Back in December I reported a story of Buddhist clerics and local council officials holding 13 newly converted Christians captive in a pagoda in a southeastern mountainous district of Bangladesh in an attempt to forcibly return them to Buddhism. Such events happen regularly in countries around the world from Baghdad to Beijing.
Christians sometimes have difficulty accepting other Christians. Christians are often persecuted by Muslims, Hindu’s, and Buddhists alike. Examples come daily of people of one religion attempting to disallow others not of their faith the right to live in their country. They deny other religions no political rights and often attempt to enforce their religious beliefs upon any and all living in that country (theocracy).
The religions of the world have varied differences, but all have their sacred writings. Christians have their Bible; Muslims have their Koran; Hindu’s have their sacred writings, so Christians are not the only ones who feel their writings are sacred. Many, in fact, believe the truths within their sacred writings are divinely revealed.
As a Christian, I know it is easy to become dogmatic and stake a claim to universal divine revelation. We can become defensive and reactive when differing with other Christians about how much authority the Bible has, whether or not it is inerrant, and other such issues.
As easy as it is to disagree with other Christians, how much more difficult is it to avoid being dogmatic when there is a clashing of opinions regarding the writings of vastly differing religions?
I raise this question to share this thought: when we insist upon something as truth that is neither inclusive, universal, or respectful of others, it is neither divine nor is it revelation. I believe in the teachings of Jesus, but I do not believe in them just because he said them, or because I believe he is the way, the truth, and the life, or even because I believe in his divine origin.
More than anything else, the one thing that motivates people to accept the teachings of Jesus is because they work; they are pragmatic. They are inclusive,universal,and respectful, of any and all. They lift everybody; they omit no one; they respect even their enemies.
Without looking to any one religion to illustrate with, or to point fingers with, I suggest that anything one practices-or-believes must work for everyone. If it fails to work for one, it should not be for anyone. If it denies rights or respect to any color, creed, or culture, it has neither God nor divine revelation behind it, be it the God of the Christians, or Allah, or Buddha, or Jahwey.
This may not be very profound, but truth has the power of God--divine revelation--behind it. So, the next time you get on your religious soapbox,
be sure what you advocate works,
be sure it lifts all people everywhere and not just select persons, and
be sure it respects people--even those who disagree with you.
It is not truth just because you believe God said it..........................
From Warner’s World,