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Agents for Peace in a Diverse World

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One of the most popular bumper stickers you'll see around my city (Austin, Texas) simply proclaims: "COEXIST." It uses the symbols of the world’s major religions to spell the word. The Muslim crescent moon, for example, becomes the “C,” the Star of David serves as the “X,” and the cross stands in for the “T.” The decal preaches the conviction that no one religion can corner the market on truth. “You have your way of perceiving God, and I have my way,” the sticker seems to say. “We’re all just taking different paths up the same mountain, so I’ll see you at the top.” Because of that, many in our culture object to the Christian belief in Jesus as the only way to God. They see it as impolite at best or disruptive at worst. But the gospel message, even with its exclusive claims about Jesus, has the resources to make believers agents for peace. I can think of three resources. **Common Grace**. Christianity teaches that there are basic values self-evident to everyone, not just Bible readers. So, we can work together with people of other faiths — and no faith — to build decent communities. **Saving Grace**. The gospel teaches that our salvation comes by grace alone. God drew us to himself not because of our nationality or our ethnicity or our moral self-discipline. It wasn’t that we were smarter or had a greater moral sensitivity. It’s all of grace. So we can relate to others who don’t get it, because there was a time when we didn’t get it. **The Example of Jesus**. At the very heart of the Christian story is a man who died for his enemies, praying for their forgiveness. Reflection on this can only lead to a radically different way of dealing with those who are different from us. Sadly, Christians don’t always put these resources into practice in their relationships in the world. But the more we understand the gospel, the more we can communicate the exclusive claims of Jesus in a manner that builds relationships, even with those who don’t accept our claims. (cross-posted at www.anchorcourse.org)

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1 Cary W = "Even Jesus preached no religion or exclusion, but went to far as to say I am the truth, the way and the life...watch me, how I live, and you will remember you are the truth, the light and the way as well."
2 John Kuykendall = "I enjoyed the article and really liked the comment by Cary, "Even Jesus preached no religion or exclusion, but went to far as to say I am the truth, the way and the life...watch me, how I live, and you will remember you are the truth, the light and the way as well." The microcosm cannot grasp the macrocosm because it is too vast. The image that our unit minds can grasp is another unit being who serves as a model for spiritual life. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Jesus is pointing the way to the macrocosmic mind and is the tangential point between the macrocosm and the microcosm. By using Jesus as a personal model and a focal point, we can attain Christ consciousness. It is the perfect consciousness for the human model because it has attained all of the possibilities in the human state. In it all potential is actualized on this earthly plane so it becomes the prototype of being for the Christ conscious mind. It admits and supports the idea that there are varied upward paths to pure consciousness, and the diversity in different world faiths diminishes as one approaches Christ consciousness. Evolution and all spiritual paths lead to pure consciousness.http://www.amazon.com/John-J-Kuykendall/e/B018AK0WKY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0"
3 Cary W = "Whether someone understands the gospel message and receives it, is not our concern, but only that it is the grace and love of God already given freely to all men, believer and unbeliever alike."
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