An essay contributed by Arthur Levine
Do only Christians have a chance to attain Heaven?
Arthur J Levine is the author of the book "The magic of Faith: Wouldn't You Like a Little Magic In Your Life Right Now?."
It was published by iUniverse, Inc. on 2004-DEC. You can read reviews or order this book
safely from Amazon.com online book store.
He has donated the following
I woke up feeling shaky, and with that same old fear making me sweaty. I guess I
had been dreaming again about whether or not I’d ever get to Heaven. I’m not
getting any younger and thoughts of death and Heaven seem to be more on my mind
Christian scholars and Ministers are constantly preaching that the only way to
Heaven is through Jesus. Unfortunately for me I guess, I’m not Christian. I am
as you may have deduced Jewish. Is there no other path to God? I accept a
Christian’s right to find God through Jesus, but what about me?
What would the difference be if I were Muslim or Buddhist? I would still have
the same problem. It seems the Christian World thinks my way to Heaven is
blocked. I don’t want to be blocked. I want a shot at getting to Heaven just
like everyone else. Do you think the fact that I am not Christian makes me a bad
person in the eyes of God? Do you believe God cares how I believe in him as long
as I do? I think God wouldn’t have given us the right to make choices in how we
have faith in the one Supreme Being if he didn’t love us all, and wasn’t willing
to accept us all into Heaven.
I’ve had people try to convert me to Christianity including a daughter who has,
and a son-in-law who converted her. I come close to seeing the light, but
something always holds me back. Some instinct I suppose, some quirk of my
nature, which restrains me from abandoning my traditions and beliefs, keeps me
from making the big leap. Why can’t life be simple and easy? I guess it can if
all you have to do is to follow your traditions and beliefs. But I wasn’t born
in to a Christian family, and my traditions and beliefs are different except
when it comes to believing in one Supreme Being, the one God.
Yet it seems to me that I have been spending much of my life chasing Jesus. Like
many others, I want to believe. It would make my life so much easier. It would
give me instant peace of mind. But my heritage and tradition keep me from
following the path of Christ, although I do not dispute the wisdom of his
teachings. I consider him a great prophet. I simply cannot deny the teachings of
my own religion and my personal beliefs. Jesus was Jewish, wasn’t he? God in his
wisdom must have known what he was doing.
When I find myself torn by these feelings of misgivings I usually turn to a
Magic Genie Faith Builder friend of mine named Glorious for advice. It’s my way
of unlocking my imagination so that I can catch a glimpse of what is going on
deep down in my soul. I invented Glorious to help me find my faith. That’s why
he is a special type of Magic Genie. He is not your typical make a wish Genie.
They are old fashioned. He is the newer model # AEEF –3 (After everything else
fails for the third time). He is a Faith Builder.
My best friend Glorious tells me it’s all right to believe in God any way I
want. He feels that we were all made in Gods image and he must have known what
he was doing when he gave us the ability to worship him in our own way. Glorious
tells me I am a good and worthwhile person who is entitled to have faith in God
in my own way. I find comfort in this, but still worry that I will wake up
tomorrow morning shaking in fear and in a cold sweat. When will I finally be
secure in my faith? I know that others would answer this question for me, but I
feel I must find my own answer, my own faith.
Sometimes I’m not sure whether I am chasing Jesus or running away from him.
Either way I have faith that God will understand. I am not running away from
God. What I really am doing is chasing after my faith. I am trying to hold on to
it as best I can. Do you have enough faith to help you wake up without fear? Do
you have enough faith to give you peace of mind? Do you have enough faith to
believe in what you cannot see or comprehend? You can if you believe in yourself
and in God any way that you think is right for you. Let’s stop worrying and
arguing about whose way to worship God is the right way. Let’s concentrate on
having faith in the Almighty. Coming together in our common faith in God is a
better way to find grace in the eyes of the Lord. Couldn’t we all use a little
more faith today?
Sometimes I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. Isn’t being a good and
worthwhile person who cares about others, does good works, and believes in God
enough. I hope so. I have this urge to express the fact that I am a person of
faith too. I think we all are entitled to declare ourselves people of faith.
What about you, couldn’t you use a little more faith today to help you cope with
the troubled times in which we live? Wouldn’t you like to be able to declare
yourself a person of faith? You can if you just have faith, and believe in God
in any way that seems right to you. Be a faithful servant of the Almighty and
find your own way to God. It helps I think, in this respect, to follow family
traditions, rituals, and beliefs. But I believe that any way you choose to have
faith in God will be the right way for you. You have the right to choose. You
are entitled to be a person of faith.
Arthur Levine has a web site at
http://www.faith123.com which is devoted to helping people find their faith.
Copyright © 2005 by Arthur J Levine
Originally posted: 2005-FEB-22
Latest update: 2005-FEB-22
Author: Arthur J Levine