JOHN 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
"So you don't think God cares what specific way we worship Him?" she asked, her brows scrunching behind the thick black frames of her rectangle glasses. And I knew she would not like my response.
"Honestly? No, not really," I answered. I don't really think of God as a person sitting on a cloud casting judgments on the world below. God is energy. God is life. God IS love... unconditional.
"You think God is okay with false teachings, then?"
"I don't think they are false. They are just different perspectives.... Someone believes them. There is one truth at the center, and there is a giant circle outside it that we are walking around... Every system of beliefs is its own angle of the same center truth... We cannot see it from all sides at once, we can only see the aspects that are visible from the angle which we look at it. It doesn't make any perspective true or untrue, it simply makes them all incomplete. I don't think God cares which angle we approach from, as long as we keep approaching and do our best to live love and compassion along the way."
"But, what angle does God see it from? Wouldn't that be the right one?" she asked with a stern look, closing her book.
"God's vision is more complete. He sees the entire circumference... He sees all angles and so, I think, accepts the validity of all."
"But then why would God say that 'the truth will set you free'? What do you think that means? What untruths are we freeing ourselves from? And how do we know what is true if we aren't getting it directly from the scripture?" she asked with triumph, clearly thinking this proved her point.
"I think the 'truth that sets us free' is the truth of our own connection to a love in which we were created, the acceptance of our own worthiness and our own Divine inspiration. This truth sets us free from the need of being 'right' or 'wrong'... it sets us free from all of the doubts and all of the judgments that block us from accepting that love and fully expressing it in the world. I find truth in my own heart... in my own connection to Source, which we all have. And that connection tells me that any approach to accepting and expressing God's love and compassion is enough. There are many religions in the world with the same central focus of connection and love and compassion. These are the central themes... it does not matter what angle you embrace them from... any vehicle that gets you there is good enough."
"You don't think it's about freeing ourselves from the lies perpetrated by all of these false teachings in the world? You don't think God will punish those who aren't worshiping him in a satisfactory way? Like the flood?"
"No. No I don't. I think it is about freeing ourselves from the conscious need to understand everything in black and white terms. I think it's about freeing ourselves from classifications and judgments. It's about embracing that everything is an aspect of the same source and the same truth and freeing ourselves to learn how to fuse the many perspectives into a more complete understanding that allows us to see the beauty in all of it. I think it's about trusting the love in which we were created and allowing it to flow through us, trusting in whatever ways we feel called to do that, and answering those calls wholeheartedly as Jesus did. I don't believe that God punishes. Tragedies happen. They are not punishments. They are not good or bad. Again, it's about freeing ourselves from the need to classify them as such, and instead accepting how we can grow through them, trusting that there is always a way. Don't you believe God is in all of us? That we are all part of the same whole? Shouldn't we all be accepted as such?"
"Maybe we should just stop and come back," she answered stepping back from me, unwilling to discuss any of it. I wanted to discuss it. I wanted to understand the angle they were coming from. I know that our beliefs are different. I continue to talk with them because it allows me to consider another angle. Most times, I listen to what they have to say. The more angles one considers, the fuller of an understanding can be reached. Today, I didn't want to hear what they were offering. My heart wells against this idea of judgment and separation. I wasn't arguing. I was calmly expressing the truth as I see it. I don't really know if it's "right", and I honestly don't really care... One cannot know the unknowable. I just do my best to continue deepening my understanding in whatever way I can. I don't think they were happy with me today. One day I will write a book about my conversations with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and hopefully, the deeper understanding that is eventually facilitated. I hope we get there. No doubt, next week, we'll try again.