July 22, 2011

Do You Think We Will Ever Have One True Religion?

In "Voices of Faith," religious leaders answer readers' questions.

In "Voices of Faith," religious leaders answer readers' questions.

Truth is found in many places

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery: Buddhism is unique in that it doesn't claim to hold a corner on truth. From the Buddhist perspective, truth can be found in many religious faiths. It is said that the Buddha gave 84,000 kinds of teachings for different kinds of minds.

Different minds respond to different religions. Some people feel a connection with Christianity, some with Judaism, some with Islam and others to the plethora of other faiths. All religions encourage good actions, moral virtues and personal responsibility, and see the world and our lives as sacred and meaningful. The golden rule of not doing unto others what you find harmful can also be found (in some form) in nearly all faiths.

Our Hindu brothers and sisters have a saying that "all rivers lead to the same ocean." The obvious meaning of this is that all religions lead us to a connection with the sacred. So then, the question becomes which path to follow.

I like the advice that Carlos Castaneda gives in "The Teachings of Don Juan."

" For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have a heart, on any path that may have a heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length ... looking, looking, breathlessly."

So, as Castaneda says, once you have found your path, you should then travel its full length.

God brings us to the truth

Pastor Raymond Davis Jr., Greater Corinthian Church of the Christ: Presently, the Bible speaks to us about one truth in religion and how we can arrive at it: God makes known to us the ultimate in religion — not forms or classic rituals or even high celebrations.

While religious pluralism has its place in our diverse human culture, we don't get to one-path truth through all present systems — denominational or otherwise. If any person is to come to t rue religion, there must be a singleness-of- heart relationship with God's meaning of truth-religion.

Powerfully authentic, the Bible gives two examples of arriving at the truth-religion: one man through revelation and experience, the other through God's call — what the Bible calls, "whosoever believeth."

The Bible uses specific imagery to illustrate change. In this case, Saul becomes Paul, abandoning his religion to embrace God's global religious purpose.

Saul says he profited in his religion; however, God brings him to a more perfect religion — truth. Paul says, "But when it pleased God — to reveal his son unto me ... for therein is the righteousness of God revealed" (Galatians 1:13-16, and Romans 1:17).

Finally, no person will come to true religion except through his own heart. God takes the initiative to bring us to truth-religion (John 3:14-18).

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