, or peer pressure experience involving memory work. The teachers are schooled in how to preach, by those who were schooled in how to preach: their minds, like the minds of the followers, are conditioned and controlled by the information given. They will defend their beliefs rigorously, emotionally and physically. It usually requires a miraculous 'Act of God' to open their minds: like Saul on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9. How did Paul come to understand the teachings of Jesus? - Certainly not by his own efforts. "For it is God who commands the light (knowledge) to shine out of darkness and into our minds, to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God." (2Corinthians 4:6)
Could all religions be in error? - reading Romans 16:18, "By good works and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple." Could the whole world be deceived? - reading Revelation 12:9, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world."
All religions are made by men and their soul's imagination: look at the seven churches in Revelation. At some point other men begin to add or take away from the original teaching. Because all religions are made and evolve in this way, not one is teaching the way of righteousness: "making the word of God of none effect through tradition." (Mark 7:13)
No one can explain the truth such that you can understand; only God can reveal it to you. Reading and forever studying only keeps one away from the truth. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. God taketh the wise in their own craftiness. God knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." (1Corinthians 3:18)
We must set aside religion and look closely at the teachings of Jesus with an open mind. Just because a person does not think these are the teachings of Jesus, or because these teachings don't feel right, does not make it so. Accept nothing on blind faith; not even the information offered herein. Use the Bible, a concordance, and a dictionary to question your beliefs against what you discover. Accept nothing on blind faith, "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2Timothy 2:15) It is up to each and every one of us to study the scriptures and discover what Jesus was teaching. Prove all things and hold fast to that which is true.
Experience will set you free from those inherited beliefs of your ancestors. Let your own personal experience with 'applying' these teachings of righteousness be your guiding light: applying, doing, changing and becoming reveals the truth as never before understood. Crucify the soul with its affections and lusts that the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom, and revelations in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your own understanding being opened and your mind enlightened.
"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him, when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer them that are entering to go in. You are the murderers of the prophets. The Son of God was manifest, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (Matthew 23:13; John 8:44; Matthew 23:29; 1John 3:8)
"They being ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness. Their minds are blinded: until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away." (Romans 10:3; 2Corinthians 3:14-16)
"Jesus gave himself for our sin, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God, our Father. For the promise that he should be the heir of the world (Other Earth), was not to Abraham, or to Abraham's seed, or through the Law of Moses, but through RIGHTEOUSNESS!" (Galatians 1:4; Romans 4:13)
"We know the Law of God is spiritual. God who quickeneth the dead, is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living (God is not he god of this world); ye do greatly err. With the mind I see the Law of God: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin and death." (Romans 7:14; 4:17; Mark 12:27; Romans 7:25; 7:23; 8:2)
Sin is the transgression of the Law of God. The Law of God is that thou shalt do love thy neighbour as thyself. Doing Love is the fulfilling of the Law. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit (Mind) do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (1John 3:4; Romans 13:9-10; 8:13)
"The Jihad against the soul, is the foundation for the Jihad against the disbelievers and hypocrites!" (Shaykh al-Islam: lbn al-Qay yin, ar-Rawtah: p478) The true Jihad is against the soul; not the flesh and blood temple of the dead. What has perverted the truth of Muhammad and the Quran? An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is just more evil for evil! Who says the way of 'evil for evil' against our brothers and sisters is righteous? What happened to love, and peace, and forgiveness, and Thou Shalt Not Kill? Let those without sin cast the first stone - but remember before you cast that stone - Thou Shalt Not Lie.
Read the Quran and you will see the teachings of Jesus which Muhammad tried to restore, but again religion happened. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew 5:20)
An adult is but an older child: would you kill an innocent little child? Then why are you murdering my lost older children? How many times would you that I forgive and help you? Why do you continue to use force, rather than lead by example? Your souls have deceived you and are binding you to this world of the dead. Come out of her my children and eat of her lies no more. Peace Be Unto You.
There are about 35 examples in the Quran of the word Jihad - the striving against the baseness of oneself. A seeking to overcome evil and being good: a different terminology is used for physical fighting.
The true Jihad is against your own soul. There are many battles to be fought if righteousness is to be regained. Evil for evil is not the way. We have to be wise as serpents, yet as harmless as doves. This is not a physical fight, but a mental fight against the wiles of the soul.
All religions degenerate into the same self-righteousness, given time. This was Jesus' testimony to the Hebrews of his time; that their Jewish religion had become corrupt. "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them." (2Corinthians 4:4)
The problems all start when the people of a religion 'believe,' or are told to believe, that they are CHOSEN for some purpose by God, who will reward them. "No man hath seen God at any time." (John 1:18)