Established religions do not always practice their published theology. The faithful do not always observe the teachings of their faith. Believers can be obstinately patronizing about the truths they read in ancient documents. All too often, the selective use of religious doctrine is used to justify malicious behavior.
What a shame.
These realities of human failing present us with many questions. Who are we to judge? How do we have a constructive conversation with those who espouse inflexible beliefs? How do we deal with the venom of a faith that has been corrupted by human betrayal? By what measure do we know our own actions and thoughts are spiritually virtuous? And so on.
Be thoughtful. Human nature will not change. These failings and the questions they raise will be with us forever. Let us therefore embrace a positive and constructive view of who we are, and deal with these weaknesses of the human condition with grace and intelligence.
Let us be humble in our beliefs. In truth, most of us are pursuing the same quest. We want to be sure that life has meaning. We are, in a sense, always searching for a truth that is greater than ourselves, even if we are unable to fully comprehend the meaning of our discovery. There are, it would appear, many paths to spiritual truth. We must, each one of us, find our own way.
We will be measured by the sincerity of our effort and our compassion for others.