I think of myself as a recovering Southern Baptist, then an Episcopalian, with a detour though Lutheren, almost to Catholic. Something like religion was simple when I was a child, either you were a born again Christian or you were going to burn in the fires of hell for all of eternity.
When I was told my middle grandson was Buddhist and his parents were searching for a temple, I calmly informed them of one near my home with little thought to, "What..... HE WON'T BE BAPTISED BORN AGAIN!!"
It occured to me that although all my children were baptised, none of my grandchildren are baptised. Unheard of when I was a youth. I didn't even know about Buddah until I was an adult.
My father and his family were deeply devout in their Southern Baptist roots. My mother never spoke of her beliefs and only went to church on special occations; a wedding, baptisim, or Easter. I thought it odd anyone would stay home on Sunday when I had been taught we could burn in hell unless we sorted out all the do's and don't's. To learn these do's and don'ts and avoid the eternal fires of hell, we were suppose to be in church.
My home church was quite sedate, like a soft spoken lullaby, it could lure kids and older adults into a soft snore which resulted in a lot of startled gasps as elbows found ribs. The songs were just as sedate.
When I went to church with my mom's sister, I learned there were other ways to worship. Aunt Betty was a rolling on the floor, speaking in toungues, foot stomping, hands clapping, arms raised over her head fundamentalist Pentencolstal.
In Aunt Betty's church, rather that the calm monotone sermon from our preacher, her preacher marched all over the stage as he shouted the Word and slapped the bible with his other hand. He never stopped shouting as he ran 0 to 60 from the podium to the front doors of the church then back up to the podium, ignoring and running around the women rolling on the floor shouting in a laugage I had never heard. I was told they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
I believe my dad went to the Heaven he sought, no matter that he sang slow songs, never raised his hands to heaven as he prayed and never spoke in tongues. I believe my Aunt Betty is in the heaven she belived in and that my grandson being a Buddhist will find his own heaven. His beliefs will not bar him from what ever waits for us all at the end of life. Even rock and rollers sought faith and comfort. "Give me something to believe in", Brett Michaels from Poison sang and Kris Kristofferson sang, "Lord Help Me Jesus". Some people choose to sing quietly, others shout, and now my grandson will meditate. It comes down to faith in something that can give hope and peace when needed.
As opposed to when I was a child, religion is not black and white any longer. I don't believe my grandchildren will go to hell if they are not baptised, "washed in the blood of the lamb" as I was, but it doesn't make their faith, belief, or their jouney though life any less. God Bless, my very young grandson that chose to look outside the box when seeking faith and a peace that passes understanding, as there are many boxes to choose from. To me, never giving up the belief there is something outside ourselves that can provide peace of spirit is the ultimate definition of faith.