If you think your religion is supreme and only you and your religious group members are heading to heaven/paradise, whiles the others are definitely going to hell or nowhere, close this article…It is not for people like you. In fact, I dislike people like you who think a group they belong are inherently supreme to others and do not make real effort to understand the dealings of others…
Religion is a dicey subject and as such, many people avoid discussing it. Many of us are experts in our own Religions and are confident that we are on the right path. If our group is on the right path in a world where we have right or wrong, where are the other groups heading?
We have millions of books and holy writings to back our assumptions and claims of belonging to the right Religious group; I mean the one God says it is right for His children…
What most of us lack is the strength to consider and understand the Religious practices and preaching of others. We have the best and yet we do not even know about what lies behind our walls. I am not sure how we got to know we are in the best since we have not sufficiently and objectively compared or given that of the others the necessary attention.
God is practically, conceptually and imaginably difficult to understand. The mind of God can never be understood. And this is because, God does not directly deal with us, we deal with our selves. He deals with us through mankind.
To understand the mind of God, we must understand and appreciate the minds of others, especially those who do not belong to our Religious group. Instead of us embracing the principle of unity in diversity, when it comes to Religion, we seem to entrench diversity with trivial assumptions and proclamation.
What Religion do you belong to?
It is true that some will find God even if they are brought up in a remote part of the world. However, the Religious group we belong to is heavily influenced by geography-like it or not. If you are a Christian reading this, get this right…If you were born in Saudi Arabia, the probability that you would have been a Muslim is far higher than being what you are today.
If things we do not have control over such as place of birth, parents and even upbringing affect our Religious group choices, why are we then making such groupings divide us more than it should be, creating uneasiness amongst us and to some extent, creating permanent barriers when it comes to certain dealings with certain people?
I prefer to call myself a student of all Religions, open minded about every Religious group and certain about none. Do not get me wrong, I am not an atheist-that is not even a Religious group anyway.
My background and upbringing surely have contributed to this stand and this has helped my human interaction and understanding of people from several Religious groups.
My mother is a strong, respected Christian, a Pentecostal and currently, she is the deputy women’s leader of the Church of Pentecost at where she resides.
I can say I grew up well with my grandmother who worshiped with the Presbyterian Church and devoted the best part of her life serving God through the church.
My first girlfriend was a respected and devoted Muslim. I recently heard she has converted to Christianity because of her husband (good for her).
When growing up, I had several friends and the one I cherished most was a Rastafarian by belief. He was kind, warmhearted and God fearing. What I loved most was his free spirit and consciousness.
I had my Senior High School Education in Adisadel College, an Anglican school which had a resident Priest. For the 3 years, I sung various Anglican hymns, worshiped the Anglican way and took communion every Monday in an on campus Anglican chapel.
I attended college at East Ham in London and I had several Asian and African Muslim friends. We hanged around after classes and rushed to get food together each day…I respected their views on Religion and where they belong.
At the Law School, I dated a Buddhist for almost a year. Her world view, understanding, calmness and way of life which were heavily influenced by her Religion is something I have never come across. She was such an innocent intelligent young woman.
At the same University, I had several friends from different Religious groups such as Sikh, Hindu, Judaism and those who did not have any space in their hearts for any Religion.
My girlfriend today is a Christian and she is respectful, generous, nice and believes in natural remedies so she is currently studying for a second degree in alternative medicine.
Why the long talk?
All these people I met and know belong to different Religious groups and probably in the comfort of their own rooms; they think their religion is the best. I hope they do not think so though…
Despite this, they all have certain amazing human traits. They are real human beings before Religious human beings. I got on well with them, respected them and instead of judging their views on Religion, I make efforts to look at things from their corner.
If you were standing where someone is standing, if you were brought up how someone was brought up, if you have experienced exactly what someone has and if you know what someone knows, I bet you will see things the way they do or understand their views much better.
There is only one true Love but many of us get to that through different means. So if there is only one true God as your Religion teaches you, then there are several ways to get to this God of which your Religion is one. Belonging to that Religion does not make it supreme and not belonging to the other groups does not make them inferior.
It is satisfying to belong to a Religious group because the sense of congregation brings unity and reinforcement. But what is it to humanity if we cannot openly unite with other groups in spite of our diversity? Beauty lies in diversity!
So the attitude; my religious group is the only one going to Heaven/Paradise so spare me the crap does not help to understand, appreciate and see things from the view of other religious group members. It curtails the unity in diversity that we can achieve with all these Religious groups.
I wish we were all students of all Religions and then, we could put the lenses of other groups on and see what they are seeing…