All Trying To Arrive At The Same Place…

2014-09-04_19-56-10“Now, just suppose, for a change they preach to you about the Lord and not about the other fellow’s church, for every religion is good. There is none of it bad.  We are all trying to arrive at the same place according to our own conscience and teachings. It don’t matter which road you take.” – Will Rogers March 11, 1923

Since Will Rogers is a hero of mine, of course I get a daily dose of his Facebook page. Here is one that strikes me as typical of his wisdom. Will was not particularly a religious person, his mom wanted him to be a Methodist minister but as he said he slipped and became an entertainer instead. He wasn’t much of a church goer but he didn’t put down except maybe on a few rare slips those who were.

Religious establishments, or at least the ones I know much about,  seem to go to an extreme to pronounce that the god of Allah is not the same as the Christian god. Each different group of religious people seems to insist that their god is the true one and everyone else is praying to a pagan one. After ten years of theological self-study I kind of think that Will got it about right almost a hundred years ago. Of course the religious pundits of today say otherwise.

We all latch onto one version of God and therefore proclaim that one the true god. Then we proceed to fashion words based on what we want from our particular god. For many Muslims that includes going to prayer five times a day and always praying toward Mecca. It is also about praising Allah and keeping others away from him.  For Some Jews it is about obeying thousands of different rules and eating only very strictly prepared foods. They think that is what their god demands of them.  Many of us Christians believe in a something-for-nothing god who only thinks of us a poor miserable human beings but will take us to heaven anyway provided we say the right words and believe what we are told. For them nothing else is required. And then there are other Christians who believe the exact opposite.  Got to love us Christians as we are all over the map on just what God wants from us.

We all spend way too much time convincing ourselves that “our “version of God is the only true one. We pick and choose various words from our particular religious documents to back up that feeling while ignoring everything else that doesn’t align with our chosen beliefs. We ALL do this to one level or another.

But in the end there has to be only one God in the universe and I kind of think she is almost laughing at our absurd efforts to split her into so many different parts. But she is probably also crying because of the same thing. As Will says all religions are good at some level but they all got it wrong at others. The sooner we all realize that the sooner we can quit fighting and killing each other to defend our version of God against their version.

Enough said…

3 thoughts on “All Trying To Arrive At The Same Place…

  1. RJ – great post and something we all can gain a lot from if we reflect on this instead of yelling/condemning those that disagree with us. As a hiker, I have learned when looking up at a very tall mountain that there are a lot of different paths to take to get to the top. If you get to the top, it really doesn’t matter what path that we took. This analogy has helped me over time to focus more on my own journey and hopefully become a bit more tolerant of others who may have found a path that works for them that is simply different from mine. And when I don’t waste so much energy trying to change or fix others, I seem to have a better journey of my own! We often make our own lives so much more difficult than they need to be. Thanks for the post! Mike


  2. Great post that gives us a lot to think about. It’s not easy for a lot of people, including myself, to look at the bigger picture…to really see beyond our own small world of religion and custom. When we do, we can see that people are more similar than not. The main religions and their multiple offshoots teach many of the same human values, just with different customs and words. In the end I think that we are really all the same and will most likely pass on to the same eternal resting place. So why do we argue and compete and agonize over man made conditions? Crazy.
    Mike said it so well…we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be.


  3. Thanks Mike and Jane for such thoughtful comments. Yeah, we spend too much energy squabbling over “our” version of God. If only we used it to love each other as most religions teach. One of the most insightful books I read on this topic is entitled “If Grace Is True” by Philip Gulley. Just look around the world today at all the wars over God. It is saddening because it is so totally avoidable…


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