WHAT IS THE HEART OF ANY RELIGION ?by Robert Brow
by Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario March 2008
Paul makes a sharp distinction between the outward forms of a religion
and the heart direction of individuals. "A person is not a Jew who is
one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and
physical. Rather a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real
circumcision is a matter of the heart - it is spiritual and not
literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God"
Similarly with Christians. God does not consult denominational records
of baptisms and confirmations to find those whose heart is open to his
love. There will also be many who do not register their name in a
church roll, but who find themselves praying when a child is sick or
looking to God for wisdom when they do not know what to do. Others
work in Jesus' Kingdom without identifying themselves as his servants.
Only God knows those who are his.
Does that mean that Christian doctrine is irrelevant ? We are bound to
have some system of explanation. The purpose of good theology is to free
us to understand what God is doing in our life. For thirty years this website
has kept studying items of our belief. I want to see what is helpful or a
hindrance to living by the
love of God.
What then should we say about Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and members
of other religions ? Evidently God knows the heart of each one. We
should not assume that a person who professes some wrong ideas is
thereby an enemy of God. Secretly in their heart there can be a
conversation with the Father, or with the Son in his Kingdom reign, or
with the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. God understands the failure to make the
important distinctions between the persons of the Trinity, and he does not get upset if
we are ignorant and address the
When we look at faith in this way evangelism (spreading the good news)
changes its focus. We are no longer trying to win debating points with
other denominations and religions. We can go straight to the point of
beginning a conversation with God. Correct doctrine may follow later.