Counselor's Corner: Conversion vs. loving presence

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Fred Cavaiani

Have you ever had someone attempt to convert you into their religion? In this day of divisive politics, we probably have all met people who want to convert us into their political viewpoint. Sometimes it is very subtle and other times it is very blunt and direct. Different Christian denominations often want to convert people into their way of belief with the firm belief that people will go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Muslims might feel that others will go to hell if they don’t believe in Allah.

I am always amazed how judgmental people who believe in God can be toward others.

Years ago, John Lennon wrote the song “Imagine.” Here are the words:

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try.
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace.....You

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world...You

You may may I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

This song has always inspired me. It tells me about an attitude of care and compassion for others without condemning others. I certainly believe in God and don’t think John Lennon was promoting atheism in this song. But I think he was telling the world to stop condemning others in the name of God. Stop trying to impose upon others how they are supposed to believe and just love others.

True belief in a God of love means that I will be ready and willing to suffer because I believe that a God of love is always there for everyone. Imagine that everyone will be with you in the next life.

Imagine that everyone will always be loved by God.

Imagine there is no hell but only a heaven. Imagine that joy simply comes from allowing love into your life.

Imagine that you can love everyone because God loves everyone forever.

Imagine that misery comes from condemning and judging others.

Imagine that each moment is precious and you are loved in every moment and so is everyone else.

Imagine that freedom comes from caring.

Imagine that you help all by your love for all. Imagine you heal those in your presence by having a loving presence toward everyone. Imagine that no one needs to be converted but that everyone needs to be loved.

Imagine that you are always loved by God and so is everyone else.


You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.



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