There is so much discord with regard to our religious dogmas, or rather with regard to the fundamentalist factions of these various religious dogmas, bickering over God’s Will.

This is not a new problem.  One merely needs to do a Google search to realize this– The Crusades, Hitler’s persecution of the Jews; the Israeli/Palestine conflict.  The various warring factions of the Sunnis and Shiites in the Muslim community. Not to mention the various elements of hate displayed among the Christian religions in and of itself. The Great schism, which spurred Catholics vs. Protestants, and later the division among the fundamentalist Protestant Christians and the mainstream.

So where is God in all of this?

Is this His will and Divine Plan? Does he rejoice so that in the end the one true expression of His vision and word prevails, or does He weep because we have missed the mark, which is what the literal translation of the Aramaic term sin of Bible fame means?

I personally think it is the latter.

I think—and this is just my humble and perhaps unimportant POV (that’s point of view)— that God created us all in the image of blessings, love and grace and that we are all meant to live and be as such.

But we get bogged down and lost in the baggage that we are bombarded with (at times relentlessly) from the notions and beliefs and concepts spewed by our families, our culture, our peers, etc. Notions, fears, prejudices and beliefs that in many ways have become antiquated.

Now, don’t get me wrong as I am all for tradition.

The trimming of the Xmas tree. The Midnight Candlelight service on Xmas Eve. The palms at Easter. The reverence of the old language of the Talmud, the customs, the heritage. The simplicity of the Buddhist way of life—to live in connection with all things. The beauty of the Hindu ceremonies and traditions. The reverence the Native Americans pay to Mother Earth. The concept of the peaceful Muslims whom are my friends and whom  tell me that the warring fundamentalists are wrong and misinterpreting the Koran and that a Jihad at its core means to quell the warring nature within oneself and was never intended to be used as a means to wage war against others.

I love traditions and the heritages. They have led me to find a common thread among all the varying interpretations of what God is.

That thread is love.

So why then would a God of Love want the various elements of the religions he set into motions via the various messengers, prophets, etc that he sent to this realm want us to war among one another in His name?

There is but one answer—either God is sadistic, powercrazed, jealous, controlling, divisive and cruel or we have implanted our human perceptions and interpretations of God’s Will, personalized them and used them as a means and ways to pump up our own egos and personal faiths based upon our cultures and set of circumstances and worse as a means and way to discredit, even try destroy, other faiths and interpretations.

I tend to think that God is all loving and all inclusive.

I also tend to think that just as he created an array of flowers for us to view for their unique attributes and beauty; he did so with paths and ways to Him.

I mean I love roses.  Their delicate grace and rich fragrance that nurtures the soul but also how they are protected by thorns because their delicacy is so fragile. This reminds me of Jesus and Christianity. I love tulips and their vibrant colors and petals and how they are from bulbs that hibernate during the winter cold only to be resurfaced in the spring.  This reminds me of Hinduism and its cultures’ colorful vibrancy.

I love sunflowers— how a single flower bursts from a sturdy stem that can grow as high as the beanstalk that the fabled Jack in the Beanstock once climbed. How they reach and extend like a kiss to the sun, grounded in the earth that nurtures them and sustains and roots them below.  This reminds me of Islam and how Muhammad once a warrior met Gabriel and created a religious text that according to all peaceful Muslims I know was not an indictment for war against others but instead one against the warring nature of one’s soul.

I love Japanese cherry blossoms that sprinkle trees like snowflakes and Christmas lights in a world and country that gave us the grace and wisdom of Buddha.  A man who taught us not unattchment but detachment, compassion for all. I love Echinacea and its purple blossoms in the summer and how they reflect, for me, the wisdom of the Native Americans and the power of nature and her ability to heal. I could go on endlessly but I hope I’ve made my point.

I think this world would be devoid of sustenance if but one of the above flowers was not present. And I think God, the Divine, Spirit, The Universe, Allah, whatever you want to name it created different faiths in order to reach and communicate with different individuals and cultures—just as he created different flowers.

I think all faiths when viewed and lived with regard to the grand concept of love and an I am love POV that treats others and all with love have a valuable role and place in this world.

As such I think God would weep that the beauty of the faiths he provided have in instances, and some ways, turned into weapons and agents of anger, control, division and a “my way or the highway for there is only one true path and it is ….this” philosophy.

I think He would rejoice if the religions could find a mutual respect for one another, an acceptance and understanding—to be able to say—I personally don’t agree with your take on faith, but if you are doing what God calls you to do and if it makes the world a better, more loving place then I respect that and will acknowledge that while I personally may not understand it; you seem to be doing that which God calls you to do and as such all is well.

It is my hope and prayer for this holiday season that we all respect one another for our various and differing faiths and perhaps we could even try to focus on the common thread and ground as opposed to fight over the differences.

Hate begets hate. We all know this.  Consequentially, love begets love.  We all know that the former heralds destruction. Maybe it’s time we turn the page on that antiquated notion and try the latter—Love.

2 Comments

  1. Sandra McLeod Humphrey

    I think we missed the mark too! Even among the Christian denominations, there’s a lot of bickering and petty disagreements which are pretty trivial and of no real consequence. Personally, I think He hopes we’ll get our act together and treat everyone with respect and tolerance, but knowing our humanity, I’m sure He also knows we’re going to mess up. Love your blog and I’ll be back!

  2. tripp fuller

    i hope God weeps. i tend to think God is more interested in getting each religious tradition to turn outwards towards the world and its needs and downwards toward the outcast and downtrodden than simply ‘Up’ and ‘In.’ Any time people turn out and look down I imagine God (if he shares the passion seen in Christ…and others) smiles.

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