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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Many Religions But Only One God

Ever think  how many wars and divisions have flourished because of our religious differences? Too Many.
One of the strangest divides I do not understand at all is the wall between Christianity and Islam. Between The Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths there is the clearest evidence that all 3 of these religions (A Triune so to speak) Clearly refer to the same God, and  aside from the western Christians rejection of the Quran, all three faiths share scriptures, Prophets, Angels, etc... Abraham, Noah, Moses, Gabriel, Jesus, John the Baptist, Mary, ALL are named in these 3 faiths, so clearly all 3 speak to the same God. How have we formed such intense differences then? If God is the same, and his word is always true, then the fault must lie with us. The words, the message  doesn't not change, it's how humans interpret the word of God.

Even among just the Christian faith we see division. Catholic, Baptist, Protestants, and Methodists, etc... Were you baptized? Were you sprinkled? Or were you totally submersed ? OOH if you were not submersed you are going to burn in hell. When was your last confession? How much do you tythe? Do you attend  church regularly? If you do not go to church and worship on Sunday your bad. I don't know about anyone else but I can talk to my Lord whenever I want, and I worship him and am grateful everyday.  I enjoy a good church service when I make it:)

In many ways we are selfish to think there is no way anyone else could have had a communication , a relationship with GOD, except the way we are told in The Bible. To say that there are other paths that lead to the same God, does not detract in any way from the accuracy or authenticity of the Holy Bible. Quite the contrary often the more we examine differences between faiths the more we find similarities. In a scientific sense this means they would be corroborating evidence, actually supporting each other.
For example there are many parallels to be found between the  teachings of Buddha and Christ. Here are a few excerpts from the book Jesus and Buddha, the Parallel Teachings by Marcus Borg, Jesus scholar and Buddhist writer, Jack Kornfield. The Buddha sayings are taken from the Dhammapada and the sutras of the Buddha. The Jesus sayings are taken from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Buddha: One is the way to gain, the other is the way to Nirvana, knowing this fact, students of the Buddha should not take pleasure in being honored, but, should practice detachment.
Jesus: No slave can serve two masters For a slave will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Buddha: Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.
Jesus: This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Buddha: If you do not tend to one another then who is there to tend to you? Whoever who would tend me, he should tend the sick.
Jesus: Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, so you have done it unto me.

Buddha: Consider others as yourself.
Jesus: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Buddha: One who acts on truth is happy, in this world and beyond.
Jesus: You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

Buddha: Hatred do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth... Overcome anger by love, Overcome evil by good. overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth.
Jesus: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. From anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.

Buddha: With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through not clinging.
Jesus: Those who want to save their life will loose it. Those who loose their live for my sake will save it.

This is only one example, but truly  we must stop being selfish and condemning , judgmental, of each other because we know God in different ways. I personally have always been interested in this finding similarities. You would be amazed at how far back in time we can see these obvious clues. Who were the others in Genesis that after he slew his brother, and was sent out from Eden that Cain had to receive a mark on his forehead so they would not kill him? Western culture sees Noah and his immediate family as the only survivors of the flood, yet there are Flood stories in a number of cultures on different continents. This ongoing phenomenon of forced diversity is confounding to an open mind willing to look at the facts and follow their heart. When I say My God is the creator of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.... I mean it.
How do people continue to  create boxes that one must fit into? Why do humans argue amongst themselves and continue to insist my God is Better than your God, or berate someone else's beliefs when He is ONE God?  
For example who is anyone to judge the  relationship between the Native American Indian Tribes and God? You think they were not speaking with the Father our Creator before the white man arrived? Of course they were. Just not in the same way as a Christian. In ancient Chinese texts, thousands of years old, Sumerian tablets also thousands of years old, we find similarities.

This is actually a very deep topic, that I am actually working on coherently explaining in much greater detail in a book that I have tentatively named My God Does Not Fit In That Box, I must close here for now it is getting late.
Seek and ye shall find:)

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