After going quite a while without questions, I had two submitted yesterday. I’ll answer them in the order in which they came.
The first question came in from Stevie. She wrote: “Pastor Craig, what do you think is the biggest common thread that runs among the beliefs of the major religions.”
In thinking about the question, there were two thoughts that came immediately to mind. Finding the right language for the answers was a challenge because some religious traditions are theistic (“belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures” – per the definition of “theism” provided by Google) and others are not.
With that in mind, these are the two things that jumped out at me.
First, most of the religious traditions of which I’m aware believe there is a level of existence that is greater than either one human being or the whole of humanity. For many traditions, that “something” is Divine. For others, it might simply be a consciousness or level of awareness.
Second, most of the religious traditions of which I’m aware that their belief system/structure calls them to live in harmon/right relation with other critters. That right relationship can be with God, with one’s fellow creatures, or with oneself. Living in right relationship adds meaning and purpose to one’s life.
Those are the two streams that jump out at me in addressing Stevie’s question. How about you? What common threads do you see based on your encounters with others from various traditions?