I receive a significant amount of correspondence from well-meaning Christians expressing concern for my spiritual safety. Here is a quote from a letter sent to me several days ago from a wonderful young woman named Kristen:
“Please reconsider your religious beliefs. -And just hear me out: worshiping nature is like only paying attention to the stage production during a play. And what’s a perfect way for Satan to distract you and wezel his way into your life? By getting you to believe he doesn’t exist. He diseases the mind.
Please do one thing in this lifetime. Get a bible, open it to anywhere and read some of it. Consider it ‘just investigating’ like I did. When you’re ready, look at the last part of the Bible: the book of revelations. There are things prophesied 2000 years ago happening now!! How about that for magic and proof!
Wed. Feb. 27. This date came to me in a dream. I am not proclaiming to know for sure that anything will take place this day, but I feel compelled to share it with you. If something catastrophic does happen that day. Know I am telling the truth and that God wants you to break the hold that’s over you. And if your heart is changed, please try to change others, like I’m trying to do now.”
Contrary to what you may expect, I do not find such sentiments to be offensive or presumptuous as I understand the importance many Christians place on sharing the words of their Messiah. I value the sincerity of every attempt to reach out to me and my brethren with love and compassion. Keeping this in mind, if you monitor my blog, the CPA website, my Facebook posts or follow me on Twitter and have considered submitting comments similar to the above letter, I would like to offer the following statement –
While I respect your beliefs and sincerely appreciate the value of your scripture, the basic theological positions of our respective religious communities are quite different. This does not mean that we cannot find common ground to work toward peace and understanding, striving to move forward and promote constructive interfaith dialog whenever possible. Maintaining an aggressively negative policy of heated denial and unrelenting hatred clearly is not the answer. I think it is important to acknowledge that while our passions may conquer our patience from time to time, we recognize and love each other as unique and precious children of God.
May the strength of your faith guide you always toward truth and light. Blessed Be.