The Third Choice

When I was a boy, life was secure and predictable.  My parents were strict, fundamentalist Christians who taught me that to live a good life meant to accept Jesus as my savior.  As God’s only son, Jesus’ job was to save those of us on earth smart enough to see him as the only way.  This was a simple, easy to follow plan.  As I grew older, I began to wonder why  would God give some people a huge head start by sending them to be born in Christian families, while He would send others to be born in non-Christian families.  Was this fair? My parents explained that our duty as Christians was to send missionaries to those not fortunate enough to be born into Christianity, and convert them to Christianity, to save their souls.  I listened in fascination to the stories told by the many missionaries who visited our home.  But a doubt had begun to form in my mind.   Why would a loving God allow such unfairness, giving some a clear advantage over others?  Would loving human parents behave in such a way, lavishing every advantage on some of their children while handicapping their others?

Later, I studied science, and learned of the vastness of the universe. The salvation solution I had been taught became even less believable.  If my Christian salvation solution was true, this could only mean that God was highly prejudiced, favoring a small percentage of humans on this one planet in a vast universe with billions of planets. 

It was with great astonishment that I later learned that Christians weren’t the only ones convinced of their favored status in the eyes of the Supreme Being.  I studied world religions and a clear pattern began to emerge.   Adherents of every religion believed that only they would reach a paradise after death, and all others would either cease to exist, go to a place of suffering forever, or reincarnate forever.  

This is the conundrum we find ourselves in today.  Most people in every religion believe that their way is the only way.  When confronted with evidence to the contrary, their best solution is to disbelieve the conflicting evidence.   Their worst solution is to kill the messenger.  Yet evidence that the universe is inconceivable vast and complex continues to expand.  Those who cling to a childish paradigm that states that only their small group is favored by the Most High begin to look extremely foolish.

Atheists argue that there is no God, that religions are no more than a collection of fairy tales.  Mature, intelligent people, so they argue, should accept that human beings are at the top of the evolutionary order. Furthermore we should stop fearing punishment from imaginary higher beings, and stop relying on guidance or protection from them.

Are these the only two choices?  A narrow, dogmatic sectarianism that resists reason and common sense, or atheism , which relies solely on limited reason and rationalizes away the lives of those great souls who have shaped civilizations far more profoundly than any skeptic or sectarian ever has?

There is a third choice.  That third choice is that the Creator is far, far greater than described or imagined in earthly religious terms.  That the Cosmic Creator is a Being who is concerned with the welfare of  all, not just a miniscule subset of His vast family.  This third choice is that there is one cosmic order that governs the vast universe, not separate conflicting sets of principles for every peculiar little group.  This third choice says that as children of the Creator, we may make mistakes once in a while, yet we have far greater potentials than we have been taught, believed,  or have imagined.

I call this third choice The Cosmic  Religion.  In my upcoming book of this title, I provide evidence that every great prophet, teacher, saint who has graced this earth–and those who will in the future also, for there is no end to the Creator’s compassion for His children–has been an ambassador of this Cosmic Religion.  None of them created this cosmic truth.  They perceived it, and taught it in their own unique special way to the group they were sent to serve.   

 

 

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