Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things
Allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may
I have spent some time advocating for holding to your sincere beliefs, while also allowing all others the same privilege. So long as a religion genuinely improves the morality and spirituality of its patrons, then it should be recognized as a worthy vessel for good.
Perhaps you see some ideologies that are flawed, but which are still accomplishing far more good than harm. Would you want to risk destroying the 90% that is good, just to expunge the 10% that is flawed?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them
Of course not all ideologies really are 90% good. I do not claim that all beliefs are valid. I have no patience for ideologies that call for the eradication of human life, and declare war on a specific demographic.
Creeds like these are logically self-defeating. One way to tell truth from error is whether the principle destroys itself when held in the hands of another. Consider religious intolerance. To wish to destroy another religious sect is to support a principle that would destroy you if held in the hands of another. Thus the notion is crushed under its own weight.
I also reject those that use spiritual trappings for predatory or manipulative purposes. There are ministries that promise blessings and healings…but only if one calls in and provides their credit card number.
In the end, I believe there is much that is good in this world, more good than we often realize. And I believe every source of good should be supported and celebrated. But I also believe that one must be cautious, for while many things are good, certainly not all things are.