I have taken advantage of his knowledge to ask a few very tough questions. Some were expected answers and others were quite provocative. Some answers, he suggested, are better left to non-speculation because we really have no specific direction. I'm okay with that. Someday, I'll know.
But one thing stood out for me in one of his recent sermons - the word of God. Many people believe it's the Bible, but our Biblical scholar supports that it is Jesus Christ himself. So much of the Old Testament was contradicted by Jesus (no animal sacrifices, no profound rituals, no cursing of generations for the sins of the parent, etc.), and a new introduction to God was given - one of love and compassion.
Our previous pastor had mentioned there is one big difference between Christianity and other religions. It is relationship. Of the major religions in the world, only one offers a true relationship with God, and one which parallels that of child and parent. It's Christianity.
While all religions purport to teach love, Christianity resonates with me. I love the enlightenment of what Jesus brought to humanity. You won't find hate in the New Testament, and it drives me crazy when other Christians try to speak for God and cite the OT to support their tunnel views on various matters. Besides, I don't think being zealous and shouting words at people will gain the converts they hope to acquire. Examples of outward peace and light, however, "speaks" volumes.
Although I have read the Bible through several times, this will most likely be the last time for the OT which I'm currently reading. I think it's important to know what was taught when Jesus came into this world, but now I want to focus on what he brought with him in thought and deed. There are many good things in the OT (I know because I cited some of them in my book, Simple Things to Make This World a Better Place), but I want to now attend only to what I believe is the updated word of God.
I'm personally glad that there are different religions because we each need and seek something different on a path to finding and allowing God in our lives. For me, it's Christianity because Jesus introduced and provided a way to a God of love, and one to whom I can have a personal relationship. For non-Christians who also love God but seek another path, well that is one of those things about which our Biblical scholar has suggested might be best not to speculate. And I'm okay with that, too.