I know this may come as a shocker to some; and, I can only imagine the number of Bible verses that will be quoted in comments as “proof” to refute this post, but I’m here to tell you something that not only won’t sit well with some, it has a fairly profound implication:
Christians don’t own heaven.
Now at first you might say, “Duh. Of course,” but there’s something else I need to tell you:
Christians don’t own God.
You only need to look back to Abraham to get that.
The God of Jesus is the God of Abraham. The God of Jews is the God of Abraham. And, like it or not, the God of Muslims is the God of Abraham.
Arguments can be made that other religions are just examples of humanity trying to seek out and understand this thing we call God. But for my simple task in this article, I won’t be addressing those arguments.
Here’s my point: if Christians don’t own God and God “owns” heaven (remember when you said, “Duh. Of course.”?), then why do so many Christians get so worked up with judging and damning other religions?
Jesus was Jewish.
If you are a follower of the Christian faith, it seems like some kind of bizarre, religiously self-inflicted wound to be anti-Semitic.
Additionally, Muslims see Jesus as one of the greatest and most powerful of God’s prophets.
Shall we take it upon ourselves to condemn an entire religion when we share a common spiritual ancestor in Abraham and a common belief of the teachings of Jesus?
Far too many Christians are busying ourselves playing God, deciding who we believe to be worthy and who we believe to be damned.
It’s shameful, really.
Who do we think we are? (Well, obviously. we think we are God, but you get the point).
I honestly don’t know one Christian (including myself) who doesn’t have a lot of work to do on their own spiritual health.
You would think we’d be much more concerned with our own personal spiritual issues than with those of other people. You know, get our own house in order, take care of the log in our own eye – that kind of thing.
But far too frequently, that’s not the case.
Which leaves me with the question: why?
The answer is easier than you might imagine and exceedingly difficult to overcome as well.
It’s connected to our human tendency to want to matter, to be important.
You see, it is easy to tear someone else down and that’s an easy route to feeling like we’re better than another. It makes us feel important, like we are more worthy.
But, turning that same critical eye onto ourselves forces us to recognize our shortfalls and the places where we could be better, and that can feel quite the opposite of being important. In fact, it may be the hardest thing for a human being to do.
What if we let God be God, and we just concentrate on our own thoughts and behavior?
What if we stop judging others?
For that matter, what if we stopped judging others and ourselves, and just focused on loving others. . .
Almost sounds biblical, doesn’t it?