For more resources, visit ONE FOR ISRAEL.ORG
Mike Shreve, a former Kundalini Yoga Teacher, provides a unique insight into the essential question all spiritual seekers must ask – do all religions lead to God? Interwoven with his own compelling personal story and a comprehensive look at more than twenty world religions, he provides a cogent answer to this difficult question. A good resource for anyone who is searching for spiritual meaning and purpose.
During a time of deep introspection, Mike Shreve turned to Far Eastern religions seeking the true experience of God. Eventually, he became a teacher of Kundalini Yoga at four universities. Then a dramatic revelation of Ultimate Reality changed the course of his life. This pivotal experience caused him to re-examine concepts foundational to his worldview, such as: the origin of the universe, the true nature of God, pantheism and monism, karma and reincarnation, the path to enlightenment, plans of existence man’s divinity and ultimate destiny, universal cycles and ages and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Many people think that believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are judgmental of other religions or other ways to God. This might seem disrespectful to some. The truth is that there is either one way to God or many ways to God – Both cannot be true at the same time!
Since Yeshua (Jesus) is the only teacher who ever claimed to be “The Only Way”, believers in Yeshua can come across as judgmental and condescending of other religions. This can seem disrespectful and intolerant of other ways and probably is a “turn off” to a lot of people seeking tolerance, “oneness” & “harmony” among people and in the world. As a believer in Yeshua, who said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me“ John 3:16, I cannot support another way that contradicts what Yeshua said. That does not mean that I do not have respect for people as they are – Let me explain:
I always wanted the “real deal” – in every thing in my life – I never wanted the fake… Sometimes I had to compromise on the fake because the “real” was too expensive or out of reach, but I still hoped to have the “real deal”. The fake is never as good as the real. How do you know if it’s “real”? It’s “real” when it comes from the original, right? So when it comes to the questions about God, the universe, what it’s all about, etc., it comes down to the only real deal around; where it all started – GOD – The Creator – The original!
Because that’s how I see it and understand it, I want every thing in my life to be real and to come from the original. – Since God is the ultimate “original”, I want every thing in my life to come from God and to be of God and for God.
The character of God does not lie, does not contradict it self – it is always true. I know it because HIS story is laid out for me in the Bible and I believe with all my heart that the Bible is not “men made”, but “God made”. I believe God laid it down for us so we can get to know HIM, so we can know what HE wants from us and why, so we can come to HIM. From all the stories and ideas I have heard about, the story of the Bible is the only one that does not come short with answering the big questions of life.
There are plenty of great teachers out there, teachers who spoke of positive changes, harmony, love, peace, unity etc. It all seems like great teachings, but when you get to the bottom of it, when you get to the essence of what they teach, they all come short of the Bible and of the teachings of God. I don’t undermine any of it but I am also looking for the full picture, for the source of it all – for the original. – I can only find it in God and in His word – The one who created me and the world – The one it all came from – The only one with all the answers.
People tend to pick and chose what they like when it comes to a certain way or religion, but ignore or push aside the rest. Take Buddhism for example – Buddhism leaves God out of the picture. It teaches that we do not need God but that we can do it on our own… Here are some quotes for example (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Buddhism)
“In Buddhism, there is no Supreme creator. Yet thoughts (or mind, perceptions, etc.; Pali manas, mano in combined form) are the causes and conditions of the way we view the world.”
“In Buddhism there is no “designer” who is outside of the design.”
“In early Buddhism, the Buddha clearly states that “reliance and belief” in creation by a supreme being leads to lack of effort and inaction”
My point is, that this is completely contradicts and goes against with what I believe about God. The good teachings that Siddhartha (Buddha) taught about love and positive thinking etc., he did not come up with on his own. Those teachings were there long before his time, and originated in God! And the same is with all those teachers and Gurus out there! On the other hand, the teachings Siddhartha did come up with on his own and is in the essence of Buddhism – has no God in it, no light in it, it is dark and I believe it to be false teachings. Because of that, I can not support a path that I believe is dark and false! Yet, this does not mean I can not support the people on a false path and respect them as people for who they are, love them and support them in finding the truth.
To illustrate farther – If someone is a smoker and I believe smoking is bad – Should I offer them another cigarette? Should I buy them a pack? Should I smoke with them to show them my support??? No, but I can support them by allowing them do what they want to do, I can support them by respecting and accepting that this is where they are in their understanding and I can love them for the people that they are. I can farther support them, by showing them that it is much better for them not to smoke… I can support the person, while I can not support their way! Can you see the difference???
I do believe that all the positive teachings out there, those that do not contradict with God’s word, are in essence from God. People who think they can do it on their own, can get there on their own, while following men made ideas – To these people I say: “You are missing out on the essence and on God! I really believe there is one way to God and once you come to that belief, there is just no way to “sugar coat” what it means – The other ways must be wrong… well, or we are all wrong… right?
You may say, “who are you to say that other ways are wrong?” What people need to understand is that, it is not Christians that are saying that, but it is GOD who said it – HE gave clear instructions and clear warnings throughout the Bible about these kind of false teachings and false teachers – the kind that contradicts His Word, so Take it up with God (-:
“How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame ? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods ? Selah” Psalms 4:2
“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.” Psalms 40:4
“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” Matthew 24:24
We all fall short of the glory of God and that is why we all need a savior. That is why Yeshua came: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Yeshua’s words, John 10:10)
One big difference between Christianity and other religions is that all other religion gives you a “To Do” list of all that you need to do in order to find that “peace” everyone want… In Christianity – It was already done for you! That is just AWESOME!!! Knowing that I don’t have to do it on my own, I don’t have to figure it out on my own! It was already done. God takes my hand and walks with me all the way through, showing me His Way to eternal life and peace with Him!
Do Christians try to impose what they know on others? Well, when you come to that conviction – to that “knowing” place, you want to share it with everyone in your life. I guess I can chose not to care about others… that wouldn’t be “Jesus like” so I do care… It is important for me to help people know the truth. The question is, HOW do we know we “know”? How do we KNOW the truth?
The Bible say that Jesus will be back and when He does, all believers in Him will all go to be with Him – with God. There is an urgency to save all people. True followers of Jesus want to help as many people to be with the one true God forever in Heaven (Eternal life). Jesus will be back and it could happen any day! Those who did not believe will be without God forever (eternal death)! So, are you sure about the path you are on and what you “know” about what this life is all about? Who is God? The Bible says there is only one way to God and it’s through Jesus – Yeshua Ha’madhiach!
I respect spiritual experiences that other people have or had, other saints and Gurus out there, rabbis etc. I think their experiences are real and valid for them, but again, if the experience or realization they have is contradicting to God’s Word, then I don’t believe that experience is all from or of God. In one way or another – we all experience God, but we tend to interpret it in ways that comfortably “fit” into our lives which takes us away from God.
Satan is real and he manifest himself in many shapes and forms. In anyway that will move someone away from God.
“How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame”? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods ?” Psalm 4:2
“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.” Psalm 40:4
“O LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.”” Jeremiah 16:19
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist (satan), which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” 1 John 1:4
Christians should not “impose” but they should continue to share the truth of Yeshua with others. It is not our “job” to “save” others. Only God can save, and only God is the ultimate judge. Let’s approach others with love, respect and acceptance. Let God do the saving or the judging…