How can our world be full of so many religions, all convinced they are the right one – and everyone else is wrong? What rational logic exists that allows us to compare and score all of them?
If God created or inspired man’s existence, and He helped create this intellect of ours, then surely He would want us to use it to arrive at some objective truth?
We all assume God is a pretty damn smart dude (or woman)? Yes? And since it’s obvious He is the most superior of all of us, I don’t understand His need for our worship and adoration. He must have plenty of self-confidence. Our respect and awe for His creative genius is due, no doubt. But I don’t think He needs our worship. Small people, little minds with weak self-confidence and lack of self-assuredness require worship from others.
Intellent beings desire respect. Evil beings demand worship.
Every religion has something positive. Let’s take a less emotional and more rational approach to parsing out the good.
Christianity teaches that we must be remorseful for our sins, confess, and ask for forgiveness: Forgiveness from God, and from those we transgressed against. This is very good. You can’t really be remorseful if you still want to keep it secret. True remorse must include the shame that accompanies your actions being exposed.
Christians say that to go to heaven we have to accept “Jesus into our hearts.” In an ideal sense they are right, but the religion has perverted the true intent of the meaning. My interpretation of the meaning is that if you want eternal life, your consciousness to grow and endure, then you must live a moral life defined by love and not selfishness. “Asking Jesus into your heart” is the internal desire to want to be better as a human being; to want to live the life as the moral example that Jesus lived. It has everything to do with your intent and nothing to do with the physical words.
Muslims say we should treat all people with kindness, especially a stranger in need. A true Muslim cannot turn away a stranger in need. This is good and we all should live by this principle.
Buddhists say that life has eternal reconstruction and our actions always come back to us – karma. This is positive and promotes better moral living. We should all live with these ideals.
But above all, any religion, is the fact that intent is far more important than actions. That true love is selfless and good if it requires sacrifice on your part for the benefit of another – especially for someone who has no meaning or relations in your own life.
Loving only those we should love – family and close friends – isn’t so impressive. Animals do that, nearly.
Empathy is integral to love. It allows us to truly share emotional pain with another. The power of empathy is that it places value of everyone equally, not based on status, personal relationship, value, or anything else.
Empathy is the key to love. And love is the key to goodness; not some stale pages of a book written hundreds or thousands of years ago.
I can imagine, one day, if God decided to visit us, I can’t possibly imagine his first questions would be: Did you read the Bible or the Quran? Did you follow all my rules and commandments? Or Did you ask Jesus into your heart?
I think the only question He will have for any of us is: “What’s inside your heart?”
If all the relgions of the world could simply open the window to allow us to see what is truly inside each of our hearts, we would instantly see the silliness of all of mankind’s religions.
All religions complicate the things that should be the most simple and most obvious to all of us.
You can be a good person and a good Christian; or you can still be a bad selfish person and a “good” Christian.
You can be a good person and be a good Muslim. Or a bad person and a “good” Muslim.
The Devil, if he exists, cannot live inside the heart filled with empathy and love and selflessness.
But in the end, I suspect God only has one key metric and important question for each of us – and it isn’t which book or which man’s teachings did you follow. No, instead, it will be much simpler: “Who were you and what was inside your heart.”