Book Review: "Unifying Truths of the World's Religions"
Throughout history, people have been divided along political and religious lines. Nowhere is this more evident than in the history of wars created by religious conflict. Religious persecution continues today in many parts of the world, especially in China and the Middle East. How can people be united for peace on earth while we allow ourselves or others to be persecuted because of how they choose to worship God? Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu, loving tolerance and compassion for the free will choices of others, just as God has given us free will, is the only way forward to a golden age of peace and enlightenment on earth.
From the book by C. David Lundberg:
"We need our court systems of justice to protect the innocent. Let us, however, refrain from judging another unless we are presented with clear evidence of wrong-doing. Let wisdom, compassion, and mercy be foundations for helping us to protect what is good and correct what is not good.
"The terms" judge" and judgment" used in the sacred texts, when not referring to God's judgment, are often referring to people establishing a negative or condemnatory opinion of others. God's teaching with the sacred texts guides us to not get caught up in negative feelings that can imprison us and lead us to a sense of separation, even from misguided souls.
"One of the basic freedoms of life is freedom of religion, the right to worship God as one wants. It is essential that we due respect for the spiritual beliefs of others. It is easy to offend someone by judging or not respecting their beliefs. Let us respect others as we want to be respected.
"Every religion shares the same core principles we can all embrace. Let us respect the truth in every religion."
Mr. Lundberg shares many examples of similarities that most of us probably are not aware of in the world's religions. Let's take a look at the admonishment to love from several of the world's major religions.
"Christianity Affirms the power of Love
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all the soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
"Islam Affirms the Power of Love
"Whoso seeketh to approach Me one span, I approach him one cubit; and whoso seeketh to approach Me one cubit, I approach him two fathoms; and whoever walks towards Me, I run towards him. (Hadith)
"Judaism Affirms the Power of Love
You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the Lord. (Tanakh) Leviticus 19:17-18
"Hinduism Affirms the Power of Love
"The infinite joy of touching the Godhead is easily attained by those who are free from the burden of evil and established with themselves. They see the Self in every creature and all creation in the Self. With consciousness unified through meditation, they see everything with an equal eye. (The Bhagavad Gita, chapter 6)
"Buddhism Affirms the Power of Love
"However men may speak concerning you, whether appropriately or inappropriately, whether courteously or rudely, whether wisely or foolishly, whether kindly or maliciously; thus, my disciples must you train yourselves. Our minds should remain unsullied; neither should evil words escape our lips. Kind and compassionate will we ever remain, loving of heart, not harboring secret hate. And we will bathe them with the unfailing stream of loving though. and proceeding further, we will embrace and flood the whole wide world with constant thoughts of loving-kindness, wide, ample, expanding, immeasurable as the world, free from enmity, free from ill will. Thus, disciples, must you train yourselves. (Majjhima-Nikaya)
"Taoism Affirms the Power of Love
"If we have no body, what calamities can we have? Hence, only he who is willing to give his body for the sake of the world is fit to be entrusted with the world. Only he who can do it with love is worthy of being the steward of the world. (Tao Teh Ching, chapter 13)
"Confucianism Affirms the Power of Love
"Fan Ch'ih asked about benevolence. the Master said, "it is to love all men." (Confucian Analects, chapter 12)"
You may purchase Mr. Lundberg's book on Amazon. I own it and I highly recommend it. Happy reading!
Meditation is a common practice in many Eastern religions, including the Sufis. It has been a tradition in Turkey for approximately 800 years, though like most ancient religious traditions, it probably has its roots from much longer ago.
By examining religious traditions from around the world, we open our hearts to be more accepting of people who love God as we do, expressing that love and worship in their own unique traditional practices. When we watch and listen with an open heart, we allow ourselves to experience God within the prayers and praise of other cultures.
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