I shall be succinct and clear about this, because I want to eliminate confusion, not add to it.
Your choice of religion and holy text is simply that: YOUR CHOICE.
Religions were created by humans as a systematic way of building a relationship with Me. While rituals and scriptures certainly can help in this process, what is FAR more important in your relationship with Me is the state of your heart. It is a question of intention.
If you intend to KNOW Me and your heart is open, you will know love, peace, joy and wisdom beyond measure — regardless of whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or any other religion.
That said, I have placed Spiritual guidance in all of your religions and holy texts. In this sense, no religion is better or worse than another. What makes the difference, as always, is the intention you bring to it — the way you practice your religion.
Some of you use your religion to claim exclusive rights to ME — to “own” Me like I am “property.” If someone else makes a claim to Me, many of you will fight and even kill to protect your “property.”
Yet, you CANNOT “own” Me, any more than you can own air, sunlight or water. I belong to all of you, and all of you belong to Me. This is exactly what so many of your greatest Spiritual teachers have taught. It is why they teach peace, love and understanding, for we all belong to one larger whole.
If you come to KNOW Me, it will show up in your actions, in how you interact with your world and with each other.
You cannot be full of my love and not be loving toward each other. You cannot know my peace, and not be a source of peace in the world. You cannot know my forgiveness or grace without being forgiving and graceful.
Now, religion and various holy texts CAN provide a path to these things. Yet, there are countless people who can quote scriptures without living by them. There are people who can say a prayer of hope and gratitude without feeling hopeful or grateful — people who, as many of you say, do not “practice what they preach.”
Furthermore, religion and holy texts have also been used to justify some of humanity’s most horrible acts, including murder, slavery, war and genocide. It is indeed sad that religion — the tool you created to bring all of you closer to Me and to each other — historically has had quite the opposite effect.
So, you see, having a relationship with Me is not about any particular religion or holy text. It is purely about your intention. It is purely about your choice — first, your choice of whether to practice a religion at all, then your choice of how to go about it.
However, please do not mistake this as a call to abandon religion. Throughout time, untold millions around the world have successfully used their religious practices to craft relationships with Me.
But you do not NEED any religion to do this. All you need is an open mind, an open heart and a sincere desire to know Me. If you bring these things, I will fill you up, whether you are in a church, synagogue, mosque, or sitting in your back yard.
Likewise, do not attempt to force your religious beliefs on anyone. To do so is to step on their God-given right of Free Will. Besides, tending to your own Spirit will keep you plenty occupied.
Instead, be an example — live according to the Truth I have written on your heart. Do this, and your life will be a beacon of love, peace, hope and happiness that will inspire others to choose to listen to my Truth in their hearts.
That said, I will offer this advice on how to USE religion to craft your relationship with Me — if that is what you choose to do.
If you will, think of your relationship with Me as a house that you and I are building together. I have provided you with a toolbox, complete with a hammer, wrench, screwdriver, drill, etc.
You start by hammering the frame together. Yet, at some point, the hammer will no longer be the appropriate tool for the job — it’s time for the drill. In fact, if you don’t switch tools, not only will you be trying to drill a hole with a hammer (which won’t work), you will actually begin to damage your house.
The reasonable thing to do is to put down the hammer, and pick up the drill. You will probably need the hammer later, but for now, the right tool is a drill. And then a screwdriver. Then a wrench. Then, maybe the hammer again.
The moral is: Don’t get so attached to using a particular tool that you forget you are working on a house. And don’t get so attached to a particular religion that you forget you are using that religion to build a relationship with Me.
There are spiritual truths that Christians can learn from Muslims, and vice versa. There are things both Christians and Muslims can learn from Judaism, Buddhism and Native American spirituality. And there are things that believers can learn from non-believers.
I have inspired writers to put great spiritual truths in The Bible, the Qu’ran, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Torah, The Bhagavad Gita, The Tao Te Ching, The Book of Mormon, and countless other written works. I have also put great spiritual truths in songs, paintings, sculptures and much more. Most importantly, I have written great spiritual Truth directly on your heart.
I have made it very difficult for you to not find Me, if you are truly looking. I am quite literally EVERYWHERE.
Again, the only things necessary are an open heart, an open mind and a sincere desire to KNOW Me. If you bring those three things, you have my Word that I will show myself to you.
What religion you choose to practice, if any, is entirely up to you.