In there is no more time to

Intoday’s society, the Christian faith grows ever more difficult for Christiansin our globalized world, compared to other religions such as Judaism.  As humans of this world, there is no more timeto ask questions about different religions. As humans we explore our Earth, and interact with others from many differentcultures.

  All in all, whatdo you think the majority of the world thinks about the many religions in theworld?  How do we compare the Christianfaith to other religions such as Judaism?Jesus’ HierarchyDoes it make a difference if we automatically thinkabout the religions as if Jesus matters? If we all use Jesus’ rule of central values, will it change our approachto the issues of religious pluralism?  I think that, following Jesus’rules, the main idea this paper – to follow God and to love our neighbors -will not only help others, but help us reach salvation.  We should formour understandings more in terms of serving Jesus’ commands, instead of spendingour time to distinguishing between different religions.First, I think that we should realize that the term”religion” is a human category.  It looks like we believe that religionsexist as real subjects, rather than as labels that we have created as supportsystem on to our experiences.

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  I believe we do need these titles, but theyare not real, and they only exist in our minds.According to the chapter of John, Jesus said, “I amthe way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”  By this quote, it could be perceived thatJesus meant that Christianity is the only true faith.  That would be false.  I also do not believe he meant to say that a personmust pass a test that clarifies one as a Christian and gives one a one-way passto heaven after one passes away.  Jesusabsolutely did not mean this literally, and did not mean for us to forget abouthis call to love our neighbors and others of different practices.

  A key point to reflect on in the quote is, what Jesusmeant by “the way.”  What is “the way”Jesus is talking about. He gives us a very important criterion for judgement inthe story from the book of Mark about the Sabbath.  Jesus says that theSabbath is meant for human beings, not vice versa.The Old Testament and Jesus’ Hierarchyof ValuesThe Bible illustrates a broad-angle view at Jesus’hierarchy of values.

  His core messagewas not extraordinary.  He supported hismessage in the Bible, with the message of God that He gave to the Israelitesthrough He’s prophets.  The Biblepreaches that God wants us to act in peace for the good of the Earth.

  God has made us to know what peace is andshare it with the rest of the world.  Thereligion that God preaches, exemplifies this teaching.For example, the beginning of Genesis repeats thismessage.  Earlier in Genesis, the Bibleintroduces Abraham and Sarah – the barren. God promised to change that condition for them.In the story, God shows mercy to the Abraham and Sarahby blessing them with offspring.

 Inreturn, God ask Abraham and Sarah to develop a community where theyreside.  In addition, their descendantswill continue fulfilling God’s promise.  Godpromised that the people who know God, will bless all the families on Earth.  This vocation of Abraham was the beginning ofChristianity.  In conclusion, this storymakes it clear that the purpose of this revolution had to do with God blessingAbraham and Sarah with children, and not praising any people who are “chosen.”The religion is built on the foundation of servicing other regardless of theirreligious affiliation.  Jesus’ Affirmation of the Prophetic Message            Jesus delivers a similar message.

  At the end of Jesus’ ministry, in the book ofMatthew, he talks about the theme of salvation, when telling the story of hissheep and goats.  Like in the book ofIsaiah, he focuses not on religious beliefs, but on the everyday lifestyle.  Jesus speaks on his message as if he is inshock.  He says, those who practice thereligion that unites them with God, are those who inherit the kingdom.  In addition, he also says the same towardstake care of the unfortunate, those who care for the sick and supportprisoners.

              The lesson here is that the truefaithful people, who are faithful in their hearts, do not even recognize thesignificance of the Godly actions.  It isnot the great acts of religiosity that matter here.  It is the simple fact of caring.  “Just as you did it to one of the least ofthese, you did it to me.”   In this story,Jesus assists explicit religious practice to strengthen his ministry.  Jesus does not envision a universe withoutethics, where everyone discovers God no matter what.  However, he also does not envision religiousgroups who exclude others to say that they have the only correct doctrine ofGod.

