Archive for the ‘non Christian religions’ Category

Interfaith Dialogue

August 26, 2009

I read a sidebar story the other day in the newspaper about a rift that had occurred in the dialogue taking place between Jews and Catholics.  Apparently the Jews got the impression that the Catholics were using the dialogue as a means of seeking the conversion of Jewish people.

The purpose of interfaith dialouge is to gain a better understanding of each others views.  It also aids in the acceptance of each other as human beings.  We also explore ways in which we can peacefully work together for common goals. 

  Some would say that in order for interfaith dialogue to be effective, all parties must accept the views of others as acceptable alternatives.  Others would recognize that we can hold conversations with people with whom we profoundly disagree, but still be rational, civil, and productive in our discussions. 

For many Christians, they consider “The Great Commission”,  the mandate of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples” to be their primary directive.  They take very seriously John 14:6 where Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  For these types of Christians, it is a part of their nature to seek the conversion of nonbelievers.

Does that mean that we shouldn’t talk?  That the lines of communication should be closed?  That there are no areas in which we cannot cooperate as religious people, for the common good of humanity?

I don’t think so.

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Religious Diversity

January 13, 2009

I read in the paper this morning that New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will participate in the the inauguration by saying a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial. 

The reason that this is noteworthy is that Robinson is an openly gay minister.

A few weeks ago the gay community was outraged that Rick Warren had been asked to participate in the inauguration festivities.  Warren is an evangelical who classifies homosexual activity as a sin.

President elect Obama is making good on his promise to be inclusive in his administration.  He wants to allow representation from all America during his term, from start to finish.  That is a good thing.

I suppose it would even be appropriate to have a Muslim say a prayer.  We have many American citizens who are Muslim.

We are supposed to be a country of religious freedom for all.

Aren’t we?

Be Still

January 6, 2009

“Can’t you just sit still??”

I remember hearing that occasionally as a child.  I also remember saying it a time or two as a parent.  Children are full of energy and often have a hard time sitting still for any length of time without moving or having something to distract or entertain them.

Are we children?

It seems that for some, we have to always have something going on to entertain or distract us.  Television, music, activity of all sorts chugs along throughout our days. 

Can’t we just sit still?

I think that it is good for us to take a little time each day when we do not have something going on around us.  That we take some time each day, to pray, to think, to reflect; even just a little bit, about life, God etc.

A number of years ago, transcendental meditation was introduced to western society and became quite popular for a while.   I believe that is because our society tends to have a hard time finding the  “pause” or “mute” buttons in our lives that it caught on as well as it did.  I do not think that we have to adopt eastern style meditation practices, but I do think that  a little quiet time each day would be good for us all.

Governor in Jail!

December 10, 2008

I heard yesterday that the Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested.  This morning I heard on the radio that he is actually in jail as of this morning.  He is accused of trying to sell Obama’s senate position. 

Amazing!

Actually, former governor Ryan, also of Illinois, is currently in prison as well.  He has been arrested, tried, convicted, and is serving his sentence.

How sad….

I have read somewhere that in Confucianist thinking the most important element for a government to succeed is the trust of the people.

Trust… the government???     Are you kidding????

If Confucius was right, (and if my memory is correct) we might be in trouble.  I remember (vaguely) the sixties.  I was in the 8th grade when Watergate was exposed.  I have learned not to have too much trust in the government.

Trust will have to be earned.

I do not believe that all politicians are corrupt.  I hope, and pray that our leaders are moral, and will make good choices and decisions.  I pray regularly for our leaders.  I want to believe the best of people;  even of politicians.

Can any good, moral, politician come out of Illinois??

I certainly hope so.

Subtly Astray (August Rush)

June 4, 2008

Recently, Gloria and I watched the movie “August Rush” .  It was enjoyable, but I wonder how many people realize how well it expressed basic Taoist philosophy?

Throughout the movie the boy is talking about the music that is all around, that he hears and tries to express.  He also believes that as he plays that music he can be reunited with his parents. 

The parents meanwhile are also musicians.  They also express themselves through their music, although they had set it aside temporarily.  They connect to some powerful force, which inspires their music.  When these three musicians are in harmony with the music around them, they are reconnected.

If you substitue the “Tao” for music, it fits pretty well the basic philosophy that we are to try to live our lifes in harmony with the  “Tao” which can be partially defined as “the creative rhythm of the universe”, which is believed by Taoists to be all around us.

I wonder how many people are subtly led into pursuing a line of thinking that is based in a religion that if they were openly exposed to, they would quickly reject?  Our society is filled with teachings and practices that are contrary to the Word of God.  We need to be careful, and to hold on to that which is good.