I was born into a Christian Catholic loving family.
I am grateful that my parents gave me an introduction to religion and spirituality from an early age. My wife and I have also done the same for our kids. While I was raised a Catholic ,by no means to I believe that Catholicism is the only way to reach God or the only way to live a spiritually rich life.
I have studied many other religions over the last twenty years and I have come to the conclusion that organised religions are a bit like a tour guide. They can lead you in the right direction, however they are not the destination, God is.
The wonderful thing about many of our religions is that the themes they preach are very similar. I personally follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and try and live as he has instructed, however I also follow the spiritual Teachings of Loa Tzu and many other prophets and philosophers. However many religious individuals would for example find it hard to accept that Christianity and Daoism could be compatible.
This is a common issue we face with organised religion.
Many of us who are affiliated with a particular religion believe that every rule and doctrine that their religion represents is the real truth and all other religions are either wrong or are lacking in the truth.
The Ego is to blame
Much of all this can be blamed once again on our ego or collective egos. Remember our ego is an imaginary image of who we think we are. The ego confuses what we think and what we own with who we are. When we perceive a threat to our beliefs such as our religious beliefs then our ego goes into defence mode. As to the ego a loss of our beliefs is actually a loss of ourselves.
It is very common for many devout religious followers to get offended when someone has a different religious view. This is simply their ego at work.
On the other hand it is possible to have a healthy debate without our ego getting involved (google the interview with Desmond Tutu and Dalia Lama) to see what I mean.
Organised religions are not the truth they only point to the truth, the same applies to anything I say in my books and this blog. You may not agree with everything I say and that is completely Ok. However my hope is that some of my suggestions will lead you to reconnect with your spiritual nature and God.
Getting to know God is something that can only happen on a personal level, no religious organisation or individual can do the work for you, it can only act a guide.
As so many individuals have pointed out, Jesus was not a Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist or Protestant. Loa Tzu was not a Daoist. It is men that have created these religions. While most religions have all been created initially out of the love of God and spreading Gods message across the Earth we must never forgot that organised religion will always be imperfect as it has been created by mankind. As we are all well aware mankind is grossly flawed.
It always amazes me when individuals are shocked when they hear of religious organisations who have fallen to corruption and sin. Corruption and sin is all around us, why should organised religion be exempt from sin?
Most organised religions are sincerely trying to assist individuals reconnect with God. However never forget that no religion can never take the place of your personal relationship with God.
While I personally enjoy going to church I feel closest to God when I am alone with him in nature.
So next time your pesky ego wants to question someone’s religious beliefs or you start to feel offended because someone is bad mouthing your religion, please smile, send a silent blessing and be thank full God has given us many choices in joining together to praise his name.