We were learning about Islam in Christian History class today. I had no idea that muslim tradition believes that on two separate occasions Christians prophesied over Muhammad, saying that he would be a prophet. And another Christian leader even asked to meet with Muhammad early on and they determined that their beliefs were in harmony. But when Muhammad went to Medina and met some Jews they realized their views on the Old Testament were a little too different. That’s when the fissure happened and violence ensued. Since then there has been a lot of violence between these three religions.
But, knowing that before their doctrinal differences divided them they were peaceful, it made me start to wonder. Can’t we all just overlook our doctrinal differences and live in peace?
If there is a muslim who ultimately just wants peace and love for all beings, and if I, a Christian also ultimately just want peace and love for all beings– and someone from any other religion wants the same– aren’t we on the same team?
What about a Hindu? Or a New Age believer? What about a Wiccan? Someone who practices Voodoo? How far away can we draw the line? If our end goal is ultimately to foster health and love for all the earth and all beings, can’t we just all be on the same team?!!
I think the difference is the word “Ultimately.”
We may all want peace and love as an end goal, but ultimately do we serve a cardboard set of ethics? Or do we serve a real God that tells us how to instate them? Do we serve the rules to rule a kingdom by, or are we serving a king who rules by them.
If we say, “Well, every god IS really the same god, each of us calling him/her by the name by which he/she came to us,” how would we know he/she is the same god? I mean, if we believe there is a God existing in a spiritual realm, it’s possible that there are other beings that exist in that realm (like angels, pagan gods, maybe even demons perhaps). And then how would we know whether or not those other spiritual beings are posing as the ultimate creator God to us, or certain people groups? (Which might be the explanation of ancient greeks serving gods like Zeus, or Hindus serving many gods, or current pagans worshipping gods by other names, or even present day mediums that communicate with spiritual beings.)
And even if we do conclude that ‘we do serve different gods, but it’s okay because they all happen to have the same end goal in common,’ what happens when one spiritual being’s view of human prosperity conflicts with another’s?
I mean we trust that both Democrats and Republicans want to make this into a thriving peaceful country (or just imagine that they did), but they have very different views of how to do it.
So my question that I’d like your opinions on is this:
Where do we draw the line? Who is on our team? I know God probably has a good idea of who is really doing their best to serve Him, even if they know him by another name, but how can we know? Should I look at someone who is healing people through voodoo, for example (which I’ve heard about at least in Haiti and Ethiopia) and say, I’m glad that you’re serving God in the way that you know how. Carry on.
Where are we called to draw the line.
Help me please.
Raw Spoon, 11-3-15