Spirit or Religion

The other day a thought popped into my brain–I don’t think about religion. I think about living a life in the spirit. I don’t think about religion. Ever. I like to read books by (not about) spiritual seekers of all paths. I don’t really know much about religions since my early reading. I’ve seen Hindu paintings and Buddhist art. In the West, we’re filled with Renaissance art that still fuels the popular mind with pictures of what Jesus looked like, or what Hell looks like.

Last Sunday John Ortberg and the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (California, of course) took a chance that would never fly in rural Sidney, Ohio. The message was a panel discussion conducted with respect and honor that included representatives of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, humanism and Christianity.

It was interesting. You can navigate here and find it or go to iTunes.

As a Jesus-follower, I live the words “I am the vine and you are the branches” and “I am the way.” But I’ve known so many spiritual seekers who know nothing, or very little, about Jesus, yet their spiritual quest seems little different from mine. Well, forget the humanist who denies a spiritual realm. Sorry about his luck.

Most of the people I grew up with or relate with today would say that all these people are going to hell. Heck, I grew up taught that Catholics were going to hell! I am not prepared to be that judge. To me, that’s a God thing.

It was interesting to learn that in both the Judaic and the Islamic traditions, the Scripture is more of a living document. Most Christians seem to think that revelation from God ended somewhere around 100 AD or CE. When I’m interpreting Scripture, I tend to go back to the 4th or 5th Centuries and before. But there are many people who lived in the ensuing 15 centuries with tremendous Spiritual insight whose writings are worth studying.

Anyway, blessings on the MPPC and the ability to listen to others. Listening surely beats wishing bad things on them or even trying to kill them.

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