A deep part of my faith is the understanding that I may be wrong. It is entirely possible that there is only one way to “Heaven” and I am not on that path. I am as comfortable with this knowledge as one can be. I pray that if faced with the reality of “Hell” that I do not cave from my principles for fear of eternal damnation. I must live an ethical life at all times, even when no one is witnessing. I make this choice because it is what my heart and mind and my soul say is correct. I live my faith as fully and completely as I am able to.
My whole being believes that we are to behave justly; to act out radical hospitality; that all humans are equal and are to be treated as such. ALL humans, regardless of race, sexual orientation, class, religion, education, life experiences, or anything else. Now this is a tall order—one that I am not perfect at. My goal is to not judge, yet I find myself doing so more than I care to admit, even to myself. My biggest obstacle: not judging those that judge.
Throughout the Bible there are all types of commandments, some we still honor, others we ignore, many we, as a society, have collectively forgotten. If one were to make a database of all the commandments (which I am sure that someone has done) there are many that contradict each other. Many, if we look at them through a historical lens, we can see why they were given to us (such as the commandments to not eat pork or shellfish). Yet, it seems to me, that the one, consistent commandment is to leave the judging to God. Period.
Yet I look around and I see so much judging. I read about pastors calling to put our fellow Americans into concentration camps or spitting on fellow Christians. Jesus welcomed the leper and the prostitute at his table. Why do you, a mere human, think that your beliefs trump that of the embodiment of God? Your beliefs do not make you a better person, your behavior does. Whether this gets me to a magical paradise in my afterlife is of less significance than creating a loving community, in the image of the Divine, right now. And when I come to the end of my time here and I have to account for my behavior throughout my life, I can hold my head up high and say with confidence that I did my very best.