Last night I returned from a Christian Bible Study. Theoretically, Bible Study groups are to be supportive and uplifting, but I found the study content, Matthew 10:34, to be verbose at best. Morbid would be better.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”
Pretty matter of fact, the study group leader stated, “Relationships will be ripped, but life in Christ will be found!” And life can only be found in Christ. Christ is the only way to eternal peace. Knowing the Savior transcends our nearest and dearest.
Since I was the only Buddhist, I find afore mentioned chatter a harsh example of organized religion’s imposing principles while simultaneously convincing the public at large that to believe otherwise is wrong. My belief is that elements of any faith that fosters intolerance leads to hatred.
I believe the kingdom of peace and love is within all of us. The kingdom of peace and love is also outside us. We are the both the kingdom and a participant. Just as Christ was a unique person, so are you. A Christian is just as much a child of God as you and I. My Buddhist faith does not separate us. Rather it’s our un-commonality that binds us.
There are multiple ways to Christ’s form of agape love. Those of us who have seen waterfalls from Alaskan glaciers will experience the power of nature’s love as one who walks a Florida beach at sunset. The same power of agape love is available for both a Buddhist and Christian mother bearing a child. I simply cannot fathom God allocates more love based upon one’s religion. As such all can be nourished by the best values of each religion; that somewhere, somehow, a minutia of every faith breathes within us.
Reducing spiritual negativity is challenging. And as I attend these meetings, I challenge with dialogue – a dialogue that hopes all of us are willing to change. I entrust myself to the moment and presupposition that if we do not believe we can change, then we cannot become a deeper, richer Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Taoist, etc., etc., etc. Without change, we are useless to God and unto others.
We are interdependent. God needs us, just as much as we need Him.