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Religious Acceptance

I think that for many people, it is a natural instinct to condemn the people that do not belong to their group and its way of thinking. To say, ‘if you do not believe what we believe, worship as we worship, and follow what we are following, then you do not belong to what is right.’ It is a sad way to affirm that what you believe in is true and the only truth. Being a Christian, I’m afraid to say that we hold great fault when it comes to accepting other religions. Many Christians think that if you don’t follow Jesus, then you will end up in Hell, a though which seems to me to be very flawed.

My view of acceptance is very different from my view of tolerance. Tolerating something, to me, indicates that there is something that must be put up with. Accepting something is greeting it with open arms. It would be something if the arguing religions found a way to tolerate each other. However, it would be so much more to understand and embrace each other. We must recognize than no one is completely right or completely wrong about death, life, and God. Let’s stop excluding the spiritual stranger and be able to learn something from them.

The key to this policy of open arms is to recognize that God is infinitely bigger than one faith, one religion. God is too complex for us to know all about him, so no one can decide who he acknowledges as his ‘chosen people.’ Even though I’m a Christian, I whole-heartedly believe that God loves, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, the nonreligious, and so on. He loves them and accepts them into heaven after death.

My grandmother once told me that the spiritual journey is like a cluster of paths. Some are longer and more difficult to walk than others, but they all lead to the same place. Everybody forges their own paths; the paths sometimes cross, join, and wind in different directions. Each soul makes its own journey, sometimes inadvertently. Each soul finds its way to God. It is not a certain religion that leads us quickest to him, but faith in what we believe in and devotion to it. Most of all, it is following what God stands for even if you don’t know that it is him that you are following. The quickest path to God is standing for love, compassion, kindness, purity, etc. God is too caring to choose one group of people over another. So the least we can do is follow in his footsteps and love one another, even if are beliefs are different.



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SaphiraBrightscales said...
Mar. 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm:
Beautfiully conveyed! Yes,  but you know, it isn't just Christians who act that way sometimes, being a Muslim and living in a Muslim country I have come across many Muslims who behave that way too. Though inadvertantly some often put themselves above others. Though the others may belong to any religion, they're human and God made them and he loves all humans equally. God never said you are superior to another on the basis of religion. It is utterly worng to do that. Acceptance is wh... (more »)
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm :
All that you say is very true and very well stated (you should have written this essay!). I suppose my critique was aimed at Christians because I call myself a Christian and am surrounded by Christians, and I feel that we need to take some responsibility for it. Anyway, I shall be praying that we all recognize the same thing as well. Until then, SaphiraBrightScales...
 
SaphiraBrightscales replied...
Mar. 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm :
NO way, you wrote it perfectly sir. I guess it was aimed at them but see it turned out to be so much more and affected so many people. And exactly what good writing does. And I shall join you in that prayer. Until then raven....
 
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believe@faith said...
Jun. 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm:
I respect what you said and yes God loves all people ands wants them to turn to him ( but everyone has their choice to accept or not). God is love, but he also puts justice. Not everyone ends at the same stop sign.
 
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jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm:

I apoligize for commenting so much, but I am passionate about the truth of Christianity.

Jesus Christ told us followers to make fishers of men and to spread the gospel. Therefore, we do have an obligation to evangelize to non-believers about this salvation from hell. We do not do this to push them away. We do this to lead them to the love, the goodness, the grace of our Father. Moreover, we do this (hopefully!) out of our anguish for what might happen to them otherwise, had t... (more »)

 
The Silent Raven replied...
Dec. 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm :
It's been a while since you've made this comment, but I've always intended to reply... More than anything, I'm touched by your sincerity, and your well-wishes; thank you, especially, for the prayers which you promised me. :) That's the most important thing, when two "believers" enter into a conflict about the God they both love, that they remember to wish each other well. The area of our disagreement, I think, is narrower than you might imagine. I too ... (more »)
 
jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm :
Friend, my truth Is the living word of God. I'm not sure if you take it as seriously as I TRY to do. Repeatedly, repeatedly, God (Christ) has emphasized that we must, absolutely must, believe and live for him. Now, understand Yaweh is Jesus, the holy spirit, the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. NOTHING ELSE!  EVERYTHING apart from him is against him. If you don't agree with me, than obviously you don't belive his words: "I you are not for me, you are against me". And,... (more »)
 
The Silent Raven replied...
Feb. 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm :
I see how silly of me it was to try and make you understand what I believe about God. My apologies. But I'd like to tell you that, even if you and I have differing interpretations of God's Word, I don't "call" myself a Christian, I am a Christian. If you follow Christ, you are a Christian. Christ's, we both agree, is the way of love. But, again, I believe that this love is the most powerful force in the world; it is the source of all life and light, and so, u... (more »)
 
jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm :
I apologize, but if you think it is so “silly” that we would be on the same page, that I would understand your beliefs, you are sadly mistaken. The omnipotent, omniscient God of the Judaism and Christianity has graciously and lovingly given us words of life. It is clear, concise, and coherent. If you are a Christian, then you believe in God’s word, you believe that God’s words are more powerful and authoritative than the words of human flesh, any power, or any principalit... (more »)
 
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jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm:

You do know that, as a Christian, you are omitting Jesus's own words about salvation ("I am the way, the truth and the life. The ONLY way to the Father is through me", "For God so loved the world", Etc, etc). To even say that a muslim or buddhist can get into heaven refutes the word of God. I am all for accepting muslims, atheists, etc., assuming that you present them with the TRUTH (the word of God)--if they are open to discussing religious view--and the TRUTH is that, if they don't beleive ... (more »)

 
jeseer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm :

I hope you also know that, as a Christian, Jesus is God in the flesh. Also, the Bible is not contradictory: Jesus came as the fulfillment of the Old Law(Old Testament/Torah). He came to fulfill the law because the Pharisees thought that they were more righteous than anyone else and many other reasons.

I hope you take this into account. I'll be praying for you. Remember: "the truth shall set you free"--John 8:32

 
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leafyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm:
I have to agree with you on this one. Oftentimes, I grow thoroughly embarrassed by my fellow Christians' actions...
 
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Aderes18 said...
Jul. 23, 2011 at 1:42 am:

I just love that! Amen! :)

Being a Bostonian and being         bi-racial and not sticking to one clique and travelling around the world, every day I see people of different religions and cultures from around the world. And also I am a Muslim and although many people don't think so, we are a warm, accepting people.

It's the way I've grown up-I accept everyone and make friends with anyone :)

Also, one of the things I really ... (more »)

 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 23, 2011 at 10:58 am :
Hooray! The Raven loves to come across accepting and loving people such as you. And I think it's wonderful what you said about Muslims, I just which conservatives would recognize that. Most Muslims, it seems, are more respectful of other faiths than Christians are.
 
Aderes18 replied...
Jul. 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm :
Thank you! That pleases me! :)
 
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Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 12:14 am:
I understand what you're saying, and to a certain extent I agree with you. My question is what you think the point of J.esus' death was, if he is not necessary for salvation.
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm :
It is salvation, of a sort. I believe that Jesus was willing to be crucified because God was determined to go through a terrible fate and re-emerge whole. It shows us that He fully understand our pain and will help us through it. This sheds great light for all of humanity, even those who do not know it. I can't pretend to understand it completely, though. I only believe that God would not send anyone to Hell.
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm :
I believe it's because God was willing to send part of himself through a terrible fate in order to show humanity that He knows our pain, and that He'll help us through it (by his resurrection).
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm :
I can't pretend to understand it completely; I only believe that God wouldn't send people to Hell. Does that clarify at all, Destinee? :)
 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm :
Oh, I think your reply was only just uncensored. Hm. 

Okay...so the Bi.ble's wrong then? :)

And I do disagree. I think some of us are going to H.ell, and it frightens the beejeebies outta me. Sometimes a little fear ain't all that bad. :P
 
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