Saturday, February 13, 2010

Religious Unity...1

Retrieving a post from the queue...somewhat unrelated by not exactly since it also quotes Anne Lamott....but about a bit of a different topic.....but that ties in sort of in a round about way that I will point out tomorrow's post.

As I try to sort out exactly what it is I believe (like that is ever going to happen) and how the "Christian World View" fits with an all inclusive God, I often remind myself of the little conversation Jesus had with Peter. You know...when Peter, upon hearing what would be required of him in his walk of faith, points to John and says..."hey...what about him?" And Jesus pretty much said...MYOB. "YOU follow me." Perhaps that is what I have been called to do...mind my own business. Ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within me....but not to push my calling on my brothers and sisters.

I, as in me, myself and I...have been called to follow Jesus. I read a Christianity Today interview with Anne Lamott not long ago. In the interview, when questioned about her universalist leanings, she said:

“Only Jesus has come to me, and I experience God's love in an immediate and personal way through his companionship."

(And by the way….she is a universalist. In the interview she says:

Some people have been too starving, attacked, hated, or full of hate to experience God's love," she says. "Sometimes I think God loves the ones who most desperately ache and are most desperately lost—his or her wildest, most messed-up children—the way you'd ache and love a screwed-up rebel daughter in juvenile hall. A 5-year-old girl or her mother in the mountains of Afghanistan, a junkie in L.A., Mother Teresa, you, me, children in Gaza—God created us all and loves us and brings us home, into what may be the first shalom we have ever had the chance to experience."


Those in other countries and cultures "feel Divine Love come to them through more local teachings, through other expressions of that love."

So anyway…Anne, me too. Only Jesus has come to me. I have not had any kind of personal experience with Buddha or Krishna or any of the other “faces of God” down through the ages. I have read stuff from other faiths and damn if I don’t hear the voice of God…yes…even the voice of Jesus in some of those texts…but not in the same way…to the same extent… that I hear his voice in the Gospels. But….

It is not my place to decide...dictate or debate the calling that has been placed on the heart of another. I know this does not fit with fundamentalist Christianity at all. Their view is that they have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is their duty of push the truth as they know it on look for opportunities, to make up cram their truth down the throat of any and all who do not know their Jesus. Forget this "taste and see if it is good" stuff. It is a fistfull down the throat.

Fortunately I am not a fundamentalist so I do not engage in their "duty of love", however I have been the recipient of that fistful of truth...crammed down my throat. I hate it. My grandparents (especially my grandmother) did it years ago...with forced Bible readings and forced prayer. I have also been cornered by other Christians down through the years with their attempts to make me believe their truths.

But the tricky thing about truths is that they change from one Christian denomination to another. The truth preached at a Pentcostal Church is way different than the truth preached at a Catholic church. Our beliefs become set in stone if we if we are convinced that our religion (and more myopic still…only our denomination) proclaims the whole truth and all of the truth...and the ONLY truth. Perhaps if we look at the bigger picture, we can see that there is a common thread running through most religions.

Via an article that annie posted on EU a while back, I found Stephen Knapp's website. There is quite a collection of writings on the site. E-books and a long list of interfaith articles with a focus on the Vedic path. Two articles, When Religions Create Divisions and How to Avoid It and Religious Unity: Why There Could be a One World Religion fit with the subject of this post. More on this to follow.....


Kansas Bob said...

I'm with you Cindi.. I think that faith is good regardless of which Jesus it is in :)

Some religious folks however do not embrace a need for faith at all.. they make everything about God and almost have a cavalier attitude about faith.. not sure why that is so?

Cindi said...

Bob said:
Some religious folks however do not embrace a need for faith at all.. they make everything about God and almost have a cavalier attitude about faith.. not sure why that is so?

Cindi says:
Not quite sure what you mean exactly. Do you mean that they take faith for granted...or that they see it as a one way street...from God to us and that we have no part or responsibility in the process? Or did you mean something along the lines of the way the calvinists see it? Irresistible grace/unconditional election?

And about the "regardless of which Jesus" comment you made...
Did you see Robert Rutherford's comments on Facebook?

God is either the Father of ALL of us... or He is the Father of NONE of us!! Dont be the spoiled child who gets mad when Daddy gives attention to a sibling. I am a Christian... but, God is NOT a Christian! He has many children who relate to Him through other incarnations.... Jesus said... "I have sheep that are not of this pasture...." Don't be exclusive... don't be jealous... God's heart is big enough for ALL!!!

Yes, indeed, big enough for ALL. Wasn't it Carlton Pearson who wrote the book, God Is Not A Christian?


Kansas Bob said...

Hmmm.. said that a few days ago.. let me try to remember what I was thinking :)

Guess I was trying to say that I think that faith in whatever Jesus one embraces is good.. I think that it is a good thing to trust in the Lord.

Of course much religious activity these days has nothing to do with faith or love.. just a bunch of rules.. stuff that lead people to do bad stuff is not faith.. just a bunch of religious bunk.

Amen to "God's heart is big enough for ALL" - silly how folks seem to despise the faith of others.