It has always been a mental wrestling match with me that people seem to compete between religions and even within a same religion for who’s the most “right”.
Finding a common ground point is something I’ve always wanted and struggled with since I was young. I wasn’t finding it at church. The Bible was confusing. I finally narrowed my focus to God’s words. Especially Jesus Christ’s words. Yet still gave credence, but a lot less credence to purely human writers.
It finally seems exquisitely simple and perfect. When we love, we are as one. No matter what the religion. Don’t you feel it when you meet a stranger and become friends? We only get into trouble when we stray from love.
Taken literally, John 3:16-18 indicates that only believing in Jesus Christ allows us to be with God in Heaven.
John was a man. John and Jesus had a special relationship. Jesus’s death and the way he died would have hurt John especially deeply. Understandably, there’s a great deal of emotion in John’s writings. He had just cause to be hurt and angry about his Friend being taken from him.
I believe that John wrote Truth. I also understand that he was subject to his emotions, like we all are. I don’t see a conflict in John’s writings. I see love, especially for his dear friend Jesus.
Jesus taught in parables. He said that we would not enter Heaven except through Him. He taught that if we love, we will be with the Father and that if we didn’t, we would not. Simple as that. Love is what Jesus taught. His “rules” were the parables in which He taught proper thinking and behavior.
People can love without the Bible. Not everyone is exposed to Christianity. Even if they are exposed, many do not believe it is truth. But if they love their neighbors as themselves and love Nature (God), they deserve to be with the Father in Heaven. Some of my best friends are not Christians.
The Message from Jesus is that we should follow His teachings in our mind and heart. People can be following Christ’s teaching in their thoughts and behavior without being a “Christian”. We do best to follow Jesus’s teachings and not John’s.
We can appreciate John’s writings just as we appreciate all the writers of the Bible. Their work frames God’s messaging. But our “rules” should only come from the one God.
Jesus taught in common sense terms and only had one fundamental rule to live by:
As the human race, we can rationally accept each other’s religious beliefs. Religion should not be a competition. Man’s doctrines are subject to error as evidenced by the number of different man-made rule sets. It’s God’s simple command to LOVE. Even agnostics and atheists are a religion when they love themselves, others, and realize Nature as a mysterious source of Love. Our BEHAVIOR and THOUGHTS are what matters most. Choosing to be a Christian is not the ONLY way to Heaven. It’s just the only Christian way… according to John.
Humility is also the Christian way. Whether you agree with me is not important. What is important is that we should NOT expect others to think exactly like ourselves. We SHOULD recognize that all of us can have the common denominator of LOVE in how we interact with ourselves, others and our un-caused Creator of Creation (Nature).
Love is the foundation that Heaven is built on… not man’s doctrine.