In attending churches and activities for faiths other than my own I have found that it is through interfaith dialogue, panels, and one on one discussion that I learn the most. I may never “understand” a faith path but what I can do is learn the underlying teaching and respect the
beliefs of that path.
Learning about something may not lead to a path of understanding, however; it may allow us to know of the roots, teaching and current beliefs. To really understand I would need to be immersed in the culture and “live” it. I am open to learn about various paths; to hear the truth of it. Through learning comes respect while remaining strong in my own path of truth.
When a faith path is “culturized” (my word) it often loses value in the translation. For instance, there are strong feelings about the different translations of the Bible. The translations vary partially because they began as an oral tradition, in an ancient language in which a single word
may have numerous meanings based on context. We cannot deeply understand a faith path which is from a totally foreign culture we have yet to experience. We can add what we learn from our experiences with other paths and certainly live a richer life.
Fear is based on ignorance so let me learn about you and honor our differences.
The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.
He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.