05 June 2008

Blair's bid to unite religions totally misses the point

Tony Blair misses the point totally, completely and utterly in his bid to unite the world's religions to do good for the world.

For 2 reasons.

Firstly, religion is the formal expression of man's search for truth, the man-made overlay of a spiritual urge deep within all of us. To try and harness 'religion' to serve some other end, however worthy, is to put the cart before the horse. God made man, not the other way round. The most important thing each of us can do is to seek God. Seeking God is not a means to some other end.

Secondly, to try and unite Christianity with any other religion is to betray the core tenet of Christianity - that God, as Christ Jesus, came into this world to live and die and rise again, and that He needed to do this for us to be able to regain the relationship with God for which we were created but have each thrown away through our desire to be god of our own life.

When Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father but through Me', it was not empty words. If there were any other way for us to get to God then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. And, for sure, if it was not absolutely necessary for Him to die on that cross, to suffer the physical agony of crucifixion and the spiritual agony of separation from His Father, He would not have done so.

For Blair, or anyone else, to try and 'unite' a religion which tells of God coming to mankind, of God making the first move, of God making the ultimate sacrifice in order to win back the people He created and loves so so so much, with any other religion, none of which, however sincere their followers may be, can make that claim, is the deepest insult imaginable.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure thatwhat Tony Blair is trying to do ist to unite religions - he would scarcely become a Roman Catholic if he thought all religions equal. What I think he is trying to do is to draw out common values from religions and work with those shared values across cultures.

Anonymous said...

The reception of someone into the Catholic Church is conditional upon accepting all the Catholic Church's teachings. Blair has explicitly refused to repudiate his anti-life, anti-family and anti-Christian record whilst in government and parliament. So Blair's reception into the Catholic Church is probably null and void. I suspect Blair (like his equally non-Catholic wife Cherie), knows not only that the Catholic Church is the world's largest and most influential religious group but that its organs are often jam-packed with people who will be all too ready to help Blair manipulate the Catholic Church's resources to promote his left-wing political and social(ist) agendas. And I say all this as a practising Catholic loyal to the Church and Her teachings!

Aidan Michael said...

The problem as I see it is that he is reducing religion to a moral code. He said at the launch that the foundation is not about "doctrinal inquiry" but about "faith in action". He wants "people of one faith to be comfortable with those of another because they know what they truly believe, not what they thought they might believe." But I do not see how it is possible to know what other religions believe without engaging in doctrinal inquiry.

If the foundation is just about doing good in the world then why is it religious? Mr Blair stated that it aims to increase understanding between faiths. In fact what it aims to do is to increase understanding between human beings. By working with faith-based morality rather than faith itself, he is indeed putting the cart before the horse.

Christian charity is about witnessing Christ through our actions. The love of the neighbour stems from the love of God. What Tony Blair is saying is that we should forget about religion and just be nice. Be nice, but keep the Good News to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I agree and I don't! There's a difference between uniting religions and getting religions to work together.

I stand with the idea that religions cannot and must not be united. Yes, Jesus clearly said that he is the only way to God the Father. Christians cannot ignore this - it is simply the truth Jesus gave us in the Bible. So as a Christian, I cannot accept any other religion as 'another way to God.'

Yet, this in no way prevents me from working with other religions to achieve good ends. God wants social justice all over the world and it is good for the church to step out of its own structures and work with others, yes even other religions, to promote social justice, protect the poor and help the needy. This does not mean I have to water down my faith. I can tell people why I want to help the poor, i.e. because Jesus loves them so much and my God cares. But they don't have to have the same reasons as me for us to share a common aim.

Jesus could stand up for anything, anywhere, with anyone. I should do the same.