I have always honored and respected other people’s religious beliefs. I do not judge, condemn or speak out against anyone’s beliefs for I have always maintained that there are many paths to God. But I will speak out in honor of the New Message if I am the target of ridicule and religious prejudice, of which I have recently experienced. A person I have known for some years recently made it clear that she thinks my beliefs are “ridiculous.” I have always respected her strong faith, but unfortunately I have not experienced the same respect in return. She believes that her religious beliefs are the only way to God. 

Unfortunately many people hold this view and it causes great division and needless suffering. Surely this is not what any of the great messengers throughout our history have promoted. Thousands of people have experience ridicule, persecution and death because someone else held strongly to their personal religious belief to the exclusion of all others. I have explored many teachings and have never found a major world religion’s true teachings to promote separatism, condemnation and ridicule. These values are the makings of individuals who misinterpret the real message.

I am strong today in Knowledge and my commitment is deep. I am willing to face social rejection to honor The New Message from God. It is unfortunate when other people can not respect all of the religious beliefs that exist in the world and all of the people who represent them.

In dealing with this recent personal experience I sought understanding through the Teachings of the religious practice that I hold dear. The Greater Community Way of Knowledge. What follows are excerpts from Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 19, entitled What is Religion? It speaks to a world in need of greater understanding, more compassion and unity amongst its people. Some of the statements challenge us deeply. But all speak to a greater truth.

“…many people still try to make their way the only way in order to dispel their own disbelief and to give themselves false assurances. In the Greater Community, you rarely find this kind of arrogance and competition. Religion …is something that is taken very seriously, often at great risk.”

“The Greater Community Way of Knowledge attracts those who have a sincere and serious approach and who are capable of applying themselves consistently. Only those who are developing real Knowledge and depth of understanding can realize and use religion as a means and a pathway.”

“Essentially, religion is The Way of Knowledge, in whatever tradition it is placed. It emphasizes real understanding. Real understanding of direction, purpose and meaning in life is born of a deeper and more profound experience, of a greater association and sense of inclusion and of yielding to a Greater Power that is active and alive in your life. You can be a Catholic, a Buddhist or a tribesman and have this experience.”

“What is pure and essential about religion is what is translatable within it – what can be given from one mind to another and from one world to another, spanning the great differences in nature, culture, temperament, environment and so forth that exist in the Greater Community.”

“What is essential is what brought you here. What is essential is what will be remembered after you leave. What is essential is who you represent and what you represent through your experience, your communication and your accomplishment. Nothing else matters.”

“Learning The Way of Knowledge …will give greater meaning and scope to your world’s religions and will give them the unifying principle they now need to have a greater application and a greater relevancy in life.”

“Do not associate [religion] with your past. Do not associate it with all the foolish manifestations that have been made in the world regarding it. See it anew as the means for you to regain your greater purpose in being here and with it a greater experience of destiny and companionship.”

May we all grow in our experience of religion and move beyond ideas and beliefs that draw us apart. May we all carry and deliver a greater understanding and inclusiveness for all the world’s peoples for in our hearts we are the same. It is the outer physical expression that differs. May we see beyond our personal fears and misunderstandings. May we transcend our prejudices, fixed beliefs and condemnation of others. May we each individually receive, embody and express the love and compassion that the Creator holds for us and extend that love and compassion to all of humanity. We are in great need. Accept this greater gift from God which seeks to unite us and engage us in greater service to the world.