- Our WORSHIP
- Our RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
- Our SOCIAL ACTION
- Our MUSIC
- Our COMMUNITY
- Renting & Your Event
- Pledge Form
In the Interim . . .
A few years ago, an article in the New York Times reported the results of a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than their own could lead to eternal life! When evangelicals protested that the respondents must have misunderstood the question, Pew conducted the survey again.
“Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them.
“And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go.”
When asked what they thought determined whether a person would achieve eternal life, “nearly as many Christians said you could achieve eternal life by just being a good person as said that you had to believe in Jesus.”
Let us permit ourselves a few high-fives in celebration of our Universalist victory over Calvinism! Yay! Then what?
Then perhaps we recognize that we have no patents on the use of reason in religion or respect for other religious paths. Leaving aside the question of “eternal life,” it seems that most folks put a high value on how we live this life.
We might wonder if we’ve become too comfortable with our status as a tiny minority religion and the low expectations that go with it.
We might be inspired to take up the practice of speaking about our faith to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. We might accept this as a challenge to let our light shine—to reach out to those who are ready to hear our message of “Not hell, but hope and courage.” Many will be surprised to learn that such a faith exists. And some will be grateful to find a religious home with us.
In Faith, Benjamin