Posted by: gebs | August 11, 2008

Different Religions and God

Different religions represent the different ideas we have about God.  And since none of us can say that we have seen God, our ideas about God are crucial to his definition and understanding.  Many have made the remark that all religions are ultimately seeking the same God.  Different religions may be seeking the same God in theory, but in practice, the language used to speak about God may indeed lead further away from the truth and closer towards the opposite which often translates to evil.  God’s name has been used far too many times to justify things that are in actual reality opposed by him.  War, terror and death can never represent God, despite the language we use to justify them. 

 

Religions are therefore, in effect, very distinct in their features.  The Christian God is a God who has defined himself as love.  John’ letter tells us that God IS love!  Although love is often also misunderstood, we stand a greater chance of knowing what and who God is if we focus our ideas about him through the lens of love.  St Paul, in his famous speech about love tells us that “ Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.” Love is a hard thing to understand and define, but we can all relate to the meaning of what Paul is trying to say.  Most of us have felt the presence of love in our lives at one stage or another, even if it was only for the first few years of our life.

 

Jesus is noted to have said that it does not matter what our words are, even if we call him Lord, what matters is wether or not our lives are ruled by love.  He said that many will call his Name and plead for his mercy on the last day, but there will be others who come from far lands who will be welcomed with arms wide open.  God tests the heart.  It may not matter what religion we subscribe to in life (and often this is chosen for us in our infancy), what matters, is that we seek to live good lives.  The religion we subscribe to may inherently make this difficult because of the circumstances which historically led to its birth and the language it chose to use.  But love can transform any world and find good amongst even the darkest of places.  Ones religion should never become an excuse for justifying actions which are inherently evil, as has been, and remains to be the case in some places.  All religions are guilty of this. 

 

God has sent his Word amongst all people, regardless of their creed of him.  He has scattered his seeds amongst all the earth.  Across all generations there are those amongst us that stand as a light for others to see.  This is the work of God.  These people, like Ghandi, Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama for example, are like the salt of the earth, which stop it from rotting away and preserve it with their message of goodness.  His light is present even in our homes and amongst our friends.  Even though we fight it, and often deny it, the message of goodness and love is always present amongst our thoughts and words when we are amongst others.  It cannot be silenced.  We only need to ask ourselves whether or not we choose to hear his voice in our lives, and seek the path of love, despite its apparent difficulties and incomprehensibility.


Responses

  1. Religions are like different interpretions of the “universal truth” which is God or Allah, Buddha, or Karma, or whatever you call Him.


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