While I am thrilled that I was exposed at an early age to the life of Jesus, I am disturbed by those who believe that the only way to obtain salvation is to verbally declare Jesus Christ as one's personal lord and savior. What of those who follow lives of the love that comes from and leads back to The Creator? Aren't these people, to the best of their abilities, following the same path that Jesus himself trod?
Isn't it possible that when Jesus was talking to his disciples, he was telling them that he had shown them the way to walk the walk of salvation; therefore, they had no good excuse for straying and possibly setting a bad example for others? Maybe we're expected to help others to salvation with our walk, not with our talk. And when we do talk, perhaps we should be careful not to show ourselves to be hypocrites. Maybe it's time we all check our behaviors against our espoused beliefs.
Isn't it also possible that we each experience Divinity in the manifestations meant for our own salvation? In my religious upbringing, I was taught that The Almighty has appeared in many guises over the centuries. If we can believe that The Spirit appeared as a burning bush, why can't we accept the spiritual visions of other religions as valid manifestations of Divinity on the path to Perfect Love?
Groups often reject those who won't reject or ridicule the "others." I'm concerned that our self-proclaimed Christian country has more and more defined itself by who we reject and ridicule. I don't think that this is the way to salvation.
Blessed indeed are those who find fellowship in their walk with their own experience of The Spirit.