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Love is key in any religion, as is peace. As these are human treasures, they take on divinity. As they are divine, they take on human value. The association is inevitible.
Maybe man tends to focus on a certain aspect of God at different times through life, and through history. As we study Everything and try to make sense of it, something that Christianity teaches is impossible, we get an idea of what is looking back at us. But that does not mean that the idea is whole, in fact religious experts would say that that is impossible because we cannot understand God.
Did we create God or did God create us? I say what difference does it make. Either way God exists. Maybe we created each other, who knows. Maybe, our vision of God is our own instinct telling us what we need as a species. Maybe it's God telling us what to do. I say that it does not matter why. Because God exists, we should trust It.
Look at things like how religion spreads. Christianity took off like wildfire. Rome tried to abolish it by killing the Christians, and the Christians responded by allowing themselves to be murdered. That's pretty big. Then, Rome took over Christianity and bastardized it in order to have it suit the rich and corrupt. I know if I were God and that happened to my message, I'd be pretty pissed off.
Enter Islam. Islam preaches that Muhummad was Jesus again (for the third time). This time he says, you are my soldiers. Preserve my message at all costs against those who say I am bullshit.
Religions always have the ability to take off, and new religions are always popping up. But not many catch on with the type of fervor of Christianity a couple of millenia ago, and Islam today.
The Mormons for example, never quite made it out of Utah.
The message through all religions is to love and have peace. God may show himself to us at different times, and may appeal in different ways to different cultures. This is not to say that Buddhists are any less valued by God. The message of Buddhism, Shintoism, Lovism, Dovism, is always the same peace, love, unity, and respect that we all value as virtues.
What's my point? I don't know
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Chester and Master were sitting on the porch watching the birds in the trees and listening to their melodies. Chester started frowning as if working out a problem and to no one in particular exclaimed, "It doesn't make sense. They should work together. Why don't they see it?" The Master looked over at Chester and asked, "What are you referring to?"
Chester continued still to himself, "Science has several disciplines, biology, physics, astronomy, geology and such, but they are all a study of nature in one way or another." Turning to Master he directed a question at him. "Why do the different religions act as if they are the only correct way. Why do they tend to regard the other religions as foolishness or worse, blasphemy?"
The Master rubbed his jaw in thought. "Perhaps an old story my master once told me will help. It is a story about mountain climbers, road builders, horse trainers and wagon builders."
Chester smiled and barely shook his head as he looked down at his feet, but waited to see how the Master tied this to the subject he had brought up.
The Master looked up as if the details of the story were in the clouds. "Oh yes, they lived at the base of a mountain these people. An ancient legend claimed that they would find God when they made it to the top of the mountain and the reward would be peace and prosperity for everyone. The legend also said that a great temple dedicated to the God of love and peace was to be built by the followers of the way. All four religions taught that God was love and that God was responsible for peace, but they also taught that only they knew the way to God."
Chester watched an ant crawling on the porch but listened intently to the Master.
"There were four types of people that lived at the base of the mountain: mountain climbers, road builders, horse trainers and wagon builders, and each thought they were the correct way to get to the top of the mountain. The mountain climbers argued that they were the true way, for only by climbing the mountain could one ascend up to God. The road builders were strong in their faith. They had the ancient knowledge of road building, and they taught to all that would listen, that it took a road, that only they could build, to get the people to the top of the mountain to enjoy the eternal pleasures of being with God." Master was smiling as he remembered the story.
Chester got tired of watching the ant and commented, "I guess the horse trainers and wagon builders felt the same way?"
Master nodded, "Oh yes, the horse trainers recited the portion of the prophecy of a time when the top of the mountain would be brought low. They taught that only those that had a fast an well trained horse would be able to quickly ride to God and experience the love and peace of God."
"How did the wagon builders get so confident they were the one true way?" Chester waited.
The Master took a deep breath and said, "Well, the wagon makers told of the great prophet from God that came down from the mountain and taught that he was the way to God. He taught that with a wagon that truly represented his teachings, that all the people would someday reach the mountain. So the wagon makers taught that the other religions depended upon false teachings and that one had to get on their wagon to make it to God."
Chester laughed, "I've heard of a few churches that sound like that. Of course, they had to make the wagon and no one else, right?"
The Master held up a finger and said. "Of course, and the mountain climbers made fun of the others, for the road was never finished up the mountain, the mountain top never came down, and the prophet had died long ago but the wagons got bigger and more ornate yet no miracle ever lifted them to God. The road builders had contempt for the mountain climbers because all of the climbers fell trying to make it to God."
Chester joined in, "I guess the horse trainers were confident that only they were right because until the top of the mountain came down, no one would find God, and of course, they had the horses."
"Correct," Master sounded pleased, "Then one day a man was digging a well and found a tablet of stone. Carved on it was a temple surrounded by inscriptions in a language long forgotten and no longer spoken. All of the great scholars from the four ways to God, each claimed it was the ancient instructions, spoken of in the legend, explaining how to get to God. Each group was sure that once it was deciphered it would prove once and for all that they were right. The legend spoke of the great temple that would be built by the true way and only by the true way. They were all convinced that finding the stone was the long sought sign that the temple was to be built."
"Then what happened?" Chester was getting into the story.
"A terrible war broke out over the tablet and much blood was spilled over who would build the temple. The conflict raged for years but neither side could win. Finally peace was declared and a compromise was made." The Master paused for effect. "The people grew tired of the war, and the conflict, and they decided to join together to build the great temple spoken of in the prophecy of old."
Chester cocked his head and said, "Did they quit believing their way was right?"
The Master smiled. "Secretly they each felt that only they knew the true way, but in the spirit of compromise and peace they came together to build the temple. Quickly all of the artisans of the four ways to God started on the great work of building the temple. The carving of the temple was used as the overall design. The stone the carving was on was of a type only found up on the mountain itself. They decided only that type of stone would be worthy for the Temple of God."
"Well, did they build it?" Chester was showing his impatient side.
The Master held up a hand. Chester settled down. "The mountain climbers were skilled at finding the stones needed for the temple. The road builders built roads that spiraled up the mountain so workers could reach and quarry the stone. The wagon makers made strong wagons to haul the stone and the horse trainers taught the horses to pull the wagons. As the work on the temple continued, they had to go higher and higher up the mountain to find the right type of stone. The roads could be built only because the mountain climbers were able to find the best places to safely extend the road. As the road got higher and higher, it took fast horses to make the trips up and down the mountain in less than a day. Without wagons, no stone could be delivered to the bottom for the temple."
"So by working together they built the temple. Then what?" Chester was frowning again.
"As the temple neared completion the search for more stones of the right type took them to the top of the mountain. At the top was plenty of stone to finish the temple. Just as the ancient prophecy had stated, the top of the mountain was brought down and the way to the top was found."
"Was God on the mountain?" Chester scratched his head.
"The prophecy had always stated that they would find God when they made it to the top of the mountain and the reward would be peace and prosperity for everyone. God is a God of love and peace. They learned that to find the God of peace and love they had to first become a people who were peaceful and loving." The Master waited for Chester.
"Oh, so until people learn that the religions of today each have something to teach about the journey to God, they will be like the people living at the base of the mountain!" Chester beamed.
The Master stood up and said. "Exactly." Then the Master left Chester on the porch to think about what he had just taught him.
I agree completely! It does not matter what you call God or who you claim as your prophet. The lessons are always the same. The values are always the same.
And so each among us must be humbled before God before they will know that their actions are evil and serve no one. I believe that this will soon be revealed in such a fashion that its impact on mankind will be permanant.
Or so i hope.
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