The question has been raised many times and it comes in many forms. Do I want to preach a new interpretation of the faith? Do I know something that the philosophers, theologians, writers, poets, and preachers have missed in the past 2,000 years? Or, am I an apologist trying to convince people of the ills of Christianity and introduce them to the goodness that lies in the world’s other religions?
Many a time I laugh in silence when I see such grandiose aspirations being linked to me. If only I had the will and capacity to digest everything that’s been written on Christianity in the past two millennia and improve on it! That would at least get me christened as a saint. But to the disappointment of many, my reasons for writing Epiphany were mundane.
I was born in a Baptist family where old time religion was a culture staple. I prayed before dinner, attended the church on Sundays, and observed the faith like you would expect a child being raised in a Christian family to do. I took the tradition for granted and didn’t question it until I began to work for major brands such as Coca-Cola and United Way as The Diversity Coach™.
The experience was transforming.
I discovered that the different religious teachings shared many common principles. It was how people practiced – or labeled – those teachings that separated them.
It was quite a revelation that prompted me to study more.
Naturally I started with the Bible which I’ve now read 15 times cover to cover. The Bible is a great book. It holds some of the answers a spiritual person seeks, but not all. That led me to explore other traditions. I studied the Torah, the Qu’ran, the Bhagavad Gita and Dao Dejing.
The experience was profound, unlike any other. If only we could strip away religious labels we would come together over a common bond—love and compassion—in no time.
The transformation hasn’t prevented me from going to church. But it has made me aware of the limitations that generate from following only one religious tradition and, more importantly, considering it the only way to achieve communion with God.
Other religions can enrich us spiritually because we are all seekers walking towards the same goal through different paths.
I found this idea so compelling that I decided to share it with others, not to promote my or anyone’s path to God but to provoke readers to think about and question whether adherence to a particular religion’s teachings brings them closer to God or further apart from the people who worshipped the Divine in different ways.
Now you can decide if you want to expand your definition of what it means to be spiritual and be part of this spiritual experiment.