There are billions of people in the world, each with their own beliefs. Since cultures and traditions vary, it is understandable why there are so many beliefs, resulting in differences in religion – which may or may not build barriers between people.
However, more often than not, people of faith believe their religion will save them; and it is their belief of following “the true religion” that leads to conflict. But can religion really save you in the end?
I am a Catholic. Growing up, I was influenced by my grandmother, who is a devoted parishioner, and studied at Catholic school from kindergarten through college. I love my upbringing because it made me the person I am now and it instilled the faith that brings me strength in times of darkness; but that does not mean I do not respect people of other religions.
I do not judge people based on their religions because, in the end, it is the person with whom we are dealing with, not his or her religion. We may talk about each other’s beliefs, which oftentimes leads to the question, “Will you be saved?”
In my personal belief, religion will not save a person, but faith will.
Why? Because the Father Almighty is not a selective God. If the Lord were selective, He would contradict all beliefs of being good, loving, and merciful. If He is selective, He becomes biased and unfair, which I am sure He is not in any way.
While there are sinners that He must punish, these sinners may belong to any church or religion. By virtue of being Catholic does not make one saved. The same goes for being Muslim does not mean one is hated; or if one follows Judaism, it does not mean they have an existing covenant with God.
God saves based on the person and not the group they belong to.
For me, the different religions serve as guidelines on how to live life based on God’s words. Religions teach us values and characteristics needed to be one with God, which will lead us on the right path. However, even if you ascribe to a certain religion but do not live according to God’s will, do you think you will be saved? It all boils down to a person’s heart and faith.
There are Christians who are hypocrites, will they be saved? No, because they live among lies and pretensions.
Muslims are hated because of terror attacks, but those who live in kindness and have a pure heart, will they be saved? Yes, they haven’t done anything wrong.
There are religions that persecute other faiths because they do not share the same beliefs, will they be saved? No, because they have persecuted others.
I live in faith, not by religion, because faith is God and religion is simply human in nature. As you keep the faith and act on it, you become a person worthy of God’s kingdom, regardless of religion./WDJ