Theologian Paul Tillich once described religion as “ultimate concern.” This description was made without reference to belief in a higher power or belief in the sacred. Truth is, every religion is different. Some religions focus on multiple gods and some do not make reference to a higher power. Other religions are very clear there is one almighty God who is supreme ruler.
In my study of world religions, I have come to see that every religion addresses a basic human problem that may or not connect with a god or gods. Every tradition has a different focus on what is wrong with the world and with humanity in general. In response to this problem, each grouping offers up a solution as well as a path to get from the problem to the solution. Furthermore, each religion has examples of leaders that inspire adherents along the way.
This fall we will lift up the various world religions in worship and small group study. Beginning September 15, we will focus on world religions in our worship services. A preaching series will look at Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will look at the history of each religion as well as key features and characteristics of that religion.
Ultimately, I want us to see what we can learn from each faith tradition. We have a lot to learn from others. It is commonplace to say each religion is a different path to the top of the mountain. This may or may not be true. The key is we understand why different groups of people throughout history have believed a particular belief system was meaningful for them.
As a companion to the focus in worship, the Adult Explo classes will go deeper on each religion. Classes will meet in the library on Sunday and Monday nights from 6:00-7:15 pm (starting on September 8). The book, “What Christians Can Learn from Other World Religions,” by J. Philip Wogaman will be studied. The group is open to everyone!
I look forward to this journey with each of you. It is always a joy to learn from others and see what God is teaching us!
A Thousand Blessings! Scott