Instead, Jesus differentiates between those who Godwill welcome and those who will be sent away. If we take away anything from religious pluralism from this story, itshould be more than religious pluralism not making distinctions between faithand un-faith.  The main difference that Jesus cares for, is not adifference that separates any group from one another.  Jesus speaks on the faithfulness in our lifestyles.  Those who help the homeless when needed, gowith God and those who ignore the needy, will go astray.

Towards the end of the Holy Bible, Revelation deliversa concluding image of the New Jerusalem, God’s promise of serenity, and discoversNew Jerusalem being healed.  Thisunderstanding of the Bible for Christians is to seek a challenge toward our faithfulnessto God’s will.  Unfortunately, it ishighly likely that us humans will make mistakes and go against God’s intentionsfor our faith communities, when we focus on excluding others to God.  Our job instead, is to focus on the love andhealing that our religious practices depend on us to perform.  As a result of that, we will bless all thefamilies on our Earth.

  The Center of the Torah            According to Jesus and otherprophets, the heart of the Torah, may be found in the fear for serving othersand differing cruelty and injustice.  Theseare of the many commitments that religious faith and practices are obligated toserve.  The Holy bible places the highestemphasis on such duties – much more so than on fostering religiously authorizedboundary lines that imply that religious groups matters more to God thanefforts of love.   Prophets needed separationbetween religious groups, only for the well-being of protecting faithfulness toTorah’s message of shalom against the wrongs of the rest of the world’s groups.            The efforts of love is recognized inthe familiar passage from the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.

  The story of the “Good Samaritan” illustratesthe main message of the earlier texts that were referred to.               Someone asked Jesus, asked abouteternal life.  How is thisinitiated?  The story portrays only oneother situation of Jesus being asked the same thing.  In this other situation, Jesus’ replies with thecommandments then focuses in an ethical demand. He says, “Sell all that you own and distribute the money to thepoor.”  From this passage in Luke, Jesus’response also talks about the laws and the prophets.  Love the God the almighty and love yourneighbor.  It is that simple.

  “Eternal life” is not about being a part ofan exclusive religion nor about the correct faiths.  It is all about giving and receiving love.            The passage continues afterthat.  Jesus needs to illustrate hispoint even more to show what he means by love God and your neighbors.  Jesus’ is questioned – “so who is myneighbor?  Isn’t this normal, love ourneighbors who share our same religion and practices, and practice the formal worshipof God?”  Jesus’ answer could not havebeen more straight forward and clear.  Heexplains the story of the Jewish man on a journey to Jericho, who is assaultedand left to suffer.

  Many people pass himby, including people from so-called “religion.” It looks highly likely that these religious leaders positioned a hugepriority on the evasion of uncleanliness than on compassion.   Afterwards, surprisingly, the assaulted manwas helped and save by a random merchant. Jesus’ story makes its clear, that the neighbor is anyone who can useyour help.              In addition to that, theextraordinary neighbor, the one who shows Jesus just talked about, is not evena Jew.  He is not affiliated with anyreligion that is associated with Jesus or his followers.  Jesus clarfies that supporting faith thatfinds expression in efforts of mercy and kindness is available to everyone withthe concept of good will.

  It is not stemfrom being part of a religion.  Thepeople who were a part of the of the religion who consider themselves “members”failed to assist the helpless man.  Theyare not neighbors especially when they neglected the Torah’s most importantcommandment.            Lastly, Jesus takes the situationeven further.  The person who expresses neighborliness,not only is not a follower of the Jewish religion, he is a member of the most hatedreligion imaginable to the Jews.  He wasa part of the Samaritans and at the time, aka the enemy.

  The person who saved the helpless man was onewho did justice from his heart.  He lovedhis neighbor and did not care about the helpless man’s religious affiliation.Conclusion            Theviews of Religious Pluralism in Christianity, are one of the ways to reachsalvation and achieve with our neighbors on Earth.  By having the ability to live with others andnot judging them by their religion, but by however they treat their neighborand fellow human family, will allow many people to live happier and createharmony on Earth. Jesus emphasizes this a lot and it is a core practice inChristianity.

In the end, Jesus wants us all to recognize each other as equal. 

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