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The Temple, the Church, the Masjid are All Within Us
Our Christian priests told us, ‘The Kingdom of God is Within you’. They also said, ‘The only way to Heaven is through Christ.’ As a youngster, I quite liked the first statement, a quote from the Bible, because it gave me the choice and put on me the responsibility of finding God. The second statement, though, didn’t go well with my young, rebellious mind, which then and now as well seeks equality, irrespective of which God you follow.
Yes, Jesus Christ did say, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” But I believe, He said it more to include people in His grand plan of redemption, rather than exclude others. God, to my mind, is a Supreme Power of inclusion ― not exclusion.
Over the years, my faith in a Kingdom of God within me and each human being has grown, but my opposition to the assertion, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’ has also grown―stronger. Surely, Christ is aware of other nations, who are not His followers. And as a Messiah of love and compassion for all creation, He couldn’t be shutting the gates of Heaven to those who don’t follow Him by name.
And on the concept of a Kingdom of God, in recent years I have begun to wonder whether Christ meant Kingdom in the literal sense. A kingdom is ‘A monarchy with a king or queen as head of state.’ So does it follow that deep within me there’s a monarchy ― and considering that almost all monarchs are males ― a king, who is God? Somehow God and monarchy don’t jell spiritually. It is perhaps this concept of God as a Kingdom that has led to so much of violence and bloodshed in the name of religion, more specifically the Christian faith.