An Open Letter To A Friend

2021-06-12 Religions of the World“Religious beliefs are very controversial and there are tons of religious groups. The more I care about is to live peacefully and consciously. The truth can be found within your heart and your divine formless aspects…”

Dear Friend,

I, too, hope you have a peaceful life.  As I noted in reply to your blog, 2+2=4 but the one who answers 5 is closer to the truth than the one who answers 37.  There is much that is true in the sayings of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers.  There is much one can learn by reading the four Vedas of Hinduism, the Gathas of Zoroaster, the Agam literature of Jainism and the Muslim’s Quran.  Even the Book of Mormon and the Satanic Bible have rules, many of which can help someone live a good life (though I do not recommend any of these until one has a clearer understanding of the Bible).

Buddha and the other philosophers never claimed to be religious.  They simply described how to improve one’s life by various means of self-discipline and learning.  The religious literature all show ways that one can reach Nirvana, mystical absorption into the Infinite or find acceptance by God.  The answers to 2+2 vary in accuracy from 5 or 6, or in the case of Mormonism 37, and in the Satanic Bible 5,489! 😨

The apostle Paul said to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  So there is nothing wrong with reading or studying teachings of philosophy and religion, but there is much “testing” that needs to be done when one reads these texts.  They are not all good and at best will only give one a better life here and now, if that is all for which one is looking.

However, I genuinely fear for people looking for answers in religion.  They will find at the end of this life that they have been deceived.  The Bible has very little to say about religion (check an online resource for how rarely it is mentioned), and Jesus had his biggest problems with the religious leaders of his day.  In fact, it was the chief priest and the religious legislative body, the Sanhedrin, that first condemned Jesus to death before handing Him over to the Romans.  The Romans did not allow the Jews to commit capital punishment (though this was disobeyed at times with stoning [see Acts 7]).  Unless it interfered with Roman governance, they tended to disregard anything the Sanhedrin or the Jewish leaders did.

Recognize first what constitutes “religion.”  In dictionary.com’s definition, the operative phrase is that it “usually involves devotional and ritual observances, and often contains a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”  Thus religion is basically the human attempt to do what is right, and the popular view, even among many “Christians” is that this is what will make one okay in God’s eyes.  To summarize, religions are human attempts to please God.

Being a Christ-follower does not mean I am not religious, but it means that religion is a very minor part of life.  The central issue of following Jesus is to know Him as one knows a friend or brother.  This can be difficult to get our heads around, because we cannot see Jesus in His flesh as we would our local friends or relatives.  But that is where becoming “born again” comes in.  Jesus told a good Pharisee that in order to enter the Kingdom of God he had to be born again

The old man had some difficulty getting his head around this concept as well.  It is not just taking on a different point of view or disciplining oneself to behave differently.  That would be religion, and Nicodemus knew all about religion.  It was that on which he had based his life!

Jesus said that he did not need to go back into his mother’s womb and be reborn, but rather to be reborn of the Spirit of God, like a wind over which we have no control.  It is a yielding of ourselves to the divine in a way that we do not fully grasp just as an infant does not understand what is happening to him when he is being born.

You say “the truth can be found within your heart and your divine formless aspects.”  But Jesus’ claim is that we cannot find truth on our own because we have been deceived from our natural birth.  We are condemned even before we start searching!  Just as the arithmetic illustration shows, if one starts with wrong premises, one reaches wrong conclusions.  If you understand 2 is simply one plus one, you can begin to add correctly.  But if one does not understand the basic of what 2 IS, wrong conclusions are certain to follow.

The whole of the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us, because He is SOOO different from us that we cannot grasp who or what He is apart from Him telling us.  Like a parent cuddling his baby saying, “Hush, little one, I know what you need,” He will guide us to understand, if we begin with what He tells us about Himself.  And you will not find that in religious literature, nor in yourself, because religion is simply our attempts to find God or to please Him, and we are insufficient to grasp who God is because we are NOT divine.  Just as the babe does not understand who his daddy is, he must grow into that understanding by living with him.

The only place you will find peace that lasts is in knowing The God Who Is.  The only place you will find The God Who Is will be in the Bible.  The only way to get to know Him is through prayer.  And I genuinely wish peace for you and for your beautful country.  God knows you have had such strife, it is difficult to imagine it getting any worse.  The peace you seek can only come with the changes in human hearts that occur when people are “born again.”

your friend, always,
c.a.

13 thoughts on “An Open Letter To A Friend

  1. Hello capost2k, I have just attempted to send a lengthy reply to your marvelously expounded words, but it looks like the powers that be in heaven have chosen to drop my words into an abyss. Could you let me know if my response somehow avoided the abyss. Now, I have to reword the entire think. Aargh!!

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  2. Well said.

    When this person said that “truth can be found within your heart” I immediately thought of the bible scripture that says the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

    Another thing I’ve come to realize is how most don’t understand that they are in need of a savior. They think they are inherently good and that’s enough. My prayers for the unsaved always include asking the Lord to draw them in and remove the veil that is blinding them; to give then eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand and receive His Truth and love. It’s difficult to explain Truth to someone who doesn’t believe in absolutes. Something is either true or it isn’t… If there was more than one way of gaining salvation Jesus most definitely would not have gone through such a horrendous death; why bother?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A friend of mine pointed out to me (when I needed it) that most of our anger at unbelievers is misdirected. They are deceived and more often need our love and prayers, not our condemnation. Call a spade a spade; call a sin a sin, but don’t hate the sinner any more than we hate ourselves when we let the Lord down. 😞

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Amen brother. Religion is impersonal, controlling legalism which is never satisfied and offers no lasting joy. A genuine faith with our Creator is a deeply personal, freeing, forgiving relationship where joy prevails in spite of our failures. We’re that all mankind shared that relationship with God and each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. You described this beautifully, firmly but also gently.

    I wish that I had found similar words to explain our relationship with God, through Jesus. Indeed, Christianity is based on relationship, rather than religion, or ritual.

    You also explained how one becomes a Christian, and alas, millions of people, stuck in ‘religion’, have never been told. Thanks 🤗⚘

    Liked by 5 people

      1. 😄 Had to laugh when I read this! I am not so religious as to “do the cross sign.” As for “Christianity,” depending on how it is defined, many “Christians,” especially in the West, are in for a major wake-up call. Going to a church building or doing the sign of the cross are not called for in the Bible as “rules” to be obeyed. See Colossians 2 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+2%3A16-21&version=ESV). The focus of the Christ-follower is not on doctrine or activity; it is on the relationship with Jesus. You will remain in my prayers that the Holy Spirit of The God Who Is will reveal Himself to you soon. If you ever find yourself touring America, try to fit in Kentucky.
        your friend, always, c.a.

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      2. Hi ! I’m glad that you make the sign of the cross, and that you love Christianity and the Bible. I know that you are a spiritual person.

        Before I became a Christian, I knew about Jesus, but I had no personal relationship within him until I invited Him into my life.

        Often Christians , including me, never clearly explain how someone becomes a Christian.

        Thanks, and blessings. 🤗🌷⚘

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Our discussion about “religion” and the Bible just seemed timely to share far beyond just my friend. His views are shared by many and leave so many of them wondering if they have what they need to live. Peace, as in stopping fighting, is possible without Jesus, but real “peace that passes understanding” can only come by the Holy Spirit to those who know “the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

      Liked by 2 people

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