Are We Out of Step with God?

RELIGIOUS BEING AND LOOK ALIKE

We have seen many attempts to make us belief that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have much in common. Just how much commonality is there between the three Religions?” Jesus raised this question, “Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but every bad tree bears bad fruit” (Mt.7: 16-17).

To begin with, religions are identifiable by the lives and practices of their followers. Their members’ deeds speak louder than their beliefs. For that reason, their participants are very much alike. There are similarities between what the Hebrews did and what some Muslims do. We also have some Christians that do what Moses’ followers did and not what Christ’s followers should do. Whether we agree or not, we depend on the understanding of Moses, Mohammad or Jesus. These three leaders have handed down to us their concepts of what God demands of men. It was and still is their practice that set them apart from each other and sets Jesus apart from Moses and Muhammad. When we compare the three religious leaders, we cannot help but come to the conclusion that they represented different deities. The Gods of Moses and Muhammad are bent on establishing earthly kingdoms; Jesus, to the contrary, wanted a heavenly kingdom (Jn.18: 36). Both, Moses and Muhammad forced their laws on the people or coverts. They used the sword to advance their causes. Jesus depended on the “Word” and not on coercion to enlist volunteer followers. What we really have is what man and not what God wants. Men have used God to justify their ways.

It is wrong to assign evil to a religion or God because it is man that casts his shadow on his faith and his God. This is not a new practice. Read this, that is more than two thousand years old, “As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles (unbelievers or infidels) because of you” (Ro.2: 24). It is what religious people do and not their religion that shames God. God is good, perfect and kind. He is not willing that a single soul be separated from Him in eternity. All three religions have this faith in common. Why, then, are they so different in what they do? Again, it is not religion but the adherers that are out of step with God. That is why Jesus prayed for those that were crucifying Him, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing” (Lk.23: 34). What were they doing? They were forcing their understanding of God and religion on Jesus and then on His followers. And that behavior and practice has continued to this day (Mt.10: 16-42).

All religions have trees (members) that bear bad or no fruit. It is unfortunate, that critics are too quick in blaming religion for the bad apples. It is equally unfortunate, that leaders that are bad apples themselves speak for their religion or God. In such instances, the people should uncover such cocoons that breath hatred and destruction. It is self-evident that such leaders hurt their people and their religion. It is even more unfortunate, that far too many put their trust in such leaders. Christians, of all people, should know that they are not exempt from false prophets in their midst (Mt.24: 11). Jesus had to contend with such individuals that were claiming to be disciple of Moses (Jn.9: 28). They were the cause why people did not enter the kingdom of God (Mt.23: 13).

We are a nation of many religions and are protected by a Constitution. We have lived for years side by side and we cared for each other in spite of our differences. Why are we allowing individuals, with false interpretations, disrupt our unity and separate us from our religions? Worse than that, why do we follow such people and even elect them into office and thereby shame our country, our religion and our God? It has become tragic that we believe in people that claim they speak for a religion or for God when their action and behavior negate everything. It compounds the tragedy when they want us to be and look alike. The Creator has made us to differ for the purpose to enhance each other and enabled us to seek out the truth and make our choices accordingly. We all should refuse blind leaders that lead us into a pit (Mt.15: 14). We have the right to choose the Savior we want to believe in. We do disgrace ourselves, including atheists, when we ridicule others for their belief. Jesus warned that by being a hindrance to others we could forfeit our own salvation (Mt.18: 1-9). Jesus told His own followers that they were not the only ones that would be allowed into heaven (Mt.8: 5-13). Here too, Jesus differed fom the others.