Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Many Paths to God

By -=Bruce Berrien=-
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."    John 14:5-6.

Whether we are Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, etc., I believe that the aspect of God that we encounter when we die is the Word, God in action, no matter what we called or did not call the supreme being(s) in life. That is what John 14:6 tells us.  It is a statement of mechanism, not exclusivity.

I believe that Jesus is the highest revelation of God in human history and the best path to God. That is why I am a Christian.  I also believe that all faiths have God's truth.  I do not believe God condemns anyone because of their place of birth or faith or lack of faith, nor do I believe that Christians have an exclusive claim on God.

Conservative Christians are repelled by the possibility that their God and the God of Islam could be the same while they embrace the God of Judaism.  Muslims trace their ancestry through Ishmael, the son of Abraham by the slave girl, Hagar. Theirs is the God of Abraham whether conservative Christians like it or not. Just as the God of Judaism is the God of Abraham.  Even without the link through Abraham, I think that inherently all monotheists share the same God

Atheists do not believe in any Supreme Being, but are closer to God than the nominally religious.  To reject God you must first think about her.  Such thought puts an atheist closer to God than all those who are indifferent or oblivious, lost in their own daily lives. Atheists will be judged just as we all will be, on how we treat the least.

My personal belief is that everyone at some point will be confronted by God and know that God is real.  At that point whether before or after death, one can choose to be with God or not.

The immortal soul is a Greek concept, not Hebrew.  I believe that without God, there is no existence.  If a person rejects God, knowing God exists, then that person after death ceases to exist.  No hell, no eternal punishment, just ending.

The God of love that Jesus modeled desires to wrap us in her love forever, but the choice is always ours. 

No comments: