Metaphysics Course

This blog is a collection of essays and lesson comments from several of the Universal Life Church courses on Metaphysics. We have a Spirit Quest Course and one on A Course In Miracles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comparative Religion

Rev. David Hester

What you gained from this course.

I gained much from this course including but not limited to:

- a firm grounding in Comparative Religion that allows me to understand the various aspects of the different faith systems. 

- The Awesome Missions Principle: "It is imperative that as ministers, we make every effort to communicate from the perspective of those we serve."   An excellent example was given concerning the term "angel" and it not being difficult to learn to use the word "dakini" with those from Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist backgrounds.
- Minister needing to learn to serve all ages.  Obviously how you would minister (while equally important) to a five-year-old and an adult would be different.  As a Christian I have learned that most adults do not understand Christianese so how can I expect to use terms like sanctification, epistemology, etc. with a child?

What you liked best in this course.

- I could not wait to get to the sections at the end of each lesson titled: Recommended Reading.  I am still reading many of those recommendations!
- I loved the sections on holy symbols and architecture.
- I loved the simplicity of the presentation for each of the 20 lessons.
- I found the Recommended Activities each week to be great eye-opening experiences.  I had a wonderful experience learning of the Mormon Faith while I did not agree with all of its Doctrine. 
What you liked least about this course.

While I enjoyed this course I tended not to like the push toward ecumenicalism (for me the Bible warms of a one world government, religion, etc.).  Having studied the various faiths I learned that they cannot all be describing the same G-d.  Thus to try to combine them (in truth) would be impossible.  For instance the G-d of the Koran is not the G-d of the Bible.  You realize this in studying the character traits of Allah versus that of YHWH.

For me to "do that which is right" would be for me to do that which is true.  I am comissioned to "speak the truth in love" according to the Bible.  I would be unable to combine Christianity and Islam.  While I do believe that inter-faith dialogue is vital.  I have to stand for that which is true!

How you think these discourses could be improved.

These discourses could be improved by adding the apologetic of those opposing the Inter-Faith/Ecumenical Movements.  This I thought would bring another dimension to the course.

Any other comments.

I found Discourse 3's section on the Golden Rule to be most interesting.  In this section of the course we learn that Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Jainism, Native American, Taoist, Wiccan, and Zorastrianism all have the concept of the Golden Rule.  I also find this to be true of the Ten Commandments.  If this is not the proof of the existence of One G-d and the fact that we all have Eternity in our hearts I do not know what is!

Rev. Kythera Ann (at least for me) has proven the Bibles teaching on a Global Flood actually happening beyond the shadow of a doubt by sharing all of the Flood Stories from around the world.  The following is Rev. Kythera Ann herself: "Because of the consistency of this story, the current scientific geological data, the idea of a worldwide flood actually happening is very likely."  You got that right!

I enjoyed the information on the Shinto Festival called "Ontohsai" showing/sharing/mirroring the Biblical Akeda (the near sacrifice of Isaac).  This teaching portrays the concept of Substitutionary Atonement!  We cannot save ourselves! 

There were so many wonderful things about this course that its hard to put it all on paper!

Would you be interested in taking other courses from Rev. Kythera Ann?

Rev. Kythera Ann has surely done her homework and put together an excellent course tying the various faiths together showing there similarities and differences.  I would be interested in taking more of her courses.                                                                                  

All My Love,

Dave "Avery" Hester


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