"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Monday, 15 December 2014

My Religion's Better Than Yours

During the last meeting, of the small group of confused travelers that meets in my house, we had a conversation concerning Christ’s apparent claim to exclusivity in John 14:6, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me” and how that pertains to other religions. Wanting a bit more clarification, I did some research the other day on the inter-web, which led me to a certain blog post that I found quite interesting. On the website were some books recommended by the author. Given that I thought the author made a lot of sense, I thought the books probably had a fair bit of credibility, even though I had never heard of the books or their authors. One in particular caught my attention; a book describing a near-death experience by a former atheist/agnostic Howard Storm called, “My Descent into Death: A Second Chance at Life".

Since my early teens, when I learned that such things existed, I have been fascinated by peoples stories of their near-death experiences, so I downloaded the book. So far, this one is the most detailed I have come across, and, as it turns out, he answers the question of Christ’s claim, and the role of other religions. In the book he describes asking Jesus and the angels a series of questions and the answers he was given.

So, here’s the answer straight from the horse’s mouth;

Q: Which is the best religion?
A: I was expecting them to answer with something like Methodist or Presbyterian or Catholic, or some other denomination. They answered, “The religion that brings you closest to God”.

Q: But which religion is that?
A: There are good people in bad religions and there are bad people in good religions. It is not so important which religion, but what individuals do with the religion they have been given. Religions are a vehicle that takes you to a destination. The purpose of religion is to help you have a personal relationship with God. God wants us to love him with all our being and to know the truth of God. If we find God in an intimate, loving relationship, then we are going the right way.Too often people find religion to be self-serving, interested in perpetuating itself and controlling peoples lives in order to be dominant. Religion is only a means to find God. Religion is not the destination. True religion is the love of God in every word, thought, and deed of the person. God loves all people and is pleased by religions that seek him in spirit and in truth.
God abhors the misuse of religion that creates divisiveness between people, that justifies violence, that promotes pride in self-righteousness. God is far greater than any religion. The spirit of Christ speaks to all people in all time to draw them to God.

Interestingly, in other parts of the book, the author affirms Christ’s statement in John 14:6, but not in a way you would expect. The only thing I will say about that, is that according to what he was told, our spiritual journey is not over when we die.

The author is now a pastor and says that everything he reads in the bible, especially the new testament, confirms what he was told during his near-death experience.

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