Kirsten Vangsness Religion- God’s purpose for humanity
Kirsten Vangsness, author of the new book, “Making the Modern Woman” says it’s not the core of a woman’s faith that determine her religion; rather, she believes that it is often a cluster of beliefs. Indeed, there are some women who identify themselves as being Buddhist, Lutheran, Hindu, Sikh or Hindu, and others who would say they’re a member of the Catholic Church, but really are a member of another denomination. But the one thing that all the religions have in common is the core belief that we all come from the same family and the birth of Jesus was the first step to fulfilling God’s purpose for humanity.
So what does this have to do with our faith? She says that by understanding and appreciating this important fact, one can easily figure out which religion is right for her. This will allow her to make sense of the world around her and also know how to relate to her co-religionists better.
We are often told by the news and by those who claim to speak for God that Christianity is a religion of peace, prosperity, and stability. But what do we find when we look at the behavior of many Christians when confronted with problems like poverty, famine, and war?
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I’m not saying that Christianity is perfect, but by judging it by its own standards, Christians do not always apply this to their fellow human beings. On the contrary, Christians constantly denounce the other religion for their own intolerance and inhumane actions towards people. In essence, Christians aren’t really Christians until they’ve learned to share and compromise and put the needs of the majority ahead of their own.
What Kirsten Vangsness is saying is that religion without peace is not a religion. And she points out that this is not merely a belief, but something that must be practiced in order to live a peaceful life. Sacrifice is a basic human emotion. It’s been a big part of the history of the world. According to Vangsness, sacrifice in the form of Christianity has come from Christianity’s emphasis on a love-based view of morality, a word that was derived from the Greek word “Kalos” which means kindness.
Most people have a difficult time separating religion from charity because it is an intrinsic part of their religions. Yet the lesson of the book is that if one values religion in the way it truly should be – as a source of compassion, empathy and inclusion, then this is one part of our religion that must be honored in its true form.
It’s not enough to pretend that our traditions are simply part of larger teaching, a lesson to be learned, and then passed on. We must embrace and practice these core beliefs in our own lives in order to become a true religion, a religion that lives by the teachings of Jesus.