It’s ironic that so much contention can come from organizations that are just trying to do good.
Wars have been started and millions – many millions – of people have died over simple disputes between religions. Not faith, religions. Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, The Episcopal Church, Mormonism, branches of Judaism and Islam… the list goes on, and as churches continue to develop and schism, it will not see an end.
I don’t want to be that person, but can’t we all just get along? All of the above churches believe in charity, compassion, and to some extent, forgiveness. So how did we resort to killing one another? And sometimes the right-out killing isn’t the worst. Many religions (take mine, for example, where the “opposition” has its own Wikipedia page) have faced persecution for centuries just for existing. People have been relocated, families have been broken, and when that stuff happens, faith can be lost.
I can’t speak for the non-Christian religions, but I want to have a word with all of us that read the New Testament – yes, Catholics, you’re Christians too. There are two verses in John 13 that we really ought to remember every once in a while:
35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another
36 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another
Those words are said by none other than the guy that God sent to the Earth to die for our sins. Pretty important figure, as I understand it. And the last time I checked, persecuting, mocking or killing a man just because he doesn’t belong to your sect doesn’t count as “loving”.
Some of the most Christian people I know are not of my church. Does that mean that their teachings are invalid or in any way inferior to mine? No! I may introduce people to my church because it’s a top-notch organization, but nobody is superior. But I have a lot more respect for someone of another religion that is strong in faith than someone of my church that has a weak testimony of Christ.
It comes down to faith, not religion. It comes down your belief in a higher power, in your good works, and in your desire to be more Christ-like. Leave the doctrinal bickering, the persecution, and the waging of war to those that have more time than sense.
Photo credit goes to spiritualdiversity.org