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Was Jesus A Christian?



One of my teachers posed the question, "If Jesus was seated at a table with a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Zoroastrian, and a Shintoist, do you think he would turn to them and say, 'You must all forsake your beliefs and accept Christianity?'"


It's an excellent question to ponder.


I'm confident that Jesus would not take such a position since he taught spiritual principles that anyone, regardless of their chosen path or if they have no spiritual path at all, can apply in their life.


There are many paths to understanding this presence we call God. For me, a key takeaway from traveling to other countries – particularly Ghana and Nigeria – is the opportunity to know how others have used their traditions to deepen their understanding of God's nature, humanity's nature, and how the two are connected.


Most people seek to understand their purpose in life, how to make a positive difference in their communities and how to be a more loving presence in our world. Indeed, regardless of background, culture, or religion, we are more alike than different.


A significant challenge we face in our world is that many have bought into the belief of separation. This belief breeds a sense of isolation, an "us versus them" mentality that often leads to behavior that reinforces this sense of alienation. As a result, many who have an active prayer practice tend to only pray for their friends. Jesus challenged this when he said, "Pray for your enemies."


Of course, he was not saying not to pray for your friends; he was saying expand your point of view and begin to bring into daily practice people that we may not like, who may not agree with us, or who seem to have an opposite point of view.


As we reach out after first turning within, we challenge the perception of isolation and expand our purview of what a neighbor is. Then we begin to discover, as Jesus said, that the so-called enemy is in our household.


So, we want to expand our prayer practice and consciously embrace any individual or group of people – past, present, or future – we may be at odds with to break through any sense of separation. This strategy will help anchor the "Beloved Community," a Divine Idea in the mind of God.


When we practice principles such as these, we break down the artificial barriers we have created between people, groups, and nations. We begin to look at each other and see the beauty, not the differences. We will start to say things like, “Look at that wonderful light shining through that person." We'll not see color; instead, we'll see the different shades of the Infinite. We'll see not just other cultures or religions but how Infinite Spirit needs all cultures and faiths to reveal its eternal nature.

In the end, we will see we are all here to glorify the presence of God.


Peace and Blessings,

James

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