Religions that don’t advocate the violation of the rights of others may have good motives when attempting to persuade others of their beliefs. I will discuss Christianity since I am most familiar with those beliefs. Having the goal of conversion often leads to people getting hung up on accepting certain beliefs which hinders important spiritual discussions. Spiritual discussions become taboo unlike physical or emotional health discussions. Few object to the importance of treating others like you want to be treated, so we must find ways to have such discussions in more natural ways. There is no more important discussion than how we can be more loving.
The majority of people born have lived and died without any knowledge of the Bible or who Jesus was. It is suspect that a loving God insists all believe in the Christian God they have never heard about. Neither must we convert to Christianity those who possess a Bible. John Hick offers a relational view of a loving God in a pluralistic world where people have never heard of Jesus or have a distorted view of God: “Consider the belief that there is an ultimate transcendent Reality which is the source and ground of everything; that this Reality is benign in relation to human life; that the universal presence of this Reality is humanly reflected (‘incarnated’) in the lives of the world’s great spiritual leaders; and that among these we have found Jesus to be our principal revelation of the Real and our principal guide for living (The Metaphor of God incarnate, 187).
Religion conversations do not have to proceed: “Do you believe in God? Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God and died to save you from your sins? Do you believe that the Bible is God’s inspired communication to us? Will you confess your sins, believe, and begin to go to church?” I would suggest very few react positively or are persuaded with such an approach unless they are choosing to attend an evangelistic meeting in the first place. If one was less worried about converting others to their beliefs the conversation may be totally differently.
We often need to have discussions such as: “How are you doing spiritually or in relationships?” Do you agree the pursuit of loving others like you want to be loved is important? How do you think one can best stay on course in such a challenging world?” I am not suggesting such conversations be forced or that conversations have any hidden agenda other than encouraging one another to be less self-centered. All leaders of the main religions best have one main message – loving your neighbor as yourself – so relationships can better heal and thrive.
The world can be a much better place when more people are actively pursuing less selfish lives. Attempting to convert people to a set of beliefs is drowning out the message. I get why certain Christian beliefs are difficult to accept for many. Christianity often insists Jesus was God in person but logically how can one be deity and not deity? Does it really matter one’s beliefs on such matter rather than the message of how to make the world a better place to live in. Let’s discuss Jesus’ wisdom on such matters or any other credible person who may represent Truth. The question is did Jesus or anyone speak truthfully of what a loving God desires for us.
Jesus seemed to care less about certain beliefs and more about the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. Jesus conveyed that God desires to help us in this endeavor. What would Jesus do if someone said I don’t believe you are the one prophesized, or I don’t believe you are going to resurrect in three days physically? Even Jesus’ disciples did not have to pass a litmus test of sacred beliefs. I get why people 2000 years later don’t necessarily think that Jesus resurrected. But, we still must discuss how to have better relationships in a troubled world. Jesus encouraged resisting behaviors that lead to personal or relationship destruction. Jesus’ only sacred belief was that our Creator loves and forgives us and desires to inspire us to act the same toward others. Jesus taught God seeks to empower us to do good and shun evil.
No loving God imposes their views on others if the rights of others are not being violated. If you currently can’t believe in a God or Creator, they how do you think we can best love one another? It seems to me there is a lot of spiritual passivity in this world. Let’s remove reasons for such behaviors because we are arguing over beliefs rather than how we can have more loving relationships. It is difficult to argue that the motivation to love your neighbor is wrong-minded. I do not wish to undermine those who believe in a Creator. Loving parents, as God, can be an inspiration to their children in being the person they desire to be deep down. God’s love and forgiveness can be our necessary nourishment that leads to life transformations. But, we must have spiritual conversations if the world is going to have more positive changes.