The Abandonment of Teaching Good and Evil by Todd Rutherford

Peter Knoester, author of Poems and Stories from the Heart, Poems and Stories for Children and Stories and Poetry in Motion, evocatively addresses the issues of the world in his most recent work, Religious Thoughts, Stories, and Poetry. His deeply stirring work confronts the issues that weighed most heavily on his mind when faced with the possibility of death while waiting for a biopsy to be performed.

In “Good and Evil” and other essays, Knoester illuminates the underlying humanity of the world, regardless of faith; “There is a subject in this world that involves us all, not only as a nation, with all its different ethnic groups, and religious domination creeds of all kind, but also as individuals, which is the matter of good and evil.” He highlights that every culture “from the most primitive tribes of Africa to the most modern countries in the world” have adopted some form of religion to “keep the masses in check, but also to ensure that people do not destroy one another because of bruised egos.”

In a world filled with religious turmoil, warfare, and prejudice, it seems that the teachings of good and evil have been abandoned and the foundations of religion have been forgotten; while they unite believers within the same religion, followers of each religion destroy each other as a result of their bruised egos. Where religion was meant to be unifying, it has now drawn clearly divided lines between and within nations, tearing people groups apart with intolerance and notions of superiority.

Knoester delineates the essential difference between Christianity and other religions, that the teachings of the Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim faiths lack, the teaching that “God also loved the world that He sent to this world his only begotten son Jesus, to tell and teach the world what God was and what was expected from mankind, if the people wanted to obtain eternal life via Christ’s teachings and through the sacrifice of his own life.” This is a quality of Christianity that Knoester finds redeeming and encourages Christians to choose good over evil, in an effort not to disappoint a God that loves them, but maintains that religions are inherently intended to encourage believers to choose paths of goodness.

Although Knoester’s writing is heavily Christian, his work helps us to understand that we are all human, no matter what our beliefs. Religious Thoughts, Stories, and Poetry stimulates deep reflection, giving readers pause for thought, guiding us toward a tolerant and understanding worldview in a time when it is desperately needed.

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