Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Other Religions (Part 1)
Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand... But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
Romans 14:4,10 (NAS)
I have a deep interest in the spiritual destinies of other faiths. Though I was raised as an Episcopalian, I did not find Christ. My family did not read the Bible, pray together, or talk about God. It was the '60s and '70s--an age of abandon, war protests, and drugs. We were a generation of boomers, and many of us missed out on tough lessons and hard times.
Still, I was seeking. As a young adult, I followed my older brother into the study of Buddhism for two years. I took Buddhist refuge vows and even received a Tibetan name: Jangchup Garma (Dancer of Enlightenment). I was attracted to the wisdom and intellectualism of Buddhism; it made sense to me. But I began to see arrogance within the Buddhists I knew, and I left.
AMTC itself served as my next religion. I committed to my job with passion, thinking that doing good work would bring the fulfillment I craved. I believed in God and prayed increasingly, but I did not know Jesus. Making matters worse, born-again Christians scared me. I didn't fully opt-in because I didn't want to be like Christians I met who seemed judgmental.
Through a series of life-breaking circumstances, I made a life-making decision. I became a committed Christ-follower at 51. But, did I nearly miss Him? What happens to 'good' people who don't know Him before they die?
Does the good Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, agnostic, or even atheist, one who has lived a life of love and service to others, go to a fiery hell for an eternity of torture? What about the unsaved children across the world? Even in this country, many people have not heard or seen a true witness of Jesus to have a real opportunity to say, 'Yes, I believe.'
On the other hand, what happens to judgmental, arrogant, or hypocritical Christians who have been baptized? Are they going to Heaven simply because they say they believe?
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Other Religions series.