“Each generation has to create the image of God that works for it.” – Karen Armstrong
Several years ago a family member of mine mother passed away. A neighbor of hers saw her in the grocery store and commented that she was sorry to hear about her mother’s death. My family member thanked her and said her mother was in a better place and no longer suffering. This neighbor responded with this comforting remark, “Only if she had accepted Jesus Christ as her lord and savior.”
My view is simple, I believe all human beings will ultimately be restored to a right relationship with God. Yes that includes all the evil people this world has produced. I believe that God’s divine love and mercy is greater than our individual actions, and thoughts. God’s light is simply too bright, even for Adolf Hitler.
Now this flies in the face of those of you who believe that the only door we can enter for salvation and a relationship with God is the one Jesus Christ opened. Certainly my family members neighbor believed that. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe Jesus is just one of many paths? The Jews have a path, the Muslims have a path and the Apostle Paul, a Jew, set in motion a path for non-Jews or Gentiles to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Keep in mind, Jesus never claimed that He was divine, His followers decided that after His death, and the doctrine that Jesus had been God in human form wasn’t finalized until the fourth century. Paul was the architect of the Christian faith, not Jesus. Jesus wasn’t here to start a new religion but to fix the one He loved, the one He knew.
For those of you whose response also would have been “Only if she had accepted Jesus Christ as her lord and savior” you ought to spend a little time exploring the early emergence of the Christian faith. Read about Paul and his battles with James, the brother of Jesus, over the legacy and meaning of Jesus’s existence and the leadership of this new Way. Gain an understanding of when the Gospels were written, long after Jesus’s death, and who they were written for. Each one was intended for a different audience. I am not implying that the Christian faith was simply manufactured but I will tell you that there are more human fingerprints on it than divine ones.
“One of the most characteristic new developments since the 1970s has been the rise of a type of religiosity that we usually call “fundamentalism” in most of the major world religions, including the three religions of God. A highly political spirituality, it is literal and intolerant in its vision.” – Karen Armstrong