In the Persian Gulf, on Saadiyat Island of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a center of worship for three different religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam is being built, to be completed this year. There are three buildings, one for each religion and at the center, an educational center for all. This complex of buildings is called the Abrahamic Family House, designed by architect, David Adjaye , set to be completed this year.
The Abrahamic House Family is not just a center with buildings, but a fraternity where members move towards global interfaith. Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad el-Tayeb signed a document to establish a human fraternity of religions.
You’ve probably seen the co-exist bumper sticker that spells out co-exist with symbols that represent different faiths. The Abrahamic House has a similar logo, only leaving out some faiths and enclosing it with a roof with chimney.
The idea that religions can co-exist is nothing new at all in America since it’s something that’s been happening for so many years. We have buildings for all faiths where people from different religions come to worship their god and we’ve allowed it. This religious right is protected under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the freedom for one to exercise his or her religion.
This is one of the things I love about the United States of America, our freedoms. Although my faith is in the salvation of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins, which I can never save myself from, I still hold strongly to the belief that people should freely practice their own religions. This might sound a bit crazy, but I believe that the God I worship, would want people to be able to choose their own religious path. If you read the Genesis 2: 15-17 in the bible. God tells Adam not to eat from the knowledge of good and evil. It wasn’t an apple tree, which most believe. It doesn’t say even say fruit, it just says tree and if you eat from it, you will die. God was not speaking of a physical death, but a spiritual death. The death that one feels inside due to sin, guilt, shame and most of all, separation from God. This sin that has the potential to lead one to eternal damnation.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”Genesis 2: 15-17
Even though God told Adam not to eat from the tree, he still did and he also blamed Eve for it. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they realized that they were naked and hid from God. However, God already knew they disobeyed, yet He still went looking for them. He still wanted to connect with them. One may ask, if God did not want them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then why did he allow it to stay in the garden in the first place? Adam and Eve had the freedom to choose to obey or disobey. God knows the way we are wired, He created us. He knows what will bring us joy and what will bring us to emptiness and devastation. When we don’t listen to His commands, we hurt our-self. Sometimes when things are used for the wrong purpose, they can break.
Having being raised catholic, that was my religion. I went to church on Sundays religiously, dressed up and tried my best to pay attention to what the priest was saying. I thought that kissing the feet of a Jesus statue would earn me brownie points with God. I prayed almost every night, the rosary, in repetition or memorized verses, but I didn’t find out until later that God wanted to hear me speak my heart out to Him. I always knew that God existed. I just could not fathom the fact that He actually knows my name and loves me and created me to be loved by Him. It wasn’t that people told me, but I experienced His love through reading the bible that speaks of His love and His voice that spoke to my heart. That inner voice inside that saves you, brings conviction or brings hope, joy and peace is the still voice of God.
The effort of a one world religion is pointless. God is not a religion. Kissing a statue of Jesus is not worshiping God. God does not live in statues nor does he live in a stone. The bible says that God is spirit.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”John 4:24
This fraternity of all religions may lead to the compromise of beliefs of each and although it sounds like it would bring unity, which it may, it can evolve into a new religion which combines the beliefs of all faiths into one. The scary part about it, is that if it becomes a one world religion, everyone will be forced to follow it, which negates the whole idea of ones freedom to choose. Although, Jesus in the bible says that there is only one way to God, the Father, we have the freedom to choose whether we want to believe what Jesus said or follow Him.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
We can choose our own path to finding the truth. With all honestly, after finding God through the bible and a real spiritual life-changing experience of God’s love, I’ve found the truth and there was no reason to look any further. When truth comes, doubt does not exist. God already loves us, His creation and He will never force us to love or follow Him. It is our choice whether we want to receive His love for us and love Him back. It is also our choice whether we want to follow His will and His ways. If God knows what will destroy us and tells us to stay away from it because He know what it will do to us, why not follow His voice?