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God In The Plural Sense, Ie Religious Tolerance


By: Ed Lupton


Now don't get excited, the title does not infer that there are a multitude of Gods in heaven. I believe in only one God most likely just as you do, and my religion tells me that my religion is the way to join with God for eternal life most likely just as yours does.

By comparing countries, religions and languages, it appears that a major cause of much of the conflict in our world can be due to placing one concept of God against another. Even within Christianity one Christian religion may look upon another Christian religion as inferior. I feel the need to give others respect as they should do to you as well. The time has come where we must do the same with our personal religious views as well. Therefore, our interpretation of God should be taken in the plural sense giving each of us the dignity and respect to practice our religion in our way without infringing on the rights of others who want to do the same, but in another way.

We come back to the basics of looking at people simply as human beings. As such, we develop commonality where religion and the concept of God are only meaningful to ourselves. This still allows us to preach our interpretation of God, but does not give us the right to infringe on the rights of others if they do not believe or want to believe as you.

Some of you are going to say that such a statement is wishful thinking. At present, maybe so. Those areas of the world where there is conflict and repression many times is due to the lack of freedom to practice religion as the people desire. Governments around the world have learned, are learning, and a few still need to learn that freedom of religion is gong to release the unrest that may have brewed for centuries in their country and held them back from being more prosperous. Repression breeds unrest.

Let's take a step back and look at the overall picture of what is going on in our world at present. Every country has over the centuries developed an ethnic race or races that is/are particular to that country. When you add the different religions within each country, you get a greater cross-section of people. Some countries even have more than one language and/or dialects. Our world is one great melting pot of a lot of different people.

If you attempt to dissect the various forms of government from country to country, you will not find one perfect system, not even the USA that for many years set a standard for other countries to emulate. The USA is perceived to be a country of freedoms that are the envy of others, but we now see many areas of abuse and lack that necessitate major changes. We all are in an evolving process that will not end during our lifetime. There are some who look on God in the singular sense in that their religious attitude toward God is the only way to salvation, and this is OK. Most of the time it does not affect others who feel the same, but have a different perspective towards God. Countries need to take a plural approach to God and follow this trend toward religious tolerance. Ease up. Give each other some space and respect on their journey to eternal life with God.

Nobody has the right to make religious demands other than to expose religious doctrine. This is an internal relationship that no one in the outside world has the right to control. Each of us needs to come to grip with our relationship to God as an individual not as a body of people in a particular religion. We don't need a world of one particular religion. The world can remain an interesting melting pot or phenomenon because of differences of race, religion, and language. This need not be the reason for conflict, killing, and rape. On the contrary, these differences are what make our world exciting for those who want to observe and experience these different ways of living.

A fundamental precept in Christianity is love. Individuals of all religions should adopt this word as a way of life. Respect and love your neighbor, and we as a world can find peace and salvation. In the section of the Bible...John Chapter 14, Verse 6. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Jesus Christ may become your gateway to eternal life with God, but don't you also feel that this gateway can also be open for spiritually good people of all faiths. We believe, have faith, and speculate as humans.

All of us should read the religious texts of many religions. Many religious Clerics have studied the Bible as well as their own religious text so why don't others do the same. Learn about Jesus Christ as well as the prophets of other religions. If you believe in your God, then you realize that God created ALL people. As such, we must respect what God has done and show religious tolerance to all human beings. It makes life easier when you focus on yourself, and let others do the same.

Become a good example for others. Remember that any form of force other than for self-protection does not resolve differences. Allow the concept of God in the plural sense which gives the necessary tolerance for others to do the same. There is room for all of us in heaven. How many are going to be there at judgment day? Why not you and me. Let's bond together now while there is time!

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