Reading the Tao Te Ching

I have so many friends who are turned off by religion, and I have to honestly agree with many of their arguments.  I also have to admit I was feeling the same way too at one point in my life!  So many people put on this charade of how pure living they are, go to church every week, never missing, yet are judging others that don’t. They proudly and vocally say grace at every meal, yet are gossiping and making fun of people with vicious hearts every chance they get.

Then you hear stories about what they do on their free-time, which you would never do in a million years because your moral standards are not in that range, even though you haven’t darkened the church doors in over a year.  You believe and feel the activities they participate in are downright morally wrong, but people are free to do what they please with their lives.

It just makes you wonder, how can these people who claim to be religious think that just because they go to church every week, yet treat their human race with such judgment; nurturing such feelings of superiority; have such a love for revenge; and have all these negative loves and hellish mindset think that going to church and claim they are Christian, is going to be the cure of all evil?

The more I read and research, which I have been doing extensively in my spiritual journey, I’m realizing more and more that it’s not just Christians who go to heaven and I don’t believe just because you call yourself a Christian it is a ticket to heaven.  Just because you are “saved” doesn’t give you a free ride.  Sure, it might help keep you out of the pits to total despair, but you have to live a forgiving, nonjudgmental, and selfless life if someday you want to experience the joy of the afterlife.

I’m reading the Tao Te Ching and it is very interesting how a book, that was written over two and a half centuries ago, has such love and wisdom in its 81 little verses, but aligns itself very well with the morals of the Bible.  If you’ve never met the word of God but lived by these simple verses, I am sure you would also experience Heaven.  I’m a huge promoter of the Bible, and there will be no other book for me, but the Bible is only useful if you makes you do positive life changes and try to live up to its word.  The same as any religion.  In the end what matters is the love you have towards the human race, which is very directly put in the Bible, and it other religions too.

Luke 6:27 tells us, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”  yet, honestly how many people who call themselves Christians can say that they actually do this one?  This is very hard to do.  I know many Christians that love to make fun of their enemies.  I know Christians who gossip about their enemies and go out of their way to make their enemies lives miserable.  I know Christians who center their world on getting revenge on their enemy or wishing the worst on them.  It’s very sad to listen, and hear, and hard to bite my tongue, but it is not my place to say anything.

The 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching states,

“Heaven and Earth are everlasting,
The reason Heaven and Earth can last forever
Is that they do not exist for themselves
Thus they can last forever

Therefore the sages:
Place themselves last but end up in front
Are outside of themselves and yet survive
Is it not due to their selflessness?
That is how they can achieve their own goals”

If you look at this deep enough, it is not saying the same thing as many Bible verses?  Is this not saying that we have to put everyone above ourselves, even in our enemy?  We have to exist for everyone else, but ourselves, just like Heaven and Earth.  Deep stuff from the Tao Te Ching.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  It’s not whether we call ourselves Christian while we are on earth that determines our destiny in eternity.  I feel we have to be more open minded to the reality of the spiritual world.  Going to church once a week and living a self-absorbed, revengeful, gossip filled, and having unforgiving, vengeful heart is fine if that is what makes you happy here on earth, but it is not a ticket to a place I want to spend my eternity, but that is just the way I look at spirituality and the afterlife.  I could be wrong, who knows!

I am a Christian, trying to live a Christian life, but also look at the great things in other religions and try to learn from them as well.  Just because I am learning, doesn’t mean I am honoring another God, I am just curious and I think you have to educate yourself on everything no matter what the subject area.  It’s a huge world of spirituality out there, and I think understanding them all is the way that you will come not to judge others and what they believe in.