What is the relationship between God and religion?

The picture above – showing rays of sunlight shining through the clouds – provides a good visual metaphor of the relationship between God and religion.

  1. Let’s say the sun represents God. (There are literally hundreds of different names for ‘God’ . For example the Qur’an contains the ‘Ninety-nine Most Beautiful Names of Allah’. Judaism refers to 72 Divine Names and Mahabharata text contains a thousand names of Vishnu.)
  2. The rays of the sun represent the different religions on earth.
  3. Just as all rays of sunshine come from the same source – the sun, so do all religions stem from the same source – God.
  4. A ray of sunshine that hits the earth will look and feel different to a ray which lands in a different place – just as the religions look and feel different to each other.
  5. As the clouds obscure the sun, each ray of sunlight will appear “disconnected” from all other rays. Likewise - because many do not see that they all originate from the same source – religions believe they too are “disconnected” from each other.
  6. But in reality, just as the different rays of the sun are just different manifestations of the same light from the sun, so too are the world’s religions simply different manifestations of the same light from God.
  7. Now, it is of course silly to think of one ray of sunlight as being better or worse than another ray, or to think of one ray as true and another false. Well, if you can accept the above statements, it would be just as silly to say those things about the different religions. About the most you could accurately say is that the different rays of sunlight are . . . just different. It is the same with religion. No one religion is any better or worse or truer than any other. They are just different . . . interpretations of the light or inspiration from God.

 

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