Many Ways to God

This blog entry is dedicated to my Facebook conversation with my family about Christianity verses the fate of the Dalai Lama (see my last post for the conversation.)

I spoke to my boyfriend about this conversation. This is the beginning of his reply:

I found an interesting little quote from a Christian (The Case For Faith, Award-winning reporter and author Lee Strobel):

“Each day we’re preparing ourselves for either being with God and his people and valuing the things He values, or choosing not to engage with those things. If people do not fall passionately in love with Him, then to force them to have to be around Him forever–doing the kinds of things that people who love Him would want to do–would be utterly uncomfortable.”

I’ve been told in church, or by Christian friends and family, that Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY way to God. I’ve also been told, thankfully, that Jesus Christ never said this. He said, “Live through me, and even in death, I will give you eternal life.” This somehow translated to, “Jesus is the ONE and ONLY way to salvation.”

In my personal experience, Christians can be pretty righteous and intolerant of different ways of finding God—even if these other ways are MORE peaceful and loving than their own ways, and therefore following Jesus’ teachings more than they do. Let me explain: Both Buddha and Jesus taught the same messages, and it seems clear that most Buddhists, especially Buddhist Monks, are much more peaceful, loving, and compassionate to EVERYONE than any regular Christian fellow I know. Dedication to being your best self, loving everyone, and working to better the world, to me, is what Jesus represents. What Buddha represents. What God represents.

Jesus Christ is ONE way to God. This makes sense because what fits well with one person, or one society or culture, doesn’t fit well with another. If the messages are the same (among different religions), I believe the outcome is the same: they find God.

Good people WILL go to heaven, not ONLY ONE certain religious group. Heaven will be full of good people, who find their way to God through living and offering love, grace, and compassion, who live their lives the way Jesus or Buddha asked us to.

This is what Jesus taught, and I believe this with my whole heart.

And, no offense, but I say The Dalai Lama has a long leg up in finding God than any of us–religious of not. He deserves nothing but the best after this life for his dedication and wonderful influence on human existence. He is a prime example of a man full of love, unlike some Christians who claim to be full of love, but quick to condemn other’s. This is not what Jesus wants.

If there is a Christian God, He is either a God I can’t say is all-loving or fair, or He is a God who the Christians have misunderstood. I believe that if there is a Christian God, He embraces any being who whole-heartedly offers good to human existence, of any religion, of any faith.

This is a sort of a side note, but I would love to continue my existance after this life in a happy place, no questions asked. But if there isn’t a God or a heaven or hell, and there isn’t a soul, and our being dies with our body, then this is okay. I was terrified of no longer being, but not anymore. And it’s because of him.

My LIFE is a blessing. My CONSCIOUSNESS is a blessing. And if there is nothing after this life, I am blessed to know him. My life with him is the closest to heaven that I may ever be, and that’s all I can know. As he and I discussed last night, maybe he and I found heaven.

Life together feels that good.

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6 thoughts on “Many Ways to God

  1. You know, I’ve thought along the very same lines. I have a hard time believing that God could turn His back on someone who does exactly what Christians are called to do.

    Lately I’ve been reading a lot of transcripts of conversations with Native American Elders, many of which seem to understand God in a way western civilization has yet to grasp. It’s a deep and sincere understanding, and their teachings and way of life paralleled to the one Jesus spoke of. But the White Man had a hard time perceiving this (as many still do today).

    Then again, not even Christ was accepted by the religious leaders of his time.

  2. Pingback: Response to “Where are all the dinosaurs?” « Jennifer M. Hartsock

  3. You have managed to articulate exactly why I feel religion has no place in a child’s upbringing; it shouldn’t be a part of their life until they can make the considered judgement you have described.

    I remember when Sinead O’Connor had her altercation with the Vatican and the then Pope John Paul II. At the time I didn’t realise the depth of her anger or the clarion call for the head of the church to acknowledge the plight of children being abused – but I completely grasped her statement that a person shouldn’t have to go to church, to a place of organised religion, to be close to god.

    She asked why someone could not be just as close to God whilst praying at their kitchen sink. That simple question helped me lift the veil even further; helped me consider why all those in parts of the world who had never heard of Christianity should be excluded from any kind of salvation.

    If there is a God – surely (s)he would look to the heart of the person, not what they did or not do each and every Sunday.

  4. Quote from “The First Epistle of Saint John the Apostle”

    Chapter 4, Verses 7-9

    “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. And everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.”

    I truly believe this! God is Love. Everything done from Love comes from, or brings us closer to, God. Anything that is not done from Love is simply yet another example of “Man’s inhumanity to Man.” God loves us and wants us to be happy. Anything that tells us to hate one another and judge one another, does not come from God, because it does not come from Love. Those things that tell us to love the people who are just like us, and condemn the people who are not like us, come from Man’s desire to control other Men through fear. They have nothing to do with God.

  5. I truly believe that being spiritual or religious does not mean turning off our ability to think, and to consider the meaning behind the rituals and sayings of today’s religions is vital in understanding them. I am happy to find that I am not alone.

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