I stated in a previous post that I believe The Greatest Love judges not on the contents of our beliefs but by the loving actions from our heart. And yet the fourth message asked me to share my beliefs. So why the supposed contradiction? Because I believe there is no contradiction. I believe beliefs are important in so far as they can inspire actions. For it is our actions which provide an actual glimpse into our hearts and which are primarily considered on our day of judgement.1
But are our actions alone sufficient to judge one’s love? No. Actions must be viewed within the context of everything about a person’s life from conception (i.e. genetic identity), to circumstances of upbringing, thru to current socioeconomic status. All of that and more, I believe, must be considered when judging one’s love. Yes we may abhor a person’s actions. We may prosecute them for taking such actions. And we may take away their liberty for committing such actions. But we cannot judge the love in their hearts without considering the totality of that person’s existence. It is a judgement reserved for only The Greatest Love.
For example how do you judge a person with racist beliefs if all they have ever known was racism? If they were raised in a home where parents, friends, and relatives held those same beliefs? Take it further. What if the community in which that person lived largely held those same beliefs? Take it even further. What if it was not uncommon in that community for racist acts of violence to be committed and that person was accused of such an action? Now how can we judge that person? We can judge the act in isolation for that is merely interpreting the laws of the land.
But can we judge the love in their heart or lack thereof?
Can we judge their soul?
For I believe they are one and the same.
And we cannot judge either. For to judge a soul is not only to completely know the countless actions taken by a person but it is to completely understand why they were made. The thoughts, beliefs, history, relationships, biology/genetics, socioeconomic conditions, etc., that impacted each individual action. Assimilating the totality of that information, that life, into a single answer. It is a calculation only The Greatest Love can make.
Beliefs, as well as thoughts and knowledge I do not believe are primarily considered on the day of judgement. A loving god permits us to think and believe and know as we wish. However when beliefs influence our actions then the content and strength of those beliefs are examined, and their origins determined, in order to better understand why an action was made.
Consider the extreme example of racism again. What if your beliefs are racist? Still, I believe, The Greatest Love, will not consider it on your day of judgement so long as it did not affect any of your actions. If your racist beliefs caused you to, for example, commit or incite racist violence then you will be judged primarily on the action. Beliefs and other pertinent secondary information will then be considered in understanding why the action was taken. The Greatest Love may determine that the action was taken because of your racist beliefs. But then those beliefs must be dissected all the way through the person’s life. Why did the person have such beliefs? Were they raised in a family that fiercely promoted such racist views? Was it due to overgeneralized assessments of past experiences that went unchallenged by others? Were they unable, or were they unwilling, to question and self-reflect upon such assessments themselves? And so on.
Understanding completely all actions by looking at the totality of one’s life including beliefs from conception through to death. Repeat this for every action taken by that person. Then given all these primary actions and secondary rationales come to a conclusion about a person’s love. About their soul. That I believe is the day of judgement. And how is a final decision made? Only The Greatest Love knows. But I believe they are a loving god of mercy.
Take another example. Consider atheism. Would the love in an atheist’s heart be affected by their lack of belief in any god? If they performed loving acts throughout their life because they loved their family, their friends, their community, their World, etc., not due to any belief in a Higher Power, but just because they are compassionate human beings. What would happen upon their death assuming The Greatest Love sat in judgement? I believe that any loving and merciful god judges based on love, primarily on our actions alone, irrespective of our beliefs or lack thereof, and would therefore deem such a soul worthy of salvation.
For it is our actions, how we show our love, that is of primary importance to The Greatest Love. Not our beliefs. It is our actions that change the World around us. An unspoken belief that does not change how we interact with the World around us, I believe, does no harm to the World, does no good to the World, and has no impact on the love in our heart. Other beliefs that help define how we live our life are important, not because of what they are, but because of what they inspire us to do. Actions over beliefs.
But beliefs are still important because they can inspire action. Taken to its logical conclusion I believe the following are all true statements:
- It does not matter if you believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah but if His life and His teachings inspired you to live your life in a loving way then I believe Paradise is yours.
- It does not matter if you believe Muhammad is the Last Prophet of Allah but if his life and his teachings inspired you to live your life in a loving way then I believe Paradise is yours.
- It does not matter what you believe so long as it inspires you to live your life in a loving way. If you can do this I believe Paradise is yours.
And so why did The Greatest Love ask me to share my beliefs? I do not believe it is because my beliefs are comparable to any prophet or Messiah. That would be delusional on a grand scale. No. I believe it was first and foremost to help me. A flawed individual that had been struggling with my own spiritual identity and beliefs.
That the process of communicating with my god and thinking about my beliefs has grounded me and brought me more in touch with who I am. It has allowed me to believe that by living a life with love in my heart, as revealed by my actions, may I be worthy of salvation, despite not identifying with any religious denomination. Despite my lack of belief in some of my previous Church’s key tenets as discussed in a previous post.
That you can believe in a Greater Power while failing to identify with any of the definitions of god presented by the great religions. But at the same time see the goodness in those religions as well. To be thankful of those religions despite charting your own unique spiritual course in life.
For I have a strong belief in love and try to see the World through its lens. It inspires me to be a better person. And I believe my god wishes me well on my journey.
Sharing my beliefs has shown me this.
1 There is a third component that must be considered when assessing the love in one’s heart: feelings or emotions, which are separate from actions and thoughts/beliefs. Feelings are a topic for a future post.