More than half the troubles in this world will disappear when we individually realize the important fact that justice is being meted out to everyone of us now and always through the unalterable laws which a just and supreme God has Himself instituted.
Many of us have been brought up from childhood with certain ideas which (with all good faith) have been instilled into our minds by our parents, and as we have grown into manhood many of us have not taken the thought or trouble to reason out for ourselves the various things that have been taught us in our infancy, with the result that we endeavor to teach our children what our parents taught us, and so we go on from generation to generation, omitting to make use of the reasoning power which God has endowed us with.
In trying to copy our parents we naturally make a few alterations and additions; our children do likewise, and in a few generations we have a mixture of what we might term sense and nonsense, and we, in our ignorance, call this our religion. W may boldly state our belief in a certain faith or doctrine, but if we were suddenly asked why, many of us would be quite at a loss for an answer, for we do not make any attempt to subject our ideas to the light of reason, and frequently look with scorn or pity upon any man who dares to question our particular faith or belief, and yet most of our religion we have accepted blindly from our parents. God in His wonderful love and mercy has given us reasoning power, so that we may not be obliged to accept without question all that is given to us as gospel. We may listen to the various ideas that we come across throughout our lives, but we should only accept as truth that which will bear the severe light of reason, and a true religion must be based purely and strictly upon absolute justice for us all.
To imagine that the particular faith that we profess is right and all others wrong would be against all reason, and also against all ideas of justice, and therefore cannot be the absolute truth. We should be acting more in accordance with true Christianity if we were to do away with all such narrow minded ideas, and to cultivate a more charitable view of the various religions throughout the world. If we had been born of Hindu parents we should doubtless have accepted the Buddhistic faith, or had we been born of Chinese parents we should have considered the teachings of Confucius as perfectly right and proper; and the same thing applies to all the various faiths and religions that are to be found. When we realize this fully we shall see how uncharitable and unchristian like it is to condemn the different ideas that others profess. What we want to do is to find a oneness existing amongst them all, and this we shall undoubtedly find if we individually act strictly in accordance, hourly and daily, with God’s will for, as a matter of fact, it is only the mere professing and not doing that at present appears to divide the various religions and denominations throughout the world. Let us act, individually, as men and women should act one to another, and all the petty grievances which now exist will at once disappear, as surely and as naturally as the night follows the day. It would no doubt greatly help us to be more charitably disposed towards others if we were to fully realize the important fact that, in condemning another man’s belief we are actually condemning ourselves, for the true essence of all religions upon the face of the earth, when properly and strictly carried out, teaches us forbearance and toleration, and also inculcates a good and friendly feeling towards all mankind. And this is exactly what ought to be the case, for we cannot expect that God is going to favor one man any more than another, simply because he happens to be born in a certain country where a particular religion is professed.
Then again, if we are to say that there is only one faith that is right, and all others wrong, it must naturally follow that there are hundreds of souls lost daily simply because they have never heard or do not know of this one right religion. This certainly does not seem to be in accordance with the light of reason, neither does it agree with the ideas of a just God. Some ministers will tell us that the so-called heathen will be judged according to his light. This must mean in accordance with the way in which he has individually used the reasoning power that God has given him. If this is the case, then the same remark must also apply to us all, when we appear before the great throne of the Almighty God. Shall we not then be judged by what we have done or left undone, and not by the particular religion that we have professed? The light of reason certainly seems to point clearly in this direction, and when we take this view we at once see a oneness existing throughout all religions, where an improvement in our daily conduct is taken as the first and most important principle.
The teachings of Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, etc., etc., in their true sense, all tend to improve the individual life if strictly carried out. It is, however, the black sheep which are to be found in all religions that have brought some of the various faiths into bad repute. If we were to travel abroad and listen to some of the opinions that exist in reference to Christianity, we should be almost ashamed that we professed to be followers ourselves, for many, many things have been done in the name of Christ that Christ Himself would not for one moment countenance, but this fact does not prove that Christianity is wrong. It must, however, make it all the more difficult for missionaries who work in foreign countries. If we were more in touch with those who condemn Christianity it would be quite reasonable for us to ask them to study our faith more closely before they attempt to pass judgment upon it. Then does not this remark apply equally to us?
Can it be in accordance with the light of reason to say that another man’s faith is wrong until we are first well and properly acquainted with its true teachings? In condemning another religion we may, in fact, be condemning our own, for upon a close examination we shall possibly find the true essence of Christianity existing throughout all the various faiths and professions upon the face of the earth, although the name of Christ may not even be mentioned, and we should be altogether wrong in supposing that one does not believe upon Christ and His teachings simply because he does not make a verbal profession of that belief. There is often far more true Christianity expressed in ethical books and writings where Christ’s name is not mentioned than in many where it is to be found in almost every sentence. When we begin to look upon things in this broader and truer sense we shall then be more charitably disposed towards others who appear to hold different opinions from those held by ourselves, and at the same time we shall have a far better knowledge, understanding, and wider view of Christianity itself.
In addition to this, when we individually act strictly in accordance with God’s will we shall see clearly for ourselves that there is no such thing as injustice in the whole of the Universe.