People do not want to be forced to participate in other people’s religions. Fair enough, until you define religion. Everyone is religious. Religion is just a determination of what is right and wrong in the way someone conducts themselves. Religion is what you do when no one else is looking. It deals with moral behavior issues. In order for society to function, there has to be order. Therefore, there is government, but we have seen many evil, violent, immoral governments throughout history, so there must be a common bond of what is right and wrong.
The debate comes when people compete for which religion is the best or right one. How do you make that determination? One way historically is to have a war and the winner take and control all. The average person who seeks peace would reject that approach although he may be forced into it.
If not by force and war, then how do you make a determination? Some would say give a person a choice, and if they make the wrong choice, then cut off his head, or make a slave of him. This is still not a peaceful solution, so is there another way?
The only other way remaining is by persuasion and example. If you treat a person kindly and gently and do to them just as you would want them to do to you, then you do not create a hostile environment – instead, you create a peaceful environment.
Note, the persuasion is accompanied by your example – how you live your life. Hypocrisy detracts from the subject of persuasion. Aren’t we all hypocrites – at least to some extent and on some occasions? Therefore, there must be “more” than just a man’s beliefs or examples of behavior.
That “more” is an objective source of truth and reality known as God. Now, if there is a God (capital “G” indicating one and one only), then He must not have the failings of man, or He is no better than man, and therefore not to be believed. If He is God, then there is none like Him. If none are like Him, then He must have some attributes that distinguish Him from man.
What might those attributes be? At the very least, they would have to include immutability to avoid any hypocrisy. This God would have to be without need so that He would not have to steal, lie, envy, oppress or be hypocritical, or else He would be no better than man. He would have to have knowledge beyond man in order to set an example for man to follow for no man is perfect in knowledge, wisdom or understanding. If He had all of these characteristics (attributes), then logically, He would have to be more powerful than man. Additionally, He would have to be eternal in order to have all knowledge, and any less that “all knowledge” would be insufficient to be perfect.
How powerful would this One true God be? Again, logic would dictate that He would have to have all power, or man would seek to make himself equal to God, and then there would be no God (one God), but there would be many gods, and they would all be vying to be the “one” true god which means war, slavery, usurpation, oppression, stealing, lying, cheating, hypocrisy and so on.
An interesting aside here; Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania back in the 1980’s, mandated that everyone call him god. Going back to ancient Rome, Caesar was god on earth. So, man wanting to be God is nothing new, and the evil that comes out of that is abundantly clear from history.
So, back to the one true God. If He is all powerful, then one would have to conclude that among His powers would be the ability to communicate. There are claims to that effect, and they can be read in what is known as the Bible, or more frequently referred to as the Holy Bible. It is considered “sacred” text attributed to God as the originator, and man as the divinely inspired (by the Holy Spirit of God) author writing in his own style, but saying what God wanted him to say.
If this essay makes you think, then take it to the next level and read a legitimate translation of the Bible (King James, New King James, American Standard Version, American Standard Revised, or English Standard Version – there are other legitimate translations, but be careful), and do it with an open heart backed up by prayer that the Spirit of God will guide you in understanding.
This is persuasion and not force or threat of death to believe as others believe.
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