I am reticent to voice views on religion because the true believers seldom listen and if they do it is for the gotcha moments. But here goes. I think that the bible and other tomes of faith are superb marketing manuals. They sell their products primarily to the choir and make their arguments to the skeptics as if there is but one path and the skeptics already know that but just need to be reminded. And the warranty is eternal life. No proof, no documentation, no buy back. And if you missed the first boarding you can be born again and get a free pass.
And none of this has anything to do with how you live your life, how you treat your fellow humans and even less how well you steward your corner of creation. And then, if you don’t subscribe to the sales pitch, your warranty is voided even if you are Ghandi, Buddha or Moses. So individuals who live exemplary lives, caring for others, for the earth are excluded not because they have not met all of the requirements but because they have not met the litmus test based on interpretations of a book that was written decades or centuries after the death of the prophet.
We tend to overlook the history of Christianity. The state religion of Rome, of the Spanish, the British, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Flemish and their roles in conquering Indian and African peoples. In the US there is the legacy of slavery, segregation, genocide and now homophobia. The history of the bible justifying hatred continues and this from a church founded in the name of a man of great love, caring, concern and selflessness.
How have these sins of the past affected people who were colonized by these Christian nations? And has the church or the churches owned up to this horrid legacy and made amends?
When I hear or see evidence that current Christians are serious about righting their wrongs, then I will be interested in a dialogue. With this legacy, it is understandable why the true believers talk about Their faith but are closed to the messages of others.
The Religious Society of Friends has been enriched by other faiths and by the moral leadership of non-Christian leaders such as the Dalai Lama. How long has it been since there was a Christian of his stature? To restrict our faith to one path is counter intuitive and deepens the divides that we already share.
I am not a Christian but I am a Quaker.
"You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Book of James
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