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Comparative Religion Lesson 3

#1 User is offline   J. Carpenter 

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 02:04 PM

The lesson for this past week started out reviewing the continuing theme of Interfaith and the similarities of teachings throughout the world’s belief systems. The areas covered were The Golden Rule, Peace and Seek Within. I have always tried to follow the Golden Rule and not do anything to others that I would not want done to me. Reviewing the worlds different belief systems provided in the lesson showed that while for each the wording was slightly different the same general principle was there for each of the areas reviewed. When you strip away the religious and denominational differences in many cases the same basic tenet lies at the core of each belief system.

Reverend Kythera Ann also touched upon the following about fear and the following sentences are taken from our lesson. We have been focusing on the positive aspects of interfaith studies. We need to remember that, for many, when faced with something that appears different (e.g.: a religion, race, culture), they fear it.

How true this is. As a personal example of this I am a Caucasian and my wife is Asian. When we were dating in the early 1990’s in Southern California a woman passed us and made a comment to the effect stay within your own race. We just ignored her, but that comment has stuck with me all these years. Also when we were living in the Northwest several people treated my wife differently based on her being Asian. At the end of the lesson there was a link to a site for the Sojourners. While the lesson was referring to politics the article that I read was But Joy Comes In the Morning A Sermon on Hope Amid Our Fearful State of Race and Politics which is by Jim Wallis. If you have a moment I urge you to read this article at this link https://sojo.net/art...y-comes-morning

Jim Wallis is a prominent man as when he gave the sermon above it was given at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He discussed politics, religion and race. I found it to be a very poignant sermon and article.

Reverend Kythera Ann also provided a link to the web site for Dances of Universal Peace and I found the information there very interesting and enlightening.

She had also poised this question:

Here is a question for you to ponder, which arises when considering Interfaith and secular Religions that we haven’t discussed. There is no right or wrong answer, but it is something, as a minister you need to think about and resolve for yourself. The question is, “Where is the line drawn between the separation of church and state.” Another way of wording it might be: “Is it appropriate for religious leaders to take political action publicly.”

I believe that religious leaders can take political action such as when they see injustices being committed and they feel they cannot remain silent on the issue. Another example is with freedom of religion. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist and our denomination follows that the Sabbath is and remains on Saturday. Many others say that Saturday does not need to be followed any longer. Well I try to follow all ten commandments and in regard to the Sabbath that is a commandment. Also the Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament several times. But alas this topic can be discussed forever and each group has their own thoughts on it and it will not for the most part cause others to change their view. Where I was trying to go with this is that the Seventh-Day Adventists do publish literature that is presented to elected officials, judges and other in positions of power to keep in mind the freedom of religion which benefits people of all religions and belief systems.

Once again I am grateful for the lessons that I am taking and for the knowledge I am gaining through these courses as I work to better myself and help others.
Rev. John Carpenter, D.D.(h.c.)
Ordained minister of the Universal Life Church

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