Welcome to Our December Issue
Dec 01, 2014 05:45PM
By Alison Chabonais, National Editor
Teachers of world religions may point out both similarities and distinctions among faith traditions. As a student of a small, worldwide Christian denomination, I have attended such classes and until recently, sought to use the usual few minutes of casual inquiry by a friend or new acquaintance as an opportunity to briefly differentiate my own frame of reference from others.
I guess I thought I was doing everyone a service to let them know where I stand and perhaps plant a good seed of thought that they might find useful in their own spiritual journey, such as why choosing Genesis I over Genesis II as the truth of our being—perfect God and perfect spiritual man as God’s image and likeness—changes one’s whole paradigm. Or, how everyone can learn to heal physical disease and injury, hereditary beliefs, financial challenges, relationship woes and more through prayer, like Jesus did and as his Jewish and Gentile disciples did for the first 300 years of the early Christian church.
Recently, I am learning the great value for us all in mutually seeking common ground. For example, acknowledging how anyone that prays for physical healing and answers to other problems is appealing to their knowledge of a higher universal law, or foundational truth, which we trust is lovingly operating on our behalf. Mary Baker Eddy, cited by Religion and Ethics News Weekly as among the 25 most influential religious figures in the 20th century, noted that in 21 languages, the word for God is the same as the word for good.
The Declaration Towards a Global Ethic, from the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, cites the Golden Rule, “We must treat others as we wish others to treat us,” as a common foundational principle for realizing good in our lives. The initial declaration was signed by 143 leaders from all of the world’s major faiths, including Baha’i Faith, Brahmanism, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous, Interfaith, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American, Neo-Pagan, Sikhism, Taoism, Theosophist, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule).
Muslims, Jews and Christians all turn to one god, one lawmaker for help in all avenues of life. Christians, who share the affirming Lord’s Prayer, generally frame the Golden Rule as, “Do to others as you want them to do to you.” Islam admonishes, “Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself.” Sanskrit Tradition posits, “… treat others as you treat yourself.” Buddhists advise, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Hinduism says, “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self.”
Practicing such good-spirited teachings contributes to and supports our own wellness and helps us help others. When we build bridges of kindly understanding, we also heal rifts and better bless one another, and so forward peace.
Much good always,
Alison Chabonais, National Editor