Recently my mother passed away. It has taken me some time to write another blog. No matter what religion, when a loved one passes, the “finality” of the parting has us re-evaluating what we have been taught and believe.
I was happy for her that she had made the transition very peacefully. I hope that she will be finding what she had desired for so long – to be with Jesus.
She would talk to God everyday and think of him as a loving father, but she said that unless a person accepted Jesus Christ, they would go to hell forever. She had accepted Protestant fundamentalist teachings of eternal damnation. To me, this was a huge blind spot in her life. It was not consistent with her loving attitude towards people.
As a parent, she would not punish her children excessively or forever, and yet she believed that the Supreme Father, the epitome of Love, would punish us forever.
When my brother behaved very angry and mean to us siblings, she would discipline him, but always loved him as a mother would. And yet her acceptance of fundamentalism created a conflict between her motherly love and her religious ideology.
How could she not accept that the Heavenly Father would behave better than all the billions of earthly mothers?
I hope that it is being revealed to her now in the Father’s house, as Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions (μονή monē, dwelling, abode): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
My mom influenced me in life and I loved her as she loved me. Even though I believed she had accepted an incorrect religious ideology, she was a loving mother.
She had been a nurse and was always talking about service to people. She lived a long life and called herself a Christian. Her views on Christianity changed somewhat over her lifetime. Since she was a fundamentalist Protestant, she seemed to be always trying to find the true Church with the perfect message. In her last years, she said that all the Christian churches should get together – something she was vehemently opposed to earlier.
I sincerely hope that where my mother is, she will learn that God does not punish and torment his children forever. On earth, why was she not able to see that our Heavenly Father has the greatest Love?
I believe that she was taught religion by people and institutions that had messed up the original message of Jesus. Here is the foundation of the original message of Jesus.
“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him [Jesus], saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he [Jesus] said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25–28.
If Jesus taught us to love God, Neighbor, and Self, then it cannot be that God does not love us. Love may have to discipline, but love never punishes forever.
I wrote The Cosmic Religion: Love God, Love Neighbor, Love Self to explain the original message of Jesus. I realize only now that I wrote that book for my mom (who never read it). Though she never read it, writing that book helped me to clarify my own understanding of Jesus’ original message so I could share it with others.
What I’d like to accomplish now in honor of my mom, is to write another book which will discuss the “many mansions” Jesus referred to and explain his words on “the way, the truth, and the life.”