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Chapter 13 Understanding Religion

Religion is a two-edged sword. On the one hand the Christian faith in God, trust in Messiah and obedience to God's commandments is the narrow path that leads to life. It brings peace, joy and purpose to existence.
Other religions and philosophies bring structure to the society an a place for everyone. Most bring communities together.
On the other hand, even minor differences in religious convictions can become a source of strife, enmity and hatred between peoples and nations.

I am a logical man not a wise man.  As a scientist I always doubt the truth to find a deeper truth.  That doubt always seems a lack of faith but always finds me a greater understanding of God and the world.  So what I write may not be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

For inspired writing please read the Bible.  I am a Christian and as a Christian I have to tell you that I believe that being washed in the blood of Christ is the only safe way to get to Heaven as a part of God's elect.  I have to say this because I believe that if you do not, you will burn in hell.

To achieve this you must believe Jesus Died and was resurrected for the forgiveness of sin for all time, everywhere. You must forgive others, otherwise you will never find peace in your heart. You must confess your sins to God and repent, that is try not to do them again.  You will almost certainly fail for your common failing but you must tell God that you are sorry and really mean it every time you fall short. After that you must forgive yourself otherwise similarly that sin will weigh you down with perpetual reproaches and you will never let the Holy Spirit in.

I also know that not all of you will follow this advice and this chapter is for those people.  It is a request to cooperate and is an attempt to help my spiritual enemies.  Where we spiritually disagree we should tolerate each other in an act of love.  I would urge you to at least follow Jesus's philosophy of loving your neighbour even your enemies,  even if you do not accept him as the messiah.  Love's blessing will come to you.

My true spiritual enemies are those who have been taken in by Satan by greed and lust and think that the only wealth of this world is the material world of fast cars and beautiful women,  the material elite, the gangsters and drug dealers of this world, the multi-national corporate leaders who are there for purely materialistic gain.  Those who forget to love their neighbours and forget to love the world as our only home.

In the Judaic system there are three fundamental qualities all branches of that culture agree on.We should aspire to: truth, love and peace as fundamentally good behaviour.

All religions have two parts: one is the priesthood dictating the truth of their religion and culture.  The other is the people trying to match this with the world they see around them and matching this up with their search for God.

The priesthood is there to maintain and keep the culture alive and well.  So, while the priesthood does worship and asks everyone to worship God, it also tends to have a more important role to be very defensive about the religious texts and doctrines that it allows people to follow and also who the people should frequent.  So there is a definitely downward imposed view of what truth, love and peace should comprise of.  It is a role without which none of the religious texts would survive more than a generation.

As to individual people living their lives, truth love and peace is much more looking up and looking across at other people.  Looking up first to the priesthood but also looking up to God searching for truth, love and peace. With an important difference a lot of them are happy to find peace, love and truth wherever they find them around them.  This may be outside the doctrines of their religion.

A lot of Christians claim that Mohamed is a false prophet and should not be listened to.  However, if you look at a lot of Muslims’ lives they uphold a lot of the same principles that Christians uphold.   This is because a lot of what Mohamed said agrees with Jesus but certainly not all. 

The same is true of Jewish lives.  Muslims have remained closer to the Mosaic laws and Jews aim to uphold the Mosaic laws, which Christians have largely abandoned by basing their lives on two:
  1. To love the lord God with all their hearts, mind, souls and strength.
  2. To love their neighbours as themselves.

Where the three differ is how we should handle people who do not follow the teachings of the religious texts.  The Christians in principle are very much more forgiving than the other two, although throughout history this has not been practiced.

The Baha’i bind all these three religions in a faith with science too.

I would urge all of us not to forget our roots and to love our parents as the Torah tells us, but to focus on the fundamental message which is to tell the truth, love your neighbour who ever he or she is, and make peace with your neighbour.  Forgive them their faults and they may forgive you yours.  Repent of your sin so that you may be foregiven by God and by yourself. Respect each other and love each other.

The image above shows the three pillars of Truth, Love and Peace in a triangle pointing down for the priesthood and the three pillars of Truth, Love and Peace in a triangle pointing up for the people; Jews in Royal purple, Christians in washed white and Muslims in green bound by the faith of the Baha’i in gold binding the images together.  There are two images one is the way we see the physical world and one is to represent the way God sees our many different coloured souls.

These two are joined by an enormous plus sign, an enormous cross, for the love Jesus told us to share.  Whether you believe he is the messiah or not I ask you to share in the love as he asked us to.

God and religion are not the same thing.  You can love God without being religious and you can be religious without loving God or you can be religious and love God.  God is Holy and should be sanctified and worshipped communally this is the role of religion.

Please, love the one God with all your heart mind soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.

With truth, love and peace in our hearts we can solve the chronic Middle East problems, which have been at war since Joshua lead the people of Israel into the promised land.

With truth, love and peace in our hearts we can aim for World peace.

I hope that you find truthfulness, love, peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience, generosity and self-control.

I say these things as a pragmatic way to get people of different faiths to work together.   To help spiritual competitors cooperate as much as possible.

However, as a Christian I also have to tell you that just following Jesus's commandments of being a good Citizens is not enough to save you from hell for that you need to accept him as your Messiah and believe that he is the son of God and that he died and rose again to save us from our sins. I suggest reading Isaiah: 53. It predicts his death very clearly centuries before his birth and death.

As I said at the beginning I am a logical man not a wise man.  In all  humility I write as a logician I always doubt the truth to find a deeper truth.  That doubt seems also seems to bring me to a better understanding of God and the world.  I always say I may be wrong.

However, my best understanding of God has always come from the Bible.

God Bless